List of Online Discount Brokers To House Your IRA

Online discount brokers have a variety of resources that the average investor might not know about.  One of those resources is housing your Independent Retirement Account, commonly known as your IRA.  Whether you are looking to open a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, rollover or SEP IRA, an IRA is an excellent way to set aside funds for your future.

Not every online broker, however, offers IRA accounts. And with those discount brokers that do, the minimums, fees, and resources available can vary significantly from one brokerage firm to the next.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best options available for IRA accounts within the discount broker’s space.


Scottrade offers very low cost trades, excellent trading tools, and locations throughout the country where clients can talk to real people in person. Its physical locations was the primary reason I opened my SEP IRA at Scottrade back in 2010. Making trades is very easy an super fast. All of my trades were completed in seconds.

  • IRA’s available: Traditional / Roth / Rollover / SEP
  • Fees associated with account: None (No opening, maintenance, custodial or closeout fees of any kind)
  • Account minimums: None (No initial minimums and/or account requirements)
  • Takeaway: Editor’s Choice–Scottrade offers the best mix of low cost, excellent trading tools, and branch locations. For more information check out our Scottrade review or visit Scottrade.


Betterment IRABetterment is the easiest way to get started with an IRA. Simply select how much you want invested in stocks and bonds, and Betterment does the rest. It rebalances your investments and reinvests your dividends automatically.

  • IRA’s available: Traditional / Roth / Rollover / SEP
  • Fees associated with account: None (No opening, maintenance, custodial or closeout fees of any kind). Betterment does charge a fee based on account balance.
  • Account minimums: None (No initial minimums and/or account requirements)
  • Takeaway: Editor’s Choice–Betterment is ideal for those who want low cost passively managed investments, but don’t want the hassle of picking mutual funds and rebalancing. For more information check out our Betterment review or visit Betterment.

Open an IRA at Betterment Today →


    • IRA’s available: Traditional / Roth / Rollover / SEP / Educational
    • Fees associated with account: None (No opening, maintenance, custodial or closeout fees of any kind)
    • Account minimums: $1,000 for a cash account and $2,000 for a margin account
    • IRA Bonus: Open an IRA and get 100 free trades and up to $125 in transfer fees.
    • Takeaway: Editor’s Choice–OptionsHouse offers one of the lowest fee structures you’ll find anywhere (e.g., $2.95 flat fee to trade stocks) and is one of the few brokerages that allow you trade options in an IRA account. For more information check out our OptionsHouse review or visit OptionsHouse.

Open an IRA at OptionsHouse Today →



    • IRA’s available: Traditional / Roth / Rollover / SEP / SIMPLE / IRA  for Minors /Beneficiary / Roth IRA CD / Traditional IRA CD
    • Fees associated with account: $25 annual custodial fee  + additional fees
    • Account minimums: To avoid additional custodial fees, a minimum of $25,000 between all E*Trade accounts need to be kept
    • Takeaway: If you can avoid some of the fees with high balances, E*Trade is a full service brokerage option. For more information check out our E*Trade review or visit E*Trade.

Open an IRA at E*Trade Today →



    • IRA’s available: Traditional / Roth / Rollover / SEP / SIMPLE
    • Fees associated with account: No open, maintenance, or custodial fees, however there is a fee for closing out an IRA dependent on your account status
    • : None (No initial minimums and/or account requirements)
    • Takeway: Editor’s Choice–OptionsXpress is our top pick if you are looking to buy and sell options in your IRA. Its options tools, pricing, and education are first rate, in our opinion. For more information you can check out our OptionsXpress review or visit OptionsXpress.

Open an OptionsXpress at E*Trade Today →

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is a trusted brokerage house with excellent IRA options. Its research tools are unparalleled, and it even offers up to $600 when you rollover a 401k to an IRA. You can open an account online in just minutes.

    • IRA’s available – Traditional / Roth / Rollover / SEP
    • Fees associated with account – No set-up, maintenance or annual fees.
    • Account minimums – None (No initial minimums and/or account requirements)
    • Takeway: Well known for its trading tools and research, TD Ameritrade was ranked #1 for IRA accounts by Kiplinger. For more information check out our TD Ameritrade review or visit TD Ameritrade.

Open a TD Ameritrade IRA Today →

When deciding which online discount broker is the best place to transfer an existing IRA, or start investing into a new one, there are a few important factors to consider. First you should make sure that the broker offers the specific type of IRA you are interested in. While most online discount brokers carry the same IRA accounts, there are a few unique options available. The next and most important question you need to ask is “What are the fees associated with opening, maintaining and closing my IRA?” If you are paying a high premium, then the tax benefits may not be worth it in the long-run. Finally, when you factor in account minimums and customer service, you should find the online discount broker that’s right for you.

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Published or Updated: October 16, 2015
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.


  1. For Canadian investors they can look at Questrade.

  2. Cynthia Bradley says:

    I just lost my job and I have to rollover my 401k to a IRA. I’m considering TradeKing but I would like some advice on what to do once I have rolled over my funds. I have only bought drips using the dollar cost average method of accumulating stocks. I just need to know once I rollover my funds can they sit there until I get educationed on making eft and/or stock trades.

  3. will richards says:

    After years and years investing with fidelity, i am leaving because of rudness, hostility, reps who dont care, high fees, they cost me a lot of money, be careful dealin with the devil

  4. Kerry Pickett says:

    @ Cynthia, consider seeking out a financial planner, they will be able to guide you into what product suit your individual goals, but will only charge a fee for their knowledge. At least to get you started, this is pretty important stuff to go alone

  5. Ryan says:

    I use Scottrade for my Roth IRA, but they do not offer automatic reinvestment of dividends. Is there a company with similar fees to Scottrade that offers automatic dividend reinvestment?

    • Rob Berger says:

      Ryan, that’s a great question. There are several brokers on the list above that offer automatic dividend reinvestment: E*Trade and OptionsXpress. I have an account at OptionsXpress. All you need to do is an online chat with them and they can set you up with the DRIP. It took all of 60 seconds.

      Also, Betterment reinvests dividends automatically, but as you may know, it’s not a traditional broker.

  6. Neelu says:

    You can also use other traders like Interactive Brokers who charge very less trading costs and they also support DRIP. I have personally used TradeKing and Interactive Brokers which are both good.

  7. Charles says:

    I am trying to locate a broker that will allow me to write credit spreads in my roth ira account. Can anyone tell me who allows this?

  8. hec says:

    I’m trying to open a Roth IRA but looking for low cost brokerage firms.
    Can anybody recommend a good brokerage firm?

    How about opening up a ROTH with a bank or credit union, would that be a better option?

    Advice on this answer would be much appreciated.

    • Rob Berger says:

      hec, I think one of the best brokerages for an IRA is Scottrade. That’s where I opened my first SEP IRA. They have offices throughout the country, excellent customer service, and low cost trades.

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