Interactive Brokers Review

2.344 · 152 REVIEWS
Updated: Oct 5, 2020 · InteractiveBrokers.com  · Is this your company?

InteractiveBrokers is a stock broker. Interactive Brokers offers TWS web and mobile trading platform. InteractiveBrokers.com offers stocks, futures, options, ETFs, forex, CDs, bonds etc. for your personal investment and trading options.

Interactive Brokers

Other websites of this company include www.interactivebrokers.co.uk

Broker Details

Minimum Trade Size: 0.25
Maximum Leverage: 40:1
Minimum to Open Live: $25,000
Established: 1978
Address: One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830, United States
Contact: Unknown
Regional offices:
Regulators: ASIC #AFSL: 453554, IIROC #, SFC #, SEBI #INZ000217730, CSSF #, FCA #208159, FINRA #, SEC #
Prohibited countries: Unknown
Trading platforms: TWS
Web Trading: Unknown
Mobile Trading: Unknown
Currencies: (20+)
Cryptocurrencies:
CFD: (4890+) Gold, Silver, Stocks, Stock Indexes, Bonds, Oil, Other Commodities
Deposit Methods: Bank Wire, ACH (Automated Clearing House), BPAY, Check, Direct Debit, Local Bank Deposits, Transfer from Existing Broker
Withdrawal Methods: Bank Wire, ACH (Automated Clearing House), BACS (Bankers' Automated Clearing Services), Check, Direct Debit, EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), GIRO (General Interbank Recurring Order), SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area)

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2.344 · 152 REVIEWS
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Traders Reviews

Brian,
Minnesota, USA,
May 14, 2015,
Guest

I love interactive brokers. Low spreads and cheap commissions..Good executions, they are geared towards professional traders. So not the best for people who are just starting out or trade little.
 
Adel,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
Dec 4, 2014,
Guest

IB is one of my favorite brokers. First off they are US based / regulated, publicly traded and have a large asset base in both retail and institutional accounts. Their main business is global individual stocks. This puts me at ease in a way, because FX is not their core revenue stream. The TWS platform is excellent and very robust. Good charting, customizablility and tools are also a plus. That being said, the main reason IB is one of my favorite brokers is due to the cost of trading. For FX spreads are among the tightest I've ever seen and execution has been good. My only gripe is with stop orders. If I place a sell or buy stop, there is almost always a delay between the time the order is triggered and the time the order is executed. I believe this is because of their STP model. Since they have to send the order away, it causes this delay. Usually around 2 - 5 seconds. This also happens with equities. Not a deal breaker, but it can definitely cost you big time if you have huge blocks at play. Leverage is average for he USA at 40:1. I don't think you will need more than this unless you are trying to get rich quick. To summarize, I love IB because of their platform, service, support, size, regulation, ACH funding and low cost. I dislike the delays in stop orders. Overall, I love to trade with them.
 
Philippe,
, Hong Kong,
Jun 19, 2014,
Guest

Excellent execution, fair platform , can trade any market , low fees, good reports,
 
Marvin,
Alberta, Canada,
Nov 12, 2013,
Guest

Haven't got an account from IB, but decided to give it up after reading so many bad reviews and plus my bad experience in opening account with them.
I handed in my first application online two week ago, I've uploaded my bank statement, Canadian driver license whatever they asked.
Got first rejection saying that I have to upload my Canadian SIN card photo copy since I'm currently living in Canada.
OK, I uploaded my SIN card and received the 2nd rejection, saying since I had a Canadian SIN then I need to reopen a new application and fill in "Canada" in residence field.
So I opened a new application and attached the same bank statement I've using in previous application, got 3rd rejection saying that my bank statement is out of date, actually the bank statement was from last month and I guess they didn't even open it for review.
So I replied them that the bank statement was the latest one and tried to upload it again.
Now, I've got my 4th rejection saying that they want a debit card statement not the credit card statement!
Don't even bother to apply again, after reading so many interesting reviews, absolutely disappointing.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Dave,
US, USA,
Aug 12, 2013,
Guest

IB trades against you (or the bank they use -- JPMorgan -- trades against you as they have unlimited Fed money to do it). I have traded thousands of trades with them and 10's of thousands of trades with other brokers over more than a decade (profitablly I might add) -- and the way the market recognies your entry with them again and again is rediculous -- they trade against you or the bank they use trades against you. Day trading with them is an absolute scam. You have to trade small and hold for longer periods to make money with them. Any broker that advertises how profitable their Fx customers are should be avoided -- just like the used car salesman that tells you how honest he is. They don't make their money on commisions, they make it on market making. The low rates are the bait. When you deposit funds with their bank then the name of the game for them is to move as much of your funds to their side of the ledger. They trade against you. They target active traders as these are the easiest targets I think.

2010-03-08 2Star It is impossible to reach customer service after market hours. If you have any problems during the market hour, deal with it yourself, because you will not get any assistance from IB. The quickest way is chat, but I have watied for over 30 min. during market hours. If you get anyone on the phone, they are always so dipressed.
Your stops will receive the worst fills and the system will freeze when volatily pick up. It may seem convinint to trade all markets from one platform, but it is not woth it. This truly is the worst brokerage experience we ever had. Stay away!!!!!!!!!!
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Chaz Michaels,
LA, USA,
Jul 10, 2013,
Guest

I switched to IB from TD Ameritrade for the lower fee's a month ago and I couldn't be more disappointed. The Trader Workstation platform is terrible, it's unorganized and tough to navigate through, the charting is bad, you have to pay for just about any type of data, the Account Summary is downright shady, the list goes on... It will literally take you a month to get used to the platform. I've been trading for 10 years and have traded on TD, Etrade, and Scottrade as well and have never experienced anything like this. The Intraday Margin Requirements move to overnight 15 minutes before pits and exchanges close depending on what you're trading. They claim their "SMART Routing Multipurpose" is top of the line but I'm not getting fills like I did for years with other brokerages. I mostly trade Futures, some FX, and maintain a portfolio of stocks, and my results have suffered significantly. It honestly feels like they are trading against you. But the worst part about IB is their Customer Service. They are completely useless and disrespectful. If you're thinking about transferring to IB for cheap commissions, DON'T! It's not worth it.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Rahul,
Sydney, Australia,
Jun 16, 2013,
Guest

The best platform ever . The customer service can improve a but nothing beats this fast and cheap service.
 
o i a ,
riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
Mar 27, 2013,
Guest

Hi there .this is the most worst broker platform i have ever used in my life .i traded UBS ,Baxter,hotspot and many other small platforms .it always hang out very complected and it coast you so much and prices don't reflect real market movement .if you enter a position you will always have a big draw down i don't advice any one to trade with them unless they do a proper correction to there behavior
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Eliot,
London, United Kingdom,
Mar 9, 2013,
Guest

IB is not only the worst broker but one of the worst companies I have ever had the misfortune to deal with.

I transferred money in to fund a CTA account. The day of the transfer they upped their min account size for CTAs thus stopping me from trading. Nice of them to warn me or the CTA himself.
No amount of reasoning from him (even though he brings lots of custom) would change their mind.
I therefore decided to transfer the money out to another broker.

It has taken me months and months to get the money (still haven't got it out).
The transfer was refused as they took 1/10th a cent out of my account saying it was an interest adjustment (I earned no interest on this account, nor should I have been charged anything - no positions were opened or closed).
I assume it was a rounding error in one of their systems.

So after weeks of trying to transfer the money, I transfered 1 cent less.
The transfer goes out but then gets lost as they didn't enter the correct account number.
The receiving bank returns the payment but IB can't locate it.

This is still ongoing.
No one seems to care and my complaints don't get answered.

They send vague messages on their internal message system, which is as bad as the rest of their site.
It's also a complete pain in the a** to login as they have a complicated security process that seems to expire and get confused etc. meaning I have a tough time logging in sometimes.

Overall a horrible experience and I'm yet to get my money back or be offered any apology or compensation.

Avoid like the plague.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Jeff Davis,
Dallas, TX, USA,
Mar 8, 2013,
Guest

Interactive Brokers has proven to be a sub-par broker and broker platform. I trade equities and currencies and their performance is worse than than the other broker platforms I use.
It seems like you get what you pay for, and their very cheap costs are nullified by their poor performance.
Also, "customer service" at IB is an oxymoron.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Peter,
, Hungary,
Mar 8, 2013,
Guest

Everything in 1 place, great execution, great spreads, though their swap rate are not the best. I am using them for FX and stocks.
 
John,
New York, USA,
Feb 21, 2013,
Guest

Interactive brokers are scammers. Stay away from these shady brokers. They will deactivate your account login just to have you call their customer support number.

Instead, when you call them, they attempt to sell you add-ons these you don't even need. Horrible experience. Much rather work with a real broker instead of these scammers. Buyer be aware.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Chris Allen,
Toronto, Canada,
Jan 20, 2013,
Guest

Interactive Brokers has best execution and lowest commission / spreads. They are good at this. I only trade futures even currencies and thier commssion is lowest that help me make good scalp trades. Thier platform and customer service is okay or worse sometimes. But trust me, in trading execution and commission counts, anything else is just nice to have but not necessary.
 
Hank,
Florida, USA,
Dec 16, 2012,
Guest

First of all, these guys have no regard for their customers. They failed to exercise options worth $8000, supposedly as risk prevention. If you understand how giving away your money somehow protects your account, you are smarter than me. Note, I am not talking about market priced liquidations. I am talking about giving away options of considerable value, and getting nothing in return.

Second, the Web Trader product is completely unreliable. I have witnessed it change terms of my order entry on its own. Further, the site constantly becomes unresponsive.

Third, the company recently adopted a policy of "preemptive liquidation". This means that even if you are in margin compliance, they might still liquidate you if they think you MAY not be in margine compliance the next day. This is bad. Worse, if you call Interactive Brokers and ask them which positions they are concerned about, or which positions may be liquidated, they can't tell you. IB engages in this practice even while claiming it cannot accurately predict future margin requirements. In fact, more times than not, in my personal experience, IB's pre-emptive liquidations have not only failed to reduce margin requirements, but actually served to INCREASE them.

Fourth, after putting up with this cr** for too long, i tried to transfer my assets to another broker. Interactive Brokers was not cooperative with this process.

There are a host of other reasons to not use Interactive Brokers, and i will add to them at a future time.

This is my first blog EVER. I have nothing to gain from writing it, but i do hope to prevent others from making the same mistake I did by signing up with this horror of a brokerage firm.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Per Hansen,
Copenhagen, Denmark,
Nov 10, 2012,
Guest

All the bad reviewers are blaming IB for their bad trades. Look at their spreads man. Nobody can come close, not even Oanda. They do not trade against you. They did not get to be that big by deception and fraud. They are exceedingly good at what they do: Execution at bare bones prices. That is their game, and their only game, and they at the top of it.
 
John Becker,
Houston, USA,
Sep 20, 2012,
Guest

I read the comments on Interactive Brokers and was shocked. I have had excellent (not perfect) service with any inquiry made on trades, commissions, fees, etc. In general, I have had no major problems. Their platform takes some learning time but works fine; their margin rates are the lowest I can find; they need more documentation for their platform and the format is awful. The firm is rated best by Barron's. I can't believe the responses here.
 
Old China Hand,
Hong Kong, Hong Kong,
Sep 1, 2012,
Guest

Traded with IB for many years. They don't trade against you. There are no re-quotes, I often get price improvement one limit orders - YES LIMIT orders. And I love the fact that I work orders between teh already tight spreas - ie. if I see a 1 1/2 pip spread, I can better the bid and quite often get my fill.

Service, it's hit or miss. I find the HK office quite good when I need to call but there are different levels of experience on their service desk. I rarely have to contact them though as things run very smoothly. Most important for me is that they are well capitalized and run a conservative business.
 
customer,
, USA,
Aug 15, 2012,
Guest

IB started fine. It is turning into a deplorable outfit with appalling customer service. The owner of this operation needs to listen on the phone conversations his workers have with clients. There is obviously no quality control with regards to professionalism and decency. I had some complaints and recommendations and instead of compassion I got a gangster attitude and smart alek responses. Most of the people who work there are very professional but the one who ruins it ruins it for everyone. I am seriously thinking of going to the competition as soon as I can find a broker that is on the same level. The owner of this company obviously does not have a role in monitoring and weeding out shockingly rude behaviour to simple questions regarding new products and why IB doesn't have new products it should have. Instead of writing down the responses they just tell you to make an online request, which is a hassle because Google Chrome does not work well, with their platform. The guy who answered didn't have the decency to refer me to tech support, was apathetic,and said the Google Chrome issue was "your problem". He had no intention of making his customer happy and just answers the phone for his paycheck. A smart alec,antagonistic, rude punk answers the phone, not a civilized professional. And when I requested to speak to customer service, I was put on hold forever. I gave up. State officials and the Better Business Bureau should be notified.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
help me,
China, China,
Aug 11, 2012,
Guest

No possibility to complaint with Interactive brokers Asia and Salvatore Recco

Due to instability of Interactive Brokers systems and incompetence of "Salvatore Recco", I lost lot of money. It would not have happened with a competent and professional broker. But Salvatore Recco(Head of Institutional Services Asia) was slow, not polite, unprofessional, giving lame excuses and possibly make big money on my back.

0/IB asia has no independent complaint officer(the CEO so wont bother to answer). If a senior IB staff is incompetent, you could not complain.No one is checking what they are doing in Asia, so manipulations of the records/transactions and wrong doing can be done by their staffs in Asia.
1/ zero transparency: you wont get any records ( transaction, transcripts,...). "Salvatore Recco" is blocking my access to any records because he made the mistakes.
2/ you will not be able to speak or see face to face, "Salvatore Recco"or a manager or a complaint officer in Hong Kong or Asia. They will just hide and send you a small potato guy.Thank to The small potato, I discovered that Salvatore Recco was lying and the staff might know his wrong doing.
3/ IB/Salvatore Recco will hide and refer you to a US complaint or any virtual manager in other continents.
4/ their methods in order that you give up your complaints, its their complaints tickets systems, it will take many months/ years instead of a day. They will tell you that they will get back to you within few days but instead give you lame excuses few month later. By that time all records could be modified by IB.
5/they have many others tricks so be careful, they can make you push to accept new rules at their favors when you later login,...
6/ they are not going to compensate you for their staffs mistakes for sure! Because They do not have any compensation fund aside in Asia !

On internet I find others complaints about "Salvatore Recco", if you have any problems with him or IB, please help me. I spend money on a lawyer and complaint SFC and regulator without any answer!!!
Help me because "Salvatore Recco" is blocking my complaint as he was the one involved and a head and possibly make a big money in my back!


 
AB,
Baltimore, USA,
Aug 9, 2012,
Guest

After reading the poor reviews, I think I needed to come in the defense of IB. I've had an IB account probably for over 10 years. Tried many other brokers and this one is the best for me. I think most of the problems are 1) people do not take the time to learn their platform, they have many online courses to do that; 2) if your trade gets closed out because of your low margin, reread their policy; 3) IB is geared to professionals and if you need hand holding they are not the place for you to start. Their phone support is poor. 4) They are one of the largest brokers with the most capital in the world and do not do high risk trading where they will disappear with your money - if you don't think about the safety of your account your playing with fire at other brokers 5) they have the best ways to interface into their platfrom if you have that level of sophistication, ie, Java, C++, Excel etc. Others don't come close. 6) Seems some of the bad posts are from their competitors :)
 
Mark ,
Philadelphia, USA,
Jul 19, 2012,
Guest

IB has the worst customer service in the world. They actively lie to you and most of the time will never get back to you. They will not speak with you period. If there is a problem, they won't resolve it. For three months I have tried to spend our soft dollar and finally, we just switched brokers and still have tons left and now they are saying, well you can't use softdollars because you're closing, yet for three months, they wouldn't retun emails or chats or anything. SIMPLY TERRIBLE STAY AWAY. There are too many other options. Note, they are missing earings as people see how bad they really are.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Tassaro,
The Hague, Netherlands,
Jun 16, 2012,
Guest

I thought I was the only one to dislike IB but I see lots of folks here so too. I have used them for many years for day trading and long term positions. My two biggest issues are

A) the appalling platform. If you are a professional stick with them, but if you are little guy better start off with the bucket shops because this platform will kill your account. I am not even sure what the learning curve for professionals can be !!. This TWS is so unfriendly that you are better off using their rudimentary web trader or their iPhone app.

B) the accounting needs a PhD in finance !! I never figured out what my PnL were. I saw charges here and there, several currencies floating around, a complete mess for someone who only needs to know the basics. I could only figure out my PnL using my own notes

Service can be bad and irritating sometimes. I also noticed that with several executions on my unattended stop/limit working orders IB would go against me: i.e. On several limit orders I was not filled less 1 point/pip and then the position would take off leaving me with large lost profits. In stop orders I would get filled on the last point/pip and then the position would go against me. I checked the charts many times against my timing and they didn't make sense. I didn't contact CS because it's impossible.

However their margin rates seem incredibly low ~1.8% when most brokers offer 2.5%-7%. Commission are extremely low and spread are too good to be true. Still I believe all these low rates come at the very high price of my above points. I never felt secure trading with them as I was lost into that maze of their accounting and platform.

It's your choice, but if you are small stick with a bucket shop with a friendly interface even at higher charges and keep your losses small and understand your charges well. I must say at this point that one needs to educate himself very good about trading. If you don't understand how your broker works could be because he doesn't want you too. Trading and all related broker services should be simple and clear or your account will suffer.
 
Louis,
, Australia,
Apr 23, 2012,
Guest

IB is cheap. Don't buy a Honda and expect Rolls Royce service. I have been using them for over 2 years now, and although service is lousy and TWS is unbelievably complicated (and gets completely updated / changed the very moment you think you have it sorted out), I have found them stable, reliable and by far the cheapest.

My advice, if you do straight forward, high volume trading - and you know what you doing - use IB. If you are new to the game, experimenting or put off by overly complicated technology, get somebody else.
 
HQFTrader,
, Germany,
Apr 14, 2012,
Guest

I traded Forex and Futures with them. I made over 100 trades per day and traded over 100 Lots per day in the major forex pairs. I can say they trade against you. They notice your actions. On other broker the same system and parameters made gains but not when at IB. It is a bit strange, but they adapt the prices in a certain way that my systems do not work. Other problem with IB is liquidity. For the most major pairs you have only 1 MM per side. Ok, on EURUSD you can trade up to 5 or 10 MM. But this is not much when you see their spreads. Trading 10 lots on EURUSD at the same time is not much, if you have some strategies with autotrading. Other brokers have up to 50 MM per side on EURUSD. Well, but only Reuters Dealing or within a bank you have access to liquidity. But IB says we are the biggest and best and so on. If you test it in reality it is not so good. Sometimes I have watched the executions within seconds. I have seen that before the trade price was given the bid or ask side changed one tick against me. Always against me, time, size etc. does not matter. After some weeks it did disappear. After first week everything was ok. But after that nothing worked when I compare it to other brokers. Try some of the swiss brokers for Forex. I have seen some good ones but I did not trade it with multiple 100 lots per day, I must say. If you have the money try Reuters or do it within a bank. DBFX does not exist anymore. So there are only Citi and UBS as global players in Forex trading. Anything else is only a game or bet against the broker. I had a very good opinion for IB before I made lots of trades. My experiences 10 years ago were excellent in futures trading. And yes, IB is only white label.
 
matt correia,
Florida, USA,
Apr 6, 2012,
Guest

Avoid IB like the plague!!!!
Interactive brokers are idiots with options. I was holding a credit spread with a fixed loss and fixed margin that they force liquidated despite the fact that i had plently of excess liquidity and my margin was non fluctuating. They said i voilated their leverage threshold intra day and i posed danger to the firm. How is that possible when i was holding a fixed loss position that my account was able to cover the max loss??? idiots! im arbitrating against finra for my money back. They said anytime the gross position value to net liquidation value is above 50:1 they auto liquidate with little regard. They dont even disclose this anywhere on their forms. They would not turn off their auto liquidator either when i complained, i had to transfer the positions out of there to another broker before i was robbed of everything. End of story i lost 30% of my account value in 2 days to their wrecklessness.
  1 trader has found this review helpful

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum deposit for Interactive Brokers?

There is no minimum deposit required by InteractiveBrokers for both IBRK LITE and IBRK PRO.

How much does Interactive Brokers charge per trade?

InteractiveBrokers charges a tiered commission based on the combined Monthly Trade Value of Spot Forex trades.

Monthly Trade Value: USD<= 1,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.20 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.20

Monthly Trade Value: USD 1,000,000,001 - 2,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.15 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.15

Monthly Trade Value: USD 2,000,000,001 - 5,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.10 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.125

Monthly Trade Value: USD > 5,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.08 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.10

Does Interactive Brokers charge a dormant account fee (inactivity fee)?

Whether Interactive Brokers charges a monthly inactivity fee or not depends on the account type.

  • IBKR Pro Accounts:

IBKR Pro accounts are subject to a monthly activity fee of USD 10 (USD 20 if the account balance is USD 2,000 or below).
If any fee, withdrawal, transfer or adverse market move reduces the account balance to USD 0, the account will be automatically closed.

  • IBKR Lite Accounts:

IBKR Lite accounts, however, are not subject to a monthly minimum activity fee.

What is IBKR Lite in Interactive Brokers?

IBKR Lite is an IBKR pricing plan that boasts below features.

  • Unlimited, commission-free trading in US listed stock and ETFs
  • Access to global markets
  • Trading via Client Portal, IBKR Mobile and Trader Workstation (TWS)
  • No account minimums and no inactivity fees.

Who is eligible for Interactive Brokers' IBKR Lite?

The IBKR Lite is offered with some restrictions. See the explanations below.

  • To direct US clients
  • Any client of an Introducing Broker (not omnibus brokers)
  • Direct accounts have to be natural person (i.e. cannot be Legal Entity, Org, etc.).
  • For standalone trust accounts, all trustees/beneficiaries on the account must be natural persons.
  • For trust accounts that are under an advisor, the trustees/beneficiaries may be legal entities.