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Interactive Brokers vs. Webull

The Old vs the New Trading Platform: Learn Which is Best for You Our editors independently research and…
Interactive Brokers Vs. Webull

The Old vs the New Trading Platform: Learn Which is Best for You

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Interactive Brokers (IBKR) and Webull are both trading platforms, but that’s where the similarities end. Founded by Thomas Peterffy in 1978, IBKR has grown into a massive global investment company serving intermediate to professional investors. Webull was founded in 2017 by Wang Anquan, a former Alibaba Group employee, as a low-cost trading website and mobile app. IBKR and Webull are self-directed platforms for trading stocks, ETFs, futures, commodities, and options, but IBKR also offers bonds, mutual funds, forex, cryptocurrency, and scores of managed portfolios. Moreover, U.S. and international traders can access a wide range of global investment markets at IBKR. While beginners and intermediate investors may be satisfied with Webull, traders, investors, and professionals at all levels will be served by IBKR’s deep offerings. IBKR’s Lite and Pro tiers ensure there is a plan for beginners through professionals. We dissect these two trading platforms to help you decide which one is a better fit for your portfolio needs.

Account Minimum: $0.00

Fees: $0.00 commissions for equities/ETFs are available on IBKR’s TWS Lite, or low costs are scaled by volume for active traders who want access to advanced functionality such as order routing. $0.65 per contract for options on TWS Lite; that is also the base rate for TWS Pro users, with scaled rates based on volume. $0.85 per contract for futures.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: $0 commissions for stock, ETF, and options


Comparing the usability of Webull and Interactive Brokers is similar to the contest between a Honda Civic and a Mercedes. While both platforms offer good usability, their clients are of distinct camps. Newer investors and those seeking a streamlined desktop workstation and a well-designed mobile app for stock, ETFs, and options will find what they need at Webull. The mobile and desktop versions are similar, with easy access to the main features from the home screen. The home page user experience provides a direct path to stock research, screening, trading, accounts, transfers, etc.

Interactive Brokers is a high-end investment platform where you can access all asset classes, global markets, multiple trading platforms, and resources for beginners through professional investors. Given the breadth of the platform, the user experience at IBKR is not as seamless as at Webull. Yet, despite its girth, IBKR has made excellent progress in facilitating easier platform navigation. Users of the downloadable desktop, web, and mobile versions will find similar functionality. At IBKR, you can trade any asset class on any platform, with access to data, charting, research, trading, news, and more. In a direct comparison, the smaller Webull platform is easier to navigate. If you want the breadth of IBKR products and markets, the usability is good, even though there is a bit of a learning curve.

Trade Experience

Desktop Experience

IBKR has two comprehensive trading platforms: the desktop Client Portal and the downloadable Trader Workstation (TWS). The client portal is suitable for all but the most sophisticated investors. You can check your account, place trades, view quotes and news, research, and access advanced charting. The powerhouse downloadable Trader Workstation (TWS) is for active professional traders and investors. The customizable TWS provides more than 100 order types and gives you all you need regarding fundamental and technical charting and portfolio management tools. You can rapidly place orders using hotkeys, trade directly from the chart, stage orders for later execution, manage risk, and access a staggering range of tradable assets globally.

Webull, for its part, offers a customizable trading platform for stocks, ETFs, and options and is suitable for casual through intermediate traders. The Webull workstation has customizable templates for stocks, ETFs, options, and day trading. The widget structure enables easy customization. The widgets contain different information, such as news, fundamentals, options, etc. The advanced order screen includes contingency trading and trades directly from a chart. Webull certainly works for beginners and even intermediate traders. Still, IBKR, winner of our Best Charting Platform for Day Traders and Best Online Broker for Advanced Traders, offers sophisticated investors an unmatched array of tools.

Mobile Experience

Interactive Brokers offers several mobile apps: IBKR Mobile, GlobalTrader, and Impact. The IBKR Mobile app is nearly identical to the computer-based platforms, although advanced users will find the broadest functionality on the Trader Workstation. The Impact app enables ESG investors to screen for companies that meet specific criteria. Global traders in the U.S. and abroad can access 90+ stock exchanges to trade in local currency using the GlobalTrader app.

Webull recently launched the 8.0 version of the app with additional educational content and customizable charting, alerts, options trading, and financial reporting. The revamp offers features similar to the desktop but is designed to work better on the small mobile screen. Users can access the smart trading tools, which include 60+ technical indicators and 12 charting tools.

We found the Webull app easier to use than the IBKR mobile app, but the difference in the size of the platforms contributes to the complexities that affect IBKR’s app functionality. That being said, Webull takes this category for having a streamlined app, even if the assets and markets tradable through it are more limited.

Range of Offerings

On March 11, 2024, Webull announced its plans to expand into commodities and futures trading ahead of a planned listing later in the year. The new offerings will focus on highly liquid futures markets with features including market, limit, stop market, and stop-limit orders. Webull said customers will also gain exposure to underlying asset classes such as commodities, currencies, and indexes.

Hands down, IBKR is the offering winner with access to all the important asset classes and more markets than most investors can reasonably trade. Beyond the basic stocks, ETFs, and options, you’ll find bonds, futures, forex, cryptocurrency, mutual funds, and scores of managed portfolios at IBKR. Except for backtesting and IBKR APIs, which aren’t available to Lite users, all other offerings are accessible to all clients. Webull users can trade U.S.-listed stocks, which include over-the-counter issues, ETFs, futures, commodities, and options. This is not a bad selection by any means, but it simply cannot match Interactive Brokers’ industry-leading reach in terms of range of offerings.

Range of Offerings

CriteriaInteractive BrokersWebull
Short SalesYesYes
# of No-Load Mutual Funds9,030 US funds and 36,130 offshore funds as of 6/16/22.N/A
Assets Available to Trade on WebsiteStocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Bonds, CDs, Options, Futures, Currencies, OTCBB, Cryptocurrencies (asset only)Stocks, ETFs, Options, Cryptocurrencies (asset only)
Assets Available to Trade on Desktop SoftwareStocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Bonds, CDs, Options, Futures, Currencies, OTCBB, Cryptocurrencies (asset only)Stocks, ETFs, Options, OTCBB, Cryptocurrencies (asset only)
Assets Available to Trade on MobileStocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Bonds, CDs, Options, Futures, Currencies, OTCBB, Cryptocurrencies (asset only)Stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Options, OTCBB, Cryptocurrencies (asset only)
Max # of Options Legs64
Robo AdvisoryYesYes
# of International Exchanges95N/A
Fractional Share TradingYesYes
Fractional Dividend ReinvestmentsNoYes
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Order Types

In keeping with Webull’s scope, users can trade the typical order types, including market, limit, stop, stop limit, and trailing stops. Conditional orders like one-cancel-the-other and one-triggers-the-other are also available. Here again, Webull is not weak, but it is outmatched. IBKR users can access over 100 order types and algos on the Trader Workstation. Traders can set up order cascades that set the parameters to enter and exit trades without having to monitor positions actively if they so choose. The vast order types make IBKR the best pick for intermediate through professional investors and active traders.

Order Types

Interactive BrokersWebull
Order Types Available on WebsiteStop limit order, OTO, OTT.Stop limit order, OTO, OCO, Trailing stop.
Order Types Available on Desktop SoftwareOrder Types Available on the WebsiteStop limit order, OTO, OCO, Trailing stop.
Order Types Available on Mobile AppStop limit orders, OTO, OTT, other conditional orders, and trailing stops.Stop limit order, OTO, OCO, Trailing stop.
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Trading Technology

Pro traders will appreciate IBKR’s SmartRouting, which automatically transmits the best prices. TWS users can select their preferred stock and options smart routing strategies for non-marketable orders. Traders benefit from advanced technologies to further reduce trading costs and improve efficiency. IBKR reported a net price improvement per share of $0.0108 and accepts around $0.0020 per share in payment on order flow (PFOF). Our analysis found the PFOF to be lower than in most periods analyzed. This confirms that price improvement and speed are the key priorities of the routing process.

Weibull’s trading technology is basic, although it suffices and includes a net price improvement of 0.0067 a share on a 100-499 order size. Webull. “Webull’s Execution Quality and Order Routing.” Unlike IBKR, there’s no smart order routing, trading automation, or a way to route your orders at Webull. Webull also sees significantly more payment for order flow, although the company is quite open about the fact that it is how the platform is offered for free. PFOF at Webull was $0.0109 per share in the period analyzed. That is roughly five times what IBKR collects.

There is no comparison between the trading technology at IBKR and Webull. IBKR is designed for sophisticated traders and offers substantially more order and trading technology breadth.


The cost comparison between Interactive Brokers and Webull is again complicated by the difference in the size of each trading platform’s offering. IBKR’s pricing is complex, especially for Pro account holders. There are three equity commissions for Pro traders, fixed per-share of $0.005 with a $1.00 minimum and 1% of trade maximum. Tiered per-share pricing depends upon your monthly order activity. Compounding this, Interactive Brokers serves many countries outside the U.S., and all of them have some regionalized pricing methods. IBKR Lite users receive commission-free equity and ETF trades, similar to most brokers today, including Webull. Lite users at IBKR receive lower interest on cash balances and pay higher interest rates on margin borrowing. IBKR is also our Best Broker for Low Margin Rates, charging 6.83% for up to $100,000 (5.83% for IBKR Pro users). Webull charges 9.49% up to $25,000 and 8.99% up to $100,000. Interactive Brokers. “Margin Rates & Financing.”

Webull’s fee-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and listed options is a boon for fee-conscious investors. If trading cost is a priority, then Webull wins the category. However, the limited number of products at Webull versus IBKR means that advanced traders in various assets will find a better overall deal at IBKR.


Cost per stock trade$0.00$0.00
Cost per options contract$0.40N/A
Cost per futures contract$0.55N/A
Broker-assisted trade fee$30.00$0.00
# of no-load mutual funds without transaction fees4,405 US funds and 14,192 Offshore fundsN/A
Recurring investment feesNoNo
Options price cap (upon meeting a threshold)NoN/A
Inactivity feesNoNo
Account closure feesNoYes
Option for no base commission for trading penny stocksNo – users must pay base commission to trade penny stocksYes – users can trade penny stocks with no base commissions
Transaction fee on no-load mutual funds with transaction feesThe fee is the lesser of 3% or $14.95 for US funds. Over 95% of offshore funds have a transaction fee of 4.95 EurosN/A
Base commission for optionsYesNo
Volume-based options discounts (upon meeting a threshold)YesN/A
Option for no base commission for stocks and ETFsYes – users can trade stocks and ETFs with no base commissionsYes – users can trade stocks and ETFs with no base commissions

Research Amenities

We’re confronted with the distinction between Interactive Brokers and Webull’s scope in the research category. IBKR’s vast research offerings include robust screeners and trading idea generators for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and fixed-income products. The tools include options, margin, order quantity, interest, and financing calculators. Extensive third-party research is available for free and subscriptions. The research amenities border on overwhelmingly but are also extremely valuable in guiding your trading.

Webull’s research includes a stock screener. That’s pretty much it. The stock screener is not as robust as larger brokers, but it allows you to filter by financial information and some preset indicators. The Webull charting capabilities should work for the majority of average traders. When it comes to research, however, IBKR is the clear winner. Without tools, calculators, or third-party research, Webull falls substantially behind IBKR.

Account and Research Amenities

Users can scan the markets on almost limitless criteria and have access to actionable analyst recommendations.Webull
Requirement for opening an IRA$0.00$0.00
Requirement for opening a Roth IRA$0.00$0.00
Screeners offeredESG/SRI, Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Fixed IncomeStocks, Options
Earn interest on cashFor IBKR Pro – the interest rate is 1.08% for balances over 10,000N/A
Types of charts offered (ex: lineLine, Bar, Candle, High Low, Hollow Candles, Heikin-AshiLine, Bar, Candle, OHLC
Uninvested cash automatically swept into a money market fundNoNo
Access to proprietary researchNoYes – with no additional cost
Trading idea generator offeredAccess to third-party research
Portfolio margin availableYesNo
Daily market research reports are offeredYesYes
Ability to screen based on technical indicatorsYesYes
Ability to save custom screensYesYes
Ability to turn screen results into a watchlistYesYes
Access to third-party researchYesNo
Ability to choose and offer shares held long to a loan programYes – users can offer shares but cannot choose which stocks to loanYes – users can offer shares BUT users cannot choose the stocks to loan
Yes – users can offer shares, BUT users cannot choose the stocks to loanYes – with no additional costYes – with additional cost

    Portfolio Analysis

    The high-level IBKR portfolio analysis tool serves beginners to institutional investors. The free portfolio analysis tool, available to the public, is basic. IBKR account holders can access advanced features and real-time updates. After linking your financial accounts, you’ll receive an in-depth analysis of your entire financial picture, including investment portfolio checkup, total returns, risk measures, and allocations by geography, asset class, and sector.

    Webull falls short on portfolio analysis, offering just the basics. Users have account performance details, including realized and unrealized gains or losses and capital gains or losses. You’ll also have access to the internal rate of return (IRR) data. IBKR is better suited for those with more substantial investment portfolios who need comprehensive portfolio analysis tools.


    IBKR will fulfill those seeking basic and in-depth investment education. Their vast education resources are available to customers and the public. These range from short videos to multi-language tutorials, daily webinars, and events. The IBKR TradersAcademy affiliated website provides beginner, intermediate, and advanced online courses. The breadth includes rudimentary introductions to stocks, indexes, and trading to advanced option strategies and margins.

    Webull’s investor education is suitable for the typical Webull customer. The short courses include the basics about stocks, ETFs, trading, and options. The learning portal includes several explainer videos and information about navigating the platform. The Webull educational offerings are a good start but lack the depth and breadth of those available at IBKR. Regardless of where you open an account, the IBKR education tools are comprehensive and worth a look at.

    Customer Service

    IBKR is improving its customer service. For ready assistance, the artificial intelligence IBot is available on most screens. IBKR also provides phone support 24 hours a day and has a callback service. Live agent online chat is also accessible within the trading platform or website. Additionally, the FAQ section is well-organized.

    Webull offers phone customer service during trading hours and an extensive FAQ section. Wait times are known to be long at Webull. IBKR is generally easier to access via customer service and offers more expansive phone hours and chat features.


    IBKR security protocols and asset protection go above and beyond industry standards. Beyond the standard $500,000 Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) coverage, the excess SIPC coverage at IBKR provides up to an additional $30 million, with a cash sub-limit of $900,000, subject to an aggregate limit of $150 million. Webull also offers industry-beating security protocols, including a discrete six-digit passcode for trading access. The Webull additional SIPC insurance covers account holders up to $37.5 million, including $900,000 in cash.

    The security features at both Webull and IBKR are both excellent. Investors can be comfortable with their data being protected at either firm. The insurance does not protect investors from losses due to normal market fluctuations but from corporate misconduct and bankruptcy.

    Final Verdict

    Both IBKR and Webull are good investment platforms. In prior years, the larger and older IBKR ran the table for many of our top-rated categories, such as Best Broker for Advanced Options Traders, Day Trading, and International Trading. Webull has recently received acknowledgment for costs, including Best Low-Cost Options Broker and Best Low-Cost Day Trading Platform.

    The contest winner between Interactive Brokers and Webull comes down to your investment needs. Active investors seeking the widest range of investment assets under one roof will choose IBKR. Access to bonds, mutual funds, futures, forex, and international trading is rarely found within one company. The range of managed portfolios and international trading further distinguish IBKR. Finally, the TWS platform competes head-to-head with any professional trading software. It is hard to beat Interactive Brokers in its totality. IBKR responds to the breadth of features with many platform-related guides, tutorials, videos, and customer service help to make their usability more accessible.

    However, if you don’t need all the bells and whistles of IBKR and are seeking a streamlined trading platform with low fees, then Webull is a solid choice. The IBKR Lite plan is appropriate for most investors, with affordable fixed pricing for options, futures, mutual funds, commission-free stock, and ETF trading. Our main caution with Webull is that beginners might need to visit other sources for a well-rounded investment education. We note the PFOF dependence, but Webull has been transparent on this count, and gamification is currently kept to a minimum.

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    This model weighs key factors like trading technology, range of offerings, mobile app usability, research amenities, educational content, portfolio analysis features, customer support, costs, account amenities, and overall trading experience according to their importance. Our team of researchers gathered 2425 data points and weighted 66 criteria based on data collected during extensive research for each of the 25 companies we reviewed.

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