TD Ameritrade vs Robinhood: Which one is better in 2023?

Adam Rozsa

TD Ameritrade has been around since 1975 and is easily one of the biggest names in the world of investing. Over the years, the company merged with and acquired other firms like Scottrade, National Discount Brokers, and thinkorswim.

On the other side, Robinhood is a relatively new online brokerage, as it was founded in 2013. But in the short time it has been around, it has left its mark on the investment world.

Not sure of which brokerage is better for you? This article breaks down the key features of each and provides details about their fee structures, trade offerings, research and education features, and more.

When you’re ready to start your brokerage account, you can fund, set up recurring payments, and withdraw your balance with a free Wise account. Wise allows you to convert and hold balances in over 54 currencies. And when you want to send money abroad, you can save up to 6x compared to old-school banks.

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📝 Table of contents


TD Ameritrade¹Robinhood²
Account fees$0 - No maintenance or inactivity fees, but there is a $75 fee to transfer an account out.$0 - No maintenance, opening or closing fees, but there is a $75 fee to transfer out an account.
Minimum deposit$0$0
Stock trading fees

$0 - commission

$5 - if using their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone System

$25 - Broker assisted trades

$0 - commission

$5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only), rounded up to the nearest penny - Regulatory fee

$0.000119 per share. The fee is rounded up to the nearest penny and cannot surpass $5.95 - Regulatory trading activity fee

Options trading fees

$0 - commission

$0.65 per option contract for regulatory fees

$5 + $0.65 per contract- if using their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone System

$25 + $0.65 per contract- Broker assisted trades

$0 - commission

$5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only), rounded up to the nearest penny - Regulatory fee

$0.002 per contract (options sells). The fee is rounded up to the nearest penny and is never higher than $5.95 - Regulatory trading activity fee

Investment offeringsStocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds,ETFs, Options, Stocks, ADRs, fractional shares
Mobile appTwo—TD Ameritrade and thinkorswim. TD Ameritrade is for average traders, but offers Level II quotes. thinkorswim features for advanced level traders like complex option ordering.Has advanced features including live earnings calls and news feed, alerts, and various charts.
Desktop platformTD Ameritrade platform online and thinkorswim desktop application. The TD page has basic research, charts and customization, and thinkorswim has advanced features.Very simple but has customizable order buttons, the ability to take actions directly from charts, and lots of widgets.
Research & educationNews, commentary, analysis, and research from 15 top providers like Morningstar, Reuters, CFRA, an VickersFinancial news from top providers—WSJ, CNBC, Reuters. You get access to Morningstar and other advanced data with a Robinhood Gold Membership.
Customer supportOver 175 local branches with in-person help. 24/7 live chat, email and phone support. Also, social media messaging and support through Amazon Alexa and Apple Business Chat.24/7 email and social media support, and you can request a service call from inside the app.
Best for
  • Investment beginners
  • Advanced traders
  • Investment education, information, and data
  • Margin accounts
  • Smartphone users
  • Individual accounts
💡 For more Robinhood competitors, check out our comparison of more Robinhood alternatives.

td ameritrade vs robinhood

Trade offerings

Robinhood has a narrow focus for trade offerings with stocks, ETFs, options, and fractional shares. In this respect, TD Ameritrade is better as they offer more trading assets. It offers everything Robinhood does and adds futures, forex, bonds, a robo-advisory service, and mutual funds.

TD AmeritradeRobinhood
Fractional SharesNot AvailableYes
FuturesYesNot Available
ForexYesNot Available
BondsYesNot Available
Robo AdvisorsYesNot Available
International TradingNo - But they offer ADRsNo - But they offer certain ADRs and specific stocks on the Canadian and Israeli exchanges.


Trading fees

With Robinhood, the trading fees are relatively simple, as you can trade options, ETFs, and options all commission free. Though, you’ll have to cover the regulatory fees from the SEC and FINRA. Those fees are:

  • Regulatory Transaction Fee - $5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only).²
  • Trading Activity Fee - $0.000119 per share—equity sells/stock and ETF—and $0.002 per contract (options sells). Never more than $5.95.²

At TD Ameritrade, there are no commission fees for online stock, options, or ETF trades. However, there is a $0.65 fee per option contract and fee on trading futures at $2.25 per contract. Also, their broker-assisted trades are $25, and they charge $5 for interactive voice response—IVR—phone system trade.¹

TD charges the following on mutual funds, forex, and bonds:

  • Mutual Funds - $0 for no-transaction-fee funds, up to $49.95 or $74.95 for buys on no-load funds, and $0 on load funds.¹
  • Bonds - $0 for treasuries at auction and all other bonds and CMOs are are charged on a net yield basis¹
  • Forex - Technically there’s no commission, but there is a cost to the trade reflected in the ask/bid spread.¹

Between the two, Robinhood could come out cheaper if you do high-volume trading in the options market. But overall, the costs are relatively the same.

Withdrawal & deposit fees

Neither Robinhood nor TD Ameritrade charge for ACH deposits or withdrawals. But TD Ameritrade charges $25 for outgoing wire transfers—domestic or international.

TD Ameritrade³Robinhood²

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Wire transfer (domestic)

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $25

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Wire transfer (international)

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $25

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

💡 You can also learn more about other Robinhood fees here.

Fund or withdraw from your TD Ameritrade or Robinhood account with Wise – And save up to 6x

One common thing about TD Ameritrade and Robinhood that they offer low fees to their customers.

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With Robinhood, it’s easy to open, fund, and buy and sell quickly on both its online trading platform and the mobile app. There’s no minimum amount to fund or maintain your account—and there’s no charge for inactivity.

TD Ameritrade also has the option to open an account via the mobile app at their website. But the company has a lot of account types to choose from, and it could be a little difficult if you’re not sure of which account type to select.

Regardless, with TD Ameritrade or Robinhood, you’ll need to deposit at least $2,000 to open a margin trading account.


With limited offerings of securities, Robinhood opted to put a lot of effort into its website and mobile platforms. Both have sleek, user-friendly interfaces, and they’re both similar, which makes it easy to flip back-and-forth between the two. However, more advanced traders may find the platform somewhat laborious, as it has limited personalization options.

TD Ameritrade has an organized site that’s navigable and contains tons of investment education materials—videos, webinars, glossary, and articles. Just remember that TD Ameritrade has delayed quotes on their platform by default. You’ll need to adjust your settings to enable real-time quoting in your profile.

Robinhood is a great place to start if you’re new to trading and are working with a small account—trading a couple of shares at a time or with a targeted focus of specific assets.

TD Ameritrade has the tools and platform for both new and experienced investors with customizable settings and access to more data and financial products.

td ameritrade vs robinhood

Research & Education


Robinhood has limited resources for research. It only offers basic charting, and there are no calculators, screeners, or typical investment tools. If you want to access Morningstar's market research and reports, you can get it with a Robinhood Gold membership at $5 per month².

TD Ameritrade offers advanced charting tools that would work for most advanced level traders, and there is also the ability to backtest. On the platform, you’ll have screeners for mutual funds, ETFs, options, and stocks that are all customizable. There’s also over a hundred hours of live-broadcast trading content each day and real-time streaming market news.

Comparing the two brokers, TD Ameritrade offers a lot more researching options.


While Robinhood has basic educational articles that anyone can understand, there’s no in-depth content. Also, it can be a little difficult to find as it’s organized by date posted instead of by topic. Robinhood offers a daily newsletter and a 15-minute podcast with solid information.

The TD platform offers tons of educational content with webinars, videos, articles, and glossaries. There are over 500 webinars per month on average, and they host over 1,500 live investment education events during the year. TD Ameritrade definitely leads this category with its range and variety of formats in the education department.


TD Ameritrade has industry standard security features. You can use biometric recognition to log into the app, and two-factor authentication. If you have fraudulent or unauthorized activity on your account that results in losses, TD Ameritrade has an Asset Protection Guarantee that will compensate you. They also carry extra SIPC insurance that gives every client $149.5 million in securities protection and $2 million in cash protection.⁴

Robinhood has the same technical security features, but they don’t carry the extra SIPC insurance. You still get the standard $500,000 with $250,000 in cash claims.⁵

Customer Support

Customer service at Robinhood goes through either their website or app, and there’s no inbound phone number to call. With TD Ameritrade, you get live chat and 24/7 phone support. They also have chatbots on popular social media messaging feeds. Overall, TD Ameritrade may be more reliable and flexible with customer support.

td ameritrade vs robinhood

Verdict: Is TD Ameritrade better than Robinhood?

Robinhood has a simple platform both online and with its mobile app that offers straightforward investing. Anyone who is new to trading and wants to start a small account would benefit from gaining investment experience. The platform offers a limited amount of assets, so you can focus your attention on learning instead of getting distracted by a lot of complex investment strategies.

For TD Ameritrade, casual investors, active traders, and beginners can all land in the same place. The platform has a comprehensive research and education system in place along with intuitive, user-friendly platforms on both the web and mobile. Because TD Ameritrade has a wider variety of trading products, and it’s good for traders of all levels, it definitely has the edge when compared to Robinhood.

Whichever brokerage you choose, you can fund your brokerage account and set up recurring payments with a freeWise account! When you’re ready to withdraw earnings, Wise allows you to hold and convert balances in 54+ currencies. Plus, you’ll save up to 6x over big banks when you send money abroad.

Learn more about Wise

Frequently asked questions

Is TD Ameritrade good for beginners?

Although TD Ameritrade offers financial products, tools, charting, and other features geared towards advanced traders, it’s one of the online brokers that’s good for beginners.

The company offers tons of educational tools and research and live-feeds from investment advisors, financial advisors, and other account professionals. TD Ameritrade has a platform that works for both beginners and active day traders.

Can you have a Robinhood and TD Ameritrade account?

Yes! If you have the funds to trade and want to start an account on both platforms, it isn’t illegal or prohibited by either company. Just be sure to report everything during tax season!

Is Ameritrade and Robinhood the same?

No. TD Ameritrade and Robinhood are both online brokerage firms, but they’re separate corporate entities with different products and licensing. With TD Ameritrade, you can also get investment management accounts and services if you need a professional to help with your investments.

Is TD Ameritrade completely free?

While TD Ameritrade offers $0 commission trading on ETFs, options, and stocks and no account maintenance fees, the brokerage is not completely free.

In the section titled ‘TD Ameritrade vs Robinhood: Fees’ above, we give you an overview of many of the fees charged by TD Ameritrade. And remember that all brokerages pass standard regulatory fees on trades down to their clients.

  1. TD Ameritrade - Pricing
  2. Robinhood - Robinhood Financial Fee Schedule
  3. TD Ameritrade - Brokerage Fees
  4. TD Ameritrade - Account Protection
  5. Robinhood - How you’re protected

All sources checked on 15 November 2021

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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