TD Ameritrade review

TD Ameritrade has been a full-service investment broker since 1975 and Its platform offers access to thousands of assets. Find out all the details in this in-depth review.
By: Theodor Tonca
Theodor Tonca
Theodor is a Financial Writer for Invezz, reviewing, testing and scrutinizing financial products. He is a former financial analyst and investment… read more.
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
4.5/5 Star rating
14 min read
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TD Ameritrade was one of the first brokers to offer discounted commissions on trades and it was also among the very first to offer touch-tone phone trading in 1988.

But this isn’t your dad’s investment broker, as Ameritrade is now leveraging technology to make investing easier, faster, and more efficient. This review takes you through everything you need to know about TD Ameritrade. 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

24/7 customer support, including via toll-free number
Full-service brokerage offering an entire universe of investment products, from stocks to bonds and CDs
Commission-free trades

Cons:

What is TD Ameritrade?

TD bills itself as an investment platform for self-directed investors and unlike many other brokers that claim the same, it has the tools and resources to back it up.

When its brokerage platform is compared side-by-side with others, it is one of the most complete offerings available today.

How does TD Ameritrade work?

Whether on the web, via your mobile or as a desktop platform, Ameritrade is straightforward to get started with.

Just log in, enter a ticker symbol, and click a button to buy or sell. It doesn’t get much simpler than this.

TD Ameritrade cryptocurrencies and trading options

What cryptocurrencies can you trade on TD Ameritrade?

This is the one area where Ameritrade admittedly falls short.

There are no direct cryptocurrency trading options on the platform, just indirect. In the form of Bitcoin features, which can be traded via the thinkorswim desktop platform.

All TD Ameritrade trading options

Ameritrade has one of the most complete investment product offerings, replete with options, futures, forex, fixed income, and more.

ProductOffering
CryptocurrenciesOnly Bitcoin futures
StocksNearly 14,000
ForexOver 70 currency pairs
OptionsExact number not available
Futures70
Bonds40,000
Mutual Funds8878
View all tradeable assets >

Can I trade with leverage on TD Ameritrade?

In one word: Yes. But with a bit of a caveat, margin accounts require a minimum deposit of at least US$2,000.

If your account is below US$25,000, 1:2 is the maximum leverage offered on most products.

ProductMaximum leverageMargin
Individual cryptocurrenciesNo leveraged trading option
Stocks1:220%
Forex1:502%
Options1:220%
Futures1:220%
Bonds1:220%
See all leveraged trading options >

What are the spreads?

Ameritrade charges zero commission on most equity trades. 

This means there’s a spread that starts at 1.2 pips on major currency pairs and goes up from there. If you are just starting, proceed with caution when applying leverage.

ProductAverage spreadsFixed or variable?
Individual cryptocurrenciesNone
StocksNone
Forex1.2 pipsVariable
OptionsNone
FuturesNone
Learn more about TD Ameritrades spreads >

Fees, limits, and payment options on TD Ameritrade

What are the deposit and withdrawal fees, limits, and speeds?

There is no minimum deposit required to open an account with TD Ameritrade.

While the deposit and withdrawal options may be outdated (no PayPal), the broker offers fast, efficient options to fund your account.

Payment methodDepositWithdrawal
Direct Deposit
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
No limit
Free
24 hours
Yes
Up to $250,000 in most cases
Free
1-3 business days
Wire Transfer
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
$100/No limit
Outgoing fee depends on bank
1-3 business days
Yes
$100/$250,000
$25
1-3 business days
Check
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
None
Free
Variable
Yes
None
Free
1-5 business days for processing
Find all TD Ameritrade’s payment details >

How much are TD Ameritrade’s fees and commissions?

Ameritrade has a straightforward fee and commission structure with no additional hidden fees.

Stock trades cost $0 and options trades cost just $0.65 per contract.

Fee typeFee amountCommission
Stocks$0
Forex$0
Options$0.65 per contract1.2 pips
Futures$2.25 per contract
Bonds$0.00082 per bond
See more TD Ameritrade fees

TD Ameritrade trade sizes and limits

While Ameritrade does not offer any fractional shares, it doesn’t place any artificial caps on trades either.

The only limits are the ones that depend on the security you are buying and selling.

ProductMinimum tradeMaximum trade
Crypto futures0.1 BitcoinNone
Stocks1 shareNone
ForexLot of 1,000None
Options1 contractNone
Futures1 contractNone
Bonds1 couponNone
See all trading limits >

TD Ameritrade trading platform

What devices can I use TD Ameritrade on?

Ameritrade offers up plenty of options when it comes to accessing its myriad of trading platforms. 

From the desktop to the mobile device, it’s got you covered.

  • Web browser
  • Desktop
  • Tablet/Mobile device (Android & iOS)

Can I use TD Ameritrade in my country?

Ameritrade is available globally for individual and joint account clients, apart from countries with restricted internet access like North Korea. From the US to the UK, Spain, and as far as Tanzania, Ameritrade is there.

Here is a selection of countries where Ameritrade is available.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kuwait
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Is TD Ameritrade available in my language?

Despite its international accessibility and reach, Ameritrade’s website is only available in three languages at this time:

  • English
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese

How easy is it to use TD Ameritrade?

Self-directed investors that are older and invest in mutual funds and CDs are known to not be the most tech-savvy.

Since Ameritrade caters to this demographic more than the millennial crypto day trader, it has built its website and trading platform(s) to be easy to navigate and use. This is exactly what it is, with the only downside being that it offers so many resources that it can sometimes be overwhelming.

Key features

Ameritrade is loaded with bells and whistles, so much so that it was difficult to narrow this list down. But here are a few that stand out:

Customisable Trading Dashboard

Users are offered a good amount of control over the look and feel of their trading platform.

Things like news feeds, third-party research, and planning tools can all be added or subtracted depending on your preference. 

Preconfigured Strategies

If you’re not coming to the platform already knowing what portfolio you want to build, this feature is appealing.

You can choose between some backtested, time-worn strategies to apply to your account.

Social Sentiment Stock Index

While researching the stock you want to buy, you can also analyse the market sentiment for the equity.

Not a groundbreaking feature or buying metric, but a nice touch nonetheless.

Security and regulation

Is TD Ameritrade safe?

As an established broker, Ameritrade takes security seriously.

Its website uses 128-bit encryption, an optional multi-factor authentication for added security, and it has even implemented anomaly and intrusion detection technology that alerts you of unusual behaviour in your account.

Am my funds and I protected?

Simply put, yes. Ameritrade offers one of the highest levels of security in the industry, with advanced firewalls and cash in a customer’s account insured up to $250,000 by FDIC deposit insurance.

Is Ameritrade regulated?

Yes, as a US-based broker Ameritrade is regulated by all the relevant authorities in the country, such as

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • And the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Do I have to verify my account with TD Ameritrade?

As you might expect, being a highly regulated broker requires a lot of compliance; part of this comes from collecting and keeping customer records.

To activate an account and begin live trading, you will need to provide a valid form of government-issued ID and some proof of residence, like your name on an electric bill or similar. This is standard in the industry and expected.

Extra information

Educational resources 

Ameritrade’s ‘education’ section is one of the most complete.

From guides on how to trade and invest to overviews of specific account types and even retirement planning tips. Ameritrade delivers in a way few other brokers do.

Tools and charting

Amritrade’s platforms have enough tools and capabilities to satisfy even institutional traders.

You can perform analyses, test strategies, and monitor potential risk/reward on a fast, efficient platform. Ultimately, Ameritrade does not leave you wanting in the least, but rather thinking that some tools are even redundant.

Customer support

There’s a reason Ameritrade was ranked as the top broker regarding customer support earlier this year.

Account service and support are available 24/7 via phone, chat (Facebook messenger), and fax, in case anyone still uses one. It is timely and responsive, as much as one can ask from an international broker.

Our verdict

When taking TD Ameritrade’s entire offering as a whole: The obvious conclusion is to name it as one of the most complete brokers today.

The reasons are numerous, from zero commission trades to fast execution and a robust set of investment products with which you can create a complete investment portfolio. But for as much as it offers, it’s what is missing that truly stands out.

Apart from direct crypto trading, Ameritrade isn’t missing a glaring feature. Not one. Add to this outstanding customer support (for a large, international broker) and an easy to get started with setup and I can unbiasedly say that I would use its platform for investing.

How to open an account with TD Ameritrade

Opening an account with TD Ameritrade is pretty simple and straightforward. Step by step guidance is also provided on the website. Here’s the process:

  1. Click on ‘Open New Account’ in the top right-hand corner of the homepage
  2. Select an account type – individual, joint, Roth IRA, etc.
  3. Enter your personal and financial information and review it for accuracy
  4. Agree to Ameritrade’s terms and conditions

Methodology: How we reviewed TD Ameritrade

When we review a platform we perform a series of tasks to judge how well the service performs compared to its peers. The tasks always include signing up to create an account, making a deposit and withdrawal, and placing a trade.

In addition, we assess the key features of the service. In this case, we included things like the trade assist feature in our final calculations. We also take into account online user reviews and use them to inform or final rating.

Each platform is giving a rating out of five stars based on all of this research. No company can influence the results in any way but we may receive a commission if you sign up via a link on this page.

FAQs

Who owns TD Ameritrade?
How does TD Ameritrade make money?
Do I have to pay tax on TD Ameritrade profits?
Does TD Ameritrade offer CFD trading?
How do I sell on TD Ameritrade?
How do I delete my TD Ameritrade account?
How can I short on TD Ameritrade?
What if I forget my account password?
Can I transfer from my TD Ameritrade account into my PayPal account?
What if TD Ameritrade closes down while I have open trades?
Can I access my full trading history on TD Ameritrade?
Can I pay in cryptocurrency with TD Ameritrade?
Does TD Ameritrade offer bonuses?

Sources & references
Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Theodor Tonca
Financial Writer
Having worked for a decade as an analyst, investment partnership founder, and writer - Theodor is a keen sportsman. When not working, he can most commonly… read more.