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Merrill Edge New Requirements for Free Trades

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rated:
I received the following email today...

"Starting October 1, 2017, maintaining a cash balance of $25,000 will no longer qualify you for $0 online stock and exchange-traded funds (ETF) trades. However, you can still qualify through Preferred Rewards.
 
Merrill Edge will no longer offer 30 $0 online stock and ETF trades per month when you maintain a $25,000 minimum balance in Bank of AmericaŽ deposit accounts or cash in Merrill EdgeŽ investing and trading accounts. 

You can still receive $0 stock and ETF trades if you enroll in Preferred Rewards and qualify for the Platinum or Platinum Honors tier. To be eligible for Preferred Rewards, you must have a Bank of America checking account and a three-month average balance of $50,000 for the Platinum tier (30 $0 trades per month) and $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier (100 $0 trades per month)

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rated:
Good to know, but I doubt most people on FWF are using the cash requirement to get the free trades. Hopefully this is not the beginning of the end for the preferred rewards program.

rated:
DrForce said:   Good to know, but I doubt most people on FWF are using the cash requirement to get the free trades. Hopefully this is not the beginning of the end for the preferred rewards program.
  From what I'm reading on their website it looks like one still gets 30 free trades per month if they keep over $50,000 in combined balances in their BofA bank accounts and Merrill Edge account, and have a BofA checking account.  It doesn't say anything about the balances being all in cash, as with the expiring $25,000 balance tier.  The $50K would still be easy for many to do if they keep some mutual fund and/or stock investments in their brokerage account.

30 free trades a month is essentially a free brokerage account for most people (me included).  Most individuals don't trade that often.  The free trades help for those who buy/sell ETFs, because it includes them.

rated:
Yes, that's correct. The thing is that if you don't already have a checking account with BofA, you'll have to open one regardless of how much you keep in the brokerage account.
 

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