OptionsXpress was acquired by Charlers Schwab in 2011, but continues to operate separately. The firm originally specialized in options trading and is still noted for its research tools and mobile apps for options traders. However, optionsXpress has diversified and now offers a wide range of investment products and an education center with webinars, live events and virtual trading. Stock trade commissions are $9.95 for trades of up to 1,000 shares. If you want many of same amenities and banking services as well, Fidelity (*Est. $7.95 per trade) gets top ratings from reviewers.
Two top reviewers, Kiplinger.com and Barron's, include optionsXpress in their most recent write up. SmartMoney magazine rated the firm in 2011, but not this year. TopTenReviews.com and Stockbrokers.com also review and rate the site.
The 2011 SmartMoney survey ranks optionsXpress 9th of 10 online brokers. The review notes that this broker imposes extra fees (for example, a fee for closing an IRA account) that drive up the costs for investors.
Review: The 2011 Broker Survey: Who Tops the List?, J. Alex Tarquinio, May 6, 2011
Barron's 2012 survey ranks optionsXpress seventh out of 27 brokers and lists it as one of the four best brokers for options traders. OptionsXpress gets high ratings in virtually every category except costs. According to the review, "optionsXpress kept up its pace of innovation" after it was acquired by Charles Schwab.
Review: Cut the Cord, Theresa W. Carey, March 12, 2012
Kiplinger.com doesn't have a full review of optionsXpress, but it does note that optionsXpress and Zecco are its overall winners on costs. According to the article, these two brokers offer "competitive prices on their complete menu of services."
Review: Best Online Brokers for 2011: optionsXpress, Elizabeth Ody, Jan. 2011
TopTenReviews.com ranks optionsXpress No. 1 of the 18 brokers included in its comparative review. According to the individual review of this firm, "optionsXpress is still a stellar online broker."
Review: OptionsXpress Review, Editors of TopTenReviews.com
In its 2012 ranking of 24 brokers, Stockbrokers.com says, "optionsXpress was #3 overall with 5 stars and received Best in Class for Platforms & Tools, Research, Investor Community, Investor Education, and Options Trading."
Review: OptionsXpress Review, Editors of Stockbrokers.com