There is no minimum account balance to trade futures in a (non-IRA) margin account. However, your 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 position. 


IRA accounts, however, must have a Start of Day Net Liq must be $25,000 or more to trade futures or options on futures. 


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 learn more about CME's SPAN Margining System, please click here.


Non-IRA Margin Accounts

  • Outright futures contract: overnight requirement
  • Options on Futures
    • Long options on futures: Debit paid
    • Short options on futures: CME SPAN Margin Requirement
    • Long/short options on futures spreads:  CME SPAN Margin Requirement
  • Outright futures contract + Any options futures position in the same root symbol: CME’s SPAN Margining.
  • To learn how to enable futures in a margin account, please click here.


IRA Accounts

Eligibility Requirement

  • You must be eligible* for "IRA The Works."
  • Start of Day Net Liq must be $25,000 or greater to trade futures.
  • To learn how to apply for futures in an IRA, please click here.

Minimum to Trade Futures

  • Outright Futures Contract: 125% of the overnight requirement
  • Options on Futures
    • 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 futures contract + Any options futures position in the same root symbol: 2X CME SPAN Margin Requirement