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Wild Card Option


A Wild Card Option, in finance, refers to a provision of the futures contracts that allows the sellers to retain their obligations regarding the delivery within a specific period after the closing of the futures exchange. This provision allows traders to benefit from changes in price during this period. It’s often utilized in the bond market, especially in dealings related to Treasury Bond futures.


The phonetics for “Wild Card Option” would be: “Wahyld Kahrd Op-shuhn”.

Key Takeaways

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  1. Wild Card Option is a flexible alternative in a contract or agreement, giving the option holder the right to make a decision at a later time.
  2. This option is commonly used in different industries such as real estate, finance, and business contracts to offer more security and flexibility for decision-making.
  3. Although a Wild Card Option makes an agreement more appealing, it can also add more risk due to the uncertainty it creates. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the potential benefits and risks before deciding to use this option.



The term “Wild Card Option” in business/finance is important as it relates particularly to the bond market, providing bond traders with a useful strategic tool. Essentially, the Wild Card Option allows a trader the flexibility to deliver existing treasury bonds at the settlement of a bond future contract at various times during the day, up until the futures market closes. The principal value of this option is that it can facilitate a trader’s mitigation of interest rate risk. This happens when the price of treasury bonds changes during the trading day, allowing the trader to arbitrage any discrepancy between the cash and futures prices to limit potential losses or heighten gains. Hence, the Wild Card Option is crucial for enhancing profitability and risk management in bond trading.


The Wild Card Option serves an important role in futures markets and is primarily used to maintain pricing efficiency and improve arbitrage operations. Traders often use it to strategically secure their positions and ensure they can profit from negligible pricing differences between markets. Essentially, they aim to exploit short-term price differentials across different markets, providing crucial information regarding overall market sentiment and helping maintain equilibrium in market pricing.Further, the Wild Card Option helps in enhancing the overall market liquidity and encourages the efficient functioning of financial markets. This is achieved by ensuring the seamless execution of trades and supporting the efficient redistribution of risk. Tactically, it offers traders the flexibility to extend their trading beyond regular trading hours, intending to capitalize on any new market information not considered during the regular hours. Hence, it serves as a valuable tool for traders, helping them navigate volatility and unpredictability in financial markets.


1. Commodity Trading – Wild card options are often utilized in the world of commodity trading. For example, an agricultural company may opt for a wild card option to secure the cost of their required commodities, such as wheat or corn, against sudden price volatility. This way, if the prices increase drastically, the company has the option of buying the commodities at a pre-agreed lower price, and vice versa. 2. Energy Market – In the energy market, wild card options could be used by energy providing companies to protect against fluctuations in energy prices. For example, a power generation company might use a wild card option to hedge against drastically fluctuating fuel prices. If fuel prices increase unexpectedly, the power company can exercise the option and buy fuel at a lower, pre-agreed price.3. Forex Trading – Wild card options can also be seen in Forex trading when traders use these to hedge against currency fluctuations. For instance, a U.S. based company planning on making a large purchase in Euros might buy a wild card option to protect against the possibility of the Euro gaining strength against the U.S. Dollar. If the Euro does gain in value, the company can exercise its option to buy Euros at a previously decided, lower exchange rate.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term Wild Card Option mean?

A wild card option gives futures traders the right, but not obligation, to raise or lower the price of an underlying futures contract on the day it’s delivered. It helps minimize risk from price fluctuations.

Where is the Wild Card Option mostly used?

Wild card options are commonly used in the financial markets, especially in areas such as commodities, currencies, and bond futures trading.

What is the main purpose of a wild card option?

The main purpose of a wild card option is to protect the owners from unexpected price changes, especially in volatile markets. This flexibility adds a layer of security for traders.

How can I use a wild card option in bond futures trading?

In bond futures trading, a trader can use a wild card option to keep the futures contract open after the closing of the futures market, thereby having a chance to trade the option in the underlying bond market until its close.

Who typically makes use of the wild card option?

Traders who engage in commodity, currency, and bond futures trading often use the wild card option to hedge against the risk of fluctuating prices.

Does the wild card option add extra cost for the trader?

Yes, typically there are costs associated with options trading. Traders will often have to consider these costs as part of their overall trading strategy.

Does using a wild card option guarantee a profit?

No, using a wild card option doesn’t guarantee a profit. It is simply a hedging strategy which allows traders to minimize risk from price fluctuations. The actual result is still subject to the dynamics of the market.

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