The 14 Best Brokerage Account Promotions and Bonuses for 2020

Are you looking to open a new brokerage account to manage your portfolio of investments but aren’t sure which one?

Many online investment platforms compete for business by offering new account promotions based on the assets you can transfer to their platform. While promotions shouldn’t be the only consideration, these promotion/bonus amounts are too hard to look past.

There are a range of bonuses listed below, whether you have an established portfolio and looking to transfer stocks, or starting new.

Continue reading to review the best brokerage account promotions for new accounts.

Our Picks:

Webull is our Editor’s Pick as the best brokerage promotion because the promotion is so simple – open an account and deposit $100. You get 3 free stocks worth up to $1,600. It’s just like Robinhood, but you can do both offers!
Get free stock from Webull
Ally Invest has the highest cash bonus if you transfer your assets to their brokerage. As long as you transfer more than $10,000 in assets, you get free cash. They also offer free trades so it’s a winner all around.
Get a cash bonus from Ally Invest

Webull – 3 free stocks worth up to $1,600

Webull is a free trading app from Webull Financial. They are a brokerage based out of New York City and regulated by FINRA, you can look them up on BrokerCheck. We have a full review of Webull and their offer here.

For new signups, open and fund an account with $100 and they will give you 3 free stocks worth up to $1,600. They have no fees and no account minimums so it’s truly free stock.

Get your free stock from Webull

Ally Invest – up to $3,500

Ally Invest LogoAlly Invest is the online brokerage account I use because they offer free trades (U.S. stock, ETFs, and options) with no minimums and monthly balance requirements. I have an Ally Bank account so managing it all with one login is convenient too. I wish I would’ve taken advantage of their new account bonuses for transfers because it’s one of the most generous, here is the schedule based on how much you deposit within 60 days of account opening:

Here is the Ally Invest bonus structure:

  • Deposit $10,000 – $24,999, get $50 cash
  • Deposit $25,000 – $99,999, get $200 cash
  • Deposit $100,000 – $249,999, get $300 cash
  • Deposit $250,000 – $499,999, get $600 cash
  • Deposit $500,000 – $999,999, get $1,200 cash
  • Deposit $1,000,000 – $1,999,999, get $2,500 cash
  • Deposit $2,000,000 or more, get $3,500 cash

They will also credit transfer fees if you move your account from another brokerage. Whatever the other brokerage charges, up to $150, they will reimburse you.

(here is our full review of Ally Invest)

Learn more about Ally Invest

NVSTR – $10 to $1000

NVSTR LogoNVSTR has a referral program where you can get up to $1,000 (but at least $10) when you sign up. The referring customer gtes $10 to $1,000 too – and it’s a limited time offer.

The only requirement is that you make one trade within a year and you can keep the bonus. There are no other requirements for the new account bonus.

There is also a deposit bonus. For a limited time, after you open your account, you can get a bonus based on what you deposit. You need to maintain this amount for one year to keep the deposit bonus.
Deposit Bonus

See the offer at NVSTR

Robinhood – free share of stock

Robinhood is a relatively new brokerage that will give you a free share of stock when you open an account. There are no other requirements of the offer, you just need to open an account. no deposit, no transfer, no nothing. You can read more about the free share of stock promotion here.

Get a free share of stock

Here is also how Robinhood compares to Webull.

Tastyworks

Tastyworks will give you 100 shares of a “highly liquid stock” when you open and fund a new cash or margin account with $2,000. The shares will be selected at random from a list of eleven stocks priced between $1 and $6, so you can get anywhere from $100 to $600 in this promotion with a stated average bonus of $200 – $220. There is a 70% chance of getting a stock priced under $2 and a 30% chance of getting a stock priced over $2.

You must keep the initial value of the stock, less any loss in value, in the account for a minimum of three months.

The referral/promotion code for this offer is “STOCK_AWARD_20” and you must put it in the Referral Code Field when applying.

Learn more about Tastyworks
(Offer expires 12/31/2020)

SoFi Invest – $50

SoFi Invest is the brokerage arm of SoFi, the student loan refinancing company. They’ve recently branched out into other areas, including SoFi Money (banking), and they are now offering a $50 bonus if you sign up and deposit at least $25.

With SoFi Invest, you can manage your portfolio (Active Investing) or go with a roboadvisor approach (Auto Investing). With Active Investing, you can invest in stocks, cryptocurrencies, and ETFs without paying a trading commission.

For a limited time, get $50 in stock from SoFi Invest if you sign up with a referral link and deposit at least $1,000. There’s no trading requirement.

Betterment

Betterment is one of the largest and most respected robo-advisors, you can see our review of Betterment for a closer look at their service.

For new accounts, they will waive the management fee of 0.25% depending on how much you transfer:

  • Deposit $15,000 – $99,999, get 1 month managed free
  • Deposit $100,000 – $249,999, get 6 months managed free
  • Deposit $250,000+, get 12 months managed free

Learn more about Betterment

Citi Personal Wealth Management

Citi Personal Wealth Management has a juicy bonus offer when you transfer New-to-Citibank funds within 2 months of opening an account. You also will need to enroll in e-delivery of statements and then keep those funds in the account through the end of the next month (or three months after the month of account enrollment). Bonus will be credited three months after you meet the maintenance requirement.

Here’s the Citi bonus transfer schedule:

  • Fund with $50,000 – $199,999: $500
  • Fund with $200,000 – $499,999: $1,000
  • Fund with $500,000 – $999,999: $1,500
  • Fund with $1,000,000 – $1,999,999: $2,500
  • Fund with $2,000,000+ $3,500

See the offer at Citi
(Offer expires 12/31/20)

Merrill Edge – up to $600

Merrill Edge, a Bank of America Company, will give you up to $1,000 if you open a new Merrill Edge account using the offer code 600ME. You just need to transfer your funds within 45 days, maintain that balance for 90 days, and you will get the cash bonus in 2 weeks. This bonus applies to individual Merrill Edge IRAs or Cash Management Accounts, which is what they call their taxable brokerage accounts.

Here’s the Merrill Edge bonus transfer schedule:

  • Fund with $20,000 – $49,999: $100
  • Fund with $50,000 – $99,999: $150
  • Fund with $100,000 – $199,999: $250
  • Fund with $200,000+ $600

See the offer at Merrill Edge

If you are a Preferred Reward client, you may get up to $900 with this alternative offer.

Charles Schwab – up to $500

Charles Schwab LogoCharles Schwab will give Stock Plan Services clients a bonus of up to $500 when you open a new account and transfer in new funds with 45 days. If you are not a Stock Plan Service, they won’t give you this promotion (they will even let you apply and enter in a promotion code, but they won’t give you the bonus).

Here’s Charles Schwab’s bonus transfer schedule:

  • Fund with $10,000 – $24,999: $100
  • Fund with $25,000 – $45,999: $200
  • Fund with $50,000 – $99,999: $300
  • Fund with $100,000+ $500

Update: I have received reports from readers that you don’t get cash but instead get “trade credits” which can be used to pay the commission for trades. If you are considering this offer, call to confirm the details.

See the offer at Charles Schwab

TradeStation – $100

TradeStation has a “Cash Madness” promotion where you can get $100 when you open and fund a TradeStation Securities account with $500 or more. All you have to do is open a new TradeStation Securities account using the offer code ZINGAFOG, deposit at least $500 within thirty days of opening your account, and then maintain the balance for one month after the funding date.

The promotion is set to expire on July 1st, 2020.

Learn more on the promotion page

E*TRADE – Up to $3,000

E*TRADE logoWhen I think of new account promotions, I think of E*TRADE. For years, they had an offer where you could get up to $3,000 (if you had over a million dollars in assets to transfer!) and 60 days of free trades if you open a non-retirement brokerage account.

With the recent rush of brokerages offering free trades, the promotion is now just cash.

You can find the full details here but this is the offer:

  • Deposit $5,000 – $24,999, get $100 cash
  • Deposit $25,000 – $99,999, get $200 cash
  • Deposit $100,000 – $249,999, get $300 cash
  • Deposit $250,000 – $499,999, get $600 cash
  • Deposit $500,000 – $999,999, get $1,200 cash
  • Deposit $1,000,000 or more, get $3,000 cash

Fidelity – Expired Promotion

fidelity logoFidelity doesn’t offer any cash bonus but if you open a new account, they will give you free trades. It’s less sexy than some of the other offers on this list but that’s the only thing they offer so there you have it!

If you deposit $50,000 to $99,999 then you get 300 free trades over the next two years.

If you deposit $100,000 then you get 500 free trades over the next two years.

See the offer at Fidelity

This offer has expired. We will update it when Fidelity issues a new promotion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about bonuses and the brokerage transfer process.

How do transfers work?

Almost every brokerage firm supports ACATS, which stands for Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, which lets you transfer your assets in-kind. This means that it transfers your assets as they are without you having to sell them. So if you have big gains in the stock, the shares just get transferred without you having to sell them, transfer the cash, and then buy them again.

You may run into hiccups if some items can’t be transferred. One common example is Vanguard Admiral shares of their mutual funds. Some brokerages will take them, others won’t. In these cases, you may have to transfer them to another asset type (like the ETF version), which will accept them.

ACATS does take a week or two to complete the transfer.

Is this worth it?

I don’t know if it’s worth hopping around from broker to broker, grabbing up the bonuses, but the process isn’t difficult. If you’re looking to make a move anyway, getting paid a little for the effort is better than not being paid. Some brokers may charge you to leave, which is something you’d be paying anyway, so hopping around may reduce your returns from the bonus perspective.

How do the taxes work?

If you are creating new taxable brokerage accounts, the bonuses will be reported and you will have to claim them on your taxes as income.

If you are creating retirement accounts, like an IRA, the bonuses are going into those accounts so you won’t owe taxes on them. For traditional IRAs, you’ll just be taxed when you start taking distributions. Roth IRAs will never be taxed. For each account, review the terms and conditions to see how the brokerage is treating it and you’ll know for certain.

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Originally posted at https://wallethacks.com/best-new-brokerage-account-promotions/

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