Tastyworks vs. Interactive Brokers - Which is Better for You?

tastyworks vs interactive brokers comparison logo

Both Tastyworks and Interactive Brokers are good for certain individuals – we have accounts with both – however we generally prefer and believe one is the better choice for most people.

Before we get into the specifics and categories 1 by 1 comparing them, we’ll just give you a brief overview.

If you’re looking for a more institutional-level service with portfolio line’s of credit, currency derivatives, and other more specialized high-level instruments then InteractiveBrokers is the better choice  — alternatively if you’re just wanting a better than average brokerage with low fees then there’s no better brokerage in our opinion than Tastyworks.

Ultimately if you’re not used to using forex and old-style charting software like MetaTrader then Interactive Brokers likely isn’t the brokerage for you  — But if you just want a good broker for options/stock/futures with good support, charting, and reliability, Tastyworks is a great choice.

Which Platform has better features - Tastyworks or Interactive Brokers?

We’d say Tastyworks wins this category — This is because they offer a significantly better desktop trading platform, particularly for options trading. Honestly no other brokerage comes even close to tastyworks platform quality for options-trading/investing, and for stock trading they’re simple and adequate just as good as anyone else, so really their platform is stellar in this regard.

Interactive Brokers platform is more “cluttered” in our opinion, and less user-friendly, however if you’re familiar to Forex trading or old-style brokerages it isn’t too bad as they’re already accustomed to it – however for most people Interactive Brokers platform is extremely hostile and hard to learn, which is why we believe Tastyworks has better features and an overall better platform than Interactive Brokers.

Beyond trading experience Interactive Brokers has some unique elements such as portfolio-lines of credit, which may be useful for high-networth investors who want a way to mitigate the tax-obligations they’d receive from taking money out of their investment account — Tastyworks doesn’t offer such features currently, however do offer easier access to margin accounts, options, and futures than Interactive Brokers.

Which Platform has lower fees - Tastyworks or Interactive Brokers?

Tastyworks wins this category slightly — Both Tastyworks and Interactive Brokers are now commission-free for stocks and all normal services for most accounts and near-zero for others, however for options and futures Tastyworks offers a low-fee of $1/options-trade and $2.50/futures-trade — Interactive Brokers charges similar for low-volume transactions and slightly less for high-volume transactions (depending on your transaction volume).

This may sound like they’re similar, or even the same in terms of fees — and this is true…with the exception of one fee: Interactive Brokers charges up to $10 a month in inactivity fees if your account doesn’t generate $10+ a month in commissions. This is really the only worse thing with Interactive Brokers in terms of fees though — otherwise tastyworks and interactive brokers offer more or less the same fees & rates.

Which Has The Best Signup Bonus Offers - Tastyworks or Interactive Brokers?

This depends on how much Capital you have to Invest — If you have more funds to invest then generally Interactive Brokers offers a higher signup bonus, but if you only have a smaller sum to invest (<$25,000) then Tastyworks definitely offers the better bonus.

You can read more about Tastyworks Sign-Up Bonus offers on this page of our website, as often there’s more promotions than just a sign-up bonus with tastyworks, or you can simply sign up using this link, deposit $2000+, and then contact support asking to be signed up for the “trader challenge” to earn $250+ in sign-up rewards.

Alternatively with Interactive Brokers you have to sign up through a referral link and you’ll receive 1% bonus on top of your initial deposit up to $1000 — This means if you deposit more than $25,000 the bonus is more than Tastyworks. You can read more about this offer on DoctorOfCredit’s blogpost about this promotion. Make sure to read that page before going for the bonus as there’s lots of nonsense regarding the bonus, and may not be worth the hassle unless you have very large sums of capital.

Which Platform has better Customer Service - Tastyworks or Interactive Brokers?

We’d say this category is a draw — This is because both Tastyworks and Interactive Brokers have great customer service — the only real difference in our view is Tastyworks support is a bit more personal and knowledgable in options-trading, while Interactive Brokers is more professional & business-like, resembling a more traditional brokerage like Td Ameritrade but more to the point.

Ultimately we’ve had no problems with either of the brokers customer support, and have contacted them multiple times in the past for various reasons from executing an option to questions regarding their services.

What Advantages does Interactive Brokers have over Tastyworks?

Interactive Brokers has unique features folks who have $200,000+ in investments may be interested in, such as low margin rates, portfolio lines of credit which can be taken out to buy other investments or a home for you to live in, and access to international equity markets for a lower cost than other brokerages.

Interactive brokers certainly isn’t perfect, with inactivity fees, a very outdated trading platform, and more hurdles when it comes to getting options/futures approval than other brokerages, including tastyworks.

What Advantages does Tastyworks have over Interactive Brokers?

Tastyworks has a significantly better platform for trading, and the best of any brokerage when it comes to options/futures trading, excellent execution, and very easy approval for margin accounts, portfolio margin accounts, and futures trading — including the ability to sell uncovered calls, strangles, and other more “risky” activity if you so wish to do so — be careful when doing so though, as if you are sloppy or just wrong in your assumption the results can be devastating.

They also offer great sign-up bonuses that are available if you have $2000+ to deposit into the platform/brokerage-account — don’t get me wrong there are downsides as well, tastyworks doesn’t offer most international stocks to be traded and doesn’t offer portfolio line’s of credit (only portfolio margin).

Which do we use: Tastyworks or Interactive Brokers?

While we use both of them ultimately we recommend Tastyworks to most people, and prefer them ourselves over Interactive Brokers — as while interactive brokers is a good all-in-one solution for institutional-level and high-network individuals who trade for a living, we prefer having a trading account (tastyworks) and a few more passive-investing accounts such as M1 Finance (which also offers a portfolio line of credit) to having it all with Interactive Brokers.