So, you are opening an account with Interactive Brokers?
Top choice. One of the best places you can start is our Interactive Brokers review to get a complete lowdown.
Here, we will focus on the all-important account type choice. There are many Interactive Brokers account types to choose from and we will give you details on what each has to offer, as well as a step-by-step guide in getting started, and answer other common questions you may have on key account management points.
Let’s take a closer look.
Interactive Brokers Account Types
Here is a detailed look at each different type of Interactive Brokers account you will find available.
Interactive Brokers Demo Account
The best starting point for many will be the IB demo account. This is unlimited and a great way to learn more about the broker and the industry. You will have risk-free trading with no obligation and $1,000,000 in virtual funds to trade with. You will also still get access to all the platforms, the market data for all products, advanced trading tools, and research services just as you do in live trading.
For more and to open a demo account, you can visit the IB website today (74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money).
Interactive Brokers Individual Account
Moving to individual accounts, there are several types made available. These are the truly individual accounts for a single account holder, a joint account that can have 2 holders, a trust account which is a legally established entity in which assets are held by one party for the benefit of another party, an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) which is only for US residents, and a UGMA/UTMA which is an individual or entity who manages an account for a minor until that minor reaches a specific age, again only for US residents.
Depending on your specific situation, you can choose the individual account type to fit.
Interactive Brokers Reg T Margin Account
The interactive Brokers Reg T Margin account is as the name suggests, for margin trading. The account has a minimum deposit of $2,000 and offers shares, options, futures, forex, and commodities that can be traded long or short.
This account type can be opened with Individual, Joint, Trust, IRA accounts, as well as other corporate account types.
Interactive Brokers Portfolio Margin Account
The Interactive Brokers portfolio margin account is an account aimed at high-volume traders with a large minimum deposit of $110,000. Here you will be able to trade shares, options, futures, forex, and commodities with lower margin requirements than the standard IB Reg T Margin Account.
This type of account is compatible with Individual, Joint, Trust, IRA accounts, as well as other corporate accounts as needed.
Interactive Brokers Cash Account
The IB Cash account is very accessible with no minimum deposit at all. Here you can trade real stocks and ETFs though you cannot short the assets on this account. Similarly, as they are real assets, no leverage is allowed. You can however trade in fractional stocks.
This account type can be used with Individual, Joint, Trust, IRA, and UGMA/UTMA accounts, as well as other corporate accounts.
Interactive Brokers MAM/PAMM Account
There are also the following MAM/PAMM accounts on offer from the broker. Both are corporate accounts.
This account is for Individuals or Organization Registered Advisors hired by another Advisor, called a Wealth Manager, to administrate and grow the business of their client or clients.
With a money manager account, you will be able to pre-trade allocate clear trades in a number of ways. By account percentage, by the percentage of equity, or by the percentage of positions. It is also important to note that the Wealth Manager and Money Manager client accounts are margined separately.
This type of account is a single account that can be linked to multiple advisors, hedge fund, and proprietary trading group accounts. The main objective of this type of account is to report assignments and run administrative functions to one or more clients, funds, or sub-accounts. With this account type, there is no margin supported.
Interactive Brokers Professional Account
A professional account with Interactive Brokers is also available to EU clients. This type of account can offer higher leverage but you will not be able to get negative balance protection.
To qualify for this type of account, you should meet at least two of the following conditions.
- Have carried out trades of significant size (EUR 200,000 or greater) on the relevant market at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the previous 4 quarters.
- Possess a portfolio including cash (and positions not held with IBKR) in excess of EUR 500,000.
- Have worked in the financial sector for at least 1 year in a professional position.
If you meet at least two of the points above, you can contact the broker support team to become a Professional client. If you are an existing retail trader, you can change your status through the client portal.
Interactive Brokers Corporate Account
There is a huge range of IB Corporate accounts for businesses and institutions depending on your needs. There are solutions available for small businesses, families, hedge & mutual funds, & much more. You should contact the broker support team directly to find out all about these specific options.
How to open a live account with Interactive Brokers
Opening a live Interactive Brokers account is as easy as following our step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Visit the Interactive Brokers website
A great starting point for many is opening an IB Demo Account (74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money).
If this is something you are interested in, you can always check out our Interactive Brokers demo guide.
If you are ready though, you can move straight to a live account by following the simple process of verifying your account and making a deposit as we will explain.
Step 2: Account Verification
To complete the Interactive Brokers verification, only a couple of things are needed. These are proof of your identity from a passport or driving license, and proof of your residence from a bank statement or utility bill.
The process can all be done online and is typically very fast with a maximum of 1-2 days typically all that is needed unless there is difficulty confirming and the broker will contact you.
Step 3: Account Funding
With your account verified you will be ready to make a deposit. You should check our guide on the IB Minimum deposit to make sure you deposit enough based on the account you have chosen.
With that in mind, simply login to your IB account and click deposit. You will then be able to deposit with the following methods depending on your location and regulation.
- Bank Wire Transfer
- Check (all checks, including retirement checks)
- Online bill payment check
- Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer initiated at IB
- Canadian Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) initiated by IB (Canada only)
- AUD Bill payment (BPAY – for Australian Dollars only)
- Direct Rollover (IRA accounts only)
- Trustee-to-Trustee (IRA accounts only)
- BPay (for Australian clients)
You will also have many base currencies to choose from including the AUD, CAD, CHF, CNH, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, INR, JPY, MXN, NOK, NZD, RUB, SEK, SGD, or USD. Again, all of these may not be available to all clients based on your location.
Interactive Brokers Account Bonus
Currently, no direct promotions are available for opening a new account, but there is the ‘refer a friend’ program. You will need to have a $2,000 net liquidation value and have placed at least one securities trade to be eligible. Once you are, you can get a $200 referral flat fee with terms and conditions, for each friend you refer while the friend can get up to $1000 of IBKR stock. This program is not available for financial advisors, hedge funds, introducing brokers, or proprietary trading firms. It is also not available for residents of Japan, Spain, Israel, and clients under the Singapore entity.
There are other conditions and limitations that apply, this can be checked on the broker website or by asking their support team.
Interactive Brokers Account Deposit & Withdrawal
You will find no deposit fee charged by Interactive Brokers with the exception of Mexican clients. After a first free deposit, the fee will be 100.00 MXN. If you deposit less than $2,000 you may also incur a commission. Depositing a non-base currency can also result in a conversion fee.
On withdrawals, you are allowed one free per month. Following that, you will be charged a fee based on your location and the method you use.
On both deposits and withdrawals, you will also want to check with your bank or financial provider on fees that they may charge.
Interactive Brokers Account Management
Here are a couple of other issues you may encounter during your time trading with the broker.
Interactive Brokers Account Inactivity
IB does not charge an inactivity fee. If your net liquidation value is less than $1,000 then you will be charged a $1 fee.
Interactive Brokers Account reactivation
If your account was closed for any reason, then you will have to follow a process to reactivate it.
Start by logging into ‘account management’. When you are there you can click ‘Manage Account’, then ‘Settings’, and then ‘Reopen Account’. When you have done this a page should appear. Click the ‘Update Trading Permissions link’.
You then will be prompted to update which products you want to trade in which countries and your market data subscriptions. If your account doesn’t meet the experience and financial requirements to trade the products you choose, then you will get an error message and a link to submit a request to update this information.
To submit a request to reactivate your account it must have been opened after 1 January 2002. Only then can you open it again using the Reopen Account page in the Account Management area. Your closed account must also be fully AML (Anti-Money Laundering) compliant.
How to delete and close an Interactive Brokers account
If you find yourself in a position where you want to delete and close your account then you should log in to the account management area, then select ‘Settings’, then ‘Account Settings’ and then ‘Close Account’.
This will prompt a page with instructions and conditions you need to meet before closing the account like not having positions opened and converting foreign currencies into your base currency. If you don’t do this then the account won’t be closed.
When you see the box above, you can also specify your reason for closing the account before clicking continue and closing the account.
Interactive Brokers Account Types FAQs
What is the difference between a margin and a cash account on Interactive Brokers?
Cash account clients must open all positions with cash or long positions. Margin account clients can instead borrow money against the value of the securities in the account and can trade both long and short.