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Robinhood and Webull are two of the most popular investing apps, and millions of users have flocked to them for their ability to quickly trade and track stocks, options and cryptocurrency.
Robinhood has been dinged in the past for its inability to always keep its service operational, especially during the GameStop short squeeze. So for those looking for another broker, Webull competes favorably with Robinhood in a number of key areas, if not beating its rival. Robinhood is great for no-cost trading, a slick mobile app and fractional shares, while Webull has useful charts, retirement accounts, offers fractional shares and still gets the trading job done with no commissions.
So which is better for you? That depends not only on what each broker offers but also on what features you truly need. Here’s how these apps compare on some of the most common features.
|Stocks and ETF commissions||$0||$0|
|Options commissions||$0 per contract||$0 per contract|
|Tradable securities||Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptocurrency||Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptocurrency|
|Account fees||$75 transfer-out fee||$75 transfer-out fee|
|No-transaction-fee mutual funds||None||None|
|Account types||Individual taxable accounts (but IRAs appear to be on the way)||Individual taxable accounts, IRAs (traditional, Roth and rollover)|
|Mobile app||Mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store||Mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store|
|Fractional shares||For purchases and dividend reinvestment||For purchases|
|Customer support||Email, chatbot and 24/7 call-back||Phone 24/7, email and in-app chat|
Topics covered on this page
- Account Minimum
- Tradable securities
- Account types
- Fractional shares
- Customer support
- Other factors
- Bottom line
Robinhood was the investing app that kicked off the no-cost trading frenzy for stocks, ETFs and options, and then added cryptocurrency trading to the mix, too. But recently an able competitor has emerged in Webull, which offers many of the same no-cost trading features.
While most online brokers now allow zero-commission trading of stocks and ETFs, too, Robinhood and Webull offer that and no-cost trading for options, a real differentiator. That compares to the industry standard of $0.65 per contract, though some brokers offer discounts for high-volume traders.
Both brokers offer cryptocurrency trading with no out-of-pocket costs, though you’ll implicitly pay a spread markup on any transactions, so it’s more like the costs are hidden in the trading price. Of course, there’s nothing uncommon in this pricing structure, as it’s typical in forex markets.
Here Webull wins points for publicly disclosing its spread markup (100 basis points, or 1 percent of the trade value). Robinhood does not reveal how much you’ll pay via the spread, however.
Generally, both brokers are comparable in terms of account costs, with no activity fees or ongoing account fees. Both do charge a $75 transfer-out fee — while at least one big broker, Fidelity Investments, charges nothing. So you won’t notice this fee until you’re ready to leave either Robinhood or Webull and need to move securities out of your account.
Neither Robinhood nor Webull has an account minimum, so investors of all wealth levels can get started immediately. No account minimum is a top feature of the best brokers for beginners.
Robinhood and Webull cater to the most popular trading categories, meaning that they don’t offer some other securities that are usually offered at other brokers (forex, bonds and mutual funds, for example). Instead, these investing apps stick to stocks, ETFs, options and crypto.
That’s a clear downside for traders looking to get involved in some of these other fast-paced sectors of the market, but the vast majority of investors won’t need those sectors to amass a comfortable nest egg. So this narrowed selection will work well for most investors.
That said, a clear negative is that neither Robinhood nor Webull offers trading in mutual funds, which may not be a dealbreaker if you’re only choosing these brokers for short-term trading. But investors looking for mutual funds will want to turn to a top broker with an offering in that area.
Robinhood and Webull both have a restricted set of account types. Robinhood offers only an individual taxable account for now, but it may finally be about to step up with a move to IRAs, if reports from Bloomberg prove to be true. An IRA would be a welcome addition to its stable, since investors have been severely limited on this dimension of Robinhood’s service.
If your financial needs expand beyond these accounts, you’ll likely need one of the bigger brokers that offers a more comprehensive set of accounts, such as Charles Schwab.
Robinhood is a great pick if you need fractional shares. The broker allows you to reinvest dividends in stock and invest directly in stock with fractional ownership. The combination is not something that many large brokerages such as E-Trade or Merrill Edge offer, though each of these latter brokerages permit dividend reinvestment.
Robinhood lets you invest with as little as $1, and it can divide stock into chunks as little as one-millionth of a share. Robinhood allows partial shares in all but the smallest stocks and those trading below $1 per share. So Robinhood sits among the best brokers for fractional shares.
Webull is no slouch here either, but not quite as good. The investing app permits investors to purchase fractional shares, though reinvesting in fractional shares is not offered. But that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker at all: You’ll just have to invest your cash dividend yourself.
Webull and Robinhood are more closely matched here than they had been previously, after Robinhood’s relatively recent upgrade to 24/7 call-back support. At Robinhood, you’ll also be able to email customer support or consult with its sometimes-useful chatbot or FAQs.
Meanwhile, Webull customer support is available by phone 24/7 and is accessible via email and in-app chat. It also has an online help center for more routine questions.
Neither investing app has any physical branches for customers who need in-person support.
Both Webull and Robinhood offer one of the easiest bonus promotions to achieve, even if it ends up being a modest freebie. Each gives away a free share or two of stock, including some of the market’s pricier stocks, even if you’re likely to receive a share trading for a few bucks. Still, you won’t have to pony up big bucks for a promotion as you will at the larger brokers, even if you’re guaranteed to get a bigger payday there.
Robinhood and Webull both offer instant funding of accounts, allowing you to get an initial credit of up to $1,000 as the broker awaits your bank transfer to arrive. If you subscribe to Robinhood Gold, the broker’s $5 per month premium program, you’ll receive higher instant transfer amounts, the ability to trade on margin (at some the industry’s cheapest interest rates), Level II market data and access to Morningstar’s stock research.
While Webull offers only limited research, it provides a nice suite of charting tools and a few dozen technical indicators. Even if you don’t use these tools much or at all, it’s an impressive visual experience. Plus, you can hone your trading chops with a paper money account that gives you $1 million in virtual cash and lets you run wild on the trading platform. Webull doesn’t charge for access to a margin account and offers a sliding scale on rates that goes as low as 4 percent, so the cost here is generally less competitive than Robinhood.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Robinhood has been hit from time to time with service outages, especially during periods of intense market activity. This level of unreliability may be a turn-off to traders who need to jump into the market to make a trade at a specific time.
Robinhood and Webull run a dead heat in so many categories that it can be tough to call a winner. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use investing app, either will do nicely — though Webull’s charting apps really do add a nice advantage. So your needs are likely to be the deciding factor in which is better. If you need slick charting and a paper trading account, then Webull may be your choice. If you need low-cost margin, you might opt for Robinhood. That said, opening multiple brokerage accounts can have some key benefits, too.