I’m Cassidy Horton, a personal finance freelance copywriter. I craft action-worthy content for financial services companies. My #1 goal is helping people break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and experience financial freedom.
The Bottom Line: E*TRADE is one of the oldest and most trusted online stock brokers around. They pride themselves on being a $0 commission broker and providing excellent educational resources, so that you can make more profitable trades.
If you’ve spent any time researching investment accounts, the name E*TRADE has popped up once or twice.
It’s one of the most well known online brokers today — and for good reason.
But should you open an account with E*TRADE?
With dozens of online brokers vying for your attention, it can be difficult deciding which one you should go with.
But today’s the day you make a decision.
Read on as we answer all your burning questions about E*TRADE — how much it costs, if it’s legit, who it’s best for, and more...
Account Minimum: $0
Fees: $0 per trade
Promotion: $100 to $2,500 (cash credit with a qualifying deposit)
What Is E*TRADE?
E*TRADE is one of the oldest online brokers on the market — but don’t let its age fool you. It's kept itself relevant over the years by staying on the cutting edge of technology and constantly lowering its fees.
While E*TRADE used to charge hefty commissions on stock, options, and ETF trades, that’s no longer the case.
Starting in October 2019, E*TRADE ditched its fees in exchange for a commission-free model.
That’s right. E*TRADE charges $0 in commission for stocks, options, and ETF trades.
In addition to 24/7 customer support, it also has 30 retail branches across the United States you can go to for in-person help.
It was founded in 1982 (we told you it was old), went public in 1996, and has over 4,300 employees.
It’s headquartered in Arlington, VA.
How Does It Work?
E*TRADE has two investment platforms:
- E*TRADE (its regular website and mobile app for everyday investors)
- Power E*TRADE (its feature-rich website and mobile app for active traders)
Regardless of which platform you choose, E*TRADE makes things simple.
Once you create your account, it walks you through how to fund it, create an investing plan, execute your trades, and monitor your assets.
There are several ways to get help along the way if you need it. Read through its extensive FAQ section.
Contact its 24/7 customer support team. Stop by a local branch and meet with a Financial Consultant in-person.
It’s up to you.
What Securities Can You Buy Through E*TRADE?
E*TRADE offers the following securities to investors:
Stocks. Get access to a wide range of small-, mid-, and large-cap stocks across various industries.
Bonds. E*TRADE offers over 50,000 bonds and fixed income products for nearly every investor.
Options. Trade options on stocks, indexes, and futures.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs). E*TRADE offers nearly every ETF available today, so your options aren’t limited.
Mutual funds. Choose from more than 9,000 leading mutual funds — half of which are no-load and transaction free.
Certificate of deposits (CDs). Take advantage of steady, guaranteed income with CDs that are federally insured up to $1.25 million.
E*TRADE Pricing & Fees
E*TRADE charges zero fees for stocks, ETFs, and options trading. But there are a few other fees to be aware of.
Check those out in the chart below:
Stock, ETF, and options trades
$25 per trade
$0.65 per contract for investors making less than 30 trades a month
$0.50 per contract for investors making 30 or more trades a month
$1.50 per trade
Bitcoin futures contracts
$2.50 per trade
$1 for each secondary trade (primary trades are $0)
E*TRADE Account Types
Wondering what types of financial accounts you can open with E*TRADE?
Well, buckle your seatbelts because you have a whole host of options — including brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, bank accounts and lines of credit.
Investment account. Open an individual or joint account and start buying and selling stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and more. You’re in charge, so you can invest how you want.
Coverdell ESA. Save for your kids’ education and make tax-free withdrawals for qualifying educational expenses.
Custodial account. Open and manage a brokerage account for a minor until they’re legally old enough to manage it themselves.
Core portfolios. Looking for a hands-off investing option? This one’s for you. E*TRADE will create and manage a diversified portfolio for you. But there’s a $500 minimum investment and an annual 0.30% advisory fee.
Blend portfolios. For a $25,000 investment minimum, you can work with a Financial Consultant to create a fully customized portfolio of mutual funds and ETFs.
Dedicated portfolios. Want to diversify your portfolio with stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs? For a $150,000 minimum investment, a financial professional will build and manage a diversified portfolio for you with these securities in mind.
Fixed Income portfolios. Work with a Financial Consultant to build a bond portfolio aimed at producing passive income. But there’s a $250,000 investment minimum.
Individual Retirement Accounts
Roth IRA. If you meet the income requirements, you can contribute to this retirement account with after-tax dollars. Your earnings grow tax-free, and you make tax-free withdrawals in retirement.
Traditional IRA. Lower your taxable income for the year with a traditional IRA. Your earnings grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement.
Rollover IRA. Consolidate old employer-sponsored plans into one easy-to-manage account.
Beneficiary IRA. Those who inherit retirement accounts can keep their assets tax-deferred with a Beneficiary IRA.
E*Trade Complete IRA. Those over age 59 ½ can keep saving for retirement with this IRA/checking account hybrid that comes with a free debit card.
IRA for minors. Those under age 18 with earned income can save for retirement with this account. But its managed by an adult until they turn 18.
Small Business Retirement Accounts
Individual and Roth Individual 401(k)s. Self-employed individuals can save for retirement using this account, which has higher contribution limits than IRAs.
SIMPLE IRA. Business owners with less than 100 employees can contribute to their employees’ retirements with this inexpensive plan.
SEP IRA. Self-employed individuals can contribute up to 25% of their earned income into this account.
Profit-Sharing Plan. Do you own a successful business? Help your employees save for retirement by sharing a percentage of your company’s profits.
Investment-Only Account. Already have an existing retirement plan but want to offer more options to your employees? You can do that through this investment-only account.
E*TRADE Checking account. This basic account has no monthly fees and comes with a free set of checks, online bill pay, and a debit card.
Max-Rate Checking account. This elevated account earns 0.05% APY and features unlimited ATM refunds. There’s a $15 monthly fee, but E*TRADE waives it if you meet certain requirements.
Premium Savings account. Get a guaranteed 1.75% APY with no deposit requirements and up to $1.25 million in FDIC insurance.
E*TRADE Line of Credit. Use this money to buy real estate, remodel your home, start a business, or anything else you have planned—all without having to sell your investments.
Who Is E*TRADE Best For?
E*TRADE is an excellent choice for nearly every investor, including:
Active traders. Through Power E*TRADE, you can buy and sell in a flash with feature-rich tools and charts that help you pinpoint the exact moment you should strike. Plus, enjoy $0 trades.
Beginners. Just starting out on your investment journey? No worries. E*TRADE has a host of educational tools (and a team of human financial consultants) ready to help you make informed decisions.
Long-term or hands-off investors. Choose from automatically diversified core portfolios and let a professional team manage your assets for you. They’ll make sure your investment strategy aligns with your goals, risk tolerance, and timeline.
What Do Customers Say About E*TRADE?
As of January 2020, it has 16 reviews on the BBB with a 1.3 out of 5-star rating, and 18 reviews on Trustpilot with a 2.5 out of 5-star rating.
For a company that’s been around since the ‘80s, this isn’t much to go on. So, we turned to Reddit for further investigation.
The most common E*TRADE complaint on Reddit is its high trading fees. Back in the day, the company charged up to $10 for each trade, which wasn’t economical for the typical investor.
Thankfully, E*TRADE now charges $0 for trades.
Other Reddit users praise E*TRADE’s modern mobile app.
It lets you manage your account, plot your investment strategy, execute trades, transfer money to and from your bank, and more.
E*TRADE Unique Features
Here are some noteworthy E*TRADE features you should be aware of:
It doesn’t get any cheaper than $0 per trade.
Whether you’re an active or passive investor, E*TRADE’s platform is a great way to buy and sell without worrying about commissions eating into your returns.
As of January 2020, you can get the following bonuses when you open an account and fund it within 60 days:
Required Minimum Deposit
Once your account hits the minimum deposit amount, you’ll get your bonus within 7 days.
E*TRADE’s mobile app was voted Best Mobile Trading App by stockbrokers.com.
It has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating in the Apple App Store based on over 102k reviews. (Need we say more?)
Comprehensive Range Of Accounts
E*TRADE is a one-stop-shop for financial accounts. You can manage an investment account, save for retirement, open a checking account, and take out a line of credit all in one place.
E*TRADE prides itself on its vast selection of educational resources. It has an entire library on its website that covers topics from retirement planning and taxes to making your first stock trade and everything in between.
After you create your account you get access to a wide range of charts, tools, and market reports that help you choose the right investments for your financial situation.
As if its educational resources weren’t enough, E*TRADE has real humans you can speak to whenever you need extra support.
It's team of dedicated Financial Consultants can help you analyze, diversify, and manage your portfolio. They even provide retirement assistance for those who have retirement plans through E*TRADE.
This trading platform is designed with active traders in mind. It lets you trade stocks, ETFs, options, and futures quickly. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and features a comprehensive range of snazzy tools to help you make accurate trading decisions.
For example, Power E*TRADE gives you access to over 70 preset scans that help you identify opportunities in the market. View unusual activity, volatility, technical indicators, and more.
It also has a technical pattern recognition feature that lets you set support and resistance lines, so you’re ready to buy and sell at just the right moment.
The platform has tons of educational tools weaved throughout its interface. It explains different chart patterns and even teaches you how to identify them yourself.
In other words, you can use it to become a better trader.
Power E*TRADE even has its own mobile app that lets you stream quotes, spot potential trades, and execute your strategy from anywhere.
Pros & Cons
E*TRADE is one of the oldest and most trusted online stock brokers around. They pride themselves on being a $0 commission broker and providing excellent educational resources, so that you can make more profitable trades.
How Do I Get Started With E*TRADE?
Getting started with E*TRADE is easy. All you need is your Social Security number and your employer’s name and address.
Once you have this information, follow these simple steps to open your account:
Select the type of account you wish to open — either a brokerage or retirement account —and click Continue.
Enter your personal information, including your name, phone number, and address. Then, click Continue.
Follow the prompts to verify your identity, select your investment profile, and fund your account.
That’s it! Once you complete these steps you’re ready to start trading.
How Do I Fund My New E*TRADE Account?
How Do I Contact E*TRADE Customer Support?
Should You Open an E*TRADE Account?
Whether you’re brand new to investing or have been doing it for decades, E*TRADE is a great platform to consider.
It’s been around since the ‘80s, and it’s continued to innovate and remain at the forefront of the investment industry for the past 30+ years.
It has two investment platforms — one for regular investors and one for active traders.
Plus, you get access to 24/7 customer support, in-person support at 30 branch locations, and an extensive range of tools and resources to help you make educated decisions.
The best part?
E*TRADE charges zero commissions. (It doesn’t get any better than free, right?)
Plus, there are no minimum deposit requirements to get started.
What are you waiting for?
Have questions about E*TRADE we didn’t answer in this review? Post them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.