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Review of Interactive Brokers Futures Broker 2020 – Discover everything you need to know, start trading now

Interactive Brokers is an internationally recognized online trading brokerage offering traders from around the world the ability to participate in trading the financial markets. The broker has over 40 years of experience as they were first established back in 1977. The brokerage conducts its broker/dealer business on over 120 market destinations worldwide and executes over 800,000 trades per day. Therefore, Interactive Brokers is a very large and successful online trading brokerage. It is suitable for beginners, experts and institutional traders.

Highlights
  • Licensed and regulated by the SEC, FINRA, FCA and other regulatory agencies around the world.
  • Interactive Brokers is based out of the United States with their headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.
  • Interactive Brokers offers trading on the following tradeable products; stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, CFDs, funds, and more.
  • Interactive Brokers features highly advanced and sophisticated trading platforms and tools for the trading of futures.
1.
of 7 Futures Broker
Interactive brokers
interactive brokers experiences
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
Headquarters and regulation

USA (FINRA / SIPC)

National fees

$0.005 per share

International order fees

$0.005 per share

Custody fee

$0

Services & additional benefits

ETFs
Certificates
Futures

Mobile Trading & Apps

Demo account

No

Premiums

Yes

Minimum deposit

$ 10.000

Services & additional benefits

Live
Hotline
E-mail

1. Trading Offer

1) Futures Broker Trading Offer: Extensive Array of Tradeable Products

Interactive Brokers is a globally recognized online trading brokerage as they serve traders and investors from around the world and offer the trading of a wide array of financial assets across the global markets. For instance, Interactive Broker clients can trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, CFDs, ETFs, mutual funds, metals, indices, warrants, and structured products. Therefore, Interactive Brokers has a very wide product offering that features something for every type of trader or investor.

Yes
Shares
Tradable
Yes
Futures
Tradable
Yes
Certificates
Tradable
Yes
ETF
Tradable

As well, not only does Interactive Brokers offer traders an extensive list of tradeable assets, but an integrated investment management system as well. Traders can earn, borrow, spend, and invest worldwide from one single Interactive Brokers brokerage account. From the single brokerage account, traders benefit from lower costs and higher revenue with a transparent fee structure, low commissions and financing rates, support for best price execution, and higher interest paid. Overall, Interactive Brokers provides traders with an exceptional online trading experience.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_1_image
  • Favourable trading conditions with lower costs and higher revenue.
  • An integrated investment management system designed to help investors and traders succeed.
  • Traders benefit from a wide array of financial assets across 120 global financial markets.
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
2. Costs

2) Futures Trading Cost: Extremely Low Commissions

Our review of Interactive Brokers showed us just how inexpensive trading with this lucrative broker really is. Traders benefit from some of the lowest futures trading fees in the entire industry and can choose from fixed rate pricing or transparent volume tiered pricing. Depending on how much you trade will decide which route you take.

20
National
Trading venues
100
International
Trading venues

The fixed rate pricing fees are set at a fixed low commission rate plus exchange, regulatory and clearing fees for the US markets. For non-US markets, traders are charged a single flat rate per contract or percent of trade value. They will also have to pay all commissions, exchange, regulatory, clearing and overnight position fees.

As for the volume tiered pricing structure, benefits benefit from the low broker commission which decreases as your trading volume increases. Traders also have to pay exchange, regulatory, and overnight position fees. Traders will benefit from this tiered fee structure if they are professional active traders.

Overall, the futures trading fees at Interactive Brokers are 51% lower than their competitors. For instance, the futures trading fee at Interactive Brokers is just $0.85 per contract, per side for the 1 E-Mini S&P 500 Future. In comparison with other best futures brokers, this fee is significantly lower.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_2_image
  • Futures trading commissions as low as $0.85 per contract, per side.
  • Low fixed commissions or a volume based tiered commission plan.
  • Interactive Brokers have 51% lower commissions than their competitors.
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
3. Account

3) Accounts: Wide Selection of Account Types

Interactive Brokers features a very wide array of account types to choose from. The primary account categories to choose from are “Trader & Investor Accounts” and “Institution Accounts”. Traders have a wide selection of sub accounts to choose from under these two categories.

 

Trader & Investor Accounts

The group of accounts under this account category are primarily for the everyday retail trader or investor. The different accounts to choose from include; Individual Investor or Trader, Family Office, Small Business, or Friends and Family Advisor accounts.

Traders do not have to pay account maintenance fees for any of the accounts mentioned above if they have more than 100,000 USD in average equity for a calendar month or generate $10 USD in commissions in a calendar month.

Institution Accounts

This group of accounts are primarily for institutional or professional level traders and investors. The account types to choose from include; Registered Investment Advisor, Hedge or Mutual Fund, Money Manager, Proprietary Trading Group, Introducing Broker, and Incentive Plan Admin accounts.

A minimum deposit of $10,000 USD is required for any of the above Institution accounts which will be used to pay the minimum trader commissions for the first 8 months. After that, traders must pay a minimum of $2000 USD in commissions each month.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_3_image
  • Wide selection of account types to choose from.
  • Both retail traders and investors as well as institutional clients have accounts to choose from.
  • No account maintenance fees for retail trader accounts
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
4. Platform

4) Trading Platform: Sophisticated Trading Platforms & Tools

During our review of Interactive Brokers, we tested out their proprietary trading platforms and tools extensively. Interactive Brokers provides traders with a wide selection of trading platforms and tools to use. The trading platforms offered by them include the “Desktop TWS” platform and the “IB WebTrader” platform. See them overviewed below.

IOS
Android

Desktop TWS

This trading platform is designed for professional active traders and can be downloaded on Mac, Windows, and Linux desktop operating systems. The platform features a comprehensive order management system, an advanced charting package, watchlists and portfolio tools, and a customizable workspace. As well, the platform integrates real-time market data, research, and news to help traders make informed trading decisions. The platform is ultra-fast and gathers liquidity from most reliable sources.

IB WebTrader

This trading platform is entirely web-based and accessible from any desktop computer via the web browser. The platform is coded with the advanced HTML5 programming language which makes for a beautifully designed and user-friendly trading platform. The platform is very easy to learn but still utilizes advanced trading features and tools.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_4_image
  • Two highly sophisticated trading platforms to choose from that accommodate the needs of both retail traders and institutional clients.
  • A desktop-based trading platform, a web-based trading platform, and a mobile trading application.
  • Lightning fast and features advanced trading tools and order management.
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
5. Usability

5) Usability of the Website: Beautifully Designed

We spent an extensive amount of time on the Interactive Brokers website during our review of Interactive Brokers. The website is one of the better broker websites we have seen as it is so easy to navigate and find exactly what you are looking for. The brokerages home page is very small and limited with only the most vital material a potential new client needs to know. The top of each page on the Interactive Brokers website features a menu with 7 heading, each with a drop-down menu taking you to different pages of the site. This is extremely organized as everything you need to know can be found in these drop-down menus.

Apart from the organizational aspects of the Interactive Brokers site, the overall website design is stunning. The primary website colours include a deep red, white, black, and shades of grey. The website looks very professional and gives off a premium look and feel. As well, various images are incorporated into the website that seem to flow together rather than just be placed.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_5_image
  • Extremely well organized and laid out website.
  • Colour tones include deep red, white, black, and shades of grey.
  • Filled with informative and useful content that is easy to find.
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
6. Support

6) Customer Support: Local Support Representatives

Interactive Brokers provides their clients with exceptional customer support that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers can contact support via email, telephone, live chat, mail, and fax. The support representatives are fairly quick to respond and are very professional and friendly with their responses. Traders can receive localized support from local representatives located in 26 different countries. As well, support is available in 9 different languages and there are support phone numbers dedicated to different departments to better help traders’ individual needs.

E-Mail
Telephone
Live-Chat
On the spot

Additional methods of support include interaction through the brokers social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. As well, traders can find helpful support contact and the answered to most of their questions in the Interactive Brokers extensive FAQ page. Also, traders have access to an Interactive Brokers trader’s forum where they can communicate with one another and with support representatives as well. All in all, the level of customer care and support is phenomenal.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_6_image
  • Localized customer support available in 9 different languages.
  • Contact support representatives via email, telephone, live chat, mail, fax, and through various social media channels.
  • Access to an extensive FAQ page and an interactive trader’s forum.
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
7. Payment

7) Methods of Payment: Wide Selection of Payment Methods

In our Interactive Brokers brokerage review we discovered that they support a wide array of payment methods in comparison to much of their competition. Traders can deposit and withdrawal funds to and from their Interactive Brokers brokerage account via 7 different payment methods. See these methods overviewed below.

  • banktransfer

Wire Transfer

All Wire Transfer deposits are free of charge and arrive in your brokerage account instantly or within 1 business. Wire withdrawals cost $10 and take up to 3 business days to complete.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

ACH deposits are completed nearly instantly and are free of charge. As for withdrawals, they cost only $1, but take up to 4 business days to be cleared.

Check

Check deposits are free of charge and arrive as soon as soon as the mail gets there. As for check withdrawals, there is a fee of $4.

Online Bill Payment

This payment method is nearly instant and free for deposits. As for withdrawals, funds are withdrawn after 3 business days and cost $1 per withdrawal.

BPAY

This payment method is nearly instant and free for deposits. As for withdrawals, funds are withdrawn after 3 business days and cost $1 per withdrawal.

Direct Deposit

This payment method is free for deposits and may take a few payment cycles to become effective and arrive faster. As for withdrawals, funds are withdrawn after 3 business days and cost $1 per withdrawal.

Trader Rating
4.5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_7_image
  • Many payment methods.
  • Free deposits.
  • Cheap withdrawal fees.
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
8. Offers

8) Additional Offers: Extensive Trading Resources

During our review of Interactive Brokers, we discovered that the broker provides their clients with a variety of additional offers to better serve them and improve their trading experience. For instance, traders have access to an extensive education centre that comes complete with a trader’s academy, live webinars, tutorial videos, courses, tours, apps, tools, widgets, a trader’s glossary, and more. Interactive Brokers provides educational material for every type of trader no matter what their experience level is.

Demo Account
Premiums / Promotions
Training

In addition to the educational resources, Interactive Brokers features an “Investors Marketplace” that lets individual traders and investors, institutions and third-party service providers meet and do business together. As well, traders can attend live events and trading seminars that are organized by Interactive Brokers. Interactive Brokers also hosts a blog called “Traders’ Insights” which is filled with informative articles about the financial markets, trading strategies, market trends, and more. Traders can sign up to receive daily email summaries of Traders’ Insights articles and subscribe for notifications and updates via social media. All of these additional offers help traders to become more informed and succeed in trading the financial markets.

Trader Rating
4.5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_8_image
  • A comprehensive education centre filled with a wide variety of educational resources.
  • Access to an “Investors Marketplace” for third party investment services.
  • A Traders’ Insights blog with countless articles and email newsletters.
Go to Broker
Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
9. Regulation

9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: Highly regulated

During our Interactive Brokers review, we discovered that the broker is highly regulated by reputable regulatory authorities from all around the world. The most notable regulatory authorities governing the broker include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These regulatory bodies impose the strictest rules and guidelines for Interactive Brokers to follow. Therefore, Interactive Brokers provides, secure, fair, transparent and reliable online trading services for their clients.

FINRA / SIPC
Regulatory Authority
up to $30 million and $1 million cash (SIPC and Lloyd’s)
Dep. Protection

In addition to the Interactive Brokers regulations, the broker is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). These memberships provide traders with an insurance total of $2,750,000. Interactive Brokers also implements the latest and greatest security measures to protect their client’s personal information and accounts. Such security measures include advanced firewalls, SSL (secure socket layer) encryption technology, two factor authentication methods for log in, and more. Therefore, traders can rest assured they are dealing with a safe and secure online trading broker.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_9_image
  • Licensed and regulated by the SEC, FINRA, FCA and other regulatory agencies around the world.
  • A member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  • Implements advanced security measures to protect user information and their accounts.
Go to Broker
Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
10. Awards

10) Awards: A Highly Awarded Futures Broker

Interactive Brokers futures trading has won countless awards over the years. In fact, in 2018 alone, Interactive Brokers won 29 awards from notable financial trading and investing publications. Their most prized awards come from the 2018 Barron’s Awards, where they were named the “#1 Best Online Broker”, “Best for Options Traders”, “Lowest Cost”, “Best Portfolio Analysis and Reports”, “Best Trading Experience and Technology”, “Best for Frequent Traders”, and “Range of Offerings” awards. Other exceptional broker awards in 2018 come from StockBrokers.com, ForexBrokers.com, Fund Technology and WSL Awards, CTA Intelligence US Services Awards, HFM Week US Hedge Fund Services Awards, Stocks & Commodities Awards, Canstar, NerdWallet, Investor’s Business Daily, and The Globe And Mail. Therefore, Interactive Brokers is considered to be one of the best futures brokers available and for good reason. Also, the user reviews found on many broker review websites are very high as well. You can compare Interactive brokers with other brokers at our futures brokers comparison page to see whether they live up to the hype and decide for yourself.

Trader Rating
5/5
Interactive brokersreview_summary_group_10_image
  • Interactive Brokers won 29 prominent awards in 2018 alone.
  • Broker awards from multiple notable financial publications.
  • Highly rated trading broker from numerous broker user review websites.
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.

Conclusion: A Futures Broker for Every Trader

Is Interactive Brokers good? No, they are phenomenal. The interactive Brokers trading brokerage provides traders with a wide array of tradable products to trade across 120 financial markets. Traders have access to multiple sophisticated trading platforms and numerous advanced trading and analysis tools. As well, Interactive Brokers offers some of the lowest futures trading commissions in the entire online trading industry and provides favourable trading conditions.

Traders benefit from a wide array of accounts to choose from and benefit from multiple deposit and withdrawal methods. Interactive Broker clients also have access to an array of additional resources such as educational content, a Traders’ Insights blog, email newsletters, and more. The broker is also highly regulated which provides a safe, secure, and transparent online trading environment. Overall, Interactive Brokers is an online trading broker that anyone can enjoy as they accommodate the needs of all types and experience levels of traders.

Strengths

  • One of the largest brokers in the world
  • Lowest margin rates in the industry.
  • Vast order type options for experienced traders.
  • Low pay-per-share commissions.

Weaknesses

  • Inactive account fee charges.
  • $10,000 minimum deposit
Test result
Total
98%
Ratings
41
Broker
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
Interactive brokers
Go to Broker
Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.

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