IB Futures Commissions & Fees

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by CPTrader, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Hello,

    People here always rave about IB's cheap commisison and wide offering.

    Their wide product offering and universal acount is unrivaled. Sadly, it seems the SIPC protection for futures via the universal account no longer exists.

    I always took for granted that their commisions and fes were cheap.

    However, closely looking at their website: http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/p.php?f=commission

    I find that their futures commissions are quite high compared to what other futures brokers charge. $0.50 and less is now almost the default average for electronic traders whereas IB is charging 0.85 per contract plus steep carrying fees of $0.10 per day. They also charge Eurex order cancel/modify fees of $2.50.

    The website seems clear or am I missing something? If not, I cant see the value proposition of IB looking strictly at commissions.

    Please share your thoughts.

    Thank you.
  2. Quite surprising. No comments from anyone...?!
  3. Who would you suggest as alternatives?
  4. As I have stated before I am no fan, but my issues revolve around customer service. They still have sweep if I understand, but you need to indicate that is what you want. Their commissions are okay for futures unless you can prove volume, which is the same as most firms. If you are doing actual volume then start calling around, and do research as to firms. I will say there are firms that can meet their prices and beat on the futures side.
  5. slumdog


    Net costs with IB were really great before ZIRP :mad: The interest they paid covered a large chunk of my commissions. This is one of the reasons why their commissions were always a bit higher than some other futures firms which didnt pay any interest at all.
  6. IB commissions are $0.85 plus free comprehensive platform.

    Many other brokers seem to be $0.50 commissions plus about $0.50 platform fee for a total of about $1.00.

    So IB is cheaper overall if you need a comprehensive platform, from my point of view.

    What do you think?
  7. +1. brokers like deep discount trading, velocitiy or lightspeed offer rock bottom rates W/O having to prove vol. although you can trade multiple asset classes w/ lightspeed, ib is still the GC standard when it comes to a universal account. also ib is known for the security (both financial and physical) of your funds. the broker means nothing if they don't self clear and they go ch.11.
  8. Platform fees are not 0.50 per contract, unless your volume is very low. For example CQG Trader has a $200 monthly cap.

    The only advanatge of IB is the universal account and multi-asset class trading platform

    This is my point, if you are a futures trader only, then IB does not present a price-competitive option.
  9. CPT, how many contracts do you trade in a month? That $200 has to be divided among the number of contracts. Also when I have looked into CQG I never got the impression my cost would be only $200/month. I always came up with a much higher fee for charting and trade capability. Or would you just use the trade portion and have free charts from another source? I am interested what you are using. I am always willing to reduce my costs or make a case to my broker to cut my costs.
  10. CQG Trader is the basic package without charts..which for my pruposes is generally fine. Point of correction - the cap is $395 not $300. I wa smistaken.

    I actually prefer and highly recommend CTS T4 (www.ctsfutures.com). Their version with charts is capped at $500 a month. If you do not need tick data you have a monthly minimum of $95, if you need tick data then the monthly minimum is $200. Otherwise you pay $0.50 per contract and you are capped at $500.

    So even if you are a low volume trader who needs charts - for an extra $95 - 200 a month you get full charts. I think it is an excellent deal.

    So I maintain my point IB is not competitive for futures traders. Even if you need access to IB for the exotic markets in Asia not covered by other platforms, it's probably best to use them solely for those markets while using another broker for the main US & European exchanges: CME, EUREX, ICE, etc.

    #10     Jan 28, 2012