TD Ameritrade has the online trading platform down to a science. From its website to its tools like Thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade is a strong contender for the top investment platform.
Their services offer a powerful range of options that appeal to a large and varied customer base. Their top selling points include their $0 commissions, $0 minimum balance, their huge selection of exchange-traded funds that are commission-free, and mutual funds with no transaction fees.
These features make them among the top trading platforms for IRA accounts as well as investors who are just starting out. However, at the same time, their services include plenty of experienced traders due to the versatility of the platform and the great offerings of their available research.
TD Ameritrade was acquired by Charles Schwab in October 2020 for $22 billion. For now, it appears that Schwab plans to let the platforms operate independently for the foreseeable future, however, some products and services are being slowly migrated over (such as HSAs and 401ks). As the transitions continues, we'll update this review to let you know.
- $0 Commission stocks, ETF, and options trades
- $0 minimum IRAs and other accounts
- One of the few self-directed HSA providers
TD Ameritrade Details
$0 for Stock, Options, ETFTtrades
Traditional, IRA, Trust, HSA, and More
What Does TD Ameritrade Offer?
A great option for all investors, from beginners to advanced trading pros, there are a wide array of options and benefits to using TD Ameritrade. Here are a few of its most notable features.
In 2022, TD Ameritrade was named a top pick by our readers as one of the best online stock brokerage firms. They consistently offer low fees and great tools, such as Thinkorswim for trading. See all the best stock brokers here.
Low-Cost Trading And Investing
TD Ameritrade doesn't charge any commissions on stocks, ETF, or options trades. Plus, they have one of the largest selections of no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds that we've seen at over 3,900.
There are per-contract fees, however, for options ($0.65 per contract) and futures ($2.25 per contract). But one of the big pluses of going with TD is that they have $0 account minimums. So even if you'll have a small beginning balance, you can start investing with TD Ameritrade.
One of the biggest downsides to trading with TD Ameritrade, though, is that it still doesn't support fractional share investing. That's disappointing as that makes it more difficult for investors with small balances to invest in stocks or ETFs that have high share prices.
If you're looking specifically for a broker that will allow you to invest in fractional shares, the good news is that there are plenty of good potions. Check out our favorite platforms for fractional share investing here >>>
Education And Resources
TD Ameritrade has a strong commitment to offering competitive, highly in-depth research and data at no extra cost. Research, data, and education are such a major focal point for many investors, and often one of the biggest selling points in choosing a trading platform to work with.
In TD's Education Center, you'll find a wealth of learning tools including a full immersive curriculum, articles, videos, webcasts, and even live virtual events. Plenty of other platforms attach a hefty fee for such services so this is a very attractive feature.
See how TD Ameritrade compares using our Online Stock Broker Comparison Tool.
Thinkorswim Trading Platform
TD Ameritrade offers two distinct platforms. The main TD Ameritrade platform is for average users thinkorswim is its renowned advanced trading platform. Regardless of the platform that you choose, you won't be bound by traditional market hours as TD Ameritrade supports 24/5 trading.
However, active traders will most definitely want to use thinkorswim as it's one of the best trading platforms available today. It enables investors to test their strategies through paper trading. And it boasts over 400 technical studies along with a bevy of other charting tools like monkey bars and renko charts.
TD Ameritrade has also done a great job of offering thinkorswim on a wide variety of platforms. It's currently available on the web, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Learn more about thinkorswim in our full review.
Until recently, TD Ameritrade offered a robo-advisory service called "Essential Portfolios." However, as part of its merger with Schwab, it has been announced that TD will no longer be accepting new clients for Essential Portfolios.
This leaves customers with two wealth management options: Selective Portfolios and Personalized Portfolios. Both have higher fees than most robo-advisors, however. And the minimums are fairly high as well. You'll need an account balance of at least $25,000 to qualify for Selective Portfolios and $250,000 to be eligible for Personalized Portfolios.
Are There Any Fees?
There are no account opening or closing fees with TD Ameritrade. There is, however, a $75 fee for a full account transfer.
If you decide to use one of TD's wealth management options, here's what you'll pay in advisory fees:
- Selective Portfolios: 0.75% to 0.90%
- Personalized Portfolios: 0.60% to 0.90%
Finally, it should be noted that while online and mobile trades are commission-free (for stocks, ETFs, and options), broker-assisted trades cost $25.
How Does TD Ameritrade Compare?
TD Ameritrade isn't the only full-service brokerage firm out there. However, we consistently rate them as one of the best on our list of the best brokers to invest.
See how they compare quickly below:
How Do I Open An Account?
It couldn't be easier to open account with TD Ameritrade. You can start your account application here or you can call 1-800-454-9272 to receive guided help at any day or time.
Either way, it should only take a few minutes to be up and running. Their account application is one the fastest that we've seen.
Don't believe us on how easy it is to get started? Check out this video and see how easy it is to open a Roth IRA at TD Ameritrade. Get started on a commission-free, no minimum IRA today.
Is It Safe And Secure?
In 2007, TD Ameritrade's servers were hacked. Over 6 million customers were affected and the event led to a class action lawsuit. Since that time, however, TD Ameritrade seems to have done a better job of keeping its clients' private information safe. Their website uses 128-bit encryption and their security team uses advanced anomaly detection and intrusion detection technology to cut threats off at the pass.
As far as financial protection goes, all brokerage assets are protected by SIPC insurance up to $500 million, plus TD provides each of its clients with an additional $149.5 million of asset insurance through London insurers. Cash in an Insured Deposit Account (IDA) is FDIC-insured up to $500,000 through TD's banking affiliates.
How Do I Contact TD Ameritrade?
Customer service is a top priority for TD Ameritrade. They offer phone service 24/7 along with email support and the option of in-branch service.
Over 200 of TD's branches were shut down in 2020 as part of its merger with Charles Schwab. But there are still nearly 200 available -- 55 that are sole TD Ameritrade locations and another 140 location that will be shared by Schwab and TD employees. You can visit TD Ameritrade and use its branch search tool to find the closest office to where you live.
Is It Worth It?
Overall, TD Ameritrade’s offers a ton of exceptional offerings, including commission-free ETF trades that make using their platforms both convenient and effective.
Bottom line: their services are perfect for everyone; from investors who are just starting out to seasoned traders looking for reliability and options from a trading platform.
TD Ameritrade FAQs
Let's answer a few of the most common questions that people ask about TD Ameritrade:
Is TD Ameritrade good for beginners?
TD Ameritrade can be a good platform for new investors due to its comprehensive education platform. However, it's more often mentioned as a top option for experienced traders thanks to its advanced thinkorswim trading software.
Does TD Ameritrade give you money?
TD Ameritrade does not currently have any bonus offers.
Do you get a free stock with TD Ameritrade?
TD Ameritrade does not offer a "free stock" reward as some others brokers (such as Robinhood) do.
Can TD Ameritrade customers get support at Charles Schwab branches?
It depends. There are currently 140 branch locations that serve both TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab clients. However, TD clients aren't currently able to receive account assistance at Schwab-only offices.
TD Ameritrade Features
No-Transaction-Fee (NTF) Mutual Funds
Basic Account Fee
Managed Portfolios Advisory Fee
4.00% to 8.325% (as of July 2021)
Customer Service Number
New accounts: 800-454-9272
Existing clients: 800-669-3900
Customer Service Hours
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
TD Ameritrade Review
Commissions & Fees
Ease Of Use
Tools & Resources
TD Ameritrade has amazing features for both new and experienced investors and only a short con list. Find out more here.
- Robust commission-free trading
- One of the best options trading platforms
- Full range of investment options
- Limited account types
- Solo 401k is limited
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Editor: Clint Proctor Reviewed by: Claire Tak