Posted by William Charles on August 4, 2019
Brokerage Bonuses

Published on August 4th, 2019 | by William Charles

89

Best Brokerage Bonuses – Earn Up To $3,500

Our posts on the best bank account bonuses and best credit card bonuses are some of the most popular on the site, recently I’ve been trying to post more brokerage bonuses as I know some people use these to make some extra money and it helps them grow their investments. This post will be for the best brokerage bonuses, I’m relatively new to these so I’d welcome your input on bonuses we might have missed and any relevant important information you think should be included. Unlike other sites we don’t use affiliate links for brokerage bonuses so you can ensure you’re getting the best possible deal, rather than the one that pays us the most.

Chase YouInvest – Up To $625 Bonus

Direct link to offer

Previously they only offered a bonus of $200, but they now have higher tiers. $625 tier requires a deposit of $250,000. Nice thing about this bonus is the short maintenance period of only 90 days

E*Trade – Up To $2,500

Direct link to offer

Largest bonus requires an investment of $1,000,000+, so might be worth focusing on this for higher rollers who have already done the bonuses where funds need to be maintained for a shorter period of time.

Ally Invest – Up To $3,500

Direct link to offer

$3,500 level needs $2MM+ invested

  • Read our full post
  • Funds need to remain in account for 300 days after the bonus posts (and that’s 60 days after account opening so roughly one year in total)
  • Transfer out fee of $50 applies to both partial and full transfers

TD Ameritrade – Up To $1,500

There are actually two bonuses, one for TD Bank customers and another for everybody else. Downside is that funds must be kept in the account for a minimum of twelve months.

  • Read our full post: TD Bank Customers | Everybody
  • Deposit must be maintained for 12 months
  • Transfer out fee of $75 applies if balance is under $100,000 (no fee for partial transfers)

Coin Brokerage – $50

This is a relatively small bonus, but the deposit requirement is also tiny compared to the other options listed above.

Smaller Bonuses – No Deposit Requirement

There are a number of smaller brokerages that offer sign up bonuses with no deposit requirement. The bonuses are much smaller, but might still be worth picking up for some people.

Robinhood – Free Stock

Direct link to offer

You only get a free stock worth $3-$150, but better than nothing and Robinhood offers commission free trading.

Webull – Free Stock

Direct link to offer

Basically the same as Robinhood, you get a stock valued between $3 and $1,000.

Acorns – $5

Direct link to offer

Small bonus of only $5. You can also get $5 for referring friends and family, sometimes it’s possible to get much bigger bonuses when referring a number of friends & family within a short time period.

Bonuses Not Listed

Below are some brokerage bonuses we don’t want listed under the ‘best brokerage bonuses’, we are including them here so that readers know they have been intentionally left out and why.

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Nicholas
Nicholas

Guys, the Merrill Edge “Read Our Full Post” link directs to the Chase You Invest page.

Bri
Bri

For more active traders, LightspeedTrader offers up to $10,000 back in commission rebates. Can’t beat that. https://www.lightspeed.com/10k-2019/

Mark
Mark
Tim
Tim

The ally link up there is bad, see Mark’s suggestion below instead.

gary
gary

One thing to keep in mind are the fees when you want to close or transfer out via the ACAT system, which is thee direct broker to broker transfer system. Some brokerages charge for partial transfers, most charge for full transfers.

For example, Ameritrade does not charge for partial transfers out, but if your balance is under $100,000 and you close the account they charge $75. If your balance was over 100,000 they will not charge you to close and transfer. For regular brokerages, you can withdraw the cash with no fee since its not an ACAT, but for IRA’s its best to do an ACAT to move to another brokerage. If you do a withdrawal in a ira, there may be tax implications.

Ally charges for a partial or full transfer out acat fee of $50. Something to keep in mind when when movement of funds may come with a cost.

William: You may want to add that DP on offers

Lrdx
Lrdx

If you roll the cash into another IRA within 60 days, an IRA withdrawal is not taxed/penalized, although you can only do this once per year.

gary
gary

for the cash portion. if you have securities, you need to sell the securities first as withdrawals can only be cash

Lrdx
Lrdx

You can *withdraw* securities from an IRA to a taxable brokerage; they will receive a cost basis of the value at withdrawal.

Only contributions are restricted to cash only (by law), so that subsequent rollover has to be cash – but if you have money from other sources, you don’t need to sell the withdrawn securities.

Nicholas
Nicholas

Yes, the transferring broker will often charge a fee for a full transfer ($75 as mentioned by Gary), but I’ve found that the receiving brokerage will usually reimburse that fee once they receive the assets. That is in addition to the bonus. You just have to ask nicely.

AKSF
AKSF

How does that actually work in practice? Let’s say you have 100k of stock and 0 cash at brokerage 1. You initiate full account transfer to brokerage 2. Does B1 liquidate $75 worth of stock and then charge you the fee? Do they transfer everything but account goes into negative by $75 and you have to pay them back?

Tim
Tim

Probably just depends on the brokerage. Perhaps they’d give you a phone call and ask you how you’d like to pay the fee before performing the transfer.

joanne
joanne

Yes, I just stated same thing and now saw your posting:) I have even gone back to the sending brokerage firm if I still have money with them and complain about the fee and have double dipped on fee reimbursement.:)

Alvin
Alvin

gary
Where do you see that there won’t be any fees for full transfers that are 100k+? The pricing page mentions the $75 fee without any way to waive it.

Gary
Gary

When your balance is over 100k they put you in a program called apex automatically and you stay in as long as it’s over 100k. Apex members do not pay full transfer acat fees

Jim
Jim

Note APEX is no more. Any full transfer is charged $75 as of January 2018: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=237902

I just did a transfer out and was assessed the full fee

joanne
joanne

I have moved money between brokerage firms and yes there are fees for moving assets. However, the receiving brokerage firm will reimburse you the fees. They are glad to have new money. I just take a screenshot of the fee and send to the new brokerage firm.

John
John

‘Read our full post’ link for Merrill Edge goes to the wrong page

Svy
Svy

William Charles For personal capital, the current bonus likely varies with how much the referrer has invested with personal capital. So stating that the “current referral bonus is $20” is not accurate in two ways. The bonus paid by Personal Capital is an Amazon gift card, and the current bonus for my referrals is showing as $50 Amazon GC. Based on my experience with the last $100 promo, I doubt they will do $100 again. It seemed to be the tipping point for people and they were awash in new accounts who only signed up for the bonus. Also, there is a new paragraph in the T&Cs, as follows:

The referrer can share their referral link only with people they know. Referrers agree that they will not: (1) make it available to the general public (such as posting it on a coupon website, bonus website, job website, Craigslist, Reddit, and other sites at the discretion of Personal Capital); (2) Use paid social media, paid search, or any paid advertising to distribute the referral link; (3) Try to send to any deals email distribution lists, coupon/bonus email distribution lists, or rewards email distribution lists; and (4) Use automated systems, bots, or programmed scripts to distribute, post, or share their referral link.

During the $100 promo, my broker asked whether I used facebook to send out my referral link, and I said no. I am not sure whether facebook or twitter would be precluded by the above term. I guess I need new friends and neighbors now. 🙂

Ann
Ann

Did you sign up for Personal Capital’s paid advisory service? I think that was the distinguishing factor between those who only got the $20 referral option and those who got $50 (and $100 while that was offered). Everybody who posted a $100 referral code while those were a thing said they had the paid service. People with low asset levels never even got the $20 code.

Svy
Svy

Yes, the terms of the promotion state that “Personal Capital investment clients are allowed to participate in this program by referring new users only and may also receive 3 months free if the referred user becomes a trading client.” Signing up to use the PC website to monitor your accounts at other financial institutions does not make you a PC client. If you aren’t a PC client, you won’t have a referral link. The amount of the referral varies by how much you have invested with PC; my referral is for $50, not the basic $20.

Closertothesun
Closertothesun

Not technically a brokerage bonus, but there’s a good IRA bonus that was covered on DoC in 2015. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/navy-federal-credit-union-100-ira-bonus/

NFCU, 100 bonus on 100 deposited. Hold date not specified, fees for closing brokerage not specified. Soft pull to join NFCU.

https://www.navyfederal.org/savings-season-2019/save-money.php?cmpid=em%7Ccdira%7Cira%7Cirabonus%7C04/16/2019%7C36201%7C%7Ccb1.3

Andrew
Andrew

I did that… now how do I transfer the funds to my IRA account without incurring fees?

Gadget

Andrew I assume you mean transfer the NFCU IRA funds to another brokerage IRA? You would have to wait until the NFCU CD has matured. Once matured, assuming you didn’t renew into X more months, shouldn’t be a fee. Please enlighten me if I am wrong.

Or, are you just trying to fund the NFCU IRA and paying fees from another bank? Need more info.

Mike
Mike

Youinvest or Merrill seem like the best offers to me. Youinvest because of the 90 day thing + the fact that unlike the other brokerages, if you keep some money with Chase (at least 15K, 75K is even better), you get free trades. And I think they also offer free mutual fund trades regardless of how much is in the account. The one con is that their brokerage platform is pretty much no-frills. Actually there is a second con as well … most people would be much better off doing the Chase Sapphire bonus at $750 (or 600 pts) instead. And then use YouInvest with the 75K requirement and get some interest using money markets. But it’s one or the other, not both.

And if anyone out there prefers mutual funds over ETFs, read the fine print for other brokerages. Quite often they state cheap or free trades (usually only for 1-3 months), but that’s for stocks/etfs only; they charge $20 for mutual fund trades.

Merrill can be decent so long as a BOA credit card is linked to preferred rewards. There are various tiers, but at 100K it adds .75% to the bonus amounts. So instead of 3% in certain categories, it becomes 5.25%. And the 2% warehouse club bonus turns into 3.5% That is actually more worthwhile than the bonus… although it’s not bad to get some extra free money as well. Downside with Merrill is that many mutual fund trades cost $20 but at least ETFs should be free at the higher tier levels.

Newbie
Newbie

At BoA ML stocks trading is free but not options, for preferred members.

Skippy
Skippy

I was told that there is no fee for automatic investments into most mutual funds.

Newbie
Newbie

Have accounts with Etrade, Ameritrade, Schwab, etc,etc
Any sign up bonus with interactive brokers? Please get a deal for us DoC. Need incentives to move.

calwatch
calwatch

IB, like Vanguard, has an everyday low fee model. Existing customers can get $200 for referring a new client, but the target gets nothing. William Charles should contact IB and split the bonus with us. https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/software/am/am/manageaccount/trader_referral.htm

dizzy
dizzy

Love this, please post more in the future! Especially those on the lower requirement end (like under $5k)

Existing Customer
Existing Customer

Was told the TD AMERITRADE offer was not for existing customers.

Kels Wagner
Kels Wagner

ME too. Need more offers under 10k

calwatch
calwatch

Here’s $100 from Schwab. You used to be able to self refer but you now need a code, of course there are tons of them floating around blogs and social media. The referer gets nothing, only the new customer. https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/refer-prospect.html

Alys Holden
Alys Holden

This one seems good and worth doing for $100. Any comments on it?

qmc
qmc

For folks looking for more of these, here’s one from PNC. https://www.pnc.com/en/personal-banking/investments-and-retirement/campaigns/investments-offer.html Not sure how good they are or what kinds of fees they have.

tuphat
tuphat

Not at all understanding why you list the Chase YouInvest bonus, but not the Chase Preferred Client bonus. With the latter, you get almost 3x the bonus as the former, for the basically the same commitment, assuming transfer of existing stock holdings.

jam
jam

Fidelity used to have decent offers.

MoreSun
MoreSun

William Charles Could you list the deposit level where bonuses start as well in this quick summary page since that fast weeds out eligibility for some of us? Currently the bonuses start with $25k deposit for Chase & E*Trade, $10k current TDA customers, $50k new customers, $20k Merrill.

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