Are you a futures trader looking to scale into positions without the burden of posting the initial/overnight margin requirement? Then intraday margin may be what you’re looking for. 


Are you curious about which futures contracts are available for trading at tastyworks and the initial margin requirement? If so, then please click here.


To learn how to apply for futures, then please click here.


Continue below to learn:


What is Intraday Margin?

Intraday margin allows for greater leverage* for futures traders with a lower initial margin requirement (compared to the overnight requirement). Instead of posting the entire initial margin requirement, intraday margin provides four-times (4X) leverage or 25% of the initial margin requirement.


Let’s use a real-life example. At the time this example was written, a /ESM8 (E-mini S&P 500-June ‘18) futures contract had an initial margin requirement of $6,380 (plus an additional $1.25 in commissions and $1.50 in fees). Below is an example of an account without intraday margin. The full overnight requirement is needed to place the trade.


Now, let’s take a look at an account with intraday margin. We’ll use the same /ES contract for this example. With intraday margin, this will allow you to post 25% of the initial margin, or $1,595 ($6,380 x 0.25), plus commissions and fees, instead of the full overnight requirement.


*Please Note: Exposure to greater leverage can lead to accelerated gains, but can also lead to accelerated losses.


Key Points when Considering Intraday Margin

  • Account must have our highest margin level, “The Works,” and be approved for futures trading. 
  • Account must have a minimum net liq of $15,000.
  • Start of day net liq must be $15,000 or greater*, as determined by our clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corp., no exceptions will be granted.
  • The intraday margin session starts at 8:30 am and ends at 3:00 pm (Chicago time), with exception of agricultural products which ends at 1:20 pm.
  • Futures positions held past 3:00 pm will require the overnight margin requirement^.
  • Eligibility for intraday margin is dependent upon your account's start of day net liq.
  • tastyworks has the right and ability to turn off intraday margin on accounts without notice.
  • Intraday margin will not be available for IRA accounts (when futures trading in IRAs are available).
  • You may request to remove intraday margin from your account by e-mailing our support team at support@tastyworks.com. To re-establish intraday margin, please contact our support team.

*Start of day net liq is typically measured at 8:00 am (Chicago time).

^Customers who cannot satisfy the overnight margin requirement may be closed out by our margin and risk team.


How to Apply for Intraday Margin

If intraday margin fits your trading style then all you need to do is apply. To apply for intraday margin, start by logging into your account at tastyworks.com>My Accounts>Trading Preferences, or click here for a shortcut.


If you do not see the ENABLE button for intraday margin, then your browser may be caching old data. To bypass this and refresh your browser please use the following keystrokes:

PC: CTRL + F5

Mac:  ⌘ Cmd + ⇧ Shift + R


Once successfully enabled, there is no waiting period. Intraday margin is available for trading if your account is eligible at the start of the day. 


Please follow the step-by-step illustrated instructions below to learn how to apply.