Absolute Lowest Commissions Available for Options?

Discussion in 'Options' started by bgilbart, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. bgilbart



    Assume I want to buy to open, and then sell to close, 25 contracts in a given trading day, and do this 3 times per week (basically whatever is needed to just skirt the pattern day trader classification). But for the sake of the math, assume 3x per week.

    Who is the best broker purely for lowest commissions and then who relative to platform reliability? Also, who will be lowest comm while also having real-time NBBO quotes available for options?

    I'm currently using UBS wealth management which is only 12.95 per trade, with no additional per contract fee, but it's phone based and I got hung out to dry one time waiting on hold and refuse to use this system for day trading due to this reason.

    From this link, it looks like schwab:

    IB, ToS, and Tradestation also appear more expensive than these Schwab levels. Thank you all for your time and input. Cheers, Brian
  2. JackR


    I'm not sure I understand how you computed. Your link goes to Options Express. Did Schwab buy them?

    Schwab\OE? at "Active Trader" rate
    25 contracts = $31.25 =$1.25 contract

    IB - Less than 10,000 contracts month
    25 contracts = $17.50 = $ 0.70 contract

    That is close to 1/2 the Schwab rate.

    The IB rate is their high rate in that the option premium is => $0.10. Cheaper options have lower commissions.

    IB will not hold your hand nor give any advice whatsoever.


    Edit - I see the link has a commission comparison. Maybe that's what you meant. Anyway the Schwab rate for 25 contracts would be $27.70 ($0.75 per contract plus $8.95 ticket per order)
    Still IB.
  3. SForce


    OptionsHouse - $9.95 a trade, no per contract etc.

    Simple web based platform, no bells and whistles which is perfect because if you've been trading a while I'd assume you have your own tools and aren't going to change how you do things to fit the broker so it's fine.
  4. Agreed about option house. I would get a data feed though, because there platform is web based.

    If you want good customer service, and are willing to pay a little more, TOS is the way to go. You can get down to around 1.25/contract, but that might not be enough to suit your needs.
  5. bgilbart


    Hi. So OptionsHouse sounds good at $9.95 per trade. I have my own strategy and and don't need a lot of options bells and whistles.

    This may sound stupid, but what's the difference between getting web based NBBO data feed versus having a direct data feed as you say.

    I'm sensitive to price (obviously) but really only want to be able to see live NBBO, that's about it. Does OptionsHouse provide this? Is there anyone who has used OptionsHouse who can comment on their reliability?

    Also, this is unrelated but does anyone have a breakdown of how different websites look at call spreads and put spreads for the purposes of margining? I used to use OX and they looked at my long as an offset to my short for margining. However, UBS looks at the short independently which makes the margining just too difficult for putting on simple call and put spreads.
  6. Move on and change your broker--many here will agree that ToS rules!


  7. I assure you options house is selling order flow and you'll rarely get fills between the bid and ask like you do with tos. think about 30 contracts if you get 10 cents worse than tos thats $300 diff
  8. about optionshouse, can someone tell me. what is the minimum equity requirement to sell naked calls/puts..
  9. def

    def Sponsor

    commissions are important but execution quality can be more important:


    TAG has also determined that Interactive Brokers US option executions were improved by one dollar and nineteen cents per contract during the first half of 2008, fifty-three cents better than the rest of the industry. During 2007, IB option executions were fifty-seven cents better than the industry. The analysis included all market orders in options with order sizes of one to fifty contracts.
  10. I've used Optionxpress for 2 yrs now.
    $1.50 per contract ($14.98 min).
    Using a CASH account, you will not have to worry about Pattern Daytrading issues. Your account will settle same day.
    #10     Nov 25, 2008