BEST OF

6 Best Online Brokers for Futures Trading and Commodities

Aug 1, 2022

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Futures trading is a complicated business, even for experienced investors, and so is shopping for a brokerage to use for futures and commodities trading. It’s not just about contract fees and trading platforms (although both are important factors to consider).

Trading in futures requires looking for a broker that offers the highest level of real-time data and quotes, an intuitive trading platform, an abundance of charting and screening tools, technical indicators and a wealth of research — plus the ability to leverage your account with reduced day-trading margin requirements. All of that, and you still want low costs and high-quality customer support.

These are the features and services we focused on in our rankings, concentrating on the world of online discount brokers that serve self-directed traders (not pros) seeking to quickly execute their own futures strategies.

One note before we dive into the top-ranked brokers for trading futures: Investing in futures is a strategy that earns a few caveats from NerdWallet. It comes with risk, as do all investing strategies. But futures trading is even riskier: You’re making a bet on the direction a market is going to go, an outcome that is difficult for even professional analysts to predict correctly. In other words: You can do a lot of research, feel confident in your prediction and still lose a lot of money very quickly.

If you’re new to futures trading and want to dabble in this strategy, you should understand how to trade futures, determine the risks involved, and have your financial bases covered. And if you decide you’d rather stick to stock trading, which — while still risky — is vanilla compared to futures? Check out our list of the best brokers for stock trading instead.

Best Online Brokers for Futures Trading and Commodities

Interactive Brokers Futures
Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website

Interactive Brokers Futures

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Interactive Brokers Futures

Fees

$0.25 - $0.85

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Interactive Brokers' IBKR Lite is a strong option for frequent traders: The broker offers international trade capabilities, no stock-trading commission and a quality trading platform.

Pros

  • Large investment selection.

  • Strong research and tools.

  • Over 4,300 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

  • NerdWallet users who sign up for IBKR Pro get a 0.25% discount on the first $100,000 of a margin loan.

Cons

  • Website is difficult to navigate.

Read Full Review

TradeStation GO Futures

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
TradeStation GO Futures

Fees

$1.50

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

50% Off

Futures Brokerage Fees for New Customers with Code FUTRAFZT


Promotion

50% Off

Futures Brokerage Fees for New Customers with Code FUTRAFZT

Why we like it

TradeStation is a strong choice for active stock, options and futures investors who rely on the broker’s high-octane trading platform, reams of research and sophisticated analytical tools. Trades of up to 10,000 shares are commission-free.

Pros

  • High-quality trading platforms.

  • Comprehensive research.

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • Advanced tools.

  • Active trader community.

Cons

  • Free trading on advanced platform requires TS Select.

  • No transaction-fee-free mutual funds.

  • Plans and pricing can be confusing.

Read Full Review

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Last updated on August 1, 2022

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Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

1.60%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
CIT Bank Savings Connect

APY

1.90%

With $100 min. balance for APY

at CIT Bank, Member FDIC

SoFi Checking and Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Checking and Savings

APY

2.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$300

Earn up to $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

at SoFi, Member FDIC

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers by assets under management, along with emerging industry players. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Online Brokers for Futures Trading and Commodities