TD Ameritrade

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$0 stock/ETF trades + transfer fee refund.

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Thinkorswim Promo for ACAT Reimbursement

Whether it’s the long list of financial vehicles on offer, the award-winning trading Thinkorswim platform, or the diverse selection of account types that you like, TD Ameritrade has a lot to offer. If you are considering opening an account with the popular broker and start using its Thinkorswim platform, you might be wondering what the account transfer process is like.

When transferring an investment account to TD Ameritrade, TDA will not charge you for that transfer. However, the broker you are transferring from will often charge you an outgoing ACAT fee. These fees vary from broker to broker, but it is not uncommon to see fees ranging from $50-$125.

To make things easier for new customers, TD Ameritrade reimburses the other broker’s fees, making the entire process costless for the investor. There is one thing to keep in mind. The reimbursement process is not automatic.

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Here’s how to get your ACAT fee reimbursed by TD Ameritrade.

Step one: Wait for the transfer to be complete

TD Ameritrade requires that ACATs should be complete before issuing reimbursements. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the most obvious is that some account transfers don’t go through as planned. Investors frequently forget to wait for funds to settle in the originating account or to liquidate securities that are not transferable through the ACAT process.

Step two: Request a reimbursement

Once the transfer is complete, you should contact support (at TD Ameritrade) via the secure message center.

You will provide them with a written request to reimburse the transfer fee from the other broker, as well as a statement showing the fee.

Step three: Wait for your money

Once TD Ameritrade has all the information it needs, the ACAT fee reimbursement process only takes about 3 days. The fee is automatically credited to the new account.

Types of ACATs: Full and Partial Account Transfers

If you are considering transferring an account to TD Ameritrade using the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS), it is useful to know that many brokers do not charge for outgoing ACATs in some situations.

There are two main types of ACATs: partial and full. Full account transfers involve closing the account you are transferring from. Because of this, many brokers charge for these types of ACATs.

Partial transfers, on the other hand, are simpler for brokers to handle and often do not come with any fees at all. Before transferring your account to TD Ameritrade, consider the type of transfer works best for you.

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Which Securities Can You Transfer with ACATs?

For account transfers, TD Ameritrade accepts transfers that include most investment vehicles, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Open orders cannot be transferred. If the account that you are transferring from has open or working orders, the transfer will not go through until those orders are closed.

Unsettled funds are also non transferrable. It is best not to trade in your account for at least 3 days and wait for all transactions to completely settle before initiating the ACAT request.

TD Ameritrade does not accept cryptocurrency positions, either. If you have any crypto holdings, you will need to liquidate them, wait for the funds to settle, and then start the account transfer.

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Another thing to be aware of is how the margin requirements in the originating account will align with the new TD Ameritrade account. If you have positions that relay on margin, such as options positions or borrowed shares, you will need to make sure that you have the same margin approval and permissions in the TD Ameritrade account as you do in your current account.

ACATs provide investors with an easy way to move one brokerage account to another, but they can take longer than many expect. In most cases, a basic transfer can take less than a week, but if the account is complex, an account transfer can take as long as 6 weeks. While longer transfer times are certainly not the norm, they do occur and investors should be aware of the possibility.

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ACAT Alternative

Sometimes, finding alternatives to automated account transfers can be the better option.

One of the most commonly used methods of moving a trading account from one broker to another is to handle the transfer process manually.

To do this, simply liquidate everything in your account. You will need to wait for funds to settle, and then transfer your account balance to your personal bank account. The main benefit to following a manual process to transfer your account is that your originating brokerage account remains open.

Once your investment capital is in your bank, the only thing left to do is fund your new TD Ameritrade account.

Updated on 4/11/2022.

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