OptionsExpress Brokerage $500 Sign-up Bonus (Expired)

OptionsXpress brokerage is offering a $500 bonus if you open up with $500 with promotional code C3. You just need to keep $500 in it for 6 months*, and complete at least one trade. You’ll get the $500 on May 15th, 2009. That’s a while from now, but I’ll remind you. ;) Well, it looks like I’m going to have to open up another brokerage account this month… I can’t pass this up. The deadline is today, November 30th!

Thanks to readers Roger and Anonymous. Selected fine print:

*Offer limited to one $500 bonus for each newly activated, funded optionsXpress account meeting the terms and conditions of the offer. To qualify for the $500 bonus, the account must be opened through [link] or with promo code C3 by 11/30/08, a per account average balance of $500 must be maintained for 6 months, and the account must trade at least once. The $500 bonus will be deposited into the account on May 15th, 2009 if terms and conditions are met. A customer can only qualify for the $500 bonus a total of one time. Deposits of new funds or securities from existing optionsXpress accounts are not eligible for this offer. Qualified (IRA), linked and shared accounts are not eligible for this offer.

* Since the average account balance required is $500, and you need to make one trade, I’d deposit a bit more than $500 to make sure you qualify, since a trade costs $14.95 and your investment’s value might also drop. You can decide what to buy, but you’re already getting 100% ROI on $500. A possible low volatility choice is BSV, the ticker for Vanguard’s short-term bond ETF.

Comments

  1. Is this too good to be true? How much would you deposit to be on the safe side?

  2. Does it matter if you open a cash, or cash/margin account? Also, I’m assuming it’s fine if you open today and then fund next week to still get the deal? :) Thanks for the heads up on this!

  3. Wow. Just – Wow. Amazing deal.

  4. WOW. can I open an account if I already have one and still get this deal? if not, I wish I had not opened one last time around…

  5. I am kind of new to this… when I deposit money, did you choose the wire, ACH, check, or does it matter?

  6. Jonathan Atkins says:

    I love promotions like this and really appreciate the heads up, thanks! I just opened and setup an ACH.

  7. One thing that should be noted as ambiguous is (which has been discussed a bit at Fatwallet):

    “Customers can not exchange the $500 for other offers, cash or credit”

    This may mean that the $500 “bonus” can only be used as credit for trade commissions (ouch!).

    If that’s true, I’d say that optionsXpress has some very misleading advertising and they’ll hear an earful from me…

  8. Are there dormancy fees? Yearly account fees? Inactive fees?

    I’d like to open this account and just forget about it afterwards.

  9. I’m pretty sure it’s legit. The URL is optionsxpress.com, and you can even google “OptionsExpress bonus” and it comes up as an ad.

    Well, if you buy an individual stock, it could hypothetically crater, and you’d have to add more money later on. If you bought BND, I might take into account a possible 10% drop. I might just put in $1,000 and forget about it, or I might hedge gas prices and buy $1,000 of UGA or USO or OIL.

    There was nothing about cash/margin in the fine print, so I just opened a cash account myself. Less paperwork.

  10. 11/30/08, a per account average balance of $500 must be maintained for 6 months, and the account must trade at least once. The $500 bonus will be deposited into the account on May 15th, 2009 if terms and conditions are met.

    This is a little suspect. You simply can’t maintain a balance for 6 months between 11/30/08 and 05/15/09 – there aren’t 6 full months there.

    Also, how do they calculate “average”? I’m going to be down for a week or so while my ACH auth goes through. Does that mean I need significantly more to bring the average back up?

  11. Thanks Johnny! says:

    Keep us updated! I just opened mine. I look forward to your reminder in May, easy money! =) Thanks!

  12. Two questions:
    1) Assuming I can do ACH transfer, will the money clear fast enough to qualify under the terms?

    2) For free $500, I probably shouldn’t care, but do they do a hard credit pull on you when you open an account?

  13. where do we enter the promo code of C3?
    I am on the first page of open account process.

  14. thanks for the headsup. did you choose the money market sweep ?

  15. If you click the link on the promo page, it’ll fill the promo code in automatically. The box to enter is a few pages through the wizard.

  16. thanks ydant

  17. I did open one for me and one for my wife, but defered funding until
    I call 1-800 number to confirm this with a Rep.

    Also inside, you can refer to a friend and get 100$ instantly when friend opens account. At least this offer looks legitimate

  18. I’d have to agree with ydant. If you did not open an account by November 15, 2008, then technically, you could not have possibly held an account with an average balance of $500 over “6 months” by the time May 15, 2009 comes around.

    Also, the ad says “$500 credit” Credit for what? As Paul mentioned, this may actually mean credit specifically for trades.

    Jonathan, I sincerely hope that you get your $500, I think that would so cool. And as always, I very much appreciate the contents of your blog. But, I’m going to pass this one up. Something does not look quite right.

  19. Great find J!

    I opened myself an account as well. Funding is not instant as the ACH needs to be verified.

    I’m planning to fund $1000 to cover the mutual fund buy and the transaction fee.

  20. Anybody know if there’s a restriction like “one promotion per address”?

  21. @Ron: You might have a point there. I’ll verify with the customer service tomorrow about the offer. If anything looks suspicious I’ll not fund the account.

    From what I read in the fine print, it reads that the $500 bonus will be deposited in the account. I am not sure how they can deposit a credit for trades. The account can only hold $$$. Therefore I’m inclined to believe that this is real.

  22. Yeah, worst case scenario, I set up an account and after calling them on Monday, I don’t fund it… Only took about 10 minutes and I’ll be able to find out more tomorrow… (Or someone else will and post it here!)

  23. How about buying stock in OXPS. According to Yahoo finance, they have $844.67 Milion Market cap $541.26 Million in cash, 0 debt, and they’re going to earn $90 Million plus for the year.

  24. Check out this interesting tidbit

    http://www.fatwallet.com/forum.....ionsxpress

    Apparently, they have issues with paying out bonus money.

  25. If anyone passes this up, they are out of their mind.

  26. Murray Stokely says:

    This looks like a great offer, but I’m also concerned about the two issues brought up here 1) the fact that there is not 6 months between now and may 15, 2009 and 2) the possible restrictions on the $500 to be only used for trading fees. I’ve mailed customer support to inquire.

  27. I can’t say for certain that you’ll get this $500 bonus but they also have a $100 bonus offer and I’ve been paid several of them. In cash, not trading credit.

  28. Ok, there seems to be concerns about if this $500 can be used only towards trade commissions or it is actual hard cash. Here’s my 2 cents..

    Here’s the fine print for the $500 offer :

    This offer is not valid for optionsXpress associates, non-U.S. residents, and where otherwise prohibited. Customers can not exchange the $500 for other offers, cash or credit. We reserve the right at our sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend this offer program at any time without notice.

    and here’s the fine print of their $100 refer a friend bonus

    This offer is not valid for optionsXpress associates, non-U.S. residents, certain referring parties, and where otherwise prohibited. Customers can not exchange the $100 for other offers, cash or credit. We reserve the right at our sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend this offer program at any time without notice.

    Identical and others have said on forums and as Tight Fisted Miser said above they have got $100 as cash and not trading credit. So I think it’s just standard legal mambo jumbo.. Surely worth taking a shot.

  29. Thanks for informing us! I’ll sure check it out… I’ve been looking for discounts lately.

  30. Jonathan and everyone else on this site, I posted this over at fatwallet:

    I just got off the phone with a representative. He stated that since the last day of the month was a Sunday, the deadline has been extended to today, and that the $500 must be deposited into the account by today (Dec 1). I repeatedly asked him to clarify the terms stated on the promo page, which I understood to be, open account by Sun, Nov 30, fund account (no set date to fund account by), maintain balance of $500 for 6 months, make one trade, and you get bonus $500 on 5/15/2008. I also asked him to explain how we could maintain $500 for 6 months if we only had 5.5 months remaining. He stated that the promo began on 11/15/08 with a deadline to open the account on 11/30/08. Since the deadline was on a Sun, you can deposit the $500 today. The one trade could be made at any time during the promo period. He also said that the deposit could be done via wire transfer today. I kept asking him if I could transfer money in via ACH once the verification process is done and simply transfer a large balance to cover the $500 average for the missed days. He repeatedly stated that the $500 has to be transferred by today.

    Anyone else call and get the similar message. I will call once more to see if I get the same info. Unless wires are free on both ends, this is a deal breaker for me.

  31. repost

  32. just finished a chat with a live operator.

    Please wait for a site operator to respond.
    You are now chatting with ‘Robert S’
    Welcome to optionsXpress, how may I help you?
    Daniel G: Hi, I opened a new account yesterday as part of the $500 bonus. I was wondering, since I have to wait a few days before I can transfer funds, will I still be able to get the bonus?
    Daniel G: The terms say a $500 deposit must be made to qualify, but they are unclear as to when.
    Robert S: Bear with me one moment while I check on that
    Daniel G: thanks
    Robert S: Yes you have until December 15 to deposit funds
    Daniel G: excellent, thank you very much
    Robert S: have a great day

    Hope that helps :)_

  33. I did a live chat with a member at options xpress. It appears you can get a 15 day extension to fund, but you have to ask for it.

    Here is the transcript of the important parts…

    Nelson: #1, We can grant you an extension to fund the account by 12/15…. #2, the $500 that you deposit may not be withdrawn for 6 months.
    Nelson: If the original $500 are not withdrawn
    Nelson: and you trade on them at least once
    Nelson: then you are given $500 more cash after the 6 months
    Nelson: that would be cash
    Nelson: not commission credits

    Nelson: Customer granted extension on funding portion of C3 promotion till 12/15

    He e-mailed me a transcript of our online chat session.

  34. Poor OptionsExpress CSRs are going to get pounded today. :( I wish they ran this promotion more clearly.

  35. They have apparently been pounded as hard as they will take:

    You are now chatting with ‘Eli’
    Welcome to optionsXpress, how may I help you?
    ydant: Hi Eli, I opened a new account yesterday as part of the C3 promotion ($500 bonus). I was wondering, since I am waiting for the ACH authorization, will I still be able to get the bonus? The terms say a $500 deposit must be made to qualify, but they are unclear as to when.
    Eli: Hello. May I have your account number please?
    Eli: thank you
    Eli: The C3 promotion requires the account to be funded today. There is no exception. Funding could be accomplished by a wire transfer, which can take 4-5 hours if done domestically.
    ydant: I’ve seen other people posting that they got an exception to fund by 12/15
    Eli: We are no longer making any exception at all for this offer.
    ydant: Ok. Thank you for your assistance.

  36. They have apparently been pounded as hard as they will take:

    You are now chatting with ‘Eli’
    Welcome to optionsXpress, how may I help you?
    ydant: Hi Eli, I opened a new account yesterday as part of the C3 promotion ($500 bonus). I was wondering, since I am waiting for the ACH authorization, will I still be able to get the bonus? The terms say a $500 deposit must be made to qualify, but they are unclear as to when.
    Eli: The C3 promotion requires the account to be funded today. There is no exception. Funding could be accomplished by a wire transfer, which can take 4-5 hours if done domestically.
    ydant: I’ve seen other people posting that they got an exception to fund by 12/15
    Eli: We are no longer making any exception at all for this offer.
    ydant: Ok. Thank you for your assistance.

  37. Here’s the answer I got:

    Nelson: The account had to be opened and funded by 11/30. Any funding now will not qualify for the pomo
    Nelson: There was a brief period of an extension being offered but that has been stopped.

  38. They are not extending the deposit date. Im pissed off. This deal is completely misleading….

  39. This is a transcript of my chat at 12:15 pm EST. It looks to me like you can still get someone to agree that you can fund until 12/15. I would recommend getting your own transcript for proof in case of any problem later.

    info: Please wait for a site operator to respond.
    info: You are now chatting with ‘Peter E.’
    Welcome to optionsXpress, how may I help you?
    Michael: opened a new account yesterday as part of the C3 promotion ($500 bonus). I was wondering, since I am waiting for the ACH authorization, will I still be able to get the bonus? The terms say a $500 deposit must be made to qualify, but they are unclear as to when.
    Peter E.: Please keep in mind that you must fund your account by today to qualify for the bonus.
    Michael: How can I fund it today if I am waiting for the ACH authorization?
    Michael: Your rep OMAR just told me something totally different on the phone. He said I have until 12/15/08 to fund!
    Peter E.: May I please have your account number or username to review your account?
    Michael: I was on hold when I started this chat. I need to understand what the exact terms are. I have almost $____________k with Fidelity and might consider you guys if I am happy with the 6 month trial.
    Michael: My account name is “XXXXX”.
    Peter E.: thank you, for the safety of your account can you please verify: what is your pets name?
    Michael: XXXX
    Peter E.: thank you, one moment please
    Peter E.: Thank you for your patience, You have until 12-15 to fund the account.
    Michael: Thank you.
    Peter E.: You are very welcome.
    Michael: Does purchase of a brokerage CD constitute a trade to qualify for the $500 bonus?
    Peter E.: verifying now, one moment please
    Peter E.: No unfortunately not. It must be a trade here at Optionsxpress, either stock, options, or futures trade.
    Michael: Would purchase of an ETF constitute a “Stock” and qualify for the bonus?
    Peter E.: Yes, that would also qualify.
    Michael: My last question is to confirm that the bonus is $500 cash and not a credit to future commissions or other fees?
    Peter E.: Correct, confirmed.
    Michael: Can you send me an e-mail transcript of this chat?
    Peter E.: If you hit the close button of the chat (not the red X) you will be asked if you would like to have the chat emailed to you. You may input your email address there to send.
    Michael: Thank you. Have a nice day.
    Peter E.: You are very welcome.

  40. Hello! I just called customer service at (888) 280-8020 (I know, I’m old fashioned) and they told me that they are giving an extension for funding until December 15th, so hopefully that helps you guys out.

  41. In the offer it says nothing about when it’s supposed to be funded. Just open it before Nov 30th. Fund it within reasonable time after that. I wouldn’t trust a single CSRs.
    For more discussion look at the fatwallet and slickdeals discussions regarding this topic.

  42. I also got extension for my my and my wife’s deposit date. Guy out there who have not received the extension, call them up again as they are very willing to give this extension. Dont miss out out the golden $500.

  43. also called and got the extension, and was told that to get the bonus all I had to do was transfer $500 and make a trade. When I asked him what the average monthly minimum was he did not know and only said you had to start with 500 in cash *shrug*

  44. Thanks Johnny! says:

    Strange:
    I went into live help and the CSR told me I don’t qualify because my account wasn’t “active” until today even though I opened it up yesterday.

    But calling on the phone the CSR said I did qualify and I have until Dec 15 to fund it with $500.

    Not sure what to do here.

  45. Thanks Johnny! says:

    Talked to another live CSR who seemed to dive a little deeper than the other: I don’t get the promo because they don’t consider an account to be “open” until someone reviews the paperwork and gives you an account number. I filled out everything, and clicked submit yesterday (Nov 30) and today apparently my account was “opened” so I don’t qualify.

    I asked directly: “So everyone who filled out the application on Nov 29 or Nov 30 will not qualify for this promotion because they won’t have an account number until today?”

    “Yes” was the reply.

    Damn optionsxpress and their misleading advertising.

  46. Thanks Johnny! says:

    To the people who think they are OK because of the funding extension: If you opened your account Nov 29 or Nov 30 you won’t get the promo. The first CSR was telling me about funding until Dec 15 as well, but it only applies if the account had an account number by Nov 30.

    In other words, our definition of “open” is different from theres. They only “open” account on working days. Going through the application is not “opening” an account apparently.

  47. I contacted customer service and they confirmed that my account was opened on Nov 30th and that I do qualify… I guess its best for everyone to confirm this individually.

  48. hmm… i just spoke with someone on the telephone and they said that my account (which i filled out at 10:30pm last night) would be eligible and i have until the 15th to fund it.

    perhaps my good looks got me through?

  49. Thanks Johnny! says:

    Folks, you need to verify. They are quick to say “yes” but have them actually look at your account to see. They will ask for your secret phrase and account name/num. I opened my account before evan, and I don’t qualify.

  50. Thanks Johnny! says:

    Wow, confusion ensues. Third live CSR call. They said I am eligible. Apparently they have a program to look up the names of people who are eligible and I am there.

    I give up. I don’t know what’s going on.

  51. Thanks Johnny, please do not spread something you are not sure of. Please only speak about experience till you are positive about it.

  52. Monterey Jack says:

    My wife and I both signed up yesterday. Per two online chats, they said yes to my $500 but no to hers. First, they said I’d have to wire funds today but then approved my funding extension (for ACH) to Dec. 15. In a second chat about my wife’s account they said “no exceptions” about being late–but when I mentioned someone else gettting an extension and they said “no more exceptions.”

    We both answered honestly about our trading activity (mine is much higher than hers) so I think they may be looking at your self-reported investing profile and/or income when granting exceptions. I applied first so there may be some cut off time too.

    It all reminds me of the games E*Trade played back during the dotcom bubble. I got fed up and haven’t done business with them since. Badly run promos hurt a business more than help it.

  53. Crap.. sorry I missed this! Good find, and I’d have opened an account just for the promotion if it was legit. I’m pretty happy with my broker though – I wouldn’t stay with them for those rates.

  54. Thanks Johnny! says:

    Mac – I was reporting what the CSR’s were telling me. 2 out of 3 CSR’s telling me I am not eligible I think is an important topic to bring up.

    Your post is fairly insulting. Please keep your personal rules on netiquette to yourself.

  55. According to CSR, the most recent decision is to extend funding deadlines for all to December 15th. Thanks everyone at FW and here for making them own up to their promises. I’m not going to spend much more time on this – just going to fund with $1,000 even and make one trade.

  56. Live chat confirmed that if opened by 11/30 and funded by 12/15 the bonus will be received. My suggestion is to go to live chat, and phrase your questions to your benefit – if they respond “yes”, save the chat and bring it out in 6 months if you need it.

  57. I just finished a lengthy live chat with Jesus. So the info must be correct. ;) Joking aside, that was his name, and he was very helpful. This is a snippet of the most important part:

    Jesus: one moment please
    Jesus: yes you are eligible for the promotion
    Jesus: you have until 12/15 to fund you raccount
    Jesus: you need to fund it with at least $500.00
    Jesus: you need to do at least one trade
    Jesus: and you must keep your total account value at or above $500.00 at all times
    [ME]: Is the $500 value only cash, or is the total value include both cash and the value of any securities I buy (stock, bonds, etc.)?
    Jesus: total account value
    Jesus: including cash and securities

  58. Oh, there was also this part from my Live Chat about the promo link. I didn’t actually receive an email with the promo, I used the URL that Jonathan posted:

    Jesus: in order for a customer to be eligible for the promotion the customer needs to have received an email directly from optionsxpress
    Jesus: offering the promotion for them
    Jesus: and they must have opened the account by using the link provided in the email sent to them
    [ME]: We all opened the accounts using the promo C3 from the page http://www.optionsxpress.com/p.....asons.aspx
    Jesus: ok great
    [ME]: And we all received our emails with our account numbers.

  59. Since I passed on this deal due to all of the uncertainty (funding, deadlines, 6 months, credit or cash) I’m sure those of you that did take it will be fine.

    This has historically been a 100% accurate prediction of uncertain situational outcome. I will be kicking myself in May. :)

  60. Thanks Johnny, it’s a very simple concept. If you have not opened an account by 30th, you will not be eligible. If you did not complete opening up your account, i,e , if they have requested additional documents such as id, driver’s license, then you have not truly completed the application process, hence you will not qualify for the promotion.

    Why do you have to call the reps 100 times and get 100 different views. Please make your life easier. Thanks.

  61. I sent a live help message last night but because they were closed it went to an inbox.

    Today I got the following email:

    Hello ***,

    I will be happy to assist you today. Yes there has been an extension on when you may fund your account. The dead line to fund your account is now December 15 2008. Once you receive the $500 on May 15 2009 you may withdraw funds or reinvest. If you have any other questions, feel free to reply to this email and I’ll be happy to help. If you prefer, feel free to call us at (888) 280-8020 or click on the Live Help link found on the top right corner of our site. Phone assistance is available Monday – Friday from 8am until 10pm EST. Live Help is available Monday – Friday from 7am until 10pm and on Saturday from 10am until 2pm EST.

    Thank you for contacting optionsXpress and have a great day.

    Regards,
    Roberto Salazar

    I also got a prerecorded message on my phone today which says that optionsXpress has received the request to establish an ACH link and that it will be done shortly.

    I will call/email them to ask specifically what open account means and, although it does say clearly in the email message, if my account will be eligible for this bonus.

  62. Just got off the Live Help chat with a CSR and this the transcript (edited):

    me: Hello, I would like to ask about my recently opened account on Nov. 30th
    me: I used the C3 promotion and saw that the promotion states the account has to be opened by Nov 30th in order to have the $500 bonus benefit applied.
    me: I received this morning an email that states my account was opened today at 7:27am.
    me: My question is: does this account qualify for the promotion or not?
    me: The account number is xxxx-xxxx
    csr: sorry for the delay
    csr: I’d be happy to check that for you
    csr: may I have your username or account number please
    me: The username is: username. The account (from the email mentioned above) is: xxxx-xxxx
    csr: thank you
    csr: You should be eligible to receive the bonus. Please be sure to fund the account with at least $500.00 by 12/15 and at least one trade will need to be placed.
    me: Ok. Thank you very much. Have a nice evening.
    csr: You are very welcome.
    csr: likewise

    Now I am not sure how to read this “You should be eligible to receive the bonus” statement.

    What do you think?

  63. You guys are all gay (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) I opened my account last night at 11:30 pm. If they don’t pay up I’ll inform the better business bureau. If I still don’t get the $500, it doesn’t matter because I’ll still make money on the stock that I invest in.

  64. Thanks Johnny! says:

    Mac is isn’t a “simple concept”. Please read these forums and FW. This promo is anything but. Out of all the people sharing experiences on this board I don’t know why you selected me for your valuable comments. Please stop trolling the forums.

  65. Assuming our luck holds true, and the $500 appears six months from now – is this bonus considered taxable?

  66. Thanks Johnny! says:

    My guess is yes. Bonuses I have received from all other banks were all taxable. =(

  67. Ryan, yes uncle Sam also wants a piece of this offer. Money will go straight to bailing out banks. Let’s see if Citibank comes up with a crazy offer for some serious recycling of money.

  68. By the letter of the law, all income is subject to tax. However, I have found brokerages to be hit-and-miss on reporting these bonuses as income on 1099-DIV forms. I don’t know if OX will report. Whether you see this as a chance to avoid taxes is up to you.

  69. Dear optionsXpress Fans,

    We were thrilled to see the excitement around our latest offer. We always look forward to welcoming new customers to optionsXpress. We also heard many questions from you regarding the rules of this offer, all offers have strings (rules) and so did this one. Here are the answers the most frequently asked questions:

    • The account must be opened through the specified optionsXpress link, and we needed to receive all required information either electronically or the physical paperwork by 11/30/08.
    • A per account average balance of $500 must be maintained for 6 months, and the account must trade at least once.
    • If you are already a customer, you are not eligible for this offer (the terms excluded Qualified (IRA), linked and shared accounts).
    • Once you receive the $500 you are free to do with it as you wish.
    • You need to fund by December 15, 2008 to be eligible.

    In order to be fair to everyone, we have to strictly adhere to these rules. For those of you who were interested in the offer, but did not respond in time, keep an eye out – we may do other offers in the future. Thanks for your interest in optionsXpress and I look forward to seeing what the markets may bring in 2009.

    Ned Bennett
    CEO, optionsXpress, Inc.

  70. According to my logs, the oxtrader comment did come from an OptionsXpress IP.

    Also, if you opened on 11/30, you should have your two trial deposits in your bank account now. OX does things a bit differently, they have on one test *deposit* and one test *withdrawal*. After verifying you have to a wait a few minutes before the ACH link is active. I look forward to trying out OX – I made sure to enable options trading since that is their strength (and it’s only $1.25 with no base rate).

  71. Thanks, Ned. Any chance of putting that somewhere on the optionsXpress website? You could, after all, be anybody.

    If you’re really the CEO (or posting under his authority), it’s always great to see companies come down to the forum/blog level.

    I don’t think anybody’s so upset about the opening deadline hard cutoff – that’s normal. It was the ACH transfer delay that caused the most confusion.

    Based on this post (optimistically considering it genuine) I’ll complete the funding process and go forward with trying out your service.

  72. Thanks, Jonathan, for confirming the IP. I just verified my ACH as well. I made $0.07 off of the verification!

  73. Yes, the ACH went fine. I started the funding yesterday and the OX account page confirms the funds will be available 12/05. I’m in business :)

    Now, I am not that expert in options trading and in this market is, furthermore, a bit scary, to say the least. I was thinking to buy some ETF or mutual funds.

  74. I haven’t made my one required trade yet, but I have been using their Virtual Trading environment to practice trading options. It’s very nice to be able to try out various plays instead of just reading about how options work.

  75. The trading costs are pretty steep here ($14.95). I was looking for a way to just make the one trade and never sell the stock and incur another trading fee. I just got a letter from Wachovia recently asking to vote on the merger by Wells Fargo. The details of the deal reveal that they will give 0.1991 Wells Fargo shares for each Wachovia share. Instead of issuing fractional shares, they will issue cash for the remaining number of shares.

    What this means is that you can buy up to 5 shares of Wachovia (about $6/share) and pay the $14.95 commission. And when the deal goes through, Wells Fargo will pay you cash. That way you never have to pay a trading fee to sell the stock.

    My plan:
    Deposit $600 into account
    Buy 5 shares of Wachovia (WB) for $6/share + $14.95 trading fee
    Wells Fargo will buy 5 shares of Wachovia
    After 6 months, withdrawal everything from account

  76. My account qualifies for the $500 bonus, and ACH is set up. But, my wife says this offer sounds suspicious and strongly suggests that I not fund the account.

    Is there any risk to this offer, such as the following?

    1) Account not insured by SIPC, e.g., the http://www.optionsxpress.com website not belonging to legit broker?

    2) Unauthorized withdrawals from my ACH-linked bank account?

  77. Shannon, can I just buy one share of Wachovia stock?

  78. Hmm, for some reason, this offer pops up in my mind. I have checked my optionsXpress account, and it seems that I did not get the $500. Sigh

  79. It says the money gets deposited on May 15th. Wait and see you might eventually get it.

  80. Did you get it?

  81. Still not May 15th…

  82. wow, don’t know how I missed that.

  83. Hasn’t been deposited yet, so I gave them a call.

    The CSR said that it may take 2-3 business days because of the sheer number of accounts that signed up during this promotion.

  84. If they keep logs of this sort of thing, I imagine they won’t credit me because I told them to stop @#%# calling me to “help me with my account”. What a (phone) spammy company.

    Thanks for calling, Tom. We’ll see how this goes.

  85. Nothing here either, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and wait until Monday or Tuesday next week.

  86. $500 bonus posted to both my account and wife’s account overnight.

    5-15-09. “Met $500 Offer Criteria”

    Qualifying trades made on 1-14-09.

  87. Vincent says:

    My $500 have been posted overnight too. (5-16-2009)

    Can I withdraw all the money now and close the account? Or I have to more trade?

  88. $500 bonus showed up in my account also, rock on!!!

  89. Baughman says:

    I’m a grand richer b/c of you. Thanks. My wife and I both qualified and the money was deposited overnight.

  90. The CSR was right… it might take a little longer, but my $500 was posted when I checked this morning.

    Jonathan, you rock, you just made me an extra $500!

  91. mine was credited today and i signed up on the tail end. Not a bad return! Hopefully they get a few long term customers from this. Good on them for following through despite the initial confusion.

  92. Got the $500 as well. Good job for OX doing the right thing in the end.

    How’s everyone portfolio doing? ;) I just bought PVI, which has basically gone nowhere and has barely made up the $14.95 commission, but that was the point.

  93. Remember, average balance of $500 must be maintained for 6 months. Which is basically until the end of this month for most of us, I think.

  94. So if I withdrawn all my cash now, including my $500 bonus, and my average drops for the rest of the month, will they take away my $500?

  95. Morgosax says:

    I decided to be a little risky with my money, since I was making the $500 anyway. I bought some shares of Altria (MO). My investment is currently up over 10%, and I am getting nice dividend payments. Thank you, Jonathan.

  96. Derrick says:

    I made my trade on 5/11, no bonus. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but I should be ok since it was within the 6 months.

  97. Didn’t believe this offer at all when I first signed up. Glad I did. Thanks for letting us know about this!!!
    AJ

  98. I got my $500 in my OX account. Thanks jonathan for posting this. MyMoneyBlog is a fantastic site. Keep up this great work !!

  99. I got my $500 as well! Woohoo! This was fantastic.

    Now, the big question… should I pull the money out and close the account or should I keep it in? Do you see a reason to stick with oXp?

  100. I am Indonesian. I opened account through email advert under international promo (not C3 like American). Status until now is non paying. Complain to CS and received email as not meeting all requirement. (Even everything is completed). But within the email, they promises to review back. Hopefully, not BS promises. But for now, international customer beware.

    FYI: Firstly inject US$6xx Secondy inject US$7xxx. Overall balance includes profit US$82xx. Trade 10x (5 times round trip). Trading style STO OTM Put.

  101. I got the $500 bonus sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. I put in for a full withdrawal immediately on Saturday. It just posted to my bank account today. So, there is no need to wait until the end of the month.

  102. How’s everyone portfolio doing? ;) I just bought PVI, which has basically gone nowhere and has barely made up the $14.95 commission, but that was the point.

    Having no clue I took your advise and went for BSV. It went nowhere ($80.29 to $79.11), so I’ll be eating the $15 plus a little change. Still, for $500 it’s not bad.

  103. Even with dividends? Also interest is free from state income tax with BSV.

    PVI had more default risk than BSV. Not sure about interest rate risk.

  104. Customer service is pretty bad. Still haven’t gotten the $500 and the only feedback I’m getting is that they have a ton of accounts to verify before handing out the $500. I’m out $15 from the commission so I’ll stick to Wells Fargo PMA package.

  105. I haven’t gotten my feet wet with options trading and I’m not going to do this with optionsXpress but I would like to get to know how I could do this type of trading.

    Do you recommend any readings? Books, internet articles, blogs, etc.

    I think I’ve gotten some basic understanding but I don’t know if I know all fundamentals yet and I don’t know what I would need to know in terms of strategies before I could venture into options.

    Any help is truly appreciated.

  106. I would like to update my status. Optionsxpress DID pay $500 on May 23,2009 after complaining to CS. Their excuse is that I have got exemption. Up to now, I made 13 trades & joined happy customer.

    The strong point of this broker is execution. I always have better deals compare to limits I place to open or close contracts. This is why their commission is a bit high. My decision is to keep trading with them.

    Thank you Jonathan for great blog. Keep up good work. You made me $500 richer.

    To Ryan,
    You log in opex & find education tab. Everything is there.

  107. I’d like to update my status to reflect the fact that OptionsXpress deposited $500 over the weekend. Daily complaints helped!

  108. @Agus: thank you. I got that but I thought there might be more literature on this topic and not only tutorials from opex. Anyway it’s a good start.

  109. Did anybody close their accounts after receiving the bonus?

    Thanks

  110. I still haven’t gotten mine yet and it’s June 12 – Daily complaints help?

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  1. uglychart.com: a blog about stocks » Blog Archive » Another must read blog: My Money Blog says:

    [...] few feeds. One of them is mymoneyblog. This blog has made me a steady amount of money. Recently, from reading the blog, I opened an optionsxpress account (I funded it with only $1000) and will be credited $500 in six [...]

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