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To help you to find the best options trading platform in 2021, we went ahead and did the research for you. We tested, analyzed and compared 91 quality online brokers, of which 5 made it to the top. We present you our list below, and you can pick the one that best suits you. And now, without further ado...

Our top 5 picks for the best options trading platform in 2021 are:

  1. tastyworks - the best options trading platform in 2021.
  2. Interactive Brokers is the runner-up.
  3. TD Ameritrade takes third place.
  4. Fidelity came in fourth.
  5. In fifth position is Charles Schwab.
Best options trading platforms in 2021
Broker Accepts clients from Options fees score
#1 tastyworks Globally Average
#2 Interactive Brokers Globally Low
#3 TD Ameritrade US, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada (through TD Direct Investing) Low
#4 Fidelity US Low
#5 Charles Schwab US Low

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

All that is easy to list, but hard to figure out. That's why we are testing brokers along more than 300 criteria, using real accounts and real money. So we know what's up. You can find all of the ranking criteria in our methodology.

Not sure which trading platform is best for you? For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will narrow down the list of brokers to those that are available where you live. Want more details? Compare brokers with our in-depth comparison tool.

And now, let's see the best options trading platforms in 2021 one by one. Starting with the winner, tastyworks.

tastyworks Logo

#1 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), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for Australian clients.

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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#1 tastyworks
Options fees
3.2

The options fees at tastyworks are generally average.
tastyworks trading fees for 10 contracts
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock index options benchmark fee $12.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - $23.8 - - -
German stock index options benchmark fee - $13.2 - - -
tastyworks non-trading fees
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#1 tastyworks
Options market coverage

tastyworks provides access to 8 options markets.
tastyworks options market coverage
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Number of options exchanges 8 33 8 9 8
tastyworks product selection besides options
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFD No Yes No No No
Crypto No Yes Yes No Yes

#1 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 2021 - tastyworks desktop trading platform
tastyworks charting tools
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 100 120 400 37 56

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#1 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
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Research user-friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Great
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Great Great Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Interactive Brokers Logo

#2 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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#2 Interactive Brokers
Options fees
3.8

The options fees at Interactive Brokers are generally low.
Interactive Brokers trading fees for 10 contracts
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock index options benchmark fee $12.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - $23.8 - - -
German stock index options benchmark fee - $13.2 - - -
Interactive Brokers non-trading fees
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#2 Interactive Brokers
Options market coverage

Interactive Brokers provides access to 33 options markets.
Interactive Brokers options market coverage
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Number of options exchanges 8 33 8 9 8
Interactive Brokers product selection besides options
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFD No Yes No No No
Crypto No Yes Yes No Yes

#2 Interactive Brokers
Desktop trading platform
3.0

Interactive Brokers offers a desktop platform for PRO accounts, with great customizability and advanced order execution, but it's not user-friendly and caters more to 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 2021 - Interactive Brokers desktop trading platform
Interactive Brokers charting tools
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 100 120 400 37 56

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#2 Interactive Brokers
Research
4.3

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
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Research user-friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Great
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Great Great Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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TD Ameritrade Logo

#3 Best options trading platform
TD Ameritrade

4.8

This TD Ameritrade Review concludes that it is recommended for investors and experienced traders looking for solid research and a well-equipped desktop trading platform, the Thinkorswim platform.

It is one of the biggest US-based stockbrokers, founded in 1975. As an online broker, 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).

It is considered to be a safe broker as 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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#3 TD Ameritrade
Options fees
4.1

The options fees at TD Ameritrade are generally low.
TD Ameritrade trading fees for 10 contracts
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock index options benchmark fee $12.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - $23.8 - - -
German stock index options benchmark fee - $13.2 - - -
TD Ameritrade non-trading fees
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#3 TD Ameritrade
Options market coverage

TD Ameritrade provides access to 8 options markets.
TD Ameritrade options market coverage
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Number of options exchanges 8 33 8 9 8
TD Ameritrade product selection besides options
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFD No Yes No No No
Crypto No Yes Yes No Yes

#3 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 a 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 2021 - TD Ameritrade desktop trading platform
TD Ameritrade charting tools
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 100 120 400 37 56

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#3 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 2021 - TD Ameritrade research
TD Ameritrade research
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Research user-friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Great
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Great Great Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Fidelity Logo

#4 Best options trading platform
Fidelity

4.7

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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#4 Fidelity
Options fees
4.1

The options fees at Fidelity are generally low.
Fidelity trading fees for 10 contracts
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock index options benchmark fee $12.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - $23.8 - - -
German stock index options benchmark fee - $13.2 - - -
Fidelity non-trading fees
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#4 Fidelity
Options market coverage

Fidelity provides access to 9 options markets.
Fidelity options market coverage
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Number of options exchanges 8 33 8 9 8
Fidelity product selection besides options
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFD No Yes No No No
Crypto No Yes Yes No Yes

#4 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) Loads bit slowly
Good variety of order types
Best options trading platform in 2021 - Fidelity desktop trading platform
Fidelity charting tools
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 100 120 400 37 56

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#4 Fidelity
Research
4.5

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 2021 - Fidelity research
Fidelity research
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Research user-friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Great
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Great Great Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Charles Schwab Logo

#5 Best options trading platform
Charles Schwab

4.8

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) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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#5 Charles Schwab
Options fees
4.1

The options fees at Charles Schwab are generally low.
Charles Schwab trading fees for 10 contracts
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock index options benchmark fee $12.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
UK stock index options benchmark fee - $23.8 - - -
German stock index options benchmark fee - $13.2 - - -
Charles Schwab non-trading fees
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

#5 Charles Schwab
Options market coverage

Charles Schwab provides access to 8 options markets.
Charles Schwab options market coverage
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Number of options exchanges 8 33 8 9 8
Charles Schwab product selection besides options
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFD No Yes No No No
Crypto No Yes Yes No Yes

#5 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 2021 - Charles Schwab desktop trading platform
Charles Schwab charting tools
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Charting tool quality Great Great Great Great Great
Number of technical indicators 100 120 400 37 56

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#5 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 2021 - Charles Schwab research
Charles Schwab research
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Research user-friendliness Great Mid-range Great Great Great
Fundamental data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News feed quality Great Great Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range
Trading ideas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Best options trading platform in 2021
What makes a good options trading platform

Trading with options may seem like a difficult task, but knowing a few key points can help you to better understand how it works. Choosing an options trading platform based on the most important criteria will also help you to gain some crucial trading experience.

How did we pick the best options trading platforms?

When selecting the best options trading platforms in 2021, we ranked brokers along more than 300 criteria. In order not to overwhelm you, here are just the four most important criteria we considered.

4 most important criteria for the best options trading platforms in 2021
1. Options and withdrawal fees Options trading fees are obviously important, but withdrawal fees can also hurt your profits if you want to transfer out your money frequently.
2. Markets and products Some brokers offer a huge selection of options to trade, others not so much. Check the product offering before opening an account.
3. Desktop trading platform A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort. Good charting and analytical tools are especially important.
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 while wasting as little money as possible on fees? We bet this is on your mind most when selecting the best options broker. Let's see how we checked the fees of the various brokers.

It's tough to compare options trading platform fees, but we're here to help. You need to look at two types of fees: 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 some real-life scenarios. This way, you can compare the fees for different brokers. We looked at:

  • 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 2021
Options explained

What are options?

Options belong to a group of products called derivatives. A derivative's price is dependent on or derived from the price of something else. You can buy options contracts in various asset classes, such as equities, indexes, bonds and 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 option) or sell (put option) the underlying asset at a specific price when or before the option expires. Options grant the owner rights, and create the seller obligations. Here are the key definitions to understand the different option types:

  • Call option: 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 creates the seller the obligation to give you the asset at the pre-agreed price.
  • Put option: This gives 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 Apple shares that you own, and the price of the stock is going down, the put option is increasing in value. So, if the specific price agreed in the option is e.g. $450, but Apple shares are now worth $400, then you are in a winning position of $50 per share.

Options differ from real assets in that 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
  • The 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 increases.

Options are also characterized as a wasting asset. As the expiration date of your options nears, their value decreases. This happens because of the lower probability for price movements in the underlying stock. Since time is a component in the price of an option, a one-month option is less valuable than a three-month option for the same product. 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 date will be more expensive.

Volatility in the price of the underlying asset also increases the price of an option because uncertainty pushes up the odds of a positive outcome for you. Bigger price swings will increase the chances of an event occurring. So the more volatility, the higher the price of the option.

Best options trading platform in 2021
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are once again the best options trading platforms in 2021:

Best options trading platforms in 2021
tastyworks Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade Fidelity Charles Schwab
Options fee class Average Low Low Low Low
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Desktop platform score 3.9 stars 3.0 stars 4.5 stars 3.8 stars 4.0 stars
Number of options markets 8 33 8 9 8
Research score 5.0 stars 4.3 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars

tastyworks is our winner, the best options trading platform in 2021.

All the above listed trading platforms are a great choice. Don't forget that trading options carries risk. Pick the one that works best for you and take the next step in your trading journey. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Still unsure? Use our broker finder to 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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