Investing

Best Brokerage Account Cash Sign Up Bonuses

Best Brokerage Bonuses
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Below are the best brokerage account cash sign-up bonuses available today. To compile this list, we considered the overall quality of the brokerage, the investment options offered, and the value of the bonus compared to the deposit needed to earn it.

TradeStation$500 deposit for a $150 bonus.
Public$5,000 deposit for a $150 bonus.
M1 Finance$50,000 deposit for a $250 bonus.
Axos Invest$2,000 deposit for a $200 bonus.
Firstrade$5,000 deposit for a $50 bonus.
E-TRADE$5,000 deposit for a $50 bonus.
Merrill Edge$20,000 deposit for a $100 bonus.
Charles Schwab$25,000 deposit for a $100 bonus.
Citi Self-Invest$10,000 deposit for a $100 bonus.

#1. TradeStation

TradeStation is the go-to brokerage for many active investors due to its powerful trading platform, commission-free stock trades, and diversified list of tradable assets. Read our TradeStation review to learn more. 

Their current bonus gives you $150 in cash after funding an account with $500 or more. Alternatively, you can choose to fund a TradeStation crypto account and earn $150 in Bitcoin. 

This offer is only available to new customers who make qualifying deposits within 45 days of enrollment. The bonus is paid in $75 increments, with the first payment being issued after your first full month after funding your account and the second payment being issued after the second full month. 

You must enter the promo code FNMZAGAO during the singn-up process to claim the bonus!

Visit TradeStation.

See all current TradeStation promotions.

#2. Public

Public is one of our favorite commission-free trading platforms. It offers fractional share investing with no monthly fees, and its design is beginner-friendly. 

Public offers up to $10,000 in bonus funds for transferring an existing brokerage account to the platform, making the offer one of the best available for high-net-worth investors. 

Transfer AmountBonus
$5,000 – $24,999$150
$25,000 – $99,999$250
$100,000 – $249,999$1,000
$250,000 – $499,999$2,500
$500,000 – $999,999$5,000
$1 million or more$10,000

How it breaks down is:

  • This is a transfer bonus only. Cash deposits do not qualify. 
  • Public will cover your transfer fees from your existing broker (up to $500). 
  • Your transfer bonus is deposited 30 days after your transfer date.

Keep in mind that the bonus will be revoked if you don’t keep the transferred funds in your account for at least six months.

Visit Public or learn more in our Public Investing review.

#3. M1 Finance

M1 Finance is an online broker that allows customers to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto. It’s unique in that it combines elements of robo-advisors like Wealthfront with those of more typical online brokers, such as Robinhood.

For those who prefer a hands-off approach to investing, M1 offers a variety of tailored investment portfolios to choose from. However, those who want more control over their investments can pick individual assets to create their own highly customized portfolios. 

You can learn more in our M1 Finance review

Their current bonus — which runs through February 28, 2023 — allows you to earn up to $10,000 in cash. 

Transfer AmountBonus
$50,000 – $249,999$250
$250,000 – $499,999$1,000
$500,000 – $999,999$2,000
$1,000,000 – $1,999,999$4,000
$2,000,000 or more$10,000

Both retirement and taxable accounts are eligible for the bonus.

Visit M1 Finance to learn more. 

#4. Axos Invest

Axos Invest provides low-cost, self-directed investment trading and managed portfolios with low minimums. 

To encourage investors to move their portfolios, Axos offers a $200 sign-up bonus and a reimbursement of transfer fees of up to $300.

To qualify for the bonus, investors must deposit a minimum of $2,000 within 60 days into an Axos self-directed trading or managed portfolio account. Then, you have to maintain that balance for at least 90 days.

Market fluctuations do not impact qualification. So if you deposit $2,000 and your portfolio dips to $1,900 within the first 90 days, you will still qualify. However, withdrawals during the first 90 days do impact your eligibility. 

This offer is open to U.S. residents and new account holders only. Existing clients, and those who have closed their accounts within the last 90 days, don’t qualify for the bonus offer. 

Visit Axos Invest.

#5. Firstrade

Firstrade offers commission-free stock, ETF and mutual fund trading, along with access to advanced order types. Their current promotion gives you up to $4,000 for opening a brokerage or IRA account.

Initial Deposit or TransferBonus
$5,000$50
$10,000$100
$25,000$300
$100,000$700
$500,000$1,500
$1 million$3,000
$1.5 million or more$4,000

Key details about this offer include:

  • You must fund your new account within 30-days of opening it.
  • Firstrade covers up to $200 in transfer fees when moving from an existing brokerage.
  • Although Firstrade is available in 30 countries, this promotion is only available within the United States.
  • Your new account must stay open for a minimum of 12 months.

Visit Firstrade.

#6. E-TRADE

A pioneer in online stock trading, E-TRADE now offers various financial products that include everyday banking, wealth management and insurance. Still, their stock trading platform is well-regarded for its educational tools, as is their mutual fund selection.

Customers who open an eligible E-TRADE brokerage or retirement account can qualify for a cash bonus. The offer is tiered, based on the table below:

Initial DepositBonus
$5,000 to $19,999$50
$20,000 to $49,999$100
$50,000 to $99,999$200
$100,000 to $199,999$300
$200,000 to $499,999$600
$500,000 to $999,999$1,200
$1 million to $ 1,499,999$2,500
$1.5 million or more$3,500

E-TRADE’s bonus eligibility requirements are slightly different from those of other brokers. Notably, existing customers are eligible for the bonus if they open another account.

All customers need to deposit their funds within 60 days of opening an account to qualify, and the bonus is paid within seven days of this 60-day period. The funds need to be held in the account for 1 year, but trade losses don’t affect your eligibility.

Important! Use the code BONUS23 when you open your account to qualify.

Visit E-TRADE.

#7. Merrill Edge

Owned by Bank of America, Merrill Edge is a popular brokerage pick among banking and credit card clients of Bank of America thanks to a rewards program that offers clients higher credit card rewards and interest rate discounts. 

Merrill Edge, which offers no-cost stock and ETF trades with no minimums, applies a tiered structure to its bonus offer. 

Qualifying Net New Asset BalanceCash Reward 
$20,000 to $49,999$100
$50,000 to $99,999$150
$100,000 to $199,999$250
$200,000 or more $600

Customers need to enroll into the offer by entering an offer code on the online application (or when completing the application over the phone). The account needs to be funded with at least $20,000 within the first 45 days of opening. 

The funds need to be new to Merrill, which include Bank of America, MLPF&S, Bank of America Private Bank, and 401(k) accounts administered by MLPF&S. The account will be reviewed after 90 days and the cash bonus deposit will be made within two weeks after this review. 

Visit Merrill Edge.

#8. Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is a popular low-cost brokerage known for its selection of mutual funds, outstanding research tools, and solid customer service. 

Schwab takes a slightly different approach to its bonus by requesting a referral link from its new customers. This means that if you want to qualify for Schwab’s bonus, you need a friend who happens to be an existing Schwab customer to send you a link.

Once you use the link to sign up and become a client, you may qualify for a bonus up to $1,000. 

The tiered structure looks like this: 

Initial Deposit Bonus 
$25,000 to $49,999$100
$50,000 to $99,999.99$300
$100,000 to $499,999.99$500
$500,000 or more$1,000

New clients need to make a qualifying deposit within 45 days of opening an account. Once opened, the account will be reviewed and the bonus credited within about a week. 

Visit Schwab.

#9. Citi Self-Invest

In an effort to reach lower-cost investors, Citigroup launched Citi Self-Invest in 2021. This is separate from Citi Personal Wealth Management, which offers a hands-on approach to overall wealth management and portfolio management with a dedicated advisor. 

Citi Self Invest offers a cash bonus to accounts with qualifying deposits based on a tiered structure. 

Initial DepositBonus 
$10,000 to $49,999$100
$50,000 to $199,999$200
$200,000 or more $500

The offer expires on January 1, 2023 and applicants are required to fund their Citi Self Invest account with a minimum of $10,000 within the account funding period to qualify. Important to note is that these funds need to be new to Citi. 

The bonus is limited to one per customer. When multiple accounts are opened, the bonus will apply to the qualifying account with the highest balance. The bonus can’t be combined with any of Citi’s other offers. 

Visit Citi Self-Invest.

Best Broker Account Cash Sign Up Bonus FAQs

Are brokerage promotions taxable?

Cash received from a brokerage promotion is taxable income. Technically, it’s treated the same as interest. However, some brokerages only issue a 1099 when earnings are over $600. If that’s the case, the income is still taxable.

Money deposited into a traditional IRA is not immediately taxable but does count towards your total contribution for the year. You’ll pay tax upon withdrawal.

Money paid into a Roth IRA isn’t taxable income.

Is switching brokerages a taxable event?

It depends on the type of assets you’re selling. If you’re selling stocks, bonds and other securities in your taxable account, the sale is considered a taxable event. In this case, the earnings from the sale would be treated as capital gains and taxed accordingly. 

To avoid this, aim to transfer the existing assets in your account without selling first. For example, if you hold Amazon stock, you can just transfer it to a new brokerage instead of selling it and moving the cash.

Which broker has the highest bonus?

It depends on how much money you’re depositing. If you’re depositing $1 million or more, Public gives you a $10,000 cash bonus. E-TRADE gives you a $3,500 bonus for depositing $1.5 million.

Why didn’t you include any free stock offers, like Webull or SoFi?

Free stock offers are better for those who cannot hit the minimum deposits offered for the cash bonuses mentioned above. In our testing, most of the stocks we received were valued at less than $10 (and often less than $5). While you may get lucky and get a higher value stock, you’re much better off going with a cash bonus offer if you’re making a larger transfer. 

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

5 Comments

  1. M1 does not appear to be offering a bonus currently on 5/26/2022

    1. Hey Pete. I’m seeing that it’s back live. I also linked directly to their promotions page versus their homepage.

      Often, at the end of the month, there are changes, so it could have easily been down a few days here. Thanks for the heads up!

      1. 6/30 Update: It’s officially expired.

  2. public.com is offering $10k bonus if you transfer $1M or more. That’s 5x better than your best option above? Thoughts?

    1. Interesting. Knew they offered a generous free stock bonus (https://www.thewaystowealth.com/make-money/free-stocks/), but didn’t realize they offered a transfer bonus as well.

      I’ll update, as it’s pretty solid even on the lower end ($150K for a $5,000 bonus).

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