Overview: TradeKing vs Scottrade

When looking for the perfect online brokerage for your trading habit, it is important to consider many different aspects of the website you use. Fees are, of course, the most important thing people look at, but besides fees, it is important to consider the features you receive through the online brokerage and what you will get for your money.

In this review, we will compare TradeKing vs. Scottrade and the many different features that each site can provide to online traders. While TradeKing fees are less than Scottrade fees, there are many reviews out there that look at Scottrade vs. TradeKing and consider Scottrade to be the winner. However, other reviews have made the comparison and think TradeKing is better. Take a look through our review here at AdvisoryHQ, and make your own decision on which online brokerage to use.

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TradeKing vs. Scottrade Review

The History

TradeKing was founded in 2005 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. TradeKing’s offices are in Fort Lauderdale, and it has subsidiary offices in Charlotte, North Carolina. TradeKing was founded in order to provide online traders with a discount online brokerage firm that allows traders to buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and options online or through the phone.

tradeking vs scottrade

Image Source: TradeKing

In 2012, TradeKing merged with Zecco.com to provide an even better experience for traders. Since its founding, TradeKing has received great reviews overall and even received the #1 Broker Innovation Award for 2015.

With a much more extensive history, Scottrade was founded in 1980 by Rodger Riney in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company began as an investing firm named Scottsdale Securities. Scottrade.com launched in 1996, which was one of the first online trading sites.

The company officially changed its name to Scottrade in 2000 and became one of the best discount online traders. Today, Scottrade has over $1 billion dollars in assets, with 500 physical offices nationwide, and offers a mobile app, an investment management program, and much more. It just celebrated its 35th anniversary.

Signing Up

When looking at TradeKing vs. Scottrade, both offer easy ways to open accounts online. Their websites claim that most applications are approved in minutes. Scottrade fees include a minimum deposit of $2,500 in order to begin trading while TradeKing fees are zero in the beginning, with no minimum deposit required.

While $2,500 is not a lot for many investors to begin with, the benefit of TradeKing’s feature of not requiring a minimum deposit is definitely attractive. Scottrade, on the other hand, is a much more established company, which is why it requires more capital upfront.

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What They Provide

Let’s take a closer look at TradeKing’s features first. TradeKing provides trading stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. Its online platform offers streaming quotes and charts, independent investment research, and a profit and loss probability calculator.

TradeKing also provides its AutoTrade feature that will automatically place your trades for you during trading hours so you do not have to sit at your computer. TradeKing boasts an unparalleled online trading community and extensive educational resources for traders wanting to learn more about the business and its many tips and tools. TradeKing also offers a mobile application for iOS and Android systems.

When looking at Scottrade, many people ask the question, “How does Scottrade work?” Scottrade provides a wide range of features for online traders to utilize. Scottrade’s online platform provides account alerts, a personal performance analysis, and portfolio tracking.

Scottrade.com has basic chart capabilities but does not get extensive in its chart comparison or multiple chart analysis features. Scottrade allows you to trade stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and bonds. Scottrade’s most unique feature is that it is also a full-service bank with 500 branches in the US. Its bank offers free checking accounts, savings accounts, and CDs. Scottrade also has an interactivemobile app for iOS and Android systems.

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How the Features Compare

TradeKing vs. Scottrade is a hard comparison to make when looking for an overall winner because both online brokerages provide many similar features as well as many extra and unique features.

TradeKing is inferior to Scottrade in that it does not offer bonds trading. However, TradeKing fees are lower than Scottrade fees (which we will review next), but Scottrade has an advantage with its 500 physical locations and banking options. Both brokerages offer extensive educational resources and customer service.

TradeKing offers broker-assisted trading for no extra cost, which is beneficial for many novice traders. The features for both sites are extensive, and when looking at the features of Scottrade vs. TradeKing, the winner truly depends on the trader and his/her personal needs.

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The Fees

The fees are probably the most important things to compare when looking at online brokerages because there are many different fees that need to be considered. When comparing TradeKing fees vs. Scottrade fees, we see that, overall, TradeKing is cheaper.

 For trading, TradeKing charges $4.95 per equity trade regardless of whether it is assisted or unassisted by a broker. Scottrade charges $7 per equity trade, $17 to trade by phone, and $27 for a trade assisted by a broker. As you can see, Scottrade fees for equity trading are significantly higher than TradeKing fees.

When looking at Scottrade vs. TradeKing for options trading, TradeKing is cheaper once again. TradeKing charges $4.95 per options trade as well as $0.65 per contract. Scottrade options fees are $7 per trade as well as $1.25 per contract.

For mutual funds trading, TradeKing charges $9.95 per trade, and Scottrade charges $17 per trade. To open up a cash account with Scottrade, there is a $500-dollar fee. On the other hand, opening up any account with TradeKing is free.

There is an initial deposit of $2000 required to open up a margin account with Scottrade. Opening up a margin account with TradeKing is free, but you will be required to keep $2,000 in equity with this account.While Scottrade charges a $75 outgoing transfer fee, TradeKing charges $50.

Although TradeKing seems like the obvious option for the best value, TradeKing does have some hidden fees that Scottrade does not have. For example, TradeKing will charge you a $50 inactivity fee annually if your account is not used with the one commission-charged trade required and if you have not maintained a balance of $2,500. TradeKing and Scottrade both have many other small, specific fees for different transactions, but these are highlighted very clearly on their websites.

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Promotional Opportunities

Both Scottrade and TradeKing offer promotional values on their sites for different transactions through their websites. Scottrade promo codes can be found on the homepage of its website and includes options such as 50 free trades on qualifying deposits of $10,000–$24,999. This is the minimum deposit to receive a bonus. Deposits of higher amounts receive 50 free trades and cash bonuses as well.

TradeKing promo codes include a $50 cash bonus for every friend referred to TradeKing as well as $150 in transfer fees refunded when you transfer to TradeKing. If you open a new TradeKing account and fund your account with $5,000 or more within 30 days, TradeKing will give you $1,000 in free trade commissions. These promo codes are obviously reserved for serious traders ready to take advantage of these online brokerage sites.

Customer Service

From looking at Scottrade vs. TradeKing reviews, we see that both sites have great reviews on customer support. Both Scottrade and TradeKing offer Live Broker Chat and investing seminars/education to make you more knowledgeable with your finances.

TradeKing customer service has been honored consistently by Smart Money as one of the best. People praise Scottrade’s customer service as well, and people are easily satisfied due to its 500 physical locations. Neither one outshines the other in quality because many agree that both have outstanding customer service, with between 4 and 4.5 out of 5 stars on almost every review out there.

TradeKing Forex

TradeKing Forex is an extra program on top of TradeKing that allows online traders to participate in the foreign exchange market throughout the world. With TradeKing Forex, traders can trade over 50 currency pairs, and they can also trade gold and silver.

TradeKing Forex requires a $500 minimum deposit to open an account. This platform on the forex market is an extra feature of TradeKing that Scottrade does not have. While we will not compare TradeKing Forex to other forex platforms in this review, it is useful to know that TradeKing offers this service.


Both TradeKing and Scottrade have some downfalls that should be considered when deciding on an online brokerage firm. Scottrade’s biggest downfall is the hefty $2,500 minimum to open an account with it.

Also, Scottrade charges an additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1. Scottrade allows no electronic withdrawals from its bank, but customers can use debit cards, checks, and ACH transfers like any other bank.

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TradeKing’s downfalls are somewhat more minimal, with its $50 annual inactivity fee being the biggest culprit. Also, TradeKing charges an additional $0.01 per share on stocks priced less than $2. Other reviews also claim that TradeKing has minimal after-hours trading, from 4–5pm EST as opposed to the usual after-hours trading timeslot of 4–8pm EST.

Other Reviews

Other popular review sites that have compared TradeKing vs. Scottrade agree that the sites are fairly equal in their performance overall. While TradeKing proves to be more cost-effective, Scottrade has a longstanding reputation over the past few decades and is a name that can be trusted. Scottrade also offers banking options and physical locations nationwide, which TradeKing does not.


When it comes down to choosing Scottrade vs. TradeKing, what you end up choosing should come down to personal preference. If you want a site that allows you to go to a physical location and have your banking rolled in with your trading, Scottrade may be best for you. Scottrade is also good for investors who are knowledgeable in what they are doing and appreciate the reputation of a company that has been around for years.

Novice investors may do better with TradeKing because its educational resources have been glorified throughout the Internet. Also, with TradeKing’s lack of minimum account deposits, beginners will be able to try out the platform without much to lose.

Both TradeKing and Scottrade are great online brokerage firms that stand out among other online brokerage firms on the scene today. The two companies provide excellent customer service, low fees in relation to other companies, and many valuable features.

While some may find that either TradeKing or Scottrade better suit their needs as online traders, it is a personal decision to make. Here, at AdvisoryHQ, we believe both companies will provide exceptional service and meet the needs of any traders that choose to use them. Whether you go with Scottrade or TradeKing, you will not go wrong.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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