Binary Options Alternatives

Some binary options traders seek new trading solutions to avoid regulatory restrictions, while others are just looking to try new brokers and investing apps. Whatever your needs, there are plenty of binary options alternatives, ranging from leveraged CFDs on forex and cryptocurrency to spread betting on stocks. In fact, the derivatives trade is so large and diverse in the UK, that in 2019, data published by the Bank of England showed the country’s average daily turnover from derivatives as $3.67 trillion, higher than the USA, Hong Kong and Japan.

This guide will list the best alternatives to binary options products, with examples and information on how each trading solution works and can be used. Read on for more details on the top binary options alternatives in 2024:

  • Contracts for Difference (CFDs)
  • Spread betting
  • Options

CFDs

A contract for difference, or CFD, is a derivative that allows UK investors to make leveraged bets on assets’ price movements. A CFD is essentially an agreement between a broker and investor where the ‘losing’ party agrees to pay the ‘winning’ party the difference in the value of an asset between when the contract is opened and when it closes.

One of the main attractions of a CFD trade is the use of leverage, which allows clients to trade on margin and multiply their profits.

For example, AstraZeneca (AZ.L) stock is currently valued at £10 (1,000 GBX) and historical data and analysis implies it is likely to increase soon. In response, you open a non-leveraged long CFD contract. After a week, AZ.L increases in value to £12 and you close the contract for a profit of £2. With 1:5 leverage, you would have increased the trade value by five times and therefore generated a profit of £10 (minus any fees).

Of course, leverage acts in both positive and negative directions. For instance, if AZ.L had decreased to £8, you would owe £10 to your broker, rather than £2.

In 2019, the FCA introduced restrictions on the maximum leverage that licensed brokers can offer to retail investors, limiting forex pairs to a maximum of 1:30, commodities and indices to 1:10, and stocks and shares to 1:5.

Why Trade CFDs As Alternatives To Binary Options?

  • Trading on margin can greatly increase the potential profit per trade.
  • Investors can use stop-loss orders to reduce the risk exposure of a trade.
  • There are many FCA-licensed brokers to choose from, avoiding the need for offshore or unregulated brokers.

UK Brokers With CFDs

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    AvaTrade's 1250+ leveraged CFD products span a wide range of asset classes including stocks, indices, commodities, bonds, crypto, and ETFs. You can speculate on underlying assets in the broker’s feature-rich web and mobile platforms with market-leading research tools to help discover opportunities.

  2. XTB

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    XTB offers a huge selection of more than 2,100 CFDs spanning forex, indices, commodities, stocks, ETFs, and cryptos (location-dependant). Leverage up to 1:30 is available in the EU and UK, while global clients and pro traders can access up to 1:500. XTB stands out for its CFD trading resources and tutorials to assist traders in developing short-term trading strategies.

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    CMC lets you trade CFDs on 12,000+ assets across currencies, indices, commodities, shares, ETFs and treasuries. Spreads are relatively tight, there are no hidden fees and the industry-leading MetaTrader 4 platform is also supported for leveraged trading. Year after year, CMC shines as one of the best CFD brokers in the market.

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    Eightcap offers a wide range of trading options with 800+ CFDs across stocks, indices, bonds, commodities, and cryptocurrencies (depending on location), with leverage up to 1:30/1:500. It excels in its tools, notably the AI-enabled economic calendar covering 25+ countries with impact filters (high, medium, low). However, its commodities offering, particularly in softs like cotton and wheat, as well as the limited precious metal and energy assets, is its weakest area.

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    FXCC offers a narrow range of CFDs beyond forex with a limited selection of metals, energies, indices and cryptos. However, it stands out with its high leverage up to 1:500, which will serve experienced traders looking to maximize their buying power while speculating on rising and falling prices.

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    Trade CFDs on Spreadex's diverse list of instruments with leverage up to 1:30 and highly competitive spreads. While this broker's USP is spread betting, the excellent trading terms and range of markets makes it an equally good choice for CFD trading.

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    Pepperstone maintains its position as one of the fastest and most dependable CFD brokers during our latest round of testing. With execution speeds averaging around 30ms and an outstanding fill rate of 99.90%, the broker ensures a seamless trading experience without requotes or dealing desk interference. It also provides ample trading opportunities across over 1,300 assets.

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    Over 8,000 CFDs are offered on a vast array of instruments, encompassing stocks, indices, forex, and commodities. Moreover, the TWS platform lends itself to seasoned traders, offering a comprehensive selection of over 100 order types and algorithms, alongside premium market data sourced from reputable sources such as Reuters and Dow Jones.

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    You gain access to over 2,250 CFDs, available for trading 24/5 across popular markets such as forex, commodities, indices, stocks, and bonds. Utilizing deep liquidity and advanced bridge technology, IC Markets ensures optimal conditions for scalpers, hedgers, and algo traders alike.

  10. XM

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    Traders can speculate on leveraged CFDs with zero commissions, spanning popular markets including currencies, equities and commodities. Additionally, the MetaTrader platforms collectively offer dozens of advanced technical indicators built for short-term strategies.

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    Trade 5,000+ CFDs from a single account with no hidden fees and free live market data. The suite of markets is impressive vs alternatives, including access to shares, indices, commodities and bonds.

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    DNA Markets offers a small suite of 250 CFDs covering stocks, indices, forex, commodities and cryptos, providing opportunities to speculate on rising and falling prices. There are no restrictions on strategies with leverage up to 1:30 (Australia) or 1:500 (rest of world).

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    With the ability to take both long and short positions on 5,500+ CFDs across forex, stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, FOREX.com excels. Its exclusive Web Trader platform offers an excellent trading experience, equipped with over 80 technical indicators and average execution speeds of just 20 milliseconds, ensuring an optimal environment for serious traders.

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    You can trade CFDs on over 3,000 assets and access rich market data through the integrated TradingView charts. There are also comprehensive free learning tools available for beginners via the eToro Academy, including dedicated CFD trading courses and guides.

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    RoboForex offers a growing suite of over 12,000 CFDs, encompassing forex, stocks, indices, commodities, futures and ETFs. With an initial deposit of $10 and micro lot trading through to very high leverage up to 1:2000, RoboForex caters to a broad range of derivative traders. On the downside, analysis reveals execution speeds of 1-3 seconds, noticeably slower than IC Markets at 0.35 seconds, and suboptimal for fast-paced strategies like scalping.

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    You can trade CFDs across a range of diverse markets with flexible account types and leverage up to 1:1000. With access to both MT4 and MT5, traders can execute multiple short-term CFD trading strategies using the dozens of pre-integrated technical indicators and graphical objects.

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    Trade leveraged CFDs on over 1000 assets with low-cost spreads. You can also take advantage of the broker's integrated signals to help you determine when to enter and exit positions.

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    IG offers a huge selection of 17,000+ CFDs, providing more trading opportunities than most CFD brokers. Traders can go long or short on popular markets like stocks, currencies, commodities and cryptos, while custom price alerts and the IG Academy continue to enhance the trading experience.

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    BlackBull Markets CFDs are offered on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptos with tight spreads and high leverage. The ECN accounts offer fast execution and low slippage, and the broker provides traders with plenty of extra tools and features plus 24/7 customer support.

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    Traders can speculate on 1000+ financial markets with high leverage up to 1:500. You can bet on rising and falling prices in currencies, commodities, indices, shares, and more without owning the underlying asset. With the comprehensive choice of CFD trading platforms, users can also switch between desktop, web and mobile for a seamless trading experience.

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    FxPro offers thousands of CFDs on forex, commodities, indices, shares and futures. The broker's analysis and charting capabilities continue to stand as some of the best in the industry, with Trading Central integration, advanced order types and access to custom indicators.

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    Plus500 presents commission-free CFDs encompassing a vast array of markets, spanning currencies, stocks, indices, and commodities. You can engage in long or short positions on popular assets, benefiting from adaptable leverage without encountering any concealed fees.

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    You can go long or short on a range of CFDs covering forex, commodities, shares, indices and cryptos. High leverage up to 1:500 is available for experienced traders in some locations, whilst beginners will appreciate access to micro-lots. There are no restrictions on short-term trading strategies using CFDs.

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    You can trade 275+ CFD instruments covering equities, currencies, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies. The broker offers flexible trading software and account options, plus access to the unique dealCancellation risk management tool, which is ideal for beginners.

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    Access highly leveraged CFDs across forex, commodities, indices, stocks and bonds with 24/5 customer support. Build a diverse portfolio with hundreds of CFD assets.

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    CFDs are available on forex, stocks, indices, metals, oil and cryptos, with support on MT4 and MT5. Execution speeds are also decent, averaging 0.5 seconds, though there is also a VPS service facilitating 24/7 connectivity for algo strategies.

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    CFDs are available on forex, indices, commodities and cryptos, although the range of 100+ instruments is limited compared to alternatives such as Quotex with 400+. Leverage is available up to 1:500 but the $250 minimum deposit is noticeably higher than competitors.

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    Markets.com offers a strong variety of CFD products, not only covering popular asset classes but also more interesting markets such as IPOs and Bonds. The low fees and educational resources will appeal to beginners, whilst seasoned CFD traders will appreciate the feature-rich charting platforms.

  29. Axi

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    Axi offers 220+ products covering forex, shares, commodities, indices and cryptos. Spreads on EUR/USD come in at around 0.2 pips in the Pro account and 1.1 pips in the Standard account. These are competitive and aligned with equivalent accounts at leading low-cost brokers like Pepperstone.

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    The broker offers a small range of 100+ CFD instruments spanning key markets, with high leverage up to 1:500. Pricing is reasonable, with round turn commissions coming in at $6 alongside tight spreads. Multiple short-term strategies are also permitted, including hedging and scalping.

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    VT Markets offers over 1000+ CFDs spanning currencies, stocks, indices, ETFs and commodities. The MetaTrader charting platforms provide dozens of technical tools alongside integrated market analysis resources and zero restrictions on short-term trading strategies.

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    My tests uncovered around 100 CFD products covering forex, indices, commodities and cryptos. Leverage is available up to 1:400 and it’s good to see that scalping, hedging and EA strategies are permitted.

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    PrimeXBT offers CFDs across four asset classes with very high leverage up to 1:1000. Beginners can also take advantage of the broker’s useful technical analysis guides and CFD education, plus 24/7 in-platform support via live chat.

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    Traders can access CFDs across forex, indices, commodities and stocks. There are no restrictions on short-term strategies, which is good news for scalpers and algo traders. There’s also an excellent range of free tools on offer, including a custom price ticker.

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    FXTrading offers CFDs on a wide range of assets, including forex, stocks, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies. Commodities include a selection of softs as well as metals and energies, and the eight indices offered include the US30, US500 and UK100. Flexible leverage is available with excellent risk management tools.

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    ThinkMarkets continues to offer an excellent range of around 3500 CFD instruments covering forex, indices, stocks and commodities. Leverage is available up to 1:30 in the EU and UK, while global clients can access up to 1:500.

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    M4Markets offers CFD trading across forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Traders can access powerful charting platforms with multiple order types and built-in indicators. There’s also a good selection of data-driven analysis tools supplied by reputable provider, Acuity.

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    Access over 2,000 CFDs across diverse markets including indices, commodities and bonds. There is also premium daily analysis and strategy resources for savvy traders.

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    Trade 400+ CFDs on forex, stocks, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies with the choice of commission-free or raw-spread accounts with transparent fees. Speculate on rising and falling prices with no hidden charges.

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    IronFX’s asset list of 300+ instruments covers forex, stocks, commodities and index CFDs. Maximum leverage from 1:30 to 1:1000 is available depending on account location. Traders can access superb technical analysis features, including 30 pre-integrated indicators and 9 charting time frames.

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    Ingot Brokers offers CFD trading on 1000+ instruments including stocks, commodities and cryptocurrencies. The MT4 and MT5 platforms offer comprehensive features for active CFD traders, including multiple order types and pre-integrated technical tools.

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    You can trade a range of CFD instruments across forex, shares, indices and commodities. There’s an excellent selection of platforms for traders, including TradingView and MT4, plus additional tools for experienced algo traders including API solutions.

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    You can trade hundreds of CFDs on major asset classes including currencies, shares and futures. Spreads are not overly competitive starting at 0.9 pips, although the $50 minimum deposit and zero commissions will allow active traders to keep their costs down.

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    Dukascopy offers highly leveraged CFDs with rates up to 1:200. A wide selection of asset classes are available, including currencies, equities, commodities, ETFs and cryptos. Spreads are also tight starting from 0.1 pips and traders get 24/7 support.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptos with high leverage up to 1:500 on the no-commission ClassiQ account. The raw spread account options have low commissions from $4 round-turn and offer lower maximum of leverage of 1:200 or 1:400, which is still competitive.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, indices, metals, oil and cryptocurrencies with high leverage up to 1:500 and competitive spreads, with the choice between zero commission or raw spreads.

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    Trade 200+ CFDs with leverage up to 1:1000 on a powerful proprietary platform. Asset classes include stocks, forex and crypto with ECN execution. You can bet on rising and falling prices with leveraged CFDs.

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    Videforex CFDs are available on forex, indices, cryptocurrencies and commodities with up to 1:500 leverage and tight spreads from near zero. CFDs incur a commission fee of 1%–2.5% and up to 5% for leveraged trades.

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    Rock Global offers low-price CFDs on forex, shares, indices and commodities. The broker charges zero-commission trading on commodities and indices, and zero-spread, commission-only trading on shares. Leverage varies by instrument with 1:200 available on indices and 1:10 on blue-chip stocks.

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    FXTM’s CFD offering spans 250+ forex, stocks, commodities and indices, plus crypto CFDs at the global entity. Leverage up to 1:30 is available from the CySEC-regulated branch, though highly seasoned traders can also access massive 1:2000 rates from the global entity.

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    You can trade a competitive range of CFDs encompassing crypto, indices, energies and metals, with very high leverage up to 1:1000. ECN pricing is available, with spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions from $2.50. A Cent account is also available for those on a smaller budget.

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    CFDs are available on a breadth of underlying assets, including stocks, indices, commodities, forex and cryptos. High leverage up to 1:500 is available alongside a 0.01 minimum lot size and award-winning software. For the tightest spreads from 0 pips, opt for the Premium account.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, indices, stocks, commodities and cryptocurrencies with leverage up to 1:3000. Swap-free trading is available, and all account types trade with competitive spreads and are commission-free except the Go Pro account, which charges a $7 round-turn commission.

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    CFDs are available on popular asset classes with a competitive $1 minimum deposit. The MT5 integration will allow serious short-term traders to utilize the vast library of technical tools, bots and indicators, but the lack of any CFD trading education puts the broker behind many alternatives.

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    Focus Option offers CFD trading through an intuitive mobile app, with 300+ tradeable instruments spanning forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, shares and indices. Leverage ranges from 1:20 to 1:50 and spreads are variable, starting from 1 pip, with no commission.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, metals, energies, indices, cryptos and dollar futures. Sage FX offers tight spreads and high leverage on all instruments from 1:100 to 1:500.

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    Access thousands of CFDs with competitive pricing and leverage up to 1:500. A range of asset classes are available, including currencies, shares, indices, metals and commodities. CFDs can be traded on the market-leading MetaTrader platforms.

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    PU Prime offers CFD trading on hundreds of shares, as well as indices, commodities, bonds and cryptocurrencies. The leverage available varies by asset, and spreads also vary greatly between instruments and account types with the tightest near zero and the widest in the hundreds of pips. Stock, index, commodity and bond CFDs are traded on the leading MT4 platform.

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    SimpleFX stands out with highly leveraged trading options up to 1:1000 covering popular asset classes, including stocks, indices, currencies and commodities. Additionally, the social community serves as an excellent resource for gathering CFD strategy tips and short-term trading ideas.

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    Errante customers can trade stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies with leveraged CFDs. The level of leverage available depends on regulatory oversight, with 1:30 the maximum allowed in the EU though this varies by asset.

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    CFDs are available on hundreds of markets including forex, indices, shares and commodities. Traders can go long or short with reliable trading tools, excellent market research and transparent pricing.

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    Swissquote offers spot, forward and synthetic contracts on a breadth of markets, including stocks, indices, bonds and commodities. The pricing model is transparent with no hidden fees. Clients can diversify portfolios and hedge risk with low margin requirements.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, metals, energies, cryptos and indices with high leverage up to 1:1000 on major currency pairs, 1:200 on metals, 1:100 on indices, 1:33 on stocks and energies, and 1:5 on cryptocurrencies. The range of 200+ instruments is not the biggest on the market, but the variety of asset classes provides flexible trading options for most traders.

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    FP Markets offers CFD trading on a first-rate selection of financial markets, spanning stocks, major global indices, commodities, metals, cryptocurrencies, and bonds. With tight spreads, fast execution speeds, leverage up to 1:500 and top-tier liquidity, short-term traders get an efficient and seamless trading experience.

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    Core Spreads offers CFD trading on 40 forex pairs plus 13 commodities, including metals and energies, and 13 global stock indices including the UK100 and US30. CFDs are traded through the MT4 platform with leverage up to 1:30 in line with UK regulations.

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    Anzo Capital clients can use MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 to trade CFDs on stocks, equity indices, crude oil and precious metals with competitive price levels.

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    HYCM traders can access CFDs on a range of stocks, indices, commodities and ETFs with floating spreads and maximum leverage varying by instrument. Clients also have a choice between two industry-leading platforms.

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    Global Prime offers CFD trading opportunities on 150+ global markets including forex, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies and bonds. Spreads are tight with a raw ECN account available starting from zero.

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    Fortrade's list of leveraged CFDs covers a wide range of asset classes including forex, stocks, bonds, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Traders can access leverage up to 1:30 and will trade with zero commission, fast execution and low latency on MetaTrader 4 or the bespoke platform.

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    Traders have the opportunity to engage in CFD trading across a broad spectrum of assets, including currency pairs, stocks, commodities, bullion (gold and silver), indices, and cryptocurrencies. Experienced traders can access high leverage up to 1:1000 in certain jurisdictions. However, a notable downside is the restriction of scalping strategies which may deter experienced traders.

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    FXOpen offers CFDs on multiple assets including forex, stocks, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs. Leverage and spreads vary by instrument, with spreads starting from zero and fast order execution.

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    Libertex's list of CFDs covers a decent range of tradeable underlying assets, but there isn't much depth with only around 250 in total. Leverage up to 1:30 for retail clients is available in accordance with CySEC regulations, and traders can choose between three excellent trading platforms. Best of all are the tight spreads available on all markets and the zero commissions on investments in stocks.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, indices, commodities, ETFs, bonds and cryptocurrencies with variable leverage up to 1:30. The broker provides great value to traders with six free trades per day on US, UK and European stocks, tight spreads on forex and low commissions on ETFs.

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    Trade CFDs on a broad range of asset classes including forex, energies, precious metals, company shares, indices and cryptos. The excellent trade execution and opportunity to trade with direct market access pricing sets this broker apart from rivals.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, commodities and indices with tight spreads and leverage limited to the FCA-sanctioned maximum of 1:30. Infinox traders benefit from lightning-fast execution speeds and a choice between STP and ECN pricing, making this a flexible option for beginner and serious traders.

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    Trade CFDs on 75+ instruments, including forex, energies, metals, and indices with variable leverage up to 1:500 on major pairs, 1:200 on minors and exotics and 1:100 on commodities and energies.

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    OspreyFX offers leveraged CFDs on forex, commodities, stocks, cryptos and indices. Deep liquidity is available from 50+ providers with a competitive ECN account that will suit active trading strategies, including scalping.

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    Trade a decent range of markets via CFDs, with commissions of $6 per lot. There is also a reasonable $10 minimum deposit and 24/7 customer support for new traders.

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    Trade all markets via CFDs, with retail leverage up to 1:30. With the RStocks Trader account, clients can access over 12,000 CFDs with algorithmic analysis tools and intuitive charts.

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    AdroFx offers a most selection of around 100 CFDs on stocks, cryptos, indices and commodities. Its appeal lies in the high leverage up to 1:500 which you can't find in heavily regulated jurisdictions and the commission-free pricing model which will serve beginners. You can speculate on both rising and falling prices from the same product with CFDs.

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    Trade flexible CFDs on forex, commodities, indices and cryptos with tight spreads, fast execution, micro-lot trading and leverage up to 1:500. There are also no restrictions on trading strategies.

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    EZ Invest offers leveraged CFDs on popular asset classes, including forex, stocks, indices and commodities. Execution speeds are decent but a large deposit is needed for the best pricing conditions.

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    Trade 8,900+ CFDs spanning forex, stocks, indices, commodities, options and bonds with powerful tools and signals.

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    SuperForex offers CFDs on a good range of assets, though it only really shines when it comes to forex, thanks to its very diverse list. On the other hand, the significant leverage available on most assets increases profit potential, though traders will need to watch out for spreads, which compare poorly to some competitors.

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    You can speculate on popular financial assets covering forex, commodities, indices, metals and bonds. You can get started with $0 minimum deposit, making the broker a good pick for beginners. There’s also over 130 technical indicators available collectively in the MT4 and OANDA Trade platforms.

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    Trade CFDs on 100+ instruments from popular asset classes. Leverage up to 1:200 is available on precious metals, while stocks, indices and energies can access 1:20 max leverage and 1:10 for commodities. On the negative side, the depth of assets is limited vs other CFD brokers.

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    With CFDs on 20+ Polish and 30+ US stocks, as well as energies and seven global stock indices covering US, UK, European, Australian and Japanese markets, Just2Trade offers a superb selection of global assets.

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    You can take positions on a range of popular trading markets including forex, stocks, energies and metals. Leverage is high at 1:500 and live spreads can be viewed in the web-accessible platform and app.

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    World Forex's leveraged CFDs are available on a modest suite of 100+ instruments, including stocks, commodities and forex. Very high leverage up to 1:1000 is available for account balances up to $1000, with lower levels available to accounts with higher balances.

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    Access a modest range of CFD instruments across key markets, including indices and commodities. Clients can trade directly from charts with high leverage up to 1:500 and customisable time intervals.

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    Trade commission-free CFDs on 3000+ instruments from forex, stock and commodities markets with volumes starting from 0.1 lots, a low minimum deposit of $10 and tight floating spreads. The selection of CFDs beats most competitors.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, commodities, indices and crypto assets. With spreads from 0 pips and generous incentives and bonus offers setting Vault Markets apart from competitors, this Namibian broker will appeal to aspiring traders.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, indices, energies and metals with fast execution and variable leverage. Spreads are tight and commission-free trading is available on some assets.

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    Trade CFDs on an array of assets with ultra-low spreads

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    Engage in leveraged CFD trading across a wide array of instruments, encompassing forex, stocks, commodities, and indices. Yet while the selection of asset classes is satisfactory, the charting software and floating spreads for short-term traders fall behind that of competitors.

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    Trade leveraged CFDs in a range of financial markets.

Spread Betting

In spread betting, traders bet on the price movements of an underlying asset without actually owning it. As such, it bears some similarities to binary options, but with the advantage of being both FCA-regulated and tax-efficient in the UK. Leverage can also be used in spread betting.

A spread bet is essentially a bet on the movement of an asset’s price linked to the bid-ask spread, and as such securities with higher liquidity are more attractive as these tend to have tighter spreads.

Usually, spread bets are fee-free as brokers do not charge commission, but keep in mind that you are in a losing position when you initially open the contract. You need positive movement greater than the bid-ask spread to make a profit, or vice versa if you are short.

Why Start Spread Betting As Alternatives To Binary Options?

  • Spread betting is a regulated activity in the UK and so there are several protective measures in place for retail investors. It also means that you can ensure you are trading with a reliable broker if they hold a genuine license with the FCA.
  • There is no cap on the maximum profit from a single trade.
  • It is possible to make good, sustained profits even with small deposits.
  • Spread betting in the UK is tax-free, meaning you can keep more of your profits.

UK Brokers With Spread Betting

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    AvaTrade continues to offer spread betting for UK traders via the MT5 platform, with zero tax on profits. There are no extra currency conversion fees on any asset and leverage is available up to 1:30. You can also practice in the free demo account.

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    CMC Markets is still one of the few brokers that lets you make speculative bets on financial markets without incurring capital gains tax on your profits. You don’t pay any commission fees for opening or closing positions, either. Its web platform has also won awards for its top-notch user experience.

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    Spread bet on thousands of global markets with no commissions and tight, fixed spreads. There is also no stamp duty or capital gains tax on financial spread betting in the UK.

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    Trade Nation offers competitive spread betting conditions and transparent fees on hundreds of assets. On the proprietary platform, spread betters also enjoy a user-friendly and customisable interface.

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    Vantage continues to offer commission-free trading on global markets with tax-free profits for traders from the UK and Ireland. Investors can trade spread bets 24/7 and go long or short. Helpfully, you get access to all the same platforms for spread bets, as well as commission-free trading.

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    UK FxPro traders can access tax-free trading opportunities on six asset classes through the broker's EDGE spread betting platform, with leverage up to 1:30. Short-term traders can build a diversified portfolio whilst enjoying zero commissions on spread bets.

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    Spread betting is available for UK residents looking for a more tax-efficient way to trade, with exemption from Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty on profits. With a range of asset classes and just a $100 deposit to get started, spread betting at Markets.com should appeal to both beginners and more experienced investors.

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    Spread betting is available to UK traders, with 30+ forex pairs, 8 indices, gold, silver and energies. Spread bets are available 24/5 Monday to Friday. ThinkMarkets also enhanced its spread betting offering in 2024 by making it available on the award-winning ThinkTrader platform, in addition to MT4 and MT5.

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    Start leveraged spread betting on 1,000 assets at Trade.com. Spread bets are available 24 hours a day with access to rising and falling markets, plus no stamp duty or capital gains taxes.

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    UK traders can enjoy tax-free spread bets with competitive stakes from £0.07 per point. Spread betting is available on the Trading Station platform, which offers an excellent suite of pre-integrated analysis tools and fundamental data.

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    Spread betting is available on thousands of underlying assets, including forex, indices, ETFs, commodities, bonds and LSE shares. New traders can get started in 4 easy steps, multiply their returns with leverage and pay zero capital gains or stamp duty tax.

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    Spread betting is available with very tight fixed spreads starting from 0.4 with no commissions. Core Spreads has a full asset list for spread betting, including 1000+ stocks and shares, 34 forex pairs, 16 global stock indices and five metals and energies.

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    UK traders can access markets with spread betting to earn tax-free profits via the MetaTrader 5 platform. An advantage of Admirals is that all fees are included in the cost of opening spread betting positions, and fees are charged in the account's base currency with no conversion charges.

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    Pepperstone extends financial spread betting services to both retail and professional traders, enabling you to speculate on forex, indices, shares, and more. Additionally, Pepperstone offers comprehensive training resources if you are new to spread betting, helping to facilitate your journey into this tax-efficient form of trading. Pepperstone also now offers spread betting on TradingView, making it one of a handful of brokers that provide this service.

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    Trade on thousands of financial markets with a bet size from £0.01 and the best margin rates in the industry. Spread bets are tax free in the UK, and Spreadex traders can access the markets via three slick proprietary trading platforms.

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    OANDA offers spread betting via OANDA Europe Ltd to UK and Ireland residents only. You can trade over 100 assets with no commission and no minimum trade size. Spreads are also competitive. The FTSE 100, for example, is available from just 1 point and the GBP/EUR from 0.8 pips.

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    IG offers spread betting on thousands of markets, including currencies, indices, shares and commodities - more than almost every alternative. The platform is easy-to-use and feature-rich while returns from spread bets are potentially tax-free for UK traders. There is also no minimum deposit.

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    Spread betting is only available in the UK and Ireland

Standard Options

A standard options contract is a financial derivative that gives traders the right but not the obligation to buy an asset for a specified price at a predetermined time in the future. Unlike binary options, earnings are not fixed, so the potential returns are not known when you open the contract, but your losses will be limited to the price of the contract.

Traders can open a long position with a call option or go short with a put option. If you think, for example, that Unilever company stock (ULVR.L) currently valued at £40 will rise, you might open a call option allowing you to buy a certain number of shares at a future date for £42.50.

If on that date ULVR.L is at £45, you would have made £2.50 per share. A put option works in the opposite manner, with the trader betting the price will decrease.

Why Trade Standard Options As Alternatives To Binary Options?

  • Profits are proportional to price movements, so there is potentially more upside than binary options.
  • Losses are limited to the price of the contract, making options less risky than some binary options alternatives such as CFDs.

UK Brokers With Options Trading

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    AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

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    Spreadex is an FCA-regulated broker that offers spread betting opportunities on an impressive 10,000+ CFD instruments including 60 forex pairs. Traders can also take short-term positions on sporting events. The brand has been around for over 20 years and has won multiple awards.

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    Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

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    City Index is an established and award-winning forex, CFD and spread betting broker with top-tier global regulation, including in the UK (FCA) and Australia (ASIC). With 30+ years in the industry, 13,500+ instruments and 24/5 customer support, City Index is a solid pick for aspiring traders.

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    Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.

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    Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.

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    Established in 2008 and headquartered in Israel, Plus500 is a prominent brokerage that boasts over 25 million registered traders in over 50 countries. Specializing in CFD trading, the company offers an intuitive, proprietary platform and mobile app. It maintains competitive spreads and does not charge commissions or deposit or withdrawal fees. Plus500 also continues to shine as one of the most trusted brokers with licenses from reputable regulators, including the FCA, ASIC and CySEC.

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    NinjaTrader is a US-headquartered and regulated brokerage that specializes in futures trading. There are three pricing plans to suit different needs and budgets, as well as ultra-low margins on popular contracts. The brand's award-winning charting software and trading platform also offers a high-degree of customization and superb technical analysis features.

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    Webull is a multi-regulated trading app that offers stocks, options, forex, cryptos, ETFs, fractional shares and more. The firm is authorized by the SEC, FINRA and FCA and continues to uphold a strong trust rating. Low fees, no minimum investment and generous welcome bonuses have made the discount broker popular with online investors.

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    Trade.com is a trustworthy online broker with a global presence. The broker offers 2,100+ CFDs in major markets, as well as futures, options and more. The broker offers best-in-class platforms and superior analysis tools for experienced traders. The broker is also regulated by top-tier authorities including the FCA and CySEC.

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    RockGlobal is a New Zealand based and regulated CFD broker. They offer competitive spreads from 0.1 pips and a large range of trading assets, trading platforms and educational services, with up to 1:500 leverage. Operating in a Tier 1 regulated environment, RockGlobal offers peace of mind and excellent customer support.

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    Firstrade is a US-headquartered discount broker-dealer with authorization from the SEC. The company is also a member of FINRA/SIPC. With welcome bonuses, powerful tools and apps, plus commission-free trading, Firstrade Securities is a popular online brokerage. It is also quick and easy to open a new account.

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    Swissquote is a Switzerland-based bank and broker that offers online trading and investing. The company has a high safety score and is listed on the Swiss stock exchange. The firm offers a huge range of products, from stocks, ETFs, bonds and futures to 400+ forex and CFD assets. Hundreds of thousands of traders have opened an account with the multi-regulated brokerage. Clients can get started in three easy steps while 24/7 customer support is available to assist new users.

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    FXPrimus is an award-winning CySEC-regulated brokerage offering CFD trading on 200+ instruments via the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader platforms. The choice between a competitive commission-free account and two affordable raw spread options make this an accessible broker for anyone seeking forex, stocks, indices and commodities with high leverage.

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    Libertex is a well-known broker, established in 2012. The regulated brand has served numerous clients and is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission with license number 164/12. Libertex offers CFD trading on 250+ underlying assets, including through an innovative and user-friendly proprietary web trader platform. Choose between CFDs on forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, stocks, indices and ETFs, which are available with tight spreads and low commissions.

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    Infinox is a UK-based and FCA-regulated broker that offers diverse trading products thanks to its STP and ECN account types and support for MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and a proprietary platform. Clients can also benefit from a free VPS that can support automated strategies and a social trading platform, catering to both beginner and seasoned traders.

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    Saxo Markets is a multi-award-winning trading brokerage, investment firm and regulated bank. With a huge 72,000+ trading instruments, plus investment products and managed portfolios, clients have no shortage of opportunities. The trusted brand also offers transparent pricing and top-tier regulatory protection from 10+ agencies including FINMA, FCA & ASIC.

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    Zacks Trade is a FINRA-regulated US broker offering trading on stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, bonds and more through a proprietary terminal. The broker is geared toward active traders and offers very affordable fees on most assets as well as an app and a vast amount of market data.

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    Just2Trade is a reliable multi-regulated broker registered with FINRA, NFA and CySEC. The company has 155,000 clients from 130 countries and stands out for its huge suite of instruments and additional features, including a social network, robo advisors and a funded trader programme.

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    BinaryCent is an unregulated binary options broker that offers 24/7 trading on forex, cryptos and stocks with payouts up to 95%. Despite its lack of regulation, this broker takes client security seriously and stores client funds in European banks. The broker also offers CFDs with very high leverage up to 1:500.

Binary Options Explained

When considering alternatives to binary options, it is important to understand how binaries work so instruments can be compared against the merits and drawbacks of the popular all-or-nothing product.

A classic binary options trade hinges on the simple question of whether the price of an asset, such as the FTSE, will go up or down by the end of a pre-defined period. The trader and binary broker will agree on a starting “strike price” and a time period, and the trader will make their prediction.

If the trader wins, they will get their stake back and earn a profit, usually displayed as a percentage of the initial bet, for example 80%. If their prediction is wrong, they will lose their stake.

The most common types of binary options products include:

  • High/Low: Predict if the expiry price will be above or below a given strike price. This is the most common type of contract, and virtually all binary options brokers will at least offer this product.
  • In/Out: The trader must predict whether the security’s price ends up within or outside a given range at the contract’s expiration. They are also known as ‘boundary’ or ‘range’ binary options contracts.
  • Touch/No-Touch: The trader predicts whether an asset’s value will reach a certain strike price before expiry. The touch contract is different from others as it is not the price at expiry that matters; as long as the strike price is touched at least once, you will be in the money. Similarly, a trader who takes out a no-touch contract will lose as soon as the asset’s price touches the strike price.
  • Ladder: A ladder binary options contract consists of a series of high/low contracts with strike prices at equal distances apart and increasing returns. For example, strike prices of £2, £2.50 and £3 with returns of 50%, 60% and 70%, respectively. If at expiry, the asset is worth more than £2 but equal to or less than £2.50 then you receive a 50% return.
Best binary options alternatives

High/Low Binary Options Trade On Focus Option

Note, expiration times have a significant impact on binary options strategies and trading styles. For example, turbo binary options’ expiry times can be anything from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, and demand a completely different strategy to the longer-term contracts which may last weeks or even months.

Why Seek Alternatives To Binary Options

There are several reasons why binary options alternatives should be considered, especially for UK-based traders:

  • Banned In The UK: The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has banned local brokers from offering binary options to retail clients, so traders are forced to use either unregulated and/or offshore binary brokers which carry a greater risk due to the lack of protective measures.
  • Fixed Returns: Typically, the percentage profit is 70–90% of the stake but this can vary depending on the broker, expiration time and asset. This is a very respectable profit, but some other derivatives such as CFDs and options offer a much higher upside if there are drastic price movements, particularly when leverage is involved.
  • High Risk: Trading binary options can quickly lead to mounting losses after just a few trades that go wrong, since this is an all-or-nothing trade. The risk element is a key reason retail traders seek out binary options alternatives.
  • Difficulty Of Achieving Sustained Profits: Combining high risk with fixed profits means that it is not easy to consistently generate returns. If the average profit percentage of each binary options trade is 75% and you stake the same amount every time, more than 57% of trades must end in-the-money to at least break even. This is not accounting for any fees.
  • Risk Of Scams: Because UK investors must use unlicensed or foreign brokers, there is a higher risk of scams. In 2018, Action Fraud found that over £87,000 was lost to fraudulent binary options brokers every day.
  • Halal Or Haram: Some view binary options as gambling, which is not in accordance with Sharia law. While there may not be a clear fatwa (Islamic ruling) on binary options, if you are unsure then it may be best to seek alternatives to binary options trading to stay on the safe side.

Final Thoughts On Binary Options Alternatives

Whatever your reason for branching out from trading binary options, there are many alternatives you could switch to. Whichever you choose, it is imperative, particularly for beginners, that you take the time to learn how the instrument works. Most brokers offer education on the types of trading products they offer as well as a free demo account where you can practice. Once you feel comfortable, log into a live account and start implementing your strategy, whether it is day trading, swing trading or anything in between.

FAQ

Which Alternatives To Binary Options Are Best For UK Investors?

UK investors and traders each have their own preferences and trading styles, so there is not one single best alternative to binary options. It is worthwhile looking at brokers that offer a variety of financial instruments so you can try them out for yourself. For example, Kucoin and Binance are both crypto exchanges with a small derivative offering while IG offers spread betting and CFDs on stocks, forex and commodities.

Use a demo account to practice trading the many alternatives to binary options to find what is best for you. It could even be worthwhile keeping an Excel spreadsheet or journal to note down what is good or bad about each.

What Trading Strategies Can I Use To Trade Binary Options Alternatives?

There are many different strategies you can adopt with binary options alternatives, for example, hedging, arbitrage, a candlestick strategy, a, line chart and Heiken Ashi. Most platforms such as MT4 and MT5 have several in-built indicators such as Keltner Channels which can be used to develop a strategy. TradingView also offers a DIY service through its Pine Script in addition to the many free signals where you can design your own indicators. These can be adapted to any market, be it forex or commodities.

Can I Use Expert Advisors With Binary Options Alternatives?

Many brokers which offer alternatives to binary options allow their clients to execute their strategy using a trading robot. MetaTrader’s MT4 and MT5 are high-quality platforms that allow clients to develop their own bots or use ones that have already been created. Alternatively, you may be able to find bots coded in Python on Github.

Note, it can be difficult to create your own automated system, so take the time to properly learn the process. There are many free courses and books online which explain trading concepts with clear definitions. You can also learn from experienced traders on chatrooms and forums such as Discord and Reddit.

Is Trading Binary Options The Same As Options?

No, standard options are different from binary options. The biggest difference between binary options vs regular options is how the returns work. Binary options have fixed returns and so you know your profit will be a percentage of your stake used to open the contract. For regular options, the buy or sell price is your chosen strike price and is not linked to the stake to open the contract. A key reason why regular options are popular alternatives to binary options is that they are more readily available around the world, as fewer countries have them on a blacklist for retail traders.

What Binary Options Alternatives Are Available In The UK?

All the alternatives to binary options discussed in this article can be traded by UK investors through FCA-regulated brokers. This includes CFDs, spread betting, and standard options.

Importantly, the top UK and international brokers offering binary options alternatives and trading solutions will offer user-friendly apps available to download on Android and iOS mobiles, plus Mac computers. Also, the best businesses will offer additional global trading opportunities, including via cash accounts and cards, Bitcoin, Ethereum and ETF trading, plus a selection of education and learning tools to give you a key investment edge. Secure platform logins is also a must, whether trading binary options or alternatives.