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Best options trading platforms and brokers in 2020

To find the best options trading platform in 2020, we went ahead and did the research for you. We tested, analyzed and compared 71 quality online brokers, and 5 made it to the top. We give you our list, you pick your winner. And now, without further ado...

The top 5 picks for the best options trading platform in 2020:

  1. TD Ameritrade is the best options trading platform in 2020.
  2. Fidelity is the runner up.
  3. Charles Schwab is third.
  4. tastyworks, at number four.
  5. In the fifth position is Interactive Brokers..
Best options trading platforms in 2020
Broker Accepts clients from Options fees score
#1 TD Ameritrade US, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada (through TD Direct Investing) Low
#2 Fidelity US Low
#3 Charles Schwab US Low
#4 tastyworks Globally Average
#5 Interactive Brokers Globally Low

What makes a trading platform good for options? First of all, it needs to offer fair options trading and withdrawal fees. A high quality desktop trading platform and research tools are also essential. And finally, the options product offering is an important factor.

Easy to list, but hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers based on more than 200 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up. You can find all the ranking criteria in our methodology.

Not sure which trading platform? For a tailored recommendation, check out the broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with this detailed comparison table.

And now, let's see the best options trading platforms in 2020 one by one. Starting with the winner, TD Ameritrade.

TD Ameritrade Logo

#1 Best options trading platform
TD Ameritrade

4.9

TD Ameritrade was founded in 1975 and is one of the biggest US-based stockbrokers. It is regulated by top-tier authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

TD Ameritrade is considered a safe broker since it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, discloses its financials, and is overseen by top-tier regulators.

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#1 TD Ameritrade
Options fees
3.8

The options fees at TD Ameritrade are generally low.
TD Ameritrade trading fees for 10 contracts
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US stock index options benchmark fee $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $12.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $20.4
German stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $12.1
TD Ameritrade non-trading fees
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#1 TD Ameritrade
Options market coverage

TD Ameritrade option market coverage
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Number of options exchanges 8 12 8 8 33
TD Ameritrade product selection beside options
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No No No Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Futures Yes No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No No Yes
Crypto No No No No Yes

#1 TD Ameritrade
Desktop trading platform
4.5

The Thinkorswim desktop platform is one of the best on the market, we really liked it. The only feature we missed was two-step authentication.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good variety of order types
Trading support functions
Great learning materials
Best options trading platform in 2020 - TD Ameritrade desktop trading platform
TD Ameritrade charting tools
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 400 37 56 100 120

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#1 TD Ameritrade
Research
4.8

TD Ameritrade has great research tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart None
Trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals
Best options trading platform in 2020 - TD Ameritrade research
TD Ameritrade research
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Research user friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Poor
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Great Great
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Fidelity Logo

#2 Best options trading platform
Fidelity

4.8

Fidelity is a US stockbroker founded in 1946. It is regulated by top-tier authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Fidelity is considered safe because it has a long track record and is regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

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#2 Fidelity
Options fees
3.8

The options fees at Fidelity are generally low.
Fidelity trading fees for 10 contracts
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US stock index options benchmark fee $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $12.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $20.4
German stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $12.1
Fidelity non-trading fees
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#2 Fidelity
Options market coverage

Fidelity option market coverage
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Number of options exchanges 8 12 8 8 33
Fidelity product selection beside options
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No No No Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Futures Yes No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No No Yes
Crypto No No No No Yes

#2 Fidelity
Desktop trading platform
3.8

Fidelity's desktop platform is highly customizable, offers many order types and has a clear fee report. However, there is no two-step login and in some cases the platform was slow.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good variety of order types
Best options trading platform in 2020 - Fidelity desktop trading platform
Fidelity charting tools
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 400 37 56 100 120

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#2 Fidelity
Research
3.8

Fidelity has great research tools with a large variety of services, including trading ideas, detailed fundamental data and great screeners. However, the quality of the news flow could be better.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart News flow quality could be better
Trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals
Best options trading platform in 2020 - Fidelity research
Fidelity research
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Research user friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Poor
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Great Great
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Charles Schwab Logo

#3 Best options trading platform
Charles Schwab

4.9

Charles Schwab is a US discount broker that was founded in 1971 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

It is regulated by several top-tier financial authorities, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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#3 Charles Schwab
Options fees
3.8

The options fees at Charles Schwab are generally low.
Charles Schwab trading fees for 10 contracts
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US stock index options benchmark fee $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $12.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $20.4
German stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $12.1
Charles Schwab non-trading fees
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#3 Charles Schwab
Options market coverage

Charles Schwab option market coverage
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Number of options exchanges 8 12 8 8 33
Charles Schwab product selection beside options
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No No No Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Futures Yes No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No No Yes
Crypto No No No No Yes

#3 Charles Schwab
Desktop trading platform
4.0

Charles Schwab has a great desktop trading platform, which is highly customizable, offers many order types and has a clear fee report. However, it is available only for Windows.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report Only for Windows
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good variety of order types
Best options trading platform in 2020 - Charles Schwab desktop trading platform
Charles Schwab charting tools
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 400 37 56 100 120

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#3 Charles Schwab
Research
4.3

Charles Schwab has great research tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data, although it's hard to navigate the web trading platform due to their abundance.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart Hard to navigate among research tools
Data on asset fundamentals
Trading ideas for stocks and ETFs
Best options trading platform in 2020 - Charles Schwab research
Charles Schwab research
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Research user friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Poor
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Great Great
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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tastyworks Logo

#4 Best options trading platform
tastyworks

4.7

tastyworks is a young, up-and-coming US broker focusing on options trading. It is regulated by the top-tier Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The people behind tastyworks are the same experts who built thinkorswim, now operated by TD Ameritrade. tastyworks is privately owned; it was established in 2017 and is headquartered in Chicago.

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#4 tastyworks
Options fees
2.6

The options fees at tastyworks are generally average.
tastyworks trading fees for 10 contracts
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US stock index options benchmark fee $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $12.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $20.4
German stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $12.1
tastyworks non-trading fees
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#4 tastyworks
Options market coverage

tastyworks option market coverage
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Number of options exchanges 8 12 8 8 33
tastyworks product selection beside options
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No No No Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Futures Yes No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No No Yes
Crypto No No No No Yes

#4 tastyworks
Desktop trading platform
3.9

The desktop platform is very similar to the web trading platform and has extra features such as good customizability. On the other hand, it is likewise not well suited for beginners.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report Not suited for beginners
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Price alerts
Best options trading platform in 2020 - tastyworks desktop trading platform
tastyworks charting tools
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 400 37 56 100 120

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#4 tastyworks
Research
5.0

tastyworks's research tools include trading ideas, a great desktop charting tool and high-quality news. However, it's all very options-focused, and offers only limited fundamental data.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart Limited fundamental data
Trading ideas
Quality news flow
tastyworks research
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Research user friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Poor
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Great Great
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Interactive Brokers Logo

#5 Best options trading platform
Interactive Brokers

4.9

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. The broker is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including top-tier ones like the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As it has licenses from multiple top-tier regulators, Interactive Brokers is considered safe. Having a long track record and publicly disclosed financials while being listed on a stock exchange are also great signs for its safety.

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#5 Interactive Brokers
Options fees
3.6

The options fees at Interactive Brokers are generally low.
Interactive Brokers trading fees for 10 contracts
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US stock index options benchmark fee $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $12.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $20.4
German stock index options benchmark fee - - - - $12.1
Interactive Brokers non-trading fees
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#5 Interactive Brokers
Options market coverage

Interactive Brokers option market coverage
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Number of options exchanges 8 12 8 8 33
Interactive Brokers product selection beside options
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No No No Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Futures Yes No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No No Yes
Crypto No No No No Yes

#5 Interactive Brokers
Desktop trading platform
3.0

Interactive Brokers provides a desktop platform for IBKR PRO accounts, with many customizable options and advanced execution functions. However, the platform is not user-friendly and is more suited for advanced traders.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report Not user-friendly
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) Poor search function
Good variety of order types Too complex for beginners
Best options trading platform in 2020 - Interactive Brokers desktop trading platform
Interactive Brokers charting tools
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 400 37 56 100 120

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#5 Interactive Brokers
Research
3.5

Interactive Brokers has almost limitless research possibilities, but the user interface is overly complicated, hard to follow and not very well designed.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart Not user-friendly
Trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals
Interactive Brokers research
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Research user friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Poor
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Great Great
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Best options trading platform in 2020
What makes a good options trading platform

Trading with options may seem like a difficult task, but knowing a few key points can help understanding them. Choosing an options trading platform based on the most important criteria will also help you get a good trading experience.

How did we pick the best options trading platforms?

When we selected the best options trading platform in 2020, we ranked brokers along more than 200 criteria. Not to overwhelm you, we list the four most important criteria.

The 4 most important criteria for the best options trading platforms are:

4 most important criteria for the best options trading platforms in 2020
1. Options and withdrawal fees:

Options trading fees are obviously important, but withdrawal fees can also hurt your profit when you are trying to transfer out your money frequently.

2. Markets and products:

Some brokers offer a wealth of options to trade, others not so much. Check the product coverage before opening an account.

3. Desktop trading platform:

A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort. Pay close attention to good charting and analytical tools.

4. Research

Successful trading requires quality research tools. Make sure you can rely on the data provided by your chosen broker.

Brokerage fees for options trading

How can I trade with wasting the least money on fees? We bet this is on top of your mind when you want to select the best options broker. Let's see how we checked.

It is tough to compare options trading platform fees, but we are here to help. You need to calculate with two fee categories: trading-related fees and non-trading fees.

Usually, brokers charge a per contract commission for each trade. To show you how this works for each broker, we calculated all fees for real-life scenarios. So, you can compare the fees. We took

  • US stock index options

  • UK stock index options

  • German stock index options

Our calculations were based on the commission fees for 10 contracts traded. We also used this formula to make the brokers comparable.

Best options trading platform in 2020
Options explained

What are options?

Options belong to the group of derivatives. A derivative's price is dependent on or derived from the price of something else. You can buy options contracts on multiple asset classes such as equities, indexes, bonds, commodities, among others.

A financial option is a contractual agreement between two parties. An option gives the buyer the right to buy (in the case of a call) or sell (in the case of a put) the underlying asset at a specific price on or before the option expires. Options give the owner rights and the seller obligations. Here are the key definitions to understand them:

  • Call options: This gives the owner the right to buy a specific amount of the underlying asset at a specific price by a predetermined date. A call option provides the opportunity to profit from price gains at a fraction of the cost of owning the asset. This also gives the seller the obligation to give you the asset at the pre-agreed price.
  • Put options: They give the owner the right to sell a specific amount of the underlying asset at a given price by a specific date. Here, the entity you bought the option from has the obligation to buy the underlying asset at the agreed price. For example, if you own put options on an Apple stock that you own, and the price of the stock is falling, the put option is gaining in value. So, if the specific price agreed in the option is $450 but the Apple shares are now worth $400 you are in a profiting position.

Options are different to real assets because they don't grant you ownership of a given asset. Options trading is speculative in nature and carries substantial risk of loss.

How options work

The price of options depends on 3 factors:

  • The future price of the underlying asset
  • Their expiration date
  • Volatility of the underlying asset

The value of option contracts depends on the probabilities of future price events. Prices usually increase when an event from which an option would profit is likely to happen. For example, a call value goes up as the price of the underlying asset grows.

Options are also characterised as a wasting asset. As the expiration date of your options looms closer, their value decreases. This happens because of the lower probability for price movements in the underlying stock. Since time is a component to the price of an option, the same  one-month option is less valuable than the three-month option. This is because a longer time frame allows for a higher probability of a price move in your favor, and vice versa. This also means that options with a more distant expiry time will be more expensive.

Volatility of the price of the underlying asset also increases the price of an option because uncertainty pushes the odds of a good outcome grow. Bigger price swings will increase the chances of an event occurring. So, the more volatility, the greater the price of the option.

Best options trading platform in 2020
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best options trading platforms in 2020:

Best options trading platforms in 2020
TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Options fee class Low Low Low Average Low
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Desktop platform score 4.5 stars 3.8 stars 4.0 stars 3.9 stars 3.0 stars
Number of options markets 8 12 8 8 33
Research score 4.8 stars 3.8 stars 4.3 stars 5.0 stars 3.5 stars

TD Ameritrade is our winner, the best options trading platform in 2020.

All listed trading platforms are a great choice. Don't forget, that trading options carries risk. Pick your winner and take the next step in your trading journey. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Still unsure? Use the broker finder and find the best broker for you.

Author of this article

Gergely Korpos

Author of this article

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

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

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