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.

Axos Invest$1,000 deposit for a $150 bonus.
Public$5,000 transfer for a $150 bonus.
E-TRADE$5,000 deposit for a $50 bonus.
Ally Invest$10,000 deposit for a $100 bonus.
Merrill Edge$20,000 deposit for a $100 bonus.
Charles Schwab$25,000 deposit for a $100 bonus.
TradeStation$10 for opening an account. $5,000 deposit for a $200 bonus.
Citi Self-Invest$10,000 deposit for a $100 bonus.

#1. 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 $150 sign-up bonus and a reimbursement of transfer fees of up to $300.

To qualify for the bonus, investors must deposit a minimum of $1,000 within 45 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 $1,000 and your portfolio dips to $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. 

The offer is valid until September 30, 2022, and is limited to one taxable managed portfolio or one taxable self-directed trading account.

Visit Axos Invest.

#2. Public

Public is one of our favorite commission-free trading platforms. It offers fractional share investing, has zero 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. 

How it breaks down is:

  • This is a transfer bonus only. Cash deposits do not qualify. 
  • Public will also 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.com.

#3. 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 BONUS22 when you open your account to qualify.

Visit E-TRADE.

#4. Ally Invest 

Ally Invest is well-known for combining low minimums with low costs. This includes $0 stock and ETF trades, and fees of 50 cents per options contract. There are then no account minimums for self-directed trading accounts and a $100 minimum for their robo-advisor portfolios. 

Ally’s current investment account bonus follows a tired structure:

Initial DepositBonus
$10,000 to $24,900$100
$25,000 to $99,900$250
$100,000 to $249,900$300
$250,000 to $499,900$600
$500,000 to $999,900$1,200
$1 million to $1.99 million$2,000
$2 million or more$3,000

As you can see, it takes a minimum of $10,000 to earn even the lowest-tier bonus. However, Ally does offer a $75 credit on inbound transfers of at least $2,500 (which can help cover brokerage transfer costs).

Once a qualifying deposit is made, the account is reviewed within 60 days, and the bonus is then credited to the account. However, bonuses and initial deposits (less trading losses or plus trading gains) are only available for withdrawal after 300 days. 

The funds deposited also need to be from outside the Ally Financial ecosystem, and the account needs to be opened before June 30, 2022. Also, the offer is open to U.S. residents only and excludes previous Ally Invest customers who closed their accounts within the last 90 days. 

Visit Ally Invest.

#5. 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.

#6. 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.

#7. TradeStation

7/1/2022 update: These promotions expired on June 30th. We’re awaiting details on a new promotion for the remainder of the year.

TradeStation is the go-to brokerage for many active traders due to its powerful trading platform, commission-free stock trades, and a diversified list of tradable assets.

The cash bonus offered by TradeStation is tiered, as shown in the table below. 

Initial DepositBonus
$5,000$200
$10,000$500
$100,000$1,000
$1 million or more$2,500

The offer is only available to new account holders who make qualifying deposits within 90 days of approval. You’re required to keep the funds you deposit in your account for 1 year. The bonus will be credited to your account within 45 days of the qualifying period.

Learn more in our TradeStation review and visit TradeStation’s website to sign up.

#8. Citi Self-Invest

7/1/2022 update: This promotion expired on June 30th. We’re awaiting details on a new promotion for the remainder of the year.

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 July 31, 2022 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 brokerage?

It depends on how much money you’re depositing. If you’re depositing $1 million or more, TradeStation gives you a $2,500 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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