4 Best Brokerage Account Promotion Deals (2024)

If you're looking for a new brokerage, consider opening your account with one of these institutions. They’ll pay you a new account bonus on certain account types if you meet minimum deposit requirements and keep your account open for a specified length of time. All promotional data presented is accurate as of August 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • With discount brokers cutting client fees and offering $0 trading commissions, the competitive landscape has never been better for individual investors.
  • In order to lure in new clients (or steal them from the competition), many financial firms offer financial incentives to those who qualify.
  • The rewards might seem high but aren't great when compared to other banking products.
  • New digital-centric brokerages like M1 and TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim platform have been growing steadily since their launches.
  • You are required to maintain the balance for a period of time, usually a few months, before the reward is issued.

1. Charles Schwab: Up to $1,000 Bonus and 500 Commission-Free Online Trades

Charles Schwab offers a $1,000 referral bonus with a $500,000 deposit into a new Schwab brokerage account. This is the top of their award tier, but the good news is you can still receive a referral bonus for a lesser amount if you deposit less. The bonus tiers are:

  • $1,000 if you deposit $500,000
  • $500 if you deposit $100,000-$499,999
  • $300 if you deposit $50,000-$99,999
  • $100 if you deposit $25,000-$49,999

You can also get 500 commission-free online trades for two years when you enroll and make a qualifying net deposit of $100,000 in cash or securities in your account.

2. M1 Finance: Up to $10,000 Bonus and 6 Months of Free M1 Plus

M1 Finance is a relatively new broker but one that has gained significant traction since it opened shop in 2015. Investors using M1 find their website intuitive and easy to understand, and they have good things to say about M1's ability to customize investment portfolios.

Their bonus structure for new customers works similarly to the Schwab structure above, but it has a higher cap. While Schwab stops at $1,000 if you deposit $500,000, M1 will deposit up to $10,000 as a bonus when you transfer a brokerage or retirement account to a M1 account within 30 calendar days from the sign-up date

The tiers are as follows:

  • $10,000 if you deposit $2 million or more
  • $4,000 if you deposit $1,000,000-$1,999,999
  • $2000 if you deposit $500,000-$999,999
  • $1000 if you deposit $250,000-$499,999
  • $250 if you deposit $50,000 - $249,999

Also, you can earn six months of M1 Plus (a $60 value) per referral, each time a friend opens and funds an M1 investment account. And, if your friend deposits $5,000 into their account within the first 30 days, you’ll both get a $100 invest bonus.

Some brokers, like Vanguard, do not offer promotions, instead opting to reward their clients with extremely low-cost funds and zero-commission trading on many of their products.

3. Merrill Edge: Up to $600

Merrill Edge, the investment division of Bank of America, is attempting to entice clients to switch over to their brokerage products. Their offers are in line with most of the other offers here, but they are not as widely used as some of the other powerhouses like Schwab or Vanguard.

Merril Edge's bonus level is based on the tiers below:

  • $600 if you deposit $200,000 or more
  • $250 if you deposit $100,000-$199,999
  • $150 if you deposit $50,000-$99,999
  • $100 if you deposit $20,000-$49,999

At Merrill Investing, you need to make a qualifying deposit within 45 days of opening the account and maintain the balance for at least 90 days. These aren't great rewards, and you will almost surely see better returns on your principal if you were to invest in the other brokers or by using other strategies like Series I Bonds.

4. Ally Invest: $3,000 Cash Bonus

Available at Ally is anAlly Invest $3,000 Cash Bonus Offer when you open a new Ally Invest account. You must fund your account within 60 days of account opening to earn a bonus based on your deposit amount. The bonuses are higher than Schwab and M1, but you'll need to deposit even more to reach the highest tier.

  • $3,000 if you deposit $2 million or more
  • $2,000 if you deposit $1 million to $1.99 million
  • $1,200 if you deposit $500,000-$999,999
  • $600 if you deposit $250,000-$499,999
  • $300 if you deposit $100,000-$249,999
  • $250 if you deposit $25,000-$99,999
  • $100 if you deposit $10,000-$24,999

Qualifying account openers will receive the bonus cash credit to your account within 10 business days of meeting the promotional requirements. Ally will also credit $75 to help cover transfer fees if you are moving funds or securities from a different brokerage or bank.

Once the account is credited, the bonus and initial qualifying deposit are not available for withdrawal for 300 days after the requirements have been met.

Does TD Ameritrade Have Promotions?

TD Ameritrade does have promotions, and they are similar to the others on this list. You automatically receive $1,000 when you open and find an account through a friend's referral. The bonus amounts are between $100-$1,000 and are dependent on qualifying deposits from $25,000 to $500,000 or more.

Can Brokers Give Bonuses?

Brokers can give bonuses to their clients, but it's rare. The bonus structure is used to entice new accounts. Once the broker has your money, they may only issue an incentive if you were to tell them you are switching brokerages.

Which Broker Is Offering a Bonus?

All of the big brokers offer a bonus, but it's worth noting that the bonus isn't necessarily that high when you consider the deposit amount required in order to receive it. $3,000 seems like a substantial amount, but if it requires over a million dollars to receive it, that's a 0.3% return, versus the 5 percent or more returns for government-protected securities that don't require nearly that amount.

Is It Good to Have 2 Brokerage Accounts?

This depends on your goals. If you want to have a brokerage account for your IRA and a brokerage account to trade options, this makes sense. Not all brokerages treat products the same way and although the competition is fierce between them, some still do certain things better than others. Options traders might prefer the power of the TD platforms, while long-term ETF holders might favor Schwab's offerings and low-cost ETFs.

The Bottom Line

These promotions aren’t a good way to make a quick buck, and the bonuses are relatively small, often 1% or less of the amount you’re required to deposit. What's more,in many cases, taxes or commissions will erode the value of your bonus.

An account-opening bonus is, however, a good incentive to give a brokerage, bank, or credit union a closer look if you were thinking about opening a new account anyway. Just make sure the account type you’re opening is the best option for your long-term needs, that you’ll still come out ahead after any fees and that you aren’t depositing money you might need in the near term.

About Me

I'm a knowledgeable expert in the field of finance and investment, with a deep understanding of brokerage accounts, investment products, and financial incentives. I stay updated with the latest trends and offerings in the financial industry, and I can provide valuable insights and guidance on choosing the right brokerage for individual investment needs.

Concepts Related to Brokerage Accounts and Financial Incentives

Brokerage Accounts: These are accounts offered by financial institutions that allow individuals to buy and sell securities such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

New Account Bonus: Financial firms offer bonuses to attract new clients to open brokerage accounts. These bonuses are typically based on meeting minimum deposit requirements and keeping the account open for a specified period.

Charles Schwab: Offers up to a $1,000 referral bonus and 500 commission-free online trades for two years with a qualifying net deposit of $100,000 in cash or securities.

M1 Finance: Provides a bonus of up to $10,000 and six months of free M1 Plus for transferring a brokerage or retirement account to a M1 account within 30 calendar days.

Merrill Edge: Offers up to a $600 bonus based on deposit tiers, with a requirement to maintain the balance for at least 90 days.

Ally Invest: Provides a $3,000 cash bonus for opening a new account, with varying bonus amounts based on deposit tiers.

TD Ameritrade: Offers promotions with bonus amounts ranging from $100 to $1,000, dependent on qualifying deposits.

Benefits and Considerations: While these bonuses can be enticing, it's important to consider the deposit amount required to receive them and the potential impact of taxes or commissions on the bonus value. Additionally, it's crucial to ensure that the account type aligns with long-term financial goals and needs.

Multiple Brokerage Accounts: Having multiple brokerage accounts can be beneficial based on individual investment goals and preferences. For example, having separate accounts for different investment strategies, such as IRA and options trading, can be advantageous.

Considerations for Choosing a Brokerage: It's essential to evaluate the offerings, fees, and suitability of the brokerage account based on specific investment needs and preferences.

These concepts provide a comprehensive understanding of brokerage accounts, new account bonuses, and considerations for selecting the right brokerage for individual financial goals and preferences.

4 Best Brokerage Account Promotion Deals (2024)


What brokerage do most millionaires use? ›

Best Brokers for High Net Worth Individuals
  • Charles Schwab - Best for high net worth investors.
  • Merrill Edge - Best rewards program.
  • Fidelity - Best overall online broker.
  • Interactive Brokers - Great overall, best for professionals.
  • E*TRADE - Best web-based platform.
Mar 28, 2024

Who is the largest discount broker? ›

Founded in 1971, Charles Schwab introduced the concept of the discount brokerage and has risen to be the largest stock brokerage firm around. It offers a variety of financial products and services, including stock trading, individual retirement accounts, and banking.

Should I keep more than 500k in a brokerage account? ›

They must also have a certain amount of liquidity on hand, thus allowing them to cover funds in these cases. What this means is that even if you have more than $500,000 in one brokerage account, chances are high that you won't lose any of your money even if the broker is forced into liquidation.

Who is best to open a brokerage account with? ›

Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners
BrokerNerdWallet rating NerdWallet's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formulas take into account multiple data points for each financial product and service.
Fidelity Learn more on Fidelity's website5.0 /5
Robinhood Learn more on Robinhood's website4.3 /5
3 more rows

Do millionaires use Charles Schwab? ›

1 firm for millionaires, serving 38% of America's millionaire households, and has 17% overall share of assets for $1 million-plus households. Charles Schwab/TD Ameritrade, Vanguard, Bank of America Merrill, Morgan Stanley/ETrade, and JPMorgan Chase are among other leaders for these wealthy clients.

What stock brokerage do billionaires use? ›

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, many billionaires use platforms such as Fidelity, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, or Interactive Brokers. These platforms offer a range of features, such as research tools, educational resources, and low fees.

Who is the No 1 stock broker in us? ›

Fidelity has the top overall score in 2024, with an excellent app, clear navigation, and low fees. When it comes to fees, Fidelity skips many charges that are common among other brokers.

Does Warren Buffett use a broker? ›

Yes he has a broker, probably several. He often negotiates a special deal with the company, which you and I cannot. But his companies, daily deal with brokers on cash management, stock positions, He came up with several preferred, convertible stock deals, where even then his investment banker was involved.

What are the top 3 brokerage firms? ›

But three major firms stand out because of their name, offerings, total amount of client assets, and the number of clients they serve. They are often referred to as the "big four brokerages." Each of these firms—Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, and E*TRADE,—comprise the top in terms of customers and assets.

Is it OK to have 2 brokerage accounts? ›

In some ways, a brokerage account behaves similarly to your everyday checking or savings account: You can transfer money into and out of them, and there's no limit to how many accounts you can actually open.

How much is too much in one brokerage account? ›

You can earn a better return in a brokerage account than in most other assets, so you can't have too much money in one. However, you do need to maintain the right asset allocation, which means you need to have a sufficient amount of money in savings too.

Is it good to have 2 brokerage accounts? ›

Multiple Brokerages Help Diversify and Manage Risk

"Access to different investment options is useful because different brokerage firms may offer access to unique investment opportunities, such as initial public offerings, private placements or alternative investments."

Is Schwab or Fidelity better? ›

Overall Appeal. Fidelity and Schwab are both excellent choices. These investment firms offer thousands of funds. There are some nuances, such as Fidelity being better for crypto traders and Schwab being more optimal for futures traders.

What is better than a brokerage account? ›

Brokerage vs.

A self-directed IRA or SDIRA offers the added advantage and flexibility of allowing you to invest in real estate (as investment property only). With IRAs, you'll generally have a minimum deposit requirement of $1,000 whereas many brokerage accounts have no minimums to get started.

What is a good amount to have in a brokerage account? ›

“Ideally, you'll invest somewhere around 15%–25% of your post-tax income,” says Mark Henry, founder and CEO at Alloy Wealth Management. “If you need to start smaller and work your way up to that goal, that's fine.

Where do most millionaires invest? ›

No matter how much their annual salary may be, most millionaires put their money where it can grow, usually in stocks, bonds and other types of stable investments. Millionaires put their money into places where it can grow, such as mutual funds, stocks and retirement accounts.

Do millionaires use TD Ameritrade? ›

Answer and Explanation: Multi-millionaires and billionaires do use brokerage firms like TD Ameritrade smart mining and vanguard, but they still have other unique ways of trading.

Do billionaires use Vanguard? ›

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway portfolio owns only two ETFs. One of the two is the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO 1.06%). Buffett even instructed in his will that 90% of the cash his family inherits be invested in a low-cost S&P 500 fund -- and he recommended Vanguard's.

Do rich people use Vanguard? ›

While not all of the households in this study are millionaires, the vast majority of them are. The median household in the study has over $1 million with Vanguard and those below the median have assets outside of Vanguard (i.e. real estate, non-Vanguard accounts, etc.) that make most of them millionaires as well.

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