Option brokers specialize in option trading. The best firms will provide robust tools, advanced analysis, and support complex option trading. Before you make a decision on where you’d like to open an account make sure you’ve read some reviews. Many of the companies below allow you to open an account without an minimum balance. Without maintence fees or a cancellation fees you can open a test account try out a few platforms before you settle in to your final decision.

Optionshouse is currently the low cost leader among discount online brokers. In addition to having the lowest cost per trade online they also have one of the best deals for new customers:

100 Free Trades for New Accounts.

But how does Optionshouse stack up against other brokers? This review will explore the pros, cons, and provide a summary and recommendation.

Optionshouse has the best commission structure in the industry.
Fast execution and plenty of servers for a fast interface.
Ability to replicate an order very quickly.
One of the best margin rates anywhere.
Very good customer service.
They are backed by Peak6, a professional trading company.

Their tools and resources are good but not the best.
They don’t have charts for each individual option.
Strictly web-based.

If you are a bargain shopper OptionsHouse cannot be beat. If you like trading both stocks and options these guys are a great choice. It would be safe to say these guys are here to stay and they’ll be releasing improved services each year.

OptionsXpress was one of the first brokers to embrace options as an online discount broker. Their development brought options trading online much faster. As a company they have always pushed the envelope on professional trading tools and have always provided them for free. OptionsXpress was one of the first companies providing entry-level and advanced education for free to their customers. Their pricing strategy has driven down the cost of commissions and per contract fees industry wide. Overall they are an excellent company.

Has the best tools and resources for the active options trader.
Advanced option trading.
Very good execution on trades.
Considered the best options trading broker.
No minimum account balance required to start trading.
Charts for individual options are available.

Their commissions are competitive but not the lowest online.

Please visit the online discount broker review page to see the best brokers compared.

eOption is one of the newest discount brokers to hit the online scene but they have over 30 years of experience in trading options. Since 2007 they have offered one of the lowest commissions in the industry to win market share. Their interface is straight forward and very good strategic option trading. While trading capabilities are as good as other brokers eOption’s tools aren’t as advanced as Think or Swim’s tools (but very few brokers have the caliber of tools TOS offers). As time goes on eOption’s set of tools and capabilities as other online option brokers. Direct access and multiple platforms are available for active traders. One of the standout features eOption provides is the ability to close multi-leg trade in a single click.

They provide free IRA accounts with no maintenance fees and are overall very good with not charging unnecessary fees. They are one of the few brokers that allow you to open account if you’re not a US citizen (good for international customers). They provide after-hours trading which is a nice feature not provided by most brokers. Execution routes through Citibank and speed is relatively fast and accurate. They support a number of ways to access and transfer your cash including a checking account, a visa check card/ATM card, and web bill pay.

The downside to eOption is that they require a minimum balance of $500 to open an account. Live streaming quotes are $15/month unless you trade at least 10 times.

Option + Contract = $3.00 + 0.10 per contract
Stock Trade = $3.00 per trade
Note: Some investors are claiming if you call eOptions you can get the per contract fee down to 0.05 per contract.

One of the lowest cost brokers online.
No Fee IRAs.
Offer a wide range of investment options including stock, bonds, options, and more.
Supports international accounts (Accounts can be created for people outside the USA)
One click execution of multiple leg orders.

Minimum of $500 to start an account required.
Streaming quotes and live charts are an additional $15/month if you trade infrequently.

Please visit the online discount broker review page to see the best brokers compared.

Based out of Illinois, Think or Swim is a broker specializing in option trading. Their pricing structure caters to high volume traders and is intended to weed out smaller investors not willing to purchase large quantities in a single trade. They don’t charge some of the maintenance or inactivity fees you’ll see at other brokers. Their customer service is top notch and actually proactive if you are a big enough client. Overall ThinkorSwim is pushing the envelope on tools, software, and charting but may not be the best choice for newbie investors. If you are new to the game it doesn’t hurt to open an account because they don’t have an inactivity fee.

No inactivity or IRA fees.
Three free mutual fund trades per month.
Top rated software and mobile applications.
Barron’s top choice two years in a row (2009 & 2010).
One of the best educational services around (including free paper trading accounts).
Desktop application is rated one of the best tools for option trading.
Charts provided are some of the best for technical analysis.


Can be intimidating for newbie investors.
Minimum Required Balance of $3,500.
Bond pricing is not favorable.
FOREX Trading is not optimal here but have improved lately.
Commission structure can be expensive for newbies and penny stock traders.

Notes on ThinkorSwim
Some investors have been able to price match a competitors commissions just by asking for them. These investors have confirmed receiving TradeKing commission on their thinkorswim account. It’s worth a try.

Coupons & Promotions
Refer a friend and get $50 for each successful account created.
$100 Account Transfer Rebate – When you transfer to Think or Swim (TOS) they will reimburse any fees you incurred from your previous broker up to $100.
Active Trader Rebate – If you make more than 40 trades a month they’ll credit you $39 to cover some of your internet bill.