Before the days of free trades for everyone, brokers dangled them as promotional offers. If you signed up for Broker X, you could get unlimited trades for 60 days or 300 commission-free trades.
When Charles Schwab announced free trades and was soon followed by E*Trade and TDAmeritrade, offering free trades wasn’t enough because free trades have become standard.
So what is a broker to do?
Offer the only thing left – big stacks of cash.
TDAmeritrade has one of the juiciest offers available with up to $1,000 in cash when you are referred by a friend.
Let’s see how it’s set up.
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🔃Updated May 2023: The TD Ameritrade active Refer a friend offer is currently paused during the transition to the Charles Schwab brand.
TDAmeritrade Refer a Friend Offer [PAUSED]
TDAmeritrade has a refer a friend offer where you get cash when you make a sizable deposit into a new account. The offer requires you to be sent a referral from a customer (email us if you want a referral with a subject line of “TDAmeritrade Referral” or something similar).
To get the cash, just make a deposit and the amount you earn is based on the deposit:
- $1,000 Cash when you deposit $500,000 or more
- $500 Cash when you deposit $1000,00 – $499,999
- $300 Cash when you deposit $50,000 – $99,999
- $100 Cash when you deposit $25,000 – $49,999
The offer code on the referrals is NC1000 but you’ll need a referral before the code works. Offer is not valid on tax-exempt trusts, 401k accounts, Keogh plans, Profit Sharing Plan, or Money Purchase Plan.
TDAmeritrade New Brokerage Account Offer [EXPIRED]
The offer is really simple, just open an account and deposit money to get the bonus.
The bonus amount depends on how much you deposit within 60 days of opening the account:
- $2,500 Cash when you deposit $2 million
- $1,500 Cash when you deposit $1 million
- $700 Cash when you deposit $500,000
- $350 Cash when you deposit $250,000
The beauty of this offer is that it’s valid for one new Individual, Joint, or IRA account. For many folks, the $1-2 million bonus will be difficult but if you’ve been working for some time, it’s not difficult to find a 401(k) that you can rollover or an IRA to move around.
The only other restriction is that you have to keep the balance in the account for at least 12 months. The rules don’t count any losses due to trading or the market, it’s just the net deposits have to be positive. The 12 month period is a pretty fair time period.
If you search online, you will find similar offers (or this exact one) but this is the best one I know of. There is one that just has the $300/$600/$1200 bonuses, with no $2,500 level, which will work just as well if those were the tiers you were going to hit anyway.
How Does This Offer Compare?
A lot of brokers are now offering cash bonuses, so naturally the next question has to be how does this promotional offer compare with others?
Honestly, their offer is ever so slightly below average. Let’s take a look at an alternative to see what I mean.
Ally Invest has a bigger schedule for its bonus (Ally Invest offers free trades too):
|Deposit or Transfer|
|$10,000 – $24,999||$100|
|$25,000 – $99,999||$250|
|$100,000 – $249,999||$300|
|$250,000 – $499,999||$600|
|$500,000 – $999,999||$1,200|
|$1,000,000 – $1,999,999||$2,000|
|$2,000,000 or more||$3,000|
As you can see, this much larger schedule matches TDAmeritrade while adding both a lower tier ($50 for a $10k deposit) and a higher tier ($3,500 for a $2mm deposit).
Lastly, I want to point out one last offer from SoFi Invest. If you are at the low end of investable assets (under $25k, which is a sizable sum just not for the purposes of a brokerage offer), you can get $50 from SoFi Invest as long as you deposit $25. Heck, you can do this anyway if you have $50 sitting around and want to get a 50% ROI in one go.
If it’s all the same to you, I’d go with the one you like more.