If you're looking for a new brokerage, consider opening your account with one of these institutions. They’ll pay you a new account bonus on certain account types if you meet minimum deposit requirements and keep your account open for a specified length of time.

Charles Schwab: $100 Bonus or 500 Commission-Free Trades 

Charles Schwab is offering a $100 referral bonus with a $1,000 deposit into a new Schwab brokerage account. You can also get 500 commission-free trades with a $100,000 deposit; this deal is good for two years following the opening of the new account.

Motif Investing: 3 Free Months

On offer now at Motif Investing is 3 free months of their Motif BLUE Unlimited automated investment service. The offer is good only for first-time customers and is available when the new brokerage account application is approved.

For subscriptions starting at $4.95 per month, Motif BLUE provides automated investing and rebalancing, real-time quotes, unlimited trading, and more.

$100 Bonus + 3.75% 40-Month IRA CD at Navy FCU

Navy Federal Credit Union is offering a $100 bonus, and it's available nationwide. Investors taking advantage of this deal will also have access to an attractive CD rate of 3.75 percent APY when you open a new IRA CD.

To qualify for the bonus, the new account must be funded with an opening balance of at least $100 within 45 days of account opening. The bonus will be deposited into the account within 30 days of the qualifying opening deposit.

Ally Invest $3,500 Cash Bonus + 90 Days of Commission-Free Trades

Available at Ally is an Ally Invest $3,500 Cash Bonus Offer, which offers a $3,500 cash bonus and commission-free trades for 90 days when you open a new Ally Invest account. To qualify:

1. Open a new Self-Directed Trading account by January 31, 2019.

2. Fund your account within 60 days of account opening to earn a bonus based on your deposit amount:

  • $3,500 Bonus + Free Trades for $2,000,000+ Deposit or Transfer
  • $2,500 Bonus + Free Trades for $1,000,000+ Deposit or Transfer
  • $1,200 Bonus + Free Trades for $500,000+ Deposit or Transfer
  • $600 Bonus + Free Trades for $250,000+ Deposit or Transfer
  • $300 Bonus + Free Trades for $100,000+ Deposit or Transfer
  • $200 Bonus + Free Trades for $25,000+ Deposit or Transfer
  • $50 Bonus + Free Trades for $10,000+ Deposit or Transfer

3. Receive the bonus cash credit to your account within 10 business days of meeting the promotional requirements.

4. Once the account is credited, the bonus and initial qualifying deposit are not available for withdrawal for 300 days after the requirements have been met.

Get up to 500 commission-free trades at E*TRADE, plus up to a $600 cash credit

Account must be funded within 60 days of account open with funds from outside of E*TRADE. To get 500 commission-free trades:

  • Deposit at least $10,000 into your new account.
  • You will receive up to 500 commission-free stock or options trades executed within 60 days of the deposited funds being made available for investment in the new account (excluding options contract fees).
  • Pay commissions of $6.95 for your first 29 stock or options trades (plus 75 cents per options contract) and $4.95 thereafter up to 500 stock or options trades (plus 50 cents per options contract).
  • Your account will be credited for the commissions within a week of the executed trade.
  • You will not receive cash compensation for any unused commission-free trades.
  • Stock plan account transactions are subject to separate commission schedule.

Credits for cash or securities will be made based on deposits of new funds or securities from external accounts made within 60 days of account open. Your account will be credited within one week of the close of the 60-day window, as follows:

  • Deposit $1,000,000+, receive $2,500 + commission-free trades
  • Deposit $500,000–$999,999, receive $1,200 + commission-free trades
  • Deposit $250,000–$499,999, receive $600 + commission-free trades
  • Deposit $100,000–$249,999, receive $300 + commission-free trades
  • Deposit $25,000–$99,999, receive $200 + commission-free trades
  • Deposit $10,000–$24,999, receive only commission-free trades

The Bottom Line

These promotions aren’t a good way to make a quick buck, and the bonuses are relatively small, often 1 percent or less of the amount you’re required to deposit. What's more, in many cases, taxes or commissions will erode the value of your bonus.

An account-opening bonus is, however, a good incentive to give a brokerage, bank or credit union a closer look if you were thinking about opening a new account anyway. Just make sure the account type you’re opening is the best option for your long-term needs, that you’ll still come out ahead after any fees and that you aren’t depositing money you might need in the near term.