E-Trade Brokerage Transfer Bonus Promotion: Up to $4,000, Both New and Existing Customers

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If you are not an active trader, you may find that most brokerage firms are now very similar. They nearly all have free stock trades, mobile trading app, and a paid robo-advisor option. Just have a basket of ETFs and some individual stocks? If you aren’t in love with your current broker, you can often get a cash bonus for switching teams and/or moving in additional assets, based on the size of assets that you move over. Most brokers work within the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS) to transfer of your securities, including tax cost basis history.

E-Trade is offering an limited-time brokerage transfer bonus of up to $4,000 for transferring in new assets. Hat tip to Doctor of Credit. These are currently better than their refer-a-friend transfer bonuses. Note that they have a different chart for new and existing customers.

New E-Trade customers (taxable, IRAs, and Individual 401ks are eligible)

  • $100 bonus with $5,000 to $19,999 in new assets
  • $150 bonus with $20,000 to $24,999 in new assets
  • $200 bonus with $25,000 to $99,999 in new assets
  • $500 bonus with $100,000 to $199,999 in new assets
  • $1,000 bonus with $200,000 to $499,999 in new assets
  • $1,800 bonus with $500,000 to $999,999 in new assets
  • $3,500 bonus with $1,000,000+ in new assets

Existing E-Trade customers (taxable, IRAs, and Individual 401ks are eligible)

  • $75 bonus with $5,000 to $24,999 in new assets
  • $100 bonus with $25,000 to $99,999 in new assets
  • $300 bonus with $100,000 to $199,999 in new assets
  • $600 bonus with $200,000 to $499,999 in new assets
  • $1,200 bonus with $500,000 to $999,999 in new assets
  • $3,000 bonus with $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 in new assets
  • $4,000 bonus with $2,000,000+ in new assets

Transfer Tips

  • Many brokers will charge an “Outgoing ACAT fee” of $50 to $100 when you leave them. I recommend contacting your destination broker and asking them to reimburse you for this fee, on top of any bonuses. If you qualify for one of these bonuses, your account is probably big enough for them to consider it. The worst they can say is no. You may have to send them a statement showing the fee.
  • Before moving, I would download all your old statements and tax cost basis information to make sure it transfers over correctly.
  • An ACAT transfer can take a week or so to complete, so you won’t be able to make any sell transactions during that time.
  • Consider performing a “partial” ACAT transfer where you only move over specifically designated shares (ex. only all 455 shares of BRKB) if you wish to keep some of your original brokerage account open. I would personally transfer over all shares of any specific ticker, so that the tax cost basis carries over neatly.
  • Compare bonuses across different brokers. Look carefully at the tiers, there may be a sweet spot where the percentages are better.
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Comments

  1. Aww rats, I just transferred my accounts very recently to a brokerage, and didn’t have nearly the same level of these sweet bonuses to consider! Any idea how often these promos come up, and if anyone chases these bonuses for their IRAs, etc?

    • Fairly often. I just got another $1k bonus from Merrill Edge promo by transferring Roth IRA from Vanguard, slightly different requirements but essentially the same $200k over six months, get $1k bonus. Off to eTrade now! DoC comments mention that Schwab typically matches eTrade offers so that’s where I’ll be opening my next IRA in February 😉

  2. Dan Weber says

    If transferring assets, it looks like the assets need to stay in the E-Trade account for a minimum of six months, otherwise I am guessing they will claw back the cash bonus. I wonder if opening a new E-Trade account would result in a soft or hard credit check.

  3. Jason Boxman says

    What happens to cash dividends (not reinvested) during the transfer period?

    Thanks!

  4. Jason Boxman says

    So I just realized, this is for a single account? Ideally the total value of all assets moved would be considered, but it doesn’t seem to be worded that way, so I’m guessing not. For example, moving a ROTH and a brokerage account is two accounts, but that combined value probably does not count towards the bonus?

    Thanks.

    • I’m not sure, but it doesn’t hurt to call them up and ask. Even if it doesn’t qualify by the letter of the fine print, they may still let it qualify manually. They are fighting for your business.

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