Best Discount Brokers

Richard Montana | August 1, 2022

Discount brokers often make more sense for the average investor because they’re less costly and can give traders reduced commission rates on their trades. These discounts can help traders to save on overall trading costs in the long term, especially for retail traders who are day trading on a frequent basis.

This lower cost is usually the result of lower commissions, and it’s the primary benefit of using discount broking. Because they don’t offer any advice, discount brokers have no vested interest in asking the customer to buy or sell a particular instrument.

By allowing traders and investors to conduct their own market research and investment management, discount brokers can reduce the overhead costs such as administrative and management fees. Although most trading brokers do not have fees that are considered that expensive, they can add up and eat into profits, especially for specific trading strategies that take advantage of small price movements.

For that reason, we have compiled a list of our best discount brokers who we discovered to have some of the most competitive fees along with top class trading services. If you want to make your own decisions, a discount broker may be the way to go.

Top 10 Discount Brokers

Each broker chosen in our best discount brokers category is the result of thousands of hours research and analysis across hundreds of brokers over a number of years. We have done all of the hard work for you to help try and identify the best discount broker for your own individual needs. Hopefully this can save you time shopping around and trading fees in the long run.

Some of the most important factors that contribute towards a good broker for discounted trading have been considered including things such as the available financial instruments, platforms, apps, tools, execution, liquidity, fees, education, funding options, regulation, customer service and more.

Each of our chosen discount brokers have undergone and passed our stringent broker reviews with flying colours, based on what we consider to be amongst the most important considerations when choosing a discount broker for trading online. These brokers are well-established within the online trading industry, providing top discount trading conditions to traders and investors of all experience levels.

Having the best discounted brokers according to our findings listed in one place, can help you save time when looking for the best discount broker for your own individual needs.

Broker
Rating
Regulated
Min. Deposit
Founded
Max. Leverage
1.

ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA

Min $100 Deposit

2006

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
2.

ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA

Min $250 Deposit

1974

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
3.

AFM, DNB, FCA

Min $0.01 Deposit

2013

N/A

Trading in financial instruments involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for every investor.
4.

FINRA

Min $1 Deposit

1985

1:4

All investments involve risk and losses may exceed the principal invested.
5.

FINRA

Min $1 Deposit

2013

1:2

All investments involve risks, including the possible loss of capital.
6.

FCA

Min £1 Deposit

2016

N/A

The value of investments can go up as well as down and you may receive back less than your original investment.
7.

FINRA, NFA, SEC

Min $1 Deposit

2016

1:2

All investments involve risk and losses may exceed the principal invested.
8.

FINRA, SEC

Min $1 Deposit

2017

1:4

Trading investment products involves substantial risk of loss.
9.

FINRA

Min $0 Deposit

1982

N/A

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
10.

FSC, MFSA

Min $10 Deposit

2002

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade has very low fees in general, especially for forex trading. They don’t charge any account fees, while deposits and withdrawals are also free of charge. You can trade a great selection of CFD instruments with zero commission fees including forex, commodities, stocks and crypto. On the down side, they do have an inactivity fee. However, that doesn’t kick in until after 3 months and is only applicable if you have funds in your account. If you are day trading, this shouldn’t really be an issue and overall, you can save a lot in commission fees.

Pros
  • Zero commission fees
  • Tight spreads
  • Quick trade execution speeds
  • User-friendly trading platforms
  • Wide range of financial instruments
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
Cons
  • Spread mark-up instead of commission
  • Minimum deposit of $100
  • Cannot accept USA traders

IG

IG have very low dealing costs and non-trading fees. You can buy and sell thousands of global shares and trade ETFs, with low commission rates and zero commission on some US shares. The forex spreads are very competitive whilst they have industry leading technology to ensure quick trade execution speeds at the best available prices.

They do not charge for most deposits or withdrawals provided no currency conversion is required. If a currency conversion is required, there is a standard and reasonable FX conversion fee of just 0.5%. All deposits to your CFD trading account are free except for those via credit cards.

However, if your account is inactive for a period of 24 consecutive months, there will be a rolling monthly charge. This is a really long time to be inactive especially as they are a good broker for day trading. The inactivity fee won’t apply if you don’t have any funds in your account.  They are very well established and regulated un multiple jurisdictions, making them one of the best brokers you will find for discounted trading fees.

Pros
  • Zero commission fees on US shares
  • Low forex spreads
  • No deposit or withdrawal fees
  • Huge range of over 18,000 instruments
  • Best in class platforms and tools
  • Accept USA traders
Cons
  • Not the quickest onboarding process
  • Minimum deposit of $250 is not the lowest
  • Inactivity fees after 2 years

DEGIRO

The DEGIRO fees are very low when compared to direct competitors. You will normally pay less than €1 per trade, while some banks can charge anywhere between €10-20 per transaction plus monthly fees. The broker offers cheap stock trading on an intuitive yet perhaps slightly limited trading platform, with a maximum charge of around €5 per trade. Unlike most trading brokers, they dont charge any inactivity fees.

I appreciate how DEGIRO are fully transparent about their fees. There are no fees which do not appear on the brokers fee schedule. I think they are a good broker for day trading when you consider that there are no inactivity fees, nor is there a minimum trading amount imposed on account holders. Just keep in mind that as with most brokers, there is a financing rate or overnight rate that will be charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than one day.

I would say that DEGIRO are one of the cheapest options overall, even if you are not an active trader. They can save you a lot in commission over the long term and have a fantastic range of trading products and services for all types of investor. The broker charges some of the cheapest commission fees for ETFs, shares, bonds, and gilts. They are also regulated and supervised by multiple regulatory authorities which can give you peace of mind.

Pros
  • Very cheap commission fees
  • Low fees for stock and ETF trading
  • No inactivity fees
  • No minimum trade amounts
  • Great selection of financial products
Cons
  • Not available in the USA
  • Does not support crypto
  • Limited funding options
  • No demo accounts

Firstrade

With Firstrade, you can trade through user-friendly yet powerful online platform or mobile apps with very low commission of $0 per trade. The broker has a full suite of investment products including stocks, options, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bonds and CDs.

There is no minimum stock trading deposit and account maintenance fee which is great. The costs are relatively low for self-directed online trades. There are no minimum stock trading requirements on the number of shares per trade. You can have as little as one share per trade.

Because Firstrade has no commissions or account fees, the broker ranks as extremely low-cost overall and is tough to beat. However, there are fees for dealing over the phone and possible wire transfer fees when making withdrawals.

Pros
  • No commission when you buy or sell stocks, ETFs and mutual funds
  • Options at $0 per trade, per contract
  • More than 3,700 commission-free mutual funds
  • Simple pricing with no catch or hidden fees
  • No account minimum or inactivity fee
  • Good range of research and educational materials
Cons
  • No CFD trading instruments
  • Limited account funding options
  • Limited countries can open an account

Robinhood

Robinhood has no monthly fee, no account maintenance fee, and no trading or commission fees for stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency. Another advantage is that they do not charge any withdrawal and inactivity fees whereas some competitors do. The broker has very user-friendly mobile and web trading platforms that make it easy to analyse the markets, place and manage trades.

Robinhood Securities generates income on uninvested brokerage cash that isn’t swept to the brokerage cash sweep network of program banks, primarily by depositing this cash in interest-bearing bank accounts. Investing with a Robinhood brokerage account is commission-free. They don’t charge you fees to open your account, to maintain your account, or to transfer funds to your account.

Pros
  • Free US stock and ETF trading
  • Fractional shares and IPOs
  • No ongoing account fees
  • Intuitive platforms and robust tools
Cons
  • USA clients only
  • CFD trading not available
  • Limited trading products

Freetrade

Freetrade is a UK-based financial technology company which offers a freemium share dealing service. They make it simple to invest and trade in the stock market, commission-free. The Freetrade app is modern, sleek and very user friendly which makes it suitable for traders of all experience levels.

Pros
  • Sophisticated and user-friendly investment app
  • Commission free stock investing
  • Very welcoming online community
  • Fractional shares available from just £2
  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • Excellent personalised customer support
Cons
  • Not really suitable for day trading
  • No desktop or web based platforms
  • Limited charting capabilities
  • Limited account funding options

Ally Invest

Ally Invest offer USA client self-directed trading and managed investing with competitive fees. They provide a great selection of versatile platforms, quality trading tools and educational content for beginners. Whether you are day trading or looking to hold positions for the long term, I think they are certainly worth consideration for anyone located in the USA.

Pros
  • Powerful and fully customisable trading platforms
  • Quality trading tools for analysing the markets
  • Very competitive fees with commission free trading
  • Educational guides to educate beginners
  • No minimum deposit required (unless margin trading)
  • Backed by a large bank in Ally Financial
  • Other services including banking and savings
  • Automated investing with Robo Portfolios
  • Wealth Management services for investors
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • USA clients only
  • Limited funding options
  • Slightly restricted forex offering

Webull

Webull is an online brokerage where you can trade an extensive selection of financial products via user-friendly platforms for desktop and mobile. They have some good tools for market analysis and learning materials for beginners. Whilst they charge relatively low fees with no minimum deposit, there is a limited choice of payment options.

Pros
  • Thousands of different instruments to choose from
  • Modern and sleek trading platforms for all of your devices
  • No account maintenance fees or platform fees
  • Technical and fundamental tools for market analysis
  • Commission-free trading available
  • No minimum deposit to get started
Cons
  • No trading in mutual funds, bonds or OTC stocks
  • Not the most advanced trading platforms you can find
  • Limited account funding options
  • Do not currently provide live chat support
  • Currently only accept clients in USA and China

TradeStation

TradeStation have an excellent proprietary platform, vast range of robust tools and learning resources for active traders to trade thousands of instruments online with low commission fees. On the negative side, I found the funding options are limited and there is no support for trading forex. The TradeStation platform fees are quite high and unlike some other brokers, they do charge inactivity fees and for mutual funds transactions.

Pros
  • Industry leading trading technology
  • Wide range of tradable securities
  • Superb web and mobile trading platforms
  • Commission-free ETF, stock, and option trading
  • Free premium trading tools for market analysis
  • Extensive research and educational tools
  • No minimum funding requirements
  • Excellent customer service via multiple channels
Cons
  • $2k minimum required for free trading on the desktop platform
  • Transaction fee on mutual funds
  • Restricted account funding options
  • Slightly confusing pricing structure
  • No forex trading

FXDD

Founded in 2002, FXDD are a regulated online broker with flexible trading platforms and accounts with or without commission, depending if you want lower spreads or not. They have a good selection of useful trading tools with daily market analysis and educational materials to help you find trading signals and make informed decisions.

Pros
  • Good selection of financial instruments
  • Commission free trading accounts
  • Low spreads and reliable execution speeds
  • Excellent Trading Central software for automated analysis
  • Lots of market insights and educational content
  • Free VPS for eligible clients
  • Islamic accounts available for Muslim traders
  • Free demo trading accounts
  • Minimum $10 deposit to start trading
  • Good customer service
Cons
  • Cannot accept clients from some countries due to regulations
  • No fixed spread accounts
  • Limited deposit and withdrawal options
  • No managed accounts

Discount Broker Guide

What is a Discount Broker?

Discount brokers will let you use their trading platforms to buy and sell various assets with low trading fees, including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Indices, Options, ETFs, CFDs and Futures. Usually, discount brokers can afford to offer discounted trading fees as they are well established and have enough trading volume to compensate for the lower fees that they charge.

Discount brokers may also not mark-up spreads or charge as much commission as other brokers, especially if they use a vast array of liquidity providers (LPs) and can therefore provide some of the best bid/ask quotes to ensure spreads are as tight as possible and trade execution speeds fast. If a broker is a market maker and uses a dealing desk, there can be a conflict of interest. These brokers can mark-up spreads and charge an extra commission which increases overall trading costs.

Whichever trading broker you choose, you will need to pay some fees. It therefore makes sense to shop around and compare brokers to identify the best discount brokers as this can save money from your online trading in the long run. You will find that there are lots of MetaTrader brokers which is one of the most user-friendly platforms that gives convenient market access for manual and automated trading strategies.

What Fees do Brokers Charge to Trade Online?

Each of the trading brokers fees will vary depending on the trading products and services that they offer. Some brokers will charge a commission, some will charge a spread and others will charge both. Then there are other fees to consider which can include account funding fees, inactivity fees and platform fees. There is usually the rollover/swap fee for holding a trading position overnight with a brokerage firm, unless using an Islamic trading account that complies with Sharia law. These are swap free but usually incur a spread or commission mark-up to cover the brokers costs.

In general, the less the broker charges in fees, the more you can save in online trading costs over the long term. Many traders will always look to identify which broker has the tightest spreads and lowest commissions to save on costs, but it is important to consider other factors such as the brokers regulation, trade execution speeds, slippage, customer service, trading platforms and tools. These can also have an impact on the overall performance of an online trading strategy. It is perhaps not that beneficial having zero fees and zero spreads if the broker is lacking in other areas.

Broker fees include:

  • Commission for entering and exiting trade positions
  • Spread – the difference between the bid and ask price quotes
  • Swap/rollover fees for holding a position overnight
  • Account deposit and withdrawal fees
  • Account inactivity fees
  • Trading platform and tools fees
  • Educational resources fees such as webinars and trading courses

What Makes a Good Discount Broker?

The best discounted brokers will have the lowest fees for trading and conducting other related activities such as making deposits and withdrawals to and from your trading account. Tight spreads can also help to save on trading costs, especially for active retail traders. In addition to offering discounted trading costs, they should have a range of online trading products and services. If you are new to trading and need as much guidance as possible, you might want to explore our best brokers for beginners.

Are Discount Brokers Safe?

All of the brokers in our best discount broker list are regulated by at least one top tier regulator. These regulators can help to give investors the peace of mind that they are using a reputable brokerage firm that must comply with strict ruled and regulations that are put in place to protect investors. Of course, as with any company, brokers can also run into difficulties. In this instance, it is vital to be aware of what will happen to client’s funds. If using a regulated broker, they must be held in segregated accounts and thus should be safe in a worst-case scenario. Furthermore, some brokerages are covered by compulsory or optional insurance policies to give extra protection to client funds.

Choosing a Discount Broker

The main thing to check for is the commission that the broker charges for the assets you wish to trade along with the spreads and other general fees. When choosing a broker to trade online with, it is also very important to consider the other brokerage services that they offer. Whilst low fees are good, they may not be as useful if the broker does not have any other services that would be useful to you because they cannot afford them due to providing discounted trading.

The best discount brokers will not only offer low fees but they will also have a range of trading products and services. They should be regulated by a respected authority and have a range of trading instruments across multiple asset classes. The broker should provide a selection of trading platforms, trading apps and tools to choose from along with flexible account types and convenient funding methods. Other things to look out for include educational materials, social trading platform integration, daily market analysis and excellent customer support.

What to look for in a discounted broker:

  • Low commissions
  • Tight spreads
  • Low accounting fees
  • No inactivity fees
  • Regulation
  • Range of asset classes
  • Trading platforms
  • Trading tools
  • Educational resources
  • Social trading
  • Daily market analysis
  • Account types
  • Funding options
  • Excellent customer support

Conclusion

A discount broker provides you with quintessential trading services at a reduced commission rate. Discount brokers will provide the tools to complete buy and sell orders for clients. However, the main difference between them and a traditional brokerage is that they do not provide specific trading advice or other services. Thus, the primary appeal of a discount broker is to investors who manage their own investments.

With so many online brokerages to choose from and all of the different broker fees to consider, it can be overwhelming at first when deciding which is the best broker for your individual trading needs. Hopefully this guide has helped determine some of the most important things to consider whilst also making you aware of potential options if you are looking for a discount broker.

Remember, the lower the brokers commission and spreads, the less your trading costs can be over the long term. However, there are other additional fees to consider and it may not always be ideal to sacrifice additional brokerage services for low fees.

Take your time to research brokers and do your own due diligence, the above information is only for educational purposes and not advice. Please feel free to browse our broker ratings if you are looking for some more inspiration before you get started.

About the Author

Avatar photo

Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

Review Methodology

For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.