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Options trading

Discover the different types of option you can access with IG, by opening an options trading account. Trade our innovative barrier options to take greater control over your risk. Or use our more traditional vanilla options to hedge your portfolio, take a position in quiet markets, and more.

Why trade options with IG?

Find the right product to suit your objectives, with both barrier and vanilla options available

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

Find leverage that works for you, with increased control over your risk

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

Discover opportunity whether markets are rising, falling or flat

Get peace of mind from our FTSE 250 listing, 40+ years’ experience and world-leading status

What are options?

Options are contracts that give you the right – but not the obligation – to buy or sell an underlying asset at a certain expiry date. They are a type of financial derivative that allow you to speculate on the future price of a financial market.

What types of options can I trade with IG?

You can trade two types of options with IG – barrier options and vanilla options. Both are available to trade on a range of forex pairs, indices and commodities, and both allow you to take a position whether a market is headed up or down in price. However, there are also key differences between the two and how they behave.

What are barrier options?

Barrier options are bought options that move one-for-one with the underlying market price. They automatically close – or get ‘knocked out’ – if that price reaches your chosen knock-out level.

What are vanilla options?

Vanilla options are options as described above – contracts that give you the right to buy or sell an asset at a certain price by a certain date. Their price is more complex than that of barriers, affected by a range of different factors.

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

What are the benefits of trading options?

Benefits of barrier options

  • Increased flexibility

    Take greater control of your leverage by choosing your knock-out level and trade size.

  • Simple pricing

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

  • Limited risk

    Your option premium is equal to your total risk.

Benefits of vanilla options

  • Increased flexibility

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

  • Increased opportunity

    Trade a broader range of market conditions, even when markets are flat.

  • Choose your risk

    Buying options is inherently limited-risk (though selling is not).

Open an options trading account in minutes

Fill out a simple online form

We’ll ask a few questions about your trading experience

Instant ID verification

We can usually verify your ID immediately

Fund and trade

Or get used to our platform in a risk-free demo account

What markets can I trade with an options account?

  • Forex

    Trade barrier and vanilla options on key currency pairs.

  • Indices

    Take a position on the movement of global stock indices.

  • Commodities

    Discover opportunity on popular metals, energies and more.

What are the risks of trading options?

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 all retail accounts benefits from no-negative protection)

Complex pricing

Vanilla options pricing is complicated and does not always move one-for-one with the underlying.

How much does options trading cost?

Opening an options account with IG is free, and there’s no obligation to fund or trade. You can also trade in smaller sizes for your first month trading options with us, 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

When trading barriers, your total risk is the option premium multiplied by your trade size, and we take the full value at the opening of the position.

You’ll pay the following charges when you trade barrier options with IG:

  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, but only if your knock-out level is hit
  2. A commission per lot
  3. A funding charge should 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

Vanilla options

You’re subject to the following charges when you trade vanilla options with IG:

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

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
  • Variation margin may be required if the underlying market moves against you before expiry
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

Options trading platform

Web platform

Trade barrier and vanilla options on a cutting-edge interface, with our easy-to-use web platform.

Mobile apps

You can also trade barrier and vanilla options on the move, with trading apps developed specifically for your device.

1 This is not the case when the knock-out premium changes. If the knock-out premium changes, the price of the knock-out 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.