Best new brokerage account bonuses. Brokerage account promotions offers to open an investment account. Top stock broker incentives for signing up and account transfers.

Firstrade Brokerage Account Promotion

Earn up to $5,000 cash bonus & get transfer fee reimbursement.

Open Firstrade Account

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M1 Finance Brokerage Incentive

Make a $10,000 deposit and get a $250 cash bonus at M1 Finance.

Open M1 Finance Account

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Charles Schwab Promo For a New Account

Get up to a $2,500 cash bonus from Charles Schwab.

Open Schwab Account

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Acorns New Account Bonus

Try Acorns absolutely free and get a $20 bonus.

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Webull Brokerage Account Bonus

Grab your last chance to get up to 75 free stocks when you deposit at Webull!

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Robinhood Brokerage Offer

Up to $200 free stock + 1% IRA match + transfer fee refund at Robinhood.

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Zackstrade Brokerage Special

Get the lowest margin rates with Zackstrade account.

Open ZacksTrade Account

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Overview of Incentives Brokerage Firms Offer New Customers

Many brokerage houses offer bonuses and specials of various types to entice new clients to open new accounts with them. In particular, broker-dealers will offer lucrative incentives 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, Firstrade offers a tiered cash bonus incentive for both new and transferred accounts. Any account that is moved to M1 Finance 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 at least quarter of a million dollars or more gets $600 in cash.

Other stock brokers may offer to pay any transfer fee that the old company 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, investment clubs, custodial accounts, and education savings 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.

Broker Incentive

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. 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.

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.

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.

brokerage account bonus

Software Trial

Fidelity also offers these transferred accounts access to Active Trader Pro - its flagship trading platform. 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.

Brokerage Incentives 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 conditions are always attached, and these must be met to keep the bonuses.

Updated on 2/13/2024.