TradeStation Vs. Interactive Brokers: Find Out Which is Best in 2020?

TradeStation is a trading platform with more than three decades of experience offering trading services to brokers, investors, and traders. As the company became popular among the serious traders, it has cut down even the minimum charges to make its services more attractive to the investors. 


Interactive Brokers leads the market by offering its clients access to more than 120 market centers. The company was founded 42 years back, and its traders mainly consist of individuals and organizations who want to trade professionally. Interactive Broker is an ideal platform for beginners and non-professionals who want low entry barriers in terms of trade fees and brokerage charges. 

Interactive Brokers

Trading Services

TradeStationInteractive Brokers
Stock tradingAvailable Available 
Futures TradingAvailable Available 
Options TradingAvailable Available 
International focusNot available Available 
Web-based platformAvailable Available 
Mac Desktop platformNot available Available
Windows DesktopAvailableAvailable
Android mobile platformAvailable Available
iOS mobile platformAvailableAvailable 
Research toolsBelow AverageExcellent 
Custom chart studiesExcellentBelow Average

One of the major differences between both the trading platforms is that Interactive Brokers offers international trading, whereas we found from broker comparison 2020, TradeStation mainly focuses on domestic capital markets.

Interactive Brokers offers its trading software for both Windows and Mac along with Android and iOS mobile phones. On the contrary, TradeStation doesn’t support the Mac operating system. 

Fees and Commissions

Interactive Brokers don’t charge any flat fee; however, they charge a fee on the basis of per stock. TradeStation, on the contrary, opts for a flat fee. TradeStation offers its clients more flexibility when it comes to fees and commissions. 

TradeStation Interactive Brokers
Stock TradesFlat fee or per share Per-share fee
Mutual Funds$14.95 per trade$14.95 per trade
Options Trades Flat fee or per contractPer contract

TradeStation charges a flat fee of $5 for all stock trades. In the case of direct market access, $0.004 per share surcharge is levied. If a trader prefers per-share price, TradeStation offers $0.01 per share for the initial 500 shares and later on charges $0.006 for other shares. Additionally, TradeStation also offers unbundled pricing, which is determined by the number of completed trades last month. 

Account Types

Both Interactive Brokers and TradeStation offer a variety of account options, and clients can adjust their opening accounts when they want even after opening it.

The five accounts of TradeStation are:

  1. Joint account
  2. Individual account
  3. IRA
  4. Entity
  5. Custodial

The five accounts of Interactive Brokers are:

  1. Individual
  2. Joint 
  3. Trust
  5. IRA

Customer Support

Customer support for traders of Interactive Brokers is available 24 hours for five days a week. Customer support from the TradeStation is also similar. The support is given via email, phone call, and chat & to know more about their customer services, please check our TradeStation Platform Review.

Desktop Platform

The desktop platform that TradeStation offers is free for T.S. select customers. The platform is equipped with powerful features like a trade ticket along with advanced tools. Other features are bracket orders, direct access routing, OCO, and variety of duration choices. 

TradeStation Desktop Platform

Charts offered by TradeStation have very robust tools like technical studies, drawing tools, and order tickets. Based on differentiating between TradeStation & Charles Schwab, under the Trading Apps menu, there are widgets. Highlights include options platform, Level II quotes and time, and sale window. 

Interactive Broker has a desktop platform named Trade Workstation and has features somewhat similar to TradeStation’s platform. 

Desktop TWS

Charting on TradeStation has many advanced tools like 30 seconds of candles and right-click trading. There is also artificial intelligence with the name iBot. 

Pros and Cons

TradeStation has low trading fees, and it gives access to a wide range of products. Here are some pros and cons of TradeStation:

Low Trading feesThe complicated process of account opening
A huge number of tradable productsLimited education material
Quick and efficient customer supportNot user-friendly withdrawal and deposits

Interactive Brokers is a brokerage firm that targets active traders along with hedge funds.  One of the major advantages of Interactive Brokers is its low commission on futures trades and options. Interactive Brokers offers access to 100 markets worldwide. The firm also provides a huge selection of different products for trading. Here are some of the pros and cons of Interactive Brokers:

Interactive Brokers offers best margin interest ratesIt only focuses on active traders.
Wide range of products for trading$10 monthly charges for the basic market data feed. 
No minimum amount to open an accountThe very complicated fee structure 
The most powerful professional trading platforms called Trader WorkstationTrader workstation is designed for professional traders. The steep learning curve for beginners. 

Both firms offer an impressive trading platform, and many active traders use them. TradeStation is better for trading in cryptocurrencies while interactive Brokers are known for global trading. TradeStation has now canceled monthly software fees, and with $2000 of minimum deposit, it is easier to try the trading software.