Posted by William Charles on April 21, 2019
Brokerage Bonuses

Published on April 21st, 2019 | by William Charles

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E*Trade: Up To $2,500 Brokerage Bonus & 500 Commission Free Trades ($25,000-$1,000,000 Required)

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • E*Trade is offering a bonus of up to $2,500 when you open up a new E*Trade. Bonus is tiered depending on how much you deposit in cash or securities within 60 days of account opening.
    • $2,500 bonus when you open a new account with $1,000,000+
    • $1,200 bonus when you open a new account with $500,000-$999,999
    • $600 bonus when you open a new account with $250,000-$499,999
    • $300 bonus when you open a new account with $100,000-$249,999
    • $200 bonus when you open a new account with $25,000-$99,999
    • Anything under $25,000 just receives the commission free trades

The Fine Print

  • Offer valid for one new E*TRADE Securities non-retirement brokerage account opened by 12/31/2019 and funded within 60 days of account opening with $10,000 or more
  • New funds or securities must: be deposited or transferred within 60 days of enrollment in offer, be from accounts outside of E*TRADE, and remain in the account (minus any trading losses) for a minimum of six months or the cash credit may be surrendered. Multiple deposits made to eligible accounts will be aggregated and will receive a credit on a pro-rata basis once the new account has been funded with at least $10,000
  • Excludes current E*TRADE Financial Corporation associates, non-U.S. residents, and any jurisdiction where this offer is not valid. You must be the original recipient of this offer to enroll. This offer is not valid for E*TRADE Securities retirement, E*TRADE Futures, E*TRADE Bank, or E*TRADE Savings Bank accounts. One promotion per customer. E*TRADE Securities reserves the right to terminate this offer at any time.

Our Verdict

Funds need to stay in the account for a minimum of six months and must be maintained (minus any loses). Brokerage bonuses aren’t massive on a percentage basis, but it’s still extra money just for moving funds/securities around. I’ve previously thought it wasn’t worth the effort involved, but readers that do these sorts of bonuses frequently are slowly changing my mind on that. Because of that I will be creating a best brokerage bonus page soon, if you know of any brokerage bonuses we haven’t already covered then let us know in the comments below.

Hat tip to reader NYC



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Dana
Dana

Thanks Charles. I’m right there with you. I finally decided to pull the trigger on the merrill edge promo. It finally seems worth it to me too.

Jack - NJ
Jack - NJ

Why is it worth it?

Jan
Jan

Do they give 1099? Any difference between amount over 600 and less than 600 for the 1099 treatment?

Emporio
Emporio

The bonus will be reported as a single line item in your consolidated 1099 from E*Trade irregardless of the size of the bonus. The only difference in tax treatment between the bonuses would be if a larger bonus where to push you into a higher Federal and/or State tax bracket in which case your marginal tax rate would change.

pjm
pjm

A section on brokerage bonuses would be great. I just started exploring these. I suspect a lot of the value would be in a FAQ or similar on how do do these efficiently and safely for what people here might typically do. For example, what are good choices for people to move “emergency funds” that might currently be in a higher yield savings account (2% ish) at etrade, ally, chase you invest (I did this recently and put my money in a vanguard money market fund, VMMXX, which returns about the same return with only very slight risk, so its a pretty equivalent destination compared to a savings account), etc. What is the process to move an existing IRA at, say, Vanguard to these brokerages without causing problems. And so on for the typical types of transactions people would tend to do.

IOW, unlike savings and checking account bonuses, now you are talking about moving significantly more money around and the potential downside is a lot higher, so having some clear instructions on how to do this will be key to taking advantage of them. Its one thing to move $5K to a checking account and use the debit card 10 times, its another to move a $200K IRA between institutions without causing problems that would dward any potential bonus.

Emporio
Emporio

One pro tip to add to any section on brokerage bonuses is that for E*Trade specifically, higher bonuses are generally available in-branch when applied by an E*Trade financial consultant.

Kirk
Kirk

$25k+ in title?

Be really helpful.

Sam
Sam

What made you change your mind about these bonuses doc?

Mike
Mike

The brokerage bonuses are fine if you planned to invest anyway or prefer a certain brokerage over a different one. The problem though as I see it is quite often you can get pretty decent benefits just leaving your funds where they are. For instance, Merrill people get pretty decent credit card bonuses. And Chase people get free trading, free checks/deposit box, etc.

So I guess for those with like a half a million or more, it’s a way to get free money … but then the question if it’s worth the hassle for those people for a pretty small amount in comparison to their holdings. I’m not saying the bonus is not worth doing, just that the amounts kind of stink in relation to bank bonuses … and it’s more hassle.

Nick
Nick

I would pass on this bonus. There have definitely been better. Also of note the bonuses are tax free if you transfer a Roth or traditional IRA account.

Yu
Yu

Does ETrade cover the cost if I transfer the securities from other firm to them?

Ken
Ken

E*TRADE also offers higher bonuses for new customers:
https://us.etrade.com/what-we-offer/how-it-works/bailer-enrollment

$3,000 + commission-free trades $1,000,000+
$1,500 + commission-free trades $500,000–$999,999
$700 + commission-free trades $250,000–$499,999
$400 + commission-free trades $100,000–$249,999
$250 + commission-free trades $25,000–$99,999

E*TRADE says the higher bonuses is only available for new customers, whereas the lower bonuses are available to existing customers opening new accounts.

Fred
Fred

FYI, if you do want to to transfer a retirement account, it might be worth calling and asking if they have any promotions for that. Back in March, I could not find any E-Trade bonuses for IRAs but I called and they offered me the same promotion as they were offering on the non-retirement. I transferred in mutual funds in mid-March, and the bonus was applied on May 13th. However, with regards to the account itself, I am displeased that I cannot view my mutual fund dividend reinvestment settings on the website (I gather that I would for stocks/ETFs).

pjm
pjm

funded $25K on 4/22, $200 bonus on 6/10. Not sure what stops me from taking it out now instead of waiting for 6 months, but I guess they would black ball me potentially if I did.

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