Broker Insider’s Top Pick: OptionsXpress
OptionsXpress is the gold standard for options trading, with new, heavy-duty trading platform, as well as the analysis tools, education and support that an options trader needs. The site provides a practice account to let you get your feet wet, and the platform also supports stock, bonds, ETFs and futures trading, so you can centralize all your investing in one account. The main downside to OptionsXpress is their high commission of $14.95 for a single order of up to 10 contracts.
Sign up for options trading with OptionsXpress
First Runner-Up: OptionsHouse
Some of the lowest options commissions you can find are at OptionsHouse. They have a variety of pricing plans, but it’s hard to beat $5.00 per option trades for up to 5 contracts. A typical trade, however, is 10 contracts, which comes out to $10 at their $8.50/trade + $0.15/contract pricing — again, pretty hard to beat. Their platform is also very good for options trading, though it doesn’t provide quite as much support as OptionsXpress. But at these prices, who can blame them?
Sign up for options trading with OptionsHouse
Second Runner-Up: Zecco Trading
Zecco Trading is not as fully featured as OptionsXpress nor as cheap as OptionsHouse, but if you’re a casual options trader who trades a lot stocks, you should take a look. Zecco provides 10 free stock trades every month with a balance of $25,000, which is often required to meet margin requirements for options trading anyway. Options commissions are a low $4.50 + $0.50 per contract.
Sign up for options trading with Zecco Trading
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Ranking evaluation criteria for options brokers:
- Platform power (charting, analysis tools)
- Platform ease of use (spread builders, profit/loss calculators)
- Commissions (per trade and per contract)
- Practice account availability
- Community features
- Advice and customer service