There is no minimum account balance to trade any Small Exchange product or CME outright future in a (non-IRA) margin account. However, you must have our highest margin trading level, The Works, with futures trading enabled. Furthermore, the margin account must satisfy the overnight requirement to trade outright futures contracts. On the other hand, options on futures are subject to CME's SPAN Margin Methodology, and your account must satisfy that amount to trade those types of positions. 


IRA accounts must have our highest IRA trading level, IRA The Works, and have a Start of Day Net Liq of $5,000 or more to trade any Small Exchange product or CME micro e-mini futures contracts. However, to trade any standard CME futures contract or options on futures, the IRA must start with $25,000 or more. We've summed up everything below:


Please note that overnight futures requirements and SPAN margin requirements can change at any time.


To view a list of available futures contracts, as well as overnight requirement amounts, please click here.

To view a list of available Small Exchange products, as well as overnight requirements, please click here.

To learn more about CME's SPAN Margin Methodology, please click here.


Margin Accounts (non-IRA)

Margin Account Eligibility

  • Must be eligible for our highest margin trading level, The Works, and enable futures trading.

To explore our trading levels and allowable strategies, please click here.

To learn how to enable futures in a margin account, please click here.


Minimum to Trade Futures in a margin account

  • Outright CME futures, CME micro futures, and Smalls: No minimum, margin account must satisfy the overnight requirement
  • Options on Futures
    • Long options on futures: Debit paid
    • Short options on futures: CME SPAN Margin Requirement
    • Long/short options on futures spread: CME SPAN Margin Requirement
  • Outright CME futures contract + any options futures position in the same root symbol: CME SPAN Margin amount.


IRA Accounts

IRA Account Eligibility Requirement for Futures Trading

  • You must be eligible for IRA The Works.

To learn how to apply for futures in an IRA, please click here.


IRA Account Minimums to Trade Futures in an IRA

  • Smalls and CME Micro e-mini futures contracts minimum: Start of Day Net Liq must be $5,000
  • Standard CME futures contracts & options on futures: Start of Day Net Liq must be $25,000


Buying Power Requirements for IRA Futures Trading

  • Smalls, Outright CME futures, and CME micro futures: 125% of the overnight requirement

To trade options on futures in an IRA account, your IRA must have a Start of Day Net Liq of $25,000 and meet the following buying power requirements.

  • Long options on futures: Debit paid
  • Short options on futures: 2X CME SPAN Margin Requirement
  • Long/short options on futures spreads:  2X CME SPAN Margin Requirement
  • Outright CME futures contract + Any options futures position in the same root symbol: 2X CME SPAN Margin Requirement