Bank of America Merrill Lynch has expanded its free online trading in its Merrill Edge Self-Directed offering.
As of today, all investors who participate in the offering’s Preferred Rewards program, which requires a $20,000 minimum, will be able to trade stocks, ETFs and options for free, although option contract costs will apply. Previously, free trading for all trades was available only to investors with a minimum $100,000. Accounts with fewer assets were limited to the number of free trades.
The Merrill Edge announcement comes after Schwab, then TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, Ally Financial and Fidelity implemented free trading for stock, ETF and options trades.
“We began offering zero-dollar trading 13 years ago as one of the many ways we reward clients for doing business with us,” said Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking and Investments at Bank of America. “By expanding to unlimited free trading for our Preferred Rewards members, we’re delivering on our promise to help make clients’ financial lives better.”
The rewards program provides enrolled customers benefits for investing, banking and borrowing. As a result of the expanded free online trading offering, 95% of trades on the Merrill Edge Self-Directed programs will be free, up from 87% previously, according to BofA Merrill.
There are nearly 6 million customers participating in the Preferred Rewards program at Bank of America, but the number that are also Merrill Edge Self Directed customers is not disclosed.
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