Binary Options Brokers
Binary options brokers offer a straightforward instrument to speculate on the direction of major financial markets, including forex and stocks. But with multiple binary options trading platforms and a range of top products and tools, it can be hard to know where to start. In our guide to finding the best binary options brokers in 2021, we’ve listed the different factors to consider, from scams and platform rankings to bonuses and demo accounts.
Binary Options Brokers
What is a Binary Options Broker?
A binary options broker, also known as a binary options trading platform, giver traders access to a very simple financial product that can only result in two different outcomes – either a big win (up to 100%) or a total loss of the invested amount. As the name suggests (a “binary value” can either only be 1 or 0), they offer a simple yes or no proposition – will an underlying asset, such as a stock, be above or below a certain price at a specific point in the future?
They are also known as ‘all or nothing trades’, with investors knowing exactly how much they stand to win or lose before taking a position. It’s this transparency coupled with their simplicity that’s made them a popular financial instrument in recent years. For more information on how to best trade these instruments, see our guide to trading binary options.
Most digital binary options brokers offer access to major markets, from forex and gold to stocks and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Platforms may offer slightly different payout systems and tools, from MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) to bespoke software, but we’ll cover that in more detail later on. We also explain how to find the best providers with the lowest minimum deposits.
Benefits Of Binary Options Brokers
Binary options brokers can be found everywhere from the United States (USA) and Canada to Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Nigeria and the Philippines. We’ve listed the key advantages of opening an account with the best platforms:
- Control – The risk with binary options is fixed and known before you make the trade. As a result, investors arguably have greater visibility over wins and losses.
- Simplicity – Given that you typically only need to decide whether the price will rise or fall, binary options are relatively easy to understand. This has made them popular with beginners looking for the highest payouts.
- Accessibility – Many binary options platforms operate 24/7, with the best brokers regulated by major agencies such as the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySEC). This helps make them accessible to traders worldwide.
- Choice – The top 100 binary options brokers in South Africa, India and beyond, facilitate access to a wide range of financial markets, including digital currencies, stock indices and commodities.
- Bonuses – Some binary options brokers offer enticing promotions with free capital in return for just a $10 minimum deposit. Some platforms also offer no deposit bonuses, though it’s important to check terms and conditions before taking part.
Choosing A Binary Options Broker
When doing a comparison of the best binary options brokers, there are several factors to take into account. We’ve listed the most important considerations below.
There are several types of binary options products. An Up/Down option, as the name suggests, is about deciding whether the price will rise or fall by a set date? In/Out, otherwise known as a range option, is where you decide whether the price will finish within a set boundary. Touch/No Touch options let you speculate as to whether the underlying price will hit a set high or low point. Staggered ladder options are also a popular product. It’s important to check which assets are offered and perhaps a platform that offers multiple is a good way to find an instrument that suits your trading style.
Another consideration is expiry times. Expiries typically range from 30 seconds or 1 minute up to one day, a month or even a year. For active day traders, binary options with short expiries may be favoured.
Binary options brokers typically take a cut of any winnings and/or add a mark up in their initial pricing. For active traders, commissions and fees can quickly add up. As a result, it’s important to look for platforms with a transparent pricing structure that detail the costs before you take a position. It’s also worth bearing in mind that different asset classes pay out varying amounts.
A demo account could be a useful way to test the broker’s services, including getting to grips with any charges. The best platforms offer a free paper trading account with a straightforward sign up process and secure logins.
Binary options brokers using MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 are popular. These industry-favourite platforms offer a suite of convenient tools for conducting technical and fundamental analysis. For active forex traders, in particular, a binary options broker with the MetaTrader terminals will offer a convenient interface without a learning curve.
Some leading providers also offer a string of market analysis tools, from economic calendars to sophisticated pattern recognition technology for technical traders.
Some of the best binary options brokers in Canada and beyond also offer free mobile apps available on iOS and Android devices. These slick applications let you deposit, withdraw and take positions in a few clicks.
The top binary options brokers offer a selection of easy-access payment solutions, including PayPal, bank transfer, debit/credit cards, plus cryptos like Bitcoin. This makes depositing funds and withdrawing winnings fast and hassle-free. It’s also worth checking for any minimum deposit requirements.
For beginners, there are platforms with no minimum deposit or a low minimum deposit.
Binary options brokers vary considerably depending on where you’re based, and so too do the regulatory requirements. In the UK, for example, it’s worth checking whether the broker is regulated by the Gambling Commission or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Across the European Union, binary options are only permitted for professional investors. In the US, there are only a few trusted binary options brokers, including Nadex.
If you’re a resident of Australia, binary options are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC). For the rest of the world, including Kenya, South Africa, India, Canada and New Zealand, digital binary options are permitted but requirements vary between local regulators.
Note, Islamic traders may want to consult their local religious leader to check whether a broker is halal.
Whilst binary options are legitimate, the market has been plagued with ‘cowboy’ brokers promising fast cash. The industry has clamped down on unscrupulous providers but we’d still recommend caution if you come across ‘instant money’ offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Use our list of the best binary options brokers to find a genuine platform.
Reviews of Binary Options Brokers
Use this table with reviews of the top binary options brokers to compare all the platforms we have analysed. Note that some of these brokers may not accept new accounts from your country. If we can determine that a broker would not accept your location, it is marked in grey.
|Alpari||Yes||From $/£/€ 5||Yes||Yes|
|Expert Option||Yes||10 $/€||No||Yes|
|Larson & Holz||Yes||$250||No||Yes|
Final Word On Binary Options Brokers
The top binary options brokers offer low minimum deposits and high pay-outs. There is a long list of binary options trading platforms using the popular MT4 and MT5 softwares and that are accepting PayPal funding, among others. However, due to the risk of scams and hacks, it’s important to select a trusted provider, meaning a platform preferably regulated in your local jurisdiction. See our list of the best binary options brokers in 2021.
Are Binary Options Legal?
In the UK, binary options are legal and regulated. In the US, they are permitted and available at platforms like Nadex. In the EU, binary options have been withdrawn for retail investors. They are still available to professional traders but users will need to meet eligibility requirements that vary between providers.
What Are The Top 5 Binary Options Brokers?
This will depend on where you live. See our list of the best binary options brokers to get started, including for those outside the EU, such as US residents. Always check a platform is trusted, offers the deposit options you want, such as accepting Bitcoin or PayPal. Also check they offer the products you’re interested in, such as one-minute and one-touch digital options with 30 or 60 seconds timeframes. Note, eToro and ETX Capital do not offer binary options.
Can I Trade Binary Options At The Weekend?
Yes, many binary options brokers with rollovers are open on the weekends, offering access to markets like cryptos. You can check opening hours with the customer support team before opening an account.
Which Binary Options Brokers Are Regulated?
Binary options brokers accepting USA clients should ideally be regulated by a reputable local body like the CFTC. A list of the best binary options brokers in South Africa, Nigeria or Australia may not be licensed in your jurisdiction. As a result, it’s important to check the database of your local regulator. See our list of the top regulated binary options brokers that use MT4 and MT5, among others. You can also check out our detailed reviews for platforms with user-friendly ratings and low minimum deposits.
How Does Binary Options Brokers Make Money?
Binary options brokers may money in several ways. They typically add a mark-up when pricing options against the market rate. A percentage of the pay-out is also retained by the broker as a commission. Finally, brokers can make money when clients place a losing trade.
How Do Binary Options Brokers Generate Payouts For Clients?
Binary options brokers carefully price their products so they can afford to pay out winnings while making enough from losing trades to turn a profit. Some providers pay-out up to 100% per trade. Most trading platforms are transparent about how they construct payouts on their website.