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Margin Trading

Margin Trading

  • Use the securities held in your account to borrow money at the lowest interest rates.1
  • Use the IBKR Debit Mastercard to borrow against your account for purchases or bill payment at low rates.

Rated Lowest Margin Fees1 by StockBrokers.com


Margin rates as low as 0.75% Learn More

US Margin Loan Rates Comparison2

$25K $300K $1.5M $3.5M
Interactive Brokers3 1.59% 1.25% 1.01% 0.86%
E-Trade 8.45% 6.95% 5.45% 5.45%
Fidelity 7.82% 6.57% 4.00% 4.00%
Schwab 7.82% 6.57% N/A N/A
TD Ameritrade 9.00% 7.50% N/A N/A

Each firm's information reflects the standard online margin loan rates obtained from their respective websites. Competitor rates and offers subject to change without notice. Services vary by firm.

Margin borrowing is only for sophisticated investors with high risk tolerance.
You may lose more than your initial investment.

Notes:

  1. According to StockBrokers.com Online Broker Survey 2020: Read the full article Online Broker Reviews, February 12, 2020. "Interactive Brokers leads the industry with the lowest margin rates".
  2. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on USD margin loan balances for IBKR Pro as of 7/8/2020. Interactive Brokers calculates the interest charged on margin loans using the applicable rates for each interest rate tier listed on its website. For additional information on margin loan rates, see ibkr.com/interest.
  3. IB calculates the interest charged on margin loans using the applicable rates for each interest rate tier listed on its website. For additional information, see ibkr.com/interest.

Video Tutorials at Traders’ Academy

Introduction to Margin Trading

Course Lessons:

  • Getting Started
  • Securities Margin Trading in the US
  • Commodities Margin Trading in the US
  • Margin in Practice Part 1: Trader Workstation (TWS)
  • Non-US Margin Trading

Securities and Commodities Margin Overview

Securities Margin

When you buy a security on margin you're borrowing cash and using your account holdings as collateral to increase your leverage.

Commodities Margin

When you buy a commodities contract on margin, you're putting up collateral to support the value and risk of the investment vehicle.

Rules-based vs. Risk-based Margin

Margin models determine the type of accounts you open and the type of financial instruments you may trade. Trading on margin uses two key methodologies: rules-based and risk-based margin.

  • In rules-based margin systems, your margin obligations are calculated by a defined formula and applied to each marginable product. This is the more common type of margin strategy used by securities traders.
  • In risk-based margin systems, margin calculations are based on the risk inherent in your trading portfolio. The positions in your account are evaluated, including any hedged positions that decrease potential risk, and based on their risk profile, used to create your margin requirements.
Account Types
  • Cash – The default permission granted to traders who are not approved for margin trading. All transactions must be paid in full.
  • Reg T Margin – This permission is based on the rules-based model governed by the Federal Reserve Board, FINRA, and IBKR's customer requirements. This account type allows you to borrow cash to complete a transaction, as well as to conduct short sales, as long as all activity complies with the regulatory requirements and also IBKR's margin requirements.
  • Portfolio Margin – This permission is based on the risk-based margin model. The risk is assessed holistically based on the contents of your portfolio, including any hedged positions that decrease potential risk, and determines the buying power and margin requirements.
margin trading infographic

Margin Benefits

Global Trading in a Consolidated Account

Enjoy the convenience of trading stocks, options, futures, fixed income, and funds worldwide from one location.

Portfolio Margin

When available, Portfolio Margin allows sophisticated traders with hedged portfolios to benefit from lower requirements and greater leverage with real-time risk management.

Real Time Margin Tool

Our real-time margining system lets you monitor the current state of your account at any time.

Rated #1 - Best Online Broker 2020 and a Top Online Broker4 for Ten Consecutive Years by Barron's
Rated Lowest Margin Fees by StockBrokers.com1

margin awards Barron's margin awards StockBrokers.com

Margin Requirements

Your specific requirements for trading on margin are based on three key factors resulting in hundreds of possible combinations. Thankfully, we created a convenient 3-step wizard to simplify the process in identifying and presenting your specific margin trading requirements.

STEP 1: Specify your country of legal residence.

STEP 2: Select the exchange where you want to trade.

STEP 3: Click on the product you want to trade.

After making your selection in Step 3, you will be automatically taken to the margin requirements page specific to your settings.

margin requirements

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Disclosures
  1. According to StockBrokers.com Online Broker Survey 2020: Read the full article Online Broker Reviews, February 12, 2020. "Interactive Brokers leads the industry with the lowest margin rates".
  2. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on USD margin loan balances for IBKR Pro as of 7/8/2020. Interactive Brokers calculates the interest charged on margin loans using the applicable rates for each interest rate tier listed on its website. For additional information on margin loan rates, see ibkr.com/interest.
  3. IB calculates the interest charged on margin loans using the applicable rates for each interest rate tier listed on its website. For additional information, see ibkr.com/interest.
  4. Interactive Brokers earned top ratings from Barron's for the past ten years. A 5.0 star rating, February 21, 2020. A 4.5 star rating February 22, 2019, March 26, 2018, March 20, 2017, March 23, 2016, March 21, 2015, March 17, 2014, March 11, 2013, March 14, 2012 and March 14, 2011 Barron's Best Online Brokers. Criteria included Trading Experience and Technology, Usability, Mobile, Range of Offerings, Research Amenities, Portfolio Analysis & Reports, Customer Service, Education and Security, and Costs. Supporting documentation for claims and statistical information will be provided upon request. Barron's is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Margin borrowing is only for sophisticated investors with high risk tolerance.
You may lose more than your initial investment.
  1. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on USD margin loan balances for IBKR Pro as of 7/8/2020. Interactive Brokers calculates the interest charged on margin loans using the applicable rates for each interest rate tier listed on its website. For additional information on margin loan rates, see ibkr.com/interest.
  2. Supporting documentation for any claims and statistical information will be provided upon request. Rates obtained on 9/26/17 from Bankrate.com for Low Interest Credit Card regular APR, Average Personal Loan Rates by Credit Rating $10,000 Loan - 3 Year Term and Home Equity Loan Rates in Greenwich CT for $50,000.
  3. Credit interest rate as of 7/8/2020. USD credit interest is paid at the stated rate on balances over USD 10,000 in securities accounts with NAV exceeding USD 100,000. Accounts with less than 100,000 NAV will receive USD credit interest at rates proportional to the size of the account. The rate paid in smaller accounts is proportionally reduced, so that if the total value of the account is $60,000, the interest rate paid is reduced by 40%. For more information, see ibkr.com/interest.
  4. According to Barron's Broker Survey 2017: How They Stack Up, March 20, 2017. For complete information, see ibkr.com/info.

Margin loan rates and credit interest rates are subject to change without prior notice.

BY USING THIS CARD YOU AGREE WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CARDHOLDER AGREEMENT INCLUDING THE ZERO LIABILITY REQUIREMENTS AND FEE SCHEDULE, IF ANY. This card is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank (Member FDIC) pursuant to a license from Mastercard International. "Metropolitan Commercial Bank" and "Metropolitan" are registered trademarks of Metropolitan Commercial Bank© 2014.

All interest and borrowing activity is through Interactive Brokers LLC. Please see your customer agreement with Interactive Brokers LLC for further details.

Card program marketed and administered by Interactive Brokers LLC, the Program Manager of the Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard.