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Best Options Trading Software

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Trading options is the process of buying and selling stocks at a pre-negotiated price by a certain date. Options are a type of contract that gives the trader the right to buy or sell a particular stock in the future, but does not require them to eat the losses should they choose not to buy.  And when you’re trading, your profits are only as good as the platform you use. Here are Benzinga’s favorites.

Options contracts are like “betting” on the movement of a stockif you think a stock will increase in value but you’re not ready to commit to a purchase right now, you can “lock in” a price (called a “strike price”) to buy at a later date.

Many beginning investors choose to lace their money into the options trading market rather than stocks, bonds or forex because it requires less of an initial investment and gives the trader more time to see how the stock will move before spending money. Just like how stockbrokers have largely moved their practices online, you can now buy and sell options from the comfort of your own home.

The Best Options Trading Software:

Characteristics of a Great Options Trading Platform

  • Ease of operation: Successful options trading hinges on your ability to operate your software quickly and with precision. The best options platforms offer simple, aesthetically-pleasing designs that are easy to understand and operate. Look for platforms that offer a free demo before opening an account or check out user video tutorials detailing how to use the platform you’re considering. These moves can save you a massive headache in the long run.
  • Comprehensive customer support: Comprehensive customer support can help you effectively troubleshoot technical problems and avoid missing out on hours of day trading, something especially important on the short term options market.
  • Limited fees: There are a number of fees associated with trading options, ranging from an initial options base fee to a commission fee attached to each individual options contract. Carefully consider all of the fees associated with your platform of choice before making a commitment, as seemingly nominal fees can quickly snowball into significant lost profits.

The Best Options Trading Platforms

Based on the criteria above, we chose the best options trading platforms.

Commissions
$10/ month to trade commission free
Account Minimum
$0
Get started securely through Tradier’s website
Commissions
$10/ month to trade commission free
Account Minimum
$0
1 Minute Review

Tradier is a high-tech broker made with the most active traders in mind. Tradier differentiates itself by using Application Programming Interface (API) technology to partner with popular trading software to offer a wide range of platform choices to Investors. Tradier brokerage offers integration with one of the widest ranges of platforms we’ve seen, including Esignal, Orion Multi Trader, Stockstotrade, 1Option, Evati, and many, many more. 

Tradier offers 2 pricing options — infrequent traders may want to opt for Tradier’s 0 Stocks and $0.35 per Options contract trading, while very active traders can often save money by opting into Tradier’s $30 monthly all-inclusive option and Equity, which cuts commissions entirely.

Tradier TradeHawk platform is exceptionally impressive, combining intuitive 1-click order placements with a vast range of indicators and charting tools. TradeHawk is also completely compatible with both Apple and Android mobile devices. Though we’d love to see Tradier expand into mutual funds and offer a bit more in the way of educational tools, the broker remains a top choice for advanced traders and those looking for enhanced customization options.

Best For
  • Very active options traders who would benefit from a flat-rate monthly charge instead of per-contract fees.
  • Advanced traders looking for a customizable broker with a wide range of platforms that can be integrated.
  • Prominent options traders get high-quality execution, real-time market data and subscription trading.
Pros
  • Wide range of integrated platforms provide an option for any trader.
  • All-inclusive per-month subscriptions available in lieu of per-contract commissions can potentially save very active traders hundreds of dollars a month.
  • Platforms are powered by quality real-time market data and execution.
  • Paper trading and Sandbox building mode allows particularly tech-savvy traders to create a platform and strategies customized to their preferences and needs.
  • Exceptionally affordable margin rates.
Cons
  • While good for active traders, newer traders may prefer a platform with fewer integration choices and a more streamlined approach.
  • No online mutual funds currently available.
Commissions
$0 flat rate, includes closing costs
Account Minimum
$0
Get started securely through Tastyworks’s website
Commissions
$0 flat rate, includes closing costs
Account Minimum
$0
1 Minute Review

Tastyworks is a sophisticated options and futures broker aimed toward experienced traders. The platform was designed by the founders of thinkorswim with functionality and precision for complicated options trades and strategies. Tastyworks offers stocks and ETFs to trade too, but the main focus is options. 

Options on tastyworks are only charged a 1-way, $1 commission —  far cheaper than almost all competitors. Commissions on futures and micro futures are also affordable, and there’s no minimum required to open a cash account. It’s $2,000 if you want to use margin.

Best For
  • Options traders
  • Futures traders
  • Advanced traders
Pros
  • Powerful platform inspired by thinkorswim
  • Multiple order types and strategies
  • Cheap options commissions
Cons
  • Advanced platform could intimidate new traders
  • No demo or paper trading
Commissions
$0.005 per share minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available
Account Minimum
$0
Get started securely through Interactive Brokers’s website
Commissions
$0.005 per share minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available
Account Minimum
$0
1 Minute Review

Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive trading platform that gives you access to a massive range of securities at affordable prices. You can buy assets from all around the world from the comfort of your home or office with access to over 135 global markets. Options, futures, forex and fund trading are also available, and most traders won’t pay a commission on any purchase or sale.  

IBKR is geared primarily toward experienced traders and investors but now with the availability of free trades with IBKR Lite, casual traders can also acclimate to IBKR’s offerings.

Best For
  • Access to foreign markets
  • Detailed mobile app that makes trading simple
  • Wide range of available account types and tradable assets
Pros
  • Comprehensive, quick desktop platform
  • Mobile app mirrors full capabilities of desktop version
  • Access to massive range of tradable assets
  • Low margin rates
  • Easy-to-use and enhanced screening options are better than ever
Cons
  • Beginner investors might prefer a broker that offers a bit more hand-holding and educational resources
Commissions
$0 for stocks and ETFs broker assited orders an additional $6
Account Minimum
$500 to open an account
Get started securely through eOption’s website
Commissions
$0 for stocks and ETFs broker assited orders an additional $6
Account Minimum
$500 to open an account
1 Minute Review

eOption is a stock, fund and option trading platform that focuses on low-cost options trading. Its options trading is very affordable at just $0.10 per contract and $1.99 per transaction. The broker also offers a comprehensive options trading course that’s free and educational for both novice investors and advanced traders alike. eOption’s platform is less usable than its competitors, especially for new traders.

Futures and forex trades aren’t currently available, daily market updates are full of jargon and the platform includes very few intuitive features and explainers. Customer service options are also lackluster, and mutual fund transactions are expensive. While eOption might be a great choice for options traders, we recommend other platforms for beginner traders primarily interested in stock and ETF investing.

Best For
  • Options traders looking for low-cost options contracts
  • Beginner and advanced traders looking for options education
  • Advanced traders who don’t need a lot of platform guidance
Pros
  • Unbeatable options contracts pricing
  • Mobile app that mirrors capabilities of desktop app
  • Free and comprehensive options education
Cons
  • Confusing platform has limited assistance tools
  • Expensive mutual funds and bond trading
  • Limited stock and general investing education
  • Lackluster customer service options
Commissions
$10/ month to trade commission free
Account Minimum
$0

Tradier is a high-tech broker for active traders. Tradier differentiates itself by using application programming interface (API) technology to partner with popular trading software to offer a wide range of platform choices. 

Tradier invented the idea of an API-integrated brokerage firm with customizable interface options. Most brokers lock you into a pre-set interface, allowing you limited ways to customize your trading station, but not Tradier. You can integrate your platform of choice into your Tradier workstation while you take advantage of Tradier’s low fees and commissions. 

Tradier is compatible with a wide range of platforms:

  • Esignal
  • Orion Multi Trader
  • Stockstotrade
  • Q.ai
  • Screener.co
  • 1Option
  • eSignal 
  • And more! 

Its tradable assets include stocks, options and ETFs and its TradeHawk mobile platform is available for an additional fee with fast-streaming data options. 

It requires a $0 minimum investment and two fee schedules. The standard equity and options trading comes with $0 fees per order and $0.35 per contract. If you’re a particularly active trader, you might prefer Tradier’s all-inclusive subscription model. 

  • It’s $30 a month for commission-free equity and options trading. 
  • You’ll pay $10 for broker-assisted trades, which is significantly less expensive than competing brokers.
  • Tradier’s current margin rate is 5.25% for all traders, no matter how much margin you use.

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