Bank of America today announced that it starts to offer 30 free equity trades per month for customers who keep at least $25,000 in BofA deposit accounts.
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE-listed BAC) visits the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the company's newest offering for its banking and investment customers. Effective immediately, Bank of America's primary retail brokerage unit, Banc of America Investment Services, Inc. (BAI) will offer as many as 30 free ($0) online equity trades per month for self-directed investors who maintain a combined balance of $25,000 or more in Bank of America, N.A. deposit accounts.
According to CNN Money, "Bank of America said the program is available to customers in the Northeast now and will be rolled out nationwide starting next spring."
It is quite a good deal if you have an emergency fund of over $25,000 and also trade often. Bank of America has some good-enough savings offerings, like a 4.75% APY 5-month "Risk-Free" Cd with no early withdrawal penalty (which is essentially high-yield savings account with rate protection) and 5.25% APY 10-month high-yield CD.
If you are not eligible for the free-trade offering, Banc of America Investment Services, Inc. still offers tiered pricing for $5/$7/$10/$14 equity trades for self-directed brokerage accounts.
I will be a bit hesitate to try out BofA's brokerage service though. Although the equity trade commission is competitive enough, BofA has a short list of No Transaction Fee (NTF) mutual fund offering, and it does charge $45 minimum transaction fee for no-load mutual fund trades, making it much less compelling as a one-stop service provider. For now, I'm very happy with the combination of Fidelity and Ameritrade.
(P.S. However, BofA's ambush triggered a sell-off of online discount brokerage pure plays like ET and SCHW.)