Best Options Flow Scanners For Unusual Activity

Updated April 15, 2024

Options trading is easily one of the best ways to make big bucks trading. However, attempting options trading without the right market data is akin to flying blind in the dead of the night – a risky endeavor. While it is possible to manually mine this data, it is not humanly possible to do it fast enough to make key trade moves.

Luckily, it’s not the 70s anymore. Today, we have some pretty powerful tools available to do all the heavy lifting. Some are even AI powered while others are capable of sifting through years of historical data without breaking a sweat.

As you can imagine, these tools are capable of making you a better trader as they help cut the amount of time you need to make key decisions. They also ensure you have a constant access to the data and alerts you need to make informed moves. Without further ado here is a look at the 7 best options flow scanners currently.

#1

Trendspider

TrendSpider is a platform that uses algorithmic technical analysis to help traders identify market trends and make more informed investment decisions.

5 of 5 stars

#2

Market Chameleon

Market Chameleon is a financial data and analytics platform that provides options trading tools, stock screeners, and market insights for investors and traders.

4.5 of 5 stars

#3

Insider Finance

Insider Finance is a financial news website that provides insights and analysis on insider trading activities, corporate earnings, and stock market trends.

4.5 of 5 stars

#4

BlackBoxStocks

Blackboxstocks is a stock trading and options tracking platform that uses algorithms to help traders identify profitable trading opportunities in real-time.

4.5 of 5 stars

#5

PowerX Optimizer

PowerX Optimizer combines technical analysis and AI to help traders optimize their stock trading strategies and identify potential buying and selling opportunities.

4 of 5 stars

#6

Bar Chart

Barchart is a financial technology company that provides data, analysis, and tools for the global financial, commodity, and agricultural markets.

4 of 5 stars

#7

Cheddar Flow

Cheddar Flow is a platform that provides real-time options flow data and analysis to help traders make informed decisions in the stock market.

4 of 5 stars

#8

Options Strat

Options Strat is a platform that provides resources and tools for options trading strategies and education to help investors make informed decisions in the options market.

4 of 5 stars

#9

Unusual Whales

Unusual Whales is a financial technology platform that analyzes stock options market data to identify unusual trading activity and provide insights to traders.

4 of 5 stars

#10

Option Samurai

Option Samurai is a market scanner that helps options traders find potential trading opportunities by providing real-time data, analysis, and insights on options markets.

4 of 5 stars

Top 10 Best Option Flow Scanner and Screeners in 2024

Let’s cut straight to the chase. Here are the seven leading options screeners based on our latest research.

1. TrendSpider


The platform boasts technical tools and has an AI-powered charting feature to guide you quickly on the best options to choose. This market scanner focuses on price action besides charts and thus has few filters, making it easy to navigate.

The platform features a feature called Options Flow that allows traders to monitor options sweeps, stock options and helps keep a record of best block trades. Other notable features are the heat map, the platform's ability to analyze strike prices, option prices, and the expiration price for each options contract.

TrendSpider is a premium platform that, unfortunately, doesn't include a free version. There are three subscription plans: premium ($33 per month), elite ($65 per month), and advanced ($97 per month). Although the premium version has the best essential functions, the TrendSpider advanced option gives more detailed data for every scan.

2. Market Chameleon


Options and stock traders love Market Chameleon's data analysis and screening features. Some primary features of the options icon include unusual options volume, options volumes, implied volume rankings, snapshot, and buy writes search. This provides a detailed overview of the options market for traders to make sound decisions.

The stocks option expands to premarket trading, after-hours trading, market movers, unusual stock volume, etc. Traders can get lists of top gainers or losers on high volume, view outperforming stocks and dividends like REITs, MLPs, or closed-end funds. Premium users can access reports on new listings, splits, order imbalances, and performance by industry or mergers.

Unlike other platforms in this list, like Trendspider and Insider Finance, which have no free option, Market Chameleon provides users a free 7-day trial. The $99 monthly subscription grants users total access to the platform's outstanding options screeners, data analysis tools and stock research.

3. Insider Finance


Insider Finance provides unfiltered but high-quality raw data from over 15 million equity prints and options contracts daily to provide detailed analysis of market trends.

The platform incorporates the TradingView API, trading indicators, and actionable charting for users to find marketable trades. The easy-to-use but comprehensive system is ideal for deciding when to buy and sell forex, stocks, futures, and options. Other integrated features within the Insider finance tool include charting, annotations like trend lines, and trading indicators for detailed technical analysis.

A one-click dashboard featuring Equities, Unusual Sweeps, Momentum, ETFs, and Moonshots is easy to use and can be customized to give specific results. Insider Finance's powerful data-driven tools give you an upper hand in trading and investment, but this is at a cost. The three plans, $75 per month, $195 per quarter, and $660 annually, give subscribers complete success for all features.

4. BlackBoxStocks


BlackBoxStocks is a platform that gives users access to different trade execution strategies, community chat, and market analysis from one place. The options flow scanner employs unique algorithms to display the current market trends. For more advanced searches, you can use the dark pool scanner to get real-time insights into mysterious markets.

The Alert Log's Volatility tab is handy for searching market actions, directions, and sorting symbols that match your search intent. An institutional Grade charting system, indicators, and libraries boost your trades with real-time fundamental analysis.

BlackBoxStocks embraces the importance of culture, community, and lifestyle by allowing members to engage with the team traders through live channels. What's more, users can communicate with expert and beginner traders through the platform's uncensored forum to share trading ideas. There's no free option but an all-inclusive membership of $99.97 monthly and $959.

5. PowerX Optimizer


Rockwell Trading is the developer of PowerX Optimizer; a reliable options scanner for traders thanks to its low risk, consistency, and profitability. The options scanner enables users to search and scrutinize subscription fees, strike prices, and precise expiration dates. 

The tool analyzes stocks through two unique strategies namely the potent PowerX strategy which is meant for small accounts and the “Wheel” strategy designed for large-sized accounts.

If you are new to the platform, you can utilize the learning center, daily live sessions, explainer videos, and the community for better understanding. Since PowerX Optimizer is a web-based platform, traders won't need to install apps or update their DVDs or CDs whenever there's a software update. However, to use the platform, you need to part with a license fee, which costs $3,997 for lifetime use with no extra costs.

6. Bar Chart


This platform stands out with its ability to offer a combination of screening and charting benefits. As a first-time user, you'll be amazed at how clean and easy this site's layout really is. So, even if you're non-tech-savvy this screener is sure to make it really easy for you to get on board with remarkable ease.

A free membership account is available and it shows most of the basic information you need to make solid decisions. However, you only get delayed data (15-minute delay) when you opt for the free mode.

The premium membership option, however, comes with better perks. Besides providing you with live data you get advanced screeners along with the ability to run a screener on your watchlist.

In a nutshell, BarChart is a feature-rich options screener that offers beginner-friendly features along with some of the most advanced screeners in the game.

7. Cheddar Flow


Cheddar Flow is a unique options screener that is tailored for institutional and retail traders. The platform is designed to streamline the task of identifying emerging opportunities in the world of options, particularly by leveraging real-time data to identify unusual activities in the options market.

Their “Options Order Flow Scanner” is particularly known for its ability to comprehensively scan major exchanges in real-time effectively determining whether the market is bullish or bearish.

The tool also comes with a built-in unusual options order volume tool that pinpoints specific stocks experiencing surges in trade volumes. What's more, Cheddar Flow boasts AI-powered alerts that are tailored specifically to your trading needs ensuring you make your trading decisions more confidently. 

A 7-day free trial package is available but once the trial is over you need to part with $85 per month for the Standard Plan and $99 for the Professional Plan.

8. Option Strat


If you are an advanced options trader Option Strat might just be what you need to consolidate your strategy. This tool offers pretty much everything you need from strategy visualization tools to options flow tools, and optimization features. In other words, this is the kind of platform you need when you need access to robust tools and insights.

Part of the Option Strat suite of tools is an options profit calculator designed to predict potential profits. Then there is a strategy optimizer tailored to help you own complex strategies. Then there is an unusual options flow feature that you can conveniently use to track prime opportunities in the market.

The icing on the cake is that the platform also doubles up as a good source of educational content specifically designed to help you understand or even implement advanced options trading strategies.

There are three plans available starting with a free one with access to 15-minute delayed data. This is in addition to the Live Tools Plan priced at $14.99 per month and the Live Flow Plan retailing at $49.99 per month.

9. Unusual Whales


This is an order flow screener created to help options traders identify any unusual activity in the world of trading. Seasoned options traders know all too well that tracking unusual market activity is one of the easiest ways to identify lucrative trading opportunities – and that’s pretty much what Unusual Whales is all about.

The platform comes with a ton of useful tools including live feeds, calculators, screeners, live feeds, live charting, and built-in alerts.

And to top it all up, behind the Unusual Whales scanner is a large, active community and Discord all of which provide you with an opportunity to exchange ideas and even learn from seasoned options traders.

As far as pricing is concerned, Unusual Whales is available under a free limited plan. Later, one can upgrade to a paid plan which typically goes for $48 per month.

10. Option Samurai


If simplicity is what you look for when choosing an options screener, Option Samurai might just be what you're looking for. Its streamlined design and beginner-friendly approach make it just the right fit for newbies as well as advanced traders.

Its custom scanner comprises over 150 filters and 24 done-for-you options strategies. The strategies include things like straddle, put & call spreads, and covered calls among others.

What's more, Option Samurai is home to 44 premade options scans that you can conveniently use. And the best part is that each scan is well explained making this a fantastic resource, particularly for completely new options traders.

Plans start from as low as $49 per month for the Beginner plan to as high as $75 per month for the Advanced tier.

Is a Free Options Scanner Worth It?

Most E-trade platforms and brokers, such as TD Ameritrade, use free options screeners. Free options screeners are great for new traders who are still learning the ropes and won't have to part with hefty subscription fees. Fortunately, some options platforms in the list above have free versions for users to get accustomed to. This is helpful as users only pay for the option screener after evaluating its worthiness. 

Using free options screeners may sound enticing initially; however, they limit users on the quality of data they get. Accessing high-quality trading data is costly since related data exchanges involve money. Before venturing into paid options platforms, traders should conduct quality assessments to ascertain if they are worth investing in. 

What to Look for in a Option Flow Scanner?

The ever-complex online trading market makes it hard for new users to choose effective trading options. First, you should define your objective for trading, including the type of options outlook, selling or buying options, or hedging against possible risk. Also, determine the volatility of every option as it will affect its ultimate price and reward/risk payoff before making a final choice.

Identify events that are stock-specific or market-wide events. Stock-specific events include product launches, spinoffs, or earnings reports, while market-wide events affect large markets' economic data releases or Federal Reserve announcements. Finally, after deciding which option scanner to use, now establish parameters like strike prices, option deltas, and expiration dates for better trading.

Conclusion

Options flow scanners are vital tools in trading since they provide users with the best market probable analysis and data features. The FinViz, Market Chameleon, and Trading View have free/paid options, thus making them great for market testing. PowerX Optimizer, TrendSpider, Insider Finance, and BlackBoxStocks are premium tools offering detailed data scanning options.

You are either a new trader confused about what options screeners to pick or a pro trader who wants to experience new trading platforms. Don't worry, the above list comprises the best options screeners available on the market today. All you have to do is understand the specs of each option and pick one that meets your market needs.

Jerry Garnes

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About the Author

Jerry Garnes is a seasoned writer in personal finance. His informative and insightful pieces have been featured by esteemed platforms like Bankrate, The Street, and Business Insider. In addition to his financial expertise, Jerry is a passionate poet and musician with a deep love for nature.

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