TD Ameritrade vs Scottrade

TD Ameritrade and Scottrade are two of the best discount brokers in the industry. Since both firms are among the largest and most recognizable brokerage houses in the United States, it is likely that many investors need an in-depth comparison of TD Ameritrade vs Scottrade to find the top online broker for their financial goals. In this review, we will compare each broker’s trading fees and commissions, features, platform, research tools, customer support, promotions and margin rates to help you ultimately make the decision of which online discount broker is better for you – Scottrade or TD Ameritrade.

TD Ameritrade vs Scottrade: Trading and Account Fees

When you compare TD Ameritrade’s fees vs Scottrade’s fees, it is clear that Scottrade is the lower-cost option. However, if you’re a heavy options trader, TD Ameritrade offers an advantage.

TD AMERITRADE:

  • Stocks and ETFs: $9.99
  • Options: $9.99 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $49.99
  • Broker-Assisted Orders: $44.99
  • Account Minimum: $0.00
  • IRAs: No Fees
  • IRA Account Minimum: $0.00
  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees.

SCOTTRADE:

  • Stocks and ETFs: $7.00
  • Options: $7.00 + $1.25 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $17.00
  • Broker-Assisted Orders: $32.00
  • Account Minimum: $2,500
  • IRAs: No Fees
  • IRA Account Minimum: $500
  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees.

TD Ameritrade vs Scottrade: Features

Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons for TD Ameritrade and Scottrade. While TD Ameritrade charges higher commissions and fees than most discount brokers, the fees could be justified for active investors or traders who require access to TD Ameritrade’s sophisticated trading platform, charting tools, and rich selection of research reports from 12 independent, third-party firms.

TD AMERITRADE:

  • Two excellent and very powerful trading platforms (ThinkorSwim and Trade Architect).
  • Desktop and web-based platforms.
  • Free real-time streaming quotes.
  • Access to over 13,000 mutual funds.
  • 100+ commission-free ETFs.
  • No access to international markets or trading.
  • 24/7 customer service and real-time support.
  • 125+ branch offices nationwide.
  • Access to independent research reports, including Standard & Poor’s, Morningstar, TheStreet, etc.
  • Free dividend reinvestment program (DRIP).
  • Access to myTRADE investor community, where traders share ideas and strategies.
  • Margin Rates: 9.00% to 6.25%

Trade Types

  • Stock Trading
  • Options Trading
  • Mutual Funds
  • FOREX Trading
  • Futures Trading

Mobile Trading

  • iPhone, iPad and Android Apps
  • Mobile Trading Platform and Tools

SCOTTRADE:

  • A robust, easy-to-use trading platform with charting and screening tools.
  • Desktop and web-based platforms.
  • Free real-time streaming quotes.
  • Access to over 14,000 mutual funds.
  • No commission-free ETFs.
  • International investing in Europe, Asia, and Canada.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • 500 branch offices nationwide.
  • Solid research and trading tools, especially for beginners and DIY investors.
  • Free dividend reinvestment program (DRIP).
  • Separate platforms for investors with higher balances.
  • Margin Rates: 7.75% to 5.25%

Trade Types

  • Stock Trading
  • Options Trading
  • Mutual Funds

Mobile Trading

  • iPhone, iPad and Android Apps
  • Mobile Trading Platform and Tools

Promotions

Fortunately for consumers, all discount brokers offer incentives when opening a new account. If you sign up with TD Ameritrade or Scottrade, be sure to check out their special promotions to earn a cash bonus and free trades.

TD AMERITRADE:

  • Free Trades for 60 days and up to $600 cash

SCOTTRADE:

  • Up to $2,000 Cash Bonus
  • Up to $100 Reimbursement for Transfer Fees

Margin Rates

If you trade on margin for your private investment account, then margin interest rates can affect your portfolio’s returns. Based on this comparison of TD Ameritrade vs Scottrade, the clear winner in regards to margin rates is Scottrade. It seems TD Ameritrade charges clients far more interest to borrow cash for trading.

TD AMERITRADE:

  • Under $10K: 9.00%
  • $10K-$25K: 8.75%
  • $25K-$50K: 8.50%
  • $50K-$100K: 7.50%
  • $100K-$250K: 7.25%
  • $250K-$999K: 7.00%
  • $1,000,000+: 6.25%

SCOTTRADE:

  • Under $25K: 7.75%
  • $25K-$49K: 7.25%
  • $50K-$99K: 6.75%
  • $100K-$249K: 6.50%
  • $250K-$499K: 6.25%
  • $500K-$999K: 5.75%
  • $1,000,000+: 5.25%

TD Ameritrade vs Scottrade: Comparison Summary