Best 2016 IRA Promotions (ETFC, BAC)

September 6, 2016 — 10:00 AM EDT

An individual retirement account (IRA) is a savings account designed to help you save for retirement. Types of IRA include traditional, Roth, SEP and simple IRAs, and different IRAs have different advantages. Employee-sponsored plans, like a 401(k), can also be rolled over into an IRA when you retire or change employers.

E-Trade Financial Corp.

E-Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) is one of the most popular online brokerages and provides many services for self-advised investors. E-Trade currently offers several bonus options on investors who roll over or move an IRA. All deposits must be made within 45 days of the account opening to be valid. Deposits of $10,000 to $24,999 receive up to 500 commission-free trades executed within 60 days of the account opening. All deposits above $25,000 are eligible to receive the same 500 commission-free trades offer. Deposits from $25,000 to $99,999 receive $200, those from $100,000 to $249,999 receive $300, those from $250,000 to $499,999 receive $600, those from $500,000 to $999,999 receive $1,200, and deposits above $1 million are eligible to receive a $2,500 account credit.

Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments offers a matching policy on annual IRA contributions based on the amount that you originally deposit. Once you open an IRA, you have 60 days to transfer or roll over your funds into the account. Instead of a credit, every time you make a contribution for the next three years, Fidelity will match a certain percentage. On IRA transfers of $10,000 to $49,999 the match is 1%, $50,000 to $99,999 is 1.5%, $100,000 to $249,999 is 2.5%, $250,000 to $499,999 is 5% and anything above $500,000 is 10%.

So, for example, if you deposited over $500,000 and you made a contribution to your IRA of $6,500, Fidelity would credit your IRA 10%, or $650. If you did that for the next two years, you would get 10% each year, making the total cumulative credits equal to $1,950. This bonus is excellent if you are still working and receiving earned income. However, if you are retired, you are ineligible to make contributions to an IRA because a requirement is to receive earned income.

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge is the discount brokerage arm that takes after the full-service brokerage Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, which is part of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC). Merrill Edge offers new retirement accounts four different bonus levels, depending on the asset amount. All deposits must be made within 45 days of the account opening date and maintained for at least 90 days. After the 90-day qualifying period, account holders will receive the applicable deposit within two weeks. Deposit amounts of $20,000 to $49,999 will receive $100, deposits $50,000 to $99,999 receive $150, deposits $100,000 to $199,99 receive $250, and all amounts above $200,000 receive $600.

Scottrade Inc.

Scottrade Inc. is another popular discount brokerage that offers several incentives based on the amount of IRA assets rolled over. Any amount deposited over $10,000 will receive 50 commission-free trades for 90 days. Deposits from $25,000 to $49,999 will receive $100, from $50,000 to $99,999 will receive $200, from $100,000 to $249,999 will receive $300, from $250,000 to $499,999 will receive $600, from $500,000 to $999,999 will receive $1,000 and any deposits over $1 million will receive $2,000. Upon receipt of the deposit, Scottrade credits your account within three business days. However, to maintain the credit, the balance must remain within the IRA for one year or Scottrade has the right to charge back the account for the difference.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD) provides online brokerage services and over 100 branch locations nationwide. It offers various trading tools to attract the more sophisticated trader, such as Trade Architect or the thinkorswim trading platforms. TD Ameritrade offers four different levels of incentives for IRA deposits. Deposits must be made within 60 days of the account opening date, and only IRAs, individual and joint accounts are eligible. All deposits made over $3,000 give you commission-free trades for 60 days to a limit of 500 total trades. Those depositing from $25,000 to $99,999 receive a $100 credit. Deposits from $100,000 to $249,999 receive $300, and deposits over $250,000 receive $600.