How It Works

How LEAPS® Works

LEAPS® are simply long-term options that expire at dates up to 2 years and 8 months in the future, as opposed to shorter-dated options that expire within one year.

LEAPS® grant the buyer the right to buy, in the case of a call, or sell, in the case of a put, shares of a stock at a predetermined price on or before a given date. Equity LEAPS® are American-style options, and therefore may be exercised and settled in stock prior to the expiration date. The expiration date for Equity LEAPS® is the Saturday following the third Friday of the expiration month.


LEAPS® are quoted and traded just like any other exchange listed option. In fact, many of the features of LEAPS® are the same for shorter-term options:

  • Number of shares covered by the contract (100)
  • Exercise and assignment procedures
  • Trading procedures
  • Margin and commission costs

However, LEAPS® differ from shorter-term options in several ways including availability, pricing, time erosion vs. delta effect, symbols and strategies.

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