For traders specifically looking to options trading, choosing the best options trading platform can be particularly crucial. Most major brokers have options trading capabilities, but not every platform is geared specifically toward options trading.
Below, we're taking a look at the top choices for these trading platforms, from free options trading to paid platforms. You want access to the best financial markets, but you also need online brokers that will make it easy for you to check the strike price of your preferred contract, offer custom options contracts, and make it easy to navigate the option chain to analyze your call option or put option position, and make your portfolio easy to manage.
11 Best Options Brokers
Here's a quick look at the best online brokers for options trading.
- Best for Global Traders: Interactive Brokers
- Best for Beginners: Robinhood
- Best for Non US Forex Trading: Avatrade
- Best for Short Selling: TradeZero
- Best for Fund Investing: Charles Schwab
- Best for Options Spreads: Options AI
- Best for Long-Term Investors: Magnifi
- Best for Advanced Traders: TradeStation
- Best for Trading on the Outcome of Events: Kalshi
- Best for Options Education: Tastyworks
- Best for Beginners: Olive Invest
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Compare Brokers for Options Trading
Low commissions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to choosing the best options trading platform. Traders need to consider hidden fees, such as platform fees and data fees.
Different traders have different skill levels, trading strategies, and needs. Options trading can be complicated, and beginners need to make sure to find a platform with plenty of educational resources and guidance. Advanced traders need to look for professional-grade features and research. Before choosing the right brokerage account, each trader needs to consider his or her trading style and which features are most important in maximizing profitability.
Here’s an overview of some of the best brokers for option-trading platforms based on several different criteria.
1. Best for Global Traders: Interactive Brokers
Did you know that Interactive Brokers’ clients trade 10x more options than at other brokers? This comes as no surprise, as Interactive Brokers offers commissions on options from as low as USD 0.15 per US options contract. IBKR’s recently introduced the Options Wizard in IBKR Mobile, IBKR GlobalTrader and IMPACT.
They also offer sophisticated options trading tools through their professional trading platforms such as the Options Strategy Builder, which allows traders to create multi-leg combo orders on the fly. Plus, you will have access to a high APY on uninvested cash and industry-leading margin rates.
- Low costs
- Wide range of products
- Advanced features
- Customer service
- Multiple account types
- Limited educational resources
- High account minimums
2. Best for Beginners: Robinhood
Yes, Robinhood allows traders just like you to buy and sell stocks without commission charges, but the platform is also a good place for options traders. In addition to no-fee trading and a $0 minimum deposit, Robinhood also offers no commission fees and $0 per contract, $0 options regulatory fees and $0 OCC clearing fees.
On top of the lows fees and easy access, Robinhood provides you with an easy-to-use mobile app that's both responsive and intuitive. Sure, there are not as many advanced trading tools as some experienced traders would like, but this is a good place to start trading options, learn more about each asset and grow into the sort of trader you want to be.
- Low to no fees on several investment instruments
- Easy access to the information traders need
- Even easier-to-use mobile app
- Doesn’t possess the advanced tools needed by experienced traders
3. Best for Non US Forex Trading: AvaTrade
Founded in 2006, the award-winning platform AvaTrade offers traders a diverse range of assets, including more than 50 currency pairs. The broker has an in-house platform and supports several others, including MT4 and automated trading software for copy trading. The AvaTrade Web Trader platforms have 90 indicators and three chart formats for customizable platform options.
AvaTrade offers users a wide range of educational support and has a website called SharpTrader dedicated to trader education and training.
- The massive number of currency pairs and indicators allows you to do quite a lot of research in preparation for each move you make with your portfolio
- The educational and support options allow you to learn as you go or get help with your account without waiting around for assistance or answers
- As with any investment, remember that there are risks. However, CFDs and options can be much riskier than an investment like stocks. Keep that in mind while trading with AvaTrade.
4. Best for Short Selling: TradeZero
TradeZero is dedicated to making powerful trading tools as accessible as possible. You can trade for free or step up to more advanced plans when you have more money to invest.
If you need more trading power, paid orders are only$0.0003 per share. Outgoing ACH transfers are just$5, and incoming wire transfers are free. You can read more about the low prices at TradeZero here or check out a full review of the options trading platform here.
- Low commission fees
- Advanced trading tools
- Global access
- Limited customer service
- No margin trading
- Limited asset selection
5. Best for Fund Investing: Charles Schwab
Like most of its peers, Schwab charges $0 commission for online stocks and ETF trading and requires no account or trade minimum. There are also no hidden fees, but there are minimal charges for trading options contracts. Plus, you can invest in a broad array of multiple asset types on the platform.
Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro, Charles Schwab has you covered. With the app, you can get real-time quotes, place trades, create a watchlist and view your positions and balances. You can also view market indices, breaking news and in-depth charts. The Schwab Assistant, one of the app's top-shelf features, allows you to place trades, get quotes, set alerts and receive clarifications on investment questions.
Equity research reports are available from major providers like Argus and Credit Suisse. You can access daily market reports from Morningstar Morning Notes and Market Edge Daily Commentary. Schwab offers Screener on its web-based platforms, which is highly adapted for mobile views. The Schwab basic account requires zero minimum and is ideal for beginners. For passive investors, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios offers one of the best robo-advisors.
- Low fees
- Excellent customer support
- Easy-to-use platform
- Limited investment options
- Limited research tool
- Lack of advanced trading features
6. Best for Options Spreads: Options AI
If you're an experienced options trader looking for a visual, innovative platform, Options AI may be right for you. Newer investors can also benefit as the platform is great for upgrading to call option spreads or put option spreads.
Options AI includes Chart Trade, Fast Trade, and Trade Scanner. These features allow you to set a profit zone, generate credit or debit spreads, compare ways to trade any view, filter categories and scan for trades based on probability of profit or expected moves.
Fund your account and qualify for rewards that include commission-free trading and more.
- Straightforward investing platform uses AI to enhance investing
- Low, standardized commissions that don’t vary depending on order size
- Free education center that helps you learn more before you invest
- Interactive charts
- Limited options to contact customer service
7. Best for Long Term Investors: Magnifi
Magnifi is a marketplace that allows you, as the investor, to use common brokerage tools and AI to make the best decisions for your portfolio. Because you can pull up all the information you need on a given asset, you can easily invest in the assets that will give you the results you deserve and better match your options trading strategy.
Search for the investment options that meet your needs, invest in specific categories or scan for assets in a price range that’s affordable for you.
Best for long-term investors and those who require a bit of client support, you can also learn more about investing from this platform, utilize the AI-powered investing assistant, enjoy commission-free investing, try the mobile app and take advantage of over 15,000 possible investment options. This makes Magnifi a good place to trade for both seasoned and novice traders.
- Access to an AI-powered investing assistant
- Commission-free investing
- Over 15,000 possible investments
- Mobile application is available
- Customer service is lacking
8. Best for Advanced Traders: TradeStation
TradeStation is for advanced traders who need a comprehensive platform. The brokerage offers an impressive range of investable assets as frequent and professional traders appreciate its wide range of analysis tools. TradeStation’s app is also equally effective, offering full platform capabilities.
- Easy to use web and mobile platform
- Low trading fees
- High quality tools for research and education
- Forex trading is not available
- Customer support is lacking
9. Best for Trading on the Outcome of Events: Kalshi
When you sign up with Kalshi, you can do more than the traditional investor. You’re not buying into “ordinary” futures or options. You invest in the outcome of events, singular occurrences that you can carefully monitor.
Yes, you can also invest in traditional assets and access intraday or 0DTE assets, but the unique nature of this platform is the outcome of events option that allows you to truly invest in events that you feel you can predict.
With low minimums and a limit on certain investments (for your protection and theirs), you can make the most of this platform with a small amount of money and learn how to further diversify your portfolio at the same time.
- Take a new angle on investing in future events
- You have the ability to focus on specific events without the complications of several factors playing into a singular stock, ETF, etc.
- These are not your traditional options or futures
10. Best for Options Education: Tastyworks
Tastyworks (Tastytrade) allows the opening of an individual, entity/trust or joint account, and the account type held with the brokerage can be margin, cash or retirement. In margin trading, you are allowed to trade with borrowed capital, facilitating the use of all trading strategies available with the broker, while a cash account requires that you fully fund transactions, and also restricts usage of some trading strategies such as spread and uncovered options.
- Low trading fees
- High quality education tools and resources
- Great research tools
- Product selection is lacking
- No demo accounts are available
- Very few deposits and withdrawal options
11. Best for Beginners: Olive Invest
Olive Invest was designed to make options trading easier for the investor, using AI and machine learning technologies to produce better strategies. You don’t have to do the math when Olive can do it for. Plus, you get recommendations for trades made by professionals, allowing you to take a profitable path so that you can focus on income generation, increasing profits or specific entries into the market.
Best for beginners, anyone can use this platform to refine their options trades. Additionally, there are several educational tools on the site that teach you about the options market—one that’s often misunderstood by the public.
Remember, Olive Invest isn’t a brokerage. You connect through a secure API to your broker and make trades based on the recommendations you get. After a 2-week trial, you can purchase access to Olive for a monthly or yearly rate in an effort to improve your portfolio.
- Access to professional level real-time options strategies
- Machine learning and algorithms to reduce risk
- Enhanced security features
- Provides educational resources
- Not a brokerage, offers API link to brokerages for trading
What is Options Trading?
When it comes to the stock market, most people think no further than buying and selling individual stocks. Truthfully, the process of options trading isn't much different than stock trading.
However, an option is simply a contract to buy or sell a stock at a pre-negotiated price and by a certain date. Simple as that. Learn more about how to trade options.
Options traders bet on which direction they think the price of a stock will go. Options contracts can be based on a wide variety of underlying securities, however, and many different types of orders can be placed, which makes them more versatile than stocks.
For example, those trading options can decide whether the prices could go up or down on the following:
- Individual Stocks
- Foreign currency
Make sense? Sure, it does.
Buying and Selling Options
To buy options, you simply choose exactly what you'd like to buy and how many, and then place a buy to open order with a broker. If your order goes up or down in value, you have some options. At any rate, you can:
- Sell at the agreed-upon price
- Sell the contract to another investor
- Let the contract expire
Enter calls and puts, too.
Trade Options with the Best Options Trading Platform
After sifting through a myriad of online brokers, it is time to wrap up our discussion on the best online brokers for options trading. Options trading can be complex, which makes it essential to choose a broker that can cater to your needs. In this article, we have examined some of the best online brokers available, giving you a rundown of their pros and cons.
These options brokers offer a full suite of tools, including a robust trading platform and educational materials that cater to both beginners and advanced traders. Many also offer options trading fees that are quite competitive.
Ultimately, it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each broker and select the one that best suits your needs and goals. Whether you are a novice or an experienced trader, there is an online broker out there that can cater to your options trading needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all brokers offer options trading?
Not all brokers offer options trading, even the major ones. If you want to trade options, you will have to look for a broker that offers it.
Where can I find brokers that offer options trading?
You can find a list of brokers that offer options trading on the list above.
What kinds of fees will a pay a broker for options trading?
Depending on the broker, you could pay commissions, platform fees, or data fees when trading options.
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