Best Discount Futures Brokers

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Regardless of whether you’re looking to speculate or hedge in the futures market, you’ll need a futures broker, also known as an futures commission merchant (FCM).  Here are a list of the best discount futures brokers for 2018.

When analyzing each broker, we took the following futures metrics into account: the cost of trading per futures contract, overall rating and ease-of-use of the futures trading platform, account minimum to trade futures, and the level of intraday futures margin requirements (if any).

Best Discount Futures Brokers for 2018

Broker

Futures Price Per Contract

Account Minimum

tastyworks 

$1.25

$0.00

TradeStation 

$1.25

$5,000

Ally Invest 

$0.85

$500

Interactive Brokers 

$0.80-$0.15

$10,000

Out of all of the futures brokers in 2018, our favorite is tastyworks. Founded by the same people who founded thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade, tastyworks is reshaping the futures trading world as we know it.

All closing stock, stock options, and futures options trades are free at tastyworks. Meaning, you are only charged a commission when you initiate a trade, not when you close it out. Moreover, one of the other great perks for tastyworks futures traders is that all market data and futures trading platforms are free. If you’re an active futures trader, paying for level II depth of book data for the CME and Cboe surprisingly costly. Although many brokers like Interactive Brokers and TradeStation still charge for market data, we strongly favor brokers that don’t charge clients every month for market data.

Final Thoughts

Although tastyworks has a smaller number of tradable futures products than its competitors, tastyworks covers all of the most commonly traded products, like E-Mini S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq futures, and everything ranging from Crude Oil futures to Volatility futures.

For the highly active futures trader, Ally Invest’s tiered futures pricing is a tremendous teal. Given that futures contract prices go as low as $0.45 per contract, and that Ally doesn’t charge any inactivity or maintenance fees like Interactive Brokers, Ally is actually the cheapest discount futures broker when compared to other discount futures brokers like IB and TradeStation.

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