EmpireOption (No Binary Options) Review
EmpireOption is no longer a binary options broker. The review below is presented for the archiving purposes.
EmpireOption is a binary options broker which has existed since 2011, but which has revised its website and revamped its services. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to recommend it to traders. While there are a number of account tiers, the terms of service surrounding them are quite unfriendly. There are a lot of strings attached to holding an account with them, and the website is poorly designed. The site does not accept USA traders, as per new SpotOption guidelines.
EmpireOption Account Sizes and Restrictions
If you want to open an account on EmpireOption, you can fill out the registration form quickly and easily and then make a deposit using credit or debit card, wire transfer, Skrill, Neteller or Inpay. Account currencies include US Dollar, British Pound, and Euro.
Account sizes include:
- Micro Account: Minimum deposit of $200
- Classic Account: Minimum deposit of $500
- Empire Plus: Minimum deposit of $1,00
- Preferential: Minimum deposit of $5,000
- Empire VIP: Minimum deposit of $30,000
On first glance, the account tiers appear kind of exciting. There are a lot of learning resources available at every tier, including eBooks, seminars, and videos. The larger your account, the more resources are available to you. At the higher tiers, you also get some cool trading tools like a “Market Simulator, one-on-one training, investment strategies, and trading signals.”
Another cool benefit of opening an account on EmpireOption is that you get to choose your own deposit promotion. You can pick a 50% deposit, a demo account which you can use for seven days, or free access to trading signals for seven days.
It is when you scroll down to the bottom of the accounts page however that you start to notice there are some annoying restrictions on these accounts relating to withdrawals. At the top tiers, the minimum withdrawal amount is one unit, but the lower your account tier, the more restricted you are. To withdraw at the Micro level, you need to pull out at least 200 units.
Head on over to the terms and conditions page and you will find even more limitations. The lower your account tier, the more restricted you are with your maximum withdrawal as well. The largest withdrawal you can make at the Micro level is just 500 units, and your withdrawals carry a $30 fee. The fee gets lower the higher your account tier, and does not exist at the top level. For Classic accounts and higher, you get one free withdrawal per month.
As if that weren’t enough, there are even more strings attached. “For any type of withdrawal in our platform, users must perform a minimum of operations (based on the type of account they have.” In other words, even if you do not accept a bonus, you have to meet a turnover requirement to withdraw funds! For a Micro account, you need to place at least 20 transactions before you can withdraw, presumably per month.
And just wait, there’s more! If you do not meet the monthly transaction requirements for your account each month, you will drop one tier per month until you are stuck with a Micro account:
- Classical Account: 500 units + 20 open trades.
- Plus Account: 1000 units + 50 open trades.
- Preferential Account: 2500 + 100 units open trades.
- Empire VIP: 10000 + 200 units open trades.
In other words, if you open an Empire VIP account and do not open 200 units worth of trades, you will be demoted the next month to a Preferential account, and so on. You will lose all your higher tier benefits.
Annoying Website Design and Information Gaps
Additionally, the design of this site is really annoying. While it looks nice at a glance, there are static menus on three sides of the screen, and then a tiny central area which you can scroll through, but it is really hard to see much in that area at once. So basically, you always feel like there are a lot of site elements in your way occluding your site and hampering your navigational experience. The site is missing a lot of information as well, including basic information about the company that owns it.
Trading on EmpireOption
If you still want to trade on EmpireOption, you can use the SpotOption platform on your laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Types of trades include High/Low, Pairs, Long Term, Short Term, One Touch, Ladder, and Forex. Social trading is available. The wide variety of trades is at least one feature I cannot complain about.
If you need help while you are trading, you can reach customer service via telephone or you can fill out a web form for the ticketing system. There is a link to live chat, but the desk was unstaffed when I checked.
Conclusion: Way Too Many Strings Attached
This site lists a couple of awards at the bottom, neither of which I was able to track down on their originating sites or through press releases. I did find another award they did not list, Best New Broker 2015 from Fair Binary Options.
I honestly cannot see why this site would win any award though in its current state. I appreciate that there are a ton of features here and that the site design looks ambitious, but it fails to deliver. It is hard to navigate and there are way too many strings attached to the accounts.
Opening an account here, you are just asking to have a hard time withdrawing your money again, and if you do not meet the minimum activity threshold each month, you will gradually lose your benefits. At the Micro level, you do not have access to most of those great features I mentioned before, and you are stuck with withdrawal fees and other inconveniences. A turnover requirement even for customers who did not accept a bonus also seems excessive. I would definitely stay away from this site until they revise their policies and come up with some friendlier terms.
You can read our interview with the representative of EmpireOption, which we have done in November 2015.