Founded in 2013, IQ Option is one of the fastest growing online trading platforms in the world. IQ Option provides traders with access to thousands of trading and investment opportunities across stocks, ETFs, forex, binary options, digital options and cryptocurrencies.
Based in Cyprus and regulated in the EU by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec), as well as several other leading financial authorities, IQ option provides a safe and secure place to trade for its global community of more than 7 million registered users.
But is IQ Option the right broker for you? In this IQ Option review, we’ll be taking a look at everything you need to know about this broker, including account types, what fees to expect, regulation, trading platforms on offer and more.
Low CFD fees
User-friendly trading platform
Easy account opening process
Low trading fees
Low minimum deposit
Limited of educational resources
No support for MT4/MT5
What can you trade at IQ Option?
IQ Option has expanded beyond its initial binary options and now offers traditional forex trading in the form of FX options and spot forex trading. Users have access to a wide wide variety of currency pairs, including majors, minors, and exotics. In total, there are 44 currency pairs to choose from for spot forex trading and 12 pairs for FX options. Below is a selection of some of the most popular forex pairs:
IQ Option offers a solid mix of currency pairs that is very much on par with its competitors. In line with ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) regulation, maximum leverage rates – which IQ Option calls a ‘Multiplier’ – of up to 1:30 are available for retail clients, although we should point out that the maximum available leverage will vary depending on the currency pair you opt for.
For example, the maximum leverage rate (1:3o) is only available on 14 of the 44 FX pairs available, which is around 32%. Fortunately, this included the most popular currency pairs such as GBP/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/GBP and EUR/CHF. For everything else, the maximum leverage that is available is 1:20. Spreads are competitive when compared against competitors, starting at 0.3 pips on major currency pairs such as EUR/GBP.
As a market maker, IQ Option has lower entry requirements versus ECN brokers, which typically have larger minimum trade and capital requirements. For traders, this means they can benefit from lower minimum deposits and smaller minimum trades with no commission fees.
This is reflected by a low minimum deposit level of just £10 and no swap fees for holding positions overnight – a benefit offered by very few brokers. Overall, the number of currency pairs available, along with competitive leverage rates up to 1:30 and a low minimum deposit of just £10 makes IQ Option a great choice for FX traders.
IQ Option offers its users a wide variety of CFDs (Contracts for Difference) to choose from, including:
Let’s take a look at some of these in a bit more detail:
The IQ Option trading platform allows you to trade stock in the world’s leading businesses listed on NASDAQ and the NYSE including Apple, Facebook, Tesla and more. In total, this broker offers traders access to 181 stock CFD which is comprised of a mix of traditional blue-chip stocks and stocks drawn from a wide range of sectors including Energy, Healthcare and Real Estate.
With just 181 to choose from, IQ Option doesn’t offer nearly as many stocks to choose from as some of its competitors. However, with a focus on quality and not quantity, there is more than enough choice for the average trader looking to start trading stocks.
One thing we really liked was how IQ Option curates its stocks into user-friendly ‘collections’. If you’re a new trader or just don’t know where to start, this is particularly useful as it puts similar stocks into ‘buckets’ that you can invest in:
Inside the platform itself, you also have access to a handy information page for each stock which provides a visual ‘snapshot’ about how a particular stock is performing. For example, in our example, we can see that Netflix (NFLX) at the time of writing is in a bullish trend:
Leverage of up to 5:1 (x5) is available on all stocks for retail clients, with razor-thin spreads starting as low 0.003 on selected stocks. In general, however, you can expect to see spreads starting from 0.01 on the more popular stocks.
Overall, a low minimum deposit combined with a solid – if unspectacular – portfolio of supported stocks, in addition to a user-friendly and powerful trading platform, makes IQ Option a great all-round choice if you’re looking to trade stocks.
IQ Option offers users the ability to trade in 24 of the most popular ETFs such as the S&P 500 ETF from across sectors such as technology, energy real estate and more. You’ll also find the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, which tracks the performance of companies within the burgeoning cannabis ecosystem.
Competitive leverage rates of 1:5 are available for retail clients, with tight spreads starting in mico lots starting at 0.01. Overall, the number of ETFs available is ample choice for most traders looking to diversify their portfolios and take advantage of traditional ETF benefits such as lower costs and tax benefits.
IQ Option recently added a selection of 12 cryptocurrencies to trade in, which are available as CFDs or Contracts for Difference. This includes popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, as well as lesser-known altcoins such as EOS, Qtum, Dash and Tron.
While this is far from the highest number available in the market, there is a solid mix of common cryptocurrencies and niche altcoins for aspiring crypto-traders.
Like other brokers, IQ Option makes its money off the spread. or the difference between the bid and ask price of a cryptocurrency. The bid-ask is expressed percentage, for example, the spread on Bitcoin at the time of writing is 2.02%:
‘Buy’ and ‘Sell’ refers to the fee involved for overnight funding, also known as swap fees, for positions held overnight. Leverage (which IQ Option calls a ‘multiplier’) of up to 1:2 (or x2) is available on cryptocurrency CFDs for EU residents, while for non-EU residents it’s much higher at 1:100/x100.
It’s worth pointing out that this is very much in line with other brokers as, under ESMA regulation, brokers are not allowed to offer leverage greater than 2:1 on cryptocurrencies.
Overall, the ability to start trading cryptocurrencies with as little as £10 combined with an easy-to-use platform packed full of useful features and a solid number of supported coins makes IQ Option a great choice for traders interested in cryptocurrencies.
What did our traders think after reviewing the critical criteria?
As we’ve mentioned previously, IQ Option is a ‘market maker’ broker, which brings with it several advantages from a fee perspective, including no commission, fixed spreads and extremely low initial deposits.
Currency price movements are also less volatile when you trade using ‘Market Makers’ such as IQ Option, although this can be a disadvantage depending on your trading style, for example, scalping.
There are no deposit fees at IQ Option. In addition, the minimum deposit amount of $10 is well below the amount required by other comparable trading platforms. There are also no commission fees applied to your trades. The only exception to this is if you open a ‘long’ cryptocurrency position, in which case a 2.9% fee will be charged.
For example, if you invest £10 to buy the equivalent amount in Bitcoin, you will be charged £0.29 (2.9% of £10) for opening the position. While IQ Option claims to charge no swap fees, this isn’t quite the case.
It states that it reserves the right to charge swap fees of 0.01% – 0.6% and, in extreme circumstances, up to 1.7% on forex, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities and indices.
While there are no withdrawal fees if you use a Payment Service Provider (PSP) to withdraw funds, there is a $31 fee on every transaction if you decide to withdraw via bank transfer. For this reason, we recommend using a Visa or Mastercard or e-Wallet such as PayPal.
There are also a couple of fees that aren’t openly advertised, such as a verification fee and inactivity fee. To avoid the verification fee, it’s important that you submit your identification verification documents within 15 days of opening your account and have a balance above £5. If your account balance is below £5, you may be charged the verification fee.
Inactivity fees, while not uncommon in the industry, can be a surprising fee to many traders that can quickly add up. Also called a ‘dormant account fee’, IQ Option charges a fee if an account is inactive for 90 consecutive days. If no trades are opened, pending, or executed inside 90 days, your account will be charged the £10 fee each month.
IQ Option keeps things simple when it comes to account types, offering just two to choose from: Retail Accounts (or Standard Account) and Professional Accounts.
Choosing the right account type is a common problem for newer traders, who are often overwhelmed by the number available and frequently choose account types that aren’t suitable for their needs.
Having just two account types and a frictionless sign-up process not only keeps things simple, but it also ensures you’re starting off on the right foot and don’t have to worry about every little detail about your account.
Level of Protection
ESMA Leverage Limits
Negative Balance Protection
‘Best Execution’ Orders
Unless you’re applying for a Professional Account, the Retail Account is a turn-key trading account for the majority of traders – simply sign up for an account and you’re ready to start trading. There’s also a Demo Account for those who want to try out the platform first before signing up for a real account. It is provided free of charge and comes pre-loaded with $10,000 of virtual money which can be used to practice trading and getting a feel for IQ Option platform.
IQ Option also offers a VIP account which is only available to traders from outside the EU and North America. To qualify for a VIP account, you’ll need to make a deposit of at least $1900 USD (or currency equivalent) or have had a trading volume of $15,000 within a 3 month period. VIP accounts come with a personal account manager, faster withdrawal requests and processing as well as access to weekly trading competitions.
These trading competitions take the form of tournaments where traders compete to see who can finish with the most money from a starting point of $10,000. As the competition goes on, a live leaderboard is displayed showing the top traders. By the end of the trading competition, the prize pool is divided between the top traders.
Unlike the majority of its competitors, IQ Option does not support either of the MetaTrader trading platforms. Instead, it opts for and encourages the use of its own in-house trading platform.
While many traders will consider the inability to use either MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) a significant disadvantage, the IQ Option trading platform still has plenty to offer users.
Beautifully designed, this award-winning platform is user-friendly and incredibly easy to use. Don’t let the aesthetics fool you; under the hood is a robust trading toolkit of 15+ powerful technical indicators, 5 chart types, a built-in newsfeed and price movement alerts.
It’s also configurable, giving you the ability to completely customise the look and feel of the trading platform. You’re free to set your own colour schemes, draw freehand charts and pin custom trading windows at the click of a button. In our example, we’ve selected a 3-grid window displaying three different instruments: Forex, Stocks and Crypto:
Within the trading platform, users can trade a variety of assets and financial instruments, including stocks, digital options, binary options, forex, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and commodities. However, it should be noted that binary options are prohibited in the EEA.
The platform also comes with a wide selection of trading tools that are typically not found on any binary capable trading platform, including technical indicators such as Moving Averages, Bollinger Bands, MACD, and RSI.
An interesting feature of the IQ Option trading platform is the trading community and leaderboard. In the trading community, you can discuss trading ideas and opportunities with other users, share insight and choose other traders to follow.
On the leaderboard, you can see traders from around the world who have made the most profit and also your own unique ranking:
One thing that we particularly liked is the snapshot feature, which provides a visual summary of how an instrument is performing. This allows you to easily gauge factors such as market sentiment, historical performance, price and more:
The IQ option mobile app, an award-winning trading platform, is perfect for trading on-the-go. Looking around, it’s clear that a lot of time and consideration has gone into creating a well-balanced mobile app that delivers both functionality and great user experience.
The app itself has much of the functionality as the browser and desktop clients, including price alerts, traders sentiment, market analysis and technical analysis tools. The app does a great job putting the power of the IQ Option trading platform in the palm of your hand.
IQ Option has a customer service team that is available 24/7 to provide assistance in 10 languages across the usual channels including live chat, email, social media and telephone This is a particularly nice feature of the trading platform as the majority of its competitors are only able to offer assistance 24/5, Monday to Friday.
These additional operating hours will undoubtedly add value for IQ Option users who like to trade on the weekend. In addition to 24/7 support, IQ Option also provides users with access to a functional – if somewhat limited – educational hub.
This ‘trading hub’ is geared more towards beginner traders than those with any sort of trading experience, covering topics such as ‘How To Trade FX Options’ and ‘What Are Options’. However, we would’ve liked to see more in-depth tutorials, as well as resources to help intermediate traders and information on how to customise the IQ Option trading platform.
IQ Option makes deposits and withdrawal requests incredibly simple and straightforward by providing access to popular payment methods such as:
Credit Card/Debit Card (Visa, Mastercard)
Bank Transfer (Wire Transfer)
e-Wallets (Skrill, Neteller, PayPal)
Deposit and withdrawal methods will vary depending on your country. As you can see, minimum deposit levels and processing times also differ by payment method and IQ Option does not charge a commission on deposits. It does, however, charge a commission of 31 USD on bank transfer withdrawals.
IQ Option is a regulated broker under the jurisdiction of the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC)in a holding company using the name IQ Option Europe.
Asides being a regulated broker under CySEC, IQ Option is also a MiFID compliant broker, permitted to offer its services to clients within the EEA. Another benefit for clients of being regulated by CySEC is the fact that is also a member of the Investors Compensation Scheme. Under this scheme, each clients’ funds are protected up to a maximum amount of £20,000.
But for traders that are outside the EEA, their accounts are managed by a separate sister company called IQ Option Ltd. The company is based in Mahe, Seychelles, and is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Over the years, IQ Option has accumulated an extensive list of industry awards that highlight the many strengths of the platform. These include:
Best Binary Options Broker – IAIR Awards
Most Reliable Binary Options Broker – MasterForex-V
Best Trading Platform – Forex Awards 2014
Best Mobile Trading Platform – IFM Awards 2015
Best Technology Platform – The Web Marketing Association
IQ Option has drawn plaudits in particular for its mobile trading app, which has won several awards for its design and overall performance including ‘The Award of Excellence’ from The Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts. With such an impressive trophy collection, IQ Option is clearly a broker that you can trust to deliver an excellent overall trading experience.
IQ Option FAQs
Yes, IQ Option is legit. In Europe, the CFD broker is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The regulatory framework calls for client deposits to be in segregated bank accounts. Retail clients also come under negative balance protection and the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF), the latter securing deposits up to €20,000.
IQ Option provides the choice of several funding methods in four base currencies – EUR, GBP, USD, AND RUB. The fund deposit methods include
Cards – Visa, MasterCard.
eWallets- Skrill, Neteller, Advcash, AstroPay, PayPal, and WebMoney.
Based on your fund pay-in method, IQ Option has prescribed a minimum value for deposits. Also, none of the deposit methods carries any charges, although your payment processor could charge a fee.
You can carry out automated trading on the IQ Option platform directly from the MetaTrader 4. To connect the MT4 to your IQ Option platform, you first have to install the MT2IQ bot. This would connect the MT4 through the special bot connector. To configure,
Extract the setup file from the archive and install it.
Once the installation is complete, run it on your IQ Option terminal by logging in to your account id and password.
To withdraw funds from your IQ Option account, login from the website or the app. Next, go to the ‘Withdraw Funds’ section, choose your withdrawal method, the amount of cash you wish to withdraw, and hit the ‘Withdrawal Funds’ button, it’s that simple. While IQ Option does limit the number of withdrawals, the max amount you can take out on your card should not exceed the amount of money deposited from the card.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.