Start Trading Futures

Frequently Asked Questions

Existing clients:

1. Apply 

Begin the application: Log in to your account and go to Client Services > My Profile. Under Elections & Routing, look for Futures, and click Enable.  Approval usually takes two to three business days.

To apply for futures and trade them, you need the following:

  • Margin approval
  • Enable advanced features during the futures application process
  • If you already have these requirements, you will go straight to the futures application. If you do not, you will be prompted to enable one or both requirements prior to applying.


2. Prepare 

After applying for futures approval, there are a couple of things you can do to get ready:

Set up your platforms:
Download thinkorswim® and the thinkorswim Mobile app to help you monitor the market, plan your strategy, and implement it—all from an easy-to-use, integrated environment.

Familiarize yourself with futures: Visit the Education & resources section on our website to better understand futures, so when you're approved to trade them, you're ready.

3. Trade

Execute your plan: Once you've applied for futures, learned more about them, downloaded the platform, and are officially approved, you can start trading.

New clients:

1. Open a TD Ameritrade account

Become a client: Get access to not only our products and services but also the knowledgeable support, innovative platforms, and educational resources you need to take on the futures market with confidence.

2. Follow the steps under "Existing clients"

Apply for futures approval: Now that you're a client, you'll need to apply for futures approval to start trading—simply follow the steps outlined at left.

Still have questions?

Get the support you need, anytime you need it. Contact the trade desk and connect with a live futures specialist—24/6.


866-839-1100, option 1, then 2

Not a client?


Log in to thinkorswim, select Support/Chat › Live Support › Create Support Request