Exercising call option?

I bought a call option, when the stock was $15 and strike price $17.50. Stock is $17.70 now and expires September, 2013. Is it smarter to exercise the call option and buy the stock, or just sell the call option and make profit?

My other question is how do i exercise on Scottrade? I know I use "buy to open" and "sell to close" when I trade call options.

Thank you in advance

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You failed to mention if you are still bullish the stock, or think it may go down soon and wish to close the position. You also failed to mention "when" you might close the position.

If you are bullish the stock and want to hold the position, you have three choices.
1. Do nothing, and/or hold the current position until September.
2.. Roll the Sep call into a later month, like Dec.
3. Exercise in order to hold the stock.

If you are bearish the stock, or just want to close the position, there is no reason to exercise the option. Simply sell the call to close the option position.

In most cases, options should not be exercised before expiration because doing so gives away inherent value. Selling them would almost invariably yield more.

Early exercise is a possibility whenever the benefits of being long the underlier outweigh the cost of surrendering the option early. For instance, on the day before an ex-dividend date, it may make sense to exercise an equity call option early in order to collect the dividend. In general, equity call options should only be exercised early on the day before an ex-dividend date, and then only for deep in-the-money options.
Usually a call option is only exercised at the expiration date. Right now with about 2 months to go, I believe you have to sell your option and then buy the stock. However, since I have never done that, I suggest you call a local broker at Scottrade as they have offices almost anywhere, and get the exact procedure to be followed.
It's easier and faster to sell the contracts rather than exercise them. If you exercise you will have to come up with the money to pay for the 100 shares you will be buying at 15.00

You can call Scottrade to exercise, if you decide that's the way you want to go.
if you think its going to go below 17.50, put it up for sale. the more it goes up, the better.