Best Stock Broker Promotions. Brokerage Offers, Bonuses And Deals To Open New Investment Account In 2018.

Discount online stock broker offers, incentives, bonus codes for clients opening new account or moving account from a different firm. 2018 best brokerage promotions: $600 cash bonus, free trades deals, and investment account transfer fees returns.

About Broker Promotions

Below is a list of the current online discount broker promotions being offered by the various brokerage firms. Due to regulations, a number of these deals are valid only for U.S.-based customers looking to open a new brokerage account.

Please read the details of each brokerage offer carefully; some of these offers are not valid for retirement accounts (IRAs).

The most popular types of online broker promotions for 2018 are the following:

- Free Trades: As an incentive to sign up, brokerage companies are offering new clients free trades. The number of free trades range from 3 to 500, and typically must be used within a specific timeframe (i.e. 30, 60, or 90 days).

- Cash Bonuses: Another type of incentive is free cash in exchange for signing up with the brokerage firm. Some firms provide cash bonuses, but do require the account to be funded with specific amounts. These investment firm bonuses can range from $25 to $600, with TD Ameritrade offering the highest brokerage bonus. Be sure to read the fine print as these bonuses may be available for existing customers.

- Account Transfer Rebates: Brokerage firms will often reimburse customers for the fees imposed by the client’s old broker for transferring the account. When transferring an account, the client will often incur an account transfer fee (i.e. ACAT fee). These fees may be reimbursed by the new broker; Firstrade and Ally Invest offer Account Transfer Rebates.

Less popular forms of incentives and rewards include gift cards (i.e. Apple), merchandise (i.e. Kindle Fire, computer monitors), free or heavily discounted subscriptions to popular investment magazines, websites, or newsletters.

There are a number of great online broker deals available for the trader or investor looking to open a new brokerage account. However, it is important to remember that it is the service, fees, and reliability of the broker that are most important. Be sure to research brokers carefully by reading high quality reviews from various sources and compare a few different brokers before deciding which one is the best for you.

All Online Broker Promotions

Brokerage Rating Stock Fee New Account Promotion
Ally Invest
Ally Invest rating

$4.95 Get a $200 cash bonus or $500 in commission-free trades.
TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade rating

$6.95Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
Capital One Investing
Capital One Investing rating

$6.95Get $50 when you open new non-IRA account at Capital One Investing.
Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab rating

$4.95Make $100,000 deposit and get 500 commission-free online equity and options trades.
Choicetrade rating

Cobra Trading
Cobra Trading rating

Etrade rating

$6.95 At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.
Fidelity Investments rating

$4.95Get 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit.
Firstrade rating

$2.95Up to $300 Cash Rewards + 500 Free Trades.
Kapitall rating

Merrill Edge
Merrill Edge rating

$6.95Get up to $600 when you open new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000.
Motif Investing
Motif Investing rating

Muriel Siebert
Muriel Siebert rating

Sogotrade rating

Tradestation rating

$5.00 Get $5 per trade stock and ETF commissions. $4 per trade for IRAs.
Trading Block rating

USAA rating

Vanguard rating

Wellstrade rating


Brokerage Free Trades Promotions Comparison

Right now many online brokerage firms offer promotions or incentives for investors to lure new customers on to their site. These can be anything from free trades to free cash for opening an account or promotions for referring a friend to the site. Below are descriptions of promotions offered by some of the best known online brokerage firms on the market.

TD Ameritrade

Who doesn’t love free cash? TD Ameritrade is luring investors away from other brokers by offering free trading along with a cash bonus. The account minimum for 60 days of commission free trading is only $2,000. However, in order to receive the cash bonus, brokerage accounts must be funded with much higher minimums in a tiered system. In fact, to receive a $500 the account must be funded with upwards of $250,000 in capital. Lastly, the account must be opened for at least 9 months or TD Ameritrade has the ability to retroactively chargeback the account for the cost of the cash awarded.

Analysis: The $2,000 minimum for funding an account is significantly less than other broker promotions. In the case of TD Ameritrade that will get you only 60 days of free trading, as opposed to the 90 days free incentive that some other brokers offer. The cash bonus is enticing on the surface, but unless an investor is well entrenched in the upper class, they will not have enough capital to qualify.


Going with a similar theme as the rest of the brokerage promotions on this list, Etrade is offering free trading for opening an account. The minimum account balance must be $10,000 funded within 60 days of opening the account and there is a limit of 500 free trades for the 60 day period. With Etrade’s $6.95 standard stock trading fee, this can result in a savings of up to $2,500. The $600 in free cash will only come when depositing over $250,000 in to a new account, but a more reasonable $200 bonus can be obtained with a deposit upward of $25,000.

Analysis: The brokerage free trade bonus has the highest minimum deposit of the bunch at $10,000. On the flipside, a free $200 for a $25,000 deposit is the best cash bonus seen thus far and a 500 free trade limit is quite high compared to other brokers.

Capital One Investing

Customers who open a new account with Capital One Investing and deposit at least $5,000 within 90 days of account opening are eligible to receive a $50 cash bonus. The bonus is on a sliding scale. Customers who deposit $50,000 will receive a $200 bonus, and investors who can deposit $200,000 are eligible for a $600 bonus. The promo code is GET600S and expires January 31, 2018.

Charles Schwab

A new brokerage account opened with at least $50,000 is eligible to receive 500 free trades and one meeting per quarter with a trading coach. The trades expire within 1 year of account opening.

Merrill Edge

New Merrill Edge customers who open and fund either a brokerage or retirement account will receive 300 commission-free trades. It can take up to a week for the broker to credit the new account, and the free trades expire after 3 months. Also included in this special is a trial of MarketPro, the firm's desktop platform. Funding a new securities account with at least $20,000 earns a $100 bonus. The deposit must be made in less than 45 days of opening the account, and the balance must be maintained for at least 90 days. Merrill Edge will credit the new account within 14 days after the 90-day period has ended.

Final Analysis

All of the listed brokerage incentives follow the same formula: commission free trades and/or a cash bonus as a result of a substantial opening deposit. TradeStation and Firstrade promotions are almost identical, and give the longest commission free trading period for new clients seen on the list at 60 and 90 days. TD Ameritrade has the best stock broker incentive for those with less capital to invest, setting the minimum deposit for free trades at only $200. Finally, Etrade brokerage account promotion works best for those with at least $25,000 to invest, where they will receive their 60 days of free trades incentive plus the only real attainable cash bonus for anyone but the super wealthy.


The investment account promotions could change without notice. Each investment account offer has fine print therefor investors should thoroughly read and understand it before opening an account. Also, remember that these investment promotions expire on different dates, so investors need to be aware of that fact as well.

Updated on 3/6/2018.