Barriers and vanilla options

Choose your own leverage and risk. Trade on rising, falling and flat markets. Unlock new opportunities in our barriers and options account.

Start trading today. Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com. We’re here 24 hours a day, from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday.

Contact us: 0800 195 3100

Why trade options with us?

Find the right route to opportunity, with both barrier and vanilla options available

Tailor how much you pay to buy, with no risk that you’ll ever lose more

Discover opportunity in unlikely places, whether markets are rising, falling or flat

Trade vanillas on timeframes to suit you, with daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly markets

Deal on an easy-to-use platform, with a clear interface developed specifically for options trading

Get peace of mind from our FTSE 250 status, 45+ years’ experience and world-leading status

What are options?

Options are a type of financial derivative. You can use them to take advantage of opportunities in the financial markets – whether those markets are rising, falling, or in some cases not moving at all.

Trading options with us

You can trade two types of option with us – barriers and vanilla options – on a range of forex pairs, indices, shares and commodities. There are some key differences between the two.

What are barriers?

Our barriers, or barrier options, move one-for-one with the underlying market price – easier to follow than vanilla options.1 They automatically close – or get ‘knocked out’ – if that price reaches a ‘knock-out level’ that you choose, so you control your maximum risk.

What are vanilla options?

Vanilla options are contracts that give you the right to buy or sell an asset at a certain price on a certain date. Their price is complex, affected by the underlying price, volatility, time until expiry and more. If you’re an experienced trader looking for opportunity in unique places, vanillas could be for you.

How do I trade barrier options?

  1. Learn how barrier options work
  2. Develop a trading plan
  3. Open and fund an account
  4. Find an opportunity
  5. Place your first trade

How do I trade vanilla options?

  1. Find out what moves vanilla option prices
  2. Learn the difference between buying and selling
  3. Choose a trading strategy
  4. Create and fund an account
  5. Open your first position

The benefits of trading options

Benefits of barriers

Flexible leverage

Take a large position for a comparatively small payment – with greater control than other derivatives.

Limited risk

The price you pay to open a position – the ‘premium’, multiplied by your trade size – is your total risk.

Simple pricing

The barrier price moves one-for-one with IG’s underlying price.1

Benefits of vanilla options

Flexible leverage

Choose your strike, expiry and premium to take control of leverage when buying.

More opportunities

Trade a broader range of conditions than other derivatives – even when markets are flat.

Choose your risk

Buying options is always limited-risk. Selling, while it offers unique opportunities, is not.

Start trading in minutes

Start trading in minutes

Fast execution on a huge range of markets

Enjoy flexible access to more than 17,000 global markets, with reliable execution

Deal seamlessly, wherever you are

Trade on the move with our natively designed, award-winning trading app

Feel secure with a trusted provider

With 45 years of experience, we’re proud to offer a truly market-leading service

Start trading in minutes

Start trading in minutes

Fast execution on a huge range of markets

Enjoy flexible access to more than 17,000 global markets, with reliable execution

Deal seamlessly, wherever you are

Trade on the move with our natively designed, award-winning trading app

Feel secure with a trusted provider

With 45 years of experience, we’re proud to offer a truly market-leading service

Start trading now

Log in to your account now to access today’s opportunity in a huge range of markets.

Start trading now

Log in to your account now to access today’s opportunity in a huge range of markets.

Markets to trade

Discover opportunity in the world’s most-traded financial market.

Take your position on the performance of economies, industry sectors and more.

Back your opinion on gold, silver, oil and more – for a fraction of the cost of ownership.

The risks

Fast losses

Your capital is at risk, and losses may be extremely rapid.

Selling risk is not limited

Selling vanilla options is not limited risk (though retail traders benefit from no-negative protection)

Complex pricing

Vanilla options pricing is complicated and doesn’t always move one-for-one with the underlying.

How much does trading options cost?

Opening an IG account is free, and you don’t have to fund or trade until you’re ready. You can also trade in smaller sizes for your first month, while you get used to how things work. Find a breakdown of the types of costs you’ll incur for options trading below.

  • Barrier options
  • Vanilla options

Your total risk on a barrier position is the premium – the price you pay to buy an option – multiplied by your trade size. You’ll pay this in full when you open your position, so you won’t need to worry about risking any more on your trade.

Here’s a full breakdown of the costs and charges you’ll pay to trade barriers with us:

  1. An option premium, incorporating the dealing spread – the difference between the bid and ask price – and the knock-out premium, the price for your knock-out level being guaranteed. You’ll only pay this part if your knock-out level is hit
  2. A commission per lot, charged at open and close
  3. A funding charge if you hold your position overnight
Market Number of individual markets Minimum spread Commission1 Max risk
Forex 14 0.6 0.1 100% of premium
Indices 11 0.4 0.1 100% of premium
Commodities 4 0.3 0.1 100% of premium

1 Units of contract currency

Here’s what you’ll pay to trade vanilla options with us:

  1. An option premium, incorporating the dealing spread – the difference between the bid and ask price. When you sell vanilla options, you receive this premium, rather than pay it
  2. A commission per lot, charged at open and close

Some things to remember:

  • When selling a vanilla option, the premium is credited to your cash balance upfront, and you’ll pay a commission per lot
  • You may need to pay variation margin if the underlying market moves against you
Market Number of individual markets Minimum spread Commission1 Max risk buying Max risk selling
Forex 50 0.6 0.1 100% of premium To be defined by trade
Indices 40 0.4 0.1 100% of premium To be defined by trade
Commodities 11 0.3 0.1 100% of premium To be defined by trade

1 Units of contract currency

Options trading platform

Web platform

Seize your opportunity on a cutting-edge interface, with our easy-to-use web platform.

Mobile apps

Take a position from any position, with trading apps developed specifically for your device.

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1This is not the case when the knock-out premium changes. If the knock-out premium changes, the price of the barrier will move by the amount the premium changes.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Options are complex financial instruments and your capital is at risk. Losses may be extremely rapid.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.