Also known as a credit default swaption, it is an option on a credit default swap (CDS). A CDS option gives its holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy (call) or sell (put) protection on a specified reference entity for a specified future time period for a certain spread. The option is knocked out if the reference entity defaults during the life of the option. This knock-out feature marks the fundamental difference between a CDS option and a vanilla option. Most commonly traded CDS options are European style options.