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Hi Guys. I am thinking of transferring my retirement and investments from Fidelity to Merrill Edge so I can take advantage of Bank of America's Preferred  Rewards. Does Merrill have a wide variety of options for investing? Is there anything they don't have? I want to put a large chunk in to a no load index fund, does Merrill have this? Do they have bond funds?

I hesitate to call Bank of America or Merrill as I am sure they will sell this program as the best thing since sliced bread. I would love to hear from you guys. Thanks!

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Matrim33 said:   Hi Guys. I am thinking of transferring my retirement and investments from Fidelity to Merrill Edge so I can take advantage of Bank of America's Preferred  Rewards. Does Merrill have a wide variety of options for investing? Is there anything they don't have? I want to put a large chunk in to a no load index fund, does Merrill have this? Do they have bond funds?

I hesitate to call Bank of America or Merrill as I am sure they will sell this program as the best thing since sliced bread. I would love to hear from you guys. Thanks!

  There are many ETFs for index investing (stocks and bonds) and these can be bought/sold at almost any brokerage (incl. ML)

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Matrim33 said:   Hi Guys. I am thinking of transferring my retirement and investments from Fidelity to Merrill Edge so I can take advantage of Bank of America's Preferred  Rewards. Does Merrill have a wide variety of options for investing? Is there anything they don't have? I want to put a large chunk in to a no load index fund, does Merrill have this? Do they have bond funds?

I hesitate to call Bank of America or Merrill as I am sure they will sell this program as the best thing since sliced bread. I would love to hear from you guys. Thanks!

  
i have it ... 

As far as investment choices - it should be comparable to Fidelity - basically you can buy any stock/mutual fund etc.  I doubt there is anything that you can't buy.  As matter of fact - simply transfer your existing position from Fidelity to the new account - they get electronically transferred - i think takes a week.  Your cost basis also gets transferred (although this can take bit more than a week).

They wont actually "sell" you anything - as it is sort of like do it yourself brokerage account.

Some nice things:
  - they often have promo for new accounts that can be around $300 or so.  If you have 2 accounts (non-retirement and retirement) - you basically can double the bonus
  - if your total balance is over $100K - you get to highest tier, and you get something like 20 to 30 free equity trades per month (more than enough for most people).  So basically you can trade stock or ETFs for free.   
  - if you get the BOA travel reward card, at highest tier (overall $100K balance) - your cashback is 2.6% for every dollar you charge.  You redeem the reward by getting credit against any travel items (air line tickets, car rental etc)

 

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prozario said:   
Matrim33 said:   Hi Guys. I am thinking of transferring my retirement and investments from Fidelity to Merrill Edge so I can take advantage of Bank of America's Preferred  Rewards. Does Merrill have a wide variety of options for investing? Is there anything they don't have? I want to put a large chunk in to a no load index fund, does Merrill have this? Do they have bond funds?

I hesitate to call Bank of America or Merrill as I am sure they will sell this program as the best thing since sliced bread. I would love to hear from you guys. Thanks!

  - if you get the BOA travel reward card, at highest tier (overall $100K balance) - your cashback is 2.6% for every dollar you charge.  You redeem the reward by getting credit against any travel items (air line tickets, car rental etc)

 

  
is the 2.6% only on that product? If so best sign up bonus ?

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$200 (20,000 points) sign up bonus is the best offered.

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I'm puzzled. You're considering moving all your retirement and investments to ML without even being clear on what their investment offerings are?

I've been with Fidelity 20 years. I have a lot of money at Fidelity. I cannot imagine moving those investments to BoA for a few hundred dollars in bonuses.

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needhelpplease said:   
prozario said:   
Matrim33 said:   Hi Guys. I am thinking of transferring my retirement and investments from Fidelity to Merrill Edge so I can take advantage of Bank of America's Preferred  Rewards. Does Merrill have a wide variety of options for investing? Is there anything they don't have? I want to put a large chunk in to a no load index fund, does Merrill have this? Do they have bond funds?

I hesitate to call Bank of America or Merrill as I am sure they will sell this program as the best thing since sliced bread. I would love to hear from you guys. Thanks!

  - if you get the BOA travel reward card, at highest tier (overall $100K balance) - your cashback is 2.6% for every dollar you charge.  You redeem the reward by getting credit against any travel items (air line tickets, car rental etc)

 

  
is the 2.6% only on that product? If so best sign up bonus ?

  
Yes only on that product .. there are few cards that are eligible for this extra cashback - i think the exact value is 2.625% (1.5% for regular people .. X 1.75 for the top tier bounus).   travel cashback for every $1 you spent.  Basically flat rate cashback card.  $200 signup bonus for travel reward card.  

They have another cashback card that has bit better value in certain category ... 2% x 1.75  for grocery, and 3% * 1.75 for gas.   This one has $100 signup bonus.  Note this is a cashback card (vs. other one, you redeem travel expense as credit0

 

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They have a large selection of No-Load No Transaction Fee mutual funds.
Here is a list from 2011. I couldn't find a current list: http://www.merrilledge.com/Publish/Content/application/pdf/GWMOL...

The list of NL/NTF funds is NOT the same as the list on Fidelity. I had transferred some Fidelity funds that were NL/NTF at Fidelity but had a TF to trade at Merrill. This makes sense - they were Fidelity finds...

Assuming you're at preferred rewards, you'll get a good chunk of free equity trades. So you can always do ETFs for free (e.g. VTV, VTB).

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UncaMikey said:   I'm puzzled. You're considering moving all your retirement and investments to ML without even being clear on what their investment offerings are?

I've been with Fidelity 20 years. I have a lot of money at Fidelity. I cannot imagine moving those investments to BoA for a few hundred dollars in bonuses.

Every time I get a new employer, I have to switch brokerages, because my employers all have designated brokers for FINRA compliance (I work in finance). I've gotten used to this and it's not that much hassle.  (They can do in-kind transfers, although sometimes it takes a few weeks for everything to go through).

 Critically, Merrill only requires $100K in investments to get this credit card.  They do not require $500K, your entire portfolio, or your soul (that is only if you work for them in investment banking/ M&A advisory).  You also get free cash equity trades.

Remember, this is a 2.625% discount on life.  And it costs half a day.

 

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There's currently an UP TO $600 offer for a new Merrill Edge Account (offer code ME600):
https://www.merrilledge.com/cmaoffer 

The following are the bonus tiers:

Qualifying Assets (initial investment) Cash Reward
$20,000 $100
$50,000 $150
$100,000 $250
$200,000 $600

Qualifications:

  • Make a qualifying deposit to your new account within 45 days.
  • Maintain your qualifying deposit for at least 90 days.

    You'll receive your cash bonus within 2 weeks after the 90-day qualifying period.


For the maximum Preferred Rewards benefits, you need to maintain $100K of assets, but if you can invest $200K for the first 90 days, you'll earn $350 in bonus on that second $100K (since they're only giving $250 on a $100K investment).  Once you've received the bonus, you can transfer out the extra $100K (and even the $600 bonus).  Just be sure that your remaining assets continue to be worth at least $100K (actually you may only need $100K worth of assets in your ME account for perhaps 1 quarter per year, although it may be a specific quarter).
 

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UncaMikey said:   I've been with Fidelity 20 years. I have a lot of money at Fidelity. I cannot imagine moving those investments to BoA for a few hundred dollars in bonuses.
Could you elaborate on this? What is the problem if you can do in-kind transfer?
I also have investments with Fidelity (as well as E-Trade and Merrill) but I would do in-kind transfer in a heartbeat if any reputable brokerage offered me a sizable bonus for it.

I now you can buy Vanguard Admiral shares at Merrill Edge ($20 transaction fee applies), something that you cannot do at other major brokerages I tested. There shouldn't be any issues with Fidelity funds.

If you're investing in ETFs this shouldn't even be a question.

Edit: Checked their mutual fund screener, apparently Vanguard Admiral class mutual funds are no longer available.

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There's a $1000 bonus offer if you transfer 200k.

edit- Gone! Expired 12/31/16

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RE: "Redeem for cash back into a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®, a Bank of America® checking or savings account" Do we get the 75% Plat. bonus like other BOA products?

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TravelerMSY said:   There's a $1000 bonus offer if you transfer 200k.

edit- Gone! Expired 12/31/16

  
Try asking your rep. Mines been pretty pushy and can make exceptions...

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prozario said:   
Matrim33 said:   Hi Guys. I am thinking of transferring my retirement and investments from Fidelity to Merrill Edge so I can take advantage of Bank of America's Preferred  Rewards. Does Merrill have a wide variety of options for investing? Is there anything they don't have? I want to put a large chunk in to a no load index fund, does Merrill have this? Do they have bond funds?

I hesitate to call Bank of America or Merrill as I am sure they will sell this program as the best thing since sliced bread. I would love to hear from you guys. Thanks!

  
i have it ... 

As far as investment choices - it should be comparable to Fidelity - basically you can buy any stock/mutual fund etc.  I doubt there is anything that you can't buy.  As matter of fact - simply transfer your existing position from Fidelity to the new account - they get electronically transferred - i think takes a week.  Your cost basis also gets transferred (although this can take bit more than a week).

They wont actually "sell" you anything - as it is sort of like do it yourself brokerage account.

Some nice things:
  - they often have promo for new accounts that can be around $300 or so.  If you have 2 accounts (non-retirement and retirement) - you basically can double the bonus
  - if your total balance is over $100K - you get to highest tier, and you get something like 20 to 30 free equity trades per month (more than enough for most people).  So basically you can trade stock or ETFs for free.   
  - if you get the BOA travel reward card, at highest tier (overall $100K balance) - your cashback is 2.6% for every dollar you charge.  You redeem the reward by getting credit against any travel items (air line tickets, car rental etc)

 

  https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards

 

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needhelpplease said:   RE: "Redeem for cash back into a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®, a Bank of America® checking or savings account" Do we get the 75% Plat. bonus like other BOA products?
  I believe the answer is yes. However, this card only offers 1% on most purchases. With the bonus, you're at 1.75%. Better to get the Fidelity CC.
Bank of America said: Enrolled clients with eligible credit cards can receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus in one of two ways: 1) For BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit cards, the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be applied when you redeem cash rewards into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or an eligible Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®. For example, if you redeem $100 in cash rewards, we will add $25, $50 or $75 to your redemption amount, based on your tier when you redeem. Redemptions for a statement credit or personal check will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus. 2) For all other eligible credit cards (such as BankAmericard Travel Rewards® cards), the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be added to the base rewards you earn with each purchase. For example, if you earn 100 base rewards, we will add 25, 50, or 75 bonus rewards, based on your tier when the purchase posts to your account. The Preferred Rewards Bonus will replace the 10% customer bonus you may receive with your card(s). Any other bonus rewards (e.g. account-opening bonuses and merchant-based bonuses) will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus.
 
BofA said: 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter

Maybe this card for Grocery and Gas, Chase Sapphire for Restaurants and Travel, and the Fidelity card for everything else. This is probably the best 3-card combo available for those with over $100K at ML. The best 2-card combo is Chase Sapphire and Fidelity, but this depends on how much you spend on Travel and Restaurants. The single best card is the Fidelity.

I would only get an extra $150/yr by adding the BofA cash card to my wallet - not worth it. 

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samko said:   
needhelpplease said:   RE: "Redeem for cash back into a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®, a Bank of America® checking or savings account" Do we get the 75% Plat. bonus like other BOA products?
  I believe the answer is yes. However, this card only offers 1% on most purchases. With the bonus, you're at 1.75%. Better to get the Fidelity CC.
Bank of America said: Enrolled clients with eligible credit cards can receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus in one of two ways: 1) For BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit cards, the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be applied when you redeem cash rewards into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or an eligible Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®. For example, if you redeem $100 in cash rewards, we will add $25, $50 or $75 to your redemption amount, based on your tier when you redeem. Redemptions for a statement credit or personal check will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus. 2) For all other eligible credit cards (such as BankAmericard Travel Rewards® cards), the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be added to the base rewards you earn with each purchase. For example, if you earn 100 base rewards, we will add 25, 50, or 75 bonus rewards, based on your tier when the purchase posts to your account. The Preferred Rewards Bonus will replace the 10% customer bonus you may receive with your card(s). Any other bonus rewards (e.g. account-opening bonuses and merchant-based bonuses) will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus.
BofA said: 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter

Maybe this card for Grocery and Gas, Chase Sapphire for Restaurants and Travel, and the Fidelity card for everything else. This is probably the best 3-card combo available for those with over $100K at ML. The best 2-card combo is Chase Sapphire and Fidelity. 

  
BofA AAA gives 3.75% on Travel with 100k+, Chase AARP gives 3% back on restaurants & BofA Travel rewards for 2.625% on everything else.  4 cards instead of 3 though.

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LeveragedSpeculator said:   
samko said:   
needhelpplease said:   RE: "Redeem for cash back into a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®, a Bank of America® checking or savings account" Do we get the 75% Plat. bonus like other BOA products?
  I believe the answer is yes. However, this card only offers 1% on most purchases. With the bonus, you're at 1.75%. Better to get the Fidelity CC.
Bank of America said: Enrolled clients with eligible credit cards can receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus in one of two ways: 1) For BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit cards, the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be applied when you redeem cash rewards into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or an eligible Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®. For example, if you redeem $100 in cash rewards, we will add $25, $50 or $75 to your redemption amount, based on your tier when you redeem. Redemptions for a statement credit or personal check will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus. 2) For all other eligible credit cards (such as BankAmericard Travel Rewards® cards), the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be added to the base rewards you earn with each purchase. For example, if you earn 100 base rewards, we will add 25, 50, or 75 bonus rewards, based on your tier when the purchase posts to your account. The Preferred Rewards Bonus will replace the 10% customer bonus you may receive with your card(s). Any other bonus rewards (e.g. account-opening bonuses and merchant-based bonuses) will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus.
BofA said: 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter

Maybe this card for Grocery and Gas, Chase Sapphire for Restaurants and Travel, and the Fidelity card for everything else. This is probably the best 3-card combo available for those with over $100K at ML. The best 2-card combo is Chase Sapphire and Fidelity. 

  
BofA AAA gives 3.75% on Travel with 100k+, Chase AARP gives 3% back on restaurants & BofA Travel rewards for 2.625% on everything else.  4 cards instead of 3 though.

  I don't see the AAA card on the BofA website. Also, there is this restriction regarding the bonus:
BofA said: Cards not eligible for the rewards bonus:
Non-rewards credit cards
Business purpose credit cards
Bank of America Accolades®
BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards®
Merrill Lynch branded (including Merrill Accolades®, MERRILL+®, Merrill Lynch® Octave® and Private Banking and Investment Group Octave®)
U.S. Trust branded (including Bank of America Accolades® and U.S. Trust® Octave®)
AAA® Gas Rebate
Alaska Airlines®
Allegiant World MasterCard®
Amtrak Guest Rewards®
Amway™
Asiana Airlines®
Azamara Club Cruises®
Bass Pro Shops®
Celebrity Cruises®
MelaleucaSM
Royal Caribbean International®
Spirit Airlines®
Virgin Atlantic Airways®


 

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ML does not offer elcheapo NTF index funds. The MF offering from ML with no NTF and TF are all high fee funds. I would stick to Fidelity after collecting the bonus. I dont see any plus point of ML account over Fidelity.

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delhel said:   ML does not offer elcheapo NTF index funds. The MF offering from ML with no NTF and TF are all high fee funds. I would stick to Fidelity after collecting the bonus. I dont see any plus point of ML account over Fidelity.
  ML offers thousands of NTF stocks and ETFs.  You get 30 free trades per month.

Pick your favorite iShares ETF.  Even the ones that still carry a broker fee at Fidelity.  $0 commission.
Oh, and all stock trades are $0, too.

How does ML make money off of this?

I'm scratching my head, but my suspicion is that it's the prime services desk, maybe with a bit of market-making, too.  Retail tends to own a lot of stocks that are hard and expensive to short.  Their flow also isn't as dangerous as taking the other side of a trade from a hedge fund.  Add on some (paid) options trades and a checking account as well as cash in the brokerage account (especially with rates going up), and $0 trades might just work.

It also looks like you get BAML's institutional equity research, too.  IMO there's a decent amount of value in that over the more generic stuff I get at Fidelity.  BAML actually has teams of experts covering these companies, and they actually have some alpha (some more than others-- it depends on the researcher)-- their calls move stock prices significantly.  I pay $53/year for The Motley Fool's Inside Value.  I'd probably be willing to pay $53/year to get BAML's research reports.

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The one fee to watch out for at MLE is the 10% commission charge on partial shares. This can be avoided by not dealing in partial shares.

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LeveragedSpeculator said:   
samko said:   
needhelpplease said:   RE: "Redeem for cash back into a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®, a Bank of America® checking or savings account" Do we get the 75% Plat. bonus like other BOA products?
  I believe the answer is yes. However, this card only offers 1% on most purchases. With the bonus, you're at 1.75%. Better to get the Fidelity CC.
Bank of America said: Enrolled clients with eligible credit cards can receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus in one of two ways: 1) For BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit cards, the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be applied when you redeem cash rewards into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or an eligible Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®. For example, if you redeem $100 in cash rewards, we will add $25, $50 or $75 to your redemption amount, based on your tier when you redeem. Redemptions for a statement credit or personal check will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus. 2) For all other eligible credit cards (such as BankAmericard Travel Rewards® cards), the Preferred Rewards Bonus will be added to the base rewards you earn with each purchase. For example, if you earn 100 base rewards, we will add 25, 50, or 75 bonus rewards, based on your tier when the purchase posts to your account. The Preferred Rewards Bonus will replace the 10% customer bonus you may receive with your card(s). Any other bonus rewards (e.g. account-opening bonuses and merchant-based bonuses) will not receive the Preferred Rewards Bonus.
BofA said: 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter

Maybe this card for Grocery and Gas, Chase Sapphire for Restaurants and Travel, and the Fidelity card for everything else. This is probably the best 3-card combo available for those with over $100K at ML. The best 2-card combo is Chase Sapphire and Fidelity. 

  
BofA AAA gives 3.75% on Travel with 100k+, Chase AARP gives 3% back on restaurants & BofA Travel rewards for 2.625% on everything else.  4 cards instead of 3 though.

  
if you have chase sap reserve - you get 3x for Rest/Travel, but when you redeem through their portal, the points gets magnified to 1.5x .. so essentially 4.5% back for travel/restaurants with Chase SR.

For me it is not worth getting the BOFA cash card - most of my grocery shopping are done in WalMart & Sams club - neither counts as grocery stores for most cards.  Just simplify matters for me with BOFA Travel card for flag rewards, and I mix in CSR, and Freedom for 5x catagories.

rated:
^Green. Never seen 4.5% CB on travel & restaurants before (even if Sapphire Reserve isn't for me with that high annual fee & must be redeemed for travel). That's unmatched.

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samko said:   
  I don't see the AAA card on the BofA website. Also, there is this restriction regarding the bonus:
AAA Gas Rebate


AAA Gas Rebate is not a currently-offered card.

This is the Bank of America AAA card that is PR-eligible: http://www.ny.aaa.com/Financial/CreditCardAndGiftCards/AAA-Credi... or the application directly: https://secure.bankofamerica.com/applynow/initialize-workflow.go?requesttype=ICAO&campaignid=4013025

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LeveragedSpeculator said:   ^Green. Never seen 4.5% CB on travel & restaurants before (even if Sapphire Reserve isn't for me with that high annual fee & must be redeemed for travel). That's unmatched.
  
CSR has $450 AF .. but they give you back $300 automatically for travel expense.  For me, regular commuter trian i take to work - monthly expense is bit over $100 ..  so within 3 months i get back $300 - so essentially is a $150 AF.   Their definition of "travel" so broad that it is easy to get back the $300 - cab/taxi/parking/toll/commuter train - all fits the travel category.

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Powza said:   
UncaMikey said:   I've been with Fidelity 20 years. I have a lot of money at Fidelity. I cannot imagine moving those investments to BoA for a few hundred dollars in bonuses.
Could you elaborate on this? What is the problem if you can do in-kind transfer?
I also have investments with Fidelity (as well as E-Trade and Merrill) but I would do in-kind transfer in a heartbeat if any reputable brokerage offered me a sizable bonus for it.

I now you can buy Vanguard Admiral shares at Merrill Edge ($20 transaction fee applies), something that you cannot do at other major brokerages I tested. There shouldn't be any issues with Fidelity funds.

If you're investing in ETFs this shouldn't even be a question.

I am a long-term buy-and-hold investor, a handful of US and int'l index mutual funds only. (I don't see the point of ETFs for my kind of investing.) For example, my Fidelity S&P500 index fund (FUSVX) has an expense ratio of 0.045%, or about $45 for every $100,000.  I could not find that fund or anything comparable on the Merrill Edge website, but perhaps I missed it. What are the equivalents to FUSVX at Merrill Edge? Can Merrill Edge provide index funds that match or beat Fidelity expense ratios?

Over 20 years, I've been thoroughly impressed with Fidelity's customer service, while I have mostly heard horror stories about BoA and its subsidiaries. I've been retired over 10 years now, and my only transactions are yearly rebalancing among my funds. For a sizeable retirement investment portfolio, I just can't imagine moving around such large sums to chase a few hundred dollars in credit card or other bonuses. I suspect that other costs (fund expenses, etc.) would more than wipe out any short-term benefit.

Perhaps if I were younger with smaller investments I would consider these deals. But 25 years ago I did business with multiple brokerage and fund companies and gradually consolidated everything into Fidelity funds at Fidelity. It's worked out very well.

Edited to add: Since this is also about credit card rewards, I'll add that I use Costco Citi for gas (4%) and restaurants/travel (3%), Amex Blue Cash for groceries (3%), Discover for their categories (5%), Cap One for int'l (1.5% no FTF), and Fidelity Visa for everything else (2%). Perhaps these are not the absolute highest in every category, but they're very close.

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LeveragedSpeculator said:   The one fee to watch out for at MLE is the 10% commission charge on partial shares. This can be avoided by not dealing in partial shares.
Do you understand how it works? Does it apply to both stocks and mutual funds?

Example: you own 1000 shares and have dividend reinvestment on. You are buying 1.4 shares every month. After 12 months you have 1016.8 shares in account. Now if you liquidate the position does the commission only apply to 0.8 shares or does it apply to every fractional share you have bought every month? If it is the latter then it sucks big time, otherwise no big deal (unless the shares we are talking about are GOOG).

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UncaMikey said:   I am a long-term buy-and-hold investor, a handful of US and int'l index mutual funds only. (I don't see the point of ETFs for my kind of investing.) For example, my Fidelity S&P500 index fund (FUSVX) has an expense ratio of 0.045%, or about $45 for every $100,000.  I could not find that fund or anything comparable on the Merrill Edge website, but perhaps I missed it. What are the equivalents to FUSVX at Merrill Edge? Can Merrill Edge provide index funds that match or beat Fidelity expense ratios?
  IVV: ER of 0.04%
Reasonable alternatives: SCHB, SCHX (ER or 0.03% and 0.04%)

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Powza said:   
LeveragedSpeculator said:   The one fee to watch out for at MLE is the 10% commission charge on partial shares. This can be avoided by not dealing in partial shares.
Do you understand how it works? Does it apply to both stocks and mutual funds?

Example: you own 1000 shares and have dividend reinvestment on. You are buying 1.4 shares every month. After 12 months you have 1016.8 shares in account. Now if you liquidate the position does the commission only apply to 0.8 shares or does it apply to every fractional share you have bought every month? If it is the latter then it sucks big time, otherwise no big deal (unless the shares we are talking about are GOOG).

  
Not 100% as I don't deal in fractional shares knowing the fee but pretty sure it its the former.  Fractional shares in an individual transaction.  Using your example every month you're buying 1.4 shares ML is getting a cut of 4% of the share price (10% of the fractional share) on every buy. But when you goto sell its only 10% of the .8 shares so 8% of one share's price.

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prozario said:   
LeveragedSpeculator said:   ^Green. Never seen 4.5% CB on travel & restaurants before (even if Sapphire Reserve isn't for me with that high annual fee & must be redeemed for travel). That's unmatched.
  
CSR has $450 AF .. but they give you back $300 automatically for travel expense.  For me, regular commuter trian i take to work - monthly expense is bit over $100 ..  so within 3 months i get back $300 - so essentially is a $150 AF.   Their definition of "travel" so broad that it is easy to get back the $300 - cab/taxi/parking/toll/commuter train - all fits the travel category.

  
Looked into this card this morning as even with the fee with the travel reimbursement and the GlobalEntry/Verify rebate its a fantastic deal right now with those 100k points. But I'm at 5/24 or 6/24 per Chase (depending on whether AARP counts as a card with Chase I've read both) and won't be down to 4/24 until June.  So no $1,500 travel bonus for me :~(

Not even a big card churner, it's just that I switched most of my finances over to BofA/MLE back in the summer of '15 & that entailed opening 3 of their credit cards, so the unfortunate timing on this means NO SOUP FOR ME!  I'm still going to try to apply in person on the last day eligible (March 11) but it's not looking good.  May still end up getting the card down the road but damn sucks to miss out on $750 (assuming the intro bonus is halved which it probably will be at least).

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LeveragedSpeculator said:   
Powza said:   
LeveragedSpeculator said:   The one fee to watch out for at MLE is the 10% commission charge on partial shares. This can be avoided by not dealing in partial shares.
Do you understand how it works? Does it apply to both stocks and mutual funds?

Example: you own 1000 shares and have dividend reinvestment on. You are buying 1.4 shares every month. After 12 months you have 1016.8 shares in account. Now if you liquidate the position does the commission only apply to 0.8 shares or does it apply to every fractional share you have bought every month? If it is the latter then it sucks big time, otherwise no big deal (unless the shares we are talking about are GOOG).

  
Not 100% as I don't deal in fractional shares knowing the fee but pretty sure it its the former.  Fractional shares in an individual transaction.  Using your example every month you're buying 1.4 shares ML is getting a cut of 4% of the share price (10% of the fractional share) on every buy. But when you goto sell its only 10% of the .8 shares so 8% of one share's price.

I don't think that's true.
They way I understand is it only applies to stock fractional shares (not mutual funds) and only applies to sell orders. So pretty much a no-issue unless the share price is insanely high.

Remember - the buy orders are automatic dividend reinvestment, there is no reason to buy fractional stock shares when you manually enter a buy order.
[S=https://www.merrilledge.com/help-support said: In]https://www.merrilledge.com/help-support]In[/S] addition to your stock, ETF or option commission, sell orders may also be subject to a transaction fee (of between $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal). If applicable, this fee appears under "Transaction Fee" on a Trade Confirmation. Your stock or ETF commissions sell orders may also be subject to a fractional share liquidation fee of 10% of proceeds. There are other fees associated with investing in ETFs, Read the "Expenses & Charges" sections of the prospectus to find out what they are. Contact us to obtain a prospectus.

 

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UncaMikey said:   
Powza said:   
UncaMikey said:   I've been with Fidelity 20 years. I have a lot of money at Fidelity. I cannot imagine moving those investments to BoA for a few hundred dollars in bonuses.
Could you elaborate on this? What is the problem if you can do in-kind transfer?
I also have investments with Fidelity (as well as E-Trade and Merrill) but I would do in-kind transfer in a heartbeat if any reputable brokerage offered me a sizable bonus for it.

I now you can buy Vanguard Admiral shares at Merrill Edge ($20 transaction fee applies), something that you cannot do at other major brokerages I tested. There shouldn't be any issues with Fidelity funds.

If you're investing in ETFs this shouldn't even be a question.

I am a long-term buy-and-hold investor, a handful of US and int'l index mutual funds only. (I don't see the point of ETFs for my kind of investing.) For example, my Fidelity S&P500 index fund (FUSVX) has an expense ratio of 0.045%, or about $45 for every $100,000.  I could not find that fund or anything comparable on the Merrill Edge website, but perhaps I missed it. What are the equivalents to FUSVX at Merrill Edge? Can Merrill Edge provide index funds that match or beat Fidelity expense ratios?

Over 20 years, I've been thoroughly impressed with Fidelity's customer service, while I have mostly heard horror stories about BoA and its subsidiaries. I've been retired over 10 years now, and my only transactions are yearly rebalancing among my funds. For a sizeable retirement investment portfolio, I just can't imagine moving around such large sums to chase a few hundred dollars in credit card or other bonuses. I suspect that other costs (fund expenses, etc.) would more than wipe out any short-term benefit.

Perhaps if I were younger with smaller investments I would consider these deals. But 25 years ago I did business with multiple brokerage and fund companies and gradually consolidated everything into Fidelity funds at Fidelity. It's worked out very well.

Edited to add: Since this is also about credit card rewards, I'll add that I use Costco Citi for gas (4%) and restaurants/travel (3%), Amex Blue Cash for groceries (3%), Discover for their categories (5%), Cap One for int'l (1.5% no FTF), and Fidelity Visa for everything else (2%). Perhaps these are not the absolute highest in every category, but they're very close.

  
I needed to do it because of work related requirement ... the CC thing just was there as an added bonus.

I do see that FUSVX is not there in ML edge - perhaps it is sold only through fidelity or they don't have deal to sell it through ML Edge.  However, if you do a transfer, it'll go through - you may not be able to buy new shares, but existing shares can be held.   This seems like S&P500 index tracker - so should have many many alternative. 

rated:
 I needed to do it because of work related requirement ... the CC thing just was there as an added bonus.

I do see that FUSVX is not there in ML edge - perhaps it is sold only through fidelity or they don't have deal to sell it through ML Edge.  However, if you do a transfer, it'll go through - you may not be able to buy new shares, but existing shares can be held.   This seems like S&P500 index tracker - so should have many many alternative. 

i recently transferred everything to Merrill Edge (ME) consolidating 8 accounts from 3 brokerages down to 3 accounts. ME gave me account bonuses. Be sure that you also call the ME line and get confirmation they will reimburse transfer fees you are charged. sometimes this is like $50 per account (ACAT transfer). 

Its good to get a name of the person you talked with to follow up later. Sometimes if you call they can tell you about other bonuses that are higher than the ones posted if you have more $ being transferred in a brokerage account. To get that additional amount, they told me the requirement is I have stay at least 9 months. they asked how much are you bringing over and they tell you the bonus level. they get it approved by their manager.  after that 9 months then I can move it to another brokerage if i'm unhappy and still keep the $2k bonus.

one other benefit, depending on the amount of money you transfer over you can quality for no commissions on trades for the higher tier. its not going to be a bid deal unless you trade a lot.


 

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I just sent them a message on MLE requesting reimbursement and they requested a screen capture showing the account transfer fee and once I sent them that they reimbursed me.

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gergles said:   
samko said:   
  I don't see the AAA card on the BofA website. Also, there is this restriction regarding the bonus:
AAA Gas Rebate


AAA Gas Rebate is not a currently-offered card.

This is the Bank of America AAA card that is PR-eligible: http://www.ny.aaa.com/Financial/CreditCardAndGiftCards/AAA-Credi... or the application directly: https://secure.bankofamerica.com/applynow/initialize-workflow.go?requesttype=ICAO&campaignid=4013025

  
so this one is 2%+.75% bonus?

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UncaMikey said:   
I am a long-term buy-and-hold investor, a handful of US and int'l index mutual funds only. (I don't see the point of ETFs for my kind of investing.) For example, my Fidelity S&P500 index fund (FUSVX) has an expense ratio of 0.045%, or about $45 for every $100,000.  I could not find that fund or anything comparable on the Merrill Edge website, but perhaps I missed it. What are the equivalents to FUSVX at Merrill Edge? Can Merrill Edge provide index funds that match or beat Fidelity expense ratios?


I use vanguard ETF's at MLE.  VTI is the total stock market and has an expense ratio of 5 basis points.  

rated:
For the BOA Cash rewards card you get 5.25% CB at Wareouse stores, grocery and gas if you are Preferred rewards. That is 3% base + 75% bonus when you deposit in your bank account.

I moved everything from Fidelity to ML and could not have been happier. Since then I got multiple credit cards, free Quicken access, discount on Equity Line of Credit from BOA. 

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Sesq said:   I use vanguard ETF's at MLE.  VTI is the total stock market and has an expense ratio of 5 basis points.  
Some people prefer mutual funds instead of ETFs. I just checked the mutual fund screener and lowest ER is 0.12% (VASIX). Apparently they no longer offer Vanguard Admiral class shares too. Probably someone figured they are not making any money from it...

That being said, if you have a mutual fund in your account they will happily reinvest dividends - you can't buy new shares but dividend reinvestment works.

Obviously ETFs can be purchased anywhere. No restrictions. For US market SCHB (ER 0.03%) is even less expensive than VTI, but VTI has more holdings. They track very close. Not sure about daily volume and bid/ask spread. VTI may be better choice in that regard. For S&P 500 index there's VOO (ER 0.05%)

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needhelpplease said:   
gergles said:   
samko said:   
  I don't see the AAA card on the BofA website. Also, there is this restriction regarding the bonus:
AAA Gas Rebate


AAA Gas Rebate is not a currently-offered card.

This is the Bank of America AAA card that is PR-eligible: http://www.ny.aaa.com/Financial/CreditCardAndGiftCards/AAA-Credi... or the application directly: https://secure.bankofamerica.com/applynow/initialize-workflow.go?requesttype=ICAO&campaignid=4013025

  
so this one is 2%+.75% bonus?

  
it is not "+.75%" .. u would need to multiple base reward .. so something like 2 * 1.75.   Also double check - not all bofa cards are eligible for the extra rewards

Skipping 54 Messages...
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gergles said:   The AAA card is still available. https://secure.bankofamerica.com/applynow/initialize-workflow.go?requesttype=ICAO&campaignid=4017941
  
Ah! So it is. I couldn't find it on BoA's site and the first link I found said it was phasing out geographically, plus I thought there was discussion in this thread about it vanishing.

Well I'm pleased to be corrected! Thanks.

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