Brokerages are aggressively competing for your money. One way they do so is by offering competitive bonuses that you can add right to your brokerage account. It’s important to know the best offers so that you can decide whether it’s a good time to open a brokerage account and take advantage of what is often risk-free cash.
Here Bankrate tracks the best brokerage account bonuses to help you compare active offers.
Best brokerage account bonuses in April 2021
- Merrill Edge: $150 to $900
- Charles Schwab: $100 to $500 (personally referred friend offer)
- TD Ameritrade: $350 to $2,500
Merrill Edge: $150, $225, $375 or $900 bonus
When you open a Merrill Edge IRA or cash management account and make a qualifying deposit within 45 days of opening you can earn up to a $900 bonus, if you are or will soon be a member of Merrill’s Preferred Reward program. You need to use offer code 900ME during the account opening. This can be done while applying online or using it when speaking to a Merrill Edge financial advisor on the phone or at select Bank of America branches. This offer expires April 15, 2021.
To receive a cash reward, you must:
- Enroll for the offer at the time of account opening.
- Deposit net new assets of at least $20,000 into your Merrill Edge account within 45 days of opening the account.
- You must be enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program within 90 days of making the deposit.
- Maintain that balance for at least 90 days.
The offer limits you to one IRA — rollover, traditional, Roth and sole-proprietor SEP only — and one cash management account. Each account holder can’t have more than two enrolled accounts.
Assets from Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), U.S. Trust, or 401(k) accounts administered by MLPF&S aren’t qualifying net new assets.
You’ll receive your cash reward two weeks after the initial 90-day period, assuming you meet eligibility requirements.
Business/corporate accounts, investment club accounts, partnership accounts and certain types of fiduciary accounts held at Merrill Edge aren’t eligible for this offer. The offer also doesn’t apply to accounts, which include IRAs or CMAs, held with other business units of MLPF&S.
Here are the bonus tiers:
- To receive the $150 cash reward, deposit $20,000 to $49,999.99.
- To receive the $225 cash reward, deposit $50,000 to $99,999.99.
- To receive the $375 cash reward, deposit $100,000 to $199,999.99.
- To receive the $900 cash reward, deposit $200,000 or more.
If you’re not in the Preferred Rewards program, you can still use promo code 600ME to receive $100, $150, $250 and $600 with the same respective deposits as above.
Read Bankrate’s Merrill Edge review to learn more.
Charles Schwab: $100, $200, $300 or $500 (if you’re referred by a friend)
Schwab is offering personally referred friends the opportunity to earn up to $500 when they use a referral code, given to you by a current Schwab customer, and open an eligible account at Schwab.
To receive the bonus award, you must:
- Receive a referral code from a friend or family member.
- Be a new Schwab client and make a qualifying net deposit within 45 days of both becoming a Schwab customer and opening an eligible retail brokerage account.
You’re limited to one per account and only one account per client when you receive a referral.
Schwab retail brokerage accounts and IRAs are eligible for this offer. This includes accounts that are enrolled in Schwab-sponsored investment advisory programs, such as Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, Schwab Managed Portfolios, Schwab Managed Account Select and Connection, as well as Schwab Private Client.
You’ll receive your bonus approximately a week or two after the 45-day period ends if you made a qualifying deposit when becoming a new Schwab customer and enrolling in the referral offer.
Schwab may charge back its bonus award if taxable accounts aren’t kept at Schwab for at least one year.
Here are the bonus tiers for this offer:
- To receive a $100 bonus, deposit $1,000-$24,999.
- To receive a $200 bonus, deposit $25,000-$49,999.
- To receive a $300 bonus, deposit $50,000-$99,999.
- To receive a $500 bonus, deposit $100,000 or more.
Read Bankrate’s Charles Schwab review to learn more.
TD Ameritrade: $350, $700, $1,500 or $2,500 bonus
If you open a new individual, joint or IRA TD Ameritrade account, you can earn up to a $2,500 bonus. This offer is available through June 30, 2021.
To receive a bonus, you must:
- Fund the new account with a qualifying deposit of $250,000 or more within 60 calendar days of account opening.
Note: The offer isn’t valid with internal transfers, for TD Ameritrade Institutional accounts or an account managed by TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC. It’s also not valid for current TD Ameritrade accounts and you can’t use other offers.
If that minimum deposit is a bit too rich, TD Ameritrade is also offering a separate bonus through April 30, 2021 that allows you to earn one of four payouts ($150, $300, $600, $1,000) with a qualifying deposit as low as $50,000. You’ll need a referral from a current client to get the bonus, however.
There is a limit of one offer per client. Your account value must remain at least equal to its value after the net deposit was made for 12 months – minus any losses due to trading or market volatility or margin debit balances. Otherwise, TD Ameritrade may charge the account for the offer amount.
(Charles Schwab has purchased TD Ameritrade, and will eventually integrate the two companies.)
Here are the bonus tiers for this offer:
- To receive a $350 bonus, deposit $250,000-$499,999.
- To receive a $700 bonus, deposit $500,000-$999,999.
- To receive a $1,500 bonus, deposit $1,000,000-$1,999,999.
- To receive a $2,500 bonus, deposit $2,000,000 or more.
Read Bankrate’s TD Ameritrade review to learn more.