BEST OF

14 Best IRA Accounts of January 2022

Jan 6, 2022

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An individual retirement account, or IRA, is one of the best places to save for retirement — the tax benefits can give your savings a nice lift. And, spoiler alert: It typically takes just 15 minutes to open an account. We’re here to help you find the best IRA account for your situation. (Note: The star ratings on this page are for the provider overall. Some brokers with a lower overall rating are included here because IRAs are where they excel.)

How (and why) to open an IRA

Opening an IRA is a simple process. You’ll need to provide some personal information, including your birthdate and Social Security number, but that’s about it.

Even if you have a 401(k) or other workplace plan, it can make sense to save in an IRA — as long as you also make sure to get any company 401(k) match you may be offered — because IRAs often offer more investment choices. This is important, because your investment returns will have a big impact on your savings over time.

Say you put $500 every month into an IRA (that adds up to the annual maximum of $6,000). The stock market’s annual average return of 8% would get you more than $475,000 after 25 years. Even if you earned a more conservative 6%, you’d end up with more than $345,000 after 25 years.

Every year, we evaluate a broad swath of major U.S. online brokers and robo-advisors for the best IRA account offerings. Our favorites are below.

Best IRA Accounts

Our picks for

Hands-On Investors

E*TRADE IRA
Learn more

on E*TRADE's website

E*TRADE IRA

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
E*TRADE IRA

Fees

$0

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on E*TRADE's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Retirement investors will find a lot to love with E*TRADE’s IRA offering, including a large line-up of no-trading-fee mutual funds and an extensive library of retirement advice and tools. Plus, there’s no minimum account balance and no fee for stock or ETF trades.

Pros

  • No minimum balance.

  • Extensive research and tools.

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • 4,400+ no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds.

Cons

  • $19.99 cost for trading non-NTF mutual funds.

Read Full Review

Fidelity IRA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fidelity IRA

Fees

$0

no account fees to open a Fidelity retail IRA

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Fidelity’s lineup of services for investors goes well beyond retirement accounts. The company’s brokerage arm features $0 commissions, a wide investment selection, plenty of research and advanced trading capabilities (including a strong mobile app).

Pros

  • $0 trade commissions.

  • Free research and data.

  • Strong customer support.

  • Quality trading platform.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.

Read Full Review

Charles Schwab IRA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Charles Schwab IRA

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Charles Schwab is one of the best overall IRA providers, with high-quality customer service, no account minimum and low fees. The company offers a large selection of no-transaction-fee funds and charges no commission for stock, options and ETF trades.

Pros

  • No minimum investment.

  • No inactivity fees.

  • Above-average mobile app.

  • 4,000+ no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

Cons

  • High fee for transaction-fee funds.

Read Full Review

Ally Invest IRA

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Invest IRA

Fees

$0

per trade (on eligible US securities)

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $3,500

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit


Promotion

Up to $3,500

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

Why we like it

Ally Invest’s $0 commissions on eligible U.S. securities, no annual fee and no account minimum make it a good choice for IRA investors. For investors who want to be more active, the broker also offers a solid suite of research and tools, but IRA customers may be put off by closure and transfer-out fees.

Pros

  • Commission-free trades on eligible U.S. stocks, options and ETFs.

  • No account minimum.

  • Strong web-based platform.

  • Robust research and tools.

Cons

  • No no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

Read Full Review

Our picks for

Hands-Off Investors

Wealthfront IRA
Learn more

on Wealthfront's website

Wealthfront IRA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Wealthfront IRA

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account Minimum

$500

Promotion

$5,000

amount of assets managed for free

Learn more

on Wealthfront's website


Promotion

$5,000

amount of assets managed for free

Why we like it

Wealthfront takes the hassle out of IRA investing. The robo-advisor manages accounts by constructing portfolios out of low-cost ETFs, with a flat and low-cost fee structure that appeals to investors seeking a hands-off approach. What’s more, the company has built client trust by offering free management on the first $5,000 invested (for NerdWallet readers).

Pros

  • First $5,000 managed free (for NerdWallet readers).

  • Automatic rebalancing.

  • Digital financial planning tools.

  • Low management fee.

Cons

  • No large-balance discounts.

  • No access to human advisors.

  • No fractional shares.

Read Full Review

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios®

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios®

Fees

0%

management fee

Account Minimum

$5,000

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Intelligent Portfolios is unique in charging no management fee, but the advisor's portfolios tend to hold a larger cash allocation than other robo-advisors. Schwab also offers a Premium option, with access to CFPs.

Pros

  • No management fee.

  • Wide ETF selection.

  • Automatic rebalancing.

  • Customizable portfolio.

Cons

  • High account minimum.

  • Large cash allocation.

  • Tax-loss harvesting only available on balances of $50,000 or more.

Read Full Review
Betterment IRA
Learn more

on Betterment's website

Betterment IRA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Betterment IRA

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

Learn more

on Betterment's website


Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

Why we like it

With its low-cost ETFs, automatic rebalancing, extensive tax strategies and retirement advice, Betterment is a strong bet for retirement investors. Betterment’s planning tools include advice on “asset location” — which types of investments are best for different types of accounts — and investors can sync outside accounts, as well.

Pros

  • Multiple investment options.

  • Robust goal-based tools.

  • Fractional shares mean all your cash is invested.

  • Low management fee.

Cons

  • $100,000 minimum and higher fee for access to financial advisors.

Read Full Review

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Note: Some of these promotions won’t apply for first-time depositors, due to IRA contribution limits of $6,000 per year in 2021-2022. We’ve included promotions with low deposit requirements where available.

Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

Last updated on January 6, 2022

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $1 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

APY

0.61%

With $0 minimum balance

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers and robo-advisors. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

For more details about the categories considered when rating providers and our processes, read our full broker ratings methodology and our full robo-advisor ratings methodology

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best IRA Accounts of January 2022

Frequently asked questions