With so many different brokerages out there, many offer bonuses to their clients for a competitive edge. These capital bonuses can be added to your trading account with that broker.
Often, the lure of a bonus may come with a catch or possible risk. How do you know which broker to choose that offers the best bonus?
Follow our guide below for an overview of the top brokerage account promotions and offers.
Best Brokerage Account Promotions
If you are a new trader that wants to get the highest returns possible with minimal starting capital available, then considering an account bonus is a good idea. We have selected the top brokers below that offer account bonuses for beginner traders. These are our top picks:
- TD Ameritrade – Best Broker Bonus Overall
- Robinhood – Best Bonus for Retail Clients
- Merrill Edge
- SoFi Invest
- Charles Schwab
- M1 Finance
- Ally Invest
1. TD Ameritrade – Best for Brokerage Bonus Overall
TD Ameritrade is a popular US broker that suits a wide range of investors. They offer a diverse portfolio and range of trading instruments for all kinds of people. TD Ameritrade offers account bonuses between $350 to $2500.
These bonuses are applied to brokerage and retirement accounts, and the one-time bonus amount depends on how much capital you initially invest. Just be aware that the account minimums for this are fairly high.
TD Ameritrade offers a high-quality trading platform with great resources and trading tools. Traders can enjoy no commission on ETF, mutual fund, and stock trading.
|A high-quality trading platform
|High account minimums to access bonuses
|Offers a simple one-time bonus structure
|A wide range of investment opportunities available
|Commission-free online trading
Robinhood is one of the most popular mobile trading platforms offering stocks, options, ETFs, and crypto. Robinhood bonus offers free stock to traders, valued from $3 to $250. There is no entry barrier, making this an excellent bonus system for beginner traders.
Robinhood’s trading instruments include fractional shares. The mobile app is incredibly easy to use, and deposits are instant. Funds can be instantly accessed after traders close their positions. This platform is particularly appealing to new investors.
|Easy to receive their bonuses
|Bonuses offered in stocks, not cash
|A very user-friendly trading platform
|Not the best platform for experienced investors
|The bonus system appeals to new investors
|Limited research tools and educational resources
|A well-ranged portfolio is available to investors
3. Merrill Edge
Merrill Edge is a brokerage that offers four different account bonuses, ranging from $150 to $900. To qualify for this, traders will need to open cash management or Edge IRA account and make a deposit within 45 days. This needs to be done with a special account opening code to enroll in the bonus program. Account-holders can only have two enrolled accounts (one IRA and one cash management).
Merrill Edge is an online trading platform that offers diverse investment opportunities for traders. There are various useful tools and research opportunities for traders to enjoy. This is also a great brokerage for beginner stock traders due to the low fees. Merrill Edge is one of the best brokerage options for Bank of America clients.
|Two account bonuses can be accessed by each trader
|Bonuses require large deposits
|A diverse investment portfolio available
|Merrill Edge is limited to US markets and traders
|A high-quality online trading platform
|Includes great tools and research
|Low fees and commissions – especially for Bank of America customers
SoFi Invest is one of the best brokers for beginners due to it being a very inexpensive broker. This brokerage offers simple $10 bonuses to crypto traders. Traders need to sign up on SoFi Invest and buy $10 worth of cryptocurrency. In return, you will receive $10 worth of Bitcoin.
This is one of the most easily accessible bonus options for new traders. SoFi Invest offers a powerful trading platform, with features like automated Robo-advisors, fractional shares, retirement accounts, active investing, and more.
SoFi Invest allows you to trade stocks, crypto, and ETFs. The platform is very user-friendly and offers a variety of useful trading tools.
|Easy to access the bonus
|The bonus is relatively low
|Suitable for low-capital traders
|Bonus only available in crypto trading
|Easy to get started on the platform
|Offers a range of useful trading features
5. Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab is a large online broker that appeals to all levels of investors. This brokerage offers a referral bonus for any new traders with a referral code provided by existing Charles Schwab clients. The broker offers four different bonus options ranging from $100 to $500.
The bonus applies to Charles Schwab IRAs and retail brokerage accounts. If clients deposit at least $1000 within 45 days, they can access the bonus.
Charles Schwab offers low trading fees and free deposits and withdrawals. ETF and stock trading are free, and there are superior research tools available.
|Easy to open an account and get started
|Market access could be better
|Bonuses up to $500 available
|Relatively high deposit amounts to access bonuses
|Great research tools
|Mutual funds have high fees
|Stock and ETF trading is free
6. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is an online stock broker that caters to both banking and investing. This brokerage offers account bonuses ranging from $250 to $2500. This is an introductory transfer bonus that can be accessed by any investor moving their portfolio across to M1 from another brokerage.
This is a tiered bonus system with bonuses starting from investments worth $100,000. M1 Finance offers commission-free trading. You can trade in a wide range of securities through this Robo-advisor.
|Cashback rewards available
|Requires large portfolio amounts to earn a bonus
|There are no actual financial advisors/financial help available
|Trade fractional shares
|Bonuses aren't available for new investment portfolios – only transfers
|No trading or asset management fees
|Allows for flexible portfolio building
Betterment is also a Robo-advisor that offers investing and banking services. This brokerage has bonuses available in the form of free accounts. The offer works based on a tier system around the account deposit amount. The more you deposit, the more time you get a free account for.
Betterment offers a premium plan for serious investors. This broker is a great option for beginner traders, as the platform is easy to use and there is plenty of quality educational content available. Opening an account is easy, and there are great goal-tracking tools.
|Quick and easy to set up an account
|No cash bonus available – only free accounts
|A very user-friendly trading platform
|Fully transparent portfolios
|Diverse portfolios available
8. Ally Invest
This online bank and brokerage offer particularly large bonuses to new clients. Investors that open an account and make a deposit of $10,000 are eligible for a bonus. The bonus can go up to $3500.
Ally Invest offers trading in ETFs, options, and US exchange-listed stock. There are no commissions and fees are very low. There are very high-yield ETFs available from market leaders. The wide selection of ETFs allows for a diverse portfolio.
|Very large bonuses available
|Bonuses require large sums of capital
|Self-directed trading and fully managed portfolios
|Trading is limited to US markets
|A wide selection of ETFs
This brokerage is appealing to beginner investors without a lot of capital available. Low $5 bonuses are available, but they are very easy to achieve. Simply open an account and deposit a minimum of $5, and you can access the bonus. This small incentive can double your initial deposit.
Stash allows traders to use this bonus of stocks and ETFs. This broker offers free trades, as well as a special rewards program that offers stock back. Investment accounts have a $1 monthly fee. Stash is geared towards new investors looking for a simple platform to start trading on.
|Bonuses require very low deposits
|You can only get a $5 bonus
|No account minimums
|Some fees are relatively high
|Very easy to start trading
|No human advisors available
|A simplified approach to investing
BlockFi focuses on cryptocurrency trading. This brokerage offers bonuses in the form of Bitcoin. Traders can access a one-time bonus on signing up. The amount varies depending on the initial deposit, and it ranges between $15 to $250 in free Bitcoin.
BlockFi also offers referral bonuses. This platform is ideal for trading crypto, but if you want a wide-ranging investment portfolio, it may not be your best bet. The interest rates are good, and the platform is mostly free to use.
|Low deposit required for a bonus
|The bonus is in Bitcoin, not cash
|A great platform for crypto trading
|Not the most advanced trading platform
|Attractive interest rates
|Only really suitable for crypto-traders
|Easy to use platform
How To Pick a Brokerage Account With a Great Bonus
Various brokers offer bonus systems available. There are numerous factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right broker for your needs. We have outlined some of the key considerations below.
All brokers need to be regulated. There are various regulators available – the main ones being the FSCA, FCA, SEC, ASIC, and more. This generally depends on where the broker is located and trading.
Different locations have unique regulation requirements. Regulation is necessary for safer, compliant trading.
Fees and Commissions
Every broker offers a unique fee and commission structure. This varies depending on the type of investment and spread. Make sure that the fees and commissions offered by the broker will align with your trading strategy and mentality.
What You Can Trade
One of the most essential considerations when choosing a broker is what they offer. Different brokers offer different access to markets and products.
This can cover things like forex, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, crypto, options, and more. Make sure that the broker offers the right trading products for your portfolio needs. Certain brokers may offer limited investment opportunities for a limited portfolio.
The Type of Bonus Available
If you are after an account bonus, make sure that the brokerage offers the right type of bonus. Most traders are after cash bonuses, but this is not always the case.
Some brokers offer bonuses in stocks, crypto, or free trading. Make sure that the bonus aligns with your needs.
Different brokers require different account minimums to allow you to start investing. This is particularly important when thinking about bonuses. Most bonus systems are based on tiers according to the initial deposit.
The higher the deposit, the higher the bonus. Minimum deposits can range from $0 to $10,000, or even more. Of course, this needs to be chosen based on your capital available and trading experience.
Different brokers and trading platforms offer different tools for enhanced trading experiences. Trading tools allow you to make more informed decisions, achieve better market analysis, and trade with less risk.
Certain brokers offer excellent educational resources for more informed trading. Always consider this, as it can make a major impact on the overall brokerage experience.
Deposit and Withdrawals
Consider the different deposit and withdrawal methods that the broker offers. These need to align with your banking needs. Also pay attention to the fees involved with deposits and withdrawals, and how long these processes take.
Understanding Account Bonuses
Quite simply, a bonus is the offer of free money deposited into your account. Different brokers offer unique deals to their clients to keep them trading. If you are starting from scratch, it can be really difficult to build a big enough portfolio. Brokerages offer these bonuses to help traders with this.
Different brokers offer different bonus structures. This could include things like sign-up bonuses, referral bonuses, or special promotions and deals. Account bonuses could also include things like free stocks or removing fees on certain trading.
Generally, bonus systems work based on the amount of capital that you put in. Traders that deposit a higher amount of capital will receive a larger bonus.
Considerations for Brokerage Bonuses
The lure of free money deposited into your account is certainly tempting, but there are a few things that traders should understand about bonuses before grabbing the opportunity.
Account bonuses could lead to withdrawal problems. For example, if you deposit $500 into your account, and you get a $100 bonus from the broker, your account will be at $600. However, you won't be able to withdraw $600. This is because there is now a combination of your money and the broker’s money in your account.
Traders will have to release the bonus to become theirs through trading. The terms of this vary between different brokerages, but it is often a case of trading $10000 to release $1 of bonus.
Account bonuses are generally offered to new traders, or anyone starting without a great deal of capital behind them to begin with. If this is the case, beginner traders need to be wary of these bonuses and understand the exact terms and conditions behind them.
Always ready each term that the broker has provided around the bonus. Some brokers may be able to remove their bonus without any warning, some may not allow you to withdraw funds with the bonus present, and so on.
An account bonus can be a powerful trading tool, but traders need to fully understand how the bonus works and how it can benefit them.
How do Brokerage Accounts Work?
These are accounts that allow the owner to trade various investments. You deposit money into the account and then can use this as a platform to buy and sell things like stocks, shares, forex, etc. Brokerage accounts need to be created through brokers.
Do Account Bonuses Offer a Good Investment Strategy?
Account bonuses are free money, so yes they do offer excellent potential to the investor. Just be aware of all terms and conditions that come with the account bonus.
Can You Lose Money With Brokers?
While brokerages are regulated and secure, they do not protect you from money lost in bad investment moves.