Interactive Brokers Review

2.344 · 152 REVIEWS
Updated: Sep 1, 2020 ·  · Is this your company?

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

Interactive Brokers

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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+)
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
Forex Peace Army

Let other traders know if this service is worth checking or should be avoided.

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Traders Reviews

John Becker,
Houston, USA,
Sep 20, 2012,

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,

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.
, USA,
Aug 15, 2012,

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,

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!

Baltimore, USA,
Aug 9, 2012,

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,

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
The Hague, Netherlands,
Jun 16, 2012,

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.
, Australia,
Apr 23, 2012,

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.
, Germany,
Apr 14, 2012,

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,

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.