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How to pick an options broker

Plus, our shortlist of 2018’s standout brokers and platforms

Look for the best help

Easy-to-reach customer service should be a high-priority, especially for new traders. They’ll be your best ally whenever you need a helping hand. And while all of the standout brokers offer good customer service, we’ve highlighted the options with outstanding reps.

Find a user-friendly design

Like using a smartphone, the better the design, the easier it is to use. To make trading and managing options as smooth as possible, we recommend picking a broker with a user-friendly trading platform.

Tap into reviews

There are a lot of options brokers and platforms out there. So many, in fact, it can be overwhelming to weed through all the options — good and bad — and then confidently choose one. Social scientists call this “information overload”. We call it inconvenient. To make the search easier, we created this shortlist of standout picks from our partners and included their pros, cons and current offers.

Standout brokers and platforms for options traders

Broker

Highlights

Commissions

Account Minimum

Current Offers

Start Investing

NerdWallet rating

Show Details

Breadth of research from other providers and own offering

Commissions

$6.95

per trade

Current Offers

300

free stock and ETF trades, no minimum deposit required

on Merrill Edge's secure website

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NerdWallet rating

Show Details

Top research; two powerful trade platforms; educational content

Commissions

$6.95

per trade

Current Offers

60

days of commission-free trades with qualifying deposit

on TD Ameritrade's secure website

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NerdWallet rating

Show Details

Sophisticated platform; exceptional research and analytical tools

Commissions

$5

per trade

Current Offers

None

No promotion available at this time

on TradeStation's secure website

Show Details

A little bit about us

At NerdWallet, we offer straightforward info and insights to help you make the best possible financial decisions. All for free.

Info you can bank on

We’ve spent countless hours reviewing brokers and advisors and analyzing strategies to help you build wealth.

A balanced perspective

With diverse backgrounds – from ex-Wall Streeters to big-data nerds and more – we see financial products from all angles.

Up-to-date reviews

We regularly update our list of top brokers and advisors as they introduce new investing tools and services.