As an existing customer, I received an e-mail from discount brokerage OptionsHouse today announcing that they are raising their stock commissions to $3.95 per trade on Thursday, January 13th, 2011. Not totally surprising I suppose, as I’ve read that $3 a trade is about the minimum a broker can charge to break even with a low balance. But what was surprising is the fact that they are grandfathering in existing account holders at the $2.95 rate. Hey, I’ll definitely take it.
On Thursday, January 13th, 2011, after market close, we will Introduce a new stock commission rate of $3.95, for new customers. And, as a valued customer, I’m pleased to inform you that your existing $2.95 stock rate will not be changing.
There is no mention of this change on their website at all, and they are still pushing the $2.95 per trade pretty hard, so I can only assume that all new applicants seeing the advertised $2.95 rate will also get the grandfathered plan. I am not 100% sure of this, but I know I’d make a pretty big stink if they didn’t. I’ll try to ask their “Live Help” feature in the morning to confirm.
Update: I asked their Live Chat at Noon 1/11 and they confirmed this:
Me: If I apply today, will i get the $2.95 flat rate ongoing?
OptionsHouse: Yes, if you apply today you can be grandfathered in at $2.95
So if you’re interested, I’d consider applying now up until January 12th.
If you open a new account with at least $3,000 and use the promo code FREE100, you’ll get 100 commission-free trades for stock or option trades executed within 60 days of funding the new account. They also have a 100 free trades + $125 in transfer fee rebates offer for IRAs with the promotion code IRAFREE.