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Best Trading Platforms & Online Brokers in September 2023

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Trading platforms form the crucial bridge between you and your chosen financial market. As such, whether you’re interested in stocks, forex, commodities, or cryptocurrencies – you need to find a suitable free trading platform that meets your needs.

Here at, we strive to bring you the very best trading platforms of 2023 and beyond. This includes trading platforms that offer the best fees and commissions, the most diverse asset classes, and of course – the strongest regulatory standing.

Read on to find out which trading platforms stand out from the crowd!

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What we like
  • Buy shares and ETFs with 0% commission
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74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

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9 Best Online Trading Platforms for Beginners 2023 List

Below you will find a quickfire list of the top trading platforms to consider in 2023. Scroll down to read our full review of each free trading platform provider!

  1. eToroeToro stands out as an excellent trading platform for beginners in 2023. It’s user-friendly and supports small investments with a low minimum deposit of $20 and trades starting at $10. eToro offers a wide range of assets as well as social trading and copy trading features.
  2. Vantage Markets: VantageFX is a global CFD broker known for offering commission-free trading. It provides access to stocks, forex, commodities, futures, and indices with leverage of up to 500:1. Spreads start at 1.4 pips for standard accounts, and ECN accounts offer spreads from 0.0 pips for a $3 commission per lot.
  3. Robinhood: Robinhood is a well-known platform for buying US stocks. With a commission-free model, it provides access to over 5,000 US-listed stocks, as well as cryptocurrencies and ETFs. The platform also offers stock options trading.
  4. TD Ameritrade: TD Ameritrade, a long-established brokerage, offers a vast array of assets, including stocks, ETFs, index funds, mutual funds, bonds, and more. It provides access to both US and international markets, making it suitable for diverse investment strategies. The platform offers commission-free trading for US stocks and ETFs, with competitive options fees.
  5. Interactive Brokers: Interactive Brokers is tailored for experienced investors, offering a wide range of assets across 135 markets in 33 countries. It covers stocks, index funds, ETFs, futures, options, and forex. While its fee structure can be complex, it offers commission-free trading for US stocks and ETFs on its IBKR Lite account.
  6. Plus500: The Plus500 platform is user-friendly and available on web browsers and mobile devices. It’s suitable for forex traders looking for a commission-free, no-frills trading experience with leverage options.
  7. IG: IG is a reputable forex trading platform offering over 80 currency pairs, including exotic currencies. It provides competitive spreads and charges no commissions for forex trading. The platform offers a choice between its native trading platform and compatibility with MT4.
  8. Fidelity: Fidelity offers commission-free trading for US stocks and ETFs and features an extensive research facility. While it’s ideal for long-term investing, it may not be the fastest platform for active day traders.
  9. Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab offers a robust and secure mobile trading app with features like fingerprint and face ID login for added security. The platform provides access to a wide range of assets, including US stocks, OTC shares, IPOs, and fractional ownership.

Best Trading Platforms in 2023 Reviewed

With hundreds of providers active in the online space, choosing the right free trading platform for your needs is no easy feat.

For example, not only does the platform need to have a great reputation and support your chosen financial market – but it also needs to offer competitive fees and top-notch customer support. You also need to consider metrics surrounding trading tools and features, educational resources, and chart reading indicators.

To help point you in the right direction, below you will find a selection and review of the very best trading platforms of 2023.

1. eToro – Our Recommended Platform for Beginners in 2023

best trading platformsUpon researching hundreds of online providers, we found that eToro is one of the best trading platforms to consider in 2023. First and foremost, the broker is perfect if you are just starting out in the world of online trading. This is because the platform is really simple to use and it supports small stakes.

For example, the minimum deposit is just $200 and you can trade from $25 upwards. In terms of what assets you can trade, eToro supports several asset classes. This covers 2,400 stocks across 17 different markets. For example, you can buy shares in companies based in the US, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, and heaps of European exchanges.

eToro also allows you to access over 250 ETFs and 16 cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking for a commodity trading platform, eToro supports everything from gold and silver to oil and natural gas. And of course, eToro also offers a huge forex trading facility. Most importantly, each and every financial market at eToro can be traded on a commission-free basis. You don’t need to pay any ongoing fees either, so eToro is a great trading platform for those seeking a low-cost provider.

An additional reason why eToro makes the number one spot on our list as the best trading platform for beginners is that it offers passive investing tools. For example, through its CopyPortfolio feature, you can benefit from a professionally managed investment strategy. This means that the team at eToro will buy and sell assets on your behalf.

There are many strategies to choose from, such as a focus on tech stocks or cryptocurrency trading – eToro is actually our most-recommended crypto trading platform.

Traders can also choose to use the eToro Copy Trading tool if they would prefer a more passive trading strategy. The tool allows you to copy the trades of a verified ‘expert’. The platform provides an overview of the expert’s past performance, strategy and popularity so that you can find a trader that fits with your goals.

For example, if the trader allocates 3% of the portfolio into Apple stocks and 2% into IBM, your portfolio will do the same. When it comes to the fundamentals, eToro allows you to deposit funds with a debit card, credit card, bank wire, or an e-wallet like Paypal and Skrill. The trading platform is regulated by the FCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), and ASIC (Australia), which illustrates that it takes client safety seriously. For those in the US, eToro is registered with FINRA.

Read our eToro review to learn more about this excellent trading platform.

eToro fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee Spread, 2.1 pips for GBP/USD
Crypto trading fee Spread, 0.75% for Bitcoin
Inactivity fee $10 a month after one year
Withdrawal fee $5

What we like:

  • Super user-friendly trading platform
  • Buy stocks without paying any commission or share dealing charges
  • 2,400+ stocks and 250+ ETFs listed on 17 international markets
  • Trade cryptocurrencies, commodities, and forex
  • Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account
  • Ability to copy the trades of other users
  • Regulated by the FCA, CySEC, ASIC and registered with FINRA

What we don’t like:

  • Not suitable for advanced traders that like to perform technical analysis

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit

2. VantageFX – Global Trading Platform with Zero Commission

VantageFX trading platform logoVantageFX is a global CFD broker that offers everything from stocks and forex to commodities, futures, and indices. The platform offers leverage up to 500:1 for major currency pairs, making it one of the best trading platforms for taking large positions. The minimum contract size for a standard account is also just 0.01.

With a standard account, CFD trading at VantageFX is 100% commission-free. Spreads start at 1.4 pips, which is slightly above average. However, there are no deposit, withdrawal, or inactivity fees to worry about on your account.

VantageFX also offers ECN accounts with a minimum deposit of just $500. You can trade with spreads from 0.0 pips and pay a commission of $3 per lot.

VantageFX offers its own trading platform for the web and iOS and Android mobile devices. It’s fairly comprehensive, with full screen charts, dozens of technical indicators, and seamless order entry.

Alternatively, this broker also gives you access to MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. You can also take advantage of social trading with ZuluTrade, Myfxbook, and DupliTrade. All three of these platforms enable copy trading.

VantageFX is regulated by the UK FCA and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

VantageFXFX fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Variable spread
Forex trading fee Spread, 1.4 pips for GBP/USD
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • 100% commission-free CFD trading
  • No deposit, withdrawal, or inactivity fees
  • Offers ECN accounts
  • Social trading with 3 different platforms
  • Supports MetaTrader 4 and 5
  • Regulated in the UK and Australia

What we don’t like:

  • Only offers CFDs
  • Above-average forex spreads

3. Robinhood – Top US Trading App with Simple Trading

Robinhood online broker logo

If you’re based in the US, then there is every chance that you have heard of Robinhood. Launched in 2013, this online trading platform is now home to over 10 million clients. Primarily, investors in the US use Robinhood to buy stocks in a simple and cost-effective way.

In fact – and much like eToro, Robinhood allows you to buy stocks with low commission. In total, the platform offers more than 5,000 stocks – most of which are US-listed. This covers both primary exchanges – the NYSE and NASDAQ.

Additionally, Robinhood also offers in the region of 250 non-US stocks. However, if international shares are what you are after, other trading platforms in the space have a much larger portfolio of companies. Nevertheless, Robinhood is also worth considering if you are looking to invest in ETFs or cryptocurrencies or looking for a penny stock trading platform due to its user-friendly layout.

Furthermore, the platform is also home to a popular stock options trading facility. This is perfect for those of you looking to access the US stock markets in a more sophisticated way. Once again, the aforementioned asset classes can be accessed on a commission-free basis. When it comes to funding your Robinhood account, this free trading platform only accepts US bank transfers.

Depending on your chosen account type, your deposit might be processed instantly. For example, if you are on a free account, the first $1,000 of your chosen deposit amount will be credited instantly, and the rest might take an extra couple of days. Either way, there is no minimum deposit amount at Robinhood, which is great if you want to trade with small amounts.

We should also note that a lot of users opt to trade on the Robinhood app. Available on both iOS and Android devices, this gives you access to the very same account features as you will find on the main website. Finally, as a US-based broker, Robinhood is heavily regulated. This includes the authorization from both FINRA and the SEC.

Robinhood fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee N/A
Crypto trading fee Free
Inactivity fee No inactivity fee
Withdrawal fee No withdrawal fee

What we like:

  • Hugely popular trading platform in the US
  • Buy over 5,000 US-listed stocks
  • ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and stock options also supported
  • Does not charge any commissions
  • No minimum deposit in place
  • Very simple to use and ideal for newbies
  • Heavily regulated in the US

What we don’t like:

  • Only 250-ish international stocks offered
  • No debit/credit card or e-wallet deposits

5. TD Ameritrade – Trading Platform with a Diverse Range of Assets

TD ameritrade trading platform logo

While the likes of eToro and Robinhood are considered newbies in the trading platform space, TD Ameritrade is a US brokerage powerhouse that has been active since 1975. Put simply, if there is a financial market that you want to invest in, chances are, you’ll find it at TD Ameritrade.

For example, in the stock department alone you will find thousands of shares across both US and international marketplaces. This also includes the ability to invest in newly launched IPOs. If passive investing is what you are after, TD Ameritrade is home to over 11,000 funds and one of the best index trading platforms. This is very impressive especially compared to other platforms available, you can see it more clearly in our TD Ameritrade vs Charles Schwab review.

This covers ETFs, index funds, and mutual funds – so there’s something to suit all financial goals. We also like the fact that TD Ameritrade offers access to the US bond market, alongside retirement-based financial products like annuities and tax-efficient portfolios.

Outside of the traditional asset space, TD Ameritrade also offers a day trading platform. This includes everything from forex and cryptocurrencies to commodities and futures. When it comes to fees, this will depend on the specific financial market that you plan to access.

For example, With that being said, if you are looking to focus on either stocks or ETFs – TD Ameritrade charges no commission whatsoever. Options are also competitive prices, with the trading platform charging just $0.65 per contract (with no exercise fee). In terms of getting started with this popular broker, TD Ameritrade can be accessed online or via its mobile app.

Either way, there is no minimum deposit in place and you can fund your account by executing a bank transfer. This is usually instantly processed by TD Ameritrade. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, TD Ameritrade is regulated by all relevant bodies in the US – so you should have no concerns regarding the safety of your money.

TD Ameritrade fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee Spread. 1.2 pips average during peak hours.
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free for ACH, $25 for wire transfer

What we like:

  • Established US brokerage firm
  • Huge asset library that includes thousands of stocks and funds
  • Trade forex, futures, cryptocurrencies, and more
  • Commission-free trades on US stocks and ETFs
  • Fast bank transfer deposits
  • Strong regulatory standing
  • Great research materials

What we don’t like:

  • Best suited for experienced traders
  • No deposits via debit/credit card or e-wallet

6. Interactive Brokers – Best Trading Platform for Experienced Investors

online broker logo

In a similar nature to TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers is an established brokerage firm that has been offering trading services since the 1970s. The Interactive Brokers platform is arguably the best option on the table if you consider yourself a seasoned investor.

This is because it comes jam-packed with advanced trading tools and features. This covers valuable resources for performing both fundamental and technical research. In terms of assets, this top-rated trading platform covers thousands of financial instruments. In fact, this covers 135 markets in over 33 countries.

For example, you can buy stocks that are listed in North America, Europe, Asia, and more. The trading platform supports fractional ownership too, meaning you can purchase a ‘fraction’ of a stock. Index funds and ETFs are also supported for those of you looking to take a diversified approach to investing.

Additionally, if you are interested in taking a more sophisticated approach to trading, Interactive Brokers offers markets on futures, options, and forex. In terms of fees, the pricing structure employed by Interactive Brokers is a bit confusing at first glance. This is because there are different fees depending on your chosen asset and the account type you sign up for.

With that said, if you are on the IBKR Lite account you choose to buy stocks or ETFs listed in the US, then you won’t pay any commission. If you like the sound of Interactive Brokers, this heavily regulated trading platform does not have a minimum account balance policy in place. You can easily deposit funds by transferring funds from your bank account.

Interactive Brokers fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee Commission + spread. Commission is 0.08 to 0.20 basis points. 0.1 pip GBP/USD.
Crypto trading fee Commission. $15.01 per Bitcoin futures contract.
Inactivity fee $20 per month
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Huge library of traditional stocks, index funds, and ETFs
  • Really advanced trading features and chart analysis tools
  • More than 135 markets across 33 countries
  • Trade CFDs, futures, options, forex, and more
  • No minimum deposit
  • Buy US-listed stocks and ETFs commission-free

What we don’t like:

  • Not suitable for newbie investors
  • Fee structure is a bit confusing

7. Plus500 – Online Broker That Supports CFD Trading

Plus500 Logo

If you’re looking for the best forex trading platform in the market – Plus500 is well worth considering. This popular online platform gives you access to an abundance of currency pairs at super competitive fees.

This includes dozens of major, minor, and exotic currencies. Best of all, you can trade forex on Plus500 without paying any commission. In terms of spreads, the provider uses a dynamic system, albeit, this is usually very competitive on major pairs during standard market hours.

For example, Plus500 offers a best-rate spread of 0.01% on the likes of EUR/USD. Although this top-rated trading platform is great for forex, the provider offers thousands of other markets. This includes lots of cryptocurrency CFDs, commodities like gold, oil, and natural gas, and heaps of stocks.

Supported stock CFD markets include Australia, South Africa, the US, the UK, Germany, France, and more. On top of offering low fees and a huge CFD asset library, Plus500 is also popular with traders that seek leverage. Although the platform comes packed with real-time pricing charts and several order types, Plus500 is a bit weak when it comes to technical analysis.

This could be problematic if you are an advanced day or swing trader, as there is no support for MT4, MT5, or any third-party platform for that matter. Nevertheless, Plus500 allows you to open an account in minutes. Once you upload your Australian ID – which is usually verified straight away, you only need to meet a minimum deposit of $100.

Supported payment methods at this top-rated trading platform include debit/credit cards, Paypal, and a bank transfer. There are no fees to deposit or withdraw funds on Plus500, nor are there any account fees. Finally, Plus500 is authorized by several authorities, including ASIC, the FCA, and MAS.

Plus500 fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Spread. 23.51 pips for Amazon.
Forex trading fee Variable spreads
Crypto trading fee Spread. 4.11% for Bitcoin.
Inactivity fee £10 per month after three months
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • A commission-free trading policy
  • Thousands of CFD markets
  • Tight spreads
  • In-house trading platform, available on web browsers and mobile phones
  • Plenty of features including risk management tool, price alerts, and trader’s sentiment tool
  • Heavily regulated including a license by ASIC

What we don’t like:

  • No social trading tools
  • CFDs only

8. IG – Reputable Forex Trading Platform in 2023

best trading platform 2023

IG is a reputable forex trading platform that offers over 80 currency pairs. It goes without saying that this covers all major and minor pairs – such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and AUD/NZD. However, IG also gives you access to a wider selection of exotic currency pairs, too. This includes pairs that contain the Russian ruble, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Brazilian real, and more.

On top of offering a diverse number of forex markets, you will also find that IG is competitively priced. For example, you can trade major forex pairs from just 0.8 pips. As all forex trading fees at IG are built into the spread, there are no commissions to be made aware of.

In terms of the trading platform itself, IG gives you two options. If you consider yourself somewhat of a newbie, then you might be best suited for the native trading platform built by IG. This can be accessed online or via the IG app. Or, if you’re a fan of third-party platform MT4, this is fully compatible with IG.

This means you’ll have access to heaps of technical indicators and the ability to deploy an automated forex trading robot. IG is also worth considering if you are looking to trade forex on margin. In fact, major forex pairs on the trading platform require a margin of just 2%, which equates to leverage of 50x.

If you want to get started with IG, the minimum deposit is $250. You can choose from a debit card payment or bank transfer. Finally, although IG is an international brokerage firm with its headquarters in the UK, it is authorized and licensed by all relevant bodies in the US. As such, Americans can trade forex at IG in a safe, secure, and heavily regulated environment.

IG fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Commission. 2 cents per share for US stocks, 0.10% for UK and EU stocks.
Forex trading fee Spread. 1.4 pips for GBP/USD.
Crypto trading fee Spread. 36 pips for Bitcoin.
Inactivity fee £12 a month after 24 months.
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Top trading platform for forex
  • More than 80 currency pairs offered
  • Spreads start at just 0.8 pips and no commissions charged
  • Trade on the IG website or via the app
  • MT4 is supported
  • More than four decades in the brokerage space
  • Easily fund your account with a debit card or bank transfer

What we don’t like:

  • A minimum deposit of $250
  • No traditional stocks or ETFs for US traders

9. Fidelity – Best Trading Platform for Long-Term Investors

fidelity reviewIf you are looking to create a long-term investment plan from the comfort of your home, Fidelity could be the best trading platform on the table. This is because it offers a significant number of traditional markets and investment strategies.

For example, you can buy and trade stocks from 25 different countries – which subsequently allows you to build a highly diversified, international portfolio of equities. The platform also gives you access to US-listed IPOs. If you’re more of a passive investor,

Fidelity offers thousands of ETFs, mutual funds, and fixed-income bonds, making it a great option if you’re searching for a good ETF trading platform. Fidelity is also great if you’re planning to set up a nest egg for your golden years. This is because it offers everything from annuities and IRAs to life insurance and retirement plans. We also like Fidelity for its comprehensive news and research facility.

For example, you can read market insights, sign up for news alerts, and access real-time quotes. For those of you with little knowledge of the financial markets, there is also the Fidelity Learning Center. When it comes to fees, stocks, ETFs, and options listed in the US can be traded commission-free, which is great.

There are no trading fees on Fidelity mutual funds either, as long as you keep hold of your investment for at least 60 days. If not, you’ll be charged $49.95 to exit your position. If opting to trade with margin, fees are also competitive at 4% upwards. Irrespective of which asset class you plan to trade, Fidelity does have a minimum account balance policy in place.

Fidelity fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee N/A
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Great selection of long-term investment products
  • Access US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options commission-free
  • Covers thousands of markets in 25 different countries
  • Excellent reputation and heavily regulated
  • No minimum account balance
  • Top-rated research and educational materials
  • Advanced analysis tools available for seasoned pros

What we don’t like:

  • Account opening process can be slow
  • No debit card deposits/withdrawals

10. Charles Schwaab – Best Free Trading App with Good Security

Although Charles Schwaab is considered an ‘old-school’ brokerage firm, it actually offers one of the best free trading apps in the space. The platform also offers market-leading security controls that strive to keep you and your Charles Schwab account safe.

For example, you can choose to only accept account logins through fingerprint or face ID, alongside a preset passcode. In terms of tradable markets, Charles Schwab offers a huge number of financial instruments. This includes each and every stock that is publicly-listed in the US – plus OTC (Over-the-Counter) shares and IPOs.

The free trading platform also supported fractional ownership, meaning that you can buy shares from just $5 via the Schwab Stock Slice feature. International stocks at the platform are facilitated via American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and foreign ordinaries. Outside of the stock department, this top-rated trading platform also allows you to invest in ETFs, index funds, mutual funds, bonds, and more.

Again, this can all be accessed with ease via the Charles Schwab mobile app. Much like the other trading platforms we have discussed today, Charles Schwab allows you to buy US-listed stocks and ETFs with low commissions. Plus, there are no minimum deposits or ongoing account fees.

If you’re a seasoned trader, Charles Schwab is also a great option because the platform provides access to several charting platforms – some of which come jam-packed with advanced technical indicators, chart drawing tools, and market insights. When it comes to research, Charles Schwab has integrated its trading platform with 14 top-rated providers. This includes the likes of Thompson Reuters, Moody’s, and Morningstar.

Charles Schwab fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee N/A
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Trusted US-based trading platform
  • Top-rated investment app available on iOS and Android
  • $0 commission on stocks and ETFs
  • All US stocks covered, plus heaps of international shares
  • Industry-leading research facilities
  • 3 trading platforms to choose from
  • No account fee or minimum deposit

What we don’t like:

  • Mutual funds cost $49.95 per investment
  • High margin trading fees

Trading Platform Fees Comparison

Trading fees can eat into profits an make it tricky to see a return on your investment. For this reason, it is important to choose a trading platform that offers low fees, commissions and spreads.

In the table below, we compare the various fees that involved with using each of the best trading platforms. Overnight fees are particularly important for long-term investors who plan to hold trades for several weeks.

Platform Fees
Stock trading
Forex trading
eToro Free Variable spread Overnight fees for CFDs. No overnight fees for non-leveraged stocks, ETFs, and crypto.
Robinhood Free N/A No overnight fees.
Libertex 0%-0.46% commission Commission Yes. Taken at end of each trading day at 9 pm GMT as interest, which may be positive or negative. For CFDs, the overnight fee is triple when holding from Friday to Monday.
Free for US stocks, $6.95 for international stocks Variable spread No overnight fees.
Free for US stocks, £6 for UK stocks & variable commission for other stocks Commission Yes. Vary depending on the instrument.
Plus500 Variable spread Variable spread Yes. Applies to all instruments.
IG £0 – £10 commission Variable spread Yes. Applies to forex, stocks, commodities, and indices.
Fidelity Free for US stocks, variable commission for international stocks N/A No overnight fees.
Free From £9.99 per month Yes. Vary depending on the instrument.

What US Trading Platform Has The Lowest Fees?

According to the above table, Robinhood charges the lowest fees followed by eToro. However, it is important to be aware of undisclosed fees that may occur throughout the trading process. While many platforms are upfront about the fees they charge, it is possible to run into hidden fees when using a trading platform and these will depend on the jurisdiction that you are trading from.

It is also worth noting that the way you use a trading platform can impact the fees that you pay. To avoid running into unnecessary fees, try not to hold positions overnight and ensure that you stay active on your trading account.

How to Choose the Best Trading Platform for You

With so many trading platforms on the market, finding a suitable provider can be a time-consuming process.

After all, you’re going to be investing your hard-earned money, so you need to be 100% confident that your chosen trading platform is right for you and your financial goals.

The good news is that by ticking off a ‘checklist’ of key metrics, finding the best trading platform of 2023 doesn’t have to be monotonous.

The most important factors that need to be considered are as follows:


While you might be tempted to choose a trading platform based on fees or supported markets, your first port of call should be the safety of your funds.

Once again, this is because you will be required to entrust your chosen platform with your capital. As such, you should check to see which financial bodies the provider is licensed by.

FINRA regulation on trading platforms

The best online trading platforms in the space will be regulated by the likes of FINRA and the SEC in the US. Other leading bodies include the FCA and ASIC of the UK and Australia, respectively.

If you’re wondering why you should stick with online trading platforms that are authorized and regulated by the aforementioned bodies, check out the benefits below:

  • Your capital will be kept in segregated bank accounts. This means that the free trading platform cannot use your money to fund its own operations and crucially – to cover its debt obligations.
  • Regulated brokers must comply with anti-money laundering laws. This means all traders using the platform will need to have their identity verified, subsequently keeping crime away.
  • The trading platform will have its books audited by the respective license issuer(s). This ensures a fair and transparent trading environment for all.

Ultimately, choosing a trading platform that is not regulated – or one that is licensed in a shady offshore location, means that your funds are at risk.


Diversification is a good way to mitigate trading risk. Therefore, try to opt for a trading platform that offers a diverse range of financial assets in one place. This will make it easier to diversify your portfolio.

The top trading platforms for beginners that we have discussed today offer markets on the following core asset classes:

  • Stocks and Shares
  • ETFs, Index Funds, and Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • Forex and Commodities
  • Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

You can easily explore whether your preferred financial market is supported by the trading platform by checking out their website.


It goes without saying that the best trading platforms in the online space offer competitive fees. In some cases, platforms offer a simple, transparent pricing structure. However, we have also come across providers that present a confusing, overly complicated fee system. This can make it difficult to know exactly what you are paying.

To help clear the mist, the main fees charged by trading platforms are outlined in more detail below:

Trading Commission

The most important fee that you need to look at is that of the platform’s trading commission. Now, this can come in two different forms. For example, some trading platforms charge a flat fee. This means that you might pay $15 to buy a stock and another $15 when you cash out.

In other cases, you might pay a variable fee. For example, the trading platform might charge 1% on all buy and sell positions. So, if you bought $500 worth of stocks, you’d pay a commission of $5. Then, if you closed your stock position when it was worth $600, you’d pay a commission of $6.

With that being said, if you read through our list of the best online trading platforms further up, you would notice that most of our chosen providers allow you to invest commission-free. This means that you can buy stocks, ETFs, and other asset classes without needing to worry about commissions or fees.


If you are a long-term investor that is looking to hold stocks or funds for several years, you don’t need to pay too much attention to the spread. But, if you are a short-term trader that is looking to buy and sell forex, commodities, or cryptocurrencies – then a spread betting platform is crucial.

For those unaware, a spread is the gap in pricing between the buy and sell rate of a chosen asset. In some cases, this is calculated as a percentage. However, if you’re trading forex, the spread is displayed in ‘pips’. As we covered earlier, the likes of IG offer spreads of just 0.8 pips on major pairs, which is very competitive.

Transaction Fees

You might be surprised to learn that a lot of brokers in the online space charge transaction fees when you deposit and/or withdraw funds. Once again, the amount that you pay – if at all, will vary from platform to platform. Furthermore, you might be charged a flat rate or a percentage based on the amount you deposit.

Other Fees

On top of commissions, spreads, and transaction fees, there are several other charges that you might need to be made aware of before joining your chosen trading platform.

This includes:

  • Inactivity Fee: Some trading platforms will charge you a fee every month if your account is marked as dormant. This is usually after 12 months of inactivity but can be much sooner. Always check this if you have funds in your trading account.
  • Margin Fees: If you are planning to trade with margin, then you must be aware of what funding rates the broker charges. This is usually a percentage amount that is charged for each day that you keep the position open.
  • Account Fees: It is also important that you check whether or not your chosen trading platform charges ongoing account fees. if they do, this is likely to be charged on a monthly basis.

Ultimately, while attempting to understand trading platform fees can be a daunting process, it is crucial nonetheless.

Trading Tools and Features

If you’re looking for a barebones trading platform that allows you to buy and sell assets – you might not be overly concerned with what side features are offered. However, this shouldn’t be overlooked, as there are many useful trading tools that you might be missing out on.

This includes:

Fractional Shares

Having the ability to buy fractional shares is really important if you are a retail client with a limited budget. After all, you might not want to fork out over $3,000 for a single Amazon share or $1,700 for a slice of Google. With this in mind, fractional shares allow you to buy a ‘portion’ of one stock.

etoro trading platform

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit

For example, our top-rated trading platform eToro allows you to invest in any of its 2,400 stocks from just $50. This means that if you were to invest $50 into a stock that is priced at $500, you would own 10% of the respective share. This is not only great for investing with small amounts but creating a diversified portfolio.

Order Types

Irrespective of which trading platform you decide to sign up with, you will need to place an ‘order’ to execute a position. This is because the broker needs to know what you wish to accomplish from your trade. While all trading platforms will offer ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ orders, there are other order types that you will likely want at your disposal.

For example, the best online trading platforms also offer ‘stop-loss’ and ‘take profit orders. Both of these are crucial for trading in a risk-averse manner. Then you have that all-important ‘trailing stop-loss’ order. Offered by trading platforms like eToro, this allows you to keep a profitable position open until it goes down by a certain percentage.

Copy Trading

If you are looking to actively trade the financial markets but don’t have the required experience or know-how, it’s well worth considering a platform that offers a Copy Trading feature. In its most basic form, this allows you to copy a trader like-for-like in a 100% passive nature.


eToro copy trading

Past performance is not an indication of future results

For example, eToro is home to thousands of verified investors that have signed up for the best copy trading platform. You can browse through the profile of each trader – looking at key metrics like past performance, average monthly returns, risk rating, preferred asset class, and average trade duration.

Then, when you find an individual that you wish to copy, it’s then just a case of meeting a $200 minimum. Once confirmed, each and every position that the trader places will then be mirrored in your own trading account. And of course, you can stop copying the trader at any given time.


If you’re a seasoned trader then you will know that the MetaTrader (MT) series is hugely popular. For those unaware, both MT4 and MT5 are third-party trading platforms that sit between you and your chosen brokerage site. Many traders opt for a broker that offers access to these platforms, as they come packed with advanced tools.

For example, both MT4 and MT5 offer:

  • Dozens of technical indicators
  • Chart drawing and customization tools
  • Real-time pricing quotes
  • Mirror trading
  • Ability to deploy automated robots
  • Mobile functionality

Not all trading platforms offer support for MT4 and/or MT5, so you’ll need to check this out if this is something you are interested in.


The financial markets can and will move at an incredibly fast pace. As such, you’ll want to be in the know-how when a key development occurs. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to choose a provider that offers alerts. For example, the best online trading platforms allow you to set up pricing notifications – which can be sent out via the provider’s app or through email.

eToro research tools

This gives you the added benefit of being made aware when an asset hits a specific price target. For instance, you might want to manually trade GBP/USD when the pair reaches 1.36. Additionally, the best trading platforms allow you to set up volatility alerts. This means that you will receive a notification if one of your selected assets experiences a volatile upward or downswing swing.

Education, Research, and Analysis

We find that the best online trading platforms in the online space take things to next level by offering a comprehensive education facility. This means that you can learn the fundamentals of buying and selling financial instruments without needing to use an external provider.

Some of the most useful educational resources offered by top-rated trading platforms include:

  • Guides and blogs on key trading terms
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • E-Books
  • Mini-Courses

In addition to educational resources, we find that the best online trading platforms also offer lots of research and analysis tools. Regarding the former, this might include real-time financial news stories, trading insights, and a breakdown of market sentiment. When it comes to analysis, the best online trading platforms offer advanced chart reading tools – such as technical indicators.

User Experience

If you are looking to trade online for the very first time, then you need to ensure that you choose a provider that offers a seamless user experience. While this isn’t usually a concern when using the provider’s main desktop website, the end-to-end experience can be hit or miss when it comes to its trading app. A user-friendly platform will help you find the information you need quickly and make trades efficiently. Look for a platform that has an intuitive design and easy-to-use interface, with clear information about each trade. A well-designed platform will also be less prone to errors, helping you avoid costly mistakes.

user experience at etoro

After all, if mobile investing is your thing, you will be required to enter buy and sell positions on a small screen. As such, it’s crucial to check how easy the app is to navigate. Not only should this include finding assets and performing research, but entering and exiting orders, checking the value of your portfolio, and depositing/withdrawing funds.

The good news is that in most cases, the best trading platforms will design apps for both iOS and Android devices. In other words, the app will have been built from the group up and crucially – optimized specifically for your operating system. If the trading platform in question offers demo accounts, then you can test this out yourself without needing to risk any money.

Payment Methods

You will need to add some funds to your trading account before you can start buying and selling assets from the comfort of your home. As such, it’s really important to check what payment methods the provider accepts.

In most cases, you will be able to transfer funds from your personal bank account. While some platforms allow you to do this instantly, others require 1-2 working days to process the payment. This is why it’s worth considering a trading platform that also offers debit/credit cards – as the payment is almost always added to your account straight away.

If using our top-rated trading platform eToro, not only can you deposit funds with Visa and MasterCard, but also e-wallets like Paypal, Neteller, and Skrill.

Customer Service

There can be a huge disparity in the level of customer service your chosen trading platform offers. For example, some providers only allow you to obtain assistance via email or an online support ticket. These platforms should be avoided, as it can often take days to receive a reply.

Instead, stick with trading platforms that offer customer support in real-time. The best contact method is that of live chat, albeit, telephone support is also popular.

You also need to explore what days and opening hours the customer support team works. Most platforms don’t offer support over the weekly as the vast majority of financial markets are closed. Usually, support is offered on a 24/5 basis.

How to Get Started with A Trading Platform in The US

So far, this guide has discussed a selection of the best online trading platforms in the online space. We have also explained the many important metrics that you need to consider before choosing a provider. To conclude, we are now going to walk you through the process of getting started with a trading platform. For this, we have opted to show the required steps with top-rated provider eToro – which offers commission-free trades across thousands of markets.

Step 1: Open an Account and Upload ID
Regardless of which trading platform you decide to join, you will need to start the process off by opening an
account. At eToro, this can be achieved in just a few minutes.

eToro sign up

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit

To get the ball rolling, head over to the eToro website and click on the ‘Join Now’ button. You will then be prompted to enter your personal information – such as your full name, nationality, home address, and date of birth. The trading platform also needs your email address and telephone number.

Step 2: Confirm Identity
eToro is not only regulated by the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC – but it is also registered with FINRA. As such,
it is legally required to verify your identity before you are able to make a withdrawal. With this in mind, it’s best to quickly get the verification stage out of the way now. All you need to do is upload a clear copy of the following two documents:

  • Valid passport or driver’s license
  • Utility bill or bank account statement (issued within the last 3 months)

In most cases, eToro will automatically validate the documents – so your account should be verified instantly.

Step 3: Deposit Funds
Now it’s time to find your newly create eToro trading account. You can choose from several convenient payment
methods, including:

  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • E-wallets (Paypal, Skrill, or Neteller)
  • Bank transfer

eToro charges a currency conversion fee of 0.5% on all non-USD deposits. The minimum deposit stands at $200.

Step 4: Browse Supported Trading Markets
Now that you have funded your eToro account, it’s time to search for the asset that you wish
to trade. If you know which market interests you, simply search for it.

Trading at eToro

If you want to view which assets are supported, click on the ‘Trade Markets’ button. You will then see asset classes that you can trade – such as stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, forex, and commodities.

Step 5: Place a Trade
Now that you know which asset you wish to trade, you need to place an order. In our example below, we are looking to trade Bitcoin.

Trading Bitcoin at eToro

As you can see, we entered our stake of $25 into the ‘Amount’ box. If you want to set up a stop-loss and/or take-profit order, go ahead and enter your price targets. Once you are ready to place your commission-free order, click on the ‘Open Trade’ button.


All in all, there are now hundreds of trading platforms to choose from in the US. With this in mind, you need to perform lots of research to ensure that you find a provider that meets your needs.

For example, while some of you might be looking to focus primarily on low fees, others might be searching for a platform that offers a specific market or asset class.

Ultimately, we found that eToro ticks all of the right boxes in what you should be looking for in an online trading platform. For example, it’s heavily regulated, offers thousands of markets, and you trade without paying any commission or ongoing fees.

eToro – Best US Trading Platform with 0% Commission

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit


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Kane Pepi Pro Investor

Kane Pepi Pro Investor

Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Kane has also written for websites such as MoneyCheck, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, Buysharesand the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.


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