Day trading, with its fast-paced nature and potential for substantial profits, has become an intriguing venture for many individuals seeking to capitalise on short-term market fluctuations. However, the success of day trading relies not only on a trader’s knowledge and strategies but also on choosing the right broker.
In this comprehensive guide, we will go over the best day trading brokers and examine the key factors traders should consider when evaluating their options. Traders need to consider various factors, such as fees, trading platforms, research resources, and customer support, to ensure they have the necessary tools and support to make informed decisions and navigate the intricate world of day trading successfully.
Before moving on to our list of the best day trading brokers, remember that day trading is a high-risk, high-reward investment strategy involving buying and selling assets on the same trading day. It can be a great way to make money quickly, but it’s important to remember that there is also a high risk of losing money.
Now, let’s check our list of the best day trading brokers:
Best Day Trading Brokers
Interactive Brokers | Best Overall
Interactive Brokers is the top choice for day traders, offering high-speed execution, integrated tools, and global market access. Its advanced desktop platform, Trader Workstation (TWS), provides day traders with advanced customisation trading capabilities and real-time monitoring.
TD Ameritrade | Best for fast execution
TD Ameritrade is a US broker that is often considered a good choice for day trading due to its robust platforms, Thinkorswim, which offers a powerful charting package, expanded order types, and back-testing capabilities, as well as its extensive research and customer service.
XTB | Best for Forex and CFDs
XTB is a reputable online broker known for its xStation 5 trading platform, available on the web, desktop, and mobile. It provides an intuitive interface with access to advanced tools and customisation options, making it suitable for Forex and CFD investors.
IG | Best for direct market access
IG is a popular CFD broker offering a wide range of trading instruments, including over 18,000 markets with various trading platforms, and providing direct market access. Additionally, they are also recognised for their high-quality research and educational resources.
Saxo Bank | Best for powerful trading tools
Saxo Bank is a highly regulated broker offering a diverse range of trading instruments, high liquidity, tight spreads, and advanced trading platforms. With SaxoTraderPRO, they provide access to powerful trading tools that can be customised to suit your day trading preferences.
Best Day Trading Brokers compared
|Broker||Interactive Brokers||TD Ameritrade||XTB||IG||Saxo Bank|
|Products available||Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Commodities, Bonds, and Funds||Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Commodities, Bonds, Funds and Cryptocurrencies||CFDs on Stocks, ETFs, Indices, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies||CFDs on Stocks, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Options, Futures and Cryptocurrencies||Stocks, ETFs, Options, CFDs on Indices, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies|
|Trading Platforms||IBKR GlobalTrader, Client Portal, IBKR Mobile App, Trader Workstation (TWS)||Thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade Web and Mobile App||XTB Web Trade Platform, xStation 5 desktop trading platform, xStation Mobile application||IG web trading platform, IG mobile trading app, IG progressive web app (PWA), ProRealTime (PRT), MetaTrader 4 (MT4), L2 Dealer.||SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGo, SaxoTraderPro|
|Fees on stocks||Between $0.0005 and $0.0035 per US share. Between 0.01% and 0.08% for other markets.||$0||$0 (0.30% markup included on the spread)||Starting $0.04 per US share (minimum $15)||Between 0.02% and 0.06% for US share (minimum between $1 and $4 per order)|
|Commission / Spreads on Forex||Spreads starting 0.1 pip and tier pricing commission||$0, but spreads starting 1.1 pip apply||$0, but spreads starting at 0.9 pips apply||$0, but spreads starting at 0.6 pip apply||$0, but spreads starting at 0.6 pips apply|
|Minimum deposit||$0||$0 ($2,000 required for margin trading)||$0||$0 for bank transfer||$2,000 (varies by country)|
|Deposit Method||Bank transfer||Bank transfer, cheque, and electronic wallets||Bank transfer, credit/debit card, Skrill||Bank transfer, credit/debit cards||Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, and electronic wallets|
|Countries available||International (Some exceptions apply)||US and few other countries||International (Some exceptions apply)||International including US (Some exceptions apply)||International (Some exceptions apply)|
Best Day Trading Brokers Reviewed
#1 Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Interactive Brokers is a well-established brokerage firm founded in 1978 and listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. It is known for its advanced technology and robust trading platforms and offers a wide range of investment options. You can trade stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, funds, and more across 150 markets in 33 countries. This global reach empowers day traders to explore diverse opportunities and capitalise on market movements worldwide.
IBKR offers two account types for US users: IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro. IBKR Lite offers commission-free trading on US-listed stocks and ETFs and low commissions on other products. IBKR Pro is designed for more active and experienced traders. It offers SmartRouting technology that searches for the best prices internationally across exchanges and alternative venues like dark pools. Interactive Brokers also offers competitive pricing and cost-effective borrowing options for traders. It has the lowest margin rates in the industry, starting at 5.83%.
On the other hand, international clients have two pricing options: tiered or fixed, characterised by low commissions and depending on the exchange and asset traded. For example, US stocks and ETFs have a commission starting at $0.0035 per share (minimum $0.35; maximum 1% of the trade value). They also facilitate fractional share trading, a feature particularly advantageous for day traders who seek flexibility and the ability to allocate their capital efficiently.
Their flagship trading platform, Trader Workstation (TWS), is a powerful proprietary platform designed for professional traders. It provides lightning-fast order execution and advanced features for developing and implementing sophisticated trading strategies. The desktop TWS interface is highly customisable, with tools that can be arranged via a mosaic layout or classic format, allowing tailored setups for efficient workflows.
- Wide range of financial products available
- Competitive pricing and low commissions
- Advanced trading platform with various features and tools
- Reliable and efficient execution of trades
- Extensive research and analysis tools
- Access to global exchanges and markets
- There are a lot of features, and it might be overwhelming
- Customer support can be slow at times
For a more detailed analysis, check out our comprehensive Interactive Brokers review.
#2 TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade at a glance
TD Ameritrade is a US-based online broker established in 1971 that is renowned for its cutting-edge Thinkorswim platform. It offers elite-level tools for analysing and testing strategies, market scans for idea generation, and monitoring potential risk/reward. TD Ameritrade provides onboarding tools such as ThinkManual and platform tutorials to help users get started quickly.
TD Ameritrade’s commitment to order execution quality is a significant advantage for day traders, ensuring clients receive the best possible price, significant savings, and a greater chance of filling their entire order. In Q2 of 2023, 98.3% of market orders executed received a price better than the National Best Bid/Offer (NBBO) at the time of routing. Additionally, TD Ameritrade’s proprietary routing technology enables fast execution speed, with an average time of 0.03 seconds for market orders to be executed.
Their platform provides free streaming level 2 market data, expanded order types, advanced risk management, and back-testing capabilities. It also provides over 400 technical studies and supports more advanced trading strategies with sophisticated charts, such as monkey bars and Renko charts, and up to 20 drawings with eight Fibonacci tools. You can automate your strategy using the platform’s predefined criteria, or you can use ThinkScript to build your own order execution and strategic testing algorithms to see how your scenarios could play out.
In terms of pricing, TD Ameritrade offers competitive rates with no commission on Forex and stock trades, although spreads do apply.
- Regulated by SEC and FINRA, ensuring the safety of client funds
- User-friendly trading platforms with advanced charting capabilities
- Extensive educational and research resources
- 24/7 customer support
- Limited number of currency pairs
- High spreads on Forex compared to other brokers
- Only available in the U.S. and very few other countries
77% of retail CFD account lose money.
XTB at a glance
XTB is a well-known global CFD broker that has operated since 2002 and serves over 500,000 clients. The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and is regulated by several top regulatory authorities, ensuring compliance with financial standards. XTB offers a diverse range of CFD instruments for trading, including Forex, indices, commodities, shares, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, all at competitive prices with low spreads.
XTB offers a dynamic trading experience with its two trading platforms, xStation5 (desktop-based) and xStation (mobile), with advanced charting tools and indicators. xStation 5 provides a user-friendly interface and customisable features, including a trader calculator that facilitates margin and commission calculations for each trade.
The platform also offers a wide range of chart analysis tools, including over 34 indicators and the ability to compare charts. Furthermore, you can customise the toolbar to your liking, allowing you to only display the analytical tools you use most often.
xStation 5 also provides daily email reports and regular updates on your account performance. Alerts and notifications can be set up easily and conveniently, allowing you to receive email, SMS, or push notifications for specific events, such as margin calls or when predetermined metrics are triggered.
XTB is a good choice for day traders looking for a broker with high leverage, as it allows leverage up to 500 depending on the country. It also stands out from other brokers in terms of educational materials. It has a comprehensive online library with many videos that can help you improve your trading skills and knowledge. XTB also provides excellent customer service through live chat, phone support, and email.
On the downside, XTB charges a $20 fee for withdrawals of less than $100. Still, they do not charge for withdrawals over that amount.
Read our XTB review for further insights.
- Regulated by SEC and FINRA, ensuring the safety of client funds
- Low trading fees (only spreads apply)
- Outstanding educational resources
- Excellent customer support
- Offering mostly limited to CFDs
- High spreads on some instruments compared to other brokers
- Withdrawal fees for transfers below $100 or €200
75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
IG at a glance
IG Group is a London-based broker that was founded in 1974 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It provides access to a wide range of trading instruments, including over 18,000 CFDs across various asset classes such as shares, indices, Forex, commodities, bonds, options, and cryptocurrencies. IG services are available internationally, and their offerings vary by country. For example, US clients can only trade Forex.
IG offers a variety of trading platforms to meet your needs, which are designed to provide fast, best-in-class execution and the ability to handle large volumes of trades quickly. Its submission-to-fill time is just 0.027 seconds, among the fastest in the industry.
In addition to the well-known MetaTrader4 (MT4), IG offers the ProRealTime trading platform, a powerful trading platform for professional traders that provides them with a highly customisable interface and advanced analytical tools to develop, backtest, and automate strategies. Charts include extensive technical indicators and drawing features to identify trends. Traders can create algorithms using the in-platform algorithmic functions or code custom indicators in ProBuilder, and the strategies can be backtested based on 30+ years of historical market data.
Moreover, automated strategies can be linked to ProRealTrend trend lines that update every 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you are looking for Direct Market Access (DMA), IG offers L2 Dealer, which provides direct access to exchange order books and market depth.
The company offers comprehensive support, including a dedicated technical development team and 24/7 technical experts, and assigns a dedicated account manager to each client. Their platforms offer in-platform support with powerful tools to help traders make quick and informed decisions.
Finally, one of the key advantages of trading with IG is its transparent pricing, with all costs clearly stated upfront. Opening an account with IG is free of charge. The required minimum deposit depends on your funding method. For example, there is no minimum for a bank transfer, but there is a $50 minimum for credit or debit card deposits, which may vary by country.
- Wide range of trading instruments
- User-friendly trading platforms
- In-platform support
- Educational resources
- Good customer service
- High requirements for professional accounts
- Product offering availability depends on region
#5 Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank at a glance
Saxo Bank is a leading global broker known for offering institutional-level trading tools and capabilities to both institutional and individual investors. Founded in 1992, Saxo provides access to over 72,000 tradable instruments spanning 125+ exchanges worldwide. This wide diversity of tradable assets makes Saxo a compelling choice for day traders seeking global market exposure. Its core offerings include equities, Forex, futures, fixed income, and other products from both major and emerging markets.
For individual clients, Saxo’s tiered account model consists of the Classic, Platinum, and VIP account levels tailored for varying trade frequencies and volumes. All accounts gain access to three trading platforms tailored to different user needs:
- SaxoInvestor is designed to be simple and fast, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
- SaxoTraderGO is an award-winning platform that boasts advanced features catering to experienced traders.
- SaxoTraderPRO is specifically built for professional traders, providing them with a fully customisable platform equipped with high-performance tools.
SaxoTraderPRO stands out as the ideal choice for day traders seeking a powerful and customisable platform. This professional-grade trading solution empowers traders through a full suite of features to streamline trading workflow. Key functionality includes algorithmic orders, one-click transactions, options analysis suites and advanced charting packages. Furthermore, it provides advanced workspace management capabilities and enables seamless multi-channel linking between modules, delivering a seamless and efficient trading experience for day traders.
Saxo offers robust connectivity to third-party platforms, enabling traders to access a wide range of custom tools and benefit from top-notch execution. By connecting to Saxo’s capital markets infrastructure, day traders can access tailored liquidity and market data that suit their specific needs. Saxo provides three pricing tiers based on your account type, offering competitive commissions. For example, when trading US stocks, commissions start at 0.01 USD per share (with a minimum of 1 USD), while Forex trading incurs no commission, with spreads starting as low as 0.6 pips.
- Highly regulated by reputable financial authorities
- Offers a wide range of financial instruments
- Advanced trading platforms
- Competitive pricing and tight spreads
- Educational resources
- Some traders may find the trading platforms too complex
- Minimum deposit requirements can be relatively high (depending on the regions: $2,000 for classic, $200,000 for platinum and $1,000,000 for VIP)
Key Features to Look for in Day Trading Brokers
When evaluating day trading brokers, there are several key features that you should consider to ensure they have the necessary tools and support for your successful trading. These features include:
- Competitive trading fees and commission structures: Look for brokers that offer competitive fees and commission structures, as lower trading costs can significantly impact your profitability in the long run. Compare the fees charged for executing trades, account maintenance, deposit and withdrawal fees, and any additional services to find a broker that offers competitive pricing without compromising on quality.
- Wide range of tradable assets and markets: Make sure that the broker offers all the instruments you want to trade. This might include stocks, options, futures, and even cryptocurrencies. Additionally, consider the availability of different markets, such as domestic and international exchanges, to ensure access to a broad range of trading opportunities.
- Advanced trading platforms with real-time data and analytics: Day traders need access to advanced trading platforms that offer intuitive interfaces with advanced charting tools and customisable layouts. These platforms should also offer robust analytics and technical indicators to make it easier to identify market trends and patterns.
- Access to robust research: To stay ahead in the dynamic world of day trading, you might need access to quality research and timely market analysis.
- Efficient order execution and reliable customer support: Delays or slippage can significantly impact your profitability, so you need to look for brokers that offer fast and reliable order execution. Additionally, reliable customer support is important for addressing any issues or concerns that may arise during your trading journey.
Risk Management is Key to Day Trading Success
Of all the important factors for day traders; risk management is perhaps the most critical. Even small adverse market moves can quickly erase profits or deepen losses when positions are opened and closed within the same day. Here are a few risk management techniques used by day traders:
- Setting stop-loss orders: One of the most important risk management techniques used by day traders is setting stop-loss orders. It is an order to close a position at a specified price, which helps you protect your capital and avoid significant losses if the market suddenly moves in the wrong direction.
- Control leverage: Margin borrowing is a common practice in day trading, as it allows traders to increase their potential returns. However, it’s important to use leverage carefully, as it can also multiply losses. By controlling your margin trading or limiting your leverage, you can avoid higher losses and minimise risk exposure.
- Diversifying positions: By spreading the positions across different trades, you can reduce concentration risk and minimise potential losses.
- Monitor risk/reward: Every trade should have a predefined profit target as well as a stop-loss. It’s essential to avoid trades with poor reward-to-risk profiles, where you need an unusually large move just to break even.
- Remain disciplined: Emotions can be a trader’s worst enemy, so it’s essential to remain disciplined and avoid making emotional decisions. By sticking to your predefined risk rules and trade plan, you can minimise the impact of emotions on your trading decisions. It’s also important to take time away from trading when emotions are running high, which can help prevent poor decisions.
Popular Day Trading Strategies
Day traders employ various strategies to try and capture profits from intraday price movements. Here are some of the most common approaches:
- Trend trading: This involves identifying intraday trends using technical indicators and trading in the direction of the trend. Trades are opened after confirmation of a trend, and targets are set based on common retracement levels.
- Breakout trading: Watching for assets that break above or below established resistance and support levels. Positions are initiated when the breakout is confirmed by volume and price action.
- Scalping: Scalpers watch closely for minimal price moves in their favour. Positions are held for just a few minutes or less.
- Arbitrage: Seeking temporary price discrepancies between related assets to capture riskless profits. For example, simultaneously buying and selling the same security across different exchanges or markets.
- News trading: Trading around scheduled news events, such as earnings releases or economic reports. Positions are initiated based on expectations for how the asset may react to anticipated news.
- Swing trading: Holding positions for periods longer than a day, usually a few hours to several days. Swing traders use techniques like continuation or reversal patterns to capitalise on mid-term volatility.
For day traders, the goal is to find an edge through strategies with a quantifiable statistical advantage in outcomes over time. What works best depends on an individual’s risk profile, available capital, and how much time they can devote to actively trading each day.
In conclusion, day trading can be a profitable endeavour, but it is important to choose the right broker and to have a sound trading strategy in place. In this review, we have highlighted the key features of the top day trading brokers, which are summarised below:
Best Day Trading Brokers
These brokers offer a range of features and tools that are essential for day traders, and they have competitive pricing structures that will help you maximise your profits. Their advanced trading platforms, extensive research resources, and reliable customer support ensure that day traders have the necessary tools and assistance to make well-informed decisions and navigate the complexities of day trading effectively. When choosing a trading platform, we recommend opening a demo account and testing the features before making the final decision.
Not a day trader and searching for a broker that aligns with your specific requirements? We have the perfect tools to assist you. Our “Help Me Choose” tool is at your disposal. Additionally, you can refer to our comprehensive comparison table, which offers an in-depth analysis of the essential features provided by different global brokers. Additionally, you can check our reviews for an in-depth analysis of each broker and its platform.
Please let us know in the comments section if you have any feedback.
Day Trading Brokers FAQs
What are the risks of day trading?
Day trading carries the following risks: potential financial loss, high volatility, emotional stress, overtrading, lack of proper education and experience, technology and connectivity issues, and regulatory compliance requirements.
How much capital do I need to start day trading?
There is no minimum capital requirement to start day trading; you can start with a minimal amount. However, in the US, it is advisable to have at least $25,000 in your account to avoid violating the pattern day trading rule. This rule requires day traders to maintain a minimum equity balance of $25,000 in their account to prevent them from engaging in excessive risk-taking.
What’s the Pattern Day Trading rule (PDT)?
The Pattern Day Trading (PDT) rule is a regulation enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that limits the number of day trades that a trader can make in a rolling five-business-day period. The rule is intended to protect inexperienced traders from the risks associated with day trading. A trader is considered a pattern day trader if they make four or more day trades in a rolling five-business-day period, and those trades account for more than 6% of their total account activity during those five days.
The PDT rules are specific to U.S. brokerage accounts and do not apply to foreign accounts.
Is day trading illegal?
No, day trading is not illegal. However, there are some regulatory considerations that apply in some countries.