IQ Option Review
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It is always nice to head out onto the world wide web to dig up dirt (i.e. locate breaking news) on an online trading platform and not really find any.
IQ Option is not a newcomer to the online trading platform industry. In fact, it has several productive years under its belt and is still growing and expanding. But right from day one, the company has maintained a clear focus in each area – remaining productive and continuing to evolve to better meet the needs and goals of its end user base.
Right into 2020, IQ Option continues to accrue overall high marks in both areas, which is a topic we will delve into in much greater detail here.
But for now, what you need to know right up front is this: unfortunately, not all countries are eligible to trade through the IQ Option online platform.
More specifically, the list of IQ Option’s non-eligible countries currently includes the United States.
This means that even if you currently live outside of the U.S.A. but are a United States citizen, you will not be able to use IQ Option to trade online (read on for a full list of permitted and disallowed countries below here).
But for citizens of eligible countries interested in investing in options, forex, ETFs, stocks and other assets, IQ Option has a lot to offer.
Investor Warning: The Financial Products offered by the company include Contracts for Difference (‘CFDs’) and other complex financial products. Trading CFDs carries a high level of risk since leverage can work both to your advantage and disadvantage. As a result, CFDs may not be suitable for all investors because it is possible to lose all of your invested capital. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Before trading in the complex financial products offered, please ensure to understand the risks involved.
Overview and Summary
This section gives you a broad-brush perspective of how IQ Option stacks up against its online trading platform competitors.
As well, the information in this section relates back to what its millions-strong worldwide user base has to say about navigating the platform and finding the trading tools and asset categories that best meet their needs.
IQ Option Overview: Pros & Cons
Here is a big picture overview and summary of IQ Option’s major pros and cons.
You will quickly notice there are far more pros than cons listed below. This is reflective of user experiences across a range of respected independent review sites – see summary here for details.
- IQ Option Europe Ltd., the parent company, is regulated by CySEC (Cypress, UK, Securities and Exchange Commission) and as such is authorized to serve the European Economic Area (EEA) as a Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) compliant online brokerage.
- As a member of the Investors Compensation Scheme, each trader has funds protection of up to 20,000 euros.
- IQ Option offers a free training/practice account preloaded with $1,000 of virtual “funds” so you can try it before you commit to funding your own live account.
- When you go live, all it takes to fund your account is an initial deposit of $10.
- You can make live trades starting at just $1.
- 24/7 customer support with an interface that supports 13 different languages.
- IQ Option also offers a potentially lucrative affiliate program with 137,000+ participants worldwide with generous payouts.
- Both the platform itself and the proprietary software that runs the web/desktop platform and the apps have earned numerous reliability, “best of” and technology awards.
- IQ Option participates in a number of online trading tournaments with entry fees starting as low as $2 and prize pools ranging from $100 to $100,000+ – this is meant to compensate for the CySEC oversight that prohibits deposit bonuses.
- For those interested in socially responsible investing and companies that care about the same, IQ Option maintains its own Charitable Foundation to support the needs of underprivileged families and children throughout Africa.
- Certain countries are disallowed for using IQ Option, one of which is the United States (read on for more specifics on this topic).
- Only traders in the EEA have the additional protection of the Investors Compensation Scheme. – Traders outside the EEA are regulated and protected by the FSA (Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) and managed by a spinoff called IQ Option Ltd.
- In order to participate in public chats, it is necessary to first make at least one account deposit and at a minimum of $300 (or equivalent).
- Withdrawals take a minimum of three business days to process and can take up to nine or more days to appear at the receiving financial institution. In the case of a bank wire, the funds can take up to a whopping 45 days to appear at the other end.
- Education and learning center tools are widely considered to be weak compared to some other online trading platforms.
What is IQ Option? A Brief Company History
IQ Option opened its digital doors in 2013. To date, the company has welcomed more than 48,000,000 users to the platform with transactions in excess of 1.3 million per day.
IQ Option as a company is remarkably reticent about its own company history and growth.
There is no “About Us” section on the official website – only sub-sections that take a look at recent press (and this page is not too recent, as it turns out – the last entry made was in 2017), numbers and statistics, awards and a side note about their charitable foundation.
IQ Option’s founder is Dmitry Zaretsky. There is also very little in the news about Zaretsky.
This is somewhat strange as most companies are keen to share their history as a method of building a foundation of trust with potential customers. But this is apparently not the case with IQ Option. This company almost appears keen to stay out of the news even when the news is positive.
However, in one sense, while no news is not as informative as good news, it is also refreshing to notice there seems to be no bad news (recent or otherwise) that has been widely posted about either the company itself or its founder.
One notable news highlight happened in 2017 when IQ Option decided to fund a new project called the OTN, or Open Trading Network. The OTN has since become a valuable part of IQ Option’s own cryptocurrency trading platform perks as users can now buy and use OTN tokens to make trades to reduce potential commissions paid.
This cross-chain solution, as it is now called, is able to facilitate transactions from one blockchain to another, in the process connecting many different blockchains together. The Open Trading Network includes a crypto-token wallet connected to a distributed ledger that is now facilitating trades in new unique, accessible ways for traders worldwide.
Is IQ Option a Legitimate, Trustworthy Platform?
Fundamentally, IQ Option itself is a legitimate online platform from which to trade in a wide variety of assets across various risk profiles.
Where this issue gets confusing to still-learning traders in particular is when you see written warnings on the IQ Option website to the effect that trading in certain securities is inherently risky. In some cases this had led to misinterpretation about the IQ Option platform and software itself, even causing it to be mislabeled as risky when in fact it is actually quite stable and reliable overall.
A great example pf this can be found in the small print warning box on IQ Option’s own homepage on the IQ Option website (visit the homepage and scroll down to the callout box titled “RISK WARNING”).
This fine print note explains that certain assets accessible through the IQ Option trading platform carry a high degree of known risk.
But here, this is NOT the same as saying that using IQ Option (as opposed to another online trading platform) is risky.
IQ Option itself is widely regarded as a reputable online platform with many years’ positive performance in the wider world of online trading platforms and plenty of innovation to offer its users, as we will explore in much greater detail here later.
What Countries are Eligible to Use IQ Option?
As we mentioned earlier in the introduction here, IQ Option, which is currently headquartered in the United Kingdom, does not currently accept traders from every single country.
Below we have listed the current countries that are accepted and the countries that are disallowed from joining IQ Option as of time of publication.
Since this country list is subject to change at any time, when in doubt, the easiest way to find out if your country is currently on IQ Option’s “accepted list” is to try to sign up.
If your country is not on the accepted list, you will see an immediate warning message to this effect pop up on your screen and you will not be able to proceed further with your account registration.
Are you a UK resident? – See our best UK forex brokers review.
Countries That Can Trade With IQ Option
The IQ Option website states that the platform is accessible by traders from 213 countries in total.
If you want to see if your country is on the list, the full country list can be found on the website (scroll down to where you see the header “Geographic Coverage.”
Major countries that are NOT currently able to trade with IQ Option:
- Russian Federation
- United States
How Extensive are the Trading Options for Different Asset Classes?
IQ Option by and large is considered to have a comprehensive offering of various asset classes.
Available Forex Trading Pairs
New currency pairs are constantly being added to the IQ Option menu of forex pairs. In 2018, for example, the platform added 40 new currency pairs.
However, the IQ Option blog states that these seven are the most consistently popular forex currency pairs most traders focus on:
Asset Classes Available for Trade
The IQ Option website states that the platform has recently expanded the list of assets available to trade as follows:
- Forex: major, minor and exotic currency pairs
- Options: digital and binary
- CFD Stocks (contract for different stocks)
- ETFs (exchange traded funds)
IQ Option Also Permits the Ability to Trade on Leverage
Leverage trading is where you can borrow from the broker in excess of the funds available in your IQ Option trade account.
Leverage is expressed as a ratio. For users who live in countries within the EEA, the maximum allowable leverage is 1:3. For users who live in countries outside the EEA, the maximum allowable leverage is 1:5.
For VIP clients, there is no restriction on leverage trading.
How Does IQ Option Stack Up Overall?
In the sections that follow here, we will dig down deep to explore what IQ Option has to offer in terms of its platform, digital interface, fees, mobile experience, learning resources and more.
Account Type Options
IQ Option offers three different account types as outlined here:
Training (Demo) Account
This free practice account is identical in every way to a real account, including the market movements that take place inside it. But instead of real funds, it is funded with $1,000 in virtual funds so that you can try out the IQ Option platform before opening and funding a real account.
It is possible to trade the entire balance and then restore it so you can keep practicing until you have decided whether to move forward. You don’t have to provide any personal information or use a credit card to open a demo account. IQ Option highly recommends starting with the training account unless you are an experienced investor.
Real (Personal) Account
This account can be funded with just $10 and can be used to access all asset classes that IQ Option offers (as your country of citizenship permits). You can keep your training account open for more practice even as you begin using your personal account. Once you open a real account you will have access to online live chat support and can begin to participate in the weekly tournaments.
In order to open a VIP account you must deposit at least $3,000 (or equivalent). With a VIP account, you then have access to dedicated VIP customer service managers.
You can participate in any of the weekly online tournaments and all the entry fees are waived. VIP account clients also get an average of three percent bump per profitable trade that is deposited to their account post-trade.
IQ Option Trading Platform Interface Options
The IQ Option proprietary desktop platform interface has won several awards for innovation, uniqueness and ease of use. For example, users really like the option to trade right from the chart views.
With multiple chart types, multiple view options, multiple time frames and multiple graphing tools and widgets, it is possible to deeply customize your portal to your trading interests, needs and goals.
In countries where binary trading is permitted, users particularly appreciate having access to the more sophisticated trading views and tools that can also be used with different asset classes.
The platform interface has six tabs which can be accessed from the “settings” button. The six tabs are General, Trading, Keyboard Shortcuts, Notifications, Privacy and About.
The general tab is where you will probably want to start customizing the IQ Option desktop interface to your preferences and needs.
You can set the time zone, preferred language and choose from four color schemes. The interface is scalable so you can zoom in or out as needed.
By changing the checkboxes in this tab, you can further customize how relevant information and data appears on your screen.
The trading tab gives you control over how you open and close trades as well as how you track trading activity. You can also choose whether to view all of your trades in a series of tabs or each in its own new dedicated window.
You also have the option to use preset keyboard shortcuts and designate your own to make it easier to get around the interface and act quickly when the need arises.
You can elect which notifications you want to receive and when you want them to appear. If you want push notifications or notifications of closed trades outside of the platform interface you can set those up from this tab also.
The privacy tab is useful to safeguard your personal information and your trading history and activity.
For example, you may not want other traders to be able to view your real name or your trading activity. So you can set up an imaginary name for use in the chats and when participating in the weekly tournaments, et al. You can also elect to keep your trades private.
The about tab is not customizable but you can use it to find out which version of the platform software you are running and access the platform’s terms of service with the current fee structure and account regulations.
IQ Option Mobile vs Desktop User Experience
For most traders, whether avocational or professional, one of the most important aspects of choosing an online trading platform today is the mobile feature. How functional is the platform when transitioning from desktop to tablet or phone? Is it easy to switch back and forth?
These types of questions become incredibly important when you have to manage your trading activity while on the go. Happily, IQ Option has scored consistently high marks for its mobile apps as well as its desktop interface pretty much since its launch in 2013.
In fact, both the proprietary desktop software and the mobile apps have won multiple awards for uniqueness and functionality over the years. This sets IQ Option apart from many of its competitors, where many are still playing catch-up trying to design mobile apps to provide a comprehensive trading experience.
IQ Option currently supports two mobile apps: one for Android devices and one for iOS/Apple devices. Both are free of charge to download and use.
- Android app: 4 (out of 5 stars)
- iOS/Apple app: 4.4 (out of 5 stars)
- Average app score: 4.2 (out of 5 stars)
One nice thing to see here is that both the Android app and the iOS/Apple app are receiving similarly strong reviews.
But whereas the Android app has garnered more than 400,000 reviews to date, the iOS/Apple app has only around 50 reviews thus far, indicating it is either much newer or much less popular.
In the case of the Android app, however, the most recent reviews indicate there has been a software update that is now causing the app to crash repeatedly. Users also report having trouble with withdrawals and updating their account data.
But even in the wake of these mobile technology troubles, one thing to note that is very positive is that the customer support team is clearly very active on the app review site.
There is a response from customer support posted to every single recent review whether positive or negative.
When negative, the customer support side always gives additional ways to contact them and/or a request to be allowed to resolve the complaint and/or some guidance for what to do next. When positive, the customer support side always thanks the reviewer for their feedback.
IQ Option Account Minimum Deposit Requirements
As noted earlier here, the following account minimum deposit requirements are currently in place:
Training (Demo) Account
The training account is free and “funded” with $1,000 in virtual funds (some review sites report that the account is funded with $10,000 in virtual funds, but the IQ Option blog states that the correct amount is $1,000).
Real (Personal) Account
A real live account can be funded with just $10 (or currency equivalent).
A VIP account can be funded with $3,000 (or currency equivalent).
IQ Option Account Fees and Other Fees
Like all online trading platforms, IQ Option maintains a series of account fees and trading fees as follows.
These fees are generally considered to be competitive in terms of what is charged in the online trading marketplace as of now.
The fee structure for using the IQ Option trading platform is relatively straightforward and outlined in full in the company’s posted online Terms and Conditions.
Account and Banking Fees
- Deposit fee: there are no deposit fees.
- Inactive/dormant account fee: 10 euros per month after 90 days of inactivity and ongoing until account closure or re-activation. For dormant accounts where the balance decreases to the point where insufficient funds exist to pay the 10 euros, a lower amount will be deducted and the account will be closed from the IQ Option side.
- Account closure fee: An account closure fee will only be assessed in the event you open an account and are asked to provide additional information and you fail to do so within 15 days from the date you make your first deposit. The fee for this will be five euros or less if the funds in your account equal five euros or less. If your account has more than five euros in it, no fee will be assessed to return your funds and close out your account.
- Bank transfer (withdrawal fee): $31 (or equivalent) for a withdrawal via bank transfer.
- Payment service (withdrawal fee): Varies depending on the payment service used.
- Withdrawal fees (certain currencies): Certain currencies will incur a flat two percent fee for the fourth withdrawal made in any calendar month (so the first three withdrawals in these currencies will be free). Affected currencies include: PHP (Philippine peso), RUB (Russian ruble), GBP (British pound sterling), ZAR (South African rand), THB (Thai baht), TRY (Turkish lira), EUR (Euro), BRL (Brazilian real), IDR (Indonesian rupiah), MYR (Malaysian Ringgit), VND (Vietnamese dong), USD (United States dollar), CNY (Chinese yuan).
- Swap fees: 0.1 to 0.5 percent on average for positions held overnight or over a weekend.
- Commissions: vary depending on the asset class.
- OTN Tokens: platform users are permitted to purchase and use OTN (Open Trading Network) cryptocurrency tokens to make trades as a method of potentially reducing commissions paid for opening CFDs. However, tokens may incur maintenance fees of anywhere from 0.25 to 2.5 percent depending on how long the position has been open.
- Spread fees: will vary depending on the asset category and buy/sell variance.
Fees Per Asset Class
- CFDs on Cryptocurrency: swap fee ranges from 0.25 to 1.7+ percent.
- CFDs on Forex: swap fees of 0.01 to 1.7+ percent.
- CFDs on Stocks: swap fees of 0.01 up to 1.7 percent or higher.
- CFDs on ETFs: swap fees of 0.01 to 1.7 percent or greater.
- CFDS on Commodities: swap fees range from 0.01 to 1.7 percent or greater.
- CFDs on Indices: swap fees range from 0.01 to 1.7+ percent.
IQ Option Learning and Trading News, Education and Tools
There is no doubt that some of the asset classes accessible for trade via the IQ Option trading platform are extremely high risk – akin to outright betting or gambling in some cases.
This makes having reliable access to up-to-date news about trading trends, market fluctuations and economic issues essential.
Providing practical, accessible learning tools is also an important service that has become industry standard for online trading platforms. IQ Option does a good job from within the desktop portal and mobile apps by displaying current calendars, news, analysis tools and indicators.
Where IQ Option isn’t so strong, users agree, is in their learning and education tools. All learning tools are presented in video format with no transcription provided. There isn’t a lot of information available to help guide the newcomer or even to enhance knowledge for the experienced trader.
In this area, it will be important to have outside resources to support the trading activities you choose to undertake with IQ Option.
IQ Option Customer Service
IQ Option has customer service support staff on call 24/7 via phone, email and chat.
IQ Option supports 13 languages, which is in keeping with its 13 worldwide offices in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Singapore, Spain, Chile, India, Thailand and Colombia.
Average wait time per chat message is 43 seconds (down from two minutes in 2014). Average wait time for an email response is 20 minutes (down from 14 hours in 2014).
So clearly the platform’s team has been working hard to ramp up its game in terms of end user support, adding no less than 74 new support team members in the ensuing years since their launch (the starting team consisted of just five customer service staff).
In Summary: Is IQ Option the Online Trading Platform for You?
As you now know, IQ Option is a global online trading platform that is situated on a solid foundation of award-winning desktop, web and mobile software and technology.
With an overwhelmingly positive reputation based solely on user reviews and plenty of above-board regulatory oversight to recommend it, it is not surprising the majority of independent reviews were complimentary of the platform.
The proprietary platform achieves its goal of offering a streamlined, integrated, one-stop-shopping interface that makes trading and tracking simple and straightforward. The fees are reasonable and competitive and the customer support and service team is engaged and accessible.
But it is worth pointing out that IQ Option supports trading in some of the riskiest securities on the planet and more than a few users report losing funds because they didn’t do their own due diligence and homework before making trades.
In other words, this is definitely a platform where you will be able to chart your own course, so it will be up to you to do the research required (and likely outside of the platform itself, as IQ Option’s educational and learning tools are lightweight at best) to make smart, risk-sensitive trading choices.
In summary, IQ Option is a place where you will sink or swim entirely under your own steam, which is strangely in keeping with the high risk asset classes you will trade here. Some traders love this type of business model. If this describes you, IQ Option might be a good choice for your online trading needs.
If you’d like to read more comprehensive information about multi-country brokers please refer to our best forex brokers guide.