OptionsHouse Review w. 500+ User Reviews

by David Ning · 508 comments

OptionsHouse, OptionsThis and OptionsThat. So many options brokerage houses which means confusing choices for us all. Other than having OptionsHouse promotion codes (see below for them), how does this broker get you to remember them? How about $4.75 per stock trade to start?

For a limited time, OptionsHouse is offering new customers 150 free commission trades in the first 90 days after you fund your account with a minimum of $5,000. Even if they were all stock trades at $4.75, it’s still $475 for free. This is only available through the special link below so don’t use another other one on the page:

Click Here to Sign up for an OptionsHouse Account and type in the promotion code FREE150 to be eligible.

There are also other Optionshouse Promotions below, so check it out after you read the review.

Fees Come First

That’s not a typo. Over at OptionsHouse, stock trades are just $4.75 no matter what. When a company can make money with rates like this, it really makes you wonder how much money other premium stock brokers are making off of us. Recently, OptionsHouse updated its options commission structure to give you two options. Either $8.50 + $0.15 per contract or just $5 for 5 contracts. If you are one of those people who just want to buy yourself some protection, you are very happy with this change.

Other Fees?

Here’s some of the other fees of the options broker.
optionshouse rate and fees
Exactly what I like to see. No maintenance fees, no minimum trade requirements, and if I ever want help, broker-assisted trades are still just $4.75.

OptionsHouse Interface

optionshouse screen
Upon looking into the account, I found that the interface is very much like the professional trading platforms of the higher end brokers for professional traders. Within the main screen, you can see an account summary, quote look up, order statuses, positions, and detailed information on particular securities.

Webinars and Seminars

I’ve begun to really love the education that these brokers provide and OptionsHouse is no exception. It’s obvious that the company’s expertise is in options trading because all the webinars are concentrated in that area but I expect it to expand to stock trading and other subjects in the future.

Don’t Underestimate Them

While many of you may not have heard about this brokerage firm, they seem to have their act together. In fact, Barron’s Online Broker Survey ranked them highly in trade experience, beating out the likes of thinkorswim, optionsXpress, E*Trade and Charles Schwab.

Conclusion

optionshouse transfer feesOptionsHouse really gets my blood flowing because of its extremely low trading fees. Is it SIPC insured? Check. Is there good word out there? Another check. Changing brokers is really a hassle though, but like others, they are willing to reimburse me for up to $100, which is enough to move from pretty much any institution. Hmm… decisions decisions decisions. As for you, there’s really no right answer, but I’d say that $3.95 stock trades is reason enough for you to at least give it a test run.

Click Here to Sign Up for an OptionsHouse Account

OptionsHouse Promotion Code

Here are the current promotions for this broker. When you sign up, type in the promo codes as shown below.

Resources:

Who is OptionsHouse Anyway?

To be honest, one of the first reaction I had when someone told me about OptionsHouse was: “Who?” I then went to do a little research and here’s what I found out:

OptionsHouse is really OptionsHouse, LLC and is owned by PEAK6 Investments, L.P. The company’s headquarters is in Chicago, the home of the Chicago Board of Trade. The parent company have been in the options and derivative trading business for years, and is actually one of Chicago’s 101 best and brightest companies to work for.

Before you take the plunge though, make sure you read up on the issues other people are having before you sign up with them. A few love OptionsHouse, while other reviewers don’t. Take your whole test drive to get a realistic feel for how the broker will work for you, but take note of your peer’s experiences first.

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{ 508 comments… read them below or add one }

Saleem February 12, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Hi,

I have read a lot of this thread because I was looking for cheaper trading rates. Currently I am with OptionsXpress and have been with them for several years. OptionsXpress charge me $6.95 per trade, but I know Options House charge $4.75 per trade, but reading the thread I think I will stick with OptionsXpress to avoid any problems. At least with OptionsXpress I have never had any problems with regard to customer service, their platform is very user friendly, research and education is very good, trade execution is fast. Overall I have been very happy with them. I managed to get the trading rate down from around $15 per trade to the new value of $6.95, becuase I am an active trader. This is the minimum they will go down to. So, if anyone is looking to change brokers then its worth taking a look at OptionsXpress. I hope OptionsXpress looks at this positive comment from me, and maybe they will reduce my rate down further LOL :)

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Parminder Kalra February 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Frankly, I dont like Optionhouse for stock trading. Yesterday, I ordered stocks for ONTX at 8.28 but they did not fill up my order and did not give me the reason or any email notification for cancelling my order. Today I had to buy ONTX stocks at 8.96 instead of 8.28.

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James February 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

Assuming you put your order in correctly, check the 1 minute chart. Watching a lvel2 screen also can help you adjust your order price. Bet it gapped past you or was moving fast. It happens.

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Molly February 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Did you have your order as a limit order? What time did you put your order in? It’s not going to fill if it’s above that price and you have a limit order.

I trade stocks regularly with OH and found when my order doesn’t execute the way I want, it’s really because of something I did incorrectly. OH is able to pull up when you put your order in and what you did exactly, so you can call them up and they will review with you what happened, if it was truly an error on their part or your part and what can be done to avoid those errors.

100% of the time it was something on my end that I did incorrectly, which is like 2-3x in the past year total. I’ve never had a problem with getting filled whether it be a regular equity with good volume or even on over the counter stocks, when I do these.

I’m guessing your order wasn’t “canceled” per se, except when you put your order in, you probably put it in to be for the “Day” and once the “Day” is over, since your order wasn’t filled, it automatically cancels. You do not get notifications for this, rather you do get notifications if your order is filled. They may have a setting that you can set in your account that you can have cancels or orders that weren’t filled sent to your email, but I think you would have to set that yourself, if that option is available. I don’t know if you can do that or not.

I have found repeatedly when the conditions for my order is met, then my trade is automatically executed without fail. I’ve not had any issues, but I am careful about how my orders are placed, as I do some advanced ordering sequences. You should call OH and have them go over that trade with you.

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ronny February 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm

How do I view the level 2 screen in optionshouse? I have a margin account and I am trying to learn trading shares.

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James February 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

OH doesn’t have a Level II screen as it’s not needed for option trading. In my opinion OH is for experienced traders who want to trade options and don’t need hand holding and education. If you are looking to trade stocks I suggest you use a different broker and pay the little extra commission and get all the extra features.

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Kevin March 1, 2014 at 10:58 am

Optionshouse used to be great for ultra cheap rates. Their new rates aren’t that cheap and their margin department is awful. For example, I bought a stock on margin and two days later they issued a margin call despite the fact that the stock was up from where I bought it. I was at greater than 50% equity but still got a margin call. It turns out they changed the margin requirement to 100% on that stock. I called the margin department and they did not help me any. I feel like they moved the goal post on me for allowing me to buy on margin one day and then two days later changing the margin requirements to 100%. This makes no sense and is bad for traders. Since they elevated their rates, the inconvenience of their margin department policies are not worth the hassle. I would rather pay a few more dollars per commission and work with a decent common sense margin department. I am closing my account and moving to another brokerage. Also, their after hours trading is horrible. They only allow after hours trades for on hour instead of the whole after hours session. Avoid the hassle of Optionshouse.

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wachcy smack March 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Don’t bother with them. I spent two days trying to wire money to them and kept getting hit with fees when it got bounced back. My bank called them to clarify issues of why the wire wasn’t going thru and was on hold for 32 minutes before someone picked up. The optionhouse person couldn’t hear very well and just hung up. We tried again.. but then I said forget it and walked out of the bank. I will swallow the fees of the bad wires..

IF I can’t get my money in there.. how will I Ever get it out!! And how rude not to call my bank back after hanging up..

DO NOT WASTE UR TIME OR YOUR LIFE. I OPENED a Fidelity account in 5 minutes that afternoon and they forwarded me the 20K without a wire.

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James March 9, 2014 at 4:44 pm

If you bothered to read the instructions on the website you would have found that they take several days to process a wire. Much longer than you would expect. I believe an ACH wire transfer takes 7-10 days. They are playing the float.

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steve fisher March 14, 2014 at 10:46 am

hi
I have been with Options house for some time now I must tell you that their platform is messed up statrs with and ACAT and when you sign up with DRIP ..things go wrong and cost basis get messed upo big time.

I have seen in almost two decades that you pay more commission but it is worth it

Option house platform sucks big time and customer service is full of shot no body whats going on with them …

I will certainly not advice any one to open account with Options house

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Peter March 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Are you sober. From your message I don’t think you have ever traded.

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Lets be Frank September 11, 2014 at 5:56 am

A possible representative (which is likely the case attacking communication skill) has given me a prospective on whether I should open an account. Instead of attacking communication skill give the guy a contact for customer service. I will stay at Scottrade for now. But if they take much longer merging the regular broker with their options broker I will be moving on.

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Leo March 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Hi,

Can people from China also open an account to trade stock and options? If yes, what are needed to apply for an account?

Thanks,

-Leo

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Jason April 22, 2014 at 8:12 pm

If i was you i will not use broker such as optionsHouse, just because they suck, you can try etrade. I can type chinese if you need more help.

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William April 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

DONT BOTHER WITH THEM! THEY ARE DOING SOME UNDERHANDED STUFF THAT WILL LEAD TO THE FAILURE OF THEIR BUSINESS!
I mailed a $1000 check to the BMO Harris Bank address that was intended to add funds to my new optionsHouse account. Instead, that address was intended for wiring (it was the wrong address). After much digging, calling, and talking to my bank: We found that there is a specific page on the Optionshouse website that says that if you make this mistake, there is a $30 nonrefundeable fee to get the money transferred to my OptionsHouse account. The check was cleared and cashed by BMO Harris Bank 2 months ago on February 2014. My latest contact with optionsHouse said that they have yet to find anything and will keep their eyes peeled for anything in the future. This seemed like they were under the impression the check was still being mailed or processed. I called in telling them that this check was cashed 2 months ago and they said they would look into it. My contact BMO Harris Bank over the phone has mainly been responded with directions to contact optionsHouse to sort the issue and previous earlier contact with optionsHouse has been the same way in that they tell me to talk to BMO Harris Bank. Any attempt to look into it from either organization ends in “Sorry, we can’t find anything. Try contacting the other party. They may have more info”. The check had the recipient “Optionshouse” so only they could cash it. My banker said something similar has happened many times and he never had so many problems. He recommended to not associate with them again as they are doing something underhanded. All possibly information on the check was provided and “nothing was found”
Minus $1000. The money is gone.

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Cindy August 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I totally agree with your first sentence with all CAPITAL. OPTIONS HOUSE SUCKS BIG TIME. It was a very, very bad experience for me to open an account with them. I am keeping mine with TD Ameritrade from now on.

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Peter April 13, 2014 at 11:05 am

I had this happen to me as well. The process is a little confusing. If I recall correctly the account numbers I used to send money to BMO were not correct and my money was just sitting at BMO with no way to direct it properly until I gave them the correct account number. Call them again and ask about the account number you gave and I bet you get a resolution. The instructions OH gives on how to send money is a confusing and OH customer service people are very limited in their knowledge and were no help to me. All I remember is it was the account numbers were messed up in my case.

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J. Patrick April 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Summary rule changes, without bothering to give customers advance notice, seems to be normal behavior for this company…utterly disrespectful to paying customers. I have a small cash account which I use to test trading ideas in real live trading. The account minimums were raised without any warning whatsoever. I reached a rep to inquire why trades I had been placing were no longer going through, the attitude was -”Yeah, the rules are different now, deal with it”. I have not had any other problems with them, but from reading this blog, I’m practically decided on moving my account. I may just been lucky till now.

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Cody April 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Are ACH transfers free at OH? Also do you need a minimum account amount?

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V G April 30, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I received the following email from OptionsHouse today. This is their response to several of my complaints to them about the poor service of the account. My last complaint was about my inquiry about transferring the account out of OptionsHouse (they could not handle my needs anyway), in which I asked them if there are any charges for PARTIAL transfers out and received a response that “Our clearing firm can reject the partial account transfer if the assets are a significant portion of the account and you are trying to avoid the $50 outgoing account transfer fee.”. I have more complaints about them, but I understand that I am a demanding customer and that an average client may not find my concerns to be a big deal. Anyway, here is what you should expect if you complain a lot about 1) Incorrect Cost Basis after transferring the account TO OptionsHouse from another brokerage firm, 2) inadequate security related to electronic communication causing sensitive information is being sent via unencrypted email, 3) OH’s non responding to letters sent via USPS first class mail, 4) OH’s unwillingness to service customers who have difficulties communicating via phone.

On 4/30/2014 11:10 AM, OH – Account Management wrote:
>
> Dear ———- ————–,
>
>
>
> After a review of your account and associated correspondence, OptionsHouse has determined that we will be unable to service your accounts going forward. Please make arrangements to transfer your account out of OptionsHouse within thirty (30) calendar days. Failure to transfer your account in 30 days may result in the account balance being disbursed via check to the address on file.
>
>
>
> There are a few different ways to transfer assets out of your OptionsHouse account:
>
> Full Account Transfer to another Brokerage Firm – known as an ACAT transfer
> This allows you to transfer your account and positions to another brokerage firm
> To do this, you will need to open an account at the brokerage firm of your choice and complete the appropriate account transfer document provided by the new brokerage firm.
> Wire Transfer
> You may wire settled cash out of your OptionsHouse account.
> This may be requested in the OptionsHouse Trading Platform à Manage Accounts à Transfer Funds à select wire transfer.
> Make sure to have the routing number and account number available for the account you are wiring funds to
> Check Request
> You may request a check (in the amount of your settled cash) be mailed to you
> This may be done in the OptionsHouse Trading Platform à Manage Accounts à Transfer Funds à Select Check Request
> ACH
> You may request the settled cash in your account be transferred via ACH
> This may be requested in the OptionsHouse Trading Platform à Manage Accounts à Transfer Funds à select Outgoing ACH
>
>
>
> Please call OptionsHouse Customer Service at 877-653-2500 with any questions.
>
>
>
> Account Management
>
> cid:image001.png@01CBD40B.B4138CE0
>
> 141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 800
>
> Chicago, IL 60604
>
> 877-653-2500
>
> http://www.optionshouse.com
>
>
>
> Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. In addition, electronic trading poses unique risk to investors. System response and access times may vary due to market conditions, system performance and other factors. OptionsHouse provides neither investment nor tax advice. Refer to Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options | Risk Statements and Disclosures | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions, copies of which can also be obtained by contacting our Customer Service Department at customerservice@optionshouse.com.
> © 2006-14 OptionsHouse, LLC All rights reserved. Member of FINRA, SIPC. kl
>
>
> See http://www.peak6.com/email_disclaimer/ for terms and conditions related to this email

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Sally May 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm

It’s amazing how many people never bother to read the information provided on how they do business and then complain because they don’t get their own way. Pathetic. But they do have weak customer service.

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David May 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm

OptionsHouse may have special weapons to protect your account and others don’t. But I doubt it.
Compared to TDAmeriTrade, ActiveBrokers, SogoTrade and all the big bank online login process. You have been protected by another layer of security checking such as image which is harder to be break than just password.
The OptionsHouse account will keep open even after you click logout button (using fireFox browser). You can try this: open you account with FireFox, click logout button you are out. Then click go back button or type Alt key + left arrow key, all your secret are exposed.
I like OptionsHouse especially their old version even with the security concern. I wish OptionsHouse will read this and improve their security.

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Anonymous August 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Their application process is flawed. If uploading a scanned file, it must be less than 10MB which is not possible if all contract documents are submitted per their instructions. The promotion code is not readily available, but when found links to a a different application process screen advertizing 150 free trades. The location of this company is Chicago, which speaks volumes.

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James E. Haslip, Jr. September 3, 2014 at 10:27 am

Do not use OptionsHouse. I sent them a check which did not get there for over a week. I stopped payment on it after such a long time and then closed my account without ever funding. Now I am constantly receiving margin call notices for an account which was never funded. I have never used margins. Of course, I can not get into the closed account to find out what they are calling me on. It has been over a week since the margin call started. Who knows when the harassment will end?

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