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.
We selected tastyworks as Best broker for options for 2021, based on an in-depth analysis of 70+ online brokers that included testing their live accounts. Check out the complete list of winners.
tastyworks pros and cons
tastyworks is great for options trading, as its trading platform is primarily designed to trade options, and trading fees are low. Furthermore, great educational and research materials are on hand to support your learning and your trading efficiency.
tastyworks focuses mainly on options and futures trading. Trading with US stocks and ETFs is possible, but a bit complicated compared with other brokers. Bank transfer (wire) withdrawal is expensive, and credit/debit card deposit is not possible. The trading platform is great for options trading, but can be intimidating for a newbie, especially as there's no demo account.
|• Low trading fees||• Limited product selection|
|• Great educational materials||• Few deposit and withdrawal options|
|• Good research tools||• No demo account|
|🗺️ Country of regulation||USA|
|💰 Trading fees class||Low|
|💰 Inactivity fee charged||No|
|💰 Withdrawal fee amount||$0|
|💰 Minimum deposit||$0|
|🕖 Time to open an account||1 day|
|💳 Deposit with bank card||Not available|
|👛 Depositing with electronic wallet||Not available|
|💱 Number of base currencies supported||1|
|🎮 Demo account provided||No|
|🛍️ Products offered||Stock, ETF, Options, Futures|
tastyworks has low trading fees and there is no inactivity fee. On the other hand, you have to pay a high withdrawal fee for wire transfers.
|• Low trading fees||• Withdrawal fee for bank (wire) transfers|
|• Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading|
|• No inactivity fee|
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|US stock||Low||Free stock and ETF|
|Mutual fund||-||Not available|
|Inactivity fee||Low||No inactivity fee|
How we ranked fees
We ranked tastyworks's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.
First, let's go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.
- Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
- Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.
In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of tastyworks for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.
We also compared tastyworks's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, ChoiceTrade and TradeStation. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of tastyworks alternatives.
To have a clear overview of tastyworks, let's start with the trading fees.
tastyworks trading fees are low.
tastyworks charges $1 per contract for stock options and $2.50 per contract for options on futures for opening a position. Closing a position on options is free of charge.
For regular futures contracts, it charges $1.25 per contract, while micro futures contracts have a $0.85 per-contract fee. tastyworks also has a unique futures product, called Smalls Futures. Smalls Futures fees are $0.25 per contract.
Finally, stock trading incurs no commission.
Stock fees and ETF fees
tastyworks charges no stock or ETF commission.
If you prefer stock trading on margin, you should check tastyworks's margin rates.
A margin rate is charged when you trade on margin. This basically means that you borrow money or stocks from your broker to trade. For this borrowed money/stock, you have to pay interest. It can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.
|USD margin rate||8.0%||6.3%||9.5%|
tastyworks's margin rates are volume-tiered. It involves a base rate, and a premium or discount depending on the margin amount. The base rate is set at tastyworks's discretion; at the time of our review, the base rate was 7%.
|Debit balance||Rate %||Base rate + / -|
|$0 - $24,999||8.00%||Base Rate + 1.00%|
|$25,000 - $49,999||7.50%||Base Rate + 0.50%|
|$50,000 - $99,999||7.00%||Base Rate|
|$100,000 - $249,999||6.50%||Base Rate - 0.50%|
|$250,000 - $499,999||6.00%||Base Rate - 1.00%|
|$500,000 - $999,999||5.50%||Base Rate - 1.50%|
|$1,000,000 +||5.00%||Base Rate - 2.00%|
tastyworks options fees are relatively low compared with the rest of the market, though they are higher than those of its main competitors.
Please note that tastyworks charges a $5 fee for exercise and assignment.
|US stock index options||$12.5||$4.0||$10.0|
The fees for the Single-Listed Exchange Proprietary Index Options are cheaper: for example, it's $0.65 per contract on the SPX and $0.18 on the NDX indexes.
|Commission to open trade||Commission to close trade|
|Options on stocks||$1.00/contract, max $10.00 per leg||free|
|Options on ETFs||$1.00/contract||free|
|Options on futures||$2.50/contract||free|
|Options on Smalls Futures||$0.25/contract||$0.25/contract|
tastyworks futures fees are generally low. However, they are still higher than futures fees at TradeStation.
|US micro e-mini stock index futures||$8.5||-||$5.0|
tastyworks has average non-trading fees. It doesn't charge you a general account fee, an inactivity fee, a custody fee or a deposit fee.
ACH withdrawal is free, but the wire withdrawal fee is quite high: it is $25 for wire transfers within the US and $45 for international wire transfers.
tastyworks account opening is user-friendly, fast, fully digital, and involves no minimum deposit.
|• Fully digital|
|• No minimum deposit|
Can you open an account?
tastyworks accepts customers from many countries. These include almost all EU countries, most South and Central American countries, as well as India, Indonesia, New Zealand and Turkey, among others.
What is the minimum deposit at tastyworks?
The required tastyworks minimum deposit is $0 for cash accounts. For margin accounts, you need to deposit a minimum of $2,000.
tastyworks offers two account types for individuals: cash and margin accounts. With a margin account, you can use leverage, which means you can borrow money from the broker to trade.
Retirement accounts are available for US citizens. You can choose among traditional, self-employed (SEP), roth or beneficiary (inherited) IRAs.
Based on ownership, you can open the following account types:
- Individual account - account owned by an individual
- Joint account - account owned by more than one person
- Corporate and trust account - account owned by a legal entity (available only in the US)
In our tastyworks review, we tested the individual margin account, called 'The Works'.
How to open your account
tastyworks account opening is fast and fully digital. Our account was approved after 1 day.
tastyworks account application takes 10-15 minutes and is fairly straightforward. You need to provide the following information:
- Account type
- Personal information
- Employer information (name, address, phone number)
- Financial knowledge
- Name of your primary bank
- Digital copies of your ID and proof of address
Deposit and withdrawal
tastyworks's deposit and withdrawal functions are easy to use and there's no deposit fee, but you can use only bank transfer, and withdrawals can be expensive especially for non-US clients.
|• No deposit fee||• Credit/Debit card not available|
|• User-friendly||• Only one account base currency|
|• Free ACH withdrawals in the US||• High fee for wire withdrawals|
Deposit fees and options
tastyworks deposit is free of charge. However, non-US citizens can only use bank transfers, known as wire transfers in US banking lingo.
If you are from the US, you can also use
- ACH (automated clearing house)
We tested the non-US wire transfer, and it took 3 business days.
According to tastyworks' website, ACH transfers take 4 business days. However, some US bank accounts can be linked to tastyworks, making instant transfers possible.
You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.
tastyworks withdrawal fees and options
tastyworks withdrawal costs $45 for non-US wire transfers and $25 for wire transfers within the US. ACH withdrawals are free of charge.
Withdrawing money can be done the same way as making deposits, i.e. only via wire transfer for non-US citizens, plus ACH and check for US citizens. The user interface for wire transfer withdrawal is customer-friendly and easy to use.
How long does it take to withdraw money from tastyworks? In our experience, bank transfer withdrawal can take at least 3 business days.
You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.
How do you withdraw money from tastyworks?
- Select the account to withdraw from
- Link your bank account
- Set the transaction date/frequency
- Enter the amount to be withdrawn
- Confirm the withdrawal
Want to stay in the loop?
Sign up and we'll let you know when a new broker review is out.
Web trading platform
The tastyworks web platform is great for experienced traders, especially for options trading. However, it takes time to figure out how its functions work, and its customizability is limited.
|• Clear fee report||• Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)|
|• Price alerts||• Not suited for beginners|
|• Two-step (safer) authentication for certain functions|
tastyworks uses its own trading platform. It is targeted mainly for options and futures traders, with stock trading only as a secondary focus.
The platform is available only in English.
Look and feel
tastyworks now requires two-step authentication for certain functions, which gives you extra security. Two-step authentication is required for the following actions within the account:
- Email changes
- Password changes or forgotten passwords
- Money movements (initiated from within your tastyworks profile)
To use this security feature, you'll need to download an authenticator app, like Authy, Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator or 2FAS Authenticator.
The platform's search functions are OK but could use some improvement. If you know the ticker, you're good to go. However, if you want to search for, say, various emerging market ETFs and start typing 'Emerging', the results will only have ETFs starting with the word 'Emerging'. So for example the biggest ETF, the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Fund will not be shown because it starts with 'Ishares' not 'Emerging'.
tastyworks's order management has great functions but it's a bit complicated. It is primarily designed for options trading but can also be used for stock trading. You will find three different order panels: two for options trading and one for stock trading.
The stock-trading panel is of mid-range quality, offering four order types:
- Stop limit
- Stop market
To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.
There are also various order time limits you can use:
- Good 'til cancelled (GTC)
- Good 'til date (GTD)
For options trading, you can choose between two views: the standard option chain, called 'Table', and a unique visual trading interface, called 'Curve'.
Under both views, you can use many predefined strategies:
- Iron condor
- Covered stock
- Jade lizard
It looks very complicated at first, but it's a very functional platform once you get the hang of it. For example, it has a list of predefined option strategies, so opening an iron condor takes only two clicks.
You can also drag and drop the different option orders and easily edit the default parameters. We think this is one of the biggest selling points of the platform.
Alerts and notifications
It is easy to set up price alerts and order notifications. You can set up alerts for each asset for price and implied volatility (IV). You can also set up email and push notifications, as well as text messages if you are in the US.
There is a great watchlist called the 'Grid'. You can have an overview of a wide range of assets in one place. All selected stocks have a well organized mini-infographic with some fundamental data. This is also tailored for options trading, as the most visible data points are IV ranks.
Portfolio and fee reports
The portfolio report is well structured. Its default setting is options-focused as it shows delta and theta values. However, the columns of the table can be easily customized.
The fee report is also clear. Both the portfolio and fee report can be exported to a CSV file.
Mobile trading platform
tastyworks's mobile platform is very similar to its web platform. It is well organized but feels complicated, and it also lacks price alerts.
|• User-friendly||• No price alerts|
|• Touch/Face ID login|
|• Order confirmation|
The tastyworks mobile platform is very similar to the web platform and shares its major functions.
The mobile trading platform is available in English for both iOS and Android. We tested it on iOS.
Look and feel
The tastyworks mobile trading platform is user-friendly and has a neat and modern design.
Login and security
tastyworks now provides two-step authentication for the same features as the web trading platform, giving you an added layer of security.
You can also log in using biometric authentication.
The platform's search functions are OK. Similarly to the web platform, you can search based on the ticker of the asset you're looking for, but you cannot use filters for asset types.
The trading function is a bit different from the web platform but it is intuitive. You can choose among table, curve or stock modes. This makes stock trading easier to manage.
You can select the same order types and terms as on the web platform.
Alerts and notifications
You cannot set price alerts and order notifications on the tastyworks mobile platform. This is a major drawback.
Desktop trading platform
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.
|• Clear fee report||• Not suited for beginners|
|• Good customizability (for charts, workspace)|
|• Price alerts|
You can download the desktop trading platform for OSX, Windows and Linux. It is only available in English.
Look and feel
The tastyworks desktop trading platform is OK. Similarly to the web platform, it is quite complicated and it takes some time to figure out where things are. However, it's still slightly more intuitive and has more customizability options.
Login and security
tastyworks provides two-step authentication for the same features as the web trading platform.
The platform's search functions are the same as those on the web platform.
You can place orders in the same way as on the web platform.
Alerts and notifications
You can set price alerts and order notifications on the desktop trading platform in the same way as on the web platform.
Portfolio and fee reports
You can access clear portfolio and fee reports on the desktop platform as well.
Markets and products
At tastyworks, you can trade US stocks, ETFs, options and some futures. Other popular asset classes like mutual funds or bonds are missing, as are international assets.
tastyworks offers stocks, options, ETFs and futures. It only covers US markets. We found little information on the exact number of tradable products. tastyworks does not support OTC (over-the-counter) or penny stock trading.
Overall, tastyworks's market and product range is narrower than that of its closest competitors.
tastyworks offers a social trading service. You can follow and copy the trades of tastyworks's team members. These guys are really active, so you will never struggle with not having any trading ideas.
tastyworks has introduced a unique futures product, called Smalls Futures that are listed on the Small Exchange.
Smalls Futures are designed for retail futures traders, as the contract sizes are much smaller and therefore suitable for trading with lower amounts.
This selection falls behind competing brokers. Both ChoiceTrade and TradeStation offer more stock markets to trade on.
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.
|• Good interactive chart||• Limited fundamental data|
|• Trading ideas|
|• Quality news flow|
There are useful indicators for options, like the greeks, implied volatility, tastyworks’s proprietary IV rank, or the correlation matrix with stocks and indices. However, you will find only very basic fundamental data for stocks, like P/E or dividend yields.
tastyworks has a very complex and great charting tool on its desktop platform. You can use over 100 technical indicators, and the chart is interactive.
Additionally, options-focused charting will help you see the probability of making a profit. It is especially useful if you have multiple positions on a particular stock; this way you can see the combined risk profile.
tastyworks provides news through its educational platform, tastytrade. Here you have access to a wide range of very useful options and futures trading content, as well as to live news coverage.
The tastytrade team runs a live trading show during trading hours each weekday. We found this pretty awesome.
tastyworks's customer support is great; you can reach them via email and phone, and they will give you relevant answers. On the negative side, there is no 24/7 availability or live chat.
|• Phone support||• No live chat|
|• Fast response time||• No 24/7 support|
|• Relevant answers|
You can contact tastyworks via:
If you have a general question, the chatbot might also be useful.
tastyworks's phone support was fast and we got relevant answers. The only downside is that they are available to contact only on weekdays from 7am to 5pm (GMT-6).
Via email, we got relevant answers within minutes of sending our questions. tastyworks's email support is available 24/5.
Overall, we found that customer support is excellent; they give fast and relevant answers. However, we missed live chat.
tastyworks has superb educational materials on options trading on its tastytrade platform. On the other hand, there is no demo account.
|• Trading platform tutorial||• No demo account|
|• Educational videos|
|• Good production quality|
At Tastyworks, you can learn in the following ways:
- platform tutorial videos
- general educational videos
- quality educational articles
tastyworks's educational material is available through its educational platform, tastytrade. Here, you can build up your options trading knowledge from scratch. Their videos have really good quality and are also enjoyable - a big plus when you are consuming financial content.
Alongside videos, you can also read high-quality articles and attend webinars on the nitty-gritty of trading with tastyworks products.
The platform is free to use, and if you register, you get access to additional market insight and research content.
The only issue with tastyworks's education functions is the lack of a demo account. As their platform is complicated, this would be a great tool for practice.
tastyworks is overseen by top-tier US regulators, giving you strong investor protection. On the flip side, tastyworks isn't listed on a stock exchange and offers no negative balance protection.
|• Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority||• No negative balance protection|
|• High level of investor protection||• Does not hold a banking license|
|• Financial information is publicly available||• Not listed on stock exchange|
Is tastyworks regulated?
Yes, it's regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the National Futures Association.
Is tastyworks safe?
To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:
- how you are protected if something goes wrong
- what the background of the broker is
How you are protected
|Country of clients||Protection amount||Regulator||Legal entity|
|Global clients||$500,000 ($250,000 cash limit)||FINRA, SEC||tastyworks, Inc.|
|Australian clients||No protection||ASIC||tastyworks Australia Pty Ltd|
All customers of tastyworks belong to one US legal entity, which is regulated by the SEC and FINRA except Australian residents, they are onboarded to ASIC.
This matters because this way you are eligible for the US investor protection amount via SIPC, the protection fund. This is a big plus. It protects you against the loss of cash or securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash.
A non-US citizen with tastyworks is treated the same way as a US resident in case something goes wrong. The $500,000/$250,000 amount is substantially higher than what is offered by most European investor protection schemes.
Not all investments are protected by SIPC. In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual fund and other investment company shares, and other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.
Australian clients however are not protected by any investor scheme.
On the downside, tastyworks does not provide negative balance protection.
tastyworks was established in 2017. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully weathered previous financial crises. By this standard, tastyworks is still quite young.
tastyworks is an excellent broker for options trading, but it is a bit complicated if you want to trade stocks only.
tastyworks's trading fees are low, with free stock and ETF trading fees. Its trading platform is aimed at experienced options traders, and can be intimidating for beginners. However, its educational and research tools are great for learning. Deposit and withdrawal processes could be better, and a demo account would also be great for practice purposes.
As there is no minimum deposit, no inactivity fee or monthly fee, and the account opening process is seamless, you should feel free to try it.