Contributor, Benzinga
July 15, 2021

When Robinhood Financial first started taking on clients in 2015, commission-free trading was a revolution for traders and investors alike. With Robinhood’s phenomenal success, many other brokerages followed their lead and began to offer commission-free trading to help level the playing field. For a more detailed analysis of this broker, you can check out Benzinga’s Robinhood Review.  

Founded in 1982, E*TRADE has been at the forefront of the online stock brokerage business and continues to offer excellent brokerage services to its customers after Morgan Stanley acquired it in 2020. We’ll compare the brokerage firms and give you our assessment of each broker’s services. If you’d like more in-depth information on E*TRADE, you can check out Benzinga’s E*TRADE Review

Robinhood vs E*TRADE Fees

Fees are different for each platform. See our breakdown for more information.

What E*TRADE Offers

E*TRADE has no online trade fees for stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) transactions, although you will pay a fee of $0.65 per option contract traded. Trading mutual funds involves a fee of $19.99, while a charge of $25 per trade applies to broker-assisted trades. 

What Robinhood Offers

Robinhood does not charge for stock, ETF or options trades. Robinhood does not offer trading in mutual funds and does not employ brokers to assist you with your trades. 

The Better Platform

Both brokers offer no-commission trading on stocks and ETFs. Robinhood does not charge for option trades, so it might be the better choice for very active options traders because E*TRADE charges a minimal fee. E*TRADE’s fees for mutual funds and broker-assisted trading are for services not provided by Robinhood, so E*TRADE would be the preferred choice. 

Robinhood vs E*TRADE Mobile App

They both have a mobile app, but which one is better?

What E*TRADE Offers

The E*TRADE mobile app is available for iPhone, Android and Apple Watch, and you can use it to trade stocks, options and mutual funds. You can also enter simple or more complex option orders on the app, which include spreads and multi-legged option orders. You can also trade the after-hours market and enter more sophisticated conditional orders such as One Cancels the Other (OCO) and One Triggers the Other (OTO). 

Best For
  • Beginners
securely through Robinhood's website

What Robinhood Offers

Robinhood offers mobile apps for the iPhone, Android and Apple Watch that allow you to trade stocks and options. You can also access trading directly through its website if you’re already a customer. Like the E*TRADE app, you can enter simple and complex option orders, but you do not have access to trade mutual funds or enter conditional orders. 

The Better Platform

While both brokers have similar features built into their mobile apps, E*TRADE prevails in this category since it lets you enter conditional orders and trade mutual funds, both of which are not possible using the Robinhood mobile app. 

Robinhood vs E*TRADE Customer Support

Customer support for a brokerage platform can make or break the dependability.

What E*TRADE Offers

E*TRADE’s customer service can be reached through live chat, email or phone at 800-387-2331 (800-ETRADE-1). Its 30 offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although they are expected to reopen when the pandemic subsides in their local areas. You can still call and speak to a local branch representative.

What Robinhood Offers

Robinhood’s customer service offerings are weak at best. They offer no live chat or a phone number where you can reach a customer service representative. A number to its office in Menlo Park, California, answered with a message referring the caller to its website or app for support.

On its website, you can find a form to email after describing the nature of your problem with pull-down menus and a message. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can navigate to another page where you can look over the broker’s various FAQ pages. The phone number and the messaging webpage were only found after some external online research and were not immediately apparent on Robinhood’s website.  

The broker’s customer service department looks almost nonexistent at first glance and at most 3rd-rate once you dig a bit, so if you’re looking for a broker with excellent customer service, you should probably look elsewhere. 

The Better Platform

E*TRADE wins in this category, hands down. E*TRADE has a much better customer service department than Robinhood simply because you can contact a real person quickly if you have an issue, which can save you a lot of money when markets are moving rapidly. In contrast, Robinhood merely offers FAQ pages and a web form to email them with, but no live chat or phone number.   

Robinhood vs E*TRADE Ease of Use

Which platform is better suited for beginners, immediate investors and the pros?

Best For
  • Desktop Trading
securely through ETrade's website

What E*TRADE Offers 

With almost 40 years in the business, E*TRADE has developed 2 highly intuitive and easy-to-navigate trading platforms: E*TRADE and Power E*TRADE. With respect to the mobile apps, both the E*TRADE and Power E*TRADE mobile apps can be customized and offer the same asset classes to trade as the desktop platform, except for single name bonds. 

The 2 platforms can be fully customized to fit your particular needs, and you can enter multiple orders in batches at the same time. You can also enter orders directly from the E*TRADE platforms’ stock chart and visually keep track of your order as you await its execution. In addition, the broker’s platform includes research and educational options not available through Robinhood. 

What Robinhood Offers

Robinhood has only 1 platform that you can download to a mobile device or access via its website. However, the application is very easy to use and navigate because of the overall simplicity of the app’s design. 

While Robinhood’s app and website can be easily navigated and used to enter orders and confirm executions, you have no options for customization or to personalize your settings. Also, you cannot enter order batches or trade directly from stock charts, and you are limited to certain basic order types that don’t include conditional orders at this broker. 

The Better Platform

E*TRADE prevails again in this category, despite the Robinhood app perhaps being a bit easier to use for brand new stock traders. E*TRADE offers 2 platforms and apps versus Robinhood’s single web platform and app. Also, the lack of customization features and research resources at Robinhood make the E*TRADE platforms superior for both new and seasoned stock operators.   

Robinhood vs E*TRADE Accounts and Features

E*TRADE and Robinhood offer many of the same assets, accounts and features, but there is one platform that stands out.

What E*TRADE Offers

E*TRADE is a major, mature online broker that offers trading in stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, futures, certificates of deposit (CDs) and bonds. By offering futures trading, E*TRADE allows clients to trade Bitcoin, foreign exchange (forex) and commodities futures, although you can’t trade spot forex, metals and cryptocurrencies. 

E*TRADE offers a wide range of account types to fit all of your financial needs, from a simple brokerage account to several different types of IRA and retirement accounts. You can also open savings and checking bank accounts, custodial accounts, 4 types of managed portfolio accounts and retirement accounts for small businesses.  

What Robinhood Offers

Compared to E*TRADE, Robinhood is the new kid on the block, and its offerings seem fairly limited. Many important asset classes like bonds and mutual funds cannot be traded through Robinhood. Also omitted from Robinhood’s offering are penny stocks from the OTC bulletin board (OTCBB). 

On a positive note, Robinhood gives its clients access to trade a wider range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV) and Litecoin (LTC). In addition, Robinhood also lets you access information on 10 other cryptocurrencies. 

Although you can trade these coins through a Robinhood account, you cannot transfer your coins to your digital wallet or use your coin deposits for trading other assets. With respect to account types, Robinhood offers just 3 different accounts:

  1. The basic Robinhood Cash account: Lets you make commission-free and extended hours trades, but does not give you access to instant deposits or instant settlements. This means you’ll have to wait for your money to clear before you can trade or withdraw any proceeds from your account. 
  2. The Robinhood Instant account: This is the default account type when you open an account, and it gives you access to instant deposits and extended-hours trading. In addition, you won’t have to wait for your funds to be processed when you deposit or sell stocks. 
  3. The Robinhood Gold account: This account type is similar to the Instant account and can be opened with a $2,000 initial deposit. It lets you access more buying power and make larger instant deposits of at least $5,000 and up to $50,000, depending on your portfolio size. The Robinhood Gold account costs $5 per month.

The Better Platform

E*TRADE prevails once more, offering a larger selection of account types to better suit its customers and the ability to trade a wide range of assets. With the exception of Robinhood’s broader cryptocurrency access, E*TRADE’s offerings give investors and traders more choices, with more account types and a wider selection of tradable assets.  

Overall Winner: E*TRADE

If you only plan to trade cryptocurrencies or are just starting out as a stock operator, you might prefer the simplicity and ease of using the Robinhood app. Nevertheless, E*TRADE would generally be the better and more prudent broker choice, especially if you plan on investing for your retirement, trading futures or bonds, doing more sophisticated market analysis, or conducting fundamental research on the assets you plan to invest in. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Does Robinhood offer broker-assisted trades?


Robinhood does not offer any broker-assisted transactions.


Does E*TRADE offer commission-free trades on options and mutual funds?


E*TRADE charges $0.65 per options contract and $19.95 for mutual funds.