Binary Options Brokers – Reviews and Guidelines

Binary option trading lets you generate potentially significant profits from the comfort of your home. The way it works is quite simple. You sign up with a binary options broker (for a list of our recommended binary options brokers, see below) and deposit money. Then, you place trades. If you win a trade, you make around 80% of what you invested. If you lose a trade, you lose your investment amount.

Unlike Forex, in binary options you can never lose more than your investment. Today many signal services are available to allow even complete beginners to trade profitably.

Unfortunately, there are two main dangers in the world of binary options. The first danger involves scam brokers, secondly, there are fraudulent signal services.

  1. Scam binary brokers operate in various ways, such as stealing money, denying withdrawals and manipulating trading data to cause losses.
  2. Fraudulent signal services simply provide bad signals.

If you’re reading this page, you are lucky: I will provide an outline of the safest way to go about binary options trading. So make sure to read the below guide well before you sign up with any broker or service.


Guidelines for Dealing with Binary Options Brokers

Despite a clear direction towards regulation and overall fairness, the binary options trading industry is still a bit of a Wild West. There are scores of unregulated binary options brokers and some of the regulated ones push aggressive sales tactics and bonus deals, designed to make it impossible for traders to cash out. In order to understand why these things happen, you need to understand what sort of business models there are from the brokers’ perspective and what these different business models mean for you, the trader.

Brokers regulated by CySEC, by various European authorities as well as regulatory bodies based on various Caribbean islands, work the single market-maker approach. What this means is that the broker is the only market maker in the equation: the entity making the pricing on all the tradable underlying assets. Essentially, the trader is going up against “the house,” which controls all the variables of the game. The fundamental conflict of interest is obvious here. Furthermore, the unhealthy nature of this setup is also evident in the fact that when they win, traders win money from the broker. When they lose, they lose money to the broker. Brokers simply cannot afford to have too many successful traders, because that will drive them to bankruptcy.

Although currently more or less accepted, this business model isn’t one embraced by the ESMA, the authority over all national EU-based regulators. There are several EU member states the financial authorities of which have embarked on a virtual crusade against what’s known in the industry as the “CySEC” model. For now, the ESMA has come out swinging against the bonus-based promotional model, which is most often quite openly abusive. Not only do the terms associated with the bonuses encourage traders to trade and to deposit more, they may also make it downright impossible for them to earn out the bonuses and thus to cash out.

The mathematically more viable binary option business model is the US one, which is exchange-based. US binary option trading works just like an exchange. Traders trade against each other, which means that they’re the ones who do the pricing, through the time-honored dynamic of supply and demand. US binary options trading is a zero-sum game: whenever a trader wins something, he wins it from another trader. The broker brings traders together and it makes its money off commissions and fees.

In this model, there’s no conflict of interest, and there’s no possibility of abuse pricing-wise. It is indeed a sustainable model, the only one that can ever hope to gain the stamp of approval of US regulatory authorities.

US binary option trading, represented by operators like Nadex and CX (Cantor Exchange), is a range-bound business too. The value of options is always between $0 and $100. They start out somewhere between these two values, set by supply and demand, which is in turn shaped by the odds regarding the possible outcome of the option. As the expiry of the option draws near, its value varies, only to end up worth either $0 (out of the money) or $100 (in the money).

Now that you know everything that truly matters about binary option trading, let’s take a look at what else you should pay attention to, when looking for a broker.

Regulation

Signing up with a regulated broker is always the way to go. While we would love to preach a zero-tolerance policy in this respect, sometimes the best path to success may indeed lead through an unlicensed broker. If you stick to the following guidelines though, you should be OK anyway.

Binary Options Managed Accounts

Managed Accounts are among the nastiest practices the binary option industry currently fosters. One should always steer well clear of them, because by making use of the services of an account manager, one will give up the last semblance of control he/she has over the trading process. One should never lose sight of the fact that the account manager works for the broker, is paid by the broker, and therefore has the best interest of the broker as his/her top priority. As described above, those interests are radically opposed to the traders’. Account managers won’t shy away from various pressure-techniques to get traders to deposit more money and to trade more. In the end though, managed accounts will end up emptied.

The best way to handle trading is to find a good binary options signal service or to just trade on your own. Just tell the pushy account manager that you do not need his/her services and that you want to trade on your own, with the money you’ve already deposited.

Deposits

Sometimes, account managers will push their traders to take up loans and to borrow money from their friends. Never do that. Always only trade with money you can actually afford to lose. Set aside a sum for this purpose and deposit that. Never let anyone strong-arm you into pushing any more in the middle. When starting out, you’re best off sticking with one or two brokers and the minimum required deposits. In order to make do with these minimums, you’ll need to exercise proper capital management. In this respect, never risking more than 5-10% of your balance, is the way to go.

Auto Trading

There are very few legitimate auto traders out there. Even those are semi-automated and are only appropriate for experienced traders, never for newbies. Make sure you properly research any entity offering such services. The vast majority of auto traders out there are nothing but scammers, who peddle software built on a couple of technical indicators and a losing money-management module. Moreover, the marketing tactics used by such shady operators include various wild promises and obviously abusive tactics, punctuated by amateurish acting. Don’t fall for such offers.

Bonuses

You should never accept bonuses. As specified above, almost every one of the bonus deals offered by regulated and unregulated binary options brokers is abusive, aiming to lock up one’s funds and to make it impossible to cash out. Good brokers will always allow their traders to cancel their bonuses at a whim. Better yet: they won’t offer any bonus deals at all, in compliance with the ESMA’s latest demands in this regard.

The Bottom Line

Keep things as simple as possible, regulated if possible and do not allow anyone to “assist” you. If you need help, look to proven 3rd party signal providers. Do not fall for any deals that look too good to be true.

So which broker should you go with?

If you’re looking also for a good signal service, then we’d recommend picking one of the brokers recommended by Michael Freeman. This will allow you to gain free access to his signals group.

If you already have a signal service you’re happy with, check which brokers are currently approved by the Binary Options Watchdog.

If you need to report being scammed or defrauded or just mistreated by a broker, please visit our Broker Complaint center or leave a comment below.

113 comments

  1. Hello,
    I was contacted two months ago in internet Facebook by user “Letting Joyce” which might be fake name. She said that she has a good business proposal for me in optionstrade24.com broker trading site. After that i pay direct to Letting Joyce private Skrill and Neteller accounts total 250 euros investment amount and 356 euros for CySEC taxes later after one month for first 250€ payment.

    optionstrade24.com is unregulated fake broker site and too optionsreturn.com which these scammers use. They have in these broker websites inside made some kind of fake fun money generator what they use to scam people to pay taxes and other payments after first withdraw profit.

    They use CySEC and COT tax payments altought they are not even regulated in CySEC and no honest broker site ask any COT payments before first withdraw. They ask for me 356€ CySEC tax payment for 250€ invest amount and 17600 euros for fake profit amount.

    I pay that Cysec tax after one week for email reguest from support@optionstrade24.com , i found out later that they are even not regulated in Cysec. They ask after that COT payment amount of 302€ but i didn´t pay that anymore because i was told that there is no other taxes or payments after i pay and clear Cysec amount but still they ask and ask more payments for me.

    I have saved and recorded all emails, financial transfers, conversations in Facebook with Letting Joyce to proof. Here is Lettings own facebook page adress > facebook.com/letting.joyce

    I have asked now many times atleast my invest money back 250€ and CySEX tax payment 356€ from optionstrade24 support and Letting Joyce but they don´t pay me anything back neither fake profit amount 17600€ which they have generated. Letting Joyce claim that he is trader and optionstrade24 a broker. They are not that and they have made these Facebook profile and websites to scam people.

  2. Hi.
    Has anyone tried Stern Option? I registered with them and deposited USD10k. Now I realised their platform is inconsistent and I kept some good evident of their inconsistency. Dun have a good feel about them and is beginning to get worried abut my $$.

  3. I got a call by binaryuno.com in March 2016 and the promising informations I got, prompted me to invest step by step a total of US$ 35’000.-. This with different traders on a “managed account” with “bonuses” – the consequences of which I was not aware of at that time.
    (I should have read the informations on this website before – they are realy helpfull), thanks. )
    Later on I stopped putting more money in as they always asked for more money with every step they suggested me to make. At the same time I could never make a withdraval because they said I had taken the bonuses.
    So they (Tom Scott, the actual about 5th trader…) admitted that in my case they haven’t informed me properly about the important details but that he has to stick to the strict rules of binaryuno.
    Now he says, it is necessary to create first a trading volume of $ 560’000 before I can make a withdrawal.
    And to secure the next trade with the remaining $ 26’800 which are left in the account I would have to invest also $ 3’200 fresh money.
    I started as a complete newcomer in this financial world, I’m a swiss citizen and my english language is limited – so I think this trading business is not for me. I tried to communicate that, but they don’t listen.

    Does anyone have an idea what to do best to get my remaining money back from binaryuno – without investing more?

  4. Thank you for this information! I am currently talking with a broker on Instagram who has a platform on SkyTrade24.com. I am very skeptical, although he claims he can make me money even if I invest only $250. I would love to join your Facebook group, what is it called?

    -James Chiarello

  5. Actually you have missed one of the main players in this game – Fintech. They are from the few that actually work. I know that this sounds fake and unreal but it actually does the job. I have made tons of money thanks to them.

  6. hello,
    I sent 6900 USD to smartoptionsbn.com and now I am crying. the account shows me an account with 245000 USD profits. I ask for the withdrawal, they ask me to pay another 10700 USD to afford the broker permit and the withdrawal permit before they wire the money to my bank. I don’t have that 10700 to ask and I want to get my 6900 USD back to me. I asked them but they insist that I should pay 10700 and get all the profit. how to proceed? thanks

  7. GREAT RESULT TRADERVC GAVE ME BACK MY MONEY.
    A few days ago I was in tears after TRADERVC tried to steal my money in broad daylight. I had asked to withdraw my $250 that was in my account and also close the account on a Friday. By Monday morning there was only $91 left in my account. The rest had mysteriously disappeared within an hour of them opening for business. When I called to ask them where the money had gone, they blamed the robot.

    THIS IS HOW I GOT MY MONEY BACK!
    I told them I had recorded all my calls to them, including the one Dean the hostile account manager was raging because I refused to borrow $2500 from my bank and hand it over to him. A recording of Nasty Dean saying he was not turning on auto trade until he was ready and it could take him up to a month. So how did the Robot lose all my money when they had claimed it was 95% accurate. It was clear there was no software it was a hoax.

    I told them I had all the emails to them and Dean proving that they were liars.

    Then I told them they were common criminals and I was reporting them to FCA and ACTION FRAUD. This worked a treat. After I ended that call, they were frantic. They called back a number of times but I refused to speak to them again. The thought of losing their trading license over $250 was just to annoying for them. When I checked my account on the 14 of June there was a refund waiting in my account. It might not be a big sum of money but I worked so hard for it.
    In my next update I will show you how to get your bank to get your money back from these pesky brokers.

  8. I have been trading with BerkeleyTradingCorp for little over 1 month….to be brutally honest, i’m shocked….

    I invested 3k to start with and like most brokers, they made me some money in the first week up to £4200.

    Now, I have over 100,000 invested and my account is at $380,000 dollars which is around £300,000.

    I withdrew £20,000 and it was in my bank within 3 days….I am gobsmacked.

    My account manager is Brian Tepper (son of David Tepper) – and is trading the account institutionally.

    Watchdog – can you think of anything wrong with this? They send me any money I ask for

    1. You will not be able to withdraw more than you deposited, unfortunately. Otherwise, the broker losses money on you.

      1. Does this sound right to you? – He says he trades my money not with berkeley trading corp – but on INSTINET. An institutional trading platform. He has made me a ridiculous sum of money – millions now…

        Why would I be a millionaire? What can you think of?

  9. Has anyone had dealings with HW Markets? Am stuck in a managed account….didn’t read this article soon enough. Was wondering how to get out.

  10. Sterling Capital is on the CFTC’s list of Foreign Entities that Illegally Solicit U.S. Residents to Trade Binary Options and Forex. If you’ve given any of these people money chances are you’ll never see it again. There is one site, Ask Options that says on their home page “we do not cooperate with US Citizens”

    Here is the link that will tell you every Binary Options site right now that are illegally taking money from US Citizens. SmartCheck.gov/REDList They’re all full of crap. DO NOT LET ANY BROKER TELL YOU IT’S OK TO DEPOSIT WITH THEM. They all have fake names. They hide behind computers and phones that go unanswered. They have driven people to bankruptcy and sadly to suicide.

    Only trust Nadex. Not even Fin Rally as they are an off-spin of Finpari who has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from innocent people.

    If you are even thinking twice about it don’t do it, go with your gut
    Good luck

    1. Hi Jorge, have you signed up with Finraly? I am interested in hearing real feedback from US traders who have joined Finrally. Are they legit? Are you able to cash your winnings? Please let me know, thanks!

  11. Hi,

    i have open an account on nuvo finance and linked broker is 365 binary option. Can u help me to check whether this broker are reliable to use?

    Belle

  12. You should try AYREX. They have wonderful customer service, the shortest execution time on trades and a large variety of trading instrunments.withdrawal is great since you have many options to withdraw to and they even have automatic withdrawals!!!loved the interface!

  13. I burned my fingers with HBC. They are great to take your money and just want you to keep on adding more to your account. Then with little help I decided to close down the account and to return my money. That seems to be impossible after 1 month of frequent messages (5 in total). So Bottom line is AVOID like the plague regardless what information you get.

    On the other hand IQ options seem to be OK. I do get support from a collection of people on the Demo account. Still trying to read the market sentiment right with the indicators at hand. I wish they kept their robot so that a a person can learn from it.

    Lastly anyone heard from Updown club? If you look at their interface something is not right – looks more like the chart at my feet in hospital.

  14. Binary Options Managed Accounts

    Managed Accounts are among the nastiest practices the binary option industry currently fosters. One should always steer well clear of them, because by making use of the services of an account manager, one will give up the last semblance of control he/she has over the trading process. One should never lose sight of the fact that the account manager works for the broker, is paid by the broker, and therefore has the best interest of the broker as his/her top priority. As described above, those interests are radically opposed to the traders’. Account managers won’t shy away from various pressure-techniques to get traders to deposit more money and to trade more. In the end though, managed accounts will end up emptied.Thats what happened to me yesterday unbelievable from an account managers from 24OPTION

  15. Hi admin, I’ve registered twice for mikes auto trader and getting directed to 72option your views on this broker?

  16. hello admin, i’m from nigeria and almost all the trading signals/robots dont accept Nigerians. what do you advise me to do…even mikes auto trader didn’t accept too. i’m just tired of it

    1. If you read my Finpari review, you’ll notice that I like them. However, withdrawals may take some time to get approved. It seems like if you’re in Canada and you want to trade binary options, Finpari might be a good choice. However, don’t deposit more than the minimum and don’t accept any bonuses or account management services.

  17. Has anyone had any dealings with, or heard of, Magnum Trades – FX Traders? Alex Crawford.
    I cannot find anything on web….find plenty about Magnum Options, all negative, by the way.
    Magnum Trades is the one I would like to know about.

  18. Hello can you tell me I was assigned with mike auto trade to Binary corporate. Is it legit for Europe traders or can I cange it?
    Thank you!

    1. They don’t seem to be regulated. In order to change your broker, you can simply sign up again using a different email address.

  19. Do I understand correctly that iQ option is not compatible with Mike’s Auto Trader? Will Mike’s signals still work if I use iQ options in South Africa?

      1. Just what you wrote in the comment, and if you have any more information about this case, such as if you accepted a bonus, a managed account service, etc.

  20. I’m signed up with TopOption which is a pretty decent and fair broker but when following signal sessions a bit later in the day the payout for currencies drops to 60% for turbo options (30sec – 5min) and the High/Low options with an expiry time drop to 70%. If I trade earlier in the day the amounts are relatively 74% and around 80% or somewhere along those lines. The difference is huge in my opinion and I have been with brokers that don’t lower the payouts by such large margins so I’m thinking of switching to a new broker and I would love some advice.

    I mostly follow the sessions from Afzal and John so the broker should be excellent for trading with them. Does anyone know the brokers Afzal and John use themself when doing the trading signal sessions on facebook?

    Cheers,
    Bram

  21. Hi Admin

    I don’t have a Facebook account and don’t really want people knowing my business.

    Is it possible to sign up to mikes signal group through emails.

  22. Hi i would like to know what you think about corporateoptions.com. are they legit.they asked me to deposit $500 but on their add they only ask for $250.i don’t have any experience trading of any kind. Charles.

  23. I’ve been contacted recently by BerkeleyTradingCorp about opening a managed account. Not something I would ever consider, but do you know anything about them and the way they work? Thanks in advance for any info.

    1. Seems to be just another binary options broker, albeit a non-regulated one. I recommend staying away from non-regulated brokers and managed accounts.

  24. Hi admin, 5 Stars for all your advises and support. I am after loosing money to bad signal provider and fraudulent broker, Brit Method and Ivory options respectively.
    I have just joined Mike facebook signal group. I will like to open account with a trusted broker to work alongside with Mike facebook signal group. To be precise, I live and work in London (uk), Please recommend a regulated broker who can give me demo account as i like to train myself for about a week before funding my account. secondly, is mike auto trader software available in UK and if yes which broker will be the best?
    Thanks a million for assistance.

    1. I suggest going with the IQ Option free demo for now and follow our signals. Practice for 1-2 weeks, then contact us via Facebook for further instructions.

  25. What do you know about BinaryBrokerz or dgiMarket.com (i.e. digital globe)? After losing some money with them, they are ignoring my emails.

  26. hi
    i am from dubai ..i like to join mike facebook …..or mike autotrade

    weather iqoption is supported with mike autotrade…..i saw your review…i like this broker …i hope they are very good broker…..
    please give me good suggestion i really like to join….

    remaining signals i do not beleive the brokers all are new to me..

    thanks u
    ashok

  27. Bankofoptions.com requires a minimun of $250 but analyst (Jacob Morgan) calls asking for $2000 saying his priority is to those with more money invested. He turns it into $265 before my eyes then disappears into the night. Neither support nor has he responded to my messages since. My dozen requests to withdraw have been denied or ignored. Its really rediculous. Now im left trying to trade on my own. 265 to 245 back to 250 n now 241.5. I feel like even if i got it up to 500..1000..or more they still wouldnt let me withdraw it anyway so am stuck n might as well take it as a loss
    Bank of Options belong to LCG Management Ltd – UK (9833933) is a financial platform that offers several types of binary options

    1. I had a terrible experience with BankofOptions myself. I wanted to trade with Snapcash Binary in Canada and was assigned this company. Instead of being able to trade with Snap I was redirected to BoO after funding. I cannot get back to snap and have been ignored by both companies as far as support is concerned. BoO even did some trading for me and I have $405 waiting for me to withdraw. Of which I tried to take $100 about 6 weeks ago. Yup, still waiting… Stinks!

  28. Please, i have registered with millionaireblueprint and was asigned to a binaryonline broker. I made a deposit of $250. For the past three weeks no profit has been made but the broker keeps pestering me to add more fund. What should i do?? And are they a scam(millionaireblueprint

  29. Really useful tips! I wish I read them when I just started trading binary options. It would have saved me so much money…

  30. I tried most of the brokers on your list and I found Finpari to be the best. It’s a Spot Option platform, so it’s very convenient and easy to use, and they let me deposit via Paypal. I don’t know why you’re saying that Binary Mate is better than Finpari. Just because of the video support? Forget about it… Invest with Finpari and you won’t regret it!

  31. Not the most highly rated broker, but probably not a scam. Don’t accept bonuses or managed accounts, deposit the minimum and you should be OK.

  32. Becarful use only recommend broker and recommended platform if not you could loose your money when sending money use wire transfer and when you have problems getting back your money then fill a claim from your bank with date of deposit and the amount thanks

  33. The auto trading button cannot be moved to start the robot. Only volume and strength can be moved.

    After 30 days your fee will be 5 %, correct? Is it only charged on trades made by the auto trading on your platform?

    Regards,
    Jari

  34. anybody out there keep away from Binaryuno they are very clever done me over 15000 over a period of 3 months had the account up to 65000 and in 3 trades lost the lot .dont trust them when they tell u that u cant lose as 45000 was all insured an u cant lose bloody liars , sweet talk you dont worry its all safe .dont believe them one bit? and you wont here from the broker from then on ? Very expensive lesson .they get the trade to take 3 to 4 weeks as i would say so you cant recharge them back on the credit card . just like to let people out there know about them i am sure i am not the only one that has been bitten by them.i hope the authorites shut the barstards down .

  35. hello can you tell me , about option888.com broker they are Good? and regulated ? can you please assist .

  36. Hey Team,

    I recently signed up with Mike’s Auto Trader and the broker assigned to me was GT Options, from what I have read people are split between saying they are good and some they are a scam. Do you have any thoughts?

  37. We don’t recommend working with managed accounts at all. If you’re not happy with your broker, you can always change your broker.

  38. I signed up with Mikes Auto Trader. I made the required donation. My assigned broker was Glenridge Capital. Could not sync. Tried Porter Finance, same thing, could not sync. I am frustrated I want either Mikes, or DinaDroid, and use Nadex. Is this possible? (Just lost $40,000 on two trades with Binarybook made by my trusted assistant.) Help! Back to starting with $500.

  39. My first time with binary option. Several brokers called. Most brokers are based in Cyprus, but why were they calling me from Romania and Bulgaria. They are so pushy and sometimes rude.

    Also they have English names and English phone numbers. All this is making me suspicious and doubtful to give me personal and bank details.

    Anybody had similar experience and is it safe to work with them?

    Help and advice appreciated
    Thanks

  40. I am looking please for a comment on Max Options, I believe from experience this is a scam – any advice from anyone please ?

  41. I also signed up today about 11:30 and has been experiencing the same problem whole day? We do we get to access the main page? Any idea?

  42. My assigned broker when I log-in to Mikes AT is GTOptions. I’m a little not confident with it. Is this a good one?

  43. It may be better to pass them by. I was assigned to them from another program. The program I responded to said I would need a minimum of $250 to open the Auto Trading Acct. Starling said I needed $1,000 and then $500. This was not disclosed in the beginning. They also want to do a Managed Account. The representative claimed Starling was based in the UK but the RipOff Report says Stockholm Sweden? Also there are some complaints against them which I do not know if they have been resolved.

    Would you be able to request another more trusted broker?

  44. hi

    i want to sign up with mikes autotraders and the broker assigned is gtoptions.
    are they regulated and legit.
    how good are they as brokers and also with withdrawels.

    regards

    gerhardt

    1. I have had an account with Goptions. They were not ethical with me. Reassigned me to approx 5-6 managers within about 2-3 months. Usually said the previous mgr had been fired. Always talking me into depositing more money plus a bonus. Then dropped me (don’t answer skypes, emails or phone calls) when the money was gone. I recommend you avoid using Goptions. They will probably just take your money and drop you.
      Larry

  45. Hey I try bigoption and titan trade ,titan broker dennis didnt insure the trade and made a trade on oil and oil was on the rising and never received and funds in my account claims its a must win trade then I never heard from that broker dennis again so titan trade seems to be scams what you think mike

  46. Hi

    Thank you so much about your review, I just signed up with Binadriod and Binaryroom365 is the assigned broker. Can you please advise if this is a good broker.

    Thank you
    Clyde

  47. After reading the above info and other stuff think have just been Scammed by the Company Binaryuno and not for a small amount £10,000 to be exact, firstly he gained my confidence by doing a winning first Trade then he encouraged me to invest more and second Trade was done last week, was meant to be an Insured Contract for Silver and he changed it to Gold the following week for a 2 day Trade on Weds and said it was my mistake but would send me out a new Contract or change positions when expired, he did neither and the Trade was lost and has not responded to any direct emails or through so called Customer Support since, presume he has acted either alone or with the consent of his boss, feel stupid that fell for the B/S can anything be done ! Gutted

    1. same happened to me at Ubinary … usd 4500.-
      same trick … first make you some profit the ask for more cash.
      them make you some profit … then ask for more cash.
      … and then … CASH GONE.

    2. Same problem with Ivory Options. Talked me into a couple of Bonuses, of course won the trades but when he wanted me to invest a further $5000 and I said I couldn’t, he will not speak to me. I’m not bothered about the extra money he made for me all I want back is my 2 deposits. BTW apparently with IO if you accept bonuses your threshold for withdrawal, in my case anyway, is $25000 and there is no possibility that that is going to happen. MY ADVICE: STAY CLEAR OF IVORY OPTIONS – Scammers

    3. That happen to me with them as well told me it was all good insured don’t worry can’t lose 45000 gone lost haven’t heard from him since

  48. IQ is a good broker and i would have loved to sign with them but as of 22 April they are no longer accepting traders from Australia/New Zealand

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