Best Online Trading Platforms for US Stocks 2021

With many online trading platforms that give you access to trading in the United States, it can be daunting to know which is the best one for you. To help you choose the best one, our researchers compared over 25 brokerages on a range of categories like cost per trade, platform charges, and access to markets.

Trading US stocks in Singapore can be a lucrative way of investing online. While many of our top picks for online brokerages allow customers to trade in the US, the list below identifies the best platforms based on the lowest fees and ease of use for US trading.

Best Commission-Free Online Trading Platform for US Stocks: TD Ameritrade (Thinkorswim)

TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade

Consider this if you want the lowest fees

Promotions:
Fee TypeCost
Administrative FeesUSD $0
Commission FeeUSD $0
Minimum FeeUSD $0

TD Ameritrade is best for those looking for the cheapest online brokerage since it does not charge a commission per trade, a minimum trading fee, or require an initial deposit for new and existing customers. You can invest in several products, from stocks, ETFs, options and futures. In addition to this, TD allows an unlimited number of day trades when your account has over USD $25,000 deposited in it. While those with less than USD $25,000 in their account are limited to three trades per day, both those who invest either a large or small amount will benefit from TD's low fees.

Furthermore, since TD Ameritrade acquired Thinkorswim, they offer both their standard TD platform and the more-sophisticated Thinkorswim platform for experienced investors. With special features like the ability to test your strategies and monitor risk and reward, the brokerage offers a low-cost comprehensive package for those who plan to trade in the US.

Cheapest Online Trading Platform for US & SG Stocks: Tiger Brokers

Consider this if you want the cheapest rates for both US & SG trading

Promotions:
  • New customers enjoy 5 commission-free trades for stocks denominated in USD and HKD, a free 30-day period of market data for US markets, and trading vouchers for deposits of S$2,000 and over

Market
Tiger Brokers FeeMin CommissionIndustry Average FeeIndustry Average Commission
USUSD $0.01USD $1.990.27%USD $15-$29
Singapore0.08%S$0*0.22%S$22
* Free until Dec 31, 2020; thereafter, it will cost S$2.88

Due to low fees and an unbeatable promotion, Tiger Brokers is the cheapest option for investors looking to trade on US and Singapore exchanges. From now until December 31st, 2020, new clients will receive 5 commission-free trades for stocks denominated in USD (or HKD) and free access to their "Level 2" market research on the US stock market for thirty days. In addition to these, investors who make an initial deposit of over S$2,000 will receive stock vouchers listed in the table below.

Beyond the promotion, Tiger Brokers gives customers live prices for the US and Singapore markets and charges some of the lowest fees for trading in the US and Singapore. Their low fees extend to the full list of products you can invest in, including stocks, ETFs, options, warrants, CBBCs and futures. Trading any of those products in the US will cost USD $0.01 in commission with a minimum of USD $1.99, whereas in Singapore it will cost 0.08% in commission and S$0 per trade (until December 31st, 2020). The platform also does not require an initial minimum deposit, making it appealing for investors who are not looking to invest large sums. Read more here.

Amount Deposited or TransferredStock Voucher Amount
S$2,000-S$5,000S$30
S$5,000-S$10,000S$50
S$10,000-S$30,000S$70
S$30,000 and aboveS$100

Best Overall Online Trading Platform: Saxo Markets

Consider this if you are a beginner

Promotions:
  • New customers will not have to pay a minimum commission to trade SGX equities until April 30th, 2021. Additionally, new and exising customers get free access to real-time level 1 prices for Singapore stocks and CFDs.
TypeClassicPlatinumVIPIndustry Average
Commission Fee per trade0.06%0.05%0.04%0.27%
Minimum Charge per tradeUSD $4USD $4USD $3USD $14.88

Saxo Markets is the best overall platform for trading in the US as it offers both low fees and high quality services. For example, Saxo only charges 0.04%-0.06% in commission per trade and a minimum of USD $4 per trade. Compared to the industry average of a commission fee of 0.27% and a minimum fee of USD $15-$29 per trade, Saxo ranks well against many of its competitors.

Saxo also encourages new users to familiarize themselves with their tools through a trial period of up to 20 days. With this, both new and experienced traders can map out their investments in stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, CFDs and foreign currencies to make sound decisions. Thus, with both low fees and an intuitive platform, Saxo offers the best combination of online tools and low fees for US trading. Read more here.

Best Online Trading Platform for Expert Traders: Interactive Brokers

Consider this if you want access to a variety of markets in the US

Promotions:
ProductType of FeeFee
StocksCommission Fee (Min. Fee)USD $0.0035 ($0.35)
OptionsCommission Fee(Min. Fee)USD $0.15-0.65 per contract ($1.00)

Experienced investors looking to invest in a variety of markets across the US will find Interactive Brokers to be the best platform for their needs. This is due to the large range of products and markets IB customers can trade. Users can trade stocks, ETFs, securities, futures, futures options, fixed income securities, mutual funds, indices, and warrants worldwide, with over 55 specific exchanges in the US. Trading is relatively cheap as well, costing only USD $0.0035 in commission and USD $0.35 as a minimum fee per trade. Be aware, however, since the firm charges several administrative fees which could hike up the overall price. For example, IB charges a monthly active fee of S$0-S$10, depending on how much commission you pay.

Interactive Brokers is also offering a promotional discount on fees for new client's first three calendar months when your Net Liquidation Value is more than USD $100,000, or when the total assets for all related accounts is greater than the number of related accounts multiplied by USD $100,000. While this promotion is not as strong or inclusive as Tiger Broker's, those looking to trade with Interactive Brokers might find this useful to know. Read more here.

How to Choose the Best Online Brokerage

A good start to deciding which online brokerage platform you should trade with is by comparing the fees. This includes the platform costs, the amount that you will have to pay per trade, and the initial sum of money you will have to invest. For instance, Saxo Markets require an initial investment of S$3,000, whereas Tiger Broker's Prime account is not subject to a minimum deposit. Moreover, while Interactive Brokers charges administrative fees, TD Ameritrade's does not charge any brokerage fees. Thus, taking into account the fees which you can expect to pay and how much you wish to invest will ultimately help you decide which brokerage to procure.

It is also worth noting the extent of market access that your brokerage will provide you with. While investing in US stocks might be a priority for you, having a brokerage offer you several other options could help you diversify your portfolio in the long-run. For instance, Saxo Markets and Interactive Brokers will allow you to invest in 36 and 26 global markets respectively, while TD Ameritrade is targeted only for US trading.

Another thing to consider is the legal protection that your trading platform will guarantee. For example, TD Ameritrade's online brokerage offers an asset protection guarantee to secure your funds against unauthorized access. While most firms offer guarantees to some extent, TD Ameritrade is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation ("SIPC"), which protects securities customers of its members up to USD $500,000 (including USD $250,000 for claims for cash).

Lastly, potential customers should consider the online learning tools they can take advantage of with their brokerage. Since there are copious amounts of products to trade (stocks, ETFs, futures, etc.) and the market is distinct from Asian exchanges, having a platform that offers demos (like Saxo Markets) or free third-party research (like TD Ameritrade) might sway you to one brokerage over another.

Methodology

We've compared over 25 online trading platforms in regards to their charges, fees, ease of use, supplementary tools and features to help you choose the best platform to trade in the US. In choosing which platforms to prioritize, we sought to show you the most important details that could determine your US trading experience.

The table below provides commission, minimum fee, platform fees and the initial deposit amount to assist with your trading.

Online BrokerageCommissionMinimum FeePlatform FeesMinimum Deposit
TD AmeritradeUSD $0USD $0USD $0No minimum
Tiger BrokersUSD $0.01/tradeUSD $1.99N/ANo minimum
Saxo Markets0.04%-0.06%USD $3-$4N/AS$3,000
Interactive BrokersUSD $0.0035/shareUSD $0.35USD $10 or lessNo minimum
Summary Table
Tiger BrokersSaxo MarketsInteractive Brokers
City Index (CFD only)IG (CFD only)Standard Chartered
Poems 2.0DBS VickersFSMOne
RHB SecuritiesU TradeiOCBC
KGIFraseri*TradeCitibank Brokerage
Maybank Kim EngLim & Tan SecuritiesOanda
CmCCity IndexPlus 500
E-ToroE-TradeLCG
Anya Wasserman

Anya is a Research Analyst for ValueChampion who focuses on loans and investments in Singapore. Previously, she assisted global consultancies, hedge funds and private equities with primary research at a high-growth fin-tech based in London. A graduate of the University of Oxford and King's College London, Anya is currently interested in applying quantitative research to help consumers make better financial decisions.

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