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$500 Brokerage Account Bonus at optionsXpress - Ends Today


I don't usually report on brokerage deals, but this seems to be too good to not report. However, there are a few potential issues with this promotion. I can't recommend this deal, but I wanted to at least point it out. Thanks to the reader who mentioned it in the comments. Here's the summary of the deal:

Open an optionsXpress account with promo code C3 by 11/30/08 with a minimum of $500 and receive a $500 bonus after 6 months. This is a brokerage account, and you must make at least one trade during the 6 month period and maintain an average balance of $500 during the period. $500 bonus is paid at the end of 6 months.

This is the last day of the offer. Here's the promotioin page. It appears that you only have to open it today, and you can fund it later.

I am confident that optionsExpress.com is a legitimate brokerage company.
I can't say if you'll be able to get the $500. It may not be a slam dunk. You can read about what others are saying at this Slickdeals thread and Fatwallet thread. Here are some concerns:
  • It could potentially be targeted to specific customers. Note, if you search on Google for optionsXpress bonus, this promo comes up as sponsored ad. However, this ad seems to have been paid by an affiliate, not optionsXpress. You'll see an affiliate code in the landing page.
  • In the small print: "Customers can not exchange the $500 for other offers, cash or credit." Will you be able to withdraw the $500 bonus or just use it for future trades?
  • In the small print: "We reserve the right at our sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend this offer program at any time without notice."
  • In the small print: "The $500 bonus will be deposited into the account on May 15th, 2009 if terms and conditions are met." May 15 is only 5.5 months from now.

Except for not receiving the bonus, I don't see many risks with this deal. There are many conservative ETF's that you can buy for the required trade, and it appears there are no unreasonable fees.

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I just opened an account here. Opening the account went smooth and will fund via ach after trial deposits are made. The account just seems to be a normal online brokerage account. Cost per trade is about $5 more than I pay at Schwab but I keep a large account there. Guess I will let you know in 6 months if I get the $500 bonus. Thanks for the tip.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Thanks for posting this deal. It really does seem great. I signed up -- will let you know how it goes.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Note: they charge $50 for outgoing account transfers. I think that means ACH transfers (because they charge $15 for wire transfers). I am not sure if this applies to transfers initiated from the other account (or how to get the routing number / account number from them).
halmas   |     |   Comment #4
I singed up as well. Two points: they do hard pull if you do the cash/margin account. also, the $500 might not be transferable to cash value
calwatch   |     |   Comment #5
The transfer fee is for ACAT transfers, which are brokerage to brokerage transfers of all stock holdings within the brokerage account.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
I am the first commentor here so thought I would follow up. Applied Sunday afternoon and the account is open as of tuesday AM and the deposits have been verified. Transferred money in today and will make a trade on friday. Will buy 100 shares of a canadian royality trust selling below $5 per share that pays a dividend of about $10 per month on 100 shares. Assuming stock price remains the same and they pay the dividend and I get the $500 bonus the results will be $1060 in the account or a profit of $560 on a $500 investment for 6 months which I think[not a math person] equals 212% annually. If it works you can't beat that with a stick. If the stock goes to 0 and they pay no dividend and I don't get the bonus the account goes to $0. No FDIC here. Stay tuned.
oxtrader   |     |   Comment #7
Dear optionsXpress Fans,

We were thrilled to see the excitement around our latest offer. We always look forward to welcoming new customers to optionsXpress. We also heard many questions from you regarding the rules of this offer, all offers have strings (rules) and so did this one. Here are the answers the most frequently asked questions:

• The account must be opened through the specified optionsXpress link, and we needed to receive all required information either electronically or the physical paperwork by 11/30/08.
• A per account average balance of $500 must be maintained for 6 months, and the account must trade at least once.
• If you are already a customer, you are not eligible for this offer (the terms excluded Qualified (IRA), linked and shared accounts).
• Once you receive the $500 you are free to do with it as you wish.
• You need to fund by December 15, 2008 to be eligible.

In order to be fair to everyone, we have to strictly adhere to these rules. For those of you who were interested in the offer, but did not respond in time, keep an eye out – we may do other offers in the future. Thanks for your interest in optionsXpress and I look forward to seeing what the markets may bring in 2009.

Ned Bennett
CEO, optionsXpress, Inc.
DollarBill   |     |   Comment #8
optionsXpress just made good on this deal. The $500 bonus was in my account this morning!
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #9
Another commenter reported success with this promotion. This was left in another post:

A few months ago this site had a post on it about a $500 bonus at Option Express if you opened an account and kept it open for 6 Months and made at least 1 trade. I met the requirements and on may 16 the $500 was deposited in my account without me having to ask for it. I made a few bucks on the trade and got 1 small dividend so it worked out great for me.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
posted the $500 to my account very quickly, right on time, and without any bugging. Nicely done.
TradeZero   |     |   Comment #12
Traditional Online Brokerages provides  many advantages over Online Stock Traders.