Interactive Brokers Review 2024

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Written By
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Written By
Christian Harris
Christian is a seasoned journalist with decades of experience. He transitioned from tech journalism to finance to follow his interest in investing. He has been trading stocks, futures, forex, and cryptocurrencies for more than 5 years, becoming an eToro Popular Investor. With hands-on expertise across various assets, he offers valuable trading insights.
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Edited By
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James Barra
James is an investment writer with a background in financial services. He has worked as a management consultant, where he delivered large-scale operational transformational programmes at some of Europe's biggest banks. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a series of investing websites.

4.3 / 5
Interactive Brokers is #45 in our CFD broker rankings.

Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts, notably through the new IBKR Desktop application. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry.

- Christian Harris, Reviewer

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
Cheque, ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise, Debit Card

Trading App

The IBKR Mobile app, available on both iOS and Android devices, makes your phone a powerful gateway to your IBKR accounts, offering you the freedom to keep an eye on portfolios, initiate trades, and dive into real-time quotes and charts, all while managing your account activities on the fly. This app stands out for its intuitive design, making it especially welcoming for those just starting their trading journey, providing a smoother and more accessible experience than the more complex TWS platform.

iOS App Rating
Android App Rating

Forex Trading

IBKR presents an extensive range of over 100 major, minor, and exotic forex pairs, surpassing the offerings of nearly all leading alternatives, though not CMC Markets. Forex trading occurs over multiple platforms and boasts institutional-grade spreads starting from 0.1 pips and 20 complex order types, including brackets, scale, and one-cancels-all (OCA) orders.

Stock Trading

IBKR provides access to an unparalleled array of equity products originating from 24 diverse countries, encompassing shares traded on major as well as sub-exchanges. Whether seeking capital appreciation, dividends, or voting rights, you can directly invest in stocks. Alternatively, you can engage in speculative trading on price movements through CFDs, futures and more than 13,000 ETFs.

CFD Trading

Over 8,000 CFDs are offered on a vast array of instruments, encompassing stocks, indices, forex, and commodities. Moreover, the TWS platform lends itself to seasoned day traders, offering a comprehensive selection of over 100 order types and algorithms, alongside premium market data sourced from reputable sources such as Reuters and Dow Jones.

Crypto Trading

IBKR lets you purchase and hold Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin at competitive commission rates and without needing a crypto wallet. Additionally, there is a range of other diverse assets to explore, such as crypto indices like the NYSE Bitcoin Index, as well as futures contracts like the BAKKT Bitcoin Futures.

✓ Pros

  • IBKR is one of the most respected and trusted brokerages and is regulated by top-tier authorities, so you can have confidence in the integrity and security of your trading account.
  • The TWS platform has clearly been built for intermediate and advanced traders and comes with over 100 order types and a reliable real-time market data feed that rarely goes offline.
  • The new IBKR Desktop platform takes the best of TWS while adding bespoke tools like Option Lattice and Screeners with MultiSort to create a genuinely impressive trading experience for day traders at every level.
  • There's a vast library of free or paid third-party research subscriptions catering to all types of traders, plus you can enjoy commission reimbursements from IBKR if you subscribe to Toggle AI.
  • IBKR continues to deliver unmatched access to global stocks with tens of thousands of equities available from 100+ market centres in 24 countries.
  • While primarily geared towards experienced traders, IBKR has made moves to broaden its appeal in recent years, reducing its minimum deposit from $10,000 to $0.
  • With low commissions, tight spreads and a transparent fee structure, IBKR delivers a cost-effective environment for short-term traders.

✗ Cons

  • TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.
  • IBKR provides a wide range of research tools, but their distribution across trading platforms and the web-based 'Account Management' page lacks consistency, leading to a confusing user experience.
  • Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.
  • You can only have one active session per account, so you can’t have your desktop program and mobile app running simultaneously, making for a sometimes frustrating trading experience.

In this review of Interactive Brokers (IBKR), we provide an in-depth analysis of the broker’s features, strengths and weaknesses, to help you make informed decisions for your trading journey.

Regulation & Trust

4.5 / 5

IBKR continues to earn our trust as one of the most trusted brokers for several reasons:

As with any financial institution, it’s essential to conduct your own research and consider factors such as your trading goals, risk tolerance, and specific regulatory requirements in your jurisdiction before entrusting your money to any broker.

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Christian Harris
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Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Regulation & Trust Rating
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Accounts & Banking

3.5 / 5

Trading Accounts

IBKR offers a market-leading range of accounts to cater to the diverse needs of traders and investors. Each account type has specific requirements, features, and benefits, so you should take some time to choose the one that best aligns with your trading objectives:

A complimentary demo account lets you practice trading strategies and familiarize yourself with the platform’s features and tools with $1,000,000 of virtual funds.

While you can access the same trading platforms and tools available with live accounts, news feeds can be delayed by up to 15 minutes in simulator mode.

Once you’re ready to start trading real money, there are more account types to choose from:

For beginners who are unfamiliar with managing a margin account, opting for a cash account is advisable. Unlike margin accounts, cash accounts do not entail margin calls, and you are permitted only a brief period of time in margin violation before positions are liquidated.

The account opening procedure at Interactive Brokers is entirely digital, albeit somewhat intricate. Following online registration, my account verification took two business days, which is considerably longer than a few minutes or hours it typically takes me to open an account with another brokerage, such as Plus500.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Depositing and withdrawing is limited to bank transfers and Wise Balances, eliminating the option to use bank cards or major electronic wallets including PayPal or Skrill. Not only are these funding options restrictive, but your bank may also apply a wire transfer fee.

US-based traders are better served with a few extra options including ACH (Automated Clearing House), check, online bill payment, direct rollover (IRA accounts only), trustee-to-trustee (IRA accounts only), and debit card deposits via the IBKR debit card provided with Integrated Investment Management accounts.

Using bank transfer to deposit to IBKR
IBKR – Funding

Withdrawals are subject to withdrawal limits, should take around two business days, and include a maximum daily withdrawal of $50,000 and a maximum total withdrawal of $100,000 within five business days.

The first withdrawal of each calendar month incurs no charges, but subsequent withdrawals are subject to platform withdrawal fees, which currently amount to around $10, depending on your location. Check payments are also available in USD and they carry a $4 fee.

If you wish to receive funds in a currency other than your base currency, conversion rates apply, with rates matching those used for forex trading conversions.

To help reduce currency conversion fees, you can choose from 27 base currencies, which is considerably more than most other brokers. Of course, the variety of currencies accessible to you will depend on the specific legal entity with which you are onboarded.

The account funding and withdrawal processes at IBKR are convoluted, time-consuming and limiting, which I find a big inconvenience when managing my funds. Brokers like eToro and IC Markets offer a much smoother funding process.

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Christian Harris
Comparison of similar brokers 2024
Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Accounts & Banking Rating
Payment Methods ACH Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, Cheque, Debit Card, TransferWise, Wire Transfer Credit Card, Debit Card, Mastercard, PayPal, Visa, Wire Transfer Boleto, Credit Card, Debit Card, FasaPay, JCB Card, Mastercard, MoneyGram, Neteller, Perfect Money, Skrill, Swift, WebMoney, Wire Transfer
Minimum Deposit $0 $0
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Assets & Markets

4.5 / 5

IBKR continues to boast an almost overwhelming selection of markets, offering access to a diverse range of assets. From ETFs and bonds to more specialized options like warrants and structured products.

While its forex and CFD selection may not be as expansive as some competitors, the availability of products varies depending on the IBKR affiliate and your country of residence.

With access to approximately 150 exchanges worldwide, including its alternative services like Interactive Advisors – a blend of robo-advisory and social trading – there are ample options for diversification.

Additionally, IBKR has an Overnight Trading Hours service, giving you access to over 10,000 US stocks and ETFs nearly 24 hours a day, five days a week.

Also, there are fractional shares trading for both US and European stocks and ETFs, a welcome feature that enhances accessibility and flexibility for traders with smaller balances. This is a notable feature given that Interactive Brokers has historically best served advanced traders.

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Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Assets & Markets Rating
Trading Instruments Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures
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Fees & Costs

4.3 / 5

When it comes to costs, IBKR offers some of the most competitive forex spreads and fees. This is primarily because the majority of the broker’s clients consist of professional traders and institutions, necessitating the provision of low commission rates.

You can expect a low, fixed commission rate of $0.005 with a minimum of $1.00 on all products, including stocks, stock futures, options, futures options, forex bonds, and CFDs.

For European clients, there’s the option of a fixed-rate commission of 3 EUR/GBP for trades under 6,000 EUR/GBP in value, with the rate reducing to 0.005% for trades above this threshold.

IBKR employs a volume-based fee structure for stock trading, where fees are determined either per share or as a percentage of the trade value, with specified minimum and maximum thresholds. ETF trading fees mirror those of stocks.

On the downside, IBKR applies an exposure fee to a subset of high-risk margin clients, aiming to offset the costs associated with managing these accounts. The fee amount is determined through proprietary algorithms and varies based on individual circumstances and account activity.

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Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Fees & Costs Rating
EUR/USD Spread 0.08-0.20 bps x trade value 0.8 0.9
FTSE Spread 0.005% (£1 Min) 1.0 0.5
Oil Spread 0.25-0.85 2.8 0.02
Stock Spread 0.003 0.02 0.13
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It’s also worth noting that IBKR offers interest payments on cash balances, with rates reaching up to 4.83% for USD balances, provided you maintain a net asset value of $10,000 in your account. Beyond this threshold, interest is paid proportionally, with the maximum interest earned when the account value reaches $100,000.

There is no monthly inactivity fee, either – a bonus for casual traders.

Platforms & Tools

3.3 / 5

The flagship Trader Workstation (TWS) platform offers a vast array of trading instruments ranging from ETFs and futures to cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. Compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux systems, the TWS provides essential functionalities such as backtesting and setting trailing stop limits.

You can choose between the default Mosaic setup or access the Classic TWS for the original platform experience. Watchlists are supported for managing numerous asset classes, with the platform generating a summary of available securities.

Customization is key, with a staggering 338 different columns available for personalized watchlists. The downside is that many users – myself included – may find themselves overwhelmed by long lists of real-time quotes or securities, requiring careful navigation.

In terms of charting capabilities, TWS is based on TradingView and offers 155 different studies for technical analysis. While fewer than some competitors, such as TradeStation, the platform provides essential tools like trendlines, notes, and Fibonacci analysis. Historical trades, alerts, and index overlays further enhance the charting experience.

Interactive Brokers trading platform with chart

Additional features include an impressive selection of 63 different order types, catering to diverse trading strategies. The ‘Options Strategy Lab’ lets you create and submit simple and complex multiple options orders, with the ability to compare up to five options strategies simultaneously. Algo trading functionalities are also available within TWS.

The Mutual Fund/ETF Replicator is worth noting as it assists in finding lower-cost ETF alternatives to mutual funds, aligning with IBKR’s commitment to offering a wide range of instruments and markets.

Regarding MetaTrader compatibility, IBKR does not actively support MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 platforms, as it prioritizes promoting its proprietary TWS platform. While the broker doesn’t provide direct assistance on integrating MetaTrader software with its platform, third-party software solutions are available to bridge the platforms.

Comparison of similar brokers 2024
Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Platforms & Tools Rating
Platforms Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
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My biggest gripe with the TWS platform is that it puts features ahead of usability. The platform looks completely outdated, the amount of information on-screen is intimidating, and the frequent pop-up windows create an overwhelming feeling.

Beginners may prefer IBKR’s mobile app or the streamlined IBKR Desktop application, both of which offer a more intuitive approach to trading.

In fact, the 2024 iteration of IBKR Desktop offers a comprehensive trading experience. The broker has taken the first-rate tools in TWS and added bespoke features like option lattice and advanced screeners. Interactive Brokers have also clearly invested time in the user interface, which will work for beginners through to advanced day traders.

Moreover, with a proactive approach to seeking user feedback, plus many more features in the pipeline, including level II market data and enhanced search capabilities, IBKR looks set to pave the way in the next wave of desktop trading applications.

Interactive Brokers Desktop platform interface
IBKR Desktop


4.4 / 5

IBKR offers a huge array of research tools, but it’s confusing how some tools are found within the trading platforms and others are on the web on your ‘Account Management’ page – there’s just no consistency with the user experience.

These tools include real-time and historical market data for various asset classes, as well as real-time news updates from leading financial news sources.

In particular, I found the fundamental analysis tools comprehensive for evaluating a company’s stock performance useful, as well as the economic calendar that helped me to track market-moving events.

Research tools at Interactive Brokers
IBKR Research

Options analysis tools, research reports from financial institutions including Morningstar, trading ideas from TradingCentral, and portfolio analysis tools are also available to help evaluate options strategies.

An interesting tool is the ‘Market Buzz’ bubble, powered by Trading Central, which shows a visual representation of companies that are currently receiving attention. The size of the bubble corresponds to the frequency of mentions for a particular company. You can hover your cursor over a bubble to view the number of mentions and click on the bubble to explore details about the selected asset.

The standout tool for me is ‘PortfolioAnalyst’ which offers a comprehensive financial management system for both institutional and individual investors. This software streamlines the consolidation, tracking, and analysis of all financial accounts, ranging from checking and savings to debt and annuities.

Once you’ve linked your accounts, you can view a detailed overview of your entire financial landscape. PortfolioAnalyst provides a thorough portfolio checkup, encompassing total returns, risk assessments, and allocations across various categories such as geography, asset class, and sector. Additionally, socially conscious investors can assess their portfolio’s ESG ratings.

Stock ESG ratings on IBKR platform
IBKR – ESG Ratings
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Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Research Rating
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4.3 / 5

Under the ‘Education’ tab on the broker’s homepage, IBKR provides a plethora of well-presented and free resources for learning about trading and investing.

For beginners, the IBKR Campus and the Trader’s Academy offer a wide array of informative written materials, video content, webinars, podcasts, and quizzes, with progress tracking. More experienced traders should find the traders’ insight and commentary helpful, and even the quantitative code news.

IBKR and industry experts also host daily webinars covering a range of topics such as platform and tools tutorials, options education, trading international products, and more.

All the content is professionally produced and will certainly help you to better understand asset classes, markets, currencies, tools, and functionality available on IBKR’s trading platforms.

Introduction to futures trading guide on Interactive
IBKR – TradersAcademy
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Customer Support

3 / 5

IBKR offers multiple ways to get in contact with the company. For security-related issues like resets or security tokens, you need to phone the contact telephone number provided on the website.

Although phone support is available 24 hours a day, it may be challenging to reach during overnight hours due to the service shifting to foreign venues.

You should also expect standard wait times on live chat – available from within the trading platform or website – with occasional outages. If you don’t want to wait for a live agent, you can try your luck with an automated ‘iBot’. If you’re not in a rush, there’s a secure message center available from within the trading platform or website for sending inquiries.

Fortunately, chat rooms and forum personnel are relatively prompt and helpful. They can provide information on account promotions, assist with upgrading to a margin account, and direct you to useful research and user guides. Additionally, they offer guidance on viewing interest rates and recent trade history.

Interactive Brokers Assistance Using Forum
IBKR – Forum

Overall, while there are multiple means of contacting IBKR, wait times can be lengthy, which is frustrating if you have an issue that’s preventing you from trading.

Comparison of similar brokers 2024
Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
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Should You Trade With Interactive Brokers?

IBKR enables trading on a global scale and offers exceptionally low commissions and competitive spreads. It also distinguishes itself with its extensive array of assets, tools, research, global market access, and educational materials. In fact, individual and professional investors will struggle to find a more all-encompassing platform.

While this breadth of products and services is undoubtedly advantageous, it will pose a challenge for beginner traders, as navigating through IBKR’s wealth of information and outdated trading platform may at times prove too overwhelming.

As a result, IBKR is most suitable for experienced traders with significant capital. Beginner traders should look elsewhere for a simpler, more intuitive trading experience with more flexible banking facilities.


Is Interactive Brokers Legit Or A Scam?

IBKR is a legitimate brokerage firm that has been operating in the financial industry for over four decades. Additionally, IBKR is publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange (NASDAQ: IBKR), further establishing its credibility and transparency.

Is Interactive Brokers A Regulated Broker?

Yes, Interactive Brokers is regulated by reputable authorities including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the US. In the UK it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There are lots of other worldwide regulatory bodies overseeing IBKR, too.

Is Interactive Brokers Suitable For Beginners?

IBKR’s platform and features are way more complex compared to most other brokers, which could potentially be overwhelming for beginner traders. And while there are comprehensive educational resources and customer support, beginners may find the learning curve too steep.

Does Interactive Brokers Offer Low Fees?

IBKR has a competitive fee structure, offering low commissions and tight spreads across various asset classes. It charges commissions based on a tiered pricing model, where fees decrease as trading volume increases. Furthermore, IBKR offers a range of account types and fee schedules tailored to different trading preferences and account sizes.

Is Interactive Brokers A Good Broker For Day Trading?

IBKR is an excellent choice for day trading due to its advanced trading platforms, offering real-time data and customizable interfaces. With access to a wide range of assets including stocks, options, futures, and forex across global markets, skilled traders can capitalize on short-term opportunities. Competitive pricing and a variety of advanced order types further enhance the appeal for day traders.

Does Interactive Brokers Have A Mobile App?

The IBKR Mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices, provides access to your IBKR accounts on the go so you can monitor portfolios, place trades, view real-time quotes and charts, and manage your account activity from your mobile devices. The app is relatively user-friendly and caters better to beginner traders than the TWS terminal.

Top 3 Alternatives to Interactive Brokers

Compare Interactive Brokers with the top 3 similar brokers that accept traders from your location.

  1. IG – Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.

  2. AvaTrade – AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for day trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

  3. – Founded in 1999, is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.

Interactive Brokers Comparison Table

Compare Interactive Brokers With Similar Brokers
Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Rating 4.3 4.4 4.9 4.5
Markets Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Cryptos, Futures, Options, Commodities
Demo Account Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum Deposit $0 $0 $100
Minimum Trade $100 0.01 Lots 0.01 Lots 0.01 Lots
Education Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platforms Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Leverage 1:50 1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro) 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro) 1:400
Payment Methods 6 6 13 8
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Compare Trading Instruments

Compare the markets and instruments offered by Interactive Brokers and its competitors. Please note, some markets may only be available via CFDs or other derivatives.

Compare Interactive Brokers Trading Instruments
Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
CFD Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commodities Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oil No Yes Yes Yes
Gold Yes Yes Yes Yes
Copper No Yes Yes No
Silver No Yes Yes Yes
Corn No No Yes No
Crypto Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes No
Bonds Yes Yes Yes No
Warrants Yes Yes No No
Spreadbetting No Yes Yes No
Volatility Index No Yes Yes No

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Customer Reviews

  4 / 5

This average customer rating is based on 2 Interactive Brokers customer reviews submitted by our visitors.

If you have traded with Interactive Brokers we would really like to know about your experience - please submit your own review. Thank you.


IB is easily the best broker I’ve used for day trading. Trader Workstation offers a first-rate charting package with loads of indicators and technical studies, even if the interface isn’t the slickest. Being able to customise the market scanner is also helpful for finding potential opportunities.

✍ Samuel | 🌐 United Kingdom | January 9, 2024

I’ve found IB excellent for trading stocks. There are thousands of shares with low fees and commissions from zero. I don’t rate the platform though – it’s clunky with an outdated design, making it difficult to learn.

✍ Ethan G | 🌐 United States | November 17, 2023

Submit Your Own Review of Interactive Brokers

If you have experience trading with Interactive Brokers please share your personal review of the broker and what you think are strong and weak points. Thank you.

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

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