Interactive Brokers Review

2.292 · 157 REVIEWS
Updated: Mar 29, 2021 · 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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2.292 · 157 REVIEWS
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Traders Reviews

Ingar,
Canada,
Sep 22, 2008,
Guest

I've experienced 2 suspicious activities with IB Canada.
First - IB's failure to execute stop loss orders during overnight trading on Aug 21-08. When I complained, 2 IB Canada representatives (Evan & Sylvain) acknowledged receipt of my stop loss request but suggested that it was my fault it didn't get executed because I was trading "after hours". I also pointed out that the stop was actually hit at 1:15am but the position was still open at 7:00 am... lots of time to execute even in a fast market. This cost me $475.
Second - Somehow two positions opened around 30 minutes after midnight on Sep 3-08 while I was in bed sleeping on vacation. When I returned from vacation on Sep 11-08 and opened TWS to do some trading I was alarmed to see these positions. I immediately closed both positions and contacted IB Canada. After being on hold for 20 minutes, Carlo checked the audit trail for these trades and acknowledged that there was something inconsistent, but refused to tell me what that was, instead he said he would call me back... which of course didn't happen. This mysterious trade cost me $2,020.
FYI - since Aug 21-08, I've been performing a print screen of my account and portfolio page each day so that the date and time are visible and on Sep 2-08 there were no open positions or limit orders showing on the IB trading page.
I filed a complaint with CFTC Enforcement who responded by stating that IB Canada is not registered with the CFTC. They also suggested that I file a complaint with the National Futures Association (NFA) which I did but have not had any response from them as of this writing.
I have instructed IB Canada to close my account and transfer my remaining equity back into my bank account. I have been an IB Canada customer for over 2 years and can honestly say that I've never experienced a service work so hard at not providing customer support or mitigation... good bye and good riddance !
 
Janson,
Canada,
Jul 31, 2008,
Guest

Hello,

I have been using this company for at least 8 years. There is no execution issue, commission issue, spread or other problem. They have wide range of service around the world in just one platform is wonderful.
So keep it up IB on these.

However the issue they need to fix is the platform, and the chart capabilities. If they can let us use MT4 or better chart platform. It will be the best place to trade, so I give it 4 stars.

Regards
 
Jim,
UK,
Jun 11, 2008,
Guest

Best forex broker i've ever used. I hated them and their platform for ages when I demoed it, then after looking into it and getting to grips with it and using it live, it allows you to do far more than any other broker, many order types and an excellent api, for order entry/and or automated trading. Spreads and execution on IDEALPRO are the best ive seen anywhere, and commisions are cheap, (the only cheaper ive seen is dukascopy, but they are forex only, and i havent traded live), slippage is normal for this market, spreads widen around news but not by much, and only for briefly, and if you use limit orders like you should, then you can eliminate slippage most of the time. The other MAJOR plus is that you can trade anything else on the planet with extremely good commissions. (plus ive been filled perfectly during nfp everytime so far (limit orders)) I agree that their customer service is appalling, and their trading desk is terrible, but what do you expect for forex on the cheap? Definately not for newbies and you really need to know what your doing. Ill agree that the spreads on ideal are appalling but youve got to give then some credit, it is for small amounts, and the spread is much less on there than a normal bank would give you for a currency transaction of that size. And if youve got a large, enough account and understand how their forex system works, you can open and close a position on ideal pro to take into account the smaller amount you wish to change, depending on the size of the amount, it might just be worthwhile to leave it be till you accumulate a big enough profit (or loss lol). Plus they pay interest on cash balances which accumulates daily. As for gbpjpy spread, its normally three ticks plus half a tick commision on idealpro, best ive seen anywhere else. Havent tried withdrawing money from them yet but will do soon, ill check back in to let you know how it goes. Their commission structure means that to get the cheapest spread you need to be trading full lots, so if you're daytrading and experienced you wont have any problems, but with a smaller account size the odds are against you anyways.

To be honest im amazed at how good theyve been, apart from the awful reps. Not for newbies.
 
Wil,
Haringey,
Jun 4, 2008,
Guest

cheap - but you pay for what you get

system has gone down loads of times and could not get through to close a trade! - used them mainly for options. go with a decent broker a pay a tad more to make you life easier

2 stars IB,
 
shiow slkt,
australia,
May 26, 2008,
Guest

i trade stock, option n fx. i just realsie, IB unable to made adusment/amendment.edit/add for stop, limit and/or trail - i though i haven't able to figure up how to use their feature. i send an ticket asking them?IB, and to my surprise, they told me IB platfrom do not allow adjustment/edit/amend/add and/or changes on open position! This is most basic feature and they say they do not have this feature allow so - I wonder if the answer given is correct or the person answer my question have limited knowledge in their own platfrom. I wonder, because I tested their stop, trail and limit on demo account, it was very shocking to learn that price has way past my stop and my stop was not trigger at all. Example, my open is at $1 and stop at $0.50 and limit at $2 - the price went down to $0.38 and yet my stop was not trigger and I questin them, they say, I had place wrong instruction that's why not trigger, they claim I should lpace limit out at $0.50 instead stop! This answer ponder me, if is they don't have proper knowledge or I am actually wrong. But of-course, I know I am right, as I been trading and been always using stop, trail and limit, never once my other broker trading platfrom fail me or I was wrong to understand to use this stop, trail and limit.

If anyone with IB, have info on IB's open position for if able to do adjustment/add/amend/edit whatsoever information would be appreciate, otherwise, I will close this stupic trading platfrom. Although I find they are good as they have all the product I want to trade and low commission.

Thanks and regards,
shiow
 
Ah Phui,
Malaysia,
May 9, 2008,
Guest

My expereince with them so far is terrible. I opened an account in AUD, then later found out I should have opened in USD or CAN becuase I want to trade in stocks from those countries.

No-one in customer service knew any of this; they have had USD55k of my money for some weeks and I still cannot trade.

Send them a Service Ticket and after more than a full working day , no one has even botherred to read it.

My guess is that they are using minimum wage customer service personnel with no product knowledge.

IB has been a huge waste of my time.
 
AJ,
Canada,
Apr 30, 2008,
Guest

I've been with Interactive Brokers for 7 years.
It's not true that they require 25k to trade FX. But they require a 25k (USD or equiv) lot size minimum for normal trading under their IDEAL PRO (main fx mkt). For example they have a margin requirement of about $436 USD to trade a $25k lot of USD/JPY. It varies with the pair and volatility. The minimum account size is $2000 to trade with IB, not 25K. For the person who said that you can't place orders with one click, that is also wrong. See their FX Trader Tool and choose the option to transmit without confirmation and you have instant execution at your selected lot size. Anytime I have a question for the IB staff, I click help on my workstation screen and have fast access to the staff for any questions or problems that I have without using the phone.
I rate IB as very good.
 
Loisa,
Colorado,
Mar 25, 2008,
Guest

Yucky! If you are looking for service this won't be the one! The trading platform was confusing and frustrating to work with for me. To be fair, part of that is because IB offers SO many services. They do offer many tutorials and webinars and yet I still didn't get warmed up to it. And gave up when the customer service person didn't know the difference between a stop loss and stop limit order. The transfers from my bank as ACH took over a week to get in and are now on hold to get out. I also discovered I needed 25,000 to trade FX. Apparently I was reading the 10K option where one can trade in currency exchanges (but I was mistaken as to what that meant -- and it's where there is no leverage -zip!). However if you do have 25K you get a whopping 50:1 pip leverage or at least thats what I read on another blog since I could not find it anywhere on site...

 
jet,
USA,
Mar 18, 2008,
Guest

I have had very bad experience with them. Horrible customer service.

During the application process they ask what markets I have had most experience with. I checked forex.

They opened an account for me, but allowed me to only trade bonds or go long on stocks.

I called them to ask them let me trade forex and/or let me short stocks (we are in a bear market atm and I can't even short !!!).

They said my income is too low so they refuse to change the permissions on my account. So basically, I want to give them money and they don't want to take it from me. Really dumb on their part...
 
daniel,
mclean, va usa,
Mar 14, 2008,
Guest

To follow up my previous complains. I received a call from Andrew of Interactive. He told me that Interactive will credit my account $140 to compansate my loss from the bad fills. I told him I appreciate their effort and correcting the problem. I wanted you all to know this positive development. Thanks for Interactive's efforts. I also received a call from their CFO a few days back so overall their positive efforts will make me stay with them.

2008-03-12 1 Star I am totally and utterly discussed with how I have been treated by these people yesterday. I already filed a complain with cftc and here is exactly what happened.
I opened two positions in the morning short eur.usd 10000 and short aud.usd 25000. Both were market orders and received executions at ask price as expected.
Here is what happened in the afternoon that blow you away. I wanted close those positions that I put a market order to close the eur.usd when asking 1.5321 at 15:18:08 est on Mar 11 and I had a fill at 1.5349 (28 pips above the ask)
Also I put another market order to close the aud.usd at 15:42:35 est on Mar 11 when ask was 0.9287.5 and I received a fill at 0.9340 (52.5 pips above ask).
I called 3 times and put on hold for over an hour. The level of disrespect towards a customer is totally unacceptable. I have been told that the ideal vs the idealpro was the reason for the bad executions when in fact when I opened those positions the fills were at ask level without a hitch. I have been scammed by them and lost about $160 plus the commision from these 2 trades. I will not use them ever again and suggest that you do the same. They were kind enough to return 5 pips back to me on aud trade (what a joke). Should you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to ask me.
 
takepips,
Thailand,
Feb 6, 2008,
Guest

this give u access to the ecn trades, it's cheap and you will have for what you pay. charts you have to take from other ( free MT4 will good enough ) and you have to learn her plattform, the have fxtrader and booktrader for forex and there you can execute on one klick your order. you can also use other program over API connection , also transfer the qoute in realtime to Excel, it's professional for fulltime trader, you can trade all stocks futures around the world, forex cash and futures. i have one time technical prob and also the help me and compare money back for this trade thats to be accommodating. so here you have a fair company for your trading, 5 stars i will give them if the chart bundle will be improve, like mt4
 
PereUbu,
Tokyo,
Feb 5, 2008,
Guest

I used IB for about 6 months for Forex trading, as well as stocks. As many reviewers have pointed out, they are very good for equities, with a very low cost.

Forex is a different matter and I'd advise most people to choose another FX broker - especially if you don't live in the US or hold a USD account (and who would these days :)

The good points are the fast, ECN fills (actually they match internal trades first,no biggie unless you are converting on IDEAL to balance out positions, more on that) - I usually beat my whole team into a trade. Excellent liquidity - never had a trade rejected - normally very good fills apart from news, and even then spreads and slippage was not that large.

So why not use them? First the platform is just terrible - confusing, laid out as if to cause as many inadvertent entries as possible, and it's hard to enter bracketed orders and the like. Charts are awful as everyone has said. The accounting system is bizarre beyond belief and inaccurate (artifacts of your money everywhere). The website help and instructions on the accounts are meaningless or non-existent.

And then there is the abysmal customer service. Yep, its as bad as everyone says - they are actually hostile towards their customers. OK, they are cut price, so basic CS is expected - but to get real assholes not answering questions about your 75K account and just repeating the useless website is too much. I think they realize they have problems, as I started to get some CS surveys by mail at the end.

If you make some money (or lose it as well) , you end up with positions in many currencies and get gouged at 20% or more off market rate when you convert them back to the base currency - as you have to do this with IDEAL, not PRO, and IDEAL is the worst piece of shit there is - the spreads are enormous (80+), fills only when some other IB sap with less than 30K of CAD needs your AUD, etc.

And its not that cheap: about $3 per trade per half lot, as I did, which if you add on a another postion or take out half, adds up to about $12 or more per trade.

Overall IB sucks for Forex. I still use them for medium term stocks in my home market but the accounting has pretty much turned me off forever.
 
Adel,
Bahrain,
Jan 18, 2008,
Guest

I have an account with IB. The stocks service is fantastic and when you place a limit order you almost always get better fills, BUT their forex is S**T. They have two types: IDEAL (under 100K orders)and IDEAL PRO (over 100K). My latest complain to them was about the GBPJPY spread being 86pips. They asked are you IDEAL or IDEAL Pro? huh! They said the IDEAL Pro spread is better. What kind of service is that?
 
Pip Hunter,
United States,
Jan 4, 2008,
Guest

I opened an account with them. They asked me to fund it. I funded it with 10000 dollars. I was given an account login and password. Then when I tried to login I was unable to do so. I called them and asked them. They told me that my account was not approved yet and it will take a couple of days for it to be approved and then I can login. I waited for two days but no change.

I called back and asked about it. The CSR told me that my account was not approved and my account application has been rejected. I asked an anybody give me any reason, why my account was not approved. They had no answer. Then I asked why I was asked to fund the account if it was not approved. They had no answer. They sent me an email that I should apply later when my situation changed. I called back and asked WHAT SITUATION. How would I know what has to change to get my account approved. They had no answer. Finally I asked then to refund my money. It took me 2 weeks and a dozen calls to accomplish that.

I would RATE THEN SCAM. on the basis of my personal experience.
 
Ben,
Canada,
Dec 17, 2007,
Guest

I have stayed with this broker in live account for about 2 months. Generally I like this broker. The good things about them include low cost, quick excution, inerests on unused margin, one free withdraw every month. Actually additional withdraw fee is only $1 if you choose to withdraw electrically into your bank account and quick. My first EFT withdraw took only 1 day, second withdraw took 2 days. But amazingly the deposit took more than 10 day to complete! Account opening takes time. It took me almost 2 weeks to complete after I made a complaint! Another thing I don't like is their platform. Although their excution speed is fast, but is not user friendly. Especially their chart. Terrible! I always have to use MT4 besides their platform. It took me quite time to get used to their platform. In spite of these minor problems, I still want to give them 4 stars(if there is 4.5 stars, I would like to do so) because they are generally honest broker. No broker is perfect, but being honest is most important!
 
sallah,
raleigh nc,
Nov 4, 2007,
Guest

I like this broker so far but i hate it that you dont have a 1-click order execution for forex.you always have to click bi/ask and then click transmit for your order to be executed .. that sucks and i have lost a $2000 gain cuz the market was moving very fast and i couldnt make a 1 click execution. Too bad they need to fix that .I called cuztomer service and they told me thats how it works .I know they can do better than that .
 
Chris,
USA,
Oct 27, 2007,
Guest

Have a live account with IB, but seldom trade with them - big turn-off's:

Platform: tons of bells & whistles, but far from intuitive to use, esp. order entry. Another big joke: you can't save a chart or page, so each time you want to trade another pair, you have to re-set all layouts.

Customer Svc: the WORST. For US clients, 8am-8pm, other times you have to call HongKong or Europe. Even during US hours, routinely put on hold for 20-30 minutes! Last not the least, Reps. not friendly at all.

Lousy exp. so far, rather dealing with bucket shops!
 
Rob,
Chicago, IL USA,
Oct 18, 2007,
Guest

I have been using them for 3 years without any problems. Very advanced trading platform that can be customized to do just about anything you want. Lowest rates and ability to trade just about everything out there.
 
Manuel,
Malaysia,
Oct 12, 2007,
Guest

Many people are happy with IB because of there low rates! But I do not know many others! I am very happy with their service!
 
Yaco Kirzner,
São Paulo, Brazil,
Oct 11, 2007,
Guest

I think is a good company. Is my third trial in electronic trading and I fill satisfied. The working station is just fine but I fill more comfortable using an Excel API interface. For me was a plus to find good API tutorials, material and even an Excel worksheet ready to use and to customize for my trading needs. Since my beginners point of view I think the commissions and spreads are very good. There are a couple of guys in tech support very professional and efficient, particularly a Spanish speaker lady – Mrs. Elizabeth – located in Switzerland. Personally I recommend her if you don’t speak English fluently. But in the other hand, sometimes the tech support takes to much time to answer and/or the answers are not really useful.
 
Herbert,
Germany,
Sep 27, 2007,
Guest

One of the best FX-brokers I worked with. Low spreads and commissions. High liquidity even during high volatile news times. (but spreads widens during that time)
the API I use for a full mechanical trading system. Very robust. I never had a major problem with the executions.
The negatives: terrible trading platform and P&L control. No hedging capability. No max deviation for market orders.
Server shuts down from 5-5:15 h.
 
Talgat,
Kazakhstan,
Sep 25, 2007,
Guest

I've been using IB since may 2007 for trading mini-indexes and forex.TWS is quite convenient tool.Good spreads and prompt fills,but not at news announcments,low commissions, however unobtrusive customer service spoils overall image.
 
Peter Pan,
Europe,
Sep 20, 2007,
Guest

Pro's
- almost every instrument can be traded
- fx spread really tight (during normal market conditions)
- true interbank, no dealingdesk
- account security and insurances in place
- commission in usual to lower range

con's
- customer service very basic and needs time to react.

conclusion
Highly recommended brokerage for FX, futures etc etc.
but be aware, with a normal sized account you are only a number and don't have a personal support.

pro's : 5*
con's : -1*
net : 4* or more
 
naji,
Cyprus,
Sep 18, 2007,
Guest

This company has problems with the NFA : On June 2, 2006, NFA issued a Complaint charging Interactive with failure to maintain required books and records, failure to cooperate promptly and fully with NFA in an NFA audit, and doing business with a non-Member of NFA that was required to be registered with the CFTC.

ANSWER -

On August 14, 2006, Interactive filed an Answer to the Complaint in which they denied the material allegations contained therein.

DECISION -

On May 29, 2007, Interactive was ordered to pay up to $325,000 into a "restitution fund" at NFA, which NFA will administer for the benefit of individuals who invested with Keven Steele and was also ordered to pay a $125,000 fine. In addition, Count II of the Complaint was dismissed.
 
Allen Adams,
San Diego, CA,
Aug 29, 2007,
Guest

I have been using IB for about one year. Have had experience with many other FX brokers prior to that. They claim to be an ECN, and when executions are performed the dealing counter-bank is listed, which is at least consistent with that. They have improved their platform with the addition of FX trader. I find their spreads to be tight especially during Europe and New York sessions, and even during news events the spreads are usually reasonable. Their execution is instantaneous with 1-click and is therefore compatible with the Forex Secret Weapon, which I use with fairly consistent success. Their live charting is only barely adequate, not robust enough at least for the technical studies I like to perform. The 50:1 leverage, which some have mentioned as a negative, is actually a positive for me to deter overtrading and undercapitalization. Their website allows all kinds of account maintenance, so it should not be necessary to contact customer service for common transactions such as moving funds in and out. Their live chat is slow and not always helpful. Basically, if you want a low-cost broker, don't expect a lot of live help--this platform is for more experienced traders I think. I esepcially love how I can trade all types of investments from one account.
 

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.