As the number of ETFs continues to rise, the industry has experienced more competitive fee pricing to attract cost-conscious investors. The price wars have sent expense ratios plunging, to as low as six basis points (0.06%/yr) in some cases. Of course, fees are just one part of the total cost of ETF investing, so the next carrot was commission-freeETF trading. Sounds enticing, and if you are an active trader, commissions matter.

More than 300 ETFs and ETNs are available for commission free trading, but they are only available from certain brokerages, in certain types of accounts and they come with restrictions about hold times (e.g., 30 days). So these are not programs for day traders.

The following brokerages have commission-free ETF programs and the number of ETFs they offer is listed in parentheses. Schwab, which was late getting into the ETF arena, is now the leader in commission free offerings.

Charles Schwab (175)

E*TRADE (112)

TD Ameritrade (100)

Fidelity (70 iShares ETFs; 15 others)

Vanguard (62)

Interactive Brokers (37)

Firstrade (10)