Interactive Brokers Review – Are They Safe or a Scam?
Check Our Ratings and Reviews for 2021
Welcome to our Interactive Brokers review. Our review strives to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about this broker, and whether or not you actually want to create an account with them.
But what is Interactive Brokers? Well, they are a top-quality online brokerage firm that gives you access to some of the best trading platform software in the industry right now. Check out the rest of our Interactive Brokers review to see why we were so impressed by this broker, and how you can create an account.
Offers and New Customer Experience - no offer currently on for new users
While conducting our Interactive brokers review, we couldn’t seem to find anything in the way of a new customer offer. Bonuses are not incredibly common amongst online brokers, so our Interactive brokers experience narrative reports won’t hold this against them.
What our Interactive Brokers review did find, was that the sign-up process was very straightforward. Sometimes the broker sign-up process can be a bit of pain but with Interactive brokers all you really need to do is follow a few simple steps. You’ll need to provide some personal information like your name, surname, email address, and few other minor details.
The most important part of the whole account creation process is the verification. You’ll need to verify your identity with a copy of your passport, standard ID document or your driver’s license. Once you have done that, you’ll also need to provide Interactive brokers with a copy of a recent bank statement or utility bill to provide them with proof of residence.
Usability - a genuinely user-friendly platform
Our Interactive Brokers review found that the platform not only makes it easy for you to create an account, but they make it just as easy to navigate their website. After spending about an hour just perusing what was on the site, we realised just how well everything was laid out. You can find everything you need in the site at the top of the homepage; you can find the trading instruments, pricing, additional services and more. All the pages we checked out loaded quickly which contributed greatly to the overall positive Interactive Brokers experience and rating report we compiled.
What we really liked about the Interactive Brokers platform was the access to educational pieces. New users will find this particularly useful as you can check out an in-depth glossary, the traders’ academy, short educational videos, and a lot more. Our Interactive Brokers review could already tell, just from the way the platform was laid out, that it was user-friendly but with the educational resources as well. It’s clearly great for novice traders too.
Accounts - three different account options to choose from
After some more time checking out the platform, our Interactive Brokers review found that there were several different accounts for users to choose from. The beauty of these account options is that they offer new users a free trial, otherwise known as a demo account. A demo account is a great way for new users to get a feel for the site and its features before actually making any deposits into their trading account.
Once users decide that they are keen on opening an account with Interactive Brokers, they can choose from a few different options. The account options include an Individual account, Joint account, Individual Retirement account, Trust account, Family and Friends account and a Small business account.
When you have chosen the ownership account type you can then choose from a Cash, Portfolio, Margin or Reg T Margin account. There is a particularly useful guide on what account you should open depending on what kind of trader you are. You can find this once you have clicked on the “open account” button in the top right-hand corner of the homepage. From what our Interactive Brokers review could gather, accounts with smaller sums of capital or completely inactive accounts can be charged a significant fee. So, be sure about the account you want to go with and get trading. If you want to trade elsewhere then be sure to close your account with Interactive Brokers.
All investments involve risks, including the possible loss of capital.
Trading Platforms - web, desktop, and mobile trading platforms
Our Interactive Brokers review found that the broker does not currently offer any additional trading platforms on their site. What we mean by this, is that you won’t find any of the MetaTrader platforms on the site to use. There is no law that says every broker should have these trading platforms on their site as an option though, so we won’t hold it against Interactive Brokers.
Instead, Interactive Brokers offers their own desktop, web and mobile trading platform. Our Interactive Brokers review found the web trading platform to be innovative but most importantly, exceptionally easy to navigate and use. You can utilise the search bar function to locate the trading instruments you are after with ease.
The mobile trading platform works just as well as the web-based platform but is slightly less user friendly. With that being said you can still access the search bar where you can search for any asset you are after. It will then list all of the available CFDs, futures, stocks and options for that asset. You can download the mobile trading platform via IOS and Android app stores respectively.
And lastly, the desktop trading platform. If we are being honest, this is one of the more complex trading platforms we have seen. In truth, only traders who consider themselves experts should be using this platform. The best part about the desktop trading platform is the Smart Routing feature, this feature automatically finds the best route for your trades. Once you get the hang of it, it can be a formidable ally to your everyday trading endeavours.
Trading Payments - zero transaction fees
Our Interactive Brokers review found that users can only make deposits into their accounts using a bank transfer, at least right now. We couldn’t find any information about the addition of any more payment methods in the near future, so a bank transfer is going to have to do for now. And of course, you can only make withdrawals using a bank transfer as well.
In terms of the deposit and withdrawal fees our Interactive Brokers review found that users will need to pay absolutely nothing when making deposits and withdrawals. So, while there may not be many deposit options, we certainly can’t fault Interactive Brokers on their fee structure, as apparently, there is none whatsoever to speak of.
Your deposits and withdrawals using a bank transfer may vary in terms of processing times, but you can typically expect to wait around 2-3 business days for your transaction to clear. All in all, aside from the limited deposit options we were pleased with the fact that users don’t have to pay any transaction fees.
Customer Service - plenty of contact options
Our Interactive Brokers found that the broker has made a couple of different contact methods available on their site. If you find that you have run into some trouble or just need a basic question answered, then you can get a hold of the support team via the live chat feature, phone number or via email.
Customer support can only be accessed 24/5 meaning you can’t have your questions answered on the weekend unfortunately. However, Interactive Brokers do make their customer support available in several different languages that include English, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese. That’s a pretty decent spread of languages so if you’re more comfortable in one of these you don’t have to default to English if you don’t want to.
We took the time to assess the overall quality of the customer service ourselves. We decided to go with the live chat feature and what we found really impressed us. The live chat feature functions smoothly but most importantly, the customer support responds swiftly. The support member that helped us was super friendly and professional and seemed to know her stuff.
We have to mention that Interactive Brokers also has an incredibly detailed FAQs section. The available FAQs cover everything from account opening to deposit type. SO, if you have a basic question, it is definitely worth checking out the FAQs section first as you may well have your question answered there before ever needing to chat with one of the customer support team.
Regulation and Deposit Insurance - users are well protected
We will never review a broker without carrying a check on the legitimacy of their platform. We have done the same with our Interactive Brokers reviews and have found that the broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These are officially financial regulators which means that Interactive Brokers have passed all the tests to operate legally. This should put any concerns you may have had to bed as well as answer the question, “is Interactive Brokers reliable?”
In the event that Interactive Brokers goes bankrupt (highly likely) you need not worry about the money that you have tied up in your account. All user funds are kept in a separate trust account from Interactive Brokers. This means that none of your deposited cash will ever be used to cover the debts of Interactive Brokers themselves. All in all, your funds are safe and sound on the platform.
Additional Features - more than just a crypto broker
Interactive Brokers has technically been around since 1978 so they are a broker that knows the industry inside and out. We know most of you are here to check out what the crypto offering is, and we give you the breakdown on that in the next couple of sections. However, we wanted to show you what else was available on the site as well as Interactive Brokers are by no means a one trick pony.
Our Interactive Brokers review that the broker currently offers a plethora of different trading instruments that include the likes of stocks, options, futures, bonds, ETFs, metals, mutual and hedge funds and of course cryptocurrencies as well. As you can see, there are plenty of options for you to take advantage of in your pursuit to diversify your portfolio.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention three major awards that Interactive Brokers have won recently, and they include:
Winner 2021 Stock Brokerage.2
Winner 2021 Futures Brokerage.2
Winner 2021 Forex Brokerage.2
With this many high class awards it’s difficult to see how there could be any Interactive Brokers scams happening at such a clearly reputable broker.
Interactive Brokers Crypto
Interactive Brokers Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies are all the rage right now, as they have progressively grown to become one of the most popular trading instruments. Our Interactive Brokers review found that there are currently 2 different cryptocurrencies to be traded on the platform. Users can trade Bitcoin and Ethereum with Interactive Brokers. However, unlike many other brokers, you won’t actually be able to own the underlying crypto asset. Instead, you can trade cryptos through futures and ETNs (exchange traded notes)
This is not the most diverse Interactive Brokers crypto offering we have ever seen but it covers the two biggest cryptos out there right now. If you consider yourself a crypto fanatic, then Interactive Brokers may not be the crypto broker for you.
There are not all that many fees to concern yourself with crypto trading at Interactive Brokers. However, there are some clear commission fees on your contracts. The commission on one Bitcoin futures contract is $10. Aside from that, you won’t have to pay any transaction fees on your deposits or withdrawals.
As we mentioned before, Interactive Brokers is not actually a broker that is going to allow you to own the underlying crypto asset. You’ll only be trading through futures or ETNs. The futures are cash settled, so you won’t be needing a crypto wallet to receive your funds once your contract is closed.
Summary and Conclusion
All in all, it is by no means the best crypto offering we have ever seen on a broker’s site and the Interactive Broker reviews from crypto fans will say as much. However, Interactive Brokers provides a number of other trading instruments on the site so if you are simply looking to add some diversity to your portfolio then the crypto options available should do the trick.
Interactive Brokers review FAQ
✅Is Interactive Brokers safe to use?
There is nothing more important than the safety of an online broker. That is why we try to give our readers here at CryptoParrot a clear indication of the current licensing, regulation, and overall security on the Interactive Broker’s site. You’ll know exactly how you are protected and whether or not Interactive Brokers are a legitimate online broker.
❓Is there welcome bonus available at Robinhood?
Who doesn’t love a good welcome bonus? Our Interactive Brokers review takes an in-depth look at whether or not new users on the platform can claim a welcome offer. We’ll take you through what this offer is (if there is any), what the requirements for the bonus are and how much time you’ll have to use the actual bonus as well. We leave nothing out in our Interactive Brokers review, so you’ll know exactly where you stand when you sign up on the site.
💵How can I contact the support team at Interactive Brokers?
There is every chance that you run into a small hiccup while conducting trades for an extended period of time over at Interactive Brokers. That is why our Interactive Brokers review takes a closer look at the different methods you can use to contact their customer support team. We’ll let you know if there is a live chat feature available and whether or not you can contact them, via phone or email as well.
Conclusion - Our Interactive Brokers review
That brings us to the end of our Interactive Brokers review. One thing that really stood out for us here at CryptoParrot is the fact that the broker charges zero fees on your deposits and withdrawals. This may seem trivial at first but once you start making several deposits, you’ll be glad that you aren’t being charged a fee every time. More so than that, we were really pleased with the trading platforms on offer. They may not include the likes of MT4 and MT5, but they are exceptional in their own right.
Overall, if you are looking for a broker that pirates smoothly with little to know fees on the site then Interactive Brokers is the broker for you. However, if you are looking for more diversity in your cryptocurrencies then the two that are on offer right now may not be enough for you.