What Are the Best Options Trading Platforms?

Among a sea of possibilities, here are some of the best options trading platforms out there right now.

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(Image credit: Getty)

It's not the easiest task to identify the best options trading platforms among the seemingly endless number available. Navigating these platforms can be difficult, and as an investor, selecting the right platform is vital to maximize your investment potential. 

In this article, we'll take a deep dive into some of the best options trading platforms. We'll examine their pros and cons, so you can confidently embark on a rewarding investment journey into the world of call options and put options!

Which trading account is best for options trading: assessing the pros and cons

Let's look at the distinct features and potential drawbacks of each options trading platform, empowering you to choose the most suitable option for your investment objectives.

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E*Trade 

E*Trade logo on smartphone with city buildings lit up in background

(Image credit: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Pros: 

  • A comprehensive range of investment options: E*Trade offers a diverse array of investment choices, providing ample opportunities for portfolio diversification.
  • User-friendly interface: The platform's intuitive layout makes it accessible to investors of all experience levels, including beginners.
  • Educational resources: Access a wealth of educational materials to enhance your understanding of the markets and improve your investing acumen.

Cons

  • Commission fees: E*Trade's commission structure can be relatively higher compared to some other platforms, potentially affecting your overall trading costs.
  • More on fees: E*Trade charges commissions on both sides of a trade, which can result in higher-than-average commissions for those placing less frequent options trades.

InteractiveBrokers  

person using InteractiveBrokers trading platform on smartphone

(Image credit: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pros:

  • Versatility and global market access: InteractiveBrokers caters to investors with diverse needs, offering advanced analytical tools and access to global markets.
  • Robust research: Gain access to in-depth market research and analysis, enabling you to make informed investment decisions.
  • Professional-grade platform: Ideal for seasoned investors seeking advanced features and tools.

Cons:

  • Learning curve: The platform's extensive features may require a learning curve, especially for investors new to the world of options trading.

Webull

Person looking at Webull trading app on phone with Webull logo in background

(Image credit: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Pros:

  • Seamless experience: Webull offers a smooth and user-friendly platform, suitable for investors of all levels.
  • Paper trading: Practice risk-free with Webull's paper trading feature, allowing you to refine your strategies before committing real funds.
  • Advanced charting: Benefit from advanced charting tools for technical analysis and trend identification.

Cons:

  • Customer support: Some users have reported limited customer support options, potentially affecting timely resolution of issues.
  • Educational resources: While Webull offers educational materials, they may not be as comprehensive as other platforms, especially for in-depth research.

thinkorswim (by TD Ameritrade) 

outside of TD Ameritrade building

(Image credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Pros:

  • Advanced tools: Thinkorswim stands out with its advanced charting, technical analysis and customizable trading strategies, empowering investors with sophisticated tools.
  • Extensive research: Access a wealth of research tools and data for thorough analysis and market insights.
  • Professional-grade platform: Ideal for seasoned investors seeking robust features and tools.

Cons:

  • Learning curve: The platform's advanced features may require time and effort to fully grasp, especially for investors transitioning to more complex trading strategies.
  • Complexity for novices: Beginners may find the platform overwhelming due to its professional-grade tools and extensive capabilities.

tastytrade 

person looking at trading account on smartphone while sitting outside drinking coffee

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Built for retail traders: Created by the same team that developed TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim platform, tastytrade (formerly tastyworks) was designed specifically with retail traders in mind.
  • User-friendly commission structure: Tastytrade does not charge commission for closing positions (only opening ones), and caps fees at $10 per leg for any options trade, no matter the size of the trade. This results in a truly competitive fee structure.
  • Fundamental analysis: Although tastytrade is all about option strategies, it added a fundamental analysis tab to both its desktop and browser platforms in May 2023.
  • Focus on trading rather than investing: Tastytrade offers robust option analytics and tools for traders, allowing for relatively pain-free position creation and trade management.

Cons:

  • Focus on trading rather than investing: This is both a pro and a con. Investors may feel underwhelmed, as there are limited investment choices.

FAQs about the best options trading platforms 

  • Are these platforms suitable for both stock and options trading? Absolutely! All the mentioned platforms support both stock and options trading, offering comprehensive investment options.
  • Do these platforms offer mobile trading options? Yes! Each platform provides mobile trading apps, enabling you to stay connected to the markets and execute trades on the go.
  • Are commission fees applicable for all trades? While some platforms offer commission-free trades, others may charge fees for certain types of transactions. It's essential to review the fee structure of each platform.

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Jared Hoffmann
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Jared Hoffmann is a highly respected financial content creator and options expert, holding a journalism degree from San Francisco State University. Formerly a Senior Options and Day Trading Editor and on-air personality at Money Morning, he excels in delivering comprehensive options education, technical analysis, and risk management education to traders.