- Best Options Trading Platforms
- Merrill Edge
- Best Options Trading Tools
- Best Options Trading Tools
- Options Trading: Understanding Option Prices
- 13 Best Online Brokers for Free Stock Trading
- #2 – Get Rich with Options: Four Winning Strategies Straight from the Exchange Floor
- Options Trading Features
- Choosing the Right Option Trading Simulator
- Best Brokers for Options Trading (Summary)
- Read Next
- Top 10 Best Options Trading Books
- Pros and Cons of Options Trading
The StockBrokers.com best online brokers 2019 review (9th annual) took six months to complete and produced over 30,000 words of research. Here's how we tested.
Next to active traders, there is arguably no customer more valuable to an online broker than an options trader. Options trades offer brokers much higher profit margins than stock trades, and, as a result, competition is fierce in attracting these clients.
This type of market atmosphere is great for investors because with healthy competition comes product innovation and competitive pricing.
Best Options Trading Platforms
Here are the best options trading platforms, based on over 100 variables.
- E*TRADE - Best for options overall
- TradeStation - Low costs, great platform
- TD Ameritrade - Best options tools
- Interactive Brokers - Best for professionals
- Charles Schwab - Unique order types
Best for options overall
Built as a web-based platform, Power E*TRADE innovates and delivers speed, ease of use, and the tools needed for traders to succeed.
Once again, in our 2020 Review, Power E*TRADE won our award, "Best Web-Based Platform." E*TRADE also took our top spot for options trading. Read full review
Low costs, great platform - Open Account
Promo Offer: Commission-Free Trades on Stocks, ETFs & Options Trades
As a trading technology leader, TradeStation shines.
Options trading is a breeze using OptionStation Pro, a built-in tool within the TradeStation desktop platform designed for streamlined trading and robust analysis. Options tool capabilities include custom grouping for current positions, streaming real-time greeks, and advanced position analysis, to name a few.
Read full review
Best options tools
Once again, for the ninth consecutive year, TD Ameritrade is number one for trading platforms and tools, thanks to desktop-based thinkorswim.
Whether day trading, options trading, futures trading, or you are just a casual investor, thinkorswim is a winner. Read full review
Best for professionals - Open Account
Exclusive Offer: New clients that open an account today receive a special margin rate.
Trading tools within the Trader Workstation (TWS) platform are designed for professional options traders.
From algo trading to Options Strategy Lab, Volatility Lab, Risk Navigator, Market Scanner, Strategy Builder, and Portfolio Builder, Interactive Brokers is built for professionals.
Best Options Trading Tools
Options commissions start at $.70 per contract with a $1.00 minimum and no maximum. Read full review
Unique order types
Schwab's flagship downloadable trading platform, StreetSmart Edge, provides most of the bells and whistles options traders and day traders need to succeed.
For options traders, Schwab's All-in-one trade ticket, alongside the proprietary Walk Limit order type, are both excellent. Read full review
Best Options Trading Tools
Platform wise, web-based Power E*TRADE offers all the tools an options trader could want, and displays them in magnificent form.
Options Trading: Understanding Option Prices
Attention to detail, such as automatic spread groupings, effortless scanning through strategySEEK, and easy-to-understand risk/reward data through tradeLAB, make Power E*TRADE a truly unique experience.
Power E*TRADE options trading Snapshot Analysis tool.
Keeping the spotlight on excellent platforms and tools for options traders, TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim and TradeStation cannot be left out.
Strategy Roller from thinkorswim enables clients to create custom rules and roll their existing options positions automatically. The number of settings and depth of customization available is impressive, and something we have come to expect from thinkorswim.
TD Ameritrade thinkorswim options trade profit loss analysis.
Not to be outdone, TradeStation's OptionsStation tool makes analyzing potential trades a breeze, and even goes as far as including 3D P&L charts.
13 Best Online Brokers for Free Stock Trading
Investors note, however: Popcorn and 3D glasses are not required, and while visually appealing, we did not see any distinct advantage over the traditional 2D P&L chart.
TradeStation OptionStation Pro.
If unique features and functionality matter to you, Charles Schwab offers the “Walk Limit” order type, which will "walk" your order to try to get the most favorable price within the National Best Bid or Offer (NBBO).
The broker also offers Idea Hub, which uses targeted scans to break down options trade ideas visually.
For professionals, Interactive Brokers takes the crown.
At Interactive Brokers, there is no base charge, and the per-contract rate is just $.70. Additional savings are also realized through more frequent trading. That said, the broker is built primarily for professional traders and requires a $100,000 minimum deposit for margin accounts.
Lastly, its trading platform, Trader Workstation, is the most challenging platform to learn out of all the brokers we tested for our 2020 review.
Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation TWS options trade analysis.
There’s a healthy variety of reputable brokers to choose from in the world of options trading.
#2 – Get Rich with Options: Four Winning Strategies Straight from the Exchange Floor
At a minimum, investors should expect their broker to include scanning, P&L analysis, risk analysis, and easy-order management. Position management functionality and tying the experience together is where platforms such as Power E*TRADE and thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade distinguish themselves.
Options Trading Features
Ultimately, choosing an options brokers comes down to personal preference and weighing priorities, such as cost versus ease of use and tool selection.
On a feature by feature basis, all of our top five finishers this year offer the following features to their options trading customers.
Best Brokers for Options Trading (Summary)
|Online Broker||Best For||Minimum Deposit||Base Fee||Per Contract Fee||Options Rating|
|E*TRADE||Options overall||$0||$0||$0.65||5 Stars|
|Interactive Brokers||Options rates||$0||$0||$0.70||5 Stars|
|TD Ameritrade||Options tools||$0||$0||$0.65||4.5 Stars|
|TradeStation||OptionStation Pro||$0||$0||$0.50||4.5 Stars|
|Charles Schwab||Walk-Limit orders||$1,000||$0||$0.65||4.5 Stars|
For the StockBrokers.com ninth annual best online brokers review published in February 2019, a total of 4,544 data points were collected over six months and used to score brokers.
Top 10 Best Options Trading Books
This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.
Participation is required to be included. Each broker completed an in-depth data profile and provided executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Still aren't sure which broker to choose?
Pros and Cons of Options Trading
Ask us a question! Whether you are a beginner investor learning the ropes or a professional trader, we are here to help. Email us your online broker specific question and we will respond within one business day. It is our satisfaction guarantee.