TD Ameritrade iPod Bonus – More Details

I’ve been too trained to read the fine print on all these offers, and I missed the big bold print on this TD Ameritrade iPod Offer (expired) I mentioned yesterday that reads “Open an additional TD AMERITRADE account and receive a FREE Apple? iPod? nano!” So this one will actually work for existing account holder like myself.

You must open with $10,000 and keep it in there for 9 months to get the iPod. Thanks to some research by reader Brandon, one low-risk option is to buy a 9-month CD from Ameritrade paying 5.10% APY. Currently, top 9-month CD yields are at ~5.60%. The 2gb iPod Nano has a retail value of $199. I’d estimate the resale value at about $150 since you will get it in 8 weeks. Overall, this deal has the potential to make the equivalent of about 7% APY on the $10,000, or at least $100 more than putting it in another CD. Not bad if already have $10k you won’t need for 9 months.


  1. Additional follow up: Since I also had noticed the emphasis on opening an “additional new account” I emailed TD last night to inquire on their specials and also ask about their Ipod promotion in particular and asked if it was available to individuals who do not currently hold TD accounts.

    When one starts the account creation process online it looks no different (at least as far into the screen as I went before having to enter personal information) when you enter through the Ipod link as opposed to simply starting from the general website account creation link. It is still possible that there is a promo code deeper in the screens (if anybody has opened an account under this promo perhaps they could confirm if a code appears). In the alternative, since it was sent to existing account holders, they could simply be comparing their new accounts during the promo period to curent customers that they sent the email to, which would mean the majority of us are SOL.

  2. Here is the text of my chat this A.M. with TD customer service:

    Please wait for a site operator to respond.

    You are now chatting with ‘Jason’

    Jason: Hello. How may I assist you?

    Brandon: A friend told me about the new account ipod promotion. Is this also available for individuals who do not currently hold an acound with TD who open one with the 10k required?

    Jason: This is a new promotion, let me check the details for you.

    Brandon: ok

    Brandon: while the mentions “opening an additional account” the fine print at the bottom does not mention anything about being an existing account holder. If you need the URL let me know.

    Jason: You can be new to TD AMERITRADE or opening a new account as an existing account holder using promotional code 931

    Brandon: So I as a new account holder would also use 931 correct?

    Jason: Yes, this will code your account for the IPOD.

    Jason: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

    Brandon: Ok, now I was talking with a cust service rep yesterday who mentioned the Total Asset Plan (I think that is what it was called) that could be created at the same time as an account is opened. Is this something that I can do online or do I need human intervention on that one. Also what are the requirements for TAP and what exactly is it? It seemed to me (since I live in Wisconsin) that this was a way for me to earn market rate interest on cash holdings that would be swept into this account.

    Jason: Yes, the Total Asset Plan is a money market fund. This is added to an existing account by completing a TAP application.

    Brandon: So would I open the account and then call to open that or could I add that online?

    Jason: The new account application has a link to the TAP form at the end. However, this form must be filled out and mailed or faxed separately for the account application itself.

  3. This hopefull will be my final post on this matter, but I also received a response to me email sent to TD last night asking about the current promotions being offered to individuals opening their first account at TD and in particular if the rumors of an Ipod offer were true. Here is the response which confirms my online chat with TD this morning:

    Our current iPod offer for new accounts works as follows:

    Receive an Apple iPod Nano 2 GB when you open and fund a new account with
    $10,000 or more within 30 days.

    If you would like this offer, please use offer code 931 when you reach the
    promotion page during the online application.

    *Please note*
    Offer valid for new Individual, Joint and custodial TD AMERITRADE accounts
    opened by 9/30/06 and funded with $10,000 or more within 30 days of account
    opening or for pre-selected accounts that respond online to the offer and
    complete a qualifying of $10,000 or more by 9/30/06. New account must be a
    different type or be titled differently from your current TD AMERITRADE
    accounts. Offer not transferable and not valid for IRA?s, 529 plans and other
    tax-exempt accounts, internal transfers or with other offers. Offer not valid
    for TD AMERITRADE Investing accounts using the Amerivest service. Offer not
    valid for accounts managed by independent investment advisors and maintained by
    TD AMERITRADE Institutional. Product will be shipped to address on account at
    the time of qualification. Only valid U.S. mailing addresses are accepted.
    Clients are not allowed to select the color of iPod nano they receive. Limit
    one offer per account. Account must remain open with minimum funding for 9
    months, or TD AMERITRADE may charge the account for the cost of the Apple iPod
    nano 2 GB. Allow 8 weeks for delivery.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to contact TD AMERITRADE via
    email or at 800-669-3900.

    Thank you,

    Michael C.
    Promotion Fulfillment, TD AMERITRADE
    Division of TD AMERITRADE, Inc.

  4. Hi,

    Could you post a link to Brandon’s research or explain about how to buy a CD from Ameritrade? I’ve been with them for years and didn’t realize they offered CDs.


  5. just want to get your review on the td ameritrade website. how is the site for trading. online reviews says the website sucks. whats your opinion. i have a etrade account, which requires 30 trades a quater.

  6. Here’s the log of my own chat:

    Chat InformationPlease wait for a site operator to respond.
    Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Becky’

    Becky: Hello. How may I assist you?

    Jonathan: Hello, I was wondering what kind of cash management options you have with your Cash brokerage account.
    Jonathan: Do you offer checkwriting?

    Becky: Yes, if you have an account balance over $5,000 check writing is available.

    Jonathan: For the core account, what money market options are there?

    Becky: With TAP, balances over $2000 earn daily income because it is kept in your money market account at The Reserve. You may view the different funds at TAP also adds convenience, and increases the cash management alternatives by providing such features as unlimited checking and a Visa Check Card.

    Jonathan: so if I have over $2,000, I can sign up for TAP and get checkwriting and a Check Card?
    Jonathan: Do you offer certificates of deposit?

    Becky: In order to add the TAP plan to a non-IRA account $5,000 is required initially and a cash balance of $2,000 is required in order to earn the money market interest.
    Becky: Also, you are able to purchase CD’s in TD AMERITRADE accounts.

    Jonathan: Can I purchase them online or only by phone?

    Becky: You would have to purchase them by phone.

    Jonathan: Great, how do I find out the current rates?

    Becky: You may call one of our Investment Centers for the rates. Where do you live?

    Becky: You may call 800-482-2663 for CD assistance.

    Jonathan: So they vary by region?

    Becky: Correct.

    Jonathan: Thank you, I think those were my main questions today.

    Becky: Thank you for choosing TD AMERITRADE. Have a great day!

  7. Called the number – my regional rates (Pacific Northwest), which they say can vary daily and are FDIC insured are…

    3mo – 4.90% APY
    6mo – 5.00%
    9mo – 5.10%
    12mo – 5.15%

    Seems almost identical to what Brandon said, not sure of his region, but I doubt the rates differ by all that much across the country.

  8. I like the online interface. It’s pretty simple and it works for me, but I am not an active trader.

  9. I’ll throw in the log from my chat with a TDAmeritrade rep. as well.

    L: Hi. I had a question about the new account iPod promotional
    Patrick: Ok.
    L: I have an existing Individual and IRA account. The offer says that a new account must be of different type or titled differently. Can you explain this please?
    Patrick: This can not be an IRA account.
    Patrick: You can open any new non IRA account.
    Patrick: Did you get an email or letter?
    L: Would my only option be to open a Joint or Custodial account, or, if I opened a new Individual account, how would it need to differ from my existing Individual account?
    L: I found the offer on the web
    Patrick: Ok.
    Patrick: You can open a new individual account and fund it with new funds.
    Patrick: It can not be an IRA though.
    L: Ok. And “new funds” means I cannot transfer in the $10K from a cash balance in a different account?
    Patrick: A different account, means the account can not be with TD Ameritrade already.
    L: Right. Thanks for the clarification.
    Patrick: No problem.

  10. I got the same rates CD rates (for 9 and 12 mo.) when I called. I have been with Ameritrade (TD Ameritrade recently) for several years and had no idea they offered CDs, until I read about this offer in FW. I dont think they can be purchased online (didnt find any link). Indeed, when I searched on ther site for “certificate of deposit”, didnt find any useful info. about purchasing CDs. So that says something about their site. Their interface is adequate for me though, since I am not an active trader and I would nominally not purchase CDs from them (other than to use this special promotion). I would be careful to check if there is a fee involved for purchasing CDs over the phone.

  11. Does it hurt credit to open brokerage accounts?

  12. Where did you find out that the full 10,000 must remain in the account for 9 mo? All I saw in the fine print was “Account must remain open with minimum funding for 9 months”. Is there somewhere that says minimum funding is $10,000? BTW – Thanks for all the great tips and info!

  13. When I posed the question as to any fees associated with the CD’s they stated that there are none. They did disclose, however, that the banks do pay them a comission on the CD’s, which certainly is reflected in the CD yield.

  14. So I finally opened the account today and it went smoothly. It notes on a number of pages that this is the IPOD promotion and also that the funding requirement is 10k. I also had another chat with them and here is the text:

    You are now chatting with ‘Rachael’
    Rachael: Hello. How may I assist you?

    Brandon: I have a question re. offer 931 for the Ipod. Is this limited to one per address? Or can my wife and I each open separate accounts and fund each with 10,000 and qualify.

    Rachael: The promotion is available for one per new client if the accounts are not titled the same. It is not limited by address.

    Brandon: Great. The fine print also says that initial funding is 10k, then states that the account must remain open with “minimum funding” for 9 months, but does not disclose what this level is. I assume that this would also be the 10k but it is not made clear.

    Rachael: That is correct. The minimum funding is $10,000.00. Your account value can drop below that amount due to market fluctuation; however, you cannot withdraw funds to bring it below that amount.

    Brandon: Final question, It states to allow 8 weeks for delivery. Is that 8 weeks from funding or from the end of the 9 month period?

    Rachael: That is 8 weeks from funding.

  15. I am so excited to get my free nano!! 🙂

  16. I received a promotion today that says: ” Deposit $10,000 or more into your _existing_
    TD AMERITRADE brokerage account by September 30, 2006 and receive a free Apple iPod? nano!”

    Fine print: “Account must remain open with minimum funding for 9 months, or TD AMERITRADE may charge the account for the cost of the Apple iPod nano 2 GB.”
    Is minimum funding the 10k? Or just the minimum requirements to keep the acct open?

  17. now that apple has released newly designed nanos, you think the resale value will still be about $150 in 8 weeks? just curious!

  18. Just got off the phone with them, opened a 9 month CD at 5.1%.

    Another interesting note – there’s no early withdrawl penalty fee. They do resell the CD for the remainder of the term at market price, so you may have to pay the difference on the spread in the difference in interest rates (if rates go up during that time). There’s actually the (slight) potential to make money if rates go down significantly and you decide to withdraw from your CD, according to the rep I spoke to.

    Another note – I opened this account to take advantage of another TD AMERITRADE offer for Starwood Starpoints (link here, a great program in my opinion if you travel and like to use frequesnt flyer miles and/or hotel points. I use the American Express Starwood card to rack up the points.

  19. I received my Ipod yesterday. It is the black 2 Gig Nano, which means that it is the old model (by about a month or two) with the lucite (or plastic) case, as compared to the newer aluminum cases which do not come in black except for the 8 Gig model.

    Thankfully the older version is still sold (and some people actually prefer it). I on the other hand for the slight price differential wanted to upgrade. As the nano is still factory sealed with bar codes etc. intact, I was able to go to a local retailer and explained to the manager that I received the IPOD in a promotion (had copy of letter that came with it so that he knew it wasn’t hot) but really wanted to buy a nicer one. As they still had some of these black 2 gig nano’s on the shelf labeled the same. He was willing to let me trade it in and pay the difference. I ended up purchasing the 80 Gig video Ipod. Perhaps overkill, but as my wife will be receiving her 2 Gig. soon, I figured that we now have the spectrum covered whether sport or travel.

  20. Brandon,

    Did they email you with a tracking number? I am wondering when mine will arrive. I am so anxious!

  21. Thanks so much for finding this – mine came today! It is the old version in black – but still free, just for moving some money around….

  22. Someone asked if a brokage account affects your credit rating. I have had an account with Ameritrade for about 10 years now. (As I looked at my credit report from all 3 reporting agencies this year and there was no mention of it. If it did show up, it should be treated much like a checking account and not have a big effect.

    I also got the promotion from them, but it was a little different. It was for a free nano when I deposted 10k in my existing account. I decided to withdraw 10k. The very next day I filled out the promotion to have the 10k deposited back into the account. This was sneaky and I did not think they would go for it, but I still got the black nano about 3 weeks later.

    That URL is at:
    It seems most of the details are missing so you may want to call them about it.


  23. I’ve been trading for 30 years. TDA is horrible. Their website is basically useless. Unexecuted limit day orders do not expire at the close – they rollover and show they’ll expire on the close of the next trading day. Try ‘changing’ a saved order – you CANNOT. Command Center 2.0 and Strategy Desk are absolutely worthless – dropped data, server problems, etc. TDA even cost me $30k in losses because they told me mutual funds transferred into an account would take 3 to 5 bus. days to ‘re-register’. After the market dropped dramatically in Sep. 2008, they back-peddled and said that the funds had been available for trading and that I should have called every day to check the status of the 6 incomng mutual funds. I sure miss my old TD Waterhouse accounts – now THAT was a great company.

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