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Best Brokerage Account Bonuses


One of the biggest trends in online trading has been the convergence of brokerage business models. Brokerages want your business, and it’s getting increasingly hard for any one of them to stand out. Features like low minimums and prices increasingly overlap, particularly among firms that compete for the general and retail markets. A financial advisor can help you find the trading platform that best fits your goals, experience and risk profile, regardless of what they are offering you for free.

What Is a Brokerage Account Bonus?

A brokerage account bonus is something that you can receive for opening a new account with a specific brokerage, which can be attractive to beginner investors. The bonuses can vary widely between brokerages but you can receive a number of helpful bonuses that you may find attractive. Typical bonuses include cash, free stocks, an opportunity to earn extra dollars in your account, discounts on transaction fees for a limited time and more. Here are some of the best offers that we’ve seen available in today’s market.

The best brokerage bonuses are going to depend solely on the offer being provided to new accountholders that open an account. While these can change and fluctuate depending on the advertising goals of the brokerage, here are the eight best that are both available at the time of writing and generally an option to receive.

1. Webull – Free Stock Lottery

When you open a new account with Webull you receive free stock, chosen at random, with a value of up to $300. You must make a deposit but it can be for any amount to get the highest value of the stock. For example, you get two fractional shares valued up to $300 when you open an account but you’ll receive 4-10 fractional shares valued up to $3,000, depending on how much you deposit.

2. Charles Schwab – Bonus Cash

Charles Schwab offers a decent cash bonus for new investor referrals depending on the size of their initial investment, although the thresholds are fairly high.

  • Initial Deposit: $25,000 – $49,999, Bonus: $100
  • Initial Deposit: $50,000 – $99,999, Bonus: $300
  • Initial Deposit: $100,000 – $499,999, Bonus: $500
  • Initial Deposit: $500,000+, Bonus: $1,000

3. M1 Finance – Bonus Cash

This automated investment firm offers one of the most straightforward bonus programs on the market. If you sign up and invest at least $1,000 you will get a $30 signup bonus. In addition, if you transfer money from another brokerage account you can get an additional signup bonus based on the size of your account:

  • Initial Deposit: $50,000 – $249,999, Bonus: $250
  • Initial Deposit: $250,000 – $499,999, Bonus: $1,000
  • Initial Deposit: $500,000 – $999,999, Bonus: $2,000
  • Initial Deposit: $1 Million – $1.9 Million, Bonus: $4,000
  • Initial Deposit: $2 Million+, Bonus: $1o,000

4. Ally Investment – Bonus Cash

One of the lesser-known investment platforms, Ally offers a decent cash-back bonus. The amount you receive depends on what the initial deposit is on the account. You can earn $10 for a $1,000 deposit and up to $500 for a $50,000 deposit.

5. Betterment – Free Management Fees

SmartAsset: Best Brokerage Account Bonuses

Betterment is a robo-advisory service, so it can’t offer you free shares of any specific stocks. Instead, the firm offers you a price break. Investors pay a monthly management fee based on a percentage of assets in your Betterment account. Depending on the size of your initial investment, Betterment will waive some of that management fee as a signup bonus described below. After that, you will pay a management fee of 0.25% on any balance up to $100,000.

  • Initial Deposit: $15,000 – $99,999, Bonus: 1 Month Free
  • Initial Deposit: $100,000 – $249,999, Bonus: 6 Months Free
  • Initial Deposit: $250,000+, Bonus: 12 Months Free

6. Tastyworks – Cash Bonus

Tastyworks offers a straightforward tiered opening promotion. Your cash bonus will be based on how much your initial investment or funding amount is. The tiers work like this:

  • Initial Deposit: $5,000 – $24,999, Bonus: $100
  • Initial Deposit: $25,000 – $99,999, Bonus:  $500
  • Initial Deposit: $100,000, Bonus: $2,000

7. TD Ameritrade – Bonus Cash

TD Ameritrade offers a decent bonus program by industry standards. It isn’t the best on this list, but when paired with the firm’s overall strong trading platform it is still worth noting.

  • Initial Deposit: $25,000 – $49,999, Bonus: $100
  • Initial Deposit: $50,000 – $99,999, Bonus: $300
  • Initial Deposit: $100,000 – $499,999, Bonus: $500
  • Initial Deposit: $500,000+, Bonus: $1,000

8. Merrill – Bonus Cash

Merrill Edge offers a bonus cash program depending on the size of your initial deposit. While the thresholds are still high, this is one of the more generous programs on this list. New investors will receive cash deposited into their account in the following amounts:

  • Initial Deposit: $20,000+, Bonus: $150
  • Initial Deposit: $50,000+, Bonus: $225
  • Initial Deposit: $100,000, Bonus: $375
  • Initial Deposit: $200,000+, Bonus: $900

Bottom Line

SmartAsset: Best Brokerage Account Bonuses

Online brokers want your business badly enough to offer you a bonus for becoming a customer. While these offers are not worth choosing a trading platform for on their own, if you can get a little bit of free money in your account just for opening it up then that’s probably always a good thing.

However, this is a long-term relationship and you should make the decision based on which broker fits your financial goals and experience, regardless of the bonus being offered. All things being equal, though, a brokerage bonus can be a nice way to start that relationship off.

Tips on Investing

  • If a signing bonus isn’t the right reason to pick a broker, what is? That sounds exactly like a question for a financial advisor. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • No matter which brokerage you choose, one way you can get a quick and relatively accurate overview of your investing is by taking advantage of a free, easy-to-use investment calculator.

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