Merrill Edge Brokerage: Up To $750 Bonus

Merrill Edge has an offer available that gives customers up to a $750 bonus for opening a Self-Directed account! From time to time, Merrill may boost the bonus all the way up to $1,000!

For more current bank offers, see our bank bonuses page. The most popular offers are from Chase BankSoFi, U.S. Bank, and Axos Bank.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase through my links. Visit this page for more information. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

Merrill Edge Self-Directed Brokerage Overview

Merrill Edge is an online stock trading platform by Merrill. It’s a self-directed brokerage account that offers unlimited free online stock, ETFs, and option trades with no minimum trade or balance requirements.

Previously, the company was called Merrill Lynch. Bank of America acquired the company in 2009 and renamed it just Merrill.

Merrill Edge $750 Bonus Offer

Currently, there’s a public offer for new Merill Edge Self-Directed account customers that will give up to a $600 bonus:

  • $50 cash bonus for transferring $5,000 in qualifying assets
  • $125 cash bonus for transferring at least $20,000 in qualifying assets
  • $200 cash bonus for transferring at least $50,000 in qualifying assets
  • $350 cash bonus for transferring at least $100,000 in qualifying assets
  • $750 cash bonus for transferring $200,000 or more in qualifying assets

The standard Merrill Edge offer is between $100 to $600 while this offer is $50 to $750. It’s been a really long time (like 2016) since we’ve this kind of cash bonus for opening up the Merill Edge Self-Directed account.

One good thing to be aware of is “qualifying assets” doesn’t have to be just stocks. Cash transfers also count towards the total.

Merrill Edge up to $1,000 bonus
(Image from Bank of America)

Who Qualifies For The Bonus Offer?

The offer is valid for customers who open up a new individual:

  • Merrill Cash Management Account OR
  • Merill IRA (IRAs limited to Rollover, Traditional, Roth and Sole-Proprietor SEP only)

You can open up both if you want, but the bonus is capped at $1,000.

It doesn’t matter if you open both accounts and transfer $100,000 to each or put all $200,000 in a single account.

How Long Do I Have Keep The Qualifying Assets In My Merrill Edge Account?

You must leave the qualifying assets in the account for at least 180 days.

When Will I Get The Cash Bonus?

You’ll get the cash bonus will be deposited within 2 weeks following the 180 day period.

What Makes This Offer Special

There are a lot of brokerage bonuses out there, but what makes this offer extra special is the way it ties into your Bank of America accounts.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards more benefits splash image
(Image from Bank of America)

Bank of America offers a free-to-join program called the Preferred Rewards Program.

The idea is that you get rewarded for having money in a Bank of America (BofA) account or Merrill Edge (ME) investment account. There are three levels of status you can achieve based on your total average balance across all accounts; Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors:

Status LevelAverage Combined Balance
Gold$20,000 to $49,999
Platinum$50,000 to $99,999
Platinum Honors$100,000+

As you reach each status level, you’ll receive better benefits like:

  • Discount on Merrill Guided Investing
  • Increased interest rate on your savings account
  • No-fee ATM withdrawals
  • Reduction on mortgage origination fee
  • Lower interest rates on auto loans
  • Increase on credit card rewards
Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program benefits at each status level
(Image from Bank of America)

The last benefit is particularly interesting because if for example you reached Platinum Honors status, you’ll get a 75% bonus on all your eligible Bank of America credit cards.

On a card like the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, you’re going to earn an effective cash back rate of 2.625%!


The best cash back credit cards out there earn 2% at the most – getting a 2.625% cash back rate is fantastic!

Terms & Conditions

  • Offer valid for new individual Merrill IRAs or Cash Management Accounts (CMAs).
  • Offer is limited to one CMA and one IRA, with no more than two enrolled accounts per accountholder.
    • Eligible Merrill Edge IRAs limited to Rollover, Traditional, Roth and Sole-Proprietor SEP only. The Merrill IRA or CMA may be a Merrill Edge Self-Directed account, Merrill Edge Advisory Account or Merrill Guided Investing account.
  • This offer does not apply to business/corporate accounts, investment club accounts, partnership accounts and certain fiduciary accounts held with Merrill, or to any types of accounts (including IRAs or CMAs) held with other business units of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S).
  • Merrill reserves the right to change or cancel this offer at any time, without notice. This offer may not be used as an inducement to sell any kind of insurance, including annuities.
  • You must have the qualifying balance 180 days after funding.
  • Must fund your account within 45 days with funds originating outside Bank of America and MLPF&S. Funds cannot originate from 401(k) accounts administered by MLPF&S.
  • For purposes of this offer, qualifying net new assets are calculated by adding total incoming assets or transfers (including cash, securities and/or margin debit balance transfers) from external accounts, and subtracting assets withdrawn or transferred out of the account within the preceding 52 weeks.
  • Your one-time cash reward will be deposited into your IRA or CMA within two weeks following the end of the 180 day period. If your account is enrolled in an investment advisory program, such as Merrill Edge Advisory Account, Merrill Guided Investing or Merrill Guided Investing with an Advisor, any cash reward deposited into your account will be subject to the program fee and other terms of the investment advisory program.
  • The value of this reward you receive may constitute taxable income. In addition, Merrill may issue an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 (or other appropriate form) to you that reflects the value of this reward. Please consult your tax advisor, as Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates and associates do not provide tax advice.


The Bottom Line

I would rank this Merrill Edge $1,000 bonus offer as one of the best brokerage bonuses publicly available.

The maximum bonus amount of $1,000 is a great deal, but when you pair that with Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program, it makes it an incredible one.

Personally, I like to manage all my investment accounts under one roof, but I always take advantage of offers like this. It’s what I do for bank bonuses.

I play the promiscuous guy who will open an account if you pay me enough, but I go back to my main love when the game is finished 😏

About John Pham

John Pham is a personal finance expert, serial entrepreneur, and founder of The Money Ninja. He has also been fortunate enough to have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report. John has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of New Hampshire.

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