TradeKing Review: Get $1,000 in Free Commissions!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure page for more info.

This TradeKing review covers the value they offer to investors with $4.95 trades. Read how to get $1,000 in free commissions with a new TradeKing account!

TradeKing is a low-cost online broker that provides extensive value to their clients. This TradeKing review will provide a high-level overview of the services they offer and how they can to help you with your investing needs.

I dealt extensively with TradeKing during my days as a stock broker and was always impressed by their platform, offerings and service to clients. This TradeKing review comes from that experience and believe there is a lot of value in the $4.95 commission price they charge – which is the lowest commission price in the industry.

It’s important to keep in mind we all have different needs as investors and thus need to do our own homework before choosing an online broker to manage our investing needs. With that in mind, feel free to check out some of my other online brokerage reviews:

A little background on TradeKing, they have been in business since 2005 and merged with Zecco in 2012 to broaden their brokerage offerings. They’re well-known for their social media presence and low priced stock trades. TradeKing was also acquired by Ally in early 2016, so I’m sure there’s going to be some exciting new features in the near future for clients of both companies. With that in mind, let’s get on to the review of TradeKing.

TradeKing Features


Trading Platform: The first thing I look at when I consider a brokerage is the trading platform and if it’s user friendly. From what I have experienced with the TradeKing platform, it is intuitive and relatively simple to master. As mentioned earlier, they offer a $4.95 commission on stock trades and $.65 per contract on options (in addition to the stock commission) which is very hard to beat. This makes TradeKing the lowest priced online brokerage in the market space, tied with Motif Investing.

Free Streaming Quotes: I’ve mentioned the feature of streaming quotes in previous reviews, and TradeKing does not disappoint here. After placing one trade, you simply contact them and they enable free streaming quotes on your account. This is nice to have if you like to watch the market and execute trades at a specific price.

Forex Trading: Just as with Etrade, TradeKing offers forex trading thanks to their merger with Zecco. If you’re new to forex, Tradeking offers a $50,000 virtual account to help you get your feet wet. Forex is relatively risky, so I love that they offer this as a feature.

TradeKing Advisors Program: This is a new feature TradeKing launched in late 2014. What I really like about this feature is that it’s a major step towards being able to handle all of your investment needs in one location. The idea behind TradeKing Advisors is somewhat similar to a automated retirement program in they manage your investments for you. With TradeKing Advisors you can start with portfolios as low as $5,000 in low-cost ETFs. These portfolios are suggested and modeled by Ibottson (a subsidiary of Morningstar) and are based on your specific goals, needs and circumstances. The TradeKing Advisors program is free of charge for the first year when you open a new account.

Advantages of TradeKing


Low Pricing: Obviously, one of the big draws of is their low commission. If you like to invest in stocks then you’re hard pressed to beat their $4.95 per stock trade. They also have a solid mutual fund price of $9.95 per trade. Both are on the lower end of the competitive scale, making them hard to beat on both counts.

Healthy Mutual Fund Offering: If you like to invest in mutual funds, then you’ll be satisfied with TradeKing as they offer over 8,000 mutual funds from a wide variety of fund families. This positions TradeKing as better than average in relation to the rest of the brokerage space. Scottrade and TD Ameritrade are the only other online brokers in the space that offer more mutual funds.

Great Customer Service: I’ve said it before, but I will pay more for good customer service. If I am going to trust someone with my money then it’s a no brainer for me. Every time I’ve dealt with TradeKing I’ve been satisfied with my experience. They’ve also been consistently honored by Smart Money for being one of the top brokers in the industry for customer service.

Free Online Support: One of the things that sets TradeKing apart is their use of social media and forums on their site. They take to heart offering real-time support to their clients and have thought outside the box to do so. They also provide free classes and webinars to offer help which is nice to see and they have it broken down by experience level which is incredibly helpful.

No Minimum to Open: TradeKing does not have a minimum opening balance requirement. Many brokerages do not offer this, which can hold some back. This allows clients to open with the amount they can and go from there. This is a huge bonus in my book if you have little money to invest in the stock market.

Disadvantages of TradeKing


Fees: Generally speaking, TradeKing is very light when it comes to fees which is awesome. However, they make up for it with an inactivity fee of $50 per year. I hate inactivity fees with a passion, but there are ways around it, so read on.

They hit you with it if you’ve not had a commissionable stock trade in the last 12 months and/or your account value is under $2,500. Assuming you’re over this, then there is absolutely nothing to be worried about and you can go on with your normal investing, but if not you need to be aware of it.This TradeKing review covers the value they offer to investors with $4.95 trades. Read how to get $1,000 in free commissions with a new TradeKing account!

TradeKing review – my take


I think for the right person TradeKing is an excellent fit. I’m not a fan of fees, but if it doesn’t apply to you then it’s of no significance as you won’t be charged. TradeKing offers excellent service and their price simply can’t be beat. With their solid lineup of offerings, valuable tools and resources to help you as an investor and their accolades I would consider TradeKing a worthy online brokerage to consider for your investing needs.

With the addition of the TradeKing Advisors platform I believe they’ve taken a major step towards becoming a brokerage that can help nearly any investor – whether you’re a DIY investor or are someone looking for some help managing your investments.

If you do open an account with TradeKing, make sure to take advantage of their current promotion for free trades. If you open an account with $500, you qualify for $500 in free trades, or if you open an account with $5,000 you qualify for $1,000 in free trades. Just make sure to use the code “TRADE500” OR “FREE1000”, respectively when you open your account.

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more.


  • Pauline says:

    Thank you for the review, I am looking for a low cost brokerage account, $4.95 sounds more reasonable than others which are over $8.

  • Sounds like a great review. $4.95 seems fairly reasonable compared to the other options out there. I love that it has the Forex Trading option.

  • Having used TradeKing for over five years at this point with three different accounts, I would agree that they are a very viable option. Something that is not mentioned here is the high fees for partnership or entity accounts. At last check, this was $250 per year, which is incredibly cheap. You would have to have 63 more trades in a calendar year at $8.95 before it would break even making TradeKing worthwhile for this particular account.

    For my taxable and IRA accounts, I have had no issues, besides being unable to select dividend reinvestment selectively. You are required to contact TradeKing to alter the reinvestment options on your holdings. Lastly, as you have alluded to above, the customer service is phenomenal, albeit while open.

    • John says:

      Thanks for your insight! I went back and forth on the partnership/entity fees and I agree they’re high so I may just add that back in to the review.

      I did not know that about the dividend reinvestment. I am assuming that’s why I didn’t find much in terms of DRIP on their site when I was looking. That said, glad you’ve had a good overall experience with them – I have seen that extensively on the back office side as well as calling in with general questions personally.

  • Thanks for sharing this review! I’ve been looking around for options and this is certainly a great price.

  • I’m with you on paying more for good customer service, especially when you’re dealing with people who handle your money.

    I’m still debating my next investing move, so it always helps to read more reviews!

  • Great review John. I am looking more into opening a new account with a provider and this is helping!

  • Wow, bad on me, I’ve been with them for two years and never knew about the inactivity fee. My account is worth more so I’m not affected, but that’s still important to know.

    • John says:

      That’s good you’ve never been impacted by it. You have to look a bit to find it on their site. That’s one thing I wish more companies like this would more upfront about to be honest.

  • Matt Becker says:

    Low cost is nice, as long as you can avoid those extra fees. Personally, the number of mutual funds they offer wouldn’t sway me if they didn’t have the ones I wanted. Plus, I’m so used to paying $0 per transaction that it would be pretty tough for me to pay anything more.

    • John says:

      Agreed Matt, those fees can be a killer if you don’t know about them or don’t take action to avoid them.

      I understand your point about mutual funds. My point, really, is to communicate that they have more (as opposed to others who offer significantly less) so there is likelihood you’d find what you want. That said, if I was looking to invest in mutual funds and a brokerage didn’t have one I was wanting then I’d likely not go there myself.

  • Thanks for the review! I’ve been hearing a lot about TradeKing lately, I think I’m going to check them out. Thanks for posting the link to their current promotions.

  • Thanks John. My search is still on for the completely customizable MACD histogram indicator. Lol, the search goes on.

  • Ew.. That inactivity fee is a deal-breaker? What’s wrong with letting your money sit? They seem like a decent company, because of the cheap trade rates, but yeah.. No.

    • John says:

      Yea, I don’t like inactivity fees at all either. That said, $2,500 is not a ton of money, so if you have that then you’re able to avoid it altogether.

  • Very thorough review. I think Tradeking have set themselves apart as the brokers of choice for investors with not so large portfolios and who are really minding their costs. Still, the inactivity fee is certainly a dealbreaker (Maybe as a trader i haven’t see a worthy trade yet to make 🙂 )

  • Martin says:

    It’s a nice review. I was once considering Trade King, but they didn’t allow some type of trades or so (I don’t remember what it was) so I decided not to go with them. The $4 something fee is nice but I do not like limitations. I also do not like the inactivity fee.

  • jonnypean says:

    Thanks for sharing John. It proved to be of great help to me as I was looking for a reliable brokerage platform and the review sounds quite good.

  • Dele Opaleke says:

    I am a Canadian looking to get into online investing and I was wondering if Canadians can you use these online brokerage firms as well? would you suggest I use a Canadian firm and if so who would you recommend for a novice investor?

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’m sorry, many online brokers here in the US don’t allow Canadians – unless you have a US social security number. I’m not really aware of what options there are available outside the States unfortunately.

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