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Options trading is one of the last holdouts in the trading world where investors still have to fork over cash for commissions. Major online brokers don’t charge for stock and ETF trades, and many offer thousands of no-transaction-fee mutual funds, too. But options still routinely cost about $0.65 per contract, though several upstart brokers now charge no options commissions.
Here are the brokers now offering no-commission trading on options and what to know.
No-commission trading on options: What to watch for
Options have been the lone holdout at many brokerages, in terms of the securities that still cost money to trade. Even among the best brokers for options, many still charge a fee for trading them. And don’t be fooled by language that claims brokers charge no commissions but then still clip you for a per-contract fee. The brokers below really do take no commission from traders.
That said, not all of them are 100 percent without cost. That’s because some brokers still pass on the tiny options regulatory fees that they’re charged. That fee amounts to less than 3 cents per contract. All brokers are charged the fee, though some don’t pass the cost on to clients.
While cost may be your only concern when selecting a broker, it’s important to consider other features offered by the broker. Many brokers offer research and education that can add good value, and strong customer support can help both new and experienced investors. Those added features may be especially valuable for the occasional options trader, though other traders may find that low cost is their most important criterion regardless and go with the cheapest broker.
Brokers offering free options trades
Firstrade brings a strong package of features to complement its no-commissions trading on options, stocks and ETFs. Those features include more extensive research than that delivered by brokers in this article, including access to Morningstar reports, as well as an educational section. Firstrade is a relatively new player in fractional shares, having launched its service in December 2023, and clients can get started with $5, making it attractive for newer investors.
Moomoo has made strides recently to bring its pricing more in line with the market, including reducing options commissions to zero. It doesn’t charge for stock and ETF trades, and it gives investors a real distinct advantage if they’re looking to trade Hong Kong stocks and China A-shares, both rarities at American brokers. And you’ll get Nasdaq Level II data. Moomoo offers among the best rates on margin accounts and cash balances, though no fractional shares.
Public is among the newer entrants to the brokerage world, but it’s expanded its product offering aggressively from stocks and ETFs to cryptocurrency and options. Public actually rebates you part of its revenue on options trades, so you may come out ahead even factoring in regulatory fees. The broker offers social feeds where you can chat about stocks, the ability to trade fractional shares from just $1 and a strong education section. If you want more research, Public offers a $10 monthly subscription, getting you Morningstar research and upgraded support.
Robinhood was one of the earliest brokers to make a splash in the no-commission world of trading, and the added feature of no-fee options trades is a solid benefit of working with one of the best investing apps. Robinhood is a solid pick if you prefer to trade from your mobile device, and its easy-to-use interface can make quick work of trades. You can also trade cryptocurrency directly in the app, and Robinhood offers an attractive matching bonus program for your IRA.
SoFi Active Investing
SoFi makes a compelling proposition with its Active Investing service, which allows clients to trade stocks, ETF and options without a commission. It’s a great add-on if you’re already a SoFi client and looking to keep your financial business with one provider, and you can see it all under one account. You’ll be able to trade fractional shares from just $5 – a nice feature for beginners – though the broker doesn’t offer mutual funds and has only limited research for clients.
Webull is an easy-to-use mobile investment app, and you’ll get the usual run of no-commission trading on stocks and ETFs as well as no-commission trading, of course. Webull has beautiful charting features, and the ability to trade fractional shares lets anyone invest for as little as $5, meaning even the high-priced stocks are investible. The broker offers instant funding and lets you trade cryptocurrency without a commission, though you’ll still pay a built-in spread markup.