Best online deals for opening a new brokerage account. Free trades and cash bonus promotion offers for existing brokerage firm accounts. Stock broker incentives for asset transfers.

Below we list discount online brokerage firms promotion offers for opening new individual brokerage or IRA account, and special deals for changing a stock broker. Brokerage companies offer cash bonuses, free trades, and other incentives for new investors as well as for the customers planning to transfer investment account from a different firm. On this page you can find current best deals and promo codes from the largest online brokers in the U.S.




  4.5-star brokerage firm rating


TD Ameritrade Promotion For Opening an Account

Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.


Open TD Ameritrade Account


TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Review »




  4.5-star brokerage firm rating


M1 Finance Promotion For Opening an Account

Pay no broker commissions or fees. Invest for FREE!


Open M1 Finance Account


M1 Finance Review

M1 Finance Review »




  Swell Investing rating


Swell Investing Promotion For Opening an Account

Get $50 with promo with code VOTE50 to invest in high-growth solar, wind, and other alternative energy companies.


Open Swell Account






  Firstrade rating


Firstrade Promotion For Opening an Account

$0 commissions + up to $200 in transfer fee rebates.


Open Firstrade Account


Firstrade Review

Firstrade Review »




  


PeerStreet Promotion For Opening an Account

Earn 7.00% - 12.00% APR with real estate investing.


Open PeerStreet Account






  Charles Schwab rating


Charles Schwab Incentive For Opening an Account

Make $100,000 deposit and get 500 commission-free online equity and options trades.


Open Charles Schwab Account


Charles Schwab Review

Charles Schwab Review »




  Fidelity Investments rating


Fidelity Promotion For Opening an Account

Get 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit.


Open Fidelity Account


Fidelity Review

Fidelity Review »




  Etrade brokerage firm rating


Etrade Incentive For Opening an Account

At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.


Open Etrade Account


Etrade Review

Etrade Review »




  3.5-star brokerage firm rating


Merrill Edge Offer For Opening an Account

Get up to $600 when you open new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000.


Open Merrill Edge Account


Merrill Edge Review

Merrill Edge Review »




  ZacksTrade rating


Zackstrade Offer For Opening an Account

Trade stocks and options for as low as $1 until July 4, 2019.


Open ZacksTrade Account


Zackstrade Review

Zackstrade Review »




  Ally Invest rating


Ally Invest Promotion For Opening an Account

Up to $3,500 cash bonus + commission free trades for new accounts.


Open Ally Invest Account


Ally Invest Review

Ally Invest Review »



Firstrade

Overview of Incentives Brokerage Firms Offer New Customers

Many broker-dealers offer bonuses and incentives of various types to entice new customers to open new accounts with them. In particular, brokerage houses will offer lucrative prizes to encourage traders at rival firms to move existing accounts to them. These perks often include free trades, cash bonuses, reimbursements of transfer fees, trial of software, and more.

Cash Bonuses and ACAT Rebates

Many prominent brokers offer cash bonuses and/or rebates of ACAT transfer fees that are charged by rival brokerage firms when investors transfer accounts. For example, TD Ameritrade offers a tiered cash bonus program for new and transferred accounts. Any account that is moved to TD Ameritrade with a $25,000 balance receives a $100 prize. If the account is worth $100,000, the bonus goes up to $300. And an account that is worth a quarter of a million dollars or more gets $600 in cash.

Other broker-dealers may offer to pay any transfer fee that the old firm charges. Today, the ACAT system is often used to electronically transfer an account from one broker to another. The old broker usually charges a fee (it’s losing an account after all), but some firms are generous enough to reimburse the transfer fee.

Firstrade, for instance, has a special where it will reimburse any transfer fee charged by the old firm if the account transferred to Firstrade is valued at $2,500 or more. The account must remain open with at least $2,500 (not considering any market loss) for twelve months.

The maximum value of Firstrade’s promotion is $200 and cannot be more than the transfer fee. Besides regular brokerage accounts, IRA’s, education savings accounts, investment clubs, and custodial accounts are eligible for this promo.

E*Trade offers $200 cash for any account that is transferred from another broker if the account has a value of $25,000 or more. Larger transfers receive larger payouts. The broker promises to credit the new account within one week. The funds must remain in the account a minimum of 180 days.

Free Trades

Brokerage firms will also offer free trades to new customers coming from a rival brokerage firm. Schwab, for example, offers 500 free trades. To qualify, the transferred account must have assets of at least $100,000. This is quite a lot, but the free trades are valid for two years, and they can be used to pay for per-contract option fees. Most brokers don’t allow their bonuses to be used to pay for per-contract fees.

To qualify for this offer, the assets must be from unaffiliated brokers, although money and securities from Schwab Retirement Plan Services do count towards the $100,000 requirement. Unused trades have no value.

On top of the cash bonuses mentioned above, TD Ameritrade also provides free trades to new customers who bring old accounts with them. A transferred account is eligible for 500 free trades if it has at least $3,000 in it. The commission-free trades expire in two months. Unlike Schwab, TD Ameritrade does not allow the free trades to pay for per-contract option fees. The trades also cannot be used to pay exercise or assignment fees. The $3,000 minimum must remain in the account for a full year; otherwise, TD Ameritrade will charge the account the amount of bonuses received.

Brokerage accounts transferred to Fidelity are eligible for some nice benefits as well. The company provides 300 free trades to any transferred account if it has a value of $50,000 or more. New customers who can transfer $100,000 receive an additional 200 trades. The trades are valid for 24 months.

Both taxable and non-taxable accounts are eligible. Fidelity allows the free trades to pay for per-contract derivative charges (up to 20 per trade). Fidelity also lets its customers to repeat this special offer, although each client is limited to one promo every 12 months.

E*Trade offers commission-free trading to transferred accounts. This promotion is in addition to the cash bonuses the firm offers. Any account sent via the ACAT system is eligible for 500 free trades if it has at least $10,000 worth of assets.

Software Trial

Fidelity also offers these transferred accounts access to its flagship trading platform, Active Trader Pro. Other brokers have similar policies to attract new investors. For example, Lightspeed Trading offers trials of its many software programs. There are several platforms the broker-dealer has, and each one can be trialed. Sterling Trader, Realtick Pro, Livevol X, and Lightspeed Trader are all available to new customers. Some of these carry steep monthly fees (RealTick Pro is $325 per month!), so getting a free trial can be a big score.

One of Ligthspeed’s rivals, SureTrader, also offers software trials to new customers. This technology include Level II quotes, direct access software, and its most advanced desktop platform.

Free Portfolio Management

Some brokers will also offer free investment advice to any account that is transferred from a competitor. Typically, brokerage firms that offer this service will be companies that specialize in account management. For example, Betterment, a robo-advisory firm, offers free management to new and transferred accounts.

One month of free management is given to accounts with at least $10,000. The number of months and required account minimums increase up to 1 year of free management with a $500,000 minimum. Because Betterment charges 0.25% or 0.40%, this can be quite a savings.

Summary

Brokerage firms make money by attracting and keeping investors with large active accounts. They are willing to go to very great lengths to bring in the largest customers. Even small accounts with $10,000 or more can get some pretty decent prizes. Even better, IRA’s are often eligible at many firms. Be sure to read the fine print, though, because requirements are usually attached, and these must be met to keep the prizes.