Have you been searching around for the right online brokerage firm for your investment dollars? If so, then you are in for some good news! Online brokers are offering great deals to earn your business. Many brokers are giving away free cash, free trades and free gifts to entice new clients. Here are a few of the incentives being offered to new customers. (Find out what's happening in the world of finance. Read Water Cooler Finance: Buffet's Bank Fraud And Financial Eruptions.)
IN PICTURES: 10 Tips For Choosing An Online Broker
Chances are pretty good that you have heard of E*Trade before. E*Trade is the online broker with the hilarious talking baby commercials that run during the Super Bowl. E*Trade is more than just talking babies. E*TRADE is currently offering 60 days of free trading to new customers that open an account. Plus you get a free Blackberry Bold just for opening a new account. That's a pretty sweet deal if you are looking to score a new cell phone.
What's the catch? The account must be funded with a minimum of $2,000 to qualify for the free trades offer. You will have to sign up for a two-year wireless plan to get the free phone. (Remember when cell phones were big enough to be murder weapons? Check out Cell Phone Evolution to see how far they've come since.)
TD Ameritrade is the company with the commercials starring Sam Waterston. You may not recognize the name but you probably know his face and voice. He is the long-time district attorney from the hit series Law & Order. TD Ameritrade is offering commission-free trading for 30 days to anyone that opens a new account by June 30.
If you fund your account with $25,000 then you get $100 free. Want to earn some free airline miles? Open your account with $2,500 and you will get 5,000 free airline miles. Fund your account with $10,000 and get 15,000 in miles. You can earn 25,000 free miles by opening your account with $50,000. All miles are for use on United Airlines.
ShareBuilder is giving away $50 to anyone that opens a new account. To qualify for the bonus, you just need to fund your account with $50. That's it! The $50 dollars will be deposited into your account within four to six weeks. You do, however, have to wait three months to withdraw the money from your account.
Do you already have an existing brokerage account? ShareBuilder will give you $100 to transfer your account from a competing broker. All you need is an account balance greater than $500. ShareBuilder has no minimum balance requirement to open an account and has trading fees as low as $4.
TD Ameritrade isn't the only broker offering free airline miles. Fidelity is currently offering the most perks for customers that want to fly the friendly skies. New customers can earn up to 25,000 miles with a $50,000 deposit. If you're not fond of flying, you can open a new account and earn 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. As you can see, with Fidelity, "membership has its privileges."
thinkorswim has a ton of promotional perks including referral bonuses, rebates and complimentary trades. You can earn a $50 cash bonus for every person that you refer that opens a new account. The account must be funded with at least $3,500. (Rebates can be tricky. Find out more in Hidden Costs Of Product Rebates.)
Are you an active trader? If you make over 40 trades a month, thinkorswim will credit your account $39.95 to help defray the costs of your high speed internet. You also get three free mutual fund trades every month. thinkorswim will reimburse transfer fees charged by other financial institutions up to $100 as long as you transfer in at least $3,500.
The Bottom Line
As you can clearly see, there are a ton of great deals being offered by online brokers. The best advice when looking for a broker is to shop around. Compare the services offered by different firms and pick the one that best fits all of your investing needs. Be sure that you pick a broker for the right reasons and not just to get a free cell phone. (To learn more, check out our Brokers And Online Trading Tutorial.)