Charles Schwab's flat-rate commissions are lower than the industry average and equity trades cost $4.95 - whether you're trading 100 or 1,000 shares. Customers can trade 200+ commission-free ETFs and nearly 4,000 no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds for free. You'll need at least $1,000 to open an account, but that requirement is waived if you set up automatic monthly deposits of at least $100 or open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account linked to your Schwab One brokerage account.
You'll pay $76 to buy a mutual fund that's not on the NTF list (but there's no fee to sell it). Margin rates are higher than the industry average: You'll pay 8.5% if your debit balance is below $25,000. Higher balances may make you eligible for lower interest rates.
Estimate your total return and total fees spent over the time period based on the investing style that matches your brokerage needs.
Like most brokers, Schwab tiers its commissions on the basis of customer access. Online stock trades cost $4.95, while automated phone orders carry a $5 surcharge and broker-assisted trades carry a $25 surcharge.
Schwab ETF OneSource carries no transaction charge so long as the trades are entered online and the fund is included within its OneSource featured ETFs. Broker assistance adds $25 to the transaction for ETFs as well. Regular equity commission fees apply for ETFs outside of the OneSource platform.
International Stocks or ADRs are priced at the same $4.95, plus a $50 foreign transaction fee.
Options carry the same underlying stock commission plus $0.65 per contract (recently reduced from $0.75). Investors who make a qualifying net deposit of at least $100,000 could be eligible for up to 500 commission-free online equity and options trades good for two years.
Margin rates are higher than the industry average: You'll pay 8.5% if your debit balance is below $25,000. Reduced margin rates are available for investors with a debit balance higher than $25,000. Schwab's current base rate is 6.5%.
Mutual funds carry no transaction charge, as long as the trades are entered online and the fund is included within Mutual Fund NTF list. Broker assistance also adds $25 to the transaction. For funds outside of the NTF list, the transaction fee is $76.
One of Schwab's major features is Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. It allows investors to create an optimized portfolio with ETFs and/or mutual funds based on the investor's risk profile without any advisory, commission or account service fees.
Schwab's miscellaneous fees are similar to industry standard. They have $0 fees for opening or maintaining a regular or retirement account (with a $1,000 minimum for opening an account). Schwab also doesn't charge any fees for opening or maintaining a Schwab Trading Services Account.