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Free Stocks: 10 Legit Ways To Get Free Shares

Free Shares of Stock
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Several investing platforms give you free stock or cash for creating an account or making an initial deposit, making them among the best get paid to sign-up websites you’ll find.

In most cases, the value of the stock you’ll receive is random and falls within a fairly wide range. When testing the below offers, the values we received ranged from $7.77 to $48.12. There is a small chance, however, of hitting the jackpot with shares worth hundreds of dollars.

Most of the time, opening a new account is cost-free, risk-free, and only takes a few minutes.

But keep in mind that some free stock offers have requirements that you need to follow, so it’s important to make sure you read the fine print and follow the instructions to get your free shares.

Editor’s Note: We update this post on a regular basis to make sure the information is accurate, but free stock promotions change frequently, so be sure to read the details when signing up.

The Best Free Stock Offers

Each one of the platforms below differs in features. Some offer a simple interface for beginners, while others cater to advanced investors who want to go deeper.

There’s nothing wrong with signing up for these services just for the free stock. If that’s the case, feel free to sell your shares and transfer the funds to your bank account. 

But if you’re investing for the long-term, take some time to evaluate how each platform’s features fit with your financial goals.

#1. Public

Public aims to simplify the investing world and make it a more social experience through news updates, community features and fractional investing.

  • Offer value: Stock bonus of one free share worth up to $20.
  • Requirements: Deposit $10 and leave it in your account for 30 days.
  • Cashing out: You can sell your stock immediately upon receiving it.

Public gives beginners a way to learn fast with social features. You can exchange ideas with friends and experts, and the app keeps you informed by sending you news updates about the companies you hold and follow.

Getting started is inexpensive, as trades are commission-free and you can buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs.

Join Public.

#2. Sofi Money

SoFi is an online personal finance platform with a wide range of products, including free online checking accounts and a best-in-class free investing platform.

  • Offer value: $25 in a free stock of your choice.
  • Requirements: Join using our referral link and deposit $100 into a new SoFi Invest account. Unlike other free stock offers, you can then pick a stock of your choice (Amazon, Tesla, Apple, etc.), and you’re guaranteed $25. 
  • Cashing out: You’ll see your free stock 10 days after opening an account. At that time, you’re free to sell and cash out. 
  • What we got: In a now-expired promotion, we received a $50 bonus for depositing $500.

#3. Webull

Webull has a variety of investment products and advanced research tools that you’d typically find at paid brokers. It offers commission free trading and is completely free to join and use.

  • Offer value: Two free shares of stocks
  • Requirements: Join using our referral link to get a free share of stock, valued between $3 and $300 for opening an account. Get a second free share, valued between $8 and $3,000 for making a deposit of $5 or more.
  • Cashing out: You can sell your free stock immediately, but you must wait 30 days to withdraw the proceeds from Webull.
  • What we got: In a now-expired promotion that awarded four free shares, we received four shares of Investors Bancorp Inc., valued at $12.03 at the time (for a total of $48.12).
Webull Free Shares
Our Webull account, showing the four free shares we received.

On Webull, you can open an IRA or a taxable investment account and trade stocks, ETFs, options, and even cryptocurrency commission-free. It also allows you to open a margin account (borrowing from the broker to invest) and engage in short selling (borrowing stocks to sell them and buy them back later for less).

Webull provides advanced charting tools, technical analysis features, and real-time stock market data — all of which you can access via PC, the web or a mobile device. 

To learn more about how the app and site works, and what it has to offer, read our in-depth Webull review.

#4. Dough

Dough is a simple, low-cost investment app supplemented by news and educational resources.

  • Offer value: One share of stock worth between $2 and $200.
  • Requirements: Link an approved financial account.
  • Cashing out: Your free stock appears in your account within seven days of account opening. Cash out once your account has $25. So, if your free stock is valued at $10, you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $15.
  • What we got: A free share of Bed Bath and Beyond, valued at $20.97.

Dough offers commission-free trading on a variety of stocks, ETFs and closed-end funds. 

You can also expand your investing knowledge in-app with trading ideas and analysis tools. 

Their Dough Select feature helps you invest in what you understand and are passionate about. You can tell Dough your interests, then the app sends you news updates and other materials to keep you informed.

Claim your free stock bonus from Dough.

#5. Firstrade

Firstrade provides the resources and investment options you’d expect from a full-service investment brokerage without the usual costs.

  • Offer value: One share of stock worth $3 to $200.
  • Requirements: Sign up and complete your account within 30 days.
  • Cashing out: You can sell your free stock share immediately upon receiving it.
  • What we got: One share of Ford Motor Company, valued at $7.77.
Firstrade dashboard
Screenshot from our Firstrade dashboard.

You can open taxable investment accounts, various types of IRAs, education savings accounts and more. Firstrade offers free trading of stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds.

The platform also has a full suite of market research and investing tools and a library of educational articles for each type of account and investment product it offers.

Join Firstrade and claim your free stock.

#6. Tornado

Tornado (formerly called Nvstr) helps its users discover investment ideas through collective wisdom and lets you optimize your portfolio with advanced tools.

  • Offer value: $9 to $1,000 in free cash to invest.
  • Requirements: Sign up for an account. Must place a trade within three months to keep the cash.
  • Cashing out: Cannot withdraw free cash for one year. 

Tornado combines social media features with an investment platform to encourage idea-sharing, resulting in the discovery of new investment insights. Users can enhance their learning by seeing what big investors are saying.

Additionally, Tornado offers simulated trading, helping you learn the basics and implement new ideas without risking your money.

Learn more in our Tornado review.

Sign up to take advantage of Tornado’s free stock offer.

#7. Stockpile

Stockpile is a fractional share trading mobile app that also lets you send people shares of stock as gifts.

  • Offer value: $5 in free stock.
  • Requirements: Buy your first stock on Stockpile, or give an e-gift of $10 or more.
  • Cashing out: You can cash out instantly. You’ll receive today’s closing market price if selling before 3 p.m., or tomorrow’s closing price if selling after 3 p.m.

Stockpile lets you buy stock “gift cards,” from $1 to $2,000 in value, and send them to family and friends. It offers over 1,000 stocks, ETFs, and American Depository Receipts (ADRs).

Stockpile can also help you get your kids into investing early. You can open an account for kids and let them pick investments that you pre-approve of. They also have mini investing lessons on their mobile app.

The app is focused on fractional shares, with the slogan “You favorite stocks by the dollar.” However, each trade costs 99 cents, which makes buying stocks “by the dollar” a very expensive proposition. 

Platforms like Robinhood and Cash App allow you to buy fractional shares with zero fees. And that’s a great idea if you’re a beginning or small-scale investor, because it gives you a chance to get into the stock market in a diversified manner even when you only have a few bucks to invest.

But if you’re investing such small amounts of money that buying fractional shares makes sense (for example, putting $1 at a time into 10 different stocks), paying a 99 cent fee for each trade will obliterate your potential returns. 

Stockpile offers a $5 bonus when you make your first investment on the site.

#8. Acorns

Acorns is best-known as a micro-investing app that allows you to round up your debit card purchases and invest the spare change in exchange traded funds (ETFs), but it also offers ways to get free ETF shares by shopping through its online portal and signing up for free offers.

  • Offer value: Flat dollar amount of $2 to $100, or 2% to 20% cash-back.
  • Requirements: Shopping through partner retailers via the Acorns Found Money portal.
  • Cashing out: Found Money takes 60 to 120 days (on average) to credit to your account. Once it’s been added to your balance, you can sell your ETF shares and withdraw the funds to your bank account.

Acorns is not a stock trading platform, but rather a passive investing app that takes on as much of the investing work for you as possible.

Shopping online through Acorns’ partner retailers earns cash-back that gets automatically invested into your portfolio. The platform has hundreds of partners, including major retailers like Apple and Nike, so it’s possible to get a significant amount of free money via this method if you regularly shop online. 

Additionally, the site also offers flat-rate bonuses for acting on special offers. For example, users were recently offered $10 cash for signing up for a free trial of the Wall Street Journal and $5 cash for getting a free life insurance quote.  

However, Acorns does charge a monthly fee, which starts at $1. That means it may not be the best choice if you only use it occasionally, as the fee could overwhelm your returns.

On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who struggles to set aside funds for investing, the Round Ups feature (which invests your spare change on your behalf), can be well worth that small fee.

As for available investments, you can choose from three different portfolios of ETFs based on your risk tolerance.

Get to know Acorns and sign up here.

#9. Bumped

Bumped rewards you with free stock for being loyal to your favorite brands.

  • Offer value: 1% to 5% of purchase price, awarded in fractional shares of stock.
  • Requirements: Bumped is currently an invite-only app, and you have to sign up for the waitlist. Once granted an account, you must shop at partner stores to earn free stock.
  • Cashing out: You can sell your fractional shares as soon as Bumped credits them to your account.

With Bumped, you can earn free stock by shopping at your favorite brands in several categories, such as coffee shops, apparel and drugstores. You can select one brand per category and earn stock with each purchase.

Your free stock is awarded in fractional shares. As the name suggests, fractional shares are portions of whole shares that have been divided up. They have the same proportional value as whole shares, as well as proportional voting rights. In other words, they’re real stocks — just with much smaller monetary values.

You even earn dividends on your fractional shares, which Bumped automatically reinvests back into your holdings.

Get on the Bumped waitlist.

#10. Brokerage Account Cash Bonuses

The list above highlights offers from online-only brokers and trading platforms, which are fairly new to the investing landscape. By all accounts, these companies are safe, reliable and regulated places to invest your money.

But if you’d prefer to invest with a more traditional brokerage — the kind that’s been around for decades, gives you access to a more fully-developed trading platform, and (sometimes) even gives you a real person to talk to about your investments — you may still be able to get a signup bonus. 

With that said, traditional brokerage account opening bonuses typically require a significant initial deposit in order to qualify. The list below highlights the smallest bonuses offered by popular brokers at the time of writing. In most cases, you can earn more if you have more to invest.

  • Ally Invest: $50 when you deposit $10,000 and leave it in your new account for 60 days.
  • Charles Schwab: $100 when you deposit $1,000 and leave it in your account for 45 days.
  • E-Trade: $50 when you deposit $5,000 and leave it in your account for 60 days.
  • M1 Finance: $10 signup bonus when you fund a new M1 Finance account with $100.
  • Merrill: $150 when you deposit $20,000 and leave it in your account for 90 days.

Keep in mind that these offers change all the time. While we update this page on a regular basis, you’ll need to visit each broker’s website to see their current promotions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Stocks

Here are a few common questions we get asked about free stocks. If you’re wondering about something that wasn’t covered in this article and isn’t listed below, let us know by leaving a comment — we’ll research the answer and add it to this FAQ section.

Why do companies give away free stock?

These promotions are a form of marketing and a way to get a new investor (and their funds) onto a particular stock trading platform.

Simply put, companies like Webull and Robinhood give away free shares in order to encourage users to sign up.

This is not uncommon, as many different types of websites offer sign-up bonuses as an incentive for joining.

Do you have to pay taxes on free stocks? 

When you receive a free share of stock, it does count as taxable income — just as if you were given a cash gift.

You’ll be required to report the value of the shares (at the time you receive them) to the IRS, and you’ll be taxed on that value.

Note that this income will be taxed at your standard rate, as the gift of a share is not considered a capital gain.

If you decide to sell your free share, and it has increased in value since you received it, you’ll be taxed on that increase — this time at the short-term capital gain rate.

What are DRIPs?

The phrase “DRIP” stands for dividend reinvestment plan. With a DRIP, your broker or investment platform reinvests any dividend earnings you receive from your shares back into your holdings. Since you aren’t pulling more money from your wallet, you’re essentially getting free stock with each dividend payment.

Do you have to provide credit card information to take advantage of these free bonus offers?

We have never encountered a free stock offer that requires you to provide a credit card number.

In most cases, you’ll be asked to link a bank account in order to fund your new brokerage account and claim your free stock shares.

This is usually done through Plaid, a third-party service that keeps your account information secret during the linking process.

How to Get Free Stock Shares: Summary

The earlier you start to invest, the better off you’ll be in the future, as making smart investments is one of the keys to building wealth.

And while I don’t recommend investing a big portion of your funds in individual stocks — 5% to 10% is a reasonable target if you’re interested in the market — many of these platforms offer easy and cheap (or free) ways to put your money in relatively safe products like exchange traded funds. 

By the way, if you’re wondering why my limit for investing in individual stocks is so low… it’s because picking stocks is very, very hard. I wrote about why in this post that explains what happened when I bought Tesla shares for $26

But aside from the above considerations, these offers can be a great way to bolster your bank account if you need to make some extra money quickly — even if you’ve already got your investment portfolio on track.

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.

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