OptionsHouse  

Start Trading

Description

OptionsHouse was founded in 2005 and started with the goal of being one of the cheapest and most advanced trading platforms. In 2014, OptionsHouse and tradeMONSTER merged. With the merger, they took the best of both platforms: OptionsHouse’s cheap trading fees and tradeMONSTER’s advanced trading platform.

Scoring second place with Barron’s 2015 brokerage review, OptionsHouse has one of the lowest fees in the online brokerage industry. One of the benefits of OptionsHouse is their simple pricing structure. In addition, they do not have any annual maintenance fees or any minimum deposit requirements. So they are great for small and large investors alike.

Pros

  • Low Fees — At $4.95 per stock or options trade, fees are among the lowest in the industry.
  • Low Margin Rates — OptionsHouse has some of the lowest margin rates in the industry.
  • Customizable Alerts — Many options for creating and receiving alerts.
  • Paper Trading — Get $100,000 in virtual money to test your trades.

Cons

  • No Commission-Free ETFs — Unlike a few other discount brokerages OptionsHouse does not offer any commission-free ETFs.
  • Not for Beginning Investors — If you aren’t an active trader or trade options, OptionsHouse might not be right for you.
  • Customer Service Needs Improvement — OptionsHouse customer service needs improvements.

Full Broker information

Status
Foundation Year 2005
License
Trading Platforms The OptionsHouse Trading Platform, OptionsHouse Mobile Trading
Reliability Rate AAA
Authorised Capital
Brocker Fee
Exchange Fee
Withdrawal Fee
Minimum Deposit
Mobile Trading
Seminars, Education

Contact information

Phone: 877-598-3190
Address: 10 S. Riverside Plaza Suite 500 Chicago, Illinois 60606 United States
Website: https://www.optionshouse.com/

Rating

  70%   30%

User Reviews

OptionsHouse charges Proprietary Index Option Product Fees of $0.53 on the S&P 500 Index and other indexes. I think you should add this amount to the $4.95 +$0.50/contract to your readers. Also, they state: "For each exercise or assignment in a given position you will be charged $4.95". How many times the Exercises and Assignments is charged in a Multi Leg Spread? Are options expiring out of the money considered to be assigned?
  Ben   2016/10/07 12:24    
Reading the testimonials I have to admit I will be monitoring this account closely the next couple months. I funded this account solely for making a weekly options spread trade and nothing else. Even though it's marginable, it trades like a cash account. I've only placed one trade and it of course was just fine. I have had several experiences with their customer service on the phone and via email. So far it's been great. Efficient, pleasant and they always answer my questions. I funded the account via Wire and it was fast. Setup ACH link with my bank and no problem. I requested a Debit card for withdrawing funds and received it the following week. Also when I created the account, I did it online and it took less than 5 minutes to have an approved account for options and margin. For me they are a 5 star but I realize their platform is quite basic which is why I deducted a star. So I must say I'm shocked at the previous reviews, but if the system is down for any length of time that would be a huge liability and I'd close the account.
  StevenErickson   2016/10/07 12:24    
I have been with options house for several years. They are fast clean and cheap. Recently the merged with Trade Monster. The trade monster platform is more difficulty to deal with but still functional. They have an excellent probability and risk predictor for my options trades, and the free education available is phenomenal. I would recommend Options House.
  Charles   2016/10/07 12:24    
Am I the only one that has been surprised by this: when selling a stock the funds takes up to three days to be available in your account to buy another stock. In my TD Ameritrade account (and other brokerage accounts I have had before TD) the funds are released immediately. I contacted customer service to ask why I couldn't place a buy order immediately after I sold a stock - they told me it is the norm in the business that funds are held for 2 to 3 days. Anyone else have a thought on this? Maybe it is a way for them to "force" you to open a margin account. Other than this I have been extremely satisfied with OH. I especially love their options trading platform.
  kpusa   2016/10/07 12:24    
OK, I normally don't this for trade accounts, but I'm starting today. Since I was closing out my buyandhold.com account, I found OptionsHouse that was giving 10,000 mileage plus mile for opening an account. So I transferred 6K into the account and made 10 trades. After a few emails back and forward, I received my miles. So far it's not a bad site, but I'm also a basic trader. The only thing I don't like is that I would like to make regular deposit with payroll deductions or automatic bank transfers and they don't allow it.
  Tony   2016/10/07 12:24    
"One of the annoying things about their platform is that when you sign in, it opens the platform in another pop up window." You can fix this by using optionshouse.com/login as your login page. The popup window problem can be fixed by navigating from tab to tab. You can customize your tabs to have just the tools you need. Options are cheap, and unless you're going to use IB ... OH is about as cheap as it gets, if you're doing 10+ contracts. Overall I'd say OH is the best (and I use AMTD and Fidelity). AMTD's TOS platform is the best platform, but option pricing is absurd. I use Fidelity to look at bid/ask size for options on a second monitor. OH's platform is probably more customizable than people know, and very easy for changing an order which is generally difficult at other brokers. All the complaints about transfers and customer service are hollow IMO - all brokers are slow at transfers, and I usually get to someone on the phone within 1 minute. Do your research somewhere else.
  Andy   2016/10/07 12:24    
I've been using OH for about 6 months now and here is what I've found: - Terrible tools, research, and platform. Think or Swim blows all three of these out of the water in comparison. - They can NOT figure out how to calculate margin for my account. I've calculated it myself, called them and told them what it should be, and after they eventually agree with they change it. A few days later, it changes back for no reason! My stock buying power has changed by over 20k without me even placing a trade. I'm getting sick of calling them about it and have pretty much given up. - Their customer service is hit-or-miss, but nothing terrible. - They are the cheapest when it comes to commissions, fees, and most importantly margin interest rates of every other broker I've used. Bottom line is that I'd love to dump OH and go back to using ToS exclusively, but they're just too cheap to give up. That said, I wouldn't recommend these guys for the beginning trader because their tools aren't that great and they can be frustrating to deal with. What I did is kept my ToS account active, do all my research through that platform, then click over to OH and place the trade.
  Erik   2016/10/07 12:24    
My understanding of margin requirements are that each broker has their own requirements on that. So you may have been pushing your methodology on one of their customer service operators. Also It sounds like what you are saying is that you would not recommend OH for advanced traders.
Erik   2016/10/07 12:24   


Erik is correct - their margin system is borked - I've had exactly the same problems that he has had over the past 2 years.. For whatever reason it doesn't figure out spreads correctly. I've had dozens of erroneous margin calls over the past 2 years. All I do is debit spreads, so I should NEVER have a margin problem. The only solution is to not have multiple trades on a symbol for a given expiration. I asked them to add in a column to show margin requirement like Ameritrade has ... that would at least let you close out the offending trade, and chose a different expiration, but so far no luck.
Erik   2016/10/07 12:24   


Trading platform is not simple like Tradeking. Customer Service wait 12 minutes to 35 minutes. The 35 minute wait, I gave up & hung up. They never credited my account for wire fee as new customer
  JeffPrado   2016/10/07 12:24    
I've been an Ameritrade customer since October 2012 and although although i've been having very decent returns, i have to admit that i am using my iphone more that the websites platform. I know very well how to place order and read all financials and what not, but i consider myself a beginner trader and don't know jack shit about platform research.I only do short term stock trading, no futures. This is why i am considering switching to a cheaper transaction fee alternative. ( no point to pay so much for something i don't know how to use). So basically i do not care if the platform is primitive id like to know if there are any issues with the actual trading and money transferring . Does anyone have issues executing orders or any glitches ..? If you sell your stocks, how long does it take for the funds to become available for trade again ? Is there problem with transferring money to and from your checking account and is it free ?
  johny_cash_money   2016/10/07 12:24    
optionhouse customer servise ..stinks rersonnel ,unprofessional, unknowlegeable.rude. pete.
  pete   2016/10/07 12:24    
The Optionshouse trading platform has been down for over 2 hours. Here is the only notification received from them this morning: 11/01/2013 09:17:26 System issues. All open orders have been canceled. We have identified the issue and will be back up shortly I would not recommend trading here. I will be closing my account, shortly. We pay to have our orders executed in a timely manner...if this happens once...it can happen again!!! Stay away from Optionshouse!!!
  Tom   2016/10/07 12:24    
I just refunded an old account and started trading Oct 2013 After 4 days I moved my account because the platform would not let me submit orders. It took 3-6 attempts before an order MAY get placed, and then I had the same problem trying to place a sell order. They have 1 function, to place orders and they couldn't handle it. That should tell you all you need to know. AVOID!
  Shawn   2016/10/07 12:24    
Options House recently upgraded their platfrom and their maxit has been down since last week and they are teeling its going to take another one week very bad ... beside lower commission very bad customer services but cheap commission is holding me there other wise I would never put money there
  Steve   2016/10/07 12:24    
Steve, YES, Totally Agree. VERY BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE. Very Combative. Especially this lady by the name of Leah. Wow. Wonder where she got her Training.
Steve   2016/10/07 12:24   


I agree, this person named Leah is very rude and confrontational. Optionshouse has the worst customer service. All of them does not have answers to customer issues either. I kept being bounced around from one person to another with no resolution.
Steve   2016/10/07 12:24   


Please SKIP this company and STICK with Scottstrade or Etrade. This company is a joke. Could not open my account even though They have Confirmed Receipt of the wire. Too much Delay and B.S.
  Juliana   2016/10/07 12:24    
Options House Pros No minimum requirement Low Commission No inactivity Fees Cons Pathetic to Deplorable Customer Service Lack of Level 2 Trading Too much paperwork to get started Backtrack on Commitments ACH transfer takes 2 days or more High Margin interest.
  kayennM   2016/10/07 12:24    
yeah the more I am with them the more I hate them. They lack so many things that other good brokerages provide.
kayennM   2016/10/07 12:24   


It has low commissions and there is a good reason for it, this brokerage is very basic. I do not understand these 5 star reviews. Other than low commissions there is not that much to recommend here. I didn't realize they charge extra commissions for stocks under 2 dollars, so one time I made a trade for MJNA that cost $0.32 and it cost me $180 extra in commissions. I had a chance to sell it same day to make about 20% profit, but shied away because of insane commissions and transferred position to Fidelity, but that stock has been going down since then and I am down more than 60%
  Paul   2016/10/07 12:24    
Does the .005 sub two dollar surcharge apply to the first 100 "comm free" trades?
  AdamMaxwell   2016/10/07 12:24    
Yes, it applies on all penny stocks trades.
AdamMaxwell   2016/10/07 12:24   


when account is funded will order be filled in real time or will there still be a 20 minute delay?
  Chuck   2016/10/07 12:24    
It is real time....20 min delay is for virtual account only
Chuck   2016/10/07 12:24   


20 min delay also for unfunded account. If it is funded, it is in real time.
Chuck   2016/10/07 12:24   


In a cash account, if one were to buy 1000 shares for $5,000 and sell the same 1000 shares for $5,100 on the same day should the broker withhold $10,100 until settlement date?
  jamesj99   2016/10/07 12:24    
I wanted to open an account with Option House, actually had all the paperwork in, and then I found out that because I operate out of a small corporation they were going to treat me as a professional trader. I am not. This is just a small business corporation where I had some extra money to trade. So they were going to charge me $100.00 per month for real time quotes, and when I contacted customer support about it they were pretty indifferent. So I closed the account before it even got going. Can't say what they would be like to deal with.
  JimmyDunn   2016/10/07 12:24    
How fast on average do orders get executed when you have a real account? I've been trying their virtual account and have had problems with orders not filling for a while.
  Ilya   2016/10/07 12:24    
I, personally, never had or heard of their orders being delayed. Virtual trading is just a game - you can't measure real speed of execution there.
Ilya   2016/10/07 12:24   


I completely understand that. It seems as long as they have good execution, they are the best deal in town. We just gotta hope they don't get acquired and up their rates now...
Ilya   2016/10/07 12:24   


They actually raised their rates in the beginning of the 2011 from $2.95 to $3.95. But unlike everyone else who did the same, they kept old rates for those who already had an account. Very classy move. I agree - the biggest danger to these great commissions is coming from somebody buying them out.
Ilya   2016/10/07 12:24   


If you only trade stocks, their speed is ok. Not the best in market but you can't beat the price. For options, it's another story, All I can say is stay away. You may be the last person who get your order filled.
Ilya   2016/10/07 12:24   


Visal I don't have big investment, so I am looking for cheap fee trading. I have account with Vanguard, TradeKing and Zecco. I was not happy with these three broker at all. Zecco is known to have trading platform glitched and malfunction. However I found OptionHouse, I am so happy with their easy and friendly trade plateform. Optionshouse customer also is very helpful and polite. If you are begginer and want cheap trade fee, then Optionhouse is the one by far.
  Visal   2016/10/07 12:24