Brokerage firms and bonuses discussion



Existing ET account deposit bonuses from the above

Account Deposit Receive
$5,000–$24,999 $75
$25,000–$99,999 $100
$100,000–$199,999 $300
$200,000–$499,999 $600
$500,000–$999,999 $1,200
$1,000,000–$1,999,999 $3,000
$2,000,000+ $4,000

Not so hot, the 3500cfc is better unless you’re going for $2 million+.


That one does seem better, and while it requires a new ET account, it does not require you to be a new customer (you can have more than one of the same kind of account if you want). 6 month hold.


I like these contest type offers, except I got Chespeake with RH :slight_smile:

Do they do hard pull?

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That sounds like my luck!


Any one have experience with this Tastyworks? Looks like for some work to open a new account you can come out with about $100 or so in profits. They apparently have $0 commissions on stocks, so it appears you could open an account with $2,000, buy something, and then either transfer to another firm (hoping they cover the transfer fee) or sell your position and ACH the funds out.

Yes, I took the Tastyworks bonus. They gave me TLRD (Tailored Brands, owner of Mens Warehouse) which promptly went bankrupt a few months later. Granted, I could have sold immediately but decided to see what happened, and ultimately got a penny for the lot at year end to offset the bonus, which was 1099’ed at $127.

The trading interface is kind of confusing and geared for professional type traders. If you’ve ever used Think or Swim it’s somewhat similar (the founder of Tastyworks started it after his noncompete for TOS ended). I’m thinking of transferring out assets to Ameritrade but they have the new crypto bonus that I might do.

So far, I have or had accounts with Merrill Edge, Tastyworks, ETrade (inherited from Optionshouse) Ameritrade, Schwab, Stockpile, Vanguard, Ally Invest (both recently and from Zecco), IB, Chase YouInvest, and Fidelity.

I use ME to keep my BoA Preferred Rewards eligibility, YouInvest to keep my Sapphire Checking eligibility, and put most of the rest in Ameritrade to meet the terms of the recent bonus. Ally Invest is terrible in that they suddenly put me on backup withholding for my dividends without notifying me, and even after they promised to fix it after I mailed a W-9, they never did. That prompted me to transfer out, along with some ME stocks which were unnecessary to reach my tier on Preferred Rewards. I bought into the Fidelity Zero funds but you can’t transfer them to another broker, and I need the account to cash out my Fidelity Rewards 2% card. IB is my trading account and keep a limited amount of funds there and take advantage of their dirt cheap margin rates. I only do Stockpile when they have deals and should probably transfer out the shares there.

I cancelled Zecco when they became TradeKing although the Zecco Zirens content is still there on Youtube ( Vanguard is too limited so I cancelled them and just invest in their ETFs through Ameritrade and ME. Optionshouse had great margin rates and a great interface but the merger with ETrade nuked them, and when they migrated everyone over to the ETrade platform I cancelled them as well.

The next bonuses I might do after my time with Ameritrade is up would be either M1 or ETrade. Or I may keep Ameritrade if they integrate with Schwab and I can get a lower fee on a Amex Platinum. Unfortunately my Schwab money is in a PCRA which doesn’t count toward householding benefits.


I think their Cash Management Account is sufficient for this.


Sounds like lots of relevant experience.
I am considering moving to Ally for IRA bonuses, in spite of poor service. Have been on phone for an hour trying to find out their offers.
What I learned is that their $3500 bonus is subject to someone’s decision. If you have previously had an account, or received a bonus, you would need to apply to open an account from their promotions page to get a determination.
If any one has had an experience with how these determinations may be made, I would be curious.

It appears the offer is good for either an IRA or regular account, but you could not get two bonuses.

Appears best strategy is to move money with Ameritrade to them (if allowed), and bring other money from Etrade or other firms to Schwab (which appears willing to match offers), Fidelity, and Merrill.

One complexity is that with regular brokerages and IRAs, is whether one could get bonuses for both, or there is some type of total limit on the bonuses.

I wonder for instance if money is transferred out of an IRA (say at Merrill) and then you request a bonus for bringing new brokerage account money in, some obscure rule might create problems. Phone representatives are often not up on these details.

Of course, the details of firm’s services and web sites could make a difference. I learned doing taxes that while most firms provide for automatic downloading of data to tax software, WeBull and Interactive Brokers did not.

Schwab is offering bonuses to new customers if you’re referred by an existing customer. They must fund within 1.5 months and keep the money there for 1 year or they lose the bonus. No bonus for the referring party.

Make a qualifying net deposit of cash or securities and earn a Bonus Award.

|Net Deposit Bonus Award
|$1,000–$24,999 $100
|$25,000–$49,999 $200
|$50,000–$99,999 $300

Just got off phone with Merrill. They said that about 2 weeks ago, they had discontinued offering cash bonuses for new money.


Wow, that would be quite a development, seeing how they’ve had some of the most lucrative offers for the past ~decade.

Maybe they’re just experimenting by following the industry and seeing if they still acquire new customers.

Perhaps as the pandemic winds down, they resume bonus offers. Fingers crossed

Just wanted to share this above offer is still available with Etrade. I was a bit surprised, with the Morgan Stanley acquisition and the general industry-wide shift to smaller bonuses. I’ve been looking for the best offer available for some of these higher asset tiers, and called my local branch to verify. I’ve done a few transfers with Etrade in the past, and they sometimes won’t reimburse for ACATS fees, so I’m a bit weary, as I would be consolidating at least 4-5 accounts.

Would anyone have experience with other firms offering comparable bonuses? I’d like to give Schwab a ring to see if they would match the offer, as their customer service is typically wonderful and they readily reimburse for outgoing fees. I tried Merrill Edge and they have a set of higher-tier bonus offers, but were not nearly as lucrative as E-trade.


Schwab says they will match offers. They may have a per customer limit of about $2500.
Their required holding period seems to be relatively short.
I got a letter offering $900 for $200,000 pointing to the Merrill offer table (which has now changed}.

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Thanks, I tried Schwab, but they wouldn’t match Etrade’s tiers.

Initially, they offered $2500 for $1M, $3500 for $2M and $1k for each additional million up to $15M. When I presented Etrade’s terms, they went up a bit, but still nowhere close.

They also guilted me about earning a bonus 6 years ago and transferring out :smiley: Basically Schwab seems to be a one match per lifetime, or at least every 5+ years situation.

Wonder if there might be any other brokers that would match? I recall trying TD Ameritrade years ago, before the Schwab acquisition, and they wouldn’t. It’s a sad state of affairs with so few competitors nowadays.


Very hard to know what firm policies are.
I may have spoken too early that Merrill dropped all cash offers, since one may still be available, but it may be special circumstances.
I had talked to a representative about a transfer, but when I tried to get back to her, I got a recording, saying she was out of town for a couple of weeks, and I left a message.
I went into the phone pool and was told cash offers had been dropped.
She eventually came back into town and called. She said she had done some negotiating and came up with the basic offers we had discussed earlier about .1% of the dollar value and a 12 month holding period, on total of brokerage and IRA funds.
I am inclined to take it, since I think it was just honoring an offer that had been made and discussed earlier, and will probably disappear.
I may moved Ameritrade funds to take advantage of this.

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Fidelity still has promotions for over a million dollars at the rate of $1,000 per million. At one time their required holding period was only 9 months, which gave them an advantage over firms that required a year.
It appears if you put money in for that long you earn .133% annualized versus .15% on two million at Ally.
The current Ally promotions are:

$3,000 $2M+
$2,000 $1M – $1.99M
$1,200 $500k – $999.9k
$600 $250k – $499.9k
$300 $100k – $249.9k
$250 $25k – $99.9k
$100 $10k – $24.9k

Ally stands out for the smaller amounts (under a million) for those who don’t have as much money.