Smart Buying

Best Ways to Get Free Trades at Online Brokers

Learn the ins and outs of trading commission-free.

Full-service broker. Merrill Edge customers who enroll in Preferred Rewards (from Merrill’s parent, Bank of America) can qualify for up to 30 free stock trades a month. There’s a catch: You’ll need to maintain at least $50,000 in combined monthly balances at Merrill and BofA. Stashing at least $100,000 with the firm gets you up to 100 free trades a month. Either way, customers also qualify for perks such as cash-back bonuses on credit cards and lower rates on car loans and mortgages.

Getty Images

Discount broker. Robinhood, an online-only brokerage launched in 2015, offers commission-free stock trading on its mobile app (available for Apple and Android devices). There’s no minimum deposit to open an account, and placing a trade takes just a few taps and a swipe on your device. The drawbacks: You can trade only stocks and exchange-traded funds through the app, and you won’t get any research or tools. For accounts with less than $25,000, Robinhood also limits day trading—buying and selling the same stock in the same day.

Limited-time offers. Fidelity and Schwab provide free trades for up to two years as a bonus for opening a new account. Fidelity dishes out 300 commission-free trades if you deposit between $50,000 and $99,999, and up to 500 free trades if you stash $100,000 or more. At Schwab you get up to 500 free trades with a deposit of $100,000 or more. Both firms earned high scores in Kiplinger’s 2017 survey of online brokers (see We Pick the Best Online Brokers).

Most Popular

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of
careers

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of

It’s tough to change, but your job could depend on it. Be flexible in your career goals – and talk with your kids about their own aspirations, because…
September 13, 2021
5 Top Dividend Aristocrats to Beef Up Your Portfolio
dividend stocks

5 Top Dividend Aristocrats to Beef Up Your Portfolio

The 65-member Dividend Aristocrats are among the market's best sources of reliable, predictable income. But these five stand out as truly elite.
September 14, 2021
7 Best Commodity Stocks to Play the Coming Boom
commodities

7 Best Commodity Stocks to Play the Coming Boom

These seven commodity stocks are poised to take advantage of a unique confluence of events. Just mind the volatility.
September 8, 2021

Recommended

11 Best Things to Keep in a Safe Deposit Box
savings

11 Best Things to Keep in a Safe Deposit Box

These valuables and documents, along with some items you hold dear, should be stored securely at your bank.
September 25, 2021
9 Things You’ll Regret Keeping in a Safe Deposit Box
savings

9 Things You’ll Regret Keeping in a Safe Deposit Box

Locking up certain important documents and valuables in a bank vault could turn into a headache for you or your heirs.
September 24, 2021
ETFs and Mutual Funds with Todd Rosenbluth
Index Funds

ETFs and Mutual Funds with Todd Rosenbluth

Which is better: ETFs or mutual funds? And how do you decide where to put your investments? CFRA fund expert Todd Rosenbluth has some answers. Also, h…
September 22, 2021
Retirees, Transform Your House Using Smart Home Technology
home

Retirees, Transform Your House Using Smart Home Technology

Going high-tech allows you to control your lights, locks and many appliances with voice activation and can help you age in place. Here's what to consi…
September 22, 2021