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Best Options Trading Platforms of 2022

These platforms are the best for trading options

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Options are a popular type of security for investors looking to day trade as a profession or simply want a way to make frequent trades with high potential returns—and commensurately high risk.

If you’re interested in trading options, you’ll want a trading platform that helps you identify market opportunities, makes it easy to place your desired orders, and lets you do it all at a low cost. We’ve selected the three best options trading platforms that you can use in 2022.

Best Options Trading Platforms of 2022

  • Best Overall and Best for Mobile: tastyworks
  • Best for Beginning Options Traders: E*TRADE
  • Best for Low-Cost Options Trading: Webull

Depending on the type of options transactions you make, you may be exposed to theoretically unlimited risk.

Best Options Trading Platforms of 2022
Best Options Trading Platforms of 2022

Best Overall and Best for Mobile : tastyworks


Tastyworks logo

 Tastyworks logo

  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Fees: None for stocks or ETFs; $1 per options contract to open (max $10 per transaction), none to close; $2.50 per options contract for futures; 1% for crypto ($10 max per transaction)
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, retirement, trust
Why We Chose It

Tastyworks takes the title for best options platform overall and for mobile users.

One of the top reasons for its ranking is its pricing. You’ll pay $1 per contract for opening a position using standard options and no fees when closing a position. However, the fee is capped at $10 per transaction, meaning you can open large positions at a relatively low cost.

Tastyworks also supports many other types of options and derivatives, including options on futures and micro futures, as well as the option to trade those futures directly. Traders also can buy and sell crypto on the platform for just 1%, which may appeal to some options traders.

We also chose Tastyworks as our pick for the best online broker for advanced options traders because it also offers traders advanced tools they can use to identify trading opportunities and easy ways to roll open positions into the next expiration cycle. You can also make quick order adjustments to simplify the process of opening and closing positions.

Mobile traders can benefit from a fully-featured app that gives all the functionality of the browser experience while on the go.

Pros
  • $10 cap on fees per trade

  • Powerful trading platform and tools

  • Strong mobile app

  • Supports many types of derivatives

Cons
  • Designed for advanced traders

Best for Beginning Options Traders : E*TRADE


Etrade2022V2
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Fees: 50-65 cents per contract
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, retirement, custodial, education
Why We Chose It

If you’re just getting started with options trading, E*TRADE is the best platform to use.

E*TRADE’s platform has tools that help you analyze the potential risk and reward of any transaction you can make. It offers the maximum profit and loss of each option, as well as the odds of profiting or losing money, and a risk-to-reward ratio you can use to help make trading decisions.

It also has a simulator you can use to test strategies or see how strategies may perform in the future compared to other types of investments.

Morgan Stanley completed its acquisition of E*TRADE in Oct. 2020.

While E*TRADE is great for beginners, it’s also a strong choice for advanced traders. You can use the platform to customize option chains and use advanced metrics to search for trading opportunities. You can also trade options on futures almost 24 hours a day, giving you more opportunities to trade and earn a return.

Pros
  • Provides risk-and-reward analysis

  • Strategy simulations

  • Advanced tools available

Cons
  • Potentially high fees

Best for Low-Cost Options Trading : Webull


Webull logo

Webull 

  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Fees: $0 commission, but small fees are applied by the SEC, FINRA, and the OCC
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, retirement
Why We Chose It

If you’re looking for the lowest-cost options platform, Webull is the company to beat. Webull doesn’t charge a commission for options trading (on U.S. exchanges), but there are still fees that are applied by the SEC, FINRA, and OCC that Webull doesn’t profit from:

  • Regulatory Transaction: $0.0000229 * Total trade amount
  • Trading Activity: $0.00218 * number of contracts
  • Option Regulatory: $0.02915 * number of contracts
  • Clearing Fee: $0.02 * number of contracts

In a sale, you’ll pay a maximum of 5.135 cents per number of contracts involved in the sale. Beyond its low costs, Webull offers a lot to like. If you have at least $2,000 in your account, you can use margin trading at reasonable interest rates that decrease as your account’s balance rises.

This broker offers full support for extended-hours trading, meaning you can buy and sell options from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time on trading days. You also can trade other securities and crypto, if you’re interested in more than just options.

Pros
  • Low fees

  • Reasonable margin costs

  • Extended hours for trading

  • Access to crypto

Cons
  • Designed for advanced investors

  • Limited account types

Final Verdict

Trading options gives active investors a way to leverage their portfolios and increase their potential returns, but also adds to their risk. They’re one of the most popular tools for day traders looking to make a living by trading. When choosing a broker, look for one that offers research tools to help you find trades at a price that won’t significantly affect your earnings.

Compare the Best Options Trading Platforms

Company Account Minimum Fees Account Types
tastyworks $0 None for stocks or ETFs; $1 per options contract to open (max $10 per transaction), none to close; $2.50 per options contract for futures; 1% for crypto ($10 max per transaction) Traditional brokerage, retirement, trust
ETrade $0 50-65 cents per contract Traditional brokerage, retirement, custodial, education
Webull $0 Up to 5.135 cents, plus a small regulatory fee, per sale contract; up to 4.915 cents per purchase contract  Traditional brokerage, retirement

What Does It Mean To Trade Options?

Options are a derivative that gives the contract holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a security at an agreed-upon price. Traders can buy or sell options just like they buy and sell things such as stocks and bonds.

A single options contract typically involves 100 shares of the underlying security, meaning investors can have control over a large number of shares at a lower price than actually buying those shares. This lets them add leverage to their portfolios, increasing their gains or losses from a movement in a security.

How Much Money Do I Need To Trade Options?

Each broker can set its own rules about the minimum balance required to trade options. However, to start trading options, you need enough funds to purchase a contract or to adequately cover the liability of selling options.

Keep in mind that selling options involves more risk than buying them because your potential losses are not limited to the amount you paid to purchase the contract. That means you can usually buy options with a smaller amount of money than you need to sell them.

How Much Risk Comes With Options Trading?

Trading options can be highly risky. Buying options contracts involves a limited amount of risk—you can only lose the amount you paid for the option. However, selling options can involve potentially unlimited risk because there's no limit to how high a stock’s price can rise.

Before you consider trading options, you should make sure that you have experience with investing and you truly understand the risks involved.

How Should You Choose the Best Options Trading Platform?

When choosing the best options trading platform, one of the first things to consider is price. Options traders often make frequent trades, so you want a platform that keeps costs for trades low.

Also, look for platforms that offer tools that make it easier to identify trading opportunities and that make it easy to place those trades. Research tools that make it easy to submit orders are good things to look for as well.

Methodology

We are dedicated to providing readers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on its platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience, and customer service. A rating scale was established based on these criteria, collecting thousands of data points that were weighed into a scoring system.

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