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Best Online Brokers for Futures Trading and Commodities 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Brokers, Investing
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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.

The best online brokers for trading futures

Broker
Highlights
Commission
Number of futures products
Account minimum
Start investing
TD Ameritrade

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24/7 phone support; free platform, research and data.
$2.25 per contract, per side.

70+

No account minimum, but investors must apply to trade futures

Read full review

Educational resources; no platform fees.
$1.50 per contract, per side. Bitcoin futures are $2.50 per contract, per side.
60
$0
Interactive Brokers

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Volume discounts for frequent traders; pro-level platforms.

Tiered: $0.25 to $0.85 per contract, per side depending on volume. Fixed: $0.85 per contract, per side.

200+

$0
TradeStation

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Pro-level platform.
$0.85 per contract per side for TS GO; $1.50 per contract, per side for TS Select.

150+

$0 for TS GO; $2,000 for TS Select.
Charles Schwab

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Strong trading platform available to all customers.
$1.50 per contract, per side.

70+

No account minimum, but investors must apply to trade futures
Generic Trade
Flat, low commission.
$0.59 per contract, per side.

200+

$0

Not yet reviewed by NerdWallet.

Dayana Yochim contributed to this article.

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