Why would you want to switch your broker — especially in the case of Interactive Brokers? After all, the platform has won multiple awards, and many consider it one of the best investing and trading platforms. While Interactive Brokers might tick all the boxes for the average trader or investor, it doesn’t guarantee that it’s the best online broker for everyone.
So with that in mind, let’s examine a handful of alternative online broker solutions that could better fit your needs. Here are our top picks for Interactive Brokers alternatives:
Best Interactive Brokers Alternatives for 2023
A Danish online broker for experienced traders with access to exchanges all over the world. It has one of the largest product selections with more than 60,000 instruments available, including listed options, forex options, commodities, futures, and more. They provide a tiered pricing system that balances monthly fees and trading commissions.
The original social trading platform. One of the slickest investment apps on the market with a range of investment options for beginner to intermediate investors. It offers commission-free stock and ETF trading (not all ETFs are free). It is trusted by over 30 million clients worldwide.
Disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.
It offers commission-free stock and ETF trading (in some European countries) and low spreads on hundreds of markets through CFDs on Stocks, Forex, Indices, Commodities, and Cryptocurrencies. Awarded multiples time as the best Forex and CFD broker.
Disclaimer: 80% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Commission-free stocks and ETFs trading (+10,000 global stocks and ETFs) and presents fractional shares. Over 15 million customers.
DEGIRO is one of the leading online brokers in Europe (available in 15 European countries), with over 2.5 million users. It has a low-cost structure and offers commission-free ETF trading (external fees apply).
|Broker||Minimum deposit (starting from)||CFDs||Currency conversion fee||Regulators|
|Saxo Bank||£500.00||Yes||0.45% to 0.75%||FCA, MAS, FMSFA, DNB, HK SFC, and ASIC|
|eToro||$10.00||Yes||Spot rate + 50 pips (USD deposits have no fees)||FCA, CySEC, ASEC, DNB, member of FINRA and SIPC|
|XTB||$0.00||Yes||Spot rate ± 0.5%||FCA, KNF, CySEC and FSC|
|Trading 212||€1.00||Yes||0.15% for Invest accounts, 0.50% for CFD accounts||FCA, CySEC, and FSC|
|DEGIRO||€1.00||No||0.25%||AFM and DNB|
#1 Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank at a glance
Saxo Bank was founded in Denmark in 1992 and it has more than 800,000 clients with an estimated $85 billion in AUM. It’s the most established alternative to Interactive Brokers considering its been in business for more than 30 years now.
Before going any further, Saxo Bank is limited by availability. The U.S., parts of Canada, Japan, and Australia are markets that Saxo Bank does not serve at all.
But, for those that can access Saxo Bank, it has its advantages. Here are some things that make it the closest all-in-one competitor to IBKR:
- Access to more than 120 exchanges;
- A surplus of 60,000 financial instruments;
- Tradingview access;
- 4,500 government and corporate bonds to choose from;
- Award-winning apps for professionals — SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO;
It’s not all sunshine and roses though. For one, Saxo Bank’s initial deposit requirements vary by region, and they can be steep. For example, the U.K. has one of the lowest minimum deposits at £500. For most of Europe, it can rise to €2,000, and then there are outlier countries like Portugal where deposits must be at least €100,000.
Stocks and ETFs start at a $1 commission, while futures and options start from $1.25 per contract which is quite reasonable, however. The real challenge when it comes to fees is actually the hidden fees buried in its FAQ section that you need to be aware of:
- Minimum account fee every month for custody: €5;
- Inactivity fee for not logging in every six months: €100;
- Placing an order over the phone: €50;
- Adding an instrument: €200;
- Currency conversion fees between 0.45% and 0.75%.
Suffice it to say, you need big money if you want to use Saxo Bank, and it definitely isn’t for the average retail investor. That being said, if you are a forex trader for your full-time living — or something similar — the product solutions and trade data are as comprehensive as it gets.
- Huge selection of complex instruments
- Highly regulated
- High initial deposit costs
- Not available in major regions
74% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
eToro at a glance
Since it started in 2007, eToro put emphasis on its user design and ease of use so that anyone could enter the investing world. And before you check to see if it’s available in your country, chances are it is. More than 140 countries and territories are served by eToro in total.
eToro stands out for a couple of reasons:
- The first company to provide the “copy-trading” feature — the ability to duplicate portfolios from already successful investors;
- User-centricity removes the complexity of investing with a simple app that’s easy to navigate;
- Early adopter of cryptocurrencies in 2017.
Low fees are commonplace at eToro too. Stocks and ETFs are commission-free, while crypto transactions have a simple structure; 1% for transactions and 2% for transfers.
The main fees to be aware of are in relation to deposit, withdrawal, and inactivity rules at eToro:
- Minimum withdrawal amount: $30;
- Withdrawal fee: $5;
- Minimum deposit (card payments): $10 to $50 or currency equivalent (in most cases);
- Minimum deposit (bank transfer): $500;
- USD deposits cost: $0;
- Non-USD deposits: spot rate + 50 pips (for currency conversion);
- Inactivity fee (after one year of no login): $10 monthly.
The other fees to watch out for are on eToro’s CFDs and alternative instruments, which allow traders to access leverage on short-sell assets. There are overnight fees that will differ for each asset class, and you can find the full list of CFD fees that apply here.
- Commission-free stocks and in some ETFs
- Intuitive app
- Unique social trading features
- High withdrawal fees ($5)
- High minimum deposit for bank transfers ($500)
82% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
XTB at a glance
Founded in 2002, XTB is a major player in the brokerage industry with extensive worldwide experience, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – plus other relevant regulatory bodies – and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
You can invest through xStation 5 and xStation Mobile in different investment products, such as stocks, ETFs, and CFDs on stocks, Forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies (this product offering may vary slightly from country to country). It offers 0% commission on stocks and ETFs, but only in some European countries*. International investors only get a 0% commission on stock and ETF CFDs.
Opening an account and transferring money is a quick and hassle-free process. For beginners, it presents a demo account where you can trade as if it were real money to help you feel the investment platform firsthand, and you get access to educational tools. For intermediate and advanced investors, you will find plenty of technical and fundamental tools to help you better assess your investment decisions.
On the downside, you will face an inactivity fee of €10/month after one year of non-trading, and if you have not deposited in the last 90 days, it charges high commissions on CFDs of cryptocurrencies but low costs for Forex. XTB is not available in the United States and Australia.
Want to know more about XTB? Check our XTB Review.
*The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.
- Advanced trading tools available
- Serves more than 100 countries (not including the US)
- Predatory inactivity fee for casual investors
- Availability of instruments depends on your residency
#4 Trading 212
Investing involves risk of loss.
Trading 212 at a glance
Trading 212 was formed in Bulgaria back in 2004. It claims the title of the first-ever commission-free broker in both the U.K. and Europe. As of 2022, it has 1.5 million clients with roughly €3.5 billion in AUM.
Similar to Plus500, it has standard investing accounts as well as CFD trading (albeit more limited). And just so you know: Trading 212 is not currently available in the U.S.
Some of you (like us) may have tried to open a Trading 212 account previously without success. Well, good news! Trading 212 announced it began onboarding new customers recently after a long hiatus.
For those of you who can join, you can even claim a free share now when you sign up by following the steps below:
- Sign up for Trading 212 Invest;
- Verify your identity and fund the account;
- Include promo code “IITW”;
- Claim free shares worth up to €100.
More importantly though, what are the fees like at Trading 212? Well, for ETFs and stocks, there are none. And bank transfers are completely free. You just need to note that the minimum deposit is €1 and minimum withdrawals are €10.
Besides that, there are just a few other small fees:
- Deposits by credit card or debit card: Free up to €2,000, 0.7% thereafter;
- Currency conversion rate for Invest accounts is 0.15%;
- Currency conversion rate for CFD accounts is 0.5%;
- Overnight fees on CFDs: Your account is credited or debited with an interest-rate SWAP.
Margin requirements vary from 5:1 to 33:1 for different products. For full details, consult Trading 212’s requirements here.
- Commission-free stocks, ETFs, and CFDs
- Free stock upon signing up
- Social trading features
- Free debit and credit card withdrawals
- Limited CFD selection
Investing involves risk of loss.
DEGIRO at a glance
DEGIRO launched in 2013 in the Netherlands. From then to now, it has become one of the 160 largest publicly traded companies in Germany, surpassed 2.5 million customers, and secured its own banking license, and it is available in 14 European countries. At this time, DEGIRO is not available outside of Europe.
Customers aren’t punished for inactivity or account closures, and deposits and withdrawals are completely free. The only downside is that you can only do bank transfers to make deposits. Debit and credit cards can not be used.
Still, that’s a small con in the grand scheme of things. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to trade ETFs commission-free. The costs to remember about DEGIRO are that there is, most of the time, a €/£1.00 handling fee, a €/£2.50 connectivity fee per exchange, and a currency conversion fee of 0.25%.
Here’s a quick overview of what to expect:
- Canadian, US and local stocks: €/£1.00;
- Irish exchanges: €/£2.00 commission;
- Other EU, UK, and Turkish exchanges: €/£3.90;
- Australian, Hong Kong, Japanese, and Singapore exchanges: €/£5.00.
Another thing to keep in mind is that leveraged products for U.S. exchange-listed stocks are kind of limited — despite availability. If you want to trade options and futures, Interactive Brokers is still a far more suitable choice for anyone based in Europe.
- ETF commission-free trading
- Wide selection of instruments
- No inactivity fees
- Only available in Europe
- No options for individual U.S. stocks
- Connectivity fees, handling fees, and currency conversion fees can add up
The bottom line
The best option for investing online will depend on what you value most. That could be a simple way to make recurring investments into the S&P 500 or QQQ or it could be what’s needed for complex trading strategies.
Regardless of the use case, these are some of the best alternatives to Interactive Brokers, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. If you need more information, utilize the investment platforms comparison tool.
Does IBKR charge for withdrawals?
IBKR clients get one free withdrawal per month. After that, a fee will be a fee depending on the currency being withdrawn.
How much does it cost to transfer stocks from IBKR?
The cost of transferring assets on IBKR ranges from zero charges for ACAT transfers to as much as $500 for voluntary conversions. It will depend on the type of transfer used, the asset being moved, and the country your account is associated with.