Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers Reviews

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About Interactive Brokers

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Interactive Brokers is an online broker of investment trading, including mutual funds, bonds, ETFs and other investment products. The company offers two trading plans, the IBKR Lite, which includes $0 commissions on U.S. stocks and ETF trades, and IBKR Pro, which includes access to the company’s SmartRouting system for a fee. The company allows domestic and international trading on its online platform or mobile app.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Large investment selection
  • International trading available
  • Comprehensive mobile app
Cons
  • Unintuitive website
  • Some inactivity fees with IBKR Pro

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What is Interactive Brokers?

Interactive Brokers is a brokerage that provides low-cost, direct-access trades and clearing services to professional and institutional traders. The company connects to any electronic exchange worldwide, allowing you to trade equities, options and more at any time of day. Customers can also purchase fractional shares to buy only a portion of a company’s stock instead of its full-priced share.

Traders enjoy low to no commission rates and low margin rates. There are more than 8,300 funds with no transaction fees, and customers can earn income through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program by lending fully held shares to other traders.

How Interactive Brokers works

Interactive Brokers customers can make trades from their client portal for casual trades or use the Interactive Brokers’ Desktop Trader Workstation for advanced trading. The company’s mobile app is an on-the-go version of its Trader Workstation, sporting a slew of features like trading shortcuts, order presets and more.

Customers can choose from a wide selection of offerings, such as stocks, precious metals, warrants and more. Users also have access to many news services and research providers for free, including Fundamentals Explorer, as well as paid options.

The firm’s advanced trading platform has a host of asset classes and tools, including an Impact Dashboard that lets customers make trading decisions in tune with their personal values. It also offers real-time monitoring, watchlists, alerts and a customizable dashboard.

Interactive Brokers fees

Interactive Brokers boasts they have low trading costs and the lowest financing rates. Its IBKR Lite plan for retail clients has $0 commissions on U.S.-listed stock and ETF trades, no inactivity fees and no account minimums.

IBKR Pro for experienced investors and active traders has access to the company’s IB SmartRouting system, which the company claims allows for $0.47 per 100 shares of price improvement compared to the industry.

The company’s fixed pricing for shares under IBR Pro are $0.005 per share with a minimum order of $1.00 and a maximum 1% trade value. It includes exchange and most regulatory fees.

Its tiered pricing per share depends on the volume per month and ranges from $0.0035 for 300,000 or fewer shares to $0.0005 for greater than 100,000 shares. The minimum is $0.35 per trade, and exchange and regulatory fees aren’t included.

Interactive Brokers FAQ

What is Interactive Brokers’ margin rate?

Interactive Brokers uses a blended margin rate based on tiers, such as a Tier I rate for the first $100,000 of your balance and a Tier II rate for the next $900,000 when the total balance is $1 million. You can use its calculator to calculate the interest charged on margin loans.

Does Interactive Brokers charge options fees?

Yes, Interactive Brokers charges fixed and tiered commissions for its option fees. Fixed fees are $0.65 per contract plus surcharge, regulatory and other fees. Tiered fees range from $0.15 to $0.65 per U.S. option contract.

What is Interactive Brokers’ account minimum?

The IBKR Lite plan has no account minimums or inactivity fees. IBKR Pro also has no account minimum but charges account maintenance fees anywhere from $0 to $10, based on your activity for accounts with less than $100,000. However, traders 25 and younger are only charged a minimum monthly trade commission of $3.

Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners?

Interactive Brokers’ IBKR Pro is popular with experienced traders and may be challenging for new or less active traders to navigate. The IBKR Lite plan is better for beginners, but it can be challenging to find the information you need on the website.

Is Interactive Brokers safe?

Interactive Brokers has always been a great option for active traders. The recent introduction of its IBKR Lite plan now makes it a strong choice among casual traders as well. IBKR Lite customers have the advantage of $0 commission on stocks and EFTs and no account minimums or inactivity fees. But the firm’s website can be counterintuitive for inexperienced traders and may not provide enough educational resources or guidance to help beginners succeed. Either way, it's a trusted company and a solid option for many.

Interactive Brokers Reviews

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    Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed May 3, 2024

    Hi folks, I set up an account with Interactive Brokers just a few weeks ago. I've been using Charles Schwab for some time now and was drawn by the margin rates that IKBR offers. After joining, I moved my money temporarily into a Money Market Fund with symbol SPRXX. When I made that purchase there was no mention of any commission fees. However, when I attempted to get my money back out of that fund I was charged a $14.95 fee. This was surprising to me, coming from Charles Schwab, where they offer a Money Market fund, SWVXX, without any fees or commissions. On my own, I was able to find a webpage that tells me how I can find "No Transaction Fee (free)" mutual funds for IBKR. That would have been great to know about beforehand (https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/pricing/commissions-mutual-funds.php).

    I deposited exactly 2k because that is the minimum amount for a margin account, and I wanted to try out IKBR before committing to a switch from Charles Schwab. The $14.95 commission fee lowered my balance so that I couldn't actually use my margin. IE, I wasn't able to get started investing with options because of the fee and I didn't have more money to invest. I reached out to support using three different methods in order to try to get the commission fee waived.

    1) Via chat. Be aware that you will wait a very long time, maybe forever. Also, if you don't interact with the chat window every 30 seconds or so while you are waiting (like if you start checking your email), it will timeout and your chat message session will end without you being able to communicate with anyone. I gave up after several attempts trying without being able to connect to a support representative.

    2) Via phone. You will sit on hold for 20-30 min. When someone finally answers, don't be surprised if you speak to the same exact individual every time. They will tell you that they cannot help you and that you should file a web ticket. The people (single person?) manning the phone(s) hate their jobs, and they don't particularly like you either.

    3) Via web ticket. I was informed that they would respond to my request within 4 weeks. I'm sorry, but that's outrageous.

    I'd like to contrast that with my experience with Charles Schwab. I've both called them and used their chat to interact with their support team. I've been amazed at how awesome they are. When I called them they were happy to resolve any concerns that I had and demonstrated extraordinary patience and genuine interest in my desire to learn more about investing. I chatted with one representative for more than 30 minutes because I had so many questions and he never once made me feel like I was wasting his time.

    The quality of service I've gotten from both companies is enough reason for me to close my IBKR account and that's what I plan on doing. I will also say that the screeners/tools that are built into the Charles Schwab website that allow you to find the investments you're looking for are a thousand times better then what I could find in IBKR. The other negative reviews on this site are causing alarm bells to go off for me as well, so I plan on getting my money out ASAP. It's pretty much a no brainer for me to stick with Charles Schwab. Disclaimer: I've only tried Charles Schwab and IBKR so I can't speak for any of the other competition. I'm not affiliated with Charles Schwab in any way except being a customer for less than a year.

    Customer Service

    Reviewed April 5, 2024

    It is a wonder that they are still in business. I have closed my account with over 100K. Even though I have been investing for over 45 years I was told I could not buy OTC and other stocks, Really? You are restricting and limiting what I can buy? I have never had a brokerage firm tell me that before. Once you do run into issues, good luck trying to get your money out of their hands. Customer service is a joke, I have spent hours a day on hold with them and they were never able to answer a single question. Pathetic!

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      Installation & Setup

      Reviewed March 15, 2024

      First off, I didn't have any problems with execution of trades. Fills were immediate, dividends were correctly applied. The first big issue I had was when you sell a stock, you need to wait 2 additional days to use the funds from that closure. Because this company is inept, good luck getting your money out. You are pretty much left to figure out how to withdraw your money. IB has no instructions on how to withdraw your money. If you initiate a transfer through your bank, they put the money in your account, then remove it two days later telling you it wasn't authorized. Nothing is said on HOW to authorize the transfer.

      It turns out that they have an app for your phone that must be installed. Initially I installed it, but deleted it when it kept prioritizing itself over the online site. The only way to get your money out is to keep bouncing between the computer and the phone app. Again, there are no instructions... you are left to figure it out for yourself. I am no longer a user and will never use this brokerage again.

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      Price

      Reviewed March 8, 2024

      They will provide your P&L and market value at the mid point but force your order entries to sell at the bid and buy at the ask. This will cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars and there is no way to change that dumb feature. At least have consistency across like list both at market.

      Customer ServicePunctuality & Speed

      Reviewed Feb. 14, 2024

      There's literally so many negative things to say about this Horrible Company, I don't know where to start. If your account goes into a Margin Call by even $500, they liquidate your positions within seconds. That's not a misprint, they literally liquidate positions within seconds of the Margin Call. Everything is time stamped, so there's a time stamp when the account went into margin and less than 10-30 seconds later they've already liquidated your positions. The Customer Service is not located in the United States, so none of them speak English and they don't have the slightest clue as to what they're doing. They put you on hold for 20 minutes at a time, then come back with an incorrect answer. I'm looking to switch firms ASAP, I can't think of one good thing to say about these clowns. The entire company is beyond embarrassing and a complete disgrace to the Trading Industry.

      Reviewed Oct. 8, 2023

      In all my life I have never seen someone give me the runaround like did, they made me trust and believe in them then took all my money. Real scammers. Had to get the professional assistance of High Forest Capital Ltd.com to track and make sure time and resources were not wasted.

      Reviewed Aug. 25, 2023

      I've had accounts at 6 investment firms over the last 30+ years and have never experienced anything like Interactive Brokers. I can't comprehend why they are still in business. They are the worst company I've experienced for investments or otherwise. BEWARE!!!

      Customer ServiceStaff

      Reviewed June 1, 2023

      Today, it took four (4) hours to complete a simple task on the website. The site kept freezing and I had to redo the same form numerous times to submit. Then, when it was finally submitted, there was no confirmation. I only found out it was submitted after I called the company three times. The first two employees could not answer my questions.

      I do not recommend Interactive Brokers because of the weak website and, more importantly, the weak customer service. Both Fidelity and Vanguard are more responsive with a little more knowledgeable staff and with better websites. Even my small local bank has more efficient staff and a better website. When you have this experience, you do wonder if your money is safe there.

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      Reviewed May 22, 2023

      A huge complaint I have against this company is being told that I am not wealthy enough to buy any OTC stocks regardless of their share prices. Other companies like Morgan Stanley, Etrade impose no such arbitrary restrictions. I only buy a limited number of OTC stocks but I will buy them when they look promising to me. Of course I'm well aware of the risks, but it's my job to decide if the risk should be taken, not theirs.

      Profile pic of the author.

      Reviewed April 10, 2023

      IB Trades against the customer accounts. Funds missing from account. They play games and will not fulfill requests to transfer out account. IB not a safe place to hold funds and likely to go bankrupt as banking crisis unfolds.

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      Interactive Brokers Company Information

      Company Name:
      Interactive Brokers
      Website:
      www.interactivebrokers.com