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 $2,500 in cash.
Let’s see how it’s set up.
TDAmeritrade New Brokerage Account Offer
The offer is really simple, just open an account and deposit money to get the bonus.
(TD Ameritrade recently increased the deposit amounts for each tier of 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):
|Deposit or Transfer|
|$10,000 – $24,999||$50|
|$25,000 – $99,999||$200|
|$100,000 – $249,999||$300|
|$250,000 – $499,999||$600|
|$500,000 – $999,999||$1,200|
|$1,000,000 – $1,999,999||$2,500|
|$2,000,000 or more||$3,500|
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.