Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:18 pm

I'm in the process of setting this up, moving sufficient investments to Merrill Edge to get the various Preferred Rewards perks (and the brokerage bonus). But I still need to open a checking account at BoA. One reason I'm holding out is that I'm hoping I can also get a bonus for opening the checking account, but can't find any. I've read of $100 or even $300 bonus for opening checking, but apparently they're targeted. Anyone know of any public BoA checking bonus, or if there's any history of these appearing periodically?

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by ray.james » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:14 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:I'm in the process of setting this up, moving sufficient investments to Merrill Edge to get the various Preferred Rewards perks (and the brokerage bonus). But I still need to open a checking account at BoA. One reason I'm holding out is that I'm hoping I can also get a bonus for opening the checking account, but can't find any. I've read of $100 or even $300 bonus for opening checking, but apparently they're targeted. Anyone know of any public BoA checking bonus, or if there's any history of these appearing periodically?


For checking they are mostly targeted. The 100$ promotion comes up on website. I don't remember specific interval. They do have offers for credit cards through(small compared to others.). Her is the link to 300 to try. Seems they have opened that too for everyone. Haven't read through the rules though.**

http://promo.bankofamerica.com/offer300/
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:56 pm

ray.james wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:I'm in the process of setting this up, moving sufficient investments to Merrill Edge to get the various Preferred Rewards perks (and the brokerage bonus). But I still need to open a checking account at BoA. One reason I'm holding out is that I'm hoping I can also get a bonus for opening the checking account, but can't find any. I've read of $100 or even $300 bonus for opening checking, but apparently they're targeted. Anyone know of any public BoA checking bonus, or if there's any history of these appearing periodically?


For checking they are mostly targeted. The 100$ promotion comes up on website. I don't remember specific interval. They do have offers for credit cards through(small compared to others.). Her is the link to 300 to try. Seems they have opened that too for everyone. Haven't read through the rules though.**

http://promo.bankofamerica.com/offer300/


Thanks. I saw the $300 one here
http://www.doctorofcredit.com/targeted- ... promotion/
but it seems people need to be targeted to receive it.
I saw a $100 offer pop up once on logout, but don't know why it came up, and haven't seen it since.

One technical question I have is: The Preferred Rewards qualification and level is based on a 3 month average of assets, but do you need to have a checking account open during all those 3 months, or just at the end.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:51 am

I recommend contacting them to see if they have a promo they can apply to the checking account. Explain that you're looking at it in conjunction with a transfer to ME.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sawhorse » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:08 am

*3!4!/5! wrote:One technical question I have is: The Preferred Rewards qualification and level is based on a 3 month average of assets, but do you need to have a checking account open during all those 3 months, or just at the end.


I'm pretty sure it's the whole time.

Once you qualify for a tier, you have it for 12 months even if you fall below the minimum balance for that tier.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by ray.james » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:58 pm

sawhorse wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:One technical question I have is: The Preferred Rewards qualification and level is based on a 3 month average of assets, but do you need to have a checking account open during all those 3 months, or just at the end.


I'm pretty sure it's the whole time.

Once you qualify for a tier, you have it for 12 months even if you fall below the minimum balance for that tier.


yep. Also, they only check it once a year the anniversary of the date one became preferred rewards holder. I maintain high balances in checking for 3 months before anniversary to compound my Merrill balance for higher rewards.
3 months is also not exact. I believe it is 3 months + next working day Wednesday/first Wednesday of next month or something like that.
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by wxl31 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:50 am

Seems to happen yearly but is back again and I am finally able to take advantage of it.

Transfer taxable brokerage account assets or IRA assets to Merrill Edge for a bonus.
- transfer 20k: $100 bonus
- transfer 50k: $250 bonus (usually $150)
- transfer 100k: $500 bonus (usually $250)
- transfer 200k: $1000 bonus (usually $600)

Link: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer
Use offer code SFMS16
Ends: October 21, 2016

A few questions for those already with Merrill Edge:

1. Has anybody successfully opened a CMA account and a Roth account around the same time with the promo code in the past and gotten two bonuses? For example, if I open both a CMA account (funded $200k) and a separate Roth account (funded 200k) on the same day, will I get 2x$1000 bonus? I just want to make sure Merrill Edge won't view that as funding $400k and just distribute a $1000 bonus.

2. The assets I want to transfer to the CMA account are in Fidelity mutual funds (unfortunately) with significant capital gains (fortunately). I know trading mutual funds has fees at Merrill Edge but are there fees for just transferring existing Fidelity mutual funds to Merrill Edge, parking them there for the foreseeable future, and then transferring back to Fidelity when I want to liquidate them?

3. Does cost basis transfer over to Merrill Edge automatically?

4. Would you recommend waiting 3 months for the balance to season before applying for a BoA bank account and the TravelRewards credit card?

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by dodecahedron » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:32 am

wxl31 wrote:Seems to happen yearly but is back again and I am finally able to take advantage of it.

Transfer taxable brokerage account assets or IRA assets to Merrill Edge for a bonus.
- transfer 20k: $100 bonus
- transfer 50k: $250 bonus (usually $150)
- transfer 100k: $500 bonus (usually $250)
- transfer 200k: $1000 bonus (usually $600)

Link: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer
Use offer code SFMS16
Ends: October 21, 2016

A few questions for those already with Merrill Edge:

1. Has anybody successfully opened a CMA account and a Roth account around the same time with the promo code in the past and gotten two bonuses? For example, if I open both a CMA account (funded $200k) and a separate Roth account (funded 200k) on the same day, will I get 2x$1000 bonus? I just want to make sure Merrill Edge won't view that as funding $400k and just distribute a $1000 bonus.


I got 2x1000 bonuses but I didn't open both accounts at the same time. (I tested the waters first on my Roth and later did the CMA.)

2. The assets I want to transfer to the CMA account are in Fidelity mutual funds (unfortunately) with significant capital gains (fortunately). I know trading mutual funds has fees at Merrill Edge but are there fees for just transferring existing Fidelity mutual funds to Merrill Edge, parking them there for the foreseeable future, and then transferring back to Fidelity when I want to liquidate them?


No idea about fees on Fidelity's end but there would not be fees on Merrill Edge's end unless you completely close out a ME account by transferring all the assets in the account back to Fidelity. I had no fees for transferring Vanguard funds to ME and then subsequently transferring some of them back at the end of the six months. (I left enough at ME to qualify for ongoing Platinum Preferred status, which also meant no account closing fees.)

3. Does cost basis transfer over to Merrill Edge automatically?


I was transferring ETFs from Vanguard rather than mutual funds from Fidelity, but my cost basis information correctly transferred over to Merrill Edge. If you are worried about this, you could test the waters by transferring your Roth assets first, since cost basis doesn't matter.

4. Would you recommend waiting 3 months for the balance to season before applying for a BoA bank account and the TravelRewards credit card?


I see no reason to wait on opening the checking account, but I am speaking as someone who had a BoA checking for decades before this program existed. As far as the credit card goes, you might talk to a bank employee about whether there are special rewards for opening your credit card account after you qualify for Platinum Preferred status. Bonuses for opening the credit card accounts might be higher if you have that status. (They were for me. By the way, I have two BoA credit cards. In addition to the travel rewards card, I have their "Cash Rewards" card, which gives Platinum Preferred customers cash back 5.25% on gas and 3.5% on groceries.)

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by indexfundfan » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:16 am

wxl31 wrote:Seems to happen yearly but is back again and I am finally able to take advantage of it.

Transfer taxable brokerage account assets or IRA assets to Merrill Edge for a bonus.
- transfer 20k: $100 bonus
- transfer 50k: $250 bonus (usually $150)
- transfer 100k: $500 bonus (usually $250)
- transfer 200k: $1000 bonus (usually $600)

Link: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer
Use offer code SFMS16
Ends: October 21, 2016

A few questions for those already with Merrill Edge:

1. Has anybody successfully opened a CMA account and a Roth account around the same time with the promo code in the past and gotten two bonuses? For example, if I open both a CMA account (funded $200k) and a separate Roth account (funded 200k) on the same day, will I get 2x$1000 bonus? I just want to make sure Merrill Edge won't view that as funding $400k and just distribute a $1000 bonus.

2. The assets I want to transfer to the CMA account are in Fidelity mutual funds (unfortunately) with significant capital gains (fortunately). I know trading mutual funds has fees at Merrill Edge but are there fees for just transferring existing Fidelity mutual funds to Merrill Edge, parking them there for the foreseeable future, and then transferring back to Fidelity when I want to liquidate them?

3. Does cost basis transfer over to Merrill Edge automatically?

4. Would you recommend waiting 3 months for the balance to season before applying for a BoA bank account and the TravelRewards credit card?

I obtained two bonuses. The offer fine print does mention that it is valid for two.
It gets harder if you want to get three. :-)
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Longtermgrowth » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:36 pm

I wonder what minimum activity is required to keep a checking account "active" for preferred rewards? Say, opening a checking account solely for the brokerage perks, while keeping normal checking usage with another bank.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:36 pm

Longtermgrowth wrote:I wonder what minimum activity is required to keep a checking account "active" for preferred rewards? Say, opening a checking account solely for the brokerage perks, while keeping normal checking usage with another bank.

I think "livesoft" mentioned letting the balance occasionally vary - sometimes $0.01, sometimes $0.00.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by bostondan » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:46 pm

I have my checking account with BofA and my taxable investments with ME. I use various ETFs to allow for optimal TLH. It is much simpler than when I was doing TLH using my account at Fidelity.

Also, despite the bad reputation, I find that BofA is actually quite pleasant to use when you qualify for the highest level of rewards. They are happy to refund absolutely any fee (if you are ever charged one at all), and the people working in the actual physical bank locations are much friendlier than when I only had my checking account there.

I like the fact that I can use any non-BofA ATM an unlimited number of times per month. It almost makes me want to purposefully use those super expensive casino and bar ATMs just as payback for all the bad customer service at BofA prior to becoming a platinum preferred rewards customer! :twisted:
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by samsmith » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:04 pm

If I intend to do this - I would use a direct transfer from my current brokerage to ME. My plan would be to transfer in kind several ETFs.
1. By doing a direct transfer, I never touch the money and minimize the chance of the IRS characterizing this as a distribution? Does this sound correct?
2. Assuming the direct transfer works fine; will I get any documents from the sending brokerage that I will need to include on my personal tax form?

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:41 pm

Longtermgrowth wrote:I wonder what minimum activity is required to keep a checking account "active" for preferred rewards? Say, opening a checking account solely for the brokerage perks, while keeping normal checking usage with another bank.

Mine just sits there with $5 in it.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:43 pm

samsmith wrote:If I intend to do this - I would use a direct transfer from my current brokerage to ME. My plan would be to transfer in kind several ETFs.
1. By doing a direct transfer, I never touch the money and minimize the chance of the IRS characterizing this as a distribution? Does this sound correct?
2. Assuming the direct transfer works fine; will I get any documents from the sending brokerage that I will need to include on my personal tax form?

You always want to do a custodian transfer, as otherwise you use up your one rollover for no good reason. There is nothing you need to do with your taxes that way.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Longtermgrowth » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:26 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:I think "livesoft" mentioned letting the balance occasionally vary - sometimes $0.01, sometimes $0.00.


It probably wouldn't be too much trouble linking a savings account to it and paying a bill with it...

Earl Lemongrab wrote:Mine just sits there with $5 in it.

Earl


Interesting. Seems like eventually they would count it as inactive in an attempt to charge fees.
Even though their interest bearing checking yields virtually nothing, it is nice that with a large enough balance in brokerage, the balance in checking or other bank deposits don't matter to get free checks and a safe deposit box in addition to the brokerage perks.

I'm not sure how they can claim 100 $0 trades per month while they list this even in the preferred rewards info section: "Other fees may apply. Sell trades are subject to a transaction fee of between $0.01 and $0.03 per $1,000 of principal"

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:15 am

Longtermgrowth wrote:
Earl Lemongrab wrote:Mine just sits there with $5 in it.


Interesting. Seems like eventually they would count it as inactive in an attempt to charge fees.

The reason for the account is to complete the Preferred Rewards package with my Merrill Edge accounts and credit card. Annoying me that way would be counter-productive.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:32 pm

Just felt like posting again about how unbelievably awesome this program is :mrgreen:

I found one of the cash back offers two weeks ago. 20% cash back on any purchase at advance auto parts. Now, they aren't my usual go to shop for parts, but Jesus...I'm going to buy that oil and those light bulbs regardless. Got my $7.xx cash back processing already!



With the death of credit card churning, this is really the best setup out there. Don't be afraid of the stigma with Merrill Lynch / Merrill Edge. Aside from the initial setup of my accounts and transfer of my tIRA, I have never been contacted by an advisor or broker.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:54 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Longtermgrowth wrote:I wonder what minimum activity is required to keep a checking account "active" for preferred rewards? Say, opening a checking account solely for the brokerage perks, while keeping normal checking usage with another bank.

Mine just sits there with $5 in it.

Earl


I would think it's worth parking at least a bit more money in the BoA checking. With the "Platinum Preferred" status (earned by holding the ETFs at BoA), you qualify for fee-free withdrawals from *any* ATM, not just BoA ATMs. (They waive the BoA alien ATM fee and they reimburse any fees charged by the alien ATM's host bank.) This is super handy, especially for those situations where you are staying in a hotel and need to grab some cash from whatever ATM happens to be in the hotel in order to, say, leave a tip for the housekeeper.

Also, wire transfers, cashier's checks, and just about anything you can think of associated with a checking account are free at BoA with preferred status. And there are no minimum balances. Plus if you get their (free) Cash Rewards credit card, you can get 75% bonus on your cash rewards if you have the rewards deposited into your BoA account--this gives me 3.5% cash back on groceries and 5.25% on gas.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:18 pm

I'm in the process of getting this all set up. I've been using Ally for my main banking hub, and will continue to do so, including for paying BoA credit cards.

So I only see two ways money would be going into a BoA checking or savings account.

(1) Cashing out BoA credit card rewards.
Question: Is it necessary to cash out BoA credit card rewards to a BoA checking or savings account in order to maximize the benefit?

(2) Dividends from Merrill Edge taxable account. I got the first of these sent to Merrill Edge cash account, then I manually transferred it to BoA savings (to spend, not reinvest, as it's not much).
Question: Is there an easier way to get the dividends directly to a BoA (or even better, another bank) checking or savings account?

BTW, I did test that I can do a free ACH pull to Ally from BoA (initiated from Ally), whereas pushing from BoA would have a fee. But I don't think I'll bother with doing that. Whatever lands in the BoA checking or savings accounts, I'll throw back at the BoA credit cards.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:35 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:
(1) Cashing out BoA credit card rewards.
Question: Is it necessary to cash out BoA credit card rewards to a BoA checking or savings account in order to maximize the benefit?


It is necessary for the Cash Rewards card (the one that gives better rates on gas and groceries.) For the Travel Rewards card (which I use for everything other than gas and groceries), there is no need to cash out to a BoA bank account because the highest reward comes from crediting against your travel expenses charged to your credit card over the past 12 months.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by JDCarpenter » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:23 pm

dodecahedron wrote:...

I would think it's worth parking at least a bit more money in the BoA checking. With the "Platinum Preferred" status (earned by holding the ETFs at BoA), you qualify for fee-free withdrawals from *any* ATM, not just BoA ATMs. (They waive the BoA alien ATM fee and they reimburse any fees charged by the alien ATM's host bank.) This is super handy, especially for those situations where you are staying in a hotel and need to grab some cash from whatever ATM happens to be in the hotel in order to, say, leave a tip for the housekeeper.

....


Also very handy at multi-day music festivals, where the "alien" ATMs act like the Alien in the Sigourney Weaver movie with their fees--and BoA eats the cost ....
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by indexfundfan » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:31 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:(2) Dividends from Merrill Edge taxable account. I got the first of these sent to Merrill Edge cash account, then I manually transferred it to BoA savings (to spend, not reinvest, as it's not much).
Question: Is there an easier way to get the dividends directly to a BoA (or even better, another bank) checking or savings account?

Merrill Edge can automatically transfer out dividends (ACH) to any bank account of your choice.
Search for the "funds transfer service" and fill up the form.
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Willard » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:39 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Longtermgrowth wrote:I wonder what minimum activity is required to keep a checking account "active" for preferred rewards? Say, opening a checking account solely for the brokerage perks, while keeping normal checking usage with another bank.

Mine just sits there with $5 in it.

Earl


I would think it's worth parking at least a bit more money in the BoA checking. With the "Platinum Preferred" status (earned by holding the ETFs at BoA), you qualify for fee-free withdrawals from *any* ATM, not just BoA ATMs. (They waive the BoA alien ATM fee and they reimburse any fees charged by the alien ATM's host bank.) This is super handy, especially for those situations where you are staying in a hotel and need to grab some cash from whatever ATM happens to be in the hotel in order to, say, leave a tip for the housekeeper.

Also, wire transfers, cashier's checks, and just about anything you can think of associated with a checking account are free at BoA with preferred status. And there are no minimum balances. Plus if you get their (free) Cash Rewards credit card, you can get 75% bonus on your cash rewards if you have the rewards deposited into your BoA account--this gives me 3.5% cash back on groceries and 5.25% on gas.[/quote

Wires are 3 bucks at gold level btw

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:10 pm

Thanks for the information, everyone. :happy

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:28 am

dodecahedron wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:Question: Is it necessary to cash out BoA credit card rewards to a BoA checking or savings account in order to maximize the benefit?


It is necessary for the Cash Rewards card (the one that gives better rates on gas and groceries.)

You also get the bonus if you deposit the CC rewards into a Merrill Edge account.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Longtermgrowth » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:09 am

Did you all choose the sweep program for the brokerage CMA? Looks like there's a no sweep option that doesn't earn any interest on the balance, a bank deposit program, or a few money market mutual funds (BlackRock Investor Fund (BIF) Money Fund or BlackRock Investor Fund (BIF) Treasury Fund) that the brokerage lists receiving compensation of up to 0.44% on balances.

I'm leaning towards the bank deposit program, but curious what you all did.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:32 am

Longtermgrowth wrote:Did you all choose the sweep program for the brokerage CMA? Looks like there's a no sweep option that doesn't earn any interest on the balance, a bank deposit program, or a few money market mutual funds (BlackRock Investor Fund (BIF) Money Fund or BlackRock Investor Fund (BIF) Treasury Fund) that the brokerage lists receiving compensation of up to 0.44% on balances.

I'm leaning towards the bank deposit program, but curious what you all did.


I can't remember making a selection, I can't remember being given a choice, I can't see it in my records of the signup process, I don't know what I've got, and I don't know how to find out.

I can log in and see
Cash Balance $0.00
Money Account Value $0.00
but I don't know the difference between "Cash Balance" and "Money Account Value" but if I ever notice them being non-zero, I'll immediately transfer them over to a BoA account.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Longtermgrowth » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:18 am

*3!4!/5! wrote:
Longtermgrowth wrote:Did you all choose the sweep program for the brokerage CMA? Looks like there's a no sweep option that doesn't earn any interest on the balance, a bank deposit program, or a few money market mutual funds (BlackRock Investor Fund (BIF) Money Fund or BlackRock Investor Fund (BIF) Treasury Fund) that the brokerage lists receiving compensation of up to 0.44% on balances.

I'm leaning towards the bank deposit program, but curious what you all did.


I can't remember making a selection, I can't remember being given a choice, I can't see it in my records of the signup process, I don't know what I've got, and I don't know how to find out.

I can log in and see
Cash Balance $0.00
Money Account Value $0.00
but I don't know the difference between "Cash Balance" and "Money Account Value" but if I ever notice them being non-zero, I'll immediately transfer them over to a BoA account.


Thanks for the reply. I'm getting the information starting at "Cash Management, page 3, 19)" in their pdf CMA Account "Disclosures and Account Agreement": https://olui2.fs.ml.com/publish/content/application/pdf/GWMOL/MerrillLynchSelf-DirectedCMAAccountAgreement.pdf

At 19a) it's noted: "You initially select your primary money account by speaking to a Merrill Edge Representative."

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:24 am

Ah, okay, since I didn't select anything I probably got a default choice. As you can tell, I'm not to worried about the cash/money choice, and I'll try to keep it at $0.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by JT Marlin » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:34 pm

Hi all, I just opened an account with Merrill Edge to take advantage of their $1,000 bonus and wired in over $200,000 (money should hit tomorrow).

I read through the whole page for Preferred Rewards (https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards) and I just need some clarification regarding how to join.

So the way I understand it is that after 3 months, I'll be eligible to enroll in it? But I would also need to open a BoA Checking account right now to let it season for 3 months as well? I need to link up my Merrill Edge and my Checking account first, and then after 3 months, I'd be allowed to join Preferred Rewards through their online portal?

I'm going to be keeping all my money in the Merrill account, but for the purposes of qualifying during the initial 3 months, do I need to hold any money in the BoA Checking account? The fine print states "maintain a three month average combined balance in your qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your qualifying Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts". Which is it, is it "and"? Or is it "or"? lol.

wxl31
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by wxl31 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:52 pm

A follow-up (and cautionary tale) on transferring mutual funds to be held at Merrill Edge. I was unable to transfer a couple Fidelity mutual funds (FTIPX, FUSVX) that seem to be relatively popular and commonplace funds. Called a couple different CSRs at Merrill Edge who said they could not accept those funds, even just to be held (i.e., no plans to trade, reinvest, etc). Not cost-effective to sell them at Fidelity and buy ETFs due to capital gains. No ability at Fidelity to "exchange" them for equivalent ETFs (a la Vanguard) because no equivalent ETFs exist. Threw a kink in my plans about how much I could fund the account.

Bottom line - if you're thinking about playing the brokerage transfer bonus game in your taxable account, get into ETFs early.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:40 am

wxl31 wrote:A follow-up (and cautionary tale) on transferring mutual funds to be held at Merrill Edge. I was unable to transfer a couple Fidelity mutual funds (FTIPX, FUSVX) that seem to be relatively popular and commonplace funds. Called a couple different CSRs at Merrill Edge who said they could not accept those funds, even just to be held (i.e., no plans to trade, reinvest, etc). Not cost-effective to sell them at Fidelity and buy ETFs due to capital gains. No ability at Fidelity to "exchange" them for equivalent ETFs (a la Vanguard) because no equivalent ETFs exist. Threw a kink in my plans about how much I could fund the account.

Bottom line - if you're thinking about playing the brokerage transfer bonus game in your taxable account, get into ETFs early.

That's a very valid cautionary tale. I had a better experience. I have a very strong preference for mutual funds, and would like to stay in them and not switch, so I threw caution to the wind and submitted a request to transfer a Vanguard Admiral Index Fund, and it went through just fine.

Thread "Holding Admiral Shares with ML Edge"
viewtopic.php?p=3086891#p3086891

*3!4!/5! wrote:A datapoint:

I transferred this fund
Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares (VEMAX)
in kind (ACATS) from Vanguard to Merrill Edge.

I did not talk to anyone. I just went ahead and did it online, and it went through fine. It's set to reinvest dividends so I guess I'll see how that goes in December. I assume I can sell and not buy (don't know, didn't ask) but I plan to do neither. The holding will just sit there, untouched, for bonus and Preferred Rewards.
*3!4!/5! wrote:Note: This is an INDEX fund. So this can be done. (There had been some question about what would work.)

sc9182
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sc9182 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:49 am

Wanted to bring up a scenario came across by my cohort: couple of days ago at Fidelity - requested them to match $3250 offer that he could have gotten elsewhere to keep/bring $1 million, it was matched within 24 hours. Believe - this is applicable if you bring 'net-new' monies to Fidelity retail/brokerage side of house. (if you have old employers 401K hanging lose, hanging-chad -- remember ? :-) or if you have brokerage elsewhere - or that if you have a few $KK sitting around in checking-account(s), you can bring that over to Fidelity Brokerage within 60 days of their accepted offer., and they will put $3250 into your Fidelity brokerage account.

You do NOT need to subscribe to their "Advisory" services, or pay any AUM fees etc. You could (*should*) still "self-manage" and adhere to bogleheads AA guidelines or your own preferred investing choices.

I won't advocate transfer/moving 'old' 401K around unless its strictly going into "Rollover IRA" account. NEVER co-mingle with any new contributions, or "add" any other traditional IRA monies into Rollover-IRA account! Strictly keep 401K monies in "Rollover IRA" and never mix/add anything else to it (unless adding monies from another Rollover-IRA or old-401K) !! This will preserve your ability to roll that "Rollover-IRA" over to your current/future employer's 401K in future, if you thus wish to do so.

Also - mindful about IRA creditor/asset/lawsuit/bankruptcy protection $amounts (or the lack of!) and rules in your state ! Luckily, 401Ks are blessed with Federal ERISA protection - where as some states offer 'weaker' protection for IRAs !! Also, there could be $$ limits on IRA asset/creditor protection -- every state got their own rules. Hence be cautious regarding rollover-IRA rules! At a later time - you could chose to move this "Rollover-IRA" assets to your current/new employer 401k -- if the plan is (and its offerings are) decent/low-cost ..

Note: Just as a side-note, may want to leave some monies in old "brokerage" accounts for statements access ..

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by JT Marlin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:54 pm

JT Marlin wrote:Hi all, I just opened an account with Merrill Edge to take advantage of their $1,000 bonus and wired in over $200,000 (money should hit tomorrow).

I read through the whole page for Preferred Rewards (https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards) and I just need some clarification regarding how to join.

So the way I understand it is that after 3 months, I'll be eligible to enroll in it? But I would also need to open a BoA Checking account right now to let it season for 3 months as well? I need to link up my Merrill Edge and my Checking account first, and then after 3 months, I'd be allowed to join Preferred Rewards through their online portal?

I'm going to be keeping all my money in the Merrill account, but for the purposes of qualifying during the initial 3 months, do I need to hold any money in the BoA Checking account? The fine print states "maintain a three month average combined balance in your qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your qualifying Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts". Which is it, is it "and"? Or is it "or"? lol.


I just went to a branch office and opened a BoA checking account. The guy said that my BoA Checking account and my Merrill Edge account should link up automatically based on my SSN. But that didn't happen when we accessed the checking account at the branch. The Merrill Edge specialist came over and said that since my Merrill Edge account is so new, I would need to call them to have them manually link up the accounts. Does anyone have a similar experience?

fareastwarriors
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by fareastwarriors » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:37 pm

JT Marlin wrote:
JT Marlin wrote:Hi all, I just opened an account with Merrill Edge to take advantage of their $1,000 bonus and wired in over $200,000 (money should hit tomorrow).

I read through the whole page for Preferred Rewards (https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards) and I just need some clarification regarding how to join.

So the way I understand it is that after 3 months, I'll be eligible to enroll in it? But I would also need to open a BoA Checking account right now to let it season for 3 months as well? I need to link up my Merrill Edge and my Checking account first, and then after 3 months, I'd be allowed to join Preferred Rewards through their online portal?

I'm going to be keeping all my money in the Merrill account, but for the purposes of qualifying during the initial 3 months, do I need to hold any money in the BoA Checking account? The fine print states "maintain a three month average combined balance in your qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your qualifying Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts". Which is it, is it "and"? Or is it "or"? lol.


I just went to a branch office and opened a BoA checking account. The guy said that my BoA Checking account and my Merrill Edge account should link up automatically based on my SSN. But that didn't happen when we accessed the checking account at the branch. The Merrill Edge specialist came over and said that since my Merrill Edge account is so new, I would need to call them to have them manually link up the accounts. Does anyone have a similar experience?


Not exactly the same as your situation. I have 4 accounts at BoA - 2 checking, 1 joint checking, and 1 saving. All accounts show up when I login but they weren't all "linked."The joint checking and another checking did not linked to my other accounts. I needed the link because without the other accounts, I wasn't able to qualify for preferred rewards program. I had to use the online chat and he/she was able to link all my accounts together.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:12 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:...I had to use the online chat and he/she was able to link all my accounts together. ...
Unfortunately online chat has been dead for several weeks. :?

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by blueberry » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:08 am

sc9182 wrote:Wanted to bring up a scenario came across by my cohort: couple of days ago at Fidelity - requested them to match $3250 offer that he could have gotten elsewhere to keep/bring $1 million, it was matched within 24 hours...


I'd love to know the brokerage that offered the $3250 originally. Sorry if that was stated and I missed it.

-bb

sc9182
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sc9182 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:19 pm

blueberry wrote:
sc9182 wrote:Wanted to bring up a scenario came across by my cohort: couple of days ago at Fidelity - requested them to match $3250 offer that he could have gotten elsewhere to keep/bring $1 million, it was matched within 24 hours...


I'd love to know the brokerage that offered the $3250 originally. Sorry if that was stated and I missed it.

-bb


It goes by trust sometimes. In person appointment: mentioned to Fidelity adviser that - private Banker at Merrill Edge (ME) offered $3250 deal by Oct 21st. And Fidelity rep confirmed Fidelity's match within 24 hours.

There are a few ways to skin this cat. Say you could get $1000 from retail ME on $200k brokerage tranfer/cash, and $1000 from Rollver/IRA side on $200k. Similarly $750 each for $200k (or $250k) from some other brokerage houses (offers as pointed earlier in this thread). If you are willing to put up with this pain, you can come out ahead even with less total $$ tranfer-in.

Thanks

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triceratop
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by triceratop » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:49 am

wxl31 wrote:Seems to happen yearly but is back again and I am finally able to take advantage of it.

Transfer taxable brokerage account assets or IRA assets to Merrill Edge for a bonus.
- transfer 20k: $100 bonus
- transfer 50k: $250 bonus (usually $150)
- transfer 100k: $500 bonus (usually $250)
- transfer 200k: $1000 bonus (usually $600)

Link: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer
Use offer code SFMS16
Ends: October 21, 2016

A few questions for those already with Merrill Edge:

1. Has anybody successfully opened a CMA account and a Roth account around the same time with the promo code in the past and gotten two bonuses? For example, if I open both a CMA account (funded $200k) and a separate Roth account (funded 200k) on the same day, will I get 2x$1000 bonus? I just want to make sure Merrill Edge won't view that as funding $400k and just distribute a $1000 bonus.

2. The assets I want to transfer to the CMA account are in Fidelity mutual funds (unfortunately) with significant capital gains (fortunately). I know trading mutual funds has fees at Merrill Edge but are there fees for just transferring existing Fidelity mutual funds to Merrill Edge, parking them there for the foreseeable future, and then transferring back to Fidelity when I want to liquidate them?

3. Does cost basis transfer over to Merrill Edge automatically?

4. Would you recommend waiting 3 months for the balance to season before applying for a BoA bank account and the TravelRewards credit card?


There appears to be a new bonus offer available through the end of the year:

Link: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer
Ends: December 31, 2016
Use offer code LVEXPO16.

I recently hit $50k in Vanguard assets, combined over a brokerage account and a Roth IRA. Neither is individually greater than $50k.

Question: can I use the combination of assets to qualify for a single $250 bonus? It would be unfortunate to wait a few months to hit $50k in the brokerage account and the offer not be available any longer.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:00 am

^^^ I asked Merrill Edge this question, and they said it had to be in a single account. On the other hand, this higher offer seems to come and go a couple of times a year.

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triceratop
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by triceratop » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:03 am

Thanks, guess I'll wait for the next one.

But presumably the Preferred rewards benefits (free ETF trades) apply to both accounts, right?
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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dodecahedron
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:49 am

triceratop wrote:But presumably the Preferred rewards benefits (free ETF trades) apply to both accounts, right?


Yes, Preferred Reward status is based on the total assets held across all accounts at BoA and Merrill Edge, and once you have qualified for that status, it gives you the applicable perks in every account (e.g., free wire transfers, free trades, etc.)

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by jayhawkerbeef » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:54 am

My main concern with these bonus offers is if the brokerage ever changes their portfolio of the funds or ETFs they offer.

For example, at first glance it appears ME provides practically every Vanguard ETF imaginable, which is good since my holdings are mostly all Vanguard, but would ME ever remove some.

Has anyone ever experienced this at other brokerages?

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:50 am

jayhawk wrote:My main concern with these bonus offers is if the brokerage ever changes their portfolio of the funds or ETFs they offer.

For example, at first glance it appears ME provides practically every Vanguard ETF imaginable, which is good since my holdings are mostly all Vanguard, but would ME ever remove some.

Has anyone ever experienced this at other brokerages?

Most brokerages will offer all of the ETFs there are, although I believe a few exclude some thinly-traded ones. Mutual funds can be a bit different, but in general there they will still offer almost all of them.

But really what is the worry? If they did something like that, then it would be time to roll on to the next bonus!
This week's fortune cookie: "The stock market may be your ticket to success." I sure hope so!

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by fareastwarriors » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:19 pm

triceratop wrote:
wxl31 wrote:Seems to happen yearly but is back again and I am finally able to take advantage of it.

Transfer taxable brokerage account assets or IRA assets to Merrill Edge for a bonus.
- transfer 20k: $100 bonus
- transfer 50k: $250 bonus (usually $150)
- transfer 100k: $500 bonus (usually $250)
- transfer 200k: $1000 bonus (usually $600)

Link: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer
Use offer code SFMS16
Ends: October 21, 2016

A few questions for those already with Merrill Edge:

1. Has anybody successfully opened a CMA account and a Roth account around the same time with the promo code in the past and gotten two bonuses? For example, if I open both a CMA account (funded $200k) and a separate Roth account (funded 200k) on the same day, will I get 2x$1000 bonus? I just want to make sure Merrill Edge won't view that as funding $400k and just distribute a $1000 bonus.

2. The assets I want to transfer to the CMA account are in Fidelity mutual funds (unfortunately) with significant capital gains (fortunately). I know trading mutual funds has fees at Merrill Edge but are there fees for just transferring existing Fidelity mutual funds to Merrill Edge, parking them there for the foreseeable future, and then transferring back to Fidelity when I want to liquidate them?

3. Does cost basis transfer over to Merrill Edge automatically?

4. Would you recommend waiting 3 months for the balance to season before applying for a BoA bank account and the TravelRewards credit card?


There appears to be a new bonus offer available through the end of the year:

Link: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer
Ends: December 31, 2016
Use offer code LVEXPO16.

I recently hit $50k in Vanguard assets, combined over a brokerage account and a Roth IRA. Neither is individually greater than $50k.

Question: can I use the combination of assets to qualify for a single $250 bonus? It would be unfortunate to wait a few months to hit $50k in the brokerage account and the offer not be available any longer.



Wow, I wish I have a $200k account so I can get me some of that new account bonus!

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by jayhawkerbeef » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:48 am

They also have a $600 offer with the same tiers. Just do a google search.

Also, the $600 is paid after maintaining threshold limit for three months, the $1000 requirement is 180 days.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:21 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:Wow, I wish I have a $200k account so I can get me some of that new account bonus!

They have smaller levels that qualify for bonuses as well:

Image
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Cash » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:56 pm

Has anyone done a backdoor Roth with Merrill Edge? Is it easy to do online? One of my frustrations with my old Wells PMA account was faxing in the Roth conversion forms every year...

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by *3!4!/5! » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:17 pm

Cash wrote:Has anyone done a backdoor Roth with Merrill Edge? Is it easy to do online? One of my frustrations with my old Wells PMA account was faxing in the Roth conversion forms every year...

I'd also be interested in how they do conversions and recharacterizations. It looks like it might be harder than at Vanguard (so I would want to avoid needing to do any such thing at MEdge).

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