Best futures brokers in 2024

Written by
Adam N.
Fact checked by
Updated
1w ago
Pick the best broker for your trading needs from this toplist of regulated and trustworthy brokers. Our team of experts tested each broker with real money and ranked them in terms of their quality and tools. Each broker on the list is available in the United States.

Find below the strengths of the best futures brokers available in the United States, updated for 2024:

  1. NinjaTrader is the best futures broker in 2024. - Low trading fees. Great platform and research. Quality educational materials.
  2. Optimus Futures - Low trading fees and free ACH withdrawal. Great platform and research. Fast customer service.
  3. Interactive Brokers - Extremely low fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
  4. AMP Futures - Low trading fees. Great platform and research. High-quality education tools.
  5. tastytrade - Low trading fees. Great educational materials. Good research tools.
  6. TradeStation - Great web and mobile trading platform. High level of investor protection. High-quality research and education tools.
  7. Charles Schwab - Free stock and ETF trading. Outstanding research. Great customer service.
  8. E*TRADE - Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading). User-friendly mobile trading platform. Great research tools. Pays interest on uninvested cash.
  9. TradeStation Global - Low stock and ETF fees. Wide range of products. Easy-to-use web trading platform.
  10. MEXEM - Low stock and ETF fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
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Overview of winners

Take a look at the interactive table below to compare the key services each broker in our toplist offers. We personally checked and tested all the features and services we consider most crucial for users.

Broker
Futures fee class
Futures markets (#)
NinjaTrader
Low
7
Optimus Futures
Low
14
Interactive Brokers
Low
32
AMP Futures
Low
10
tastytrade
Low
8
TradeStation
Low
11
Charles Schwab
High
8
E*TRADE
Average
3
TradeStation Global
Low
32
MEXEM
Low
32
Best futures brokers key data compiled for June 2024

Key fees at the top brokers

The fees you pay for a trade play a critical role in selecting a broker. While trading fees are super important in our rankings, they aren't the only ones. Although we prioritize low-cost or even zero-fee brokers, our experience tells us that the cheapest option isn't always the best choice. We collected the most important fees for you in the following interactive table.

Broker
US micro e-mini stock index futures
UK stock index futures
NinjaTrader
$3.5
$12.9
Optimus Futures
$2.5
$7.5
Interactive Brokers
$2.5
$21.3
AMP Futures
$1.4
$11.0
tastytrade
$8.5
-
TradeStation
$5.0
-
Charles Schwab
$22.5
-
E*TRADE
$15.0
-
TradeStation Global
$5.0
$11.9
MEXEM
$10.0
$25.0
Fees at the top futures brokers in June 2024

Non-trading fees at the top brokers

Non-trading fees are charges not directly related to a given trade and typically include the account maintenance fee, deposit/withdrawal fees, and the inactivity fee.

Broker
Account fee
Inactivity fee
NinjaTrader
Optimus Futures
Interactive Brokers
AMP Futures
tastytrade
TradeStation
Charles Schwab
E*TRADE
TradeStation Global
MEXEM
Non-trading fees at the top futures brokers in June 2024

Can I trust these futures brokers?

Yes, BrokerChooser exclusively recommends legit brokers, overseen by at least one globally acknowledged regulator. We track more than 30,000 brokers and trading platforms that we don't recommend. To make sure that a broker is reputable and reliable, use our Scam Broker Shield tool.

Key criteria determining a broker's trustworthiness are: regulation, availability of investor protection, as well as a long and spotless track record. Explore the interactive table below, encompassing this array of vital data.

Broker
Top-tier regulators
Trusted broker
NinjaTrader
CFTC in the US and member of the NFA
Optimus Futures
CFTC in the US and member of the NFA
Interactive Brokers
FCA in the UK, SEC in the US, and ASIC in Australia
AMP Futures
CFTC in the US and member of the NFA
tastytrade
SEC and FINRA in the US
TradeStation
SEC and FINRA in the US
Charles Schwab
SEC and FINRA in the US
E*TRADE
SEC and FINRA in the US
TradeStation Global
FCA in the UK
MEXEM
CBI in Ireland
Trust metrics for the best futures brokers in 2024
We label a broker as trusted if it has reliable regulation.

How to trade futures?

Before delving into futures trading, let's see what these assets actually are. Futures is a collective term used for futures contracts. Futures contracts are standardised transactions between a contract buyer and a contract seller. In a futures contract, the parties agree to buy and sell, respectively, securities, commodities (i.e. crude oil), or other financial instruments, at a predetermined price and time in the future.

When you enter a futures contract, you and your counterparty basically lock a set price and a date to exchange an asset. Contrary to options, futures carry an obligation. When the futures contract expires, the seller must deliver the assets in question and the buyer must receive them at the pre-agreed time and price. Futures contracts are traded on organized exchanges.

If you want to trade futures, your broker will require you to deposit a certain percentage of the contract's value, known as margin, to open and maintain a position.

Futures are leveraged products meaning that you borrow money from your broker to be able to open a larger position while using a smaller amount of your own money. Using leverage significantly increases the risk profile of futures trading as your both your potential gains and losses are magnified.

People who trade futures usually do so for one of these two reasons: speculation and hedging. Speculators aim to profit from price fluctuations without an intention to take physical delivery of the underlying asset. Hedgers, on the other hand, use futures contracts to mitigate potential losses due to price volatility by locking in a predetermined price.

Due to the leverage involved, futures trading can be both lucrative and risky. Do not engage in futures trading without a thorough understanding of the underlying market and proper risk management strategies. If you are an absolute beginner, practice with a demo account first.

And now, let's see the best futures brokers and trading platforms in detail one by one, starting with the winner, NinjaTrader.

Recommended for active traders focusing on futures

Visit broker

NinjaTrader snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of NinjaTrader services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for day traders focusing on futures and technical trading

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Optimus Futures snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $500
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of Optimus Futures services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for traders looking for broad market access and a professional trading environment

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Interactive Brokers snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of Interactive Brokers services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for active traders focusing on futures

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AMP Futures snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $100
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of AMP Futures services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for options and futures traders focusing on US markets

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tastytrade snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of tastytrade services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for traders focusing on US markets and buy-and-hold investing

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TradeStation snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of TradeStation services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees and great customer service

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Charles Schwab snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of Charles Schwab services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and a great mobile trading platform

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E*TRADE snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of E*TRADE services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for traders and investors looking for low fees and a wide selection of products

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TradeStation Global snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of TradeStation Global services, check out our review for 2024

Recommended for investors and traders looking for low fees and sophisticated trading platforms

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MEXEM snapshot
💰 Minimum deposit $0
💳 Deposit methods Bank transfer
💸 Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
📖 Read review For a detailed analysis of MEXEM services, check out our review for 2024

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How did BrokerChooser pick the best futures brokers?

  • We checked whether the broker is regulated by a trusted regulator,
  • Compared fees (with a special focus on futures fees),
  • Checked desktop platform capabilities,
  • Opened an account and tested the platform (charting, features, usability) with real money.

Save hours of research!

Our expert team has done all the work for you, and reviewed brokers based on BrokerChooser's unique methodology.

BrokerChooser evaluates 9 key areas for all brokers including fees, safety, ease of account opening, education, and trading platforms. We check more than 600 criteria for each broker and finetune our methodology every year based on our own and our users' experiences. We have more than 100 brokers reviewed on our site and our team of analysts examines more than 60,000 data points overall.

FAQ

What is a futures contract?

A futures contract is a standardized agreement between two parties to buy or sell a specific asset (commodities, financial instruments, or indices) at a predetermined price on a specified future date. When a futures contracts expires, the seller must deliver the underlying asset and the buyer must take possession of it at the agreed price. Futures contracts are traded on organized exchanges and serve as a way for traders and investors to speculate on price movements or hedge against potential price fluctuations in the underlying asset.

How to find the best futures broker?

When searching for the best broker for futures trading, examine the following factors: broker regulation, trading fees, available markets, trading platforms, research and educational resources, and customer support. Make sure the broker is regulated by a reputable authority and its fees are competitive. You cannot find the best futures trading platform for your goals unless you know what type of futures you want to trade and what strategy you will follow. If you are a beginner, look for brokers that provide a demo account where you can practice futures trading with virtual money.

Can futures trading be profitable?

Yes, futures trading can be profitable and investors may make handsome profits when trading these products. Nevertheless, futures are very risky instruments, especially because they are leveraged products. Leverage means that investors trade with money borrowed from their broker in addition to their own funds. This allows you to invest a much larger amount of money but potential losses are also considerably bigger. Futures are by no means a guarantee for getting rich overnight.

Are futures good for beginners?

Futures are complicated financial instruments, so in this sense they are not good for beginners. Futures are especially risky because they are leveraged products. Leverage in this case means that you trade with your own money and the funds your broker lends you. While you can open much larger positions this way, potentially locking in heftier profits, you also stand to lose a lot. Futures are widely used by experienced traders with a deep undertsanding of financial markets and investment strategies. The margin of futures products is typically high, proper risk management cannot be applied with small accounts, therefore futures are not recommended for beginners.

How much money do you need to trade futures?

The amount of money required to trade futures can vary widely based on factors such as the type of futures contract, the broker's margin requirements, and the size of the position you want to take.

To enter a futures trade, you need to meet the initial margin requirement set by your broker. The initial margin is a percentage of the total contract value that you must have in your trading account as collateral to cover potential losses. Brokers have different margin requirements for various futures contracts, and they can vary based on the volatility of the underlying asset.

To give you a simple example: if you want to trade a natural gas futures contract with a total contract value of $50,000 and your broker's initial margin requirement is 5%, you will need to have $2,500 in your trading account to open the position. Additionally, traders need to consider maintenance margin requirements. If the value of your position drops and your account balance falls below the maintenance margin level, you might receive a margin call from your broker, requiring you to deposit additional funds to cover the shortfall.

It's best to have more funds in your account than the margin requirement. If the value of your position drops and your account balance falls below the so-called maintenance margin level, you might receive a margin call from your broker, requiring you to deposit additional funds to cover the shortfall.

Can I trade futures with $100?

In theory you can trade futures with just $100 but in most cases this is not feasible due to the leverage and margin requirements involved in futures trading. While the initial margin requirement can be a small percentage of the contract's total value, it is usually still higher than $100.

With such a small amount of capital, you will only be able to trade micro or nano futures contracts and given the volatility of the futures market, there is a high probability that you will lose your money.

Do I need a margin account to trade futures?

Yes, you typically need a margin account to trade futures. A margin account allows you to use leverage by borrowing funds from your broker to open and maintain positions in futures contracts. Leverage enables you to control a larger position with a smaller amount of capital, which can amplify both potential gains and losses.

Your broker will set a margin requirement (a minimum amount of money you must have in your trading account) and the exact amount will mostly depend on the instrument you trade.

Which broker is best for futures trading?

These are the top futures brokers in 2024:

  1. NinjaTrader - Low trading fees. Great platform and research. Quality educational materials.
  2. Optimus Futures - Low trading fees and free ACH withdrawal. Great platform and research. Fast customer service.
  3. Interactive Brokers - Extremely low fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
  4. AMP Futures - Low trading fees. Great platform and research. High-quality education tools.
  5. tastytrade - Low trading fees. Great educational materials. Good research tools.
  6. TradeStation - Great web and mobile trading platform. High level of investor protection. High-quality research and education tools.
  7. Charles Schwab - Free stock and ETF trading. Outstanding research. Great customer service.
  8. E*TRADE - Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading). User-friendly mobile trading platform. Great research tools. Pays interest on uninvested cash.
  9. TradeStation Global - Low stock and ETF fees. Wide range of products. Easy-to-use web trading platform.
  10. MEXEM - Low stock and ETF fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.

Want to understand futures trading in more detail?

Check out these articles written by our broker and trading experts:

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Engage with our growing community of traders and investors like you to find your answers.
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Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

author image
Adam Nasli
Author of this article
I bring extensive financial expertise as one of BrokerChooser's earliest team members. Personally, I tested nearly all 100+ brokers on our site, opening real-money accounts, executing trades, assessing customer services, and providing firsthand assessment. My professional background includes roles in the banking sector and a degree from Central European University, where I teach finance. My passions lies in in-depth research of the financial industry, building trading algorithms, and managing long-term investments.
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