Merrill Edge Brokerage: Up To $1,000 Bonus

Merrill Edge has an offer available that gives customers up to a $1,000 bonus for opening a Self-Directed account and transferring qualifying assets!

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

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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 $1,000 Bonus Offer

Currently, there’s a public offer for new Merill Edge Self-Directed account customers that will give up to a $1,000 bonus:

  • $100 cash bonus for transferring $20,000 in qualifying assets
  • $200 cash bonus for transferring at least $50,000 in qualifying assets
  • $400 cash bonus for transferring at least $100,000 in qualifying assets
  • $1,000 cash bonus for transferring at least $250,000 in qualifying assets

You must make the qualifying deposit to your new account within 45 days and maintain your balance for at least 24 weeks. You must also enroll in Preferred Rewards as of 90 days from meeting the funding criteria.

The standard Merrill Edge offer is between $100 to $600 while this offer is $100 to $1,000. It’s been quite a bit of time (like 2019) 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 some assets to each or put all assets into 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 24 weeks.

When Will I Get The Cash Bonus?

You’ll get the cash bonus will be deposited within 2 weeks following the 90-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 and existing individual Merrill IRAs or Cash Management Accounts (CMA). Cash bonus offers, in the aggregate, are limited to one CMA and one IRA per accountholder. Eligible Merrill IRAs are limited to Traditional, Roth, and owner-only SEP IRA. The Merrill IRA or CMA may be a Merrill Edge Self-Directed account, Merrill Edge Advisory Account, Merrill Guided Investing account or Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor account. You may be eligible for a different or better offer. Please contact us for more information.
  • Offer Limitation: This offer does not apply to business/corporate accounts, investment club accounts, partnership accounts and certain fiduciary accounts held with Merrill, UTMA/UGMA accounts, 529 Plan accounts, 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.

How It Works:

  • You must enroll by entering the offer code in the online application during account opening or by providing it when speaking with a Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor at 888.637.3343 or at select Bank of America® financial centers. You are solely responsible for enrolling or asking to be enrolled in the offer.
  • Fund your account with at least $20,000 in qualifying net new assets within 45 days of account opening. Assets transferred from other accounts at MLPF&S, Bank of America Private Bank, or 401(k) accounts administered by MLPF&S do not count towards qualifying net new assets.
  • You must be enrolled in Preferred Rewards as of 90 days from meeting the funding criteria described.
  • After 90 days from meeting the funding criteria described in Step 2, your cash reward will be determined by the qualifying net new assets in your account (irrespective of any losses or gains due to trading or market volatility).
  • 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), and subtracting assets withdrawn or transferred out of the account within the preceding 24 weeks.
  • Your one-time cash reward will be credited to your IRA or CMA within two weeks following the end of the 90-day period. If your account is enrolled in an investment advisory program, such as Merrill Edge Advisory Account, Merrill Guided Investing account or Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor account, any cash reward deposited into your account will be subject to the program fee and other terms of the investment advisory program.
  • Customers not enrolled in Preferred Rewards as of 90 days after funding will receive the following cash reward: qualifying net new assets of $20,000 to $49,999 receive $100; for $50,000-$99,999, receive $150; for $100,000-$249,999, receive $250; for $250,000 or more, receive $600.
  • Promotional Early Enrollment in Preferred Rewards: When you enroll in the Preferred Rewards $1000 More Cash Offer, you consent to early enrollment in the Preferred Rewards Program. Once you satisfy the funding requirement for the offer, you will be enrolled in Preferred Rewards within 45 days based on your current balances at that time rather than the usual requirement of three-month average combined balances. You also must have or open an eligible Bank of America personal checking Advantage Banking account to be enrolled in Preferred Rewards. All Preferred Rewards benefits available in the tier associated with your combined balance level will be active within 30 days of enrollment.
  • Preferred Rewards Program Eligibility. You can enroll, and maintain your membership, in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program if you have an active, eligible personal checking account with Bank of America® and maintain the balance required for one of the balance tiers. The balance tiers are $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for the Platinum tier, $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier, $1,000,000 for the Diamond tier and $10,000,000 for the Diamond Honors tier. Balances include your combined, qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts (such as checking, savings, certificate of deposit) and/or your Merrill investment accounts (such as Cash Management Accounts, 529 Plans). You can satisfy the combined balance requirement for enrollment with either:
    • a three-month combined average daily balance in your qualifying deposit and investment accounts, or
    • a current combined balance, provided that you enroll at the time you open your first eligible personal checking account and satisfy the balance requirement at the end of at least one day within 30 days of opening that account.


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 affair 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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