IQ Option is a renowned online broker with its own investing platform that rivals the MetaTrader suite. Swing traders have access to a range of markets, from forex and stocks to cryptocurrencies and commodities. In this 2023 review, we cover everything from the company’s history to spreads, commissions, customer service and mobile trading. Find out whether to open an IQ Option trading account today.
What Is IQ Option?
IQ Option is a digital broker that provides traders with access to a variety of markets including forex, stocks, cryptocurrencies, commodities and ETFs. Regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), its headquarters are located in Limassol, Cyprus. The current owner and CEO is Timofey Baranov.
Traders based in Europe are registered with IQ Option Europe Ltd., whereas traders from other countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria and New Zealand (NZ), are registered with IQ Option LLC. This sister company is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority and is based in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
There are restrictions on who can register with IQ Option. In Europe, for example, the broker is not available in the UK, Russia or Kosovo. Also, traders based in other countries such as the USA, Japan and Pakistan are not eligible to sign up.
Launched in 2013 by founder Dmitry Zaretsky, over 7 million customers from across the globe have registered an account. Additionally, IQ Option has won multiple awards, such as the Best Trading Platform at the 2014 Forex Awards and an Award of Excellence at the 2017 Communicator Awards.
Below is a breakdown of the markets offered by IQ Option:
- Forex – 35 major, minor and exotic currency pairs, with leverage of up to 1:30
- Stocks – 195 stocks from a number of different industries and countries, many of which feature in the S&P 500. 1:5 is the maximum available leverage
- Cryptocurrencies – 12 cryptos including the popular Bitcoin and Ethereum. Leverage is limited to a maximum of 1:2. After purchase, the crypto is stored in a special IQ Option wallet
- Commodities – Three commodities of WTI crude oil, Brent crude oil and gold, all with a maximum leverage of 1:20
- ETFs – 23 ETFs in different industries, sectors and indices. Leverage is capped at 1:5
The IQ Option proprietary platform is full of features while maintaining a clean user interface that is easy to navigate. Detailed market analysis is possible through time frames ranging from seconds to a month and over 100 technical indicators. While customers do not have access to the industry-favoured MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms, the IQ Option platform makes up for this with an intuitive platform suited to all types of traders.
As well as being available through a web browser, the free computer app is available for download on Windows PCs (Windows 7 or 8 or higher) and macOS devices (Yosemite 10.10 or higher). The download is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit PCs.
Key features of the trading platform include:
- Margin trading
- One-click trading
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Detailed market analysis
- Novel risk management options
- Customisable alerts, indicators and graphs
- Positional top-up to hold a position through a stop loss order
- A trade room to discuss potential trades and strategy ideas
- Historical data on forex price quotes for the previous 7 days
Additionally, clients can use trading robots to execute automatic trades, equivalent to the EAs available on MetaTrader. In particular, copy trading scripts can be downloaded to create notifications of trades executed by other successful traders. Examples include the Russian Console 4.04 and the cross-signal bot. These trading robots are often free to download and can be found on many third-party websites. However, users should take caution when downloading these files and be aware of dangerous .exe files.
Unfortunately, IQ Option does not provide developers with an official API.
For customers wishing to trade on the go, the IQ Option platform is also available as a mobile application. The app is available for Android (.apk) and iOS devices, from Google Play and the Apple App Store. Specific versions of the app (for example Android 4.0) can be found on third party websites such as uptodown. Note that download is not yet possible via QR code.
The Real Account is the most basic IQ Option account with a low minimum deposit of $10 and minimum trade of just $1. Customers with this account type have access to cryptos, forex, CFDs and, for non-EU customers, digital options and binary options. Additionally, non-EU customers have access to the frequent trading tournaments, but have to pay an entry fee for this.
The Real Account is an ideal option for beginners due to the low initial investment and access to several markets.
The VIP Account is more premium than the Real Account and comes with greater benefits. Features include a personal account manager, trading tutoring and additional educational resources. Additionally, VIP accounts do not need to pay the participation fees for the trading tournaments.
IQ Option only offers this account to customers who deposit over $1,900 and, due to ESMA restrictions, are not based in the EU. Successful traders such as Rodrigo Vailatti Wamdann have given interviews discussing their thoughts and experiences with the IQ Option VIP account, for those interested in more detailed user reviews.
IQ Option provides customers with the opportunity to practise trading using a free demo account. This is particularly useful for novice traders who have little or no experience with the platform. The demo account and live account have the same features so it is a simple and easy process to switch over to a live account.
One key benefit of the demo account is the ability to reset funds to the starting balance. This allows users to continue practising even if trades aren’t profitable.
IQ Option also provides customers with the option to open a Halal account, by requesting an Islamic account during the sign-up process.
One way IQ Option charges fees is through spreads. These are high compared with the industry average, with spreads of up to 15 pips on common forex pairs such as EURUSD and EURGBP. When a position is closed, the broker will take a portion of the pips. IQ Option charges a 2.9% commission rate for long crypto positions only.
Swing traders should note that IQ Option charges swap fees. Typically, the swap fees are between 0.01% and 0.6% of the position’s face value, but in certain situations this may be increased to 1.7%. These are charged as an overnight fee, so traders holding a position from Friday will be charged three times over the weekend.
Additionally, there is a dormancy fee of €10 for accounts that have had no trading activity over a period of 90 days. This inactivity fee is charged monthly until the balance runs out or trading activity begins again.
IQ Option offers a range of deposit methods, without any deposit fees:
- Credit/Debit Card – Transfers are processed instantly and can be made using Visa and Mastercard
- e-Wallets – There are many options to choose from such as Skrill, PayPal and Neteller. Many systems process deposits instantly but some may take up to 30 minutes
- Wire Transfer – Deposits can be made directly from a bank account, however these will take 3-5 business days
Customers can withdraw funds using the same methods:
- Credit/Debit Card – Withdrawals using either Visa or Mastercard can take up to 21 calendar days. Minimum withdrawal limits of €2, £2, $2 or 149₽ (RUB) apply
- e-Wallets – Withdrawals take one to three business days and can be made using Skrill, PayPal or Neteller. Minimum limits for Neteller and PayPal are €2, £2, $2 or 60₽, while Skrill limits are €10, £10, $12 or 834₽
- Wire Transfer – Bank transfers take from 1-3 business days to process and incur a charge of $31. Withdrawal minimums are €10, £10, $10 or 741₽
While there is no maximum withdrawal limit, customers are limited to only three free withdrawals per month. Any further withdrawals may incur fees.
IQ Option is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission under the name of IQ Option Europe Ltd. with license number 247/14. As the broker operates in the European Economic Area, it adheres to rules imposed by the European Securities and Markets Authority.
IQ Option LLC, which handles the accounts for the non-EEA customers is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority.
IQ Option has a number of measures in place to help protect client’s accounts and their funds. When users create a new account, they must complete a ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) verification process that requires proof of identification, address and funds.
There is also a two-factor authentication measure whereby every time you sign in, you receive a text with a unique code that must be input. To further protect clients, customer funds are kept in secure and reliable banks separated from company assets.
IQ Option is part of the Investor Compensation Fund, meaning there are guarantees to provide compensation up to €20,000 to clients should the broker enter liquidation.
The IQ Option website has a tutorial hub with videos and PDF guides on trading. In particular, novices can review the basics category to learn the fundamentals before signing up to a live account. Example topics include understanding Japanese candle stick patterns in graphs, how to trade with the Williams R% indicator and a potential trading strategy for beginners. This service is also handy for advanced traders looking to pick up valuable tips and tricks.
Furthermore, IQ Option has an economic calendar with upcoming events that could impact the value of certain assets traded on their platform. Each event is marked with a symbol to tell users whether low, medium or high volatility can be expected due to the given event.
IQ Option runs a blog and there is a wiki web page (a Wikipedia focused on IQ Option) with a range of informative articles and reviews such as how the free ZigZag signals work. This is a great way to keep up with news and announcements in the trading world from reputable sources such as Yahoo Finance. Traders in need of additional resources can also review social media pages such as trading groups on Reddit or YouTube videos. Be warned, however, that the videos that advertise outcomes such as ‘no loss’ or 100%, 99% or 90% winning strategies for 2023 are not able to guarantee these returns.
While the topics covering 30 seconds, 60 seconds/1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minute and 15 minute strategies can be useful for learning different trading methods, it is important to develop your own trading strategy with risk management tools in place. Videos advertising a ‘hack’ to boost profit percentage and net worth may not be reliable or trustworthy.
Due to ESMA regulation, IQ Option cannot offer special bonuses to its customers such as a no deposit bonus or quiz. It does, however, host regular trading tournaments for non-EU members. In these tournaments, each participant is given a special account with $10,000 with which to trade binary options. The earner, or top earners, is the trader with the most funds in their account at the end of the tournament. The prize pool comes from participation fees, which can vary from $2 to $20, based on the specific tournament’s duration and expected prize pool.
There are several reasons to join IQ Option:
- Free signals Telegram
- 24/7 customer support
- Hassle-free registration
- Positive withdrawal reviews
- Tournaments are an exciting way to earn
- Easily accessible with low minimum deposits
- Weekend OTC trading for non-EEA customers
- Free online practice account with secure demo account login
There are also downsides to opening an account with IQ Option:
- High spreads
- Swap-fees are charged
- Banned in the UK and the USA
For issues such as deposit or withdrawal problems, unexpected PSP errors, exposure limit exceeded, features not working or a blocked account, clients can seek advice from the IQ Option support team.
There are several contact options available:
- Email the support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 24/7 phone line available in 19 different languages
- Send a contact form for categorised queries and receive a response via email
- Message one of the IQ Option social media accounts on Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and Instagram. There are several IQ Option telegram channels where traders can receive support and tools such as free trading signals.
While there is no live chat on the IQ Option website, messaging via social media is possible.
Note, the head office address is available on the company website.
IQ Option is available in its origin country Cyprus, as well as other European countries including France, Germany and Italy. It is a legitimate binary options trading platform choice in many African countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Traders based in South Africa can also open a ZAR account with a minimum deposit of 180 ZAR.
Furthermore, it is legal to open an account in Asian countries such as India, Qatar, Indonesia and Jordan, in addition to Caribbean countries Jamaica and St. Lucia.
Unfortunately, UK retail investors cannot sign up. However, professional traders can register and login to an account to access binary and digital options trading with specialist support.
IQ Option Verdict
IQ Option is a viable option for budding swing traders looking for an alternative platform vs MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. The range of markets, low initial investment, demo account and tutoring make it suitable for beginners, as well as providing benefits for more advanced traders. However, IQ Option is not available for UK retail traders, and higher spreads may make it a less profitable choice when compared with other brokers.
- eToro – A global broker offering forex, cryptos, stocks, CFDs and ETFs. eToro is regulated by the FCA and open to customers from both the UK and USA. The minimum deposit is $50 for US customers and $200 for everywhere else.
- OctaFX – OctaFX offers both the MetaTrader 4 and 5 trading platforms with forex, indices, cryptos, commodities and CFD markets. Regulated by the CySEC, it has a minimum deposit of $100 and offers some of the lowest spreads in the industry.
- Olymp Trade – A broker regulated by the FinaCom offering fixed time trades. The minimum deposit is $10/€10 and the minimum trade is just $1/€1.
- Pocket Option – Regulated by the IFMRRC, this is a broker whose users can trade in stocks, cryptos and binary options. The minimum deposit is $50 and the minimum trade is $1.
- Expert Option – Specialising in fixed time trades, Export Option offers a low minimum deposit of $10/€10. Regulated by the SVGFSA, UK based traders cannot register accounts.
- Binomo – An unregulated broker offering fixed time trades only. The minimum deposit is $10 and trades from as little as $1 can be made.
- Binance – A well-known, decentralised cryptocurrency exchange. It offers peer- to-peer trading with a minimum deposit of $0 and a minimum trade requirement of $10.
Is IQ Option Safe And Legit?
Yes, IQ Option is regulated and adheres to rules regarding the protection of client funds. Reviews from other customers on websites such as Trustpilot, Reddit, Quora and YouTube provide further confidence in this broker.
Is IQ Option Regulated?
IQ Option is regulated by the CySEC for European operations and the SFSA for customers outside of Europe. This ensures the broker has to comply to the standards imposed by reputable regulatory bodies.
Can I Have 2 IQ Option Accounts?
No, traders may only open one account. IQ Option may block the account(s) of any customers that try to open more than one.
What Can I Do If IQ Option Have Scammed Me And Closed My Account?
Customers that feel their IQ Option account has been unjustly blocked can contact the support team on channels including email, telephone and social media messaging.
How Do I Use IQ Option To Make Money?
Traders can invest in several markets with IQ Option, but it is important to determine a strategy before trading with real funds. For example, having a predetermined forex trading strategy based on fundamental or technical analysis will improve your chance of becoming successful from swing trading.