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Can you trade Futures on Robinhood? Alternatives in 2024

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Fact checked by
Franklin Silva
Updated
May 17, 2024

Robinhood is a modern and user-friendly investment app from the US, founded in 2013. It has introduced the concept of commission-free trading in financial products such as stocks and ETFs, competing with its major rivals like Webull, E*TRADE, and TD Ameritrade.

Its 10+ million monthly active users can choose between investing in stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, all without trading fees. One drawback of Robinhood is the limited availability of investment options compared to its competitors, E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade.

Want to know if you can trade futures in Robinhood? Wondering about alternative investment platforms to invest in futures? We’ve got you covered!

Can you trade Futures on Robinhood?

Unfortunately, you are not able to trade futures on Robinhood! As of this writing, Robinhood doesn’t offer futures trading.

Despite the current unavailability, the platform actively assesses user demand and market trends to enhance its offerings. Future inclusion of futures trading is plausible as Robinhood evolves and expands its services. 

Robinhood has a restricted product range, featuring only stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, primarily focusing on US markets.

Investment Option Availability
Futures
Stocks
ETFs
Options
Crypto
Forex
Funds
Bonds
CFDs

Best Robinhood alternatives for investing in Futures

Interactive Brokers | Best futures broker overall

Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products, including futures contracts. For monthly volumes lower than 1,000, it charges $0.85 per future contract in the US. The price may drop to $0.10 when considering E-micro Futures.

Saxo Markets | Best for experienced non-US investors (not available in the US)

Saxo Bank offers diverse trading instruments, providing traders access to over 300 futures from 28 global exchanges, including equity indices, energy, metals, agriculture, rates, and Forex. They offer competitive fees for futures trading, ranging from $1 to $3 per contract, depending on your account.

TD Ameritrade | Best broker for low future fees

TD Ameritrade is one of the leading U.S. Some major advantages are commission-free stock, ETF, and options trading, alongside a wide offering of different financial products, including futures contracts. They offer a flat fee rate of $2.25 per contract for future trading, which may be higher than some competitors.

E*TRADE | Best for beginners

E*TRADE is a well-known US broker, considered both reputable and beginner-friendly. They offer a wide range of financial products, including +200 futures contracts. These encompass contracts on agricultural products, energy, precious and industrial metals, equities, currencies, and interest rates. E*TRADE provides a highly competitive flat-rate fee for futures contracts at $1.5 per contract, with the exception of crypto contracts, which incur a fee of $2.5 per contract.

Broker Minimum deposit Supported Products Available in the US? Futures Trading fees
Interactive Brokers $0 Futures, Stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, currencies, options, warrants Yes From $0.25 to $0.85 for US contracts (depending on the volume).Up to $0.25 for Micro contracts, and max of $5 for crypto futures contracts
Saxo Markets $2,000 (can vary by country) Futures, Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, bonds, options, forex, CFDs, crypto No Ranges between $1 and $3 per contract
TD Ameritrade $50 (electronic transfers); no account minimum Futures, Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, fixed income (including bonds), forex Yes $2.25 per contract
E*TRADE $0 Futures, Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, mutual funds, managed portfolios Yes $1.5 per contract, except for cryptocurrency futures, which cost $2.5 per contract

What Makes a Good Broker for Futures Trading?

When choosing a futures broker, it’s important to consider several factors that can impact a trader’s success. These include:

  • Low trading fees: To enhance your profitability in futures trading, choosing a broker with competitive trading fees is crucial. You’ll want to look for a broker that offers low spreads and minimal or no commissions. In addition, consider choosing a broker with low account minimums if you want to start with a small amount.
  • Reliable platform: The trading platform is your primary tool and should have all the necessary features for effective trading. The platform should be user-friendly, fast, and reliable. It’s also helpful if the platform includes market news and real-time data feeds, which can give you valuable insights into the market. Additionally, risk management tools such as stop-loss orders and trailing stops can help protect your trades and minimise your risk.
  • Excellent customer support: A futures broker’s customer support is essential, particularly for new traders. Fast response times and helpful support staff should be available via phone, email, or live chat to ensure you can get the help you need when needed.
  • Regulatory compliance: To ensure the safety of your funds, it’s important to choose a futures broker that is regulated by the relevant regulatory bodies in the country where they operate. For example, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) in the United States, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) in Canada, or any other reputable global regulatory bodies.

The bottom line

Futures stand out as a favoured asset, particularly among seasoned investors. In the current market landscape, their popularity is on the rise, driven by the alluring potential for speculative investments in stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, precious metals, and cryptocurrencies.

However, not all brokers (including Robinhood) offer access to futures. In this article, we have highlighted some of the best alternatives in our opinion. Each platform has pros and cons, so it is important to choose wisely the one that best suits our needs.

Hopefully, we have helped you with your choice. Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments below!

FAQs

What is Robinhood?

Robinhood Markets, Inc. is a well-known fintech firm that provides an online discount brokerage platform. It was launched in 2013, focusing on democratising access to financial markets, which has largely contributed to the company’s rapid growth and influence in the investment industry.

Robinhood has become well-known for introducing trading with its commission-free model and easy-to-use app. The platform’s sleek design attracts both beginners and retail investors, making it a standout choice in the financial market.

Does Robinhood work Internationally?

No, Robinhood doesn’t work internationally. To use Robinhood, you must be a US citizen, a permanent resident, and have a valid US visa. You can find Robinhood alternatives for international users here.

Can you access Robinhood outside the US with a VPN?

No, outside US investors cannot use a VPN to open a Robinhood account. Upon account opening, Robinhood requires specific documentation to prove you are a US citizen. However, if you are a US citizen with a Robinhood account and outside the US, you can still access your account (exceptions may apply).

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About the author
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Ricardo Fernandes
Fintech Analyst

Ricardo Fernandes is broker analyst. He has a passion for finance and business and is the CEO of Minho Investment Association, a junior initiative from Portugal.

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