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8 Best Day Trading Platforms in 2021

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The world is currently experiencing the biggest global crisis of this century that has affected all types of trading. The financial markets are more volatile than ever and in such an hour, making an informed decision about choosing the right trading platform is no less than a challenge. You must be looking for a brokerage to fit all of your trading needs if you're a day trader. That's why we’ve come up with this article that contains the eight best day trading platforms that will help you regardless of the level of your investing expertise. We have taken into account all possible features such as cost, reliability, speed, premium, and more to choose these platforms. So, let’s dive into it.

What Is Day Trading?

Before getting into further details about the best day trading platforms, let's first discuss what day trading is and how it works. It's a practice in which you buy and sell stocks throughout the span of 24 hours. The goal of day trading is to earn a net profit after paying commissions at the end of a trading session. According to the definition of day trading by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), day trading is a practice in which you trade security in and out at least four times a week (a five-day period). It’s also important to note that the number of trades in this regard must also be more than six percent of the total number of trades that a trader performs at the same time.

How Does It Work?

Day trading is all about volatility. What it means is that in order to earn a profit, day traders basically rely on the fluctuation of the market or stock. Day traders work with the stocks that bounce around the whole day regardless of the reason. Day traders might short-sell a stock if it’s going lower or buy one which is moving higher to earn on a stock’s fall. In order to take advantage of stock fluctuation, day traders might also trade the same stock multiple times within 24 hours. Whatever the strategy, the most important thing about day trading is to look for a continuously moving stock.

How to Choose a Day Trading Platform?

Now that you understand what day trading is and how it works, it’s time to learn how to choose the best day trading platform. Here’s a list of some of the most important factors that you must consider before choosing a day trading platform.

  • Decide the Necessary Features You Need!

    First, you need to decide which features and services you need from a day trading platform. We recommend you focus on the most essential features at this stage. Then search on the internet for online brokers with respect to those features in order to get the first shortlist. For example, consider searching the term “futures broker” if you’re planning to day trade futures. Once you get the list of the candidate brokers, move on to follow the next step.

  • Compare Fees

    Now you need to visit the official websites of each of the brokers you shortlisted and record the following information.

    Minimum deposit required

    Day trading margins if you’re interested in futures trading

    Available leverage for stock and forex trading

    Trading commissions

    Inactivity fee

    Withdrawal fee

    Platform fee

    Data fee

    These are some main points that will help you to compare different trading platforms easily. Use fees and commissions as the main consideration because, for day trading, they can quickly add up.

  • Perform Due Diligence

    It’s undoubtedly a little difficult but an important one. Use the following tool to conduct your basic due diligence.

    FINRA BrokerCheck for stocks

    NFA (National Futures Association) BASIC for forex and futures

    CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) Financial Data for FCMs

    These tools allow you to gather essential background information about each trading platform.

  • Investigate Other Features

    You also need to investigate some other important features such as:

    Technical support

    Informative material

    Customer service

    Quality of trading and execution

  • Make Your Decision and Perform Testing

    Now you need to choose at least two trading platforms that offer the best value for your money. Most online trading platforms offer a trial period where you don’t need to spend any money to experience their real-time functionality by opening your account. Here most probably, you'll understand what online trading platform is the best option for you that you can fund.

Here’s a list of our best day trading brokers that you can use in 2021.

1

Interactive Brokers: Best overall

Interactive Brokers is our best overall pick for many good reasons. It offers user-friendly and responsive applications for mobile, web, and desktop. And it comes with the following features.

Features:

  • Regulated by FCA and SEC

  • Supports 22 different base currencies

  • Charting that offer about 300 technical indicators

  • Offers demo account

  • Matrix for ladder trading

  • Advances strategy testing features

  • Tons of educational material

Commission and Fees:

  • Commission: $4 in total ($2 while opening a position and $2 when closing)

  • Account minimum: $10

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $0

👍 Pros

  • • Wide range of products

  • • Low trading fees

  • • Great research tools

👎 Cons

  • • High forex fees

  • • Complicated desktop application

  • • Complication registration process

2

TradeStation: Best for Web and technology

TradeStation is considered the trade technology leader, and it also offers a great mobile and web platform. Not only do the applications offer great tools, but they are also well designed and user-friendly. It also has low fees and offers a great education section as well.

Features:

  • Regulated by SEC and FINRA

  • Supports 9 different base currencies

  • Offers demo account

  • Dynamic market research tools

  • Customizable charting

  • Reliable and fast trading experience

Commission and Fees:

  • Commission: $0 per trade

  • Account minimum: $2,000 for margin accounts, $5,000 for futures accounts

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $0

👍 Pros

  • • Range of educational tools

  • • Low fees

  • • Great mobile and web app

👎 Cons

  • • Customer service is not up to the mark

  • • Withdrawal and deposit are not user friendly

3

Robinhood: Best fees

Robinhood comes with commission-free options and ETF trades which makes it the best fees trading platform.

Features:

  • Regulated by SEC and FINRA

  • Native news feed

  • Great educational and research tools

  • Great security protocols

  • Customizable notification and news

  • Access to real-time market data

  • Offers crypto, options, funds, and stocks

Commission and Fees:

  • Commission: $0 per trade

  • Account minimum: $0

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $0

👍 Pros

  • • Free trading experience

  • • Great web and mobile apps

  • • The fully digital and quick registration process

👎 Cons

  • • Weak customer support

  • • Limited product range

4

XM: The best platform for mobile trading

XM is yet another great online platform for day trading. It’s regulated by multiple authorities. It’s the best option for you if you want a great day trading experience on your mobile.

Features:

  • Fast research and education tools

  • Regulated by three authorities: CySEC, ASIC, and IFSC

  • Supports 11 different base currencies

  • Offers demo account

  • Offers Real stocks, CFD, Forex for customers under Belize (IFSC)

Commission and Fees:

  • Commission: 0.04 percent

  • Account minimum: $5

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $0

👍 Pros

  • • Great educational tools

  • • Fast and easy account opening

  • • Low withdrawal and CFD fees

👎 Cons

  • • Average stock and forex index CFD fees

  • • Limited product portfolio

5

AvaTrade: Best for charting

AvaTrade comes with multiple withdrawal and deposit options without charging any fees, and it also comes with a great charting mechanism.

Features:

  • Fast research and education tools

  • Great regulation and security (regulated by many financial authorities, e.g., the Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Supports 5 different base currencies

  • Offers demo account

  • Offers crypto, forex, and CFDs

Commission and Fees:

  • Commission: $0 per trade

  • Account minimum: $100

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $0

👍 Pros

  • • Free withdrawal and deposit options

  • • Great education and research tools

  • • Fast trading execution

👎 Cons

  • • Average forex fees

  • • High inactivity fees

  • • Only crypto, forex, and CFDs offered

6

FXTM: Best for professionals

FXTM is one of the most successful online trading platforms, and because of its features, it’s the best option for professional day traders.

Features:

  • Regulated by many financial authorities such as FCA and CySEC

  • Supports 4 different base currencies

  • Offers demo account

  • Offers crypto, forex, Stock, and CFDs

Commission and Fees:

  • Commission: $4 in total ($2 while opening a position and $2 when closing)

  • Account minimum: $10

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $3

👍 Pros

  • • Exceptional customer service

  • • Great research and educational tools

  • • Fast and fully digital account opening experience

👎 Cons

  • • Limited product portfolio

  • • High CFD fees

  • • Comparatively high withdrawal and inactivity fees

7

Tastyworks: Best suited for active traders

Tastyworks is also a great option if you want to stay fully active and indulge in your day trading.

Features:

  • Regulated by many financial authorities such as SEC, FINRA, ASIC, etcetera

  • Supports 1 different base currencies

  • Offers Stock, Futures, Options, ETF

  • Offers multiple account types

  • Great research tools

Commission and Fees:

  • Commission: $0 per trade

  • Account minimum: $0

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $0

👍 Pros

  • • No inactivity fees

  • • Low trading fees

  • • Low ETF and stock fees

👎 Cons

  • • Weak customer support

  • • Doesn’t offer a demo account

8

eToro: The best platform for beginners

eToro is one of the oldest and most successful online trading platforms, and because of its educational and research tools, it's the best option for beginners.

Features:

  • Regulated by many financial authorities such as CySEC, FCA, ASIC, etcetera

  • Supports 1 different base currencies

  • Offers Stock, Forex, CFD, ETF, Crypto

  • Offers demo account

Commission and Fees:

  • Account minimum: $50

  • Withdrawal fee amount: $5

👍 Pros

  • • Free stock trading

  • • Low trading fees

  • • Low CFD and forex fees

👎 Cons

  • • High non-trading fees

Compare the Best Day Trading Platforms

Name Best For Approves Clients From Commissions Account Minimum App Rating Learn More
Interactive Brokers Best For: Best overall Approves Clients From: Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America Commissions: $4 in total ($2 while opening a position and $2 when closing) Account Minimum: $10 App Rating: 4.5 Open Account
TradeStation Best For: Best for Web and technology Approves Clients From: Malaysia, United Kingdom Commissions: $0 per trade Account Minimum: $2,000 for margin accounts, $5,000 for futures accounts App Rating: 4.7 Open Account
Robinhood Best For: Best fees Approves Clients From: US Commissions: $0 per trade Account Minimum: $0 App Rating: 5.0 Open Account
XM Best For: Best platform for mobile trading Approves Clients From: Globally Commissions: 0.04 percent Account Minimum: $5 App Rating: 4.5 Open Account
AvaTrade Best For: Best for charting Approves Clients From: Globally Commissions: $0 per trade Account Minimum: $100 App Rating: 4.5 Open Account
FXTM Best For: Best for professionals Approves Clients From: Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America Commissions: $4 in total ($2 while opening a position and $2 when closing) Account Minimum: $10 App Rating: 4.5 Open Account
Tastyworks Best For: Best suited for active traders Approves Clients From: Mostly the whole world Commissions: $0 per trade Account Minimum: $0 App Rating: 4.0 Open Account
eToro Best For: Best platform for beginners Approves Clients From: Globally
67% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Commissions: $1 per trade Account Minimum: $200 App Rating: 5.0 Open Account

Review from Expert on Day Trading Platforms

Matt Frankel says that Robinhood was launched to offer easy financial market access to everyday people with its zero-commission policy in 2015. But there is so much more to this platform. According to him, Robinhood is the best choice if you are looking for the following features in an online trading platform:

Low-cost brokerage

Simplicity

If you want to day trade

If you have limited capital and you’re a new investor

If you need a brokerage and saving account in one

If you need a standard brokerage account

Matt Frankel,

CFP: Robin Hood

Reviews from Traders on Day Trading Platforms

Tradestation is one of the best trading platforms out there, according to the traders using it. Many customers report that their customer service is a little slower, but the representatives and account managers, as well as people on the trading desk, are technically sound and helpful.

Brian Shields

from New Mexico about TradeStation


One of the best things about this eToro trading platform is its user-friendliness, ease of use, and transparency. Moreover, it also offers a social media community that you can use to make informed and well-thought decisions. It makes it the best day trading platform for beginners because it offers a range of opportunities to learn more about trading.

Christopher Horn

from Virginia about eToro


According to the traders, FXTM is all about reliability and great customer support. All of your problems get resolved within 24 hours. Other than that, it also offers a great website navigation experience, and its functionality suits the best for professional traders.

Clifford Dawson

from Manchester about FXTM

FAQs

What are the major risks in day trading?

Day trading is inherently risky because you need to actively buy and sell stocks all day long. It can magnify your losses if you take undisciplined risks because of losing streaks.

Is day trading legal?

Day trading is entirely legal as it's not unethical as well, but the only concerning thing about it is that it's too much risk.

Can you perform day trading on more than one platform?

Yes, you can, and using multiple platforms is also a common practice among day traders.

How to become a pattern day trader?

You will become a pattern day trader if you perform at least four trades in five business days, and these trades must also be more than six percent of your total activities within the same time.