Updated June 24, 2010.
Last month, I praised ShareBuilder for its low fees in a list of the best true discount brokerages. In the past, ShareBuilder has offered free money in the form of account opening bonuses to attract new customers, but these promotions have been missing since ING Direct purchased the brokerage.
ShareBuilder has introduced a new $25 bonus, only applicable for new customers. In order to qualify, open a new account, use the promotion code 25WO10, and make a trade by July 31. After the first trade, the $25 will be deposited within four weeks.
Note: To use this code, on the account opening screen, select the box next to “I’m responding to a promotion.” The website will prompt you for your promotion code. If you enter the incorrect code, ShareBuilder will let you know and not let you proceed to the next screen. If the code is valid, you will be able to proceed to the next step, but there is no immediate acknowledgment of the code’s acceptance.
My strategy would be to open an account with this promotion code, transfer $25 into the account, purchase an exchange-traded fund or a stock. The purchase will require a $4 fee, so you will be buying $21 worth of the investment. Wait for the bonus to deposited into your ShareBuilder account, and transfer the $25 back to your savings or checking.
Following this plan, you will have $21 in your investment without having spent any of your own money. ShareBuilder does not currently charge account maintenance or inactivity fees, so your free money will only be eaten away by the poor performance of your investment. I hope that your ShareBuilder investments perform better than mine have, though.
Thanks to Consumerism Commentary reader Sarah for informing me about this new promotion.