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E-Trade® review 2024

Updated January 2, 2024
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E-Trade: Best for

  • Active trading
  • Robust trading platforms
  • No-transaction-fee mutual funds

E-Trade was one of the first online discount brokers for retail investors, and over 40 years since its inception, the company is still among the top brokerages out there. You’ll get access to thousands of no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds and won’t pay commissions on stock or ETF trades. New investors can benefit from the vast research and educational content available on E-Trade, while 24/7 access to customer service makes getting answers about your account quick and easy. 

Advanced traders will also appreciate the broker’s sophisticated trading platforms and mobile app for investing on-the-go. You’ll be able to trade a wide range of securities, and frequent traders can earn a discount on options commissions.

While E-Trade is a solid broker overall, you’ll still pay fees for transferring your account, and fractional shares of stocks aren’t available. If you’re looking for the most comprehensive broker, you might want to consider Charles Schwab or Fidelity, both of which offer fractional shares on new stock purchases. Interactive Brokers is another full suite option.

E-Trade: In the details

Broker logo
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Accounts & Trading
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Research and Education
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
About Bankrate Score
Minimum Balance
Cost per stock trade
Cost per options trade
$0.65 per contract or $0.50 per contract with 30+ trades per quarter
Commission-free ETFs
No-transaction-fee mutual funds
6,000+ NTF mutual funds
Securities tradable
Stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, options, futures
Customer service
Email, phone, online chat are all 24/7
Account fees
$75 for full transfers
Mobile app
E-Trade offers the E-Trade Mobile app on both Android and Apple

Pros: Where E-Trade stands out

Power E-Trade

Power E-Trade is the broker’s flagship trading platform, which it brought over from rival broker OptionsHouse, acquired years ago. The well-regarded web-based platform provides more than 100 technical studies and more than 30 drawing tools to help investors analyze the trading action. 

It also provides tools to help you trade more profitably: 

  • Overlay technical patterns on the stock chart to help you understand what’s going on
  • Show your risk-reward on options trades, breakevens and more
  • Scan for unusual stock activity, such as high-volume stock and option trades

Other tools include a snapshot analysis, which provides a visual representation of the risk and reward of an options trade. Similarly, a spectral analysis tool offers visual representations of potential options scenarios. The platform also offers streaming of Bloomberg TV right onto your desktop.

Funds without transaction fees

E-Trade offers more than 6,000 no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds, among the upper echelon in the industry. Yes, Interactive Brokers has more total no-transaction-fee mutual funds, but E-Trade offers more than enough funds to find what you need. Plus, you’ll be able to set up a recurring investment in mutual funds for as little as $25 per scheduled investment. 

E-Trade offers all its ETFs commission-free, adding a solid complement to the wealth of mutual funds. Of course, while mutual funds and ETFs may not have a commission, investors still must pay the fund company’s expense ratio, which is deducted seamlessly from the fund itself.

Discounted options commissions

Like most of the industry, E-Trade’s basic commission for stock and ETF trades has been slashed to $0. But unlike many rivals, the broker offers a discounted commission for options trades. The standard price is $0.65 per contract, but if you make more than 30 stock, ETF or options trades each quarter, the options commission declines to $0.50 per contract. So there’s definitely some incentive for high-volume traders to operate here.

E-Trade’s account minimum is just $0, so you can get started without adding any money to your account, though of course you won’t be able to buy anything until you fund the account. E-Trade has long offered no minimum for IRA accounts. No account minimum puts the broker in line with all the other major online brokers.

Tradable securities

E-Trade offers the standard range of investment choices, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, options and mutual funds. That’s the case for most brokers, but E-Trade also provides one of the lesser-offered asset classes – futures. Only a handful of brokers allow customers to trade one of the fastest-paced and high-risk securities in the market. While that has limited appeal for newer investors, more advanced traders may find the addition a bonus. 

E-Trade does not currently offer trading in cryptocurrencies directly, but you can purchase investments related to crypto such as futures or ETFs. The broker says it plans to offer more crypto investment options once the regulatory environment more fully develops.

Trading platforms

The real standout here is E-Trade’s flagship platform, Power E-Trade, but the broker’s base platform, called E-Trade Web, offers a solid package, too. It’s for investors who don’t require all the advanced trading analysis but are still looking for a platform that helps source ideas.

The web platform provides streaming quotes, charts and market commentary. Its screeners will help you select the stocks, bonds or funds that meet your needs. You can analyze options trades and backtest trading strategies, and you’ll have access to research here, too.

And for mobile traders, the broker offers E-Trade Mobile, the base trading app. It’s available for both Apple and Android devices, including the Apple Watch. The app allows you to trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds and multi-legged options, and you’ll be able to access Bloomberg TV, research and news as well.

The app also allows you to do a few of the more mundane financial tasks, such as deposit checks, transfer money and pay bills, so it’s not all about trading.

The broker also brings its Power E-Trade app to mobile, offering many of the same tools and features as its fully featured namesake platform.

Research and education

E-Trade gets high marks here, too. The broker provides its own daily commentary on the markets and offers third-party research. Independent research includes stock reports from Thomson Reuters, Morgan Stanley, Argus and TipRanks, and fund analysis from Morningstar, among others. It’s a broad array of research that’s offered to clients at no additional charge.

If you’re just getting started, E-Trade has you covered with tons of articles, videos and classes as well as a library of finance topics. You’ll be able to attend webinars or live events on investing topics, from the basics to complex trading strategies for those looking for an edge. Plus, you’ll get E-Trade’s commentary on what’s trending.

Cons: Where E-Trade could improve

Account fees

E-Trade still charges those pesky “transfer out” fees when you want to move your money to another brokerage. And frankly, it’s hard to blame brokers too much, because it’s a charge that may incentivize you to stay. E-Trade charges you $75 for a full transfer. However, rival Fidelity has eliminated that fee, in line with its investor-friendly reputation.

Fractional shares

At E-Trade, you can reinvest your dividends into fractional shares. This allows you to roll the whole payout into more stock, which is a nice feature for investors looking to amass wealth. However, the broker does not allow investors to purchase partial shares, so you’ll be limited to buying whole share amounts. That puts the broker at a disadvantage to Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments, both of which offer fractional shares on both dividend reinvestment and purchases. Other rivals that include fractional share purchase are Robinhood and tastytrade.

Review methodology

Bankrate evaluates brokers and robo-advisors on factors that matter to individual investors, including commissions, account fees, available securities, trading platforms, research and many more. After weighting these objective measures according to their importance, we then systematically score the brokers and robo-advisors and scale the data to ensure that you are seeing the top options among a field of high-quality companies. Read our full methodology.