Brokerage firms and bonuses discussion

I wonder who’s paying up for broker transfers like this. The article mentions Schwab clients getting big offers to leave, but annoyingly not who was paying them to do so.

One client in Schwab’s home town of San Francisco was recently offered $36,000 to move a very low-return stock account, he said. An unnamed competitor has raised its maximum offer to $25,000 on a new $10 million account from $2,500 on a $1 million account, according to an accompanying slide.

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anybody have a Schwab account to message a referral code? I saw the referral links out there for $500 bonus, but prefer to have somebody over here get the referrer award (if there is one).
I’ve been through a whole lot of brokerage accounts in the past, but never had a Schwab account before.

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Just sent you one (via messages), let me know if you need anything else. Enjoy the $500.

Thx slappycakes! My share transfer to Schwab is in process.
I know this is backwards, but I’m getting more excited about getting more signup bonuses due to the run-ups in my holdings than getting excited about having a growing investment investment portfolio.

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Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade:

Perhaps more opportunities to get bonuses?

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We bull sent me a new promotion. Details below.

I am not real happy with them because on the Amazon promotion I deposited 100 k plus, but took $175 in cash out (just to consolidate spare cash in my bank), and they declared me ineligible for the remainder, although at all times the sum with them was in excess of what had been required.

This could be attractive because the holding period appears to be short, increasing incremental returns. I might deposit funds not need till the summer and invest them there. Since there are no commissions, receiving the reward as stocks would not greatly incur costs, and the added income in an taxable account would be taxable.

They are also running a referral promotion where you can get three free stocks from a referral. This may be useful for those with friends or relatives who take advantage of promotions.

" Dear Webull user,

Check out our Feb-March deposit promotion! If you’re looking to transfer your non-Webull brokerage account to us, we’ll reimburse your transfer fees, up to $100 !

Duration: 2/19/2020-3/13/2020

During this promotion, if you make a total net deposit of $25,000 or more* (not including however much you’ve already deposited before the promotion), you can earn 25 FREE stocks! (Each stock is valued between $9 - $1000.)
PLUS! If you’re looking to transfer your non-Webull brokerage account to us, whatever you already have in that account WILL count towards the required deposit. If your non-Webull brokerage account has over $2000, we’ll even reimburse your transfer fees, up to $100!


  1. If you do decide to participate, please keep in mind you will only be able to claim your free stocks on 4/17/2020 . That is a total of THIRTY-FIVE (35) days after the promotion ends where you CANNOT withdraw or transfer out the deposit in order to claim the free stocks.

2)*Net deposit = Deposit amount (+) Transfer in amount (-) Withdraw amount (-) Transfer out amount.

3)You CAN trade with your deposit.

  1. This promotion is user targeted . You will NOT receive any free stock(s) if you participated in this promotion without receiving a push notification or email for this promotion. Sharing this promotion with others does NOT guarantee them the same rewards nor does it equate to an invite to participate.
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Merrill Edge is offering an extra 50% on their regular schedule up to $200,000 (and may extent to larger transfer more by special request). This ends in two weeks. This put them near the top of the bidding for these amounts.

I also called Schwab. They are not making any offers, although on $250,000 they may be a match possible.

However, there are offers for new customers coming via referrals. The new customers get the bonus, not the existing customer.

The Schwab schedule apparently starts at $100 for a new account worth $1,000. This is good enough I could imagine suggesting it for children and young adults with little money. I could even imagine giving the money to a child to get him started, and give him experience with investing.

You can get a bank account also, and it is unique in that any overdrafts can draw on the brokerage account. If a margin account it borrows against the stocks at good rates, and interest is charged only when the loan is outstanding.

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A recent change in IRA rules in the CARE act, just signed by Trump, eliminates required minimum distributions for 2020.There is also provision for penalty free distributions for those affected by the COV-19 crisis.

The general rules provide for one roll over per year in which money is put into your bank account and then within 60 days redeposited into a IRA. If you took a required minimum distribution which you now regret (because it is ordinary income), it can be redeposited into an IRA as a roll over.

This could even be used to get a small bonus from another firm if you meet their requirements. Looking for a way to benefit from putting money back into a IRA and phoning is how I learned of the above offers.


Ed, do you have a link to the Merrill offer?

I do not, but the base has not changed for years, and can probably be fund by searching. For last few years they have had a 50% bonus up to tax date. I think you need to ask your local representative, or who answers the phone. He may have to ask to get it applied to you, especially if they have paid a lot in bouses before.

Ok thanks. This is the link I’m familiar with that I believe continuously gets updated throughout the year but it still shows a January expiration. Merrill Edge Bonus

I have roll over IRA with Schwab and 401k account (Vanguard) which is eligible for roll over as well. I am thinking about consolidating both the accounts into Merrill Edge with their $900 promotion. Wondering if i can roll over Schwab IRA and Vanguard 401k into Merrill? If i have any MF’s or stocks in IRA/401K, do i need to sell before moving them into Merrill?


If it helps anyone, here is my 2 cents on Merrill, Schwab, Fidelity, etc.

I’ve had Fidelity accounts for years. Due to the bonuses over the past 2 years, I opened up accounts at Schwab, Merrill Edge, Chase, and a several others.

After all of that, I’m going back to Fidelity. They seem to have the best mix of everything that I use (ACH in/out; good research; debit cards for international ATM / Travel; low fees; good pricing improvement on limit orders, etc.). The number one thing I like is their cash management funds - you still have to make the trades youself or your cash sits around making almost 0%, but the cash in those funds is available to trade same day.

Merrill Edge and Schwab were hard for me to get used to due to the requirement that I sell my cash management funds a day in advance of using those funds for trading. Also their website seems slow, cluttered, and doesn’t seem to easily show the info I want as quickly as Fidelity.

Chase Uvest is a pretty big step down from Merril, Schwab, or Fidelity - imagine a stripped down phone app.

After all of that, I appreciate Fidelity much more.


I suspect this offer is not valid now, but a phone call may be needed to be sure. It was not mentioned when I talked to them.

At first glance you idea of going with Merril appears appears sensible, although other firms have promotions. See Money Hustler blog.

A large account with Merrill/BOA get you nice terms on credit cards and other benefits by making you a preferred customer. Over $100,00 (say $102,000 in a IRA at Merrill, and $1.00 on deposit with BOA), permits you to get credit cards that yield 5% on selected items, and 2.625% on anything.

Any 401K plan would have to be converted to a IRA for Merrill or another brokerage firm to hold it.

Talk to them about details. In general stocks can be transferred without being sold. Some mutual funds can be, but firms often have charges for doing things with them. If you do not plan to hold them (exchange traded funds are often better), it is probably best to sell them first. The usual paper work often tells the other firm to sell what cannot be transferred and send money over.

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Although I view the brokerage firms as providing the same service (and have or have had accounts with most), they do differ in details. If one is a buy and hold investor for an IRA most can meet your needs, and it may be worth moving for a bonus.

One will find that web sites differ in ease of use, and more time is lost if you do not know one well, and that firm’s procedures. Although I took Webbull and Interactive broker promotions, I have found the total time commitment much higher than expected (unfamiliar web site and rules).

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I am thinking about moving to Merril and take advantage of credit card cash back. Hopefully they will offer some credit card with promotion as well. I will check with them about possibility of transferring investments as is. If i need to transfer from existing IRA and roll over 401k into new account. Can I roll over 401k into existing Schwab IRA account then move into Merill? Is it possible to do it twice?

In general, I know of no reason moving from a 401K to an IRA would prevent then moving it to another firm. The money should not pass through your bank account however.

BOA usually has credit card promotions for getting their cards, and this could bring in additional money.

Because of time limit (open account before April 15 I believe) on the Merrill promotion, I would focus on this first and talk to them about details etc.

Then consider becoming a bank customer, and applying for credit cards. I suspect you are more likely to be given a desired card, if they know you have a substantial sum deposited at Merrill, and are already a preferred customer.

today I was able to claim my free stocks from the WeBull promotion. The wording implies it had to be done today, so anyone who participated should be sure to go there and get it done.

The mechanics were awkward, and after finding the right spot on my phone application, I had to press the claim button once to get each stock. You did not automatically get your stocks, and 25 button presses were needed.

The wording was " 1. If you do decide to participate, please keep in mind you will only be able to claim your free stocks on 4/17/2020 . That is a total of THIRTY-FIVE (35) days after the promotion ends where you CANNOT withdraw or transfer out the deposit in order to claim the free stocks. This sounds like if you failed to act today, your lost your free stocks.

Each was apparently randomly selected, and mine includes UBS, JBLU, HPE. In spite of the wording of the offer, the value of JBLU is estimated as $8.98 (from the application) which is below the $9.00 minimum promised. the Jet Blue airlines opened above $9.00, but closed at $8.98.

Since I got only a few shares, I presume I was shortchanged by less than a dollar in total. I fear at the current prices of lawyers, this is not worth suing over.

The stocks are to appear later, after a week or so.

The promotion appears designed to minimize their payout.

This does not leave a good feeling, and may fail in the goal (presumed) of building their business.

They are still offering stocks for referrals, but I am not sure I can ethically suggest them to friends.

Got new Webull offer on referral, which is below:
"Dear Webull client,

Help your friends and yourself build your trading portfolios. Between 5/8/2020 - 5/31/2020, *successfully refer a friend to join us and you can get 4 FREE stocks, each valued between $12-$1400!

*Successful Referral = when a new client opens a brokerage account + makes a deposit of at least a $100 within 30 days of signing up with the referee’s unique referral link.

After your first successful referral, any additional successful referrals will only grant you 2 stocks,each valued between $12-$1400. Please be aware that the value of stocks may fluctuate."