How do I apply for Intraday Futures Margin?

Are you a futures trader looking to scale into positions without the burden of posting the entire overnight margin requirement? Then intraday margin can potentially work in your favor. Intraday futures margin applies to Small Exchange products (the 'Smalls') and CME outright futures. 

Are you curious about which futures contracts are available for trading at tastyworks and the overnight margin requirement? If so, then please click the links below:

However, if you wish to apply for futures trading in your margin account, please click here for instructions.


What is Intraday Futures Margin?

Allows for 4X leverage when trading outright Smalls and futures contracts

Intraday margin provides for greater leverage* for futures traders with a lower initial buying power requirement in comparison to the standard overnight requirement needed to trade any outright Smalls or futures contract. Instead of posting the entire overnight requirement, intraday margin provides four-times (4X) leverage or 25% of the initial margin requirement.

*Please Note: Exposure to greater leverage can lead to accelerated gains or losses.

Example of an account without Intraday Margin

Let’s use a real-life example. When 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.

Example of an account with Intraday Margin

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.

What is the minimum to apply for and maintain intraday futures margin?

Account Type and Level

First, you must have a margin account with our highest trading level–The Works and enable futures trading.

Account Minimum for Regular Futures Contracts

As determined by our clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corp, your account must have a minimum portfolio net liq of $25,000 or more based on the previous day's close. Intraday margin will reduce from 4X to 2X when your account closes below $25,000 and above $10,000 at our clearing firm. There are NO exceptions. 

Account Minimum for the Smalls and Micro Futures Contracts

If you only intend to trade the Smalls or CME micro futures contracts, you only need to have a minimum portfolio net liq of $2,500 to maintain intraday futures margin (4X), based on the previous day's close, as determined by our clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corp. There are NO exceptions.

Key Points When Considering Intraday Futures Margin

The intraday futures margin session starts at 8:30 am and ends at 3:00 pm (Chicago time), except for agricultural products, which ends at 12:20 pm. 
  • Futures positions held past 3:00 pm will require the overnight margin requirement^.
  • Eligibility for intraday futures margin is based upon your account's net liq on the previous day's close.
  • tastyworks has the right and ability to disable intraday futures margin on accounts without notice.
  • Intraday futures margin is not available for IRA accounts.
  • You may request to remove intraday margin from your account by emailing our support team at To re-establish intraday margin, please contact our support team.
  • Opening an option on futures positions in the same root (/ES, /NQ, /CL, etc.) will disable intraday margin.

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

How to Apply for Intraday Margin

Log in to your account at>My Accounts>Trading Preferences

If intraday margin fits your trading style, then all you need to do is apply for it. To apply for intraday futures margin, start by logging into your account at>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 immediately available after applying for intraday futures margin if your account meets the minimum.

Illustrated Instructions