Compare the best day trading platforms and stock brokers

Day trading means actively buying and selling lots of stocks every day. This guide compares all the best trading platforms to do so with and explains what to look out for in a broker.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed,… read more.
Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

Here you can explore all the top brokers for day trading. Learn how to choose one, the features you should expect from it, and find out what the best platform is for beginners and experienced traders alike.

What are the best day trading platforms?

These are the best overall brokers around for anyone who wants to get into day trading straight away. You can sign up through the links in the table below, or keep reading to learn more about them first.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
user-score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
user-score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

What is day trading?

It’s an active form of trading that involves buying and selling assets over the course of a single day. Day trading tends to be fast-paced and uses advanced techniques such as leverage in order to make big bets and profit from small changes in price. It’s often used in the foreign exchange (forex) currency markets and increasingly for stocks and cryptocurrencies as well.

Most day traders use CFDs (contracts for difference) to speculate on price changes. A CFD is a contract that represents the price of an asset, and your profit is based on the difference between the current price and the price at the time you bought it.

What is a day trading broker?

A day trading broker is the platform that you use to execute these trades. Once upon a time, this role of matching buyers with sellers would have been played by an actual stock broker on the end of a phone. Nowadays it’s all done online and there are lots of platforms out there, each boasting a different range of features.

How does a broker work?

By bringing buyers and sellers together and executing their trades. The average person can’t simply sell shares on the stock market, they need a go-between to do it for them and that’s where the broker comes in. The online platforms set a price for each asset based on the market price (often with a little extra fee on top) and you can click a button to make the trade any time.

How do I use a broker?

You just have to create an account and transfer money into it, then you’re ready to get started. It’s a simple process and it usually only takes a few minutes for your account to be verified. Then search for the asset you want (usually this is a stock or a cryptocurrency), hit ‘buy’ to choose how much you want, and execute the trade.

What’s the best broker for beginners and advanced users?

There are a lot of brokers out there and the biggest distinguishing feature is often how well one matches up to your level of experience. Below we’ve picked out the best brokers for each different type of trader. 

The top day trading broker for beginners

If this is your first time trading, then you want to pick a platform that makes everything simple. Ideally it comes with a demo account and an easy-to-use interface that takes you where you want to go.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
user-score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.

The top day trading broker for advanced traders

If you’ve done this before then you might be looking for a new broker with much more advanced trading features. In that case you want a platform with quality charts and the ability to use tools like leverage and margin trading.

1
Min. Deposit
$100
Exclusive promotion
user-score
10
Trade +2000 CFDs on Shares, Options, Commodities & more
Unlimited risk-free Demo Account
0 commissions & attractive spreads with up to 1:5 leverage
Start Trading
Description:
Plus500 is a leading provider of Contracts for Difference (CFDs), delivering Leveraged trading on +2,000 financial instruments, including Forex, Commodities, Indices, Shares and Options.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, PayPal, skrill
Full regulations list:
ASIC, CySEC, FCA, FSA, ISA, MAS
Plus500 offers CFDs on major financial instruments. 76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What should I look for in a day trading platform?

While your experience might vary, the basics you should expect from a broker shouldn’t. There are a few things that are non-negotiable and here is a list of the most important ones to consider when picking a platform.

Design and ease of use

Pick a website that has a clean interface and makes it easy to find all the information that you want. Consider things like whether it has a mobile app and how good that is, as well as how easy it is to use any tool or charting features the platform offers.

Demo account

With any skill it’s best to be able to practice it first. Day trading is no different and many brokers offer demo accounts that let you trade with virtual money rather than putting your capital at risk straight away. This feature should be available in the account settings, where you can flip a switch between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ money.

Tools and charts

Analysing price information is a crucial part of successful day trading. You need to be able to quickly pinpoint where an opportunity lies and act on it. It’s important any broker you choose has good charting capabilities so that you can access all the information you need.

Fees and commissions

The key to successful day trading is making a lot of trades. You don’t want to be paying a high fee or commission on every one, otherwise you’re likely to see your capital quickly eaten away. Finding a platform with low (or no) trading fees is even more important for this type of approach than any other investing method.

The spread

The spread is the difference between the price a broker offers for buying compared to selling an asset. Often, it’s where they make their profit as it’s more of a ‘hidden’ charge than simply putting in high fees on every trade. Obviously, you want to find the best price you can but it might have to be a balancing act between low spreads and low fees.

Assets available to trade

You want to make sure you can trade all the assets you might want to speculate on. That means checking if the broker offers the stocks (or coins) you’re interested in. It’s likely that all the leading stocks, such as Tesla and Apple, will be available everywhere but if you have a specific company in mind you should do your research first before signing up.

Payment options

Bank transfers and card payments are the most traditional ways of funding a brokerage account and every platform will accept those. For alternatives like PayPal, however, there might be an extra charge or it might even not be available at all. Pay attention to the fees a platform charges for deposits and withdrawals with each method.

Reputation and regulation

Brokers have to be regulated in order to offer stock market trading and you should always use a regulated broker. That way, you have protection in case anything happens to the platform or your money. You should also consider its reputation for security and customer service – use our reviews or look around for other customer reviews to help.

Advanced trading options

Day trading is a much more intensive strategy than any other form of investing. Techniques like leverage, scalping, or shorting are only available on some platforms but are an important part of any day traders armoury. Even if you’re going to build up to these over time, you want to make sure you have the option to use them.

Quick answers to key questions

Can I day trade on multiple platforms?

Yes, there’s no limit to the number of platforms you can use or accounts you can have. Sometimes it might be better to have accounts with numerous brokers in order to get the best price on the assets you want to trade.

Do brokers charge commissions?

Most brokers make their money through fees or commissions, but the exact way they do so can vary. Some do so by charging a flat rate for every trade, others a commission of the total value. Still others are able to charge no fee at all and make money through something known as payment for order flow, essentially a reward for creating lots of volume.

Can I trade through an app?

Yes, you can use mobile apps to day trade. Remember though that day trading is a labour intensive process that requires a lot of activity every day. While you can do it from a phone, it might be better to use a computer as much as possible in order to maximise the value of all the features your broker offers.

Do I need any extra trading software?

Not normally, as you can day trade through the broker’s website or app. Occasionally a platform integrates with a specific type of software and you have to download that in order to trade. When that happens, the software is usually MetaTrader 4 and it’s free to download.

Should I use a day trading broker?

Yes, if day trading is for you. You need a quality broker in order to make lots of trades and any of the options on this page would make a great choice. Make sure you pick one with low fees first and foremost.

Still undecided?

If you aren’t sure which platform to use yet, then we can help. The table below summarises all the pros and cons of using a day trading platform and it’s followed by a few final things to consider.

Pros

  • Most platforms offer the advanced features you need, such as leverage
  • You can day trade forex and cryptocurrency as well as stocks
  • You can practice by using a demo account before day trading for real
  • Many brokers charge low fees

Cons

Should I start day trading now?

If you have the time and expertise then day trading can be profitable but it’s also risky for beginners who dive straight in. It can have a steep, and expensive, learning curve. The best thing to do is find a broker with a demo account and practice with that so you understand the strategies that work and can avoid ones that don’t.

To be a successful day trader you have to dedicate lots of time and energy to it. That starts with researching techniques such as leverage and scalping, and understanding how to use CFDs. It also includes staying on top of the latest news and being able to react quickly to developing events. Our news and analysis team is a great first port of call.

Apple shares have weakened from their recent highs above $140, and the current price stands around $128. Apple reported better than expected second-quarter results last week, and the company increased the quarterly dividend by 7.3%. Fundamental analysis: Morgan Stanley raised its target on Apple from $158 to $161 Apple shares…
Under Armour (NYSE: UAA) shares have weakened from their recent highs despite better than expected first-quarter results. The U.S. stock market is losing some ground this Tuesday, which also negatively influences Under Armour shares. Fundamental analysis: Under Armour shares are not undervalued Under Armour is an American sports equipment…
McDonald’s shares advanced after the company reported better than expected first-quarter results and closed the week at $236,08. Fundamental analysis: UBS raised its price target from $240 to $255 Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, this company’s business is going well, and McDonald’s reported better than expected first-quarter results last week.

Where can I learn more about day-trading?

Invezz has everything you need. From learning the basics of short term trading to in-depth analysis of all the top performing stocks, we’ve got you covered. Once you’re up to speed, you can head to the table above to pick a broker and get started.


Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

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 >

James Knight
Financial writer
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on… read more.