A Complete Review of Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is an automated electronic broker that provides investors from over 150 countries with the ability to trade stocks, ETFs,currencies, bonds, crypto, index funds, options, and futures from a single platform. In this IBKR review, we will highlight what you need to know about Interactive Brokers.

interactive broker founder
Thomas Petterf, Interactive Brokers owner, chairman, CEO, and the largest shareholder of Interactive Brokers

What Are the Benefits of Using Interactive Brokers?

There are several reasons why you might consider using Interactive Brokers. These are the reasons why more than 598k people use the company’s services. These reasons are:

  • Low costs. Interactive Brokers has some of the lowest costs in the online trading space. While the average cost is usually not a big one, they could add up, especially when you are a frequent trader.
  • Automated risk controls. The company has invested huge resources in technology to mitigate risks by calculating the margin requirements on a real-time basis across all the assets.
  • Smart routing. As a trader, speed means a lot. This is because a microsecond can determine whether your trades will be successful. The company provides a smart routing product that ensures that the data is received as soon as possible.
  • Advanced charting tools. The company has invested a lot of resources on ensuring that the charts are of the best quality. As such, the company provides quality and advanced tools to the investors.
  • Probability Lab. The probability lab provides you with an excellent and intuitive visual method to analyze the future stock price movements based on the current option pricing.
  • Investors marketplace. This marketplace connects you with qualified sell-side analysts.
  • Interactive brokers portfolio builder. This tool allows you to set up an investment strategy based on the research and rankings from top buy-side providers.
  • Many assets. Interactive Brokers offers more assets than its peers like Charles Schwab and Fidelity.

How to Open Interactive Brokers Account

To open an Interactive Brokers account as an individual in the US, you need Social Security Number (SSN) or proof of ID number if not a US citizen, your employer name, address and phone number; bank or 3rd party broker account numbers for funding purposes, and routing number for check deposits. You can also find out how to open account for Interactive Brokers Canada, Interactive Brokers Hong Kong, Interactive Brokers Japan, Interactive Brokers China, Interactive Brokers Australia, Interactive Brokers Europe and Interactive Brokers in other countries.

The Interactive Brokers app is available for iOS and Android, which allows you to trade and manage your Interactive Brokers account on your smartphone from anywhere. You can access over 135 markets worldwide from the IBKR mobile app.

Open interactive brokers account

What Does Interactive Brokers Do?

Interactive Brokers is an automated electronic brokerage that enables you to buy and sell financial assets online. This segment is responsible for 96% of all the company’s revenue. Some of the products that the company offers in this segment are trading, integrated investment account, investors marketplace, model portfolios, and asset management.

Assets you can trade or invest on the platform include in the following:

  • Interactive Brokers stocks. You can buy and sell North American, European, and Asia-Pacific stocks.
  • Interactive Brokers options. You can also buy and sell options of North American, European, and Asia-Pacific stocks.
  • Interactive Brokers futures. Futures are financial products that are priced into the future. For example, you can agree to buy the stock of Apple at a certain date when it is trading at a lower price.
  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). You can buy and sell Interactive Brokers ETFs from North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
  • Interactive Brokers warrants. You can buy and sell warrants from North America, Asia, and Europe.
  • Structured products from Europe and Asia
  • Interactive Brokers single stock futures
  • Interactive Brokers forex. You can engage in forex trading with a variety of features and services, including: Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Mobile, and margin trading.
  • Interactive Brokers Metals They offer gold, silver, and platinum.
  • Interactive Brokers indices They offer S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • Interactive Brokers Fixed Income They offer bonds.
  • Interactive Brokers mutual funds.

How to Fund Interactive Brokers Account

You can fund your Interactive Brokers accounts and trade assets in up to 24 currencies, which allows you to trade products worldwide without opening multiple accounts in different currencies.

You can fund your Interactive Brokers account via a wire transfer from your bank, ACH transfer, wire transfer, and check. Furthermore, you may also transfer assets from another brokerage account. Complete funding options and instructions are provided at the end of your application.

Since April 2023, Interactive Brokers has partnered with Wise to enable you to convert your local currency to an Interactive Brokers-supported currency at the true mid-market exchange rate, without hidden fees and markups without leaving IBKR platform.

Interactive Brokers Fees

Interactive Brokers is known for the large discounts it offers to its traders. Indeed, the company has been ranked as the best broker in the US by Barrons for more than 18 years straight, as shown below.


According to the company, its costs are 83% lower than those of its key competitors, like Schwab and Fidelity. This is because it charges $1 to buy a stock, while ETrade, Fidelity, Schwab, and TD Ameritrade, which charge between $4.95 and $6.95. This can be seen in the chart below.


Below is an example of Interactive Brokers fees and interactive Brokers commissions. Find more information about the company’s pricing structure here.

ProductIBKR Fee/Commission
Account minimum$0
Stock trading costs• IBKR Lite: Unlimited free trades on U.S.-listed stocks and ETFs.
• IBKR Pro: $0.005 per share; minimum $1 and maximum 1% of trade value; volume discount available.
Options tradesIBKR Lite and IBKR Pro: No base commission; 65 cents per contract, with $1 minimum. Volume discount available.
Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)• IBKR Lite: None.
• IBKR Pro: Accounts with less than $100,000 pay $10/month minus any trade commissions; accounts with less than $2,000 pay $20/month minus commissions.
Number of commission-free ETFs• IBKR Lite: Unlimited commission-free trades on all available ETFs.
• IBKR Pro: 96 commission-free ETFs.
Number of no-transaction-fee mutual fundsOver 8,300 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

Is Interactive Brokers Safe?

Yes, Interactive Brokers is a safe and legit company to trade with. It is regulated in all the supported countries. For example, Interactive Brokers UK is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Additionally, Interactive Brokers is FDIC insured in the US up to $250,000 per account.

Interactive Brokers Supported Countries

Interactive Brokers accepts citizens or resident of most countries worldwide, including UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China, US, etc.

If you do not see your Country or Region listed, please be aware that IBKR accepts applications from citizens or residents of most countries, except those of countries prohibited by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Interactive Brokers Review: Low Fees Broker

Having a good broker is an important thing that investors and traders should always have. This is because the broker you chose can help to determine the costs and success of these traders.

Interactive Brokers is a well-established and reputable broker with a wide range of features and services. It is a good choice for advanced traders and investors who are looking for low fees and access to a global market. It offers a variety of trading platforms and tools, including Trader Workstation (TWS), Client Portal, and IBKR Mobile. TWS is a powerful platform for active traders, while Client Portal is a web-based platform that is designed for beginners and casual traders. IBKR Mobile is a mobile trading app that allows you to trade on your smartphone.

If you are just starting out, we recommend that you use a broker like Robinhood that charges no commissions.

Interactive Brokers Alternatives

Interactive Brokers is designed for experienced traders. It is not the best choice for beginners. Its advanced trading platforms, while feature-rich, might be overwhelming for beginners. If you are a beginner, these are alternative options you can use:

More Information


Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners?

Generally, the platform is suitable for advanced traders. It might not be the best choice for beginners, but there are beginners who trade on the platform successfully. If you are a beginner, we would recommend Interactive Brokers alternatives that offer simpler trading platforms and more educational resources, such as Fidelity, Robinhood, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade.

Can you trade forex on Interactive Brokers?

Yes, you can trade forex on Interactive Brokers. It offers diverse forex trading platforms, including Trader Workstation (TWS), Client Portal, and IBKR Mobile app.

Can you trade crypto on Interactive Brokers?

Yes, you can trade cryptocurrencies through Paxos, a fintech that offers blockchain solutions.

Is Interactive Brokers free?

Interactive Brokers is not free. It charges a variety of fees, including commissions, margin interests and currency conversion fees. The platform does offer free trial and a few free features like IBKR Lite.

Does Interactive Brokers charge a monthly fee?

Interactive Brokers typically does not charge a monthly fee for maintaining an account. However, there are certain circumstances or optional services that might incur fees such as IBKR Lite, margin accounts, and IRA accounts.

Does Interactive Brokers offer joint accounts?

Yes, Interactive Brokers offer joint accounts owned by two individuals.

Does Interactive Brokers have withdrawal limits?

Interactive Brokers doesn't have specific withdrawal limits for most account types. Applicable withdrawal limits vary depending on the type of account you have and the security device you use. For example, account holders without a security device are limited to a maximum withdrawal of 50,000 USD per day and a maximum withdrawal of 100,000 USD in five business days.

Is Interactive Brokers FDIC insured?

Yes, Interactive Brokers is FDIC insured up to $250,000 per account.

Can a non US citizen use Interactive Brokers?

Yes, non-US citizens can use Interactive Brokers. It accepts citizens or resident of most countries worldwide, including UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China, etc.

How do I close Interactive Brokers account?

To close your Interactive Brokers account, liquidate or transfer all of your current positions and have zero balance. Then go to "Account Management" tab and click on the "Close Account" button.

Crispus (BSc and MBA) is a finance professional with more than a decade experience as a financial analyst, writer, researcher, and trader. Crispus has written in-depth articles on leading platforms like CCN, Marketwatch, Investing Cube and Seeking Alpha. He also runs a forex education firm. Follow him on Twitter: @crispusnyaga and read more about us.