A Complete Funded Futures Account Breakdown: The Cost

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Welcome to Part 1 of this series, in which I will be breaking down all the details of every prop firm. In this part, I will cover the cost of each funded futures program. After all, you can’t worry about getting funding if you aren’t prepared to pay the cost of the evaluation.

Like some of you, I know how it feels to be undercapitalized in the beginning. By the end of this article, you will hopefully know which program is right for you and your budget.

Most firms offer similar funded futures accounts at a competitive cost. They even have many of the same rules, but they are still all a little different and not equally suited for every type of trader.

I have also covered the rules here, and withdrawal process here in separate parts.

With that said, let’s check out what it costs to become a funded trader. At the end, I’ll summarize with my best choice of company for each type of account/trader, based on the total costs. You can skip ahead to that section by clicking here.

Before I get into the actual firms, I’ll explain the subscription model and how accounts typically scale.

The Monthly Subscription

This is something you’ll encounter at just about every firm. When you sign up for an evaluation, you will typically be subscribing to a monthly fee. When you pass, the subscription is canceled.

If you do not pass your evaluation in the first month, expect to pay again and again each month, until you cancel your subscription or meet the requirements for funding.

I recommend that you check the calendar before you start, and make sure you will be able to meet these requirements within the month. You will still pay the full cost even if you pass one hour late, so plan appropriately.

Reset Fee

Did you mess up on an evaluation? Some firms offer a flat fee to completely reset your account, including trading days.

However, this does not reset the monthly subscription date. If you are 24 days into your month when you screw up, and the evaluation requires 10 or 15 days, it’s a waste of money to reset the account. Start over with a new subscription instead. You can see this fact spelled out for you at ApexTrader.

On the other hand, if you fail in the first few days, it can be cheaper to reset than buy a fresh account. Consult your calendar before deciding.

You do not need to make a new account to start a new subscription.

Uneven costs and drawdowns

The cost per month (among other characteristics) does not scale evenly with most of these funded futures accounts. I’ll use OneUp Trader as an example.

If you want a $25,000 account to trade 3 contracts, it might cost $125 for the evaluation per month. But if you go for the $50,000 account and trade twice as many contracts, you are only paying $25 extra. Thus, there is simply no reason to use the $25,000 account in this case. You will find this to be the setup with most firms, as some of the smallest/largest accounts are priced poorly.

You will also notice that the profit targets scale mostly uniformly, but the drawdown does not. Going from a $50,000 account to $100,000 at OneUp Trader doubles the contracts allowed, profit target, and even monthly cost, but the drawdown is only increased by 40%.

This means the $100,000 account is less forgiving than $50,000. Then, when you compare the $150,000 drawdown to $250,000, you basically get no extra breathing room despite paying almost double the cost. You’d better know what you’re doing with 25 contracts and a $5,500 maximum drawdown!

Take all of this into consideration when deciding which account you want. If you have the extra money, you can accomplish a lot with a larger account. If not, I highly recommend the $50,000 to begin.

Account Activation/Assignment Fee

A few companies on this list feature an “Activation” or “Assignment” Fee. I won’t sugar coat it; this fee is bullshit. But some kind of fee upon funding is the norm at many firms, so you might as well get familiar with it.

All this means is that once you pay for your evaluation and pass, the monthly subscription cancels, but you are charged a single-amount before you start using your funded account. This comes out of your credit card or bank account, and not the funded account balance.

Why is this fee bullshit? Well, the fact that not everyone charges you to activate your account tells you that it’s not something that is required. Firms sometimes have an otherwise hard-to-beat price, only to add an extra $100 or $150 on to the cost. This only makes it easier to choose their competition. I don’t agree with it, but as I said earlier, this is becoming quite common, so we have to accept it.

Apex Trader

Apex Trader is one of the few prop firms that offers multiple accounts. For this reason, they are quite popular, but the expenses can quickly add up if you’re not prepared.

On their home page, they advertise two sets of accounts. There’s 8 separate accounts in each set, for a total of 16 options. The two types of accounts are based on the platform you will be using.

These accounts are shown in the table below, with the costs associated with each. Tradovate users will be charged $20 more for whichever account size they choose. This $20 applies to the reset fee also.

Tradovate markets itself as a free platform with transparent commissions that are only charged on trades taken. So there must be some other cost that is being passed on to the trader here.

Apex TraderContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (* if Trailing)Cost (Rithmic)Cost (Tradovate)Reset Fee (Rithmic)Reset Fee (Tradovate)
$25,0004 (40 micro)$1,500$1,500*$147/mo$167/mo$80$100
$50,00010 (100 micro)$3,000$2,500*$167/mo$187/mo$80$100
$75,000 12 (120 micro)$4,250$2,750*$187/mo$207/mo$80$100
$100,000 14 (140 micro)$6,000$3,000*$207/mo$227/mo$80$100
$150,00017 (170 micro)$9,000$5,000*$297/mo$317/mo$80$100
$250,00027 (270 micro)$15,000$6,500*$517/mo$537/mo$80$100
$300,00035 (350 micro)$20,000$7,500*$657/mo$677/mo$80$100
$100,000 (Static)2 (20 micro)$2,000$625 (Static)$137/mo$157/mo$80$100

If this is a little more confusing than some other firms, don’t worry. Apex simply offers a few additional options that other firms don’t, including a “static” account that does not have a trailing drawdown. But most of the main characteristics are the same as what we see at most firms.

The $100k account here costs almost $100 less than OneUp Trader, and offers 2 extra contracts, so it’s a no-brainer for that size.

License/Data Fees

None, with NinjaTrader license included.

Funded Account Fees

Regardless of which account you choose, there is a $85/month fee, per account, once you are funded. And if you choose to go with a Tradeovate, this fee jumps to $105/month, again per account.

So if you’re like me and seriously considering managing multiple funded accounts with a Trade Copier, be prepared to eat the cost of $85 or $105 for every account you get funded.

Of course, you can still come out way ahead when trading futures well. But with 10 accounts you’re looking at $850 or $1050 per month just to operate your bundle of accounts.

This monthly fee can be waived, at a variable cost per account.

Apex TraderMonthly Fee (Rithmic)Waiving RithmicMonthly Fee (Tradovate)Waiving Tradovate
$25,000$85$130$105$150
$50,000$85$140$105$160
$75,000$85$180$105$200
$100,000$85$220$105$240
$100,000 (Static)$85$220$105$240
$150,000$85$260$105$280
$250,000$85$300$105$320
$300,000$85$340$105$360

So if you want to operate 5 x $100,000 accounts, you can pay 5 x $85 (or $105 for Tradovate) per month, or a single payment of 5 x $240, which is $1200.

Check out Apex Trader here.

BluSky Trading

BluSky Trading uses AI-generated photos on their website to depict their idea of successful day traders (and we’re considering doing it too). Do what you wish with that information. This is what they offer.

BluSky Trading ContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitDrawdown (* if Trailing)CostReset Fee
$25,000 (Advanced)4 (40 micro)$1,500$600$1,200*$136/mo$85
$50,000 (Premium)10 (100 micro)$3,000$1,000$2,000*$189/mo$85
$100,000 (Premium+)14 (140 micro)$6,000$2,000$2,500*$290/mo$85
$150,000 (Static Growth)5 micros -> 20 minis$2,000None$800 (Static)$199/mo$85

License/Data Fees

BluSky offers a 50% discount on Tradervue Gold for 6 months with any evaluation account. They say this is a $147 value, and it comes with no “setup fees”, but they do have a data fee when you get funded.

Funded Account Fees

Upon passing the evaluation, you are placed in a sort of secondary evaluation, called BluLive.

During this phase, there are no account fees, but you are essentially funded. Then, when you reach the threshold to request payments, you are placed in a “Live Brokerage Account”. This account, unlike most prop firm accounts, is supposed to be a live funded account and not a simulated one.

This Brokerage Account is subject to a $10 fee per month, per exchange traded. If you’re a professional, it’s $122 per month, per exchange. So if you’re a professional and you are trading both NQ E-minis and CL contracts, those are two separate $122 fees, per month. This is technically a data fee, but I’m including it here because it only applies to funded traders.

I will also mention that this data fee is not charged until you are eligible for withdrawing (in the Brokerage Account), and it comes out of your Brokerage Account’s balance. So when you get upgraded from BluLive, and have a certain profit from the BluLive stage, this is what is used to pay your data fees.

This makes it a lot better than paying out of pocket like every other account fee out there.

Check out BluSky here.

Bulenox

Bulenox is a firm that occasionally offers some steep sales, so it’s good to check in on them once in a while. For all current sales information, check this page.

BulenoxContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (Trailing)CostReset Fee
$10,0005 (micro)$1,000$1,000$115/mo$78
$25,0003$1,500$1,500$145/mo$78
$50,0007$3,000$2,500$175/mo$78
$100,00012$6,000$3,000$215/mo$78
$150,00015$9,000$4,500$325/mo$78
$250,00025$15,000$5,500$535/mo$78

EOD Accounts

With the same prices and specifications as above, Bulenox also offers EOD accounts. These accounts come with no trailing drawdown, and a static drawdown in its place. The daily loss limit above is only applied to these EOD accounts.

Bulenox EOD AccountsContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitDrawdown (Static)CostReset Fee
$10,0005 (micro)$1,000$400$1,000$115/mo$78
$25,0003$1,500$500$2,500$145/mo$78
$50,0007$3,000$1,100$2,500$175/mo$78
$100,00012$6,000$2,200$3,000$215/mo$78
$150,00015$9,000$3,300$4,500$325/mo$78
$250,00025$15,000$4,500$5,500$535/mo$78

However, note that these EOD accounts are scaling accounts, which means you cannot utilize all of the contracts at the beginning. The normal accounts allow you to trade the full size from day 1.

License/Data Fees

The free NinjaTrader license is offered, like with every other firm, and there are no data fees for non-professionals. If you are a professional, there is a $116/mo charge, per exchange, once you are funded.

Funded Account Fees

Once funded, there’s an account activation fee, shown below.

Bulenox Funded AccountsActivation Fee (non-recurring)
$10,000$98
$25,000$143
$50,000$148
$100,000$248
$150,000$498
$250,000$898

Check out Bulenox here.

Earn2Trade

Earn2Trade has been around for some time, and recently made improvements to their evaluation. What was once a ridiculously slow and overpriced gauntlet is now a more affordable and competitive evaluation process.

The four standard evaluation accounts are part of something Earn2Trade calls the “Mini Gauntlet.”

Earn2Trade Mini GauntletContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitEOD Trailing DrawdownCost
$50,0006$3,000$1,100$2,000$170/mo
$100,00012$6,000$2,200$3,500$315/mo
$150,00015$9,000$3,300$4,500$350/mo
$200,00016$11,000$4,400$6,000$550/mo

Trader Career Path Evaluation

In addition to their four standard evaluation accounts, they offer something called the “Trader Career Path Evaluation.” During this process, Traders are not locked into one account, but rather progress to bigger accounts as they cross certain thresholds. I won’t be comparing this career path to other firms, because they are the only ones that do it. But this is how it goes.

As you hit your profit target in the $25,000 (or $50,000) account, you withdraw your profits and get upgraded to the next tier account. This continues until you achieve the “Senior Live Account”, which can be worth as much as $400,000 in funding.

I won’t go into this career path too much, but the main costs are shown below. If you progress higher in accounts, there isn’t an additional monthly fee. But if you fail, you have to start over with one of these two.

Earn2Trade Trader Career PathContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (Static)CostReset Fee^
$25,000 (TCP 25)3$1,750$1,500$150/mo$100
$50,000 (TCP 50)6$3,000$2,000$190/mo$100
^Earn2Trader also offers a “free reset” once per additional month that you are billed for your subscription.

License/Data Fees

The free NinjaTrader license is offered, like with every other firm, and there are no data fees.

Funded Account Fees

However, there is a monthly $85 fee for funded traders, which can be waived for an insane $500 one-time payment. This is obviously not very competitive compared to some others, but the bundles are pretty cheap.

Check out Earn2Trade here.

EliteTrader Funding

EliteTrader has 5 (!) different sets of evaluations. These accounts are in separate categories called 1 Step Funding, EOD Drawdown, Fast Track, Static, and Diamond Hands.

EliteTrader 1 Step FundingContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (Trailing)CostReset Fee
$10,0001 (10 micro)$1,250$1,000$80/mo$75
$25,0003 (30 micro)$1,500$1,500$145/mo$75
$50,0008 (80 micro)$3,000$2,000$175/mo$75
$75,00010 (100 micro)$4,500$2,500$185/mo$75
$100,00014 (140 micro)$6,000$3,000$205/mo$75
$150,00018 (180 micro)$9,000$5,000$295/mo$75
$250,00024 (240 micro)$15,000$6,500$515/mo$75
$300,00030 (300 micro)$20,000$7,500$655/mo$75

EOD Drawdown Accounts

The EOD Drawdown Accounts still feature a trailing drawdown, but this only gets applied at the end of the day. Open positions during the day will not move the drawdown.

EliteTrader EOD DrawdownContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitEOD Trailing DrawdownCostReset Fee
$25,000 3 (30 micro)$1,500$550$750$200/mo$75
$50,0008 (80 micro)$3,000$1,100$2,000$220/mo$75
$75,00010 (100 micro)$4,300$1,750$2,750$290/mo$75
$100,00014 (140 micro)$6,000$2,200$3,500$355/mo$75
$150,00018 (180 micro)$9,000$3,300$4,500$500/mo$75
$250,00024 (240 micro)$15,000$4,300$7,000$640/mo$75

Fast Track Accounts

In the fast track accounts, the cost is a little cheaper, and there is no monthly subscription. Note that the drawdown trails on open positions during the day.

These accounts cannot be reset.

EliteTrader Fast TrackContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (Trailing)Cost (non-recurring)
$25,000 (Mini track)2 (20 micro)$2,000$750$45
$100,00014 (140 micro)$6,000$3,000$75
$250,00024 (240 micro)$15,000$6,500$150

Static Accounts

EliteTrader Static DrawdownContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (Static)Cost Reset Fee
$100,0002 (20 micro)$2,000$625$135/mo$75
$150,0004 (40 micro)$4,000$1,250$300/mo$75

Diamond Hands Account

Finally, EliteTrader offers the “Diamond Hands” account, which permits holding overnight and over the weekend.

EliteTrader Diamond HandsContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitDrawdown (Static)Cost Reset Fee
$100,0002 (20 micro)$5,000$1,500$3,500$365/mo$75

License/Data Fees

The free NinjaTrader license is offered, like with every other firm, and there are no data fees for non-professionals. If you are a professional, there is a $116/mo charge, per exchange, once you are funded.

Funded Account Fees

Once funded, there’s an account activation fee. Depending on the account size and account type, there is a different fee, and these are shown below. If you would like to go for a monthly account fee, it’s $80 across all accounts.

To waive the fee, you can see the different tiers below. Waiving the monthly fee is not available for the Fast Track accounts.

EliteTrader Funding1 Step FeeEOD Drawdown FeeStatic FeeDiamond Hands
Accounts $75,000 and under$150$175$175N/A
Accounts $100,000 and above$235$255$175$300

Check out EliteTrader here.

Leeloo Trading

Leeloo Trading has one of my favorites, the express account. But there’s quite a lot of different accounts here, so take your time to go through each one if you’re considering them. I’ve broken them down into 4 categories.

Foundation Accounts

Leeloo Trading Foundation AccountsContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (* if Trailing)CostReset Fee
$25,000 (Aspire)3 (30 micro)$1,500$1,500*$150/mo$85
$50,000 (Launch)8 (80 micro)$3,000$2,500*$180/mo$85
$100,000 (Climb)12 (120 micro)$6,000$3,000*$220/mo$85
$150,000 (Cruise)15 (150 micro)$9,000$5,000*$305/mo$85
$250,000 (Burst)25 (250 micro)$15,000$6,500*$525/mo$85
$300,000 (Explode)30 (30 micro)$20,000$7,500*$675/mo$85
$100,000 (Glide Micro)2 (20 micro)$2,000$625 (static)$145/mo$85
$100,000 (Express)12 (120 micro)$6,000$3,000*$77Not allowed

The express account is unique, in that you are permitted only 14 days to work with. You have to trade on 10 separate trading days, which means there is no option to take a day off. But if you are able to meet the profit target and also place trades on these 10 days, you get a full refund of your $77 (it’s actually around $87…I’ll explain later). No other account here offers such a deal, but continue reading about the account fees later. It’s not a completely free account in the end, though it is still a nice discount if you’re good enough to get funded.

Account Bundles

In addition to its foundation accounts, Leeloo offers account bundles. In these bundles, traders get access to multiple evaluations at the same time under one cost, but only one account can qualify for funding.

While I don’t recommend going with this approach as a beginner, there may be those of you who are trying multiple strategies. You may find a way to take advantage of this setup, and make it work for you. These bundles reflect the same accounts in the table above, so view the above table for the other details.

Leeloo Trading Bundles (LB)Cost (non-recurring)
$25,000 (x3)$199
$50,000 (x3)$220
$100,000 (x3)$275
$150,000 (x3)$365
$250,000 (x3)$585
$300,000 (x3)$735

Entry Accounts

Next, Leeloo offers what they call Leeloo Entry Accounts (LE). These accounts are significantly cheaper, but have a limited payout structure. I will be covering payouts in another article, but the costs of these accounts is listed below. Again, they follow the same structure as the first table when it comes to contracts, profit targets, and drawdowns.

Leeloo Trading Entry Accounts (LE)Cost
$25,000 (Aspire)$26/mo
$50,000 (Launch)$38/mo
$100,000 (Climb)$58/mo
$150,000 (Cruise)$70/mo
$250,000 (Burst)$126/mo
$300,000 (Explode)$169/mo
$100,000 (Glide Micro)$75/mo

Weekly Accounts

You must be tired of tables, so I won’t add another here. But Leeloo offers one more set of accounts, called Weekly Accounts.

These two accounts offer weekly payouts, subject to trader performance. There are only two, which are the Aspire and Launch, costing $250/mo and $295/mo respectively. They have the same contracts, profit targets, and drawdowns as the Aspire and Launch foundation accounts, but these offer faster payouts than any other accounts.

License/Data Fees

A free NinjaTrader license is included, and there are no data fees. But this is what they say about this license:

“The license we provide is a SIM license key.  It does not include a few of Ninja’s premium indicators such as their OrderFlow Suite.   It is also a single broker key that will only connect to your Leeloo™/Rithmic account.  You wont be able to connect to a second account you may operate at the same time.  That would require a multibroker key.”

Funded Account Fees

Leeloo has added their own “Account fee”, which is $88 per month regardless of which account. If you want to waive the monthly fee, you can pay $250 up front. So if you qualify with the Express account, you get refunded the $77, and then have to pay $88 per month (or $250 one time) to begin trading.

Hidden Fees

Remember how I said the $77 express account is actually around $87? When I first began with Leeloo, they tacked on a 7.25% tax on any purchase, which took the total to $82.58. In recent months, however, they’ve also added a “convenience fee” which means the advertised $77 account cost is actually $87.08. So they’re adding 2 separate taxes on the original cost. This is the only company I’ve seen doing this.

With some convenient math, I’ve determined that this convenience fee is about 5.85%. You can view the break down of the fees and the real cost of these funded futures accounts below.

Leeloo Trading Hidden FeesAdvertised CostConvenience Fee (Roughly 5.85%)Tax (7.25%)Real Cost
$25,000 (Aspire)$150$8.78$10.875$169.66
$50,000 (Launch)$180$10.53$13.05$203.58
$100,000 (Climb)$220$12.87$15.95$248.82
$150,000 (Cruise)$305$17.84$22.11$344.96
$250,000 (Burst)$525$30.71$38.06$593.78
$300,000 (Explode)
$675$39.49$48.93$763.43
$100,000 (Glide Micro)$145$8.48$10.51$163.99
$100,000 (Express)$77$4.50$5.58$87.09

This 13.1% (5.85 + 7.25) fee is added to every single account, so while the bundles and entry and weekly accounts are not shown in the last table, you can easily calculate it yourself. Take the initial account cost, multiply it by 0.131, and add that to the cost for your real total.

It may not seem like much to pay an extra $10 for the express account, but if you’re considering the $250,000 or $300,000 accounts, it’s good to know that you’re paying $70-$90 extra, before you even get funded.

Check out Leeloo Trading here.

My Funded Futures

MyFundedFutures offers a total of 6 funded futures account types, split between 2 separate categories. The first category has 3 “Starter” accounts, while the second has 3 “Expert” accounts.

The main difference between the two is that starter accounts cost more due to an activation fee, while expert accounts demand a higher level of performance in return for waiving the fee.

MyFunded Futures ContractsProfit TargetEOD Trailing Drawdown CostReset Fee
$50,000 (Starter)5$3,000$1,500$100/mo$100
$100,000 (Starter)10$6,000$2,500$200/mo$100
$150,000 (Starter)15$9,000$3,500$300/mo$100
$50,000 (Expert)5$4,000$2,000$165/mo$165
$100,000 (Expert)10$8,000$3,000$265/mo$265
$150,000 (Expert15$12,000$4,500$375/mo$375

License/Data Fees

Level 1 data is free, while Level 2 costs $39/mo. If you are a professional, you will be charged $124/mo for data once funded.

Funded Account Fees

Upon getting to the funded account stage, traders have to pay an activation fee of $149 for starter accounts. If you have an expert account, this fee is waived.

In exchange for waiving this fee, you will have to produce an extra $1,000-$3,000 depending on the account size, while still adhering to the same drawdowns and rules of the evaluation. This is the only company I’ve seen that offers this.

Check out MyFundedFutures here.

OneUp Trader

At OneUp Trader, they offer 5 separate funded futures account sizes, mostly at a competitive cost. You can view a table of the core details below.

OneUp TraderContractsProfit TargetDrawdown (* if Trailing)CostReset Fee
$25,0003$1,500$1,500*$125/mo$100
$50,0006$3,000$2,500*$150/mo$100
$100,00012$6,000$3,500*$300/mo$100
$150,00015$9,000$5,000*$350/mo$100
$250,00025$15,000$5,500*$650/mo$100

As mentioned earlier, there’s no reason to use the $25,000 account at OneUp Trader. It’s simply not efficient compared to the other options.

License/Data Fees

None, with NinjaTrader license included.

Funded Account Fees

Again, none.

The biggest selling point for OneUp Trader, in my eyes, is that there are zero data or account fees once you’re funded. This is huge for the undercapitalized trader, who wants to keep expenses as close to $0 when starting. Almost every other firm has a monthly fee in the form of a data fee or “account activation fee”, which I will cover as I get to each respective firm. But OneUp Trader has none of that. Once you’re funded, your evaluation subscription is canceled, and you’re in, indefinitely, with no added fees.

There is, however, a $30 fee with each successful withdrawal, taken from the amount you are withdrawing, and not from your account balance. But this is because the money is wired to your bank account. This is standard and unfortunately not avoidable yet.

Check out OneUp Trader here.

TakeProfit Trader

TakeProfit Trader is a lesser known firm that looks to be quite straightforward with the evaluation and funded accounts. Their funded futures accounts are a little higher in cost.

TakeProfit TraderContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitEOD Trailing Drawdown^CostReset Fee
$25,0003 (30 micro)$1,500$500$1,500$150/mo$100
$50,0006 (60 micro)$3,000$1,100$2,000$170/mo$100
$75,0009 (90 micro)$4,500$1,600$2,500$245/mo$100
$100,00012 (120 micro)$6,000$2,200$3,000$330/mo$100
$150,00015 (150 micro)$9,000$3,300$4,500$360/mo$100
^The EOD Trailing Drawdown switches to a normal Intraday Drawdown when funded.

License/Data Fees

As far as I can tell, there is no free NinjaTrader (or other) license provided with a funded account.

Funded Account Fees

TakeProfitTrader permits traders to reset their funded account up to 3 times, before losing access to the account. Upon getting funded, there’s an activation fee of $130, regardless of the account size.

In addition, traders who trade multiple markets can expect a data fee of $122/mo per additional exchange. While you can trade without any fees on the PRO and PRO+ accounts, you are designated as a professional, with the first exchange covered by TakeProfit Trader.

Check out TakeProfit Trader here.

TickTick Trader

TickTick Trader has some nice UI on their main site, and everything is quite simple. This is what they offer. Note they have an funded futures “express account” like Leeloo Trading, where the cost is a one-time fee, and refunded upon successfully passing the evaluation. You get 15 calendar days to finish the express account.

TickTick TraderContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitTrailing EOD DrawdownCostReset Fee
$25,000 (Starter)4$1,500$500$1,500$145/mo$85
$50,000 (Advanced)10$3,000$1,250$2,500$160/mo$85
$100,000 (Express)14$6,000None$3,500$99 Not allowed
$100,000 (Professional)14$2,000$2,500$3,500$285/mo$85

Direct Accounts

In addition to the few evaluation accounts, TickTick Trader also offers what they call “Direct Accounts.” These accounts completely bypass the evaluation phase, allowing traders to get funed immediately and begin trading live. These accounts only go up to $50,000, and have a pretty expensive upfront price. This sheds light on what the average evaluation account (and its pass rate) is worth to these firms.

Users are allowed to have only one active direct account per tier at a time. So you can have a maximum of three direct accounts, one of each of the following. These accounts cannot be reset.

TickTick Direct AccountsContractsDaily Loss LimitDrawdown (Static)Cost
$10,000 (Swing)5 (micro)$350$1,000$229
$25,0004$500$1,500$349
$50,00010$1,250$2,500$699

License/Data Fees

TickTick Trader offers a free license of one of the following, traders choice:

  • Bookmap
  • NinjaTrader Pro
  • Jigsaw DayTrader

An extra license can also be purchased separately, but is not required.

There’s no monthly account or data fee, but some traders may want additional market data.

To add this on the funded account, it is available for $12/month per exchange (puts that $122/month from earlier into perspective, doesn’t it?).

Funded Account Fees

TickTick Trader slaps on an activation fee upon getting the funded account. This is $149 for each of the $25,000 and $50,000 accounts, and $249 for the $100,000 pro or express accounts.

When passing the express account, the initial subscription cost is deducted from the $249 activation fee. This comes out to $150 total (there is no tax like there is with Leeloo).

Check out TickTick Trader here.

TopStep

TopStep might have been the first of these companies to get established. Over the years, they have vastly improved their system, but remain in the middle of the pack with pricing.

TopStepContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitEOD Trailing DrawdownCostReset Fee
$50,0005$3,000$1,000$2,000$49/mo$49
$100,00010$6,000$2,000$3,000$99/mo$99
$150,00015$9,000$3,000$4,500$149/mo$149

License/Data Fees

NinjaTrader is provided at a discount, but not free like at most firms. There are no Level 1 Data Fees. In addition, you can use Tradovate, TradingView (basic version), Quantower (free version), T4, and Rithmic Trader free of charge. Traders can upgrade to Level 2 data for $39/month for all exchanges.

Funded Account Fees

Once you pass the evaluation, you are placed in an Express Funded Account, which comes with a $149 activation fee. The monthly costs are suspended, and there are no other fees while you trade on this account. However, once you meet the requirements (5 trading days with a minimum of $200 profit each day), you will be transferred to a Live Funded Account.

In this final stage, TopStep expects traders to subscribe to Professional Data, at a cost of $116 per month per exchange. There is no option to trade as a non-professional here, which does nothing for you but drain your wallet if you are an independent trader. If you are actually a professional, or are trading under an LLC, you will likely be used to this charge by now.

In addition, depending on the platform you choose, there may be subscription fees. TopStep offers several platforms, but in my experience with Quantower, they are providing no added value compared to downloading the platform from Quantower directly. I did not try other platforms, so the additional benefits provided may prove to be better with others.

Check out TopStep here.

TradeDay

TradeDay has some competitive prices on their evaluations. However, their trailing drawdowns don’t leave much room for error.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about trading, they offer “Free 1-on-1 coaching” with the $150,000 and $250,000 accounts.

TradeDayContractsProfit TargetEOD Trailing DrawdownCostReset Fee
$10,0001 (10 micro)$1,000$500$99/mo$99
$25,0002 (20 micro)$1,500$750$125/mo$99
$50,0005 (50 micro)$2,500$1,250$165/mo$99
$100,00010 (50 micro)$5,000$2,000$275/mo$99
$150,00015 (50 micro)$7,500$2,500$350/mo$99
$250,00025 (50 micro)$12,000$4,000$750/mo$99

License/Data Fees

A NinjaTrader license is provided free of charge. But there are market data fees on funded accounts.

Funded Account Fees

Once funded, there is an activation fee of $139 (this fee was introduced on November 27, 2023).

TradeDay offers traders a Funded SIM account or Funded Live Account upon passing the evaluation. In the SIM account, you can earn up to $5,000, before your account is automatically switched to Funded Live.

Once you go live, there is a requirement to use Tradovate as a Professional, which means Market Data fees of $122/mo per exchange traded.

Check out TradeDay here. If you’d like a 20% off coupon, you can get that here.

UProfit Trader

UProfit Trader offers a few straightforward funded futures accounts, but added some extra fees to their cost. Otherwise, they would be near the top in affordability. They interestingly feature a micro account for the smaller traders looking to get their feet wet before trading full futures contracts.

UProfit has been modifying their account names and sizes, so this following table may be outdated from time to time. I will be updating it whenever I see a change on their site. Notably, the limited edition accounts seem to be available at random.

Recently, they added a $150,000 “Freedom Program” account, requiring $2,500 extra profit at $400/mo more than their previous $150,000 account. This is an insane increase in cost unlike what you’d usually see at funding companies, so I will leave old accounts up for reference.

UProfit TraderContractsProfit TargetDaily Loss LimitEOD Trailing DrawdownCostReset Fee
$9,000 (Basic)5 (micro)$900$350$800$89/mo$59
$30,000 (Freedom Program, Limited Edition)2$1,500None$1,000$196/mo$99
$50,000 (Advanced)6$2,500$1,100$2,000$160/mo$99
$100,000 (Advanced)*12$6,000$2,200$3,000$315/mo$99
$150,000 (Freedom Program)8$7,500$2,500$5,000$750/mo$175
$150,000 (Limited Edition)*8$5,000None$5,000$350/mo$175
$200,000 (Premium)20$10,000$4,000$5,000$500/mo$99
*= Not currently available

Hopefully you’re starting to see the advantages and disadvantages with some of these costs. The UProfit drawdown is only evaluated EOD (end-of-day) and does not trail open positions. This makes passing significantly easier for the amateur trader.

Uneven Costs and Drawdown

While the Micro Futures account is interesting, it doesn’t scale consistently. To earn $900 by trading one micro is equivalent to earning $9,000 on a regular e-mini contract. This would be like expecting a $9,000 profit target on the $100,000 account, which traditionally requires only about $6,000. However, the drawdown is quite lenient, which is a plus for the newer trader.

The drawdowns don’t scale well either. To go from $25,000 to $100,000 costs only $60 more, and provides traders with 10 extra contracts, albeit with only double the drawdown. Still, it’s a pretty good deal compared to most. I would go with $50,000 or $100,000 here. The $100k account here costs almost $100 less than OneUp Trader, and offers 2 extra contracts, so it would be a no-brainer, but we haven’t gotten to the extra fees yet.

License/Data Fees

UProfit offers NinjaTrader and doesn’t charge data fees. However, they say that they are covering the data fees by charging you an “assignment fee”.

Funded Account Fees

At UProfit, there’s an assignment fee that varies per account, shown below. With this activation fee, the cost of the $100,000 account is no longer comparable to most firms.

UProfit Funded Accounts Activation Fee
$9,000$100
$25,000$150
$30,000$150
$50,000$150
$100,000$250
$150,000$150
$200,000$350

Check out UProfit Trader here.

The Best Funded Futures Option for Each Trader (by Cost)

So, what do we make from all this? We can see a couple patterns here.

Each firm typically offers both the $50,000 and $100,000 funded futures accounts, with 6-10 and 10-14 full-sized futures contracts, respectively. These are offered at around $160-$180 per month for $50k accounts, and $200-300 per month for $100k accounts. There are sometimes smaller or larger accounts, which do not scale uniformly in drawdown or price, but allow reasonable growth for the capable trader.

The drawdowns are always quite tight, which is definitely a limitation. You cannot give all your trades a ton of breathing room if the drawdown is small. Thus, you must trade more accurately to succeed. I believe this is a good thing for your development, as it makes the evaluation more challenging, but take that how you will.

When it comes to deciding where to start, there’s a few questions to ask yourself.

How much capital do you want to invest in this endeavor?

If you’re like me, you’re going into this with very little of your own money. This means you are probably not going for the max-sized account, and not looking to pay any exorbitant fees up front.

In this case, you’ll likely feel better once you start withdrawing some profits. The goal should be to get funded immediately, and start pulling out profits as soon as possible. I’ve covered the withdrawal processes in this article.

If you’re going into this with a lot of capital, however, you may have a different mindset. You can start earning a lot more money by using bigger positions on some of these larger accounts, and fees will not be as much of an issue because of how much you can earn.

Withdrawing profits immediately might not be a priority, and so you may look for the type of accounts that foster long-term growth while providing that extra size you prefer to trade.

Are you going to trade frequently enough to offset any monthly fees?

If you plan on trading infrequently because you are working full-time or managing a business, you might consider an account without monthly fees.

In some situations, like with Apex Trader or Leeloo Trading, you can waive the monthly fee with a single cost upon getting funded. If you’re not already sold on one of those firms, this is a big advantage they offer over others.

If you plan to trade everyday, though, and don’t know how long you will be using the funded account, paying a lower monthly cost might work out fine. Then, as you make profits each month, you can easily cover it.

Some of you might even consider canceling your account when you no longer wish to continue (or sign up for a new evaluation, and waive the fee the next time you’re funded). In this case, accounts that require a much larger fee to waive the monthly cost (like at Leeloo Trading) may not be ideal.

Are you a professional trader?

If you are, you will have to identify yourself as a professional trader in any funded trader contract, which means you will be subject to higher data fees than a non-professional. Depending on the firm, this may end up being a higher expense than you expected.

Can you wait for a sale?

You’re probably getting excited about finally having a pile of money bigger than Walter White’s. But if you can be patient, some firms offer sales every few weeks, sometimes as much as 90% off. Apex Trader, Bulenox, and Leeloo Trading offer some of the largest and most frequent sales. If you can take advantage of these sales, it will bring your first account’s costs down dramatically.

On to the Best Accounts at Each Size…

With all of that said, let’s take a look at the best accounts at each major tier. Note that I am skipping some account sizes, like $75,000 and $200,000, because very few companies offer those. If you’re set on that account size, you should be able to make the decision pretty easily yourself.

Note that I am not including sales for the cost calculation in the next section.

The Best $50,000 Funded Futures Account (by Cost)

If you are going for the $50,000 account, one company I recommend is OneUp Trader. There are no funded account fees, and the price is already among the cheapest available. If you can be sure that you will pass in your first month, the single evaluation fee is all you should expect.

The total cost is only $150/month, but there are occasionally sales and you may be able to get a $15-75 discount. However, due to their conservative attitude toward sales, several firms with more frequent discounts may look more appealing. But even if you CAN waive their monthly fee ($250 at Leeloo, $140 at Apex), OneUp is still cheaper. The gap widens as you trade for more months, due to monthly fees at some of the other firms.

Apex Trader Funding, Bulenox, and BluSky Trading are the only firms that can compare, assuming you catch them on a sale day. If you do get Apex or Bulenox at 70%-90% off, your total may come down to about $170-200 for your funded account (sales do not reduce the activation fee). Depending on the other factors like their rules and profit withdrawal system, you may decide that one of these other companies is more advantageous for you.

With BluSky Trading, it’s comparable, but the $10/month fee will gradually add up. They also have some sales of 30-40% off occasionally, and I’d say offering 10 contracts compared to OneUp’s 6 is their main advantage.

$50,000 AccountsContractsCostReset Fee“Activation” FeeMonthly Fee (Funded)Waiving Monthly FeeTotal for 1st Funded Month^
Apex Trader10$167/mo$80$0$85/mo$140$252/$307
Apex Trader Tradovate10$187/mo$100$0$105/mo$160$292/$347
BluSky Trading10 (100 micro)$189/mo$85$0$10 ($122 for professionals on Tradovate)/mo per exchangeN/A$199
Bulenox7$175/mo$78$148$0 ($116/mo for professionals, per exchange)N/A$323
Earn2Trade (Mini Gauntlet)6$170/mo$100$0$105/mo (per exchange traded)^^N/A$275
Leeloo Trading8 (80 micro)$180/mo$85$0$88$250$268/$430
MyFunded Futures (Starter)5$100/mo$100$149$0 ($124/mo for professionals)N/A$249
MyFunded Futures (Expert)5$165/mo$165$0$0 ($124/mo for professionals)N/A$165
OneUp Trader6$150/mo$100$0$0N/A$150
TakeProfit Trader6$170/mo$100$130$0 ($122/mo for each additional exchange)N/A$300
TickTick Trader10$160/mo$85$149$0N/A$309
TopStep5$49/moN/A$149$116/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$314
TradeDay5$165/mo$99$139$122/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$426
UProfit Trader6$160/mo$99$150$0N/A$310
^This amount is based on the evaluation price and first month of funding for non-professionals, with a second price shown if you can waive monthly costs.
^^Earn2Trade provides the first exchange free, until the funded trader make $5,000

Try OneUp Trader’s $50,000 Account here. Or, try Apex Trader’s $50,000 Account here.

The Best $100,000 Funded Futures Account (by Cost)

For the $100,000 accounts, you’re typically getting double everything the $50,000 accounts offer, but not much extra drawdown.

If you are confident in your abilities, I recommend the Leeloo Trading Express account. This account will cost you $87.09 up front, but this fee is refunded upon passing. The drawback is that you have to be sure you can pass in 10 trading days, as you don’t get any extra time or the ability to take a day off during the evaluation.

Compare this to a traditional $100,000 account, which will cost about $200-350 depending on which firm you go to. So if you’re good enough to earn $6,000 in 10 days, without missing a day, this is easily the best option.

TickTick Trader has their own Express $100,000 account, and this account is roughly the same cost in the end (a total cost of $150 for TickTick vs. $250 for Leeloo if you waive the monthly fee).

But if you want a traditional $100,000 monthly subscription account, Apex Trader has the best one. It’s $50 to $100 cheaper than most other firms, at only $187 ($207 for Tradovate) per month. However, with the activation fee included, the total comes out to $407/$447 when you first start on the funded account.

$100,000 AccountsContractsCostReset Fee“Activation” FeeMonthly Fee (Funded)Waiving Monthly FeeTotal for 1st Funded Month^
Apex Trader14$187/mo$80$0$85/mo$220$272/$407
Apex Trader (Tradovate)14$207/mo$100$0$105/mo$240$312/$447
BluSky Trading14 (140 micro)$290/mo$85$0$10 ($122 for professionals on Tradovate)/mo per exchangeN/A$300
Bulenox12$215/mo$78$248$0 ($116/mo for professionals, per exchange)N/A$463
Earn2Trade (Mini Gauntlet)12$315/mo$100$0$105/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$420
Leeloo Trading12 (120 micro)$248.82/mo$85$0$88$250$336.82/ $498.82
Leeloo Trading (Express)12 (120 micro)$87.09 (refunded on passing)N/A$0$88$250$88/$250
MyFunded Futures (Starter)10$200/mo$100$149$0 ($124/mo for professionals)N/A$349
MyFunded Futures (Expert)10$265/mo$265$0$0 ($124/mo for professionals)N/A$265
OneUp Trader12$300/mo$100$0$0N/A$300
TakeProfit Trader12$330/mo$100$130$0 ($122/mo for each additional exchange)N/A$460
TickTick Trader14$285/mo$85$249$0 ($12/mo for professionals, per exchange)N/A$534
TickTick Trader (Express)14$99 (refunded on passing)N/A$150 ($99 is refunded)$0 ($12/mo for professionals, per exchange)N/A$150
TopStep10$99/mo$99$149$116/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$364
TradeDay10 (50 micro)$275/mo$99$139$122/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$536
UProfit Trader6$160/mo$99$150$0N/A$310
^This amount is based on the evaluation and first month of funding for non-professionals, with the second price representing if you waive monthly costs.

For the best $100,000 account for your buck, assuming you’re good enough to pass in a shorter period of time, try the Leeloo Express here, or the TickTick Trader Express here.

Otherwise, you should opt for either MyFundedFutures (Starter or Expert) or Apex Trader Funding.

The Best $150,000 Funded Futures Account (by Cost)

Due to the monthly cost or lack thereof, OneUp Trader wins in the long run. Assuming you’re a consistently profitable trader, OneUp also looks more appealing with their $150,000 account. It’s a tough choice to make when considering the steep sales at Apex Trader, but I’m leaning toward OneUp again with a total cost of $350 (assuming passing in a single month). Bulenox, in comparison, costs a whopping $827 just to get started in your first month.

BluSkys Trading’s Static Growth account is definitely worth mentioning, since it is technically cheaper initially. However, with the monthly fee, this will quickly become more expensive than OneUp.

$150,000 AccountsContractsCostReset Fee“Activation” FeeMonthly Fee (Funded)Waiving Monthly FeeTotal for 1st Funded Month^
Apex Trader17$297/mo$80$0$85/mo$260$382/$557
Apex Trader Tradovate17$317/mo$100$0$105/mo$280$422/$597
BluSky Trading (Static Growth)5 micros -> 20 minis$199/mo$85$0$10 ($122 for professionals on Tradovate)/mo per exchange$500$209/$699
Bulenox15$325/mo$78$498$0 ($116/mo for professionals, per exchange)N/A$827
Earn2Trade (Mini Gauntlet)15$350/mo$100$0$105/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$455
Leeloo Trading15 (150 micro)$344.96/mo$85$0$88$250$424.96/ $594.96
MyFunded Futures (Starter)15$300/mo$100$149$0 ($124/mo for professionals)N/A$449
MyFunded Futures (Expert)15$375/mo$375$0$0 ($124/mo for professionals)N/A$375
OneUp Trader15$350/mo$100$0$0N/A$350
TakeProfit Trader15$360/mo$100$130$0 ($122/mo for each additional exchange)N/A$490
TopStep15$375/mo$149$149$116/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$414
TradeDay15 (50 micro)$350/mo$99$139$122/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$611
^This amount is based on the evaluation and first month of funding for non-professionals, with the second price representing if you waive monthly costs.

Try BluSky Trading here, or OneUp Trader here, if you’re after a $150,000 funded account. MyFundedFutures has a decent opportunity with the expert account, but be aware that their reset fee is the same as starting a new evaluation. This is the same for all their Expert accounts, and it’s such a high cost that it’s worth mentioning. The upside is that once you’re in, there’s no activation fee, no monthly fees, and you won’t have to worry about any consistency or scaling rules.

The Best $250,000 Funded Futures Account (by Cost)

We’re on to the biggest accounts now, at least at most firms. Some companies don’t offer accounts this large, and so the list is much shorter.

Apex Trader and OneUp Trader win here. Apex comes out to $817 if you waive the monthly fee, with OneUp being a flat $650.

$250,000 AccountsContractsCostReset Fee“Activation” FeeMonthly Fee (Funded)Waiving Monthly FeeTotal for 1st Funded Month^
Apex Trader27$517/mo$80$0$85/mo$300$602/$817
Apex Trader Tradovate27$537/mo$100$0$105/mo$320$642/$857
Bulenox25$535/mo$78$898$0 ($116/mo for professionals, per exchange)N/A$1433
Leeloo Trading25 (250 micro)$593.78/mo$85$0$88$250$681.78/ $843.78
OneUp Trader25$650/mo$100$0$0N/A$650
TradeDay25 (50 micro)$750/mo$99$139$122/mo (per exchange traded)N/A$1011
^This amount is based on the evaluation and first month of funding for non-professionals, with the second price representing if you waive monthly costs.

Try OneUp Trader here or Apex Trader here, if you’re interested in the $250,000 accounts.

Conclusion

I hope all of this helps. In part 2, I’m going to cover the second most important part of becoming a funded futures trader, the rules. You can view that article here. If you’d like to skip ahead to seeing how to get your money, you can do that too. I don’t recommend skipping the rules, but part 3 is all about profits and it’s located here.

If you’d like to see me cover another major topic across all of these firms, let me know.

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