Brokerage firms and bonuses discussion

Brokerage firms and bonuses discussion


They can match some offers, at least for large sums (recent experience). Call with an offer you want matched.


I found a link to a Merrill Edge offer. As always, print the offer and confirm before opening.

$1,000 bonus for $200k
$ 500 bonus for $100k
$ 250 bonus for $ 50k


That looks to be the offer from 2016, expired on December 31, 2016, it appears?


Have any of these firms noticed and said no more bonuses, or taken even stronger actions?

Would you be willing to say how often you have been in an out of these specific firms, and the dollar amounts involved?

For larger accounts (over $1,000,000 say) you are often assigned a specific named representative you will notice movements. I suspect their job performance rating and bonuses are based on total amounts attracted, rather than profitability to the company, but that is not certain. If yu want another companies offer matched, or some favor, they can be useful.

You do not want to spoil a potentially profitable relationship by abusing it too much.


They definitely get paid in relation to assets brought in, either in terms of meeting quotas to get bonuses or as a small % commission of the incoming assets. Usually this is done on a quarterly basis, and withdrawals count as negative for them. So while it may always be incrementally in their interest to have you bring in money, even if they suspect it won’t stay long term, don’t expect them to be happy when you take money out. Yes, negotiations are very worthwhile for larger amounts.


I just talked to CITI and they have the following bonus schedule. When I had called a while ago, I was told there were no offers, so I thought I would pass this on.

It appears not to apply to IRA accounts. I had moved money in a year ago for an IRA bonus, and I vaguely recall some mention of them alternating bonus offers.

The required period to keep the funds in there is much shorter than for most firms. This makes the annualized rate of return higher than virtually any other, possibly as high as 1.6% for a new $50,000.

You also may get the benefits of CITIGold status, or their Priority category, which may be worth something if you are a banking customer, or wish to be.

This appears attractive enough so I may take it, rather than the Scottrade offer.

"Open a new Citi Personal Wealth Management Account between
September 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 and Earn a Cash Bonus
New to Citi Funding
Cash Bonus
$50,000 - $199,999
$200,000 - $499,999
$500,000 - $999,999
The experience of our Financial Advisors
can help put your goals within reach.
For a limited time, you can earn a cash bonus when you fund a new Citi Personal Wealth Management investment account and enroll in e-delivery of statements within 2 months of account opening.

To qualify, the entire amount of cash or securities to fund the account must be funds that are New-To-Citi and cannot be combined with existing balances, balances from any other Citi accounts including Retail accounts or securities.
To qualify to earn a cash bonus reward, accounts must be funded in cash or securities and the account enrolled in e-delivery of statements within 2 months of account opening and the balance of the account must be maintained through the end of the following month shown in the chart below. For example, an account opened in September must fund their account and enroll in e-statement between 9/1/17 and 11/30/17, then must maintain funds until 12/31/17. Cash or securities must come from an external, non-Citi, source through a standard transfer method (e.g., a standard Transfer of Assets form, check, electronic funds transfer, ADM deposit). Transfers from a Citibank Retail account are not considered New-To-Citi Funds for purpose of this promotion. Foreign wires do not qualify as funds received. The total funding for purposes of determining the bonus level funding considered for the promotion is defined as the total amount of eligible cash or securities received in the account minus withdrawals and transfers of securities out of the account as of the deadline to fund the account based on the month of account opening. Distributions, interest, and dividends from investments will not be counted. Market fluctuation will not impact eligibility for a particular bonus level.
Month of Account Opening
Account funding and enrollment in e-delivery of statement
Maintain funds
Cash Bonus Credited to Account
September 2017
Between 9/1/17 - 11/30/17
Between 9/1/17 - 12/31/17
By April 1, 2018
October 2017
Between 10/1/17 - 12/31/17
Between 10/1/17 - 1/31/18
By May 1, 2018
November 2017
Between 11/1/17 - 1/31/18
Between 11/1/17 - 2/28/18
By June 1, 2018
December 2017
Between 12/1/17 - 2/28/18
Between 12/1/17 - 3/31/18
By July 1, 2018
The amount of the cash bonus reward is based on the funding received during the promotional period. The cash bonus will be credited to the Citi Personal Wealth Management for customers who were enrolled in the promotion and have met the qualifying requirements stated in the offer based on the date the account was opened.
Limit one offer per account per customer per household. If multiple accounts are opened or funded by a customer, the offer will apply to the eligible account with the highest balance. Multiple account balances in the name of the same beneficial owner will not be aggregated for purposes of this offer and cannot be combined with any other offer. For purposes of this offer only, the primary owner of a joint account will be considered the customer. All accounts are subject to approval and applicable terms and fees. Account must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus is credited to receive the bonus.
The promotion is only available for certain account types, including individual and joint accounts. Accounts not eligible for this promotion include but are not limited to corporate and other business/entity accounts, trust accounts (except Living Revocable Trusts and Family Revocable Trusts which are eligible), retirement plan accounts (e.g. IRAs, SEPs, 401(k), money purchase pension plan, profit sharing plan, and other ERISA plan account), estate accounts, UGMA/UTMA accounts, 529 college savings plan accounts and insurance products (including annuities). For questions about eligibility, please speak to a Citi Personal Wealth Management representative.
Important Tax Information: The value of this reward will constitute taxable income. Citi Personal Wealth Management will issue an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099-MISC to you if the aggregate amount of miscellaneous income received by you from Citigroup Global Markets Inc. equals or exceeds $600 during the calendar year.
Offer limited to customers who are either citizens or resident aliens of the United States (U.S.) with a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number. Customer is responsible for any applicable taxes.


Came across this for Schwab, $100,000+ - $500.

Although not sure if you needed to have prior relationship, fine print says “Offer valid for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) Stock Plan Services clients who make a qualifying net deposit into an eligible retail brokerage account within 45 days of enrollment in the offer.”


Firstrade has the following offers (from
The offer for $25,000 seems especially generous as a percentage, and may be attractive to those who lack larger accounts to transfer.

Terms & Conditions:

Offer valid for new Individual, Joint or IRA Firstrade account opened from 9/19/2017 to 12/31/2017 and funded within 30 days of account opening with $2,000 or more. You must use promo code “CASH2017” when opening the account.

To receive 500 Free Commission Trades, the account must be funded with $2,000 or more.

To receive $100 Cash Rewards + 500 Free Commission Trades, the account must be funded with $25,000 or more.

To receive $200 Cash Rewards + 500 Free Commission Trades, the account must be funded with $50,000 or more.

To receive $300 Cash Rewards + 500 Free Commission Trades, the account must be funded with $100,000 or more.

This offer only applies to initial funding. 500 Free Commission Trades consist of a maximum value of $2.95 per online equity trade of stock/ETF priced at $1.00 or higher. Option contract charges, along with exercise and assignment fees still apply. Free Commission Trades are applied to your account one business day after the funding date and are valid for 60 days. The Cash Rewards will be credited to your Firstrade account after funding.

Eligible accounts include non-retirement (Individual or Joint) or Firstrade IRA (Rollover IRA, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, Simple IRA, ESA Education Planning) accounts.


Saw this over at Bogleheads – looks like the Merrill Edge $1k for 200k offer is back for a limited period

Assets of $20,000 to $49,999 in cash and/or securities receive $100; for $50,000-$99,999 receive $250; for $100,000-$199,999 receive $500; for $200,000 or more receive $1,000. You must have the qualifying balance 180 days after funding.


Anyone have experience with moving two different accounts? Between my Roth IRA and Traditional IRA, I have enough to meet one certain common threshold tier.

However, each is about the same, so if the brokerage counts only $X per one account moved, then I’d effectively get half of the bonus. I don’t want to give my actual numbers, but as an example:

Suppose $200 bonus for $50k in assets transferred or $400 for $100k. The Roth IRA has $55k and the Traditional IRA has 55k. If I moved both together and they counted as >$100k assets, then I get a $400 bonus. Otherwise I only qualify for $200.

Also, in this example, if the bonus went into the Roth IRA, that’s much better since it comes out tax free eventually. Whereas if the bonus goes into the Traditional IRA, then it’s taxable upon distribution.


Any data points on churning this one? I did it in 2015 and closed the account shortly thereafter; wondering how easy it is to get a new account bonus.


I’d suggest calling in with a rep/advisor to see about this. I’ve done several instances of combining accounts of the same type into one (3x TIRAs pooled into 1x TIRA account) to meet the bonus tier for a higher reward. Have a feeling it’ll be a challenge to qualify with two different types


Yea, refer to the archived FWF thread. Lots of folks have closed and re-opened :slight_smile:

Merrill, especially, tends to be more liberal with promotions. They’ve let me do multiple bonuses per year between cash/IRA accounts several times


Including this here even though it’s really a checking account bonus and kind of a unicorn since it’s for existing customers.

Charles Schwab Bank Investor Checking $200 cash for $2500 DD (direct deposit)

Per DoC (Doctor of Credit)


What does TripleB have to do with this deal?


I was just playing with you with the spelling out of the acronyms I used. Sorry.


I did exact this earlier this year with Merrill. I wanted to transfer in the rest of a Roth IRA (I’d previously transferred in part of it to qualify for Platinum Honors), but only had ~$90k in funds in the other Roth account so was just short of the $100k tier. They allowed me to transfer in the full Roth account and a standard brokerage account (with ~$15k in it) at the same time to qualify for a bonus based on $100k in new funds. The bonus was divided between the standard and Roth accounts at Merrill with most of it going to the Roth account. I had to call and ask for this and even then I had to pester them again after the fact to get the bonus to eventually post.


I did a similar thing with Merrill. I transferred a Roth, Sep IRA, and regular account. I had to add some to the regular account to get to the $200k or $250k for the bonus. The bonus $1000 was divided proportionately across the accounts. I had a rep set all this up. Don’t assume it will work without someone helping you.


Etrade also credits bonuses proportionally based on contributions to various accounts during the promo window. It seems to happen automatically.


Also worth noting that Merrill is normally setup to only award one bonus per calendar year. You can get more than one, but the adviser you’re dealing with has to reach out for supervisor approval if you want more than one bonus in the same calendar year.

EDIT: I may be wrong about it being one bonus per calendar year. Now the adviser is telling me the limitation is 12-months from the time of the last bonus. Either way, the limitation can likely be waived with supervisor approval, but I’m updating to avoid giving out bad information.