It’s no secret that many people are behind on their retirement savings. If you’re one of them, consider opening a Roth IRA so you can catch up on your savings.
In its second annual Best Brokers rankings, GOBankingRates identified the Best Roth IRAs. Each Roth IRA provider has advantages and disadvantages, so review the information carefully to find the best IRA provider that aligns with your needs.
Best Roth IRA Providers of 2019-2020 Guide:
- Best Roth IRA Providers at a Glance
- In-Depth Look at the Best Roth IRAs
- How We Picked the Best Roth IRAs
- Roth IRA FAQs
Find Out: Should You Invest In a Roth IRA?
Best Roth IRA Providers at a Glance
Here’s a quick look at the best Roth IRA providers so you can compare fees and promotional offers:
|Best Roth IRAs of 2019-2020|
|Costs and Fees||Account|
|E-Trade||$0; $500 for Core Portfolio account|
Read This: 6 Roth IRA Rules You Need To Know
In-Depth Look at the Best Roth IRA Providers
Take a look at the companies listed below to see what earned their offerings a place among the Best Roth IRA Providers of 2019-2020.
Check Out: What Is a Brokerage Account?
Charles Schwab just won the 2019 J.D. Power award for “Highest in Investor Satisfaction with DIY Self-Directed Services,” cementing its reputation as a great company for investors who like to take control.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: Charles Schwab offers support around the clock and provides investors with an assortment of resources and financial services. Seasoned investors appreciate the low fees and their less-experienced counterparts benefit from access to helpful tools. In our ranking, it received high scores in important areas like commissions, fees and product offerings.
- Known for top-notch customer service
- $0 trade fee
- Bank account options for consolidating your day-to-day banking and investments all in the same place
- Most suited for self-directed investors, although there is support for those who need assistance
Promotions: None currently
Costs and Fees:
- No account opening or maintenance fees
- $0 per online equity trade
Account Minimum: None
To learn more about Charles Schwab, visit its website.
Back in the 1980s, online trading wasn’t even on the radar for most companies — but E-Trade was a pioneer in the field.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: E-Trade has a long history and provides a dizzying array of investment options for those who like to diversify, as well as those who prefer to have the most choices possible. It’s a well-known online brokerage site that puts investing in the hands of its customers through an easy trading platform.
- First in the field of online trading
- Provides access to more than 4,500 commission-free mutual funds for variety in your retirement planning
- Provides a Core Portfolios automated system with a minimum $500 balance
- Has a number of IRA fees you could be hit with
- None for retirement accounts
Costs and Fees:
- $25 for broker-assisted trades
Account Minimum: None for standard account; $500 for Core Portfolio account
To learn more about E-Trade, visit its website.
Merrill Edge is part of Bank of America, which is good news for Bank of America account holders. If you’re one of them, you’ll get benefits based on your overall account balances. A combined balance of $20,000 earns unlimited commission-free trades.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: Merrill Edge is relatively simple, but that makes it usable for a broad swath of investors. You won’t be intimidated if you’re just starting to dabble in financial management, and you’ll be able to do everything you need if you’re already experienced. Merrill is a respected name and it gains even more credibility from the association with Bank of America, one of America’s most valuable banking brands.
- Convenient for preexisting Bank of America customers
- An extensive list of mutual funds offered with no transaction fees
- Bank of America account holders earn fee waivers based on combined account balances
- Absence of commission-free ETFs outside of Preferred Rewards
- No free trades if you do not meet the minimum balance requirements
- Get up to $600 when you invest in a new Merrill Edge account with a qualifying deposit using offer code 600ME
Costs and Fees: $2.95 per trade
Account Minimum: None
To learn more about Merrill Edge, visit its website.
Fidelity is a big name in retirement savings in the United States. It offers a good mix of physical locations and online investment services to suit your preferences.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: Fidelity offers an impressive number of mutual funds, ETFs and does not impose trading fees, thus giving a great deal of choice for Roth IRA investors. Also, customers have access to thousands of mutual funds with no transaction fees. If that feels overwhelming, you can do your research using the available reports and other helpful materials provided by this brokerage.
- Provides access to a good range of Fidelity and non-Fidelity funds to help you choose the best Roth IRA investments
- Customer service reps available 24 hours a day through phone or chat
- Lets customers use the Fidelity Go robo-advisor or do their own research through available educational materials
- No cash-based promotions for new customers
- Save $30 on TaxAct or up to $20 on H&R Block or TurboTax software
Costs and Fees: $0 per trade
Account Minimum: None
To learn more about Fidelity, visit its website.
TD Ameritrade is a part of TD Bank, and its history of serving investors spans over four decades. In addition to over 275 physical branches, it provides a digital platform for those who prefer online investing.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: TD Ameritrade Roth IRAs appeal to a wide range of investors because the company provides access to an impressive amount of third-party research. Experienced investors can use it for guidance, and it will get novice Roth IRA investors quickly up to speed. Or you can let TD Ameritrade professionals handle your portfolio.
- Offers both online service and physical branch locations
- Customer service is offered 24/7
- Same fees for everyone
- There’s a $75 fee for an outbound full account transfer
Costs and Fees:
- Internet trades: $0
- Interactive voice response phone system trades: $5
- Broker-assisted trades: $25
- Get a bonus of up to $600, depending on the amount with which you fund your account
Account Minimum: None
To learn more about TD Ameritrade, visit its website.
Firstrade has no fees, and it often adds special offers to the mix to give you an even better deal for your retirement savings.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: Nobody likes fees, and Firstrade plays to the crowd by eliminating the nickel-and-diming often found at other online brokerages. This brokerage firm is all about giving investors the best possible deal, making it one of the best Roth IRA providers.
- No fees for account setup and maintenance
- No annual fee and no-cost stock trading
- Variety of contact options, including live chat and scheduled callbacks
- App is brand new as of 2019, so it could still have bugs
- Up to $200 in transfer fee rebates when you switch to Firstrade from another broker
- $25 wire transfer fee rebate when you wire funds from your bank
- Get one free stock for each friend you refer
Costs and Fees: No service fee; $19.95 broker-assisted stock and options orders + $0.50 per options contract
Account Minimum: None
To learn more about Firstrade, visit its website.
If you’re called a “blockhead” when you work with TradingBlock, consider it a compliment. That’s what this brokerage firm calls its clients as it pursues the quest of simplifying the process of online investing.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: Although this brokerage doesn’t have the lowest fees, they are within reason, and their other materials help make them a good value. Roth IRAs are among its many offerings, and the website offers educational materials, including webcasts, that are available to everyone requiring help with retirement planning, regardless of whether you’re a client.
- Customizable web experience
- Company holds a variety of live educational webcasts
- Lots of educational materials available, including past webcasts
- Customer service hours are limited to Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST
Costs and Fees:
- $5 minimum per trade
- $45 IRA custodian fee
Account Minimum: $500
To learn more about TradingBlock, visit its website.
Established in 1852, Wells Fargo Bank has kept up with modern trends like online banking while also retaining the things that contributed to its initial success, such as service at physical branches.
Why It’s a Best Roth IRA Provider: You can manage your WellsTrade Roth IRA easily from your phone. Plus, you’ll enjoy the steep discount on fees if you do your banking with Wells Fargo as well. The company’s website also provides helpful retirement planning calculators and tools to help you plan for a comfortable retirement.
- Has physical branches in addition to online services
- Discount trading fees for qualifying Wells Fargo customers
- Has a mobile app, as well as management via the website app
- Best for people who are comfortable directing their own investments
- Get a discounted rate of $2.95 per online trade when you link your Wells Fargo Advisors WellsTrade brokerage account to your Portfolio by Wells Fargo program
- $5.95 per trade
- $25 plus online trading commission for agent-assisted trading
- $30 annual IRA custodial fee
Account Minimum: None
To learn more about Wells Fargo, visit its website.
Find Out: How To Open a Roth IRA
How We Picked the Best Roth IRAs
GOBankingRates determined the Best Roth IRA Providers by analyzing 18 of the largest and up-and-coming online brokers that offer Roth IRA brokerage accounts, using the following criteria:
- Cost to trade equities, such as stocks and ETFs
- Opening minimum investment requirement
- Number of different investment vehicles available, including stocks, futures, options, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds
- Available promotional offers
- 24/7 phone customer service
- Live chat with a human representative
- Mobile app availability
- Educational resources, such as webinars, blogs and courses that teach investing and trading
- Research and tools, such as multiple trading platforms, in-depth market analysis, and screener tools for stocks, ETFs and bonds
Each Roth IRA provider was scored based on these individual categories, which were then summed up for a final score. In the final scoring, 24/7 phone customer service, live chat and mobile app availability were weighted a quarter while all other categories were weighted in full.
Roth IRA FAQs
Learn the answers to some of the most common questions around Roth IRAs:
What Is a Roth IRA?
A Roth IRA is a tax-free retirement account in which you contribute after-tax income, then withdraw the money tax-free. You can put in up to $6,000 each year if you’re below the age of 50, or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older. That amount is reduced if you exceed certain income levels.
A Roth IRA can be a good option for people who don’t have an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan to still squirrel away some funds.
Also Find Out: What Is a Backdoor Roth IRA?
How Do You Open a Roth IRA?
Here are the steps to opening a Roth IRA:
Determine if you meet the requirements to open a Roth IRA.
Gather the information needed to open an account: Social Security number, your driver’s license or another form of government identification with a photo; your bank’s routing number; your savings or checking account number; your employer’s name and address, if applicable; and your beneficiary’s name and Social Security number.
Click on the online application of the investment firm of your choosing.
Follow the website’s directions and in five to 10 minutes, the application should be approved.
At this point, you can fund your account.
Next, select some investments.
How Much Do You Need To Open a Roth IRA?
Most of the brokers whose Roth IRAs made the list of Best Roth IRA Providers have no minimum requirement for opening a Roth IRA. That said, the amount you should deposit depends on your retirement goals and how much you’re able to contribute, up to the maximum of $6,000 if you’re under age 50 or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older.
Who Is Eligible To Open a Roth IRA?
An individual who files as a single taxpayer must make less than $122,000 to contribute fully. You can contribute a lesser amount if you make between $122,000 and $137,000, and you are not eligible if your income is over $137,000. Joint tax return filers must make less than $193,000 to contribute fully. You can contribute a lesser amount if you earn $193,000 to $203,000, and you are not eligible if you earn over $203,000.
Got a 401(k)? Here’s How To Convert It to a Roth IRA
How Do You Determine Your Contribution?
For tax years other than 2019, check the IRS website for the most current guidelines.
What Is the Difference Between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA?
The big difference between a Roth IRA and its traditional counterpart is linked to paying taxes. Traditional IRAs are centered on tax-deferred growth potential, whereas Roth IRAs provide tax-free growth potential. You receive tax-free funds from your Roth IRA once you meet the qualifications but you’re required to pay taxes on the funds from a traditional IRA when you receive them.
How Do I Choose the Best Roth IRA?
The best Roth IRA provider is different for each person, depending on your investment preferences and experience. Fees, risks and the amount of support provided by the broker are among the most common considerations.
Can I Lose My Money in a Roth IRA?
When you open a Roth IRA, you invest the money in the stock market, mutual funds and other investments that can potentially lose money. How much you make or lose is dependent on your individual investment choices. These might include a mix of volatile and safe investments, like stocks and bonds, or a more aggressive or conservative mix.
More Best Brokers of 2019-2020
- Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners
- Best Day Trading Platforms
- Best IRA Providers
- Best Robo-Advisors
- Best Roth IRA Providers
- Best Investment Apps
- Best 401(k) Companies
Barb Nefer has written about financial topics for over a decade and given webinars on various money-related topics.
Andrew DePietro contributed to the reporting for this article. He was the lead researcher for GOBankingRates and a finance writer with years of experience covering investing, taxation, Social Security, entrepreneurship, real estate and housing markets.
Methodology: To determine the Best Brokers of 2019-2020, GOBankingRates analyzed 47 active U.S. brokerages and investment companies across eight categories: (1) Best Online Brokerages, (2) Best Online Stockbrokers for Beginners, (3) Best Robo-Advisors, (4) Best Investment Apps, (5) Best IRA Providers, (6) Best Roth IRA Providers, (7) Best Brokers for Day Traders, (8) Best 401(k) Companies.
Data for Best Brokers was compiled from and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between July 1, 2019, and Aug. 2, 2019. That data has been updated in this article as of Dec. 9, 2019, but the rankings are based on the original data. Costs, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. Some information might reflect short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain any benefits mentioned. Availability might vary by region, minimum investment amounts and other factors. Please verify the terms and conditions before opening an account.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some brokerages mentioned in Best Brokers are clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. For more information, see the complete methodology for the rankings.