Interactive Brokers Review

2.292 · 157 REVIEWS
Updated: Mar 29, 2021 ·  · 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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2.292 · 157 REVIEWS
Forex Peace Army

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

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Traders Reviews

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
Sam ,
United states, USA,
Apr 5, 2012,

First, the auto liquidation is a nightmare they did on my holdings couple of times.
Second, Very poor Customer Service, agree with Steve that they are very rude and unprofessional.
Third, their low commissions is a joke they have hidden fees, etc
After 2 months, couldn’t transfer out my foreign shares to another broker. I am stuck!!
BE CARFUL guys they are stealing money!!! STAY AWAY!!!

  1 trader has found this review helpful
Kenny Goh,
Singapore, Singapore,
Feb 5, 2012,

I've requested for a withdrawal of my funds from my IB account on the 27 January and I received a email notification from IB on 30 January that my IB account has been closed after I withdraw all my funds in the account.

As published in the IB website, I expects to receive my funds within same day to max 3 days upon my withdrawal notification. However, it has been a week and my bank still have not received the remittance.

I called IB on the 3 Feb and the IB staff confirmed that the funds had been remitted and suggested she will put forth a ticket to "investigate" for the delay in remittance. She advise that the ticket has been created and that I will be able to check my message centre online to check on the status. I cannot find the ticket anywhere in my account message centre. I've submitted 2 more tickets to request for the remittance advise on the3 Feb but to date they are still not processed.

I've emailed to them again this morning and filing a complain to FSA and I hope to hear from them soon.

Queensland, Australia,
Jan 14, 2012,

I have read all the reviews and am surprised at the negative experiences here - I was in the process of opening an IB account when I saw all the bad reviews and felt awful, but I have been with IB for a few months now and it has been fine. The customer service responses have been prompt and accurate.

I am not into fancy trades, only dealing with stocks and selling covered options, and I keep well clear of margin issues. Yes, the TWS platform is not simple to deal with but it works OK for me and I have been trading for a number of years over a number of brokers. Here in Australia the commissions other brokers charge are very high and IB is much better in this regard. Their local representative has been prompt and helpful.

I like how I can finally do all that I want to in the one account.

It is not all positive, the opening of the account was unbelieveable with all the documents one had to send in.

Maybe there will be further issues but at this stage it's all been OK, certainly not the worst I have had to deal with.
Arizona, USA,
Jan 5, 2012,

This is by far the worst broker I had ever used, their customers services is a joke. They don't really care about their customers. They overcharged my account, but instead of investigating, they kept avoid answering my question. I had already filed a complaint to the FINRA (inverstor complain organization). They have lots of hidden fee and confusing commission method. You just never know what they are going to charge you next.
  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.