Posted by Chuck on December 15, 2016
Brokerage Bonuses merrill-edge-brokerage-bonus

Published on December 15th, 2016 | by Chuck


Merrill Edge Brokerage Bonus: Up To $1000 In Cash

The Offer

Direct Link

Open a new Merrill Edge account and transfer between $20,00 and $200,000 in assets to get the following bonus tiers:

  • Transfer $200,000 or more and get a $1,000 bonus (standard is $600)
  • Transfer $100,000 or more and get a $500 bonus (standard is $250)
  • Transfer $50,000 or more and get a $250 bonus (standard is $150)
  • Transfer $20,000 or more and get a $100 bonus (this is the standard)

You must use offer code: LVEXPO16


The Fine Print

  • Offer expires 12/31/16
  • Must use offer code: LVEXPO16
  • Account must be funded within 45 days
  • Must maintain your qualifying balance for at least 180 days
  • Cash bonus will reflect within one week after the 180-day qualifying period
  • Offer is limited to one per account type (CMA or IRA); two total per accountholder (or per all accountholders of a joint account)

Our Verdict

The standard Merrill Edge offer is to get between $100-$600; with this offer it’s $100-$1,000. As far as I can tell, it’s not targeted in any way, and should work for anyone. This offer has been around in the past as well.

There are lots of brokerage bonuses (though this one is from the best around, at least at the higher tiers), but another reason lots of us are interested in using Merrill Edge is due to their Preferred Rewards structure which can give you a regular 2.62% earnings on all spend using the Travel Rewards Credit card and other nice opportunities.

Note that the standard $600 bonus offer only requires holding the funds there for 90 days while this $1k offer requires 180 days. Obviously, no one is doing this bonus for the APY return so this detail probably won’t matter to most.

You can see more analysis of the Merrill Edge brokerage and their free trade offer here.

Please do you own research or ask your financial advisers before making such a move. It won’t be right for everyone, plus there are tax implications if not done properly.

Hat tip to reader Bill

31 Responses to Merrill Edge Brokerage Bonus: Up To $1000 In Cash

  1. Cole says:

    whats the fee’s like for account closing?

  2. Patrick says:

    Any credit pull here?

  3. vk says:

    Transfering 100k also gets you into BoA’s preferred honors platinum tier, which among other benefits gives you a 2.625% cashback on everything card and 100 free trades a month.

  4. Lrdx says:

    Note that you can use the offer twice: once for a taxable account and once for an IRA.

    “Offer is limited to one per account type (CMA or IRA); two total per accountholder”

  5. calwatch says:

    For buy and holders Merrill Edge is pretty good. The trading interface needs work but you get access to the Morningstar and Bank of America research reports on companies and sectors, which beat the deep discount brokers like Optionshouse and IB.

  6. rd says:

    Is ML ‘churnable’? I had opened an account with ML earlier this year and closed it more than 9 months ago. The old account still shows up as ‘closed’ when I log into ML.

    I don’t see any verbiage on “new customers”. I see something about “new accounts” but it’s possible to have multiple accounts with brokerages.

  7. Rob says:

    Anyone have any experience funding a new Merrill account in more than one transaction for a bonus? I’m considering pooling some smaller brokerage account balances together from different institutions, and I’m curious if Merrill would count the balance at the end of 45 days for determining the bonus amount. The different accounts would likely all transfer-in at different days and I’d hate for Merrill to only consider the first transaction for calculating the bonus.

    I’ve been reading up on the Preferred Rewards structure and this bonus seems to be good push to join the BoA/Merrill ecosystem. Since it takes three months to get any status, hopefully another Cash Rewards promo and/or personal checking bonus pops up so I’m ready to take full advantage!

    • Chuck says:

      I’ve been looking into this too, and spoke to an advisor about it. He first thought that it had to be in one shot, but then he asked around and told me anything within 30 days is fine. I think he got the 30-days part wrong since it’s actually 45 days, but, anyway, he indicated that all transfers within the eligible timeframe count.

      • Rob says:

        I opened an account to try, and also asked the rep who was assigned my account the same thing. He confirmed that Merrill would look at the total balance of any transfers (priced on the day they hit the Merrill Edge account) to determine the bonus amount.

        I’ll update in six months if the bonus was calculated correctly.

  8. ss says:

    This clause “Must maintain your qualifying balance for at least 180 days” kills the deal…at least the APY

  9. Any reports of Preferred Rewards clients getting easier credit approvals for the ML card or other BofA cards? I am hitting a wall with BofA, maybe last time was because did not wait 90 days after AS/AS Biz to try for ML and OZ but several calls after denials all got the same “too many accounts with us.” I have 11 accounts I don’t want to close and 2 more are Travel Rewards from old conversions that I might close one and move one to Cash Rewards if I do the brokerage.

  10. simon says:

    Does anyone know if the offer will still be honored post-12/31/2016? The offer page indicates that expiration date, but the landing page from clicking the link does not have those terms. However, if you try putting LVEXPO16 into an application from a different link, it indicates the offer is expired.

  11. joE says:

    Can anyone shed some light as to how often they see these increased public offers?

  12. Rob says:

    Just received my bonus yesterday, Merrill took every bit of the 180 day + 1 week holding period.

    Answering my question above – my bonus amount was calculated correctly using various transactions from different brokerages. Still happy with the move and the Preferred Rewards program overall. Never thought I’d willingly come back to, and stay with, the Bank of America banking family but so far so good.

    Thanks Chuck/Will on all the excellent info!

  13. Chris S says:

    I had a much different experience than Rob. I transferred in 100K of stock, which matured to 166K. I sold it and withdrew 66K to leave a solid $100K in the account. My promotion was the ME600 so I should have received $250 after 90 days. In 91ish days I only got $100. I emailed my customer specialist (more on that in a minute) and after talking to the internal group, the reason was that the algorithm calculated $100K in and $66K out, leaving $34K even though I had a $100K balance.

    Well this was the final insult to injury of a long litany of issues with Merrill Edge. In the first place transferring my stocks was a multi-week process of talking to so many agents and issues (I can’t recount all the issues but a fundamental issue was that my ME account was a joint-account and the account I was transferring from was an individual account). It was so bad that I got my own personal customer support person to deal with me and cut through all the red tape and misinformation from the front line agents.

    Over the course of the 3 months there was virtually nothing I could do on my own using the online banking system. I needed to contact my specialist to do even the most minor things. For example, adding an external account (wouldn’t work!). Even transferring the 66K wouldn’t work because it was over some arbitrary transfer limit of 20K (which the phone agent had at one point told me was 100K limit).

    Finally, going back to the bonus I was assured multiple times on the phone before the 90 days were up that I would get the $250 bonus. Nobody told me otherwise. The customer experience was the worst (bar none) of the dozens of banks/credit cards/mortgages/loans/etc. I have signed up for in the last 15 years.

  14. Gwen Trieu says:

    My experience with Merrill Edge has been very impressive so far. I was a customer of Fidelity for the last 10 years. I thought Fidelity was the best not until I switched to Merrill Edge. I can’t be happier. Merrill Edge has done a great job!

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