Interactive Brokers and Robinhood are leading online brokers. Interactive Brokers is the best choice for professional traders outside of the United States because it is not authorized to operate in the US. It offers a premium trading platform, excellent learning tools for inexperienced traders, and a digital reference library for inexperienced traders. We do not recommend Interactive Brokers for traders based in the USA.
Robinhood is the best mobile platform for traders inside the United States because it is only available to US residents. It is the recommended choice for long-term US investors because the entire platform is free to use, has no fees, offers fractional shares, but has restrictions on day trading. We do not recommend Robinhood for inexperienced traders based in the USA.
Both online brokers have strengths and weaknesses. This article discusses the differences between Interactive Brokers and Robinhood.
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All trading involves risk. More than 80% of investors lose in spread bet and CFD trading. As these complex instruments allow for the use of leverage, there is a high risk of losing more money than you have deposited. Before attempting to participate in spread bets and CFDs, consider how well you understand them and if you can afford to lose your money.
Trading Platform & Tools
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)|
|Mutual Fund Management|
|Cost Per Trade||0||0|
|Cost Per Month||0||0|
|Forex (EUR/USD)||0.2 pips + 0.08 to 0.20 bps times trade size comission||1.3 pips|
|Stocks & ETF||$ 0.005 per share||$6.95|
|Crypto||0.12% to 0.18% of trade value||0|
|Options||0.65 per options contract|
|Conversion Fees||0||$75 transfer fee|
|Overnight Fees||Yes on CFD’s||0|
Deposit & Withdrawal
|Minimum deposit (in UAE)||$0||0|
|Check||YES from US bank account|
|Islamic Account Transfer|
|ETF & Funds||35.000||37|
|CFD Indices & Funds||13||0|
|Tier 1 License|
|Tier 2 License|
|Tier 3 License|
Research & Education
|Daily News Updates|
|Market Indepth Analysis|
|Pers. Training & Room|
|Multilingual||English / Spanish|
|Personal Account Manager|
Top findings from the Interactive Brokers vs. Robinhood review:
- Interactive Brokers is the most reliable online broker for beginner and professional traders based outside of the United States.
- Robinhood is the best choice for long-term investors with limited budgets.
- Interactive Brokers has a better investment offering than Robinhood.
- Both brokers have no fees for stock, ETF, and options trades. The minimum deposit fee for these brokers is $0.
We recommend Interactive Brokers for non-US-based traders of all levels of experience. Robinhood is a better choice for US-based professional traders because it has few educational resources or analysis tools.
Level of experience
The best choice for beginners is Interactive Brokers because of its robust educational offering. It offers Paper Trading, Videos, Webinars, articles, and platform tutorials. Robinhood provides no direct educational pieces on stocks or options but does offer limited access to curated articles.
Interactive Brokers and Robinhood have similar pricing structures, but Interactive Brokers has more fees. Robinhood has no fees of any kind, while Interactive Brokers charges $0.65 per contract.
Interactive Brokers has a broader range of investment options than Robinhood. It offers stock trading, fractional shares, options trading, futures trading, ETF trading, forex, mutual funds international trading, and OTCBB/Pink Sheets. Interactive Brokers provides access to 11080 mutual funds, while Robinhood offers 0.
Robinhood is the best option for Bitcoin trading in the US with hyper-accurate price tracking and instant trades. It offers access to stock trading, fractional shares, and options trading with zero fees.
The Interactive Brokers trading platform is better than the Robinhood platform. It has excellent trading tools, an impressive trading experience, a massive asset offering, and market research capabilities. It has a reliable mobile trading app with access to professional charting tools. Web trading and desktop platforms are professional quality.
Robinhood began as a mobile trading app designed to execute specific proven strategies for long-term investors. It provides customizable watch lists and basic charting but lacks the standard day trading functions that the Interactive Brokers platform has.
The Robinhood web platform is user-friendly but less powerful than the mobile version. There is no desktop platform.
Banking services represent a benefit for traders of all levels of experience. Interactive Brokers and Robinhood offer free debit cards and checking accounts to active users.
Transferring between your Robinhood account and another linked account is free but takes three business days. Interactive Brokers charges a fee for account withdrawals.
Interactive Brokers and Robinhood are some of the leading online brokers. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on your trading needs and geographical location. For US-based investors, we recommend Robinhood. For the rest of the world, our top choice remains Interactive Brokers because of its comprehensive offer, trading tools, and education materials.