Investing

Best Broker Promotions, Deals, and Bonuses of 2021

The investment brokerage industry has become incredibly competitive, with firms routinely offering all kinds of incentives - from cash bonuses to free trades and more. As can be expected, the offers - and the firms making them - change throughout the year. Here is a list of the best broker promotions, deals and bonuses of 2021.

Editor's Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

Below is a list of 9 brokerage firms and their promotions, deals and bonuses. It’s up to you to decide which is the best offer for your particular situation. Enjoy!

Compare Best Brokerage Promotions

Robinhood

Robinhood is an excellent platform for both new and experienced traders. Their app is easy to use, offers quick navigation to current news, and makes trading super simple. And right now, when you sign up for a new Robinhood account, you’ll get one free stock added to your account.

Once you sign up and open the app, you’ll click the link to get a free stock. From there, Robinhood will add one share of free stock to your account at random. The value of the share you receive may be anywhere between $2.50 and $225, and fluctuates based on market movements. You’ll be able to keep the stock or sell it after 2 trading days. Check out our full Robinhood review to learn more.

Betterment

Betterment is one of our favorite robo-advisors right now. And if you sign up, you can receive up to 12 months of free service from Betterment. As long as you have an initial deposit of $15,000 or more.

There are tiered levels for free bonus management, which as a reminder, will wipe away the 0.25% management fee that Betterment normally charges. And you have to deposit this money within 45 days after you sign up for an account. The offer is only available to U.S. residents.

The current tiers are as follows:

  • $15,000 to $99,999, one month free
  • $100,000 to $249,999, six months free
  • $250,000 or more, one year free

So in order to get the full year free, you have to deposit at least $250,000 to your account. However, that’s a substantial savings when you consider even the 0.25% management fee. Make sure to check out our full Betterment review for more information.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is an excellent option for those who want an online brokerage that provides a ton of advanced resources. Plus, there’s a large investment selection available and no account minimum to get started. And best of all, TD Ameritrade now offers $0 commissions on online stock and ETF trades.

TD Ameritrade also has great customer service and a plethora of investment resources available. So whether you’re a beginner or an advanced investor, you have tools and resources available to be successful with your investment portfolio -- and remember that trades are free. See our TD Ameritrade review for more information.

Ally Invest

Ally Invest is currently offering a terrific cash promotion where new account holders can earn up to $3,500 when signing up. Details are as follows.

  • Up to $3,500 cash bonus - Depending on how much money you have available to deposit Ally Invest is prepared to give you a cash bonus of up to $3,500 on top of your deposit.
  • To qualify, accounts must be funded within 60 days of account opening. The qualifying deposit to open the new account must be made from outside Ally Invest. To receive the minimum cash bonus, you must invest a minimum of $10,000. This minimum must remain in the account (minus any trading losses) for a minimum of 90 days from the date of funding.

Charles Schwab

In addition to regular low stock trading fees of $8.95 per trade, Charles Schwab is currently offering 500 commission-free online trades for an entire year. The offer includes quarterly one-on-one check-in sessions with a trading coach over the course of the year.

In order to qualify, you need to open a new account and make a net deposit of $50,000 or more. The deposit must be made within 45 days of opening the new account.

Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments already offers an attractive investment platform with regular stock trades at $7.95 per trade. But they are also offering a free trades bonus with both regular accounts and IRAs. The offer is open to both new accounts and new deposits into existing accounts.

Fidelity Investments also uses a sliding scale but only two tiers for free trades

  • $50,000 - $99,999 deposit - 100 free trades
  • $100,000+ deposit - 200 free trades

The offer is open to both new and existing account holders. You must designate an existing eligible Fidelity brokerage IRA or brokerage account or open and fund a new eligible Fidelity brokerage IRA or brokerage account. The bonus will be calculated on net deposits into the qualifying account over a 60-day period from the time of registration.

Related: Fidelity Investments Review For Self-Directed Trading and Managed Options

FirstTrade

FirstTrade is offering up to 500 commission-free trades for 30 days. Eligibility rules require you to open a new account and deposit at least $2,000 into it within 30 days of opening. That’s on top of their already low stock trading fee of $6.95 per trade.

They are also offering cash bonuses for larger deposits, in addition to 500 commission-free trades for 30 days:

  • 500 Free trades on $2,000 minimum deposit
  • $100 bonus + free trades on deposits between $25,000 and $49,999
  • $200 bonus + free trades on deposits between $50,000 and $99,999
  • $300 bonus + free trades on deposits over $100,000

The account must remain open for 12 months with the minimum funding or assets required for participating in the offer. If not, FirstTrade may charge the account for the cash and commission credits awarded to the account. Qualified IRA account holders must also have a brokerage account with FirstTrade to receive cash rewards.

FirstTrade does disclose that they will issue a Form 1099 on bonuses paid of $600 or more during the calendar year.

FirstTrade is also offering to rebate up to $200 in transfer fees if you transfer at least $10,000 from another brokerage firm.

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge is offering 300 no-fee online trades when you open up a new account with them (the normal trading fee is $6.95 per trade). The free trade offer applies to trades on both stocks and ETFs.

Along with the free trades, they are also offering the following bonus schedule:

  • $20,000 or more, $100 bonus
  • $50,000 or more, $150 bonus
  • $100,000 or more, $250 bonus
  • $200,000 or more, $600 bonus

On the surface, this doesn't look as generous as the previous broker bonuses, but on closer inspection, you'll see that the $600 kicks in at $200,000, while the others all require $250,000 to get the same bonus money.

The offer applies to new accounts only. You must make a qualifying deposit to your new account within 45 days and maintain the deposit for a minimum of 90 days. Like FirstTrade, Merrill Edge confirms that they may issue a 1099 on the cash bonus.

USAA

USAA is offering 50 free trades.

To be eligible the trade must be an equity security, 1,000 shares or less, priced greater than $1, and placed through a self-service channel. Options are not subject to the free trades. After 50 free trades or 90 days (whichever comes first) the account will revert to your gold or platinum fee schedule, depending on asset and activity levels. The offer is good through December 31, 2015.

FAQs

Do all brokerages offer signup bonuses?

No, not all brokerages offer sign up bonuses. Many do, especially when they're trying to draw in new business, but many also don't. It also depends on the time of year that you look for bonuses. Your best option is to find a brokerage that you want and search for [brokerage name + bonus] to see if there are any bonuses in that current year or that current month that they're offering right now.

What is the minimum amount required to open an account?

The minimum required to open a brokerage account is going to vary from brokerage to brokerage. Some brokerages will allow you to open an account with as little as nothing. However, most brokerages will want at least a $100 minimum deposit. Your best bet is to look for the exact brokerage that you want and inquire as to what their minimum deposit amount is.

How do I choose which online broker is right for me?

There are a variety of factors to look at when you're considering which online broker is right for you. The first thing you need to consider is the type of investing you want to do. If you would rather just invest in things like ETFs or index funds, you might be better off with a robo-advisor, but if you want to pick individual stocks or individual funds, you might be better off with a full-service online broker, like E*TRADE.

Is my money safe with an online broker?

Yes, your money is safe with an online brokerage up to a certain dollar amount. The SIPC insures balances up to $500,000 in missing brokerage funds and almost every online brokerage that you're going to come across is registered with the SEC, and they have to be a member of SIPC.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a place to invest your money is going to depend on a variety of factors including how much money you have to invest, how much investing experience you have and the type of investments you are looking for. You want to make sure your choice is the best fit for your financial situation so be sure to check out our list of Best Online Discount Brokers for 2021 for additional options.

Have you taken advantage of any of these promotional offers yet?


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