Online Brokerage Comparison: IBKR vs Tiger Brokers vs TD Ameritrade

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The battle of the hottest brokerages in town. Here’s a comparison of the three brokerages known for their US market access and low commission fees.

If you’re on the hunt to open a brokerage account, chances are, you would have come across one of the three brokerage accounts in this article. We pit these platforms against one another for specific factors of consideration to see which best suits your investment style. 

Here’s what we’ll look at to help you make a better decision:


Key Benefits
Interactive BrokersLow trading cost that is hard to beat

Access to 135 markets in 33 countries
Tiger BrokersCompetitive commission fees 

Attractive sign-up perks and rewards for trading
TD AmeritradeCommission-free trades for US exchange-listed stocks, ETFs and option trades

What these online brokerages have in common

#1 No minimum deposit amount required

All three brokerages do not require a minimum deposit amount or minimum balance, making them great brokerage account options for new investors and traders that plan to start small. 

#2 Access to US markets

With the US being the largest financial market in the world, the modern day trader or investor would look to their shores to find the leading companies to invest in. All three brokerages in question allow their users to access securities listed on the US markets. 

Comparison #1: Commission fee 

First up is the commission fee — arguably the most important factor of comparison — which is the cost you incur for each trade you make on the platform. 


Interactive Brokers (IBKR)Tiger BrokersTD Ameritrade
Singapore Stocks0.08% of trade value, min. $2.50 per order 0.08%, min. $2.88 per order is currently waived N.A. 
US StocksUSD$0.005 per share, min. USD$1 per order USD$0.01, min. USD$1.99 per trade$0 
  • For Singapore stocks: Tiger Brokers 

Tiger Brokers’ commission fee rates are the most attractive amongst the three, with no minimum commission fee per order. 0.08% is also the benchmark for low commission fees when it comes to Singapore stocks. While IBKR also offers 0.08%, there is a minimum $2.50 commission fee which could be relatively costly for those that are purchasing small lot sizes.  

Unfortunately, TD Ameritrade’s $0 commission fee only applies to US exchange-listed stocks, ETFs and options — effectively ruling them out as the brokerage account of choice if you plan to buy Singapore stocks. 

  • For US stocks: TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade offers an unbeatable $0 commission (read: free trades) for US exchange-listed stocks, ETFs, and options trades. Those trading options should note that a USD$0.70 per contract fee applies, with no exercise or assignment fees. 

IBKR makes a better choice than Tiger Brokers when it comes to US stocks trading, offering half the commission fee. 

However, it’s worthwhile to note that Tiger Brokers’ commission fees remain very affordable, especially when compared to other brokerages that might charge a minimum commission fee of $10 to $25 with 0.18% trading commissions. 

  • For multiple markets: IBKR or Tiger Brokers

If you’re looking to buy securities in both the US and Singapore market, or other markets for that matter, IBKR or Tiger Brokers would be the platforms to use. They provide access to multiple markets across the world, along with competitive fees. 

Comparison #2: Maintenance fees

Interactive Brokers (IBKR)Tiger BrokersTD Ameritrade
Up to USD$10 per month (less commission paid that month)NoneNone

Not a common fee charged by brokerage houses, the only one of the three that charges a maintenance fee is IBKR. This fee is up to USD$10 per month, less commissions paid that month. 

While it sounds like an ‘additional’ fee to fork out, this isn’t the case especially if you make multiple trades each month or if you make a large trade. If your commission fee each month hits USD$10, this maintenance fee is equivalent to $0. 

Here are examples of two scenarios that allow you to reach USD$10 commission in a month: 

  • Make 10 orders that cost the minimum of USD$1 per order for US stocks 
  • Buying 15 Apple shares (assuming they’re trading at USD$140) will cost USD$2,100 — equivalent to USD$10.50 in commissions 

Comparison #3: Market access

The Singapore market has been known to pale in comparison to markets such as the US when it comes to growth. Naturally, traders and investors might prefer to put their money in overseas markets for greater opportunities to grow their wealth. 

Interactive Brokers (IBKR)Tiger BrokersTD Ameritrade
Countries: Present in 135 markets, 33 countries and in 23 currencies

Products: Stocks, bonds, funds, options, futures, and currencies
Countries: US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Australia stocks

Products: Stocks, options, ETFs, futures, warrants/CBBCs
Countries: US market only 


Products: Stocks, ETFs, options, futures

IBKR offers the widest range of products, markets and currencies for you to trade. If you’re looking to trade in lesser-known markets, or if you simply prefer having access to many different markets, IBKR is your go-to platform. 

Tiger Brokers offers access to the popular stock markets, including Singapore, US, Hong Kong, China and Australia. 

TD Ameritrade is the most limiting, allowing you to trade US-exchange listed equity shares, ETFs and all listed index and equity options. You can also apply to trade futures with TD Ameritrade after you’ve opened your margin account. Unfortunately, non-US market products are not available. 

Comparison #4: Sign-up promotions

If you’re indifferent towards either of the three brokerage options, you can consider signing up for an account with the one that offers the most attractive promotions.

Interactive Brokers (IBKR)Tiger BrokersTD Ameritrade
None at the moment5 commission-free trades, stock vouchers and free market data for US stocks.None at the moment

Tiger Brokers is the standout winner in this comparison. By simply signing up for a Tiger Brokers account, you can make trades for free for your first five trades. You also get additional support of their Level 2 market data to help you make better trade decisions. Lastly, get more rewards when your friends use your referral code to sign up. 

It’s also worth noting that Tiger Brokers offers instant deposit of funds with their Direct Debit Authorization (DDA) feature, eliminating the waiting time required before you can purchase securities with your brokerage account. 


SingSaver’s exclusive offer: Get rewarded $10 cash via PayNow upon account application. Limited to the first 50 new accounts only. Valid till 31 Jan 2021.


Which one is best for you? 

Firstly, if you’re looking to buy Singapore stocks, TD Ameritrade would be out of the equation, though it makes a good choice if you’re focused on US stocks. 

Experienced traders or investors that plan to purchase stocks across multiple markets could find it more convenient to use IBKR or Tiger Brokers, platforms that allow you to trade at low cost in many different markets.

Between IBKR and Tiger Brokers, if you see yourself executing numerous trades a month, IBKR makes a good choice. However, if your trading volume or size isn’t large enough to justify IBKR’s USD$10 minimum maintenance fee (less commissions paid), Tiger Brokers is a great alternative. 

Last but not least, picking any one of the three is a better choice than not picking at all. Rather than wasting time and opportunity cost making this single decision, you could be better off using this time to pick and choose your fighters in the stock market. 

Read these next:
Best Brokerage Accounts To Start Your Investment Journey In Singapore
Guide To Opening A CDP Account And Tips On How To Use It
8 Hottest Stocks From Beauty And Fashion Companies To Invest In Right Now
Investing In Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): A Newbie’s Guide To Getting Started
Guide To Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), And Whether You’re Ready For It


By Ching Sue Mae
A flat white, an adventure-filled travel and a good workout is her fuel. This Manchester United fan enjoys sharing knowledge on personal finance while chasing the dream of financial independence.