BEST OF

11 Best Options Trading Brokers and Platforms of January 2022

These brokers have the tools and research necessary for options trading, and offer low options contract fees.

Jan 13, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks or securities.

The best options brokers offer low options contract fees, quality trading tools, an abundance of high-quality research and the customer service necessary to support everyone from beginner investors to advanced traders.

While most of the brokers on our list of best brokers for stock trading would be a good pick for options as well, this list highlights brokers that excel in areas that matter most to options traders. Many of the below brokers also appear on our list of best online trading platforms for day trading.

Unsure what you’re looking for? See our post on how to choose an options broker and our options 101 guide for more on what can make or break an options trading experience.

Best Options Trading Brokers and Platforms

Merrill Edge
Learn more

on Merrill Edge's website

Merrill Edge

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Merrill Edge

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $600

when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account.

Learn more

on Merrill Edge's website


Promotion

Up to $600

when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account.

Why we like it

Merrill Edge offers high-quality customer service, robust research and low fees. Customers of parent company Bank of America will love the seamless, thoughtful integration, with a single login to access both accounts.

Pros

  • Robust third-party research.

  • Integrated with Bank of America.

Cons

  • Advanced traders may find fewer securities on offer.

Read Full Review
Fidelity
Learn more

on Fidelity's website

Fidelity

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fidelity

Fees

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Fidelity's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Fidelity offers $0 trading commissions, a selection of more than 3,700 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and top-notch research tools and trading platform. Its zero-fee index funds and strong customer service reputation are just icing on the cake.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • Large selection of research providers.

  • Strong customer service.

  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

  • Highly rated mobile app.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.

Read Full Review
E*TRADE
Learn more

on E*TRADE's website

E*TRADE

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
E*TRADE

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on E*TRADE's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

E*TRADE has long been one of the most popular online brokers. The company's $0 commissions and strong trading platforms appeal to active traders, while beginner investors benefit from a large library of educational resources.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use tools.

  • Large investment selection.

  • Excellent customer support.

  • Access to extensive research.

  • Advanced mobile app.

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

Cons

  • Website can be difficult to navigate.

Read Full Review
TD Ameritrade
Learn more

on TD Ameritrade's website

TD Ameritrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
TD Ameritrade

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on TD Ameritrade's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

TD Ameritrade meets the needs of both active traders and beginner investors with quality trading platforms; $0 commissions on online stock, options and ETF trades; and a large selection of mutual funds.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades.

  • Free research.

  • High-quality trading platforms.

  • No account minimum.

  • Good customer support.

  • Large investment selection.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

Read Full Review
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $625

when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money

Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website


Promotion

Get up to $625

when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money

Why we like it

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets, tools and research. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Pros

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • $0 commissions.

  • App connects all Chase accounts.

  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Limited tools and research.

  • Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.

Read Full Review
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite
Learn more

on Interactive Brokers's website

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Interactive Brokers's 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 7,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

  • NerdWallet users who sign up for IBKR Pro get a 0.25 percentage point discount on margin rates.

Cons

  • Website is difficult to navigate.

Read Full Review
Webull
Learn more

on Webull's website

Webull

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Webull

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Get 2 free stocks

valued up to $3300 when you open and fund an account. Promotion ends 1/31/21.

Learn more

on Webull's website


Promotion

Get 2 free stocks

valued up to $3300 when you open and fund an account. Promotion ends 1/31/21.

Why we like it

Webull will appeal to the mobile-first generation of casual investors with its slick interface for desktop and mobile apps, but the brokerage also delivers an impressive array of tools for active traders. However, its relatively weak educational content may leave true beginners in the lurch, and it lacks access to a few common asset classes.

Pros

  • Low costs.

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • Advanced tools.

  • Access to cryptocurrency.

Cons

  • No mutual funds.

  • Thin educational support.

Read Full Review
TradeStation
Learn more

on TradeStation's website

TradeStation

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
TradeStation

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$500

Promotion

$50 - $5,000

cash credit with a minimum deposit of $5,000

Learn more

on TradeStation's website


Promotion

$50 - $5,000

cash credit with a minimum deposit of $5,000

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

Firstrade

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Firstrade

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $200

in Transfer Fee Rebates


Promotion

Up to $200

in Transfer Fee Rebates

Why we like it

In addition to free stock and options trading, Firstrade charges no commission for mutual funds, a deal no other broker matches. Options traders will appreciate that the broker charges no contract fee, also a rarity among brokers.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • $0 contract fee on options trades.

  • All mutual funds are commission-free.

  • Chinese language options.

Cons

  • No 24/7 customer support.

Read Full Review

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

Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

Last updated on January 13, 2022

You may also like these

People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $1 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

0.40%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

Methodology

How do we review brokers?

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.