11 Best Options Trading Platforms

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Options trading is risky, but it can be really rewarding with the right platform.

While most popular brokerages offer options trading, it isn’t a key focus of every stock trading platform.

That being said, since options trading can be majorly profitable for you and the broker, a handful of online brokerages have stepped up their game.

I’ve reviewed several platforms, narrowing it down to the best of the best online brokers for buying and selling options contracts.

The 11 brokers below offer the best options trading platforms for an innovative trading experience with low prices.

11 Best Options Trading Platforms

Here are the best options trading platforms you can start using today:

  1. 🏆  TD Ameritrade: Best Overall Options Trading Platform
  2. TradeStation: Best for Active Investors
  3. Robinhood: Best for No Fees
  4. Tastyworks: Best Specialized Options App
  5. E*TRADE: Best Mobile App
  6. Webull: Best for Beginners
  7. Interactive Brokers: Best for Experts
  8. Charles Schwab: Best for User Experience
  9. You Invest: Best Robo-advisor
  10. Gatsby: Best Social Platform
  11. eOption: Best Options Pricing

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is the top pick whether you’re a new trader or a pro, excelling at options, stocks, and ETF trades.

In the basic TD Ameritrade app, it’s easy to research and stay on top of your investments.

With thinkorswim, the company’s advanced trading platform, you get loads of complex features that work the same, whether you’re on desktop or mobile.

While many brokerages offer commission-free or low-fee trades now, it’s thanks to TD Ameritrade, the first brokerage to do away with fees.

The brokerage doesn’t have an account minimum, either.

Features:
  • App: thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade Mobile
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Pricing: $0.65 options contract
  • Continue Reading: TD Ameritrade Review

TradeStation

TradeStation offers a powerful options trading platform for experienced users, as well as more simplified tools a novice investor could understand.

The platform lets you choose between two levels, TS Select and TS Go, which have varying fees and features.

TradeStation offers customers access to live data, options strategies, and educational resources.

You can also take advantage of OptionsStation Pro. This tool geared towards options provides traders with even more analytical tools and quick trading capabilities.

TradeStation has commission-free trades and some of the lowest option fees per contract of all.

Features:
  • App: TradeStation Mobile
  • Minimum deposit: $0 for TS Go; $2,000 for TS Select
  • Pricing: $0.60 options contract (TS Select); $0.50 options contract (TS Go)
  • Continue Reading: TradeStation Review

Robinhood

If you’re just getting started and want to dabble in options trading on a super-simple platform, you should check out Robinhood.

It opens new traders up to stocks, options, ETFs, and crypto, also letting you invest in fractional shares.

Robinhood doesn’t have quite as many educational resources and analytical tools as some of the other platforms on the list, but it has enough to get you started.

While the platform has its limits, especially for advanced traders, it’s incredibly easy to use and free, including options contracts.

Features:
  • App: Robinhood
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Pricing: $0 options contract
  • Continue Reading: Robinhood Review

tastyworks

tastyworks lets you trade ETFs and stocks, but the area it excels in most is options trading.

Professional traders will appreciate the research tools and lightning-fast trade entry found in the tech-savvy app.

While the platform is intuitive, tastyworks is better suited to professionals than novice investors.

tastyworks’ features function the same whether you’re on your phone or computer, so you can tweak your investments on-the-fly.

You can even watch tutorial videos where traders demonstrate trades and share strategies.

Features:
  • App: tastyworks
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Pricing: $1 option on stocks and ETFs; $2.50 option on futures

E*TRADE

E*TRADE was the first online investment platform, and it’s continued to set the bar high since day one.

A beginner in need of a platform that’s easy to maneuver can benefit from the basic E*TRADE platform.

For a more advanced trading experience, E*TRADE also offers a platform for professionals called Power E*TRADE.

Both platforms let you research options, create and test trading strategies, and execute and manage your options trades.

If you’re looking to trade wherever you are, E*TRADE offers users one of the best mobile experiences of anyone.

Features:
  • App: E*TRADE Mobile app; Power E*TRADE app
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Pricing: $0.65 options contract, or $0.50 w/30+ trades a quarter; $1.50 futures options
  • Continue Reading: E*TRADE Review

Webull

You may not have heard of Webull as it’s a newer investment platform, but it should definitely be on your radar if you’re an options trader.

Webull has a lot to offer if you’re looking to trade options, ETFs, stocks, and even ADRs.

The platform comes with stellar online resources and 24/7 customer service. While you can subscribe to additional services, the desktop version of Webull is free and fully accessible.

Webull’s website features aren’t the only free thing it has to offer.

Like most competitors, Webull’s trades are commission-free, but unlike other platforms on the list, Webull charges $0 for options contracts.

While there may be some fees down the line, Webull lets you trade options on an advanced platform virtually for free.

Features:
  • App: Webull: Stocks, Options, and ETFs
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Pricing: $0 options contract
  • Continue Reading: Webull Review

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is tailor-made for professionals and active traders, with complex trading capabilities and advanced analytical tools.

Best of all, it brings nearly everything from its desktop platform to its mobile app, so you can research and execute trades on-the-go or at home.

You can choose to work in the IBKR Lite version for a simplified experience, or IBKR Pro for more complex trading.

IBKR offers tiered pricing like E*TRADE, so the more options trades you make, the lower the cost per contract is.

Just note that you’ll face higher fees and requirements with Interactive Brokers’ Pro platform.

Features:
  • App: IBKR Mobile
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Pricing:  $0.65 options contract (sometimes lower with tiered pricing)
  • Continue Reading: Interactive Brokers Review

Charles Schwab

If you’re learning the ropes and want to work with a well-known and reliable brokerage, Charles Schwab is a solid choice.

Taking home top honors in the 2019 J.D. Power survey of brokerages, it has one of the most user-friendly apps on the market.

You’ll find ample educational resources for new investors and tools to get you started trading options.

For something a bit more advanced, seasoned investors can work with StreetSmart Edge, the platform’s premier software for expert traders.

You can download StreetSmart Edge on desktop or use its cloud-based version to trade from anywhere.

Features:
  • App: Schwab Mobile
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Pricing: $0.65 options contract
  • Continue Reading: Charles Schwab Review

You Invest by J.P. Morgan

You Invest is another impressive options trading platform from a highly regarded financial institution.

If you already bank with Chase, their trading platform could be a perfect addition to your services.

You Invest provides you with a simple, straightforward experience, whether you’re researching, trading options, or managing your investments.

The platform lets you choose between You Invest Trade, a hands-on option, and You Invest Portfolios, a robo-advisor.

Either way, you’ll get commission-free trades and low fees all-around.

Features:
  • App: J.P. Morgan Mobile
  • Minimum deposit: $0; $500 minimum investment with You Invest Portfolios
  • Pricing: $0.65 options contract
  • Continue Reading: You Invest Review

Gatsby

Gatsby is another platform that boils down the complexities of options trading so new traders can get on board, too.

One of only a few truly free platforms, the startup doesn’t charge any commissions or contract fees.

Even better, it rewards you with points for every trade, which add up to gift cards from popular retailers.

Gatsby stands out as a forward-thinking app, integrating social media into its platform. You can see what your friends are trading and join in on live discussions to get trading ideas.

If you’re a new trader looking for an app with a social twist, Gatsby is worth considering.

Features:
  • App: Gatsby
  • Minimum deposit: $10 to start investing
  • Pricing: $0 options contract

eOption

Rounding out the list of the best options trading platforms is eOption. The platform is best suited for active traders, with no commissions, low margin rates, and minimal fees.

It has plenty of educational resources to assist newer traders, but advanced traders will find the app and its tools the most useful.

eOption is another platform whose investment app is just as impressive as its desktop version, mirroring the interface on mobile.

If you’re looking to trade at a high volume and save money on commissions and fees, eOption is one of your best bets.

Features:
  • App: eOption
  • Minimum deposit: $10 to start investing
  • Pricing: $0.10 options contract

What Is Options Trading?

Options trading is a lot like trading individual stocks.

The difference is that you bet on the future trajectory of a stock or other asset’s price, entering a contract that gives you the right to buy (a call) or sell (a put) at a certain time or set price.

With a call option, you anticipate that the stock’s value will increase. With a put option, you bet that the stock’s price will decrease.

Instead of owning the stock itself, you hold the contract to buy or sell it. If you bet right, you earn a profit.

Options are mostly for stocks, but you can enter option contracts for other assets, like:

  • ETFs
  • Index
  • Commodities
  • Currency
  • Bonds

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Investing?

Online brokers are all about minimizing fees and account minimums, removing the barrier for a lot of beginning investors.

That means you can start trading options with just a few bucks.

While most brokers allow you to open an account without a minimum balance, others may require you to have a certain level of funds in your account.

If there’s no account minimum, you’ll just need to make sure you have sufficient funds for any trading and account fees.

You might also want to consider margin trading. Though margin trading with options is more complicated than with stocks and can be expensive, it allows you to borrow more funds to invest.

Continue Reading:

How to Pick the Best Options Trading Platform

Every investor is different, so your trading strategy and the platform you use should be unique to your needs.

Choosing an investment platform is challenging, especially with a more actively traded and complex asset like options.

As you narrow down your list of options trading platforms, keep the following in mind:

  • Price: Not all options trades are free or low cost, Weigh the expenses of each platform, and consider the volume of trading you’ll be doing.
  • User experience: The platform you choose should be easy to navigate and tailored to your needs.
  • Features: Consider each platform’s analytical tools, educational content, and trading features.
  • Assets: Some brokers offer a longer lineup of tradable assets than others, and some specialize in options.

You can rely on any one of the options trading platforms listed above to provide you with a great user experience, low costs, and useful features.

It’s up to you to pick the best one for your investment strategy.

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