I will provide you with a list of the best options trading platforms in Canada, the platform’s rates, and answers to frequently asked questions on options.
An options contract is a financial instrument that allows people to buy or sell an underlying security at a fixed price before or on a specific date.
The owner or buyer of an option possesses no legal obligation to act on the security by the specified date, and the owner or buyer pays a premium in exchange for this privilege.
- You will understand what options trading is
- The best option trading platforms in Canada for you
- Answers to some frequently asked questions on options trading platforms in Canada
The 7 Best Options Trading Platforms In Canada
Option trading platforms in Canada provide a safe environment for people to start investing in options. If you are a trader looking for the best options trading platform with a wide variety of research tools and the lowest fees, check out the trading platform listed below.
Below is a list of the 7 best option trading platforms you can find in Canada
1. TD Direct Investing
The TD Direct Investing platform, is an online broker linked with a big bank. In terms of variety, the platform is at the top. Whether an individual is a beginner looking to start investing or an experienced trader or investor, they can choose from one of the 4 distinct platforms.
The WebBroker platform offers market research sources and weekly special reports.
The TD Application offers dynamic full-screen charting and deep insights. The Advanced Dashboard platform offers ratio analysis, financial statements, and analyst ratings. The last is the thinkorswim, but the platform is only available in the US.
For regular traders, the commissions start at $9.99 for each trade + $1.25 for each contract.
Active traders (with more than 150 trades per quarter) pay $7 for each trade + $1.25 for each contract.
2. RBC Direct Investing
The Royal Bank of Canada backs RBC’s Direct Investing online platform. The platform offers free real-time quotes on people’s investments and Level two quotes for stocks and ETFs. People can also set up watchlists to receive market commentary and alerts.
Like the TD Direct Investing platform, this broker offers several platforms for each type of investor.
The RBC Direct platform supports put, call, covered calls, and naked puts for options trading. Before investing, people can use a risk-free practice account to test their strategies before investing real money.
The commission for options trading at RBC Direct Investing starts for regular traders at $9.95 + $1.25 for each contract. Active trader pricing decreases to $6.95 + $1.25 for each contract for more active traders with more than 150 trades per quarter.
3. CIBC Investor’s Edge
CIBC IE is one of the best and most trusted trading platforms in Canada, mainly because the platform is linked and backed by CIBC, one of the largest banks in Canada.
Some of the best features/attributes of the CIBC IE platform are its research, screening tools, and advanced charting graphs to help people choose the right investments for their portfolios.
The platform also supports stop, limit, and trailing stop orders, and the CIBC insures people’s funds are safe.
For regular traders/investors commissions start at $6.95 for each trade + $1.25 for each contract.
For students with the CIBC Smart Account, commissions are $5.95 for each trade + $1.25 for each contract.
For active traders (with more than 150 trades every quarter), commissions are $4.95 for each trade + $1.25 for each contract.
The platform has no account minimums to start trading and offers simple directions on creating an options trade. There is also a $100 annual account fee if an individual balance is below $10,000.
The rates are lower for students, and frequent, and advanced traders.
4. Qtrade Investor
The Qtrade Investor platform ranks consistently at the top of the investing platforms in Canada. With these platforms, people can sell and buy bonds, stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds.
People can also access a testing platform, using research and risk analysis tools to test their best strategies. Educational resources for beginner investors and an experienced support team are available 24/7.
For regular traders, the commissions start at $8.75 for each trade + $1.25 for each contract. Active traders who make more than 150 trades every quarter or have at least $500,000 in assets have to pay $6.95 for each trade + $1.25 for each contract.
People can set up recurring deposits, hold more than $25,000, or complete two trades in the previous quarter to avoid the quarterly maintenance fees.
The Qtrade platform has a few restrictions to trade on margins: people must have at least $2,000 in cash or securities. If they are shorting stocks, selling or buying spreads, or trading equity options, the minimum is $10,000.
Questrade platform is a great option for investors or traders looking to trade options. With this platform, people can build their portfolios from the ground up or invest in their pre-built, expertly-made portfolios.
The Questrade platform has been operating for over 22 years and brings 250,000+ new customers yearly. The platform is regulated by the IIROC and is also a member of the CIPF (Canadian Investor Protection Fund).
Commissions on options with the Questrade platform start at $9.95 for each trade + $1 for each contract for regular traders/investors.
The Questrade platform offers access to advanced data packages, ideal for experienced traders looking to gain an edge. The data packages cost $89.95 per month, and if people subscribe, they automatically qualify for the active trader discounts, even if they don’t complete 150 trades per quarter.
6. Interactive Brokers
The Interactive Brokers platform is one of the top picks for the best online options broker in Canada.
With Interactive Brokers, people can trade stocks on more than 90 exchanges around the globe, including some in Asia, the US, and Europe. More than 1.8 million active traders in more than 200 countries currently use the Interactive Brokers platform.
An exciting feature of the platform is the GlobalAnalyst Scanner, which is used to find undervalued stocks globally. People can set parameters like sector, country, and market cap to find the investments that fit their portfolio.
Another great attribute of the platform is the IBKR GlobalTrader, a test environment where people can try out their strategies at no risk.
For traders in Canada, the commissions are reasonable: the trades have a minimum of $1.50 for each order, and fees are tiered based on the volume of trades for each month:
- For a volume of less than 10,000 trades per month, the fees take off at $1.25 per contract.
- For a volume of 10,000 – 50,000, the commission decreases to $1.15 per contract.
- For volumes of 50,000-100,000 and more than 100,000 the fees are $1.05 – $1 respectively.
7. BMO Investor Line
The BMO InvestorLine platform is an online options trading platform that gives its client or investors the best research and expert analysis. Like other platforms on this list, this platform is backed by a large bank, the BMO, one of the big 5 banks in Canada.
Some of its attributes/best features include the top US and Canadian equities research, benchmark tracking, and analysis tools like graphs.
The platform offers access to more than 2,000 stocks across all the major North American Exchanges: NASDAQ, TSX, NYSE, and more.
People can also set up alerts and make trades from the smartphone application.
People who make over 15 trades per quarter or invest a total of $250,000 or more gain access to preferred rates, lower pricing, professional tools, and dedicated customer support.
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Each options trading platform offers something different from the others. The best trading platform is likely the one that people are the most comfortable with regarding reliability, user experience, and pricing and commission rates.
Is option trading available in Canada?
Most online options brokers will allow people to trade options listed on the Canadian and American exchanges.
How can I buy options in Canada?
People will have to apply for options trading and be approved. They will also need a margin account. When approved, they can enter orders to trade options much like they would for stocks but by using an option chain to identify which underlying, strike price, expiration date, and whether it is a call or a put.
Does Wealthsimple allow options?
Wealthsimple allows options trading, no paperwork, no account minimums, and lots of investment options.
How much do options traders make in Canada?
The national average salary for an Options Trader in Canada is $75,315.
Can I trade options in TFSA?
Yes, however, warrants and options people wish to purchase within a registered plan such as TFSA must meet eligibility requirements established by the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) to be considered a qualified investment.
Can I trade options on questrade?
The Questrade platform trades bonds, stocks, options, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), and mutual funds.
You can learn more from the video below: