Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

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jimmyg
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by jimmyg » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:06 am

I plan to open a Merrill Edge account and fund it with $300,000. That should qualify me for Preferred Rewards in one to three months (I'm hoping one month), making me eligible for the $900 bonus, correct?

Can they give me a bigger bonus for investing $300,000? I read about people receiving bigger/unadvertised bonuses for investing larger amounts. The fine print for the $900 bonus says: "You may be eligible for a different or better offer. Please contact us for more information."

I will also take up BofA's targeted email $300 bonus offer to open a checking account since I need a checking account for Preferred Rewards anyway.

I need to coordinate when I apply for the checking account and the Merrill Edge account, sign up for Preferred Rewards, contact Payroll to change my direct deposits to earn the checking bonus, and transfer $300,000 for the ME bonus and to waive the checking account's monthly maintenance fee. Should I worry about potential delays due to identity verification, paperwork, W-9 forms, Medallion Signatures, and what not?

Watts
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by Watts » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am

jimmyg wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:06 am
I plan to open a Merrill Edge account and fund it with $300,000. That should qualify me for Preferred Rewards in one to three months (I'm hoping one month), making me eligible for the $900 bonus, correct?
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.

viewtopic.php?t=218460
http://i.imgur.com/t6wUnJc.png

From what I've read, some people with balances > $250k are automatically upgraded, while others are not. If you don't care about the 100 free trades you get with Platinum Honors, then this shouldn't make a difference to you.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by deltaneutral83 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:19 am

The holding period is 90 days but they don't deposit the bonus usually for 180, and works really well if you hold ETFs for their mobility. My transfer process took about an hour and cost basis flowed over nicely from TDA way back when they ended commission free trades on Vanguard ETF's. Merrill benefits because for every "X" number of people that take these offers, "Y" will spend more on other services (Home mortgage/HELOC/ a "guy"/ auto products etc. etc.). Bogleheads are loss leaders for them. The BoA credit card that offers 2.625% back with Platinum honors status is also nice, particularly for small business owners and tax payments. You simply can't do much better than 2.625% when tax payment fees are 1.87% (see other thread). Nice spread for absolutely nothing, pays for the accountant.

duuuuuude
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by duuuuuude » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:19 pm

Current BofA and Merrill Edge platinum honors status.

Anyone know if one could transfer assets in kind to another brokerage for a little whole then bring it back to Merrill Edge to get a bonus, as the money needs to be “new” money?

Would that be something legal to do?

deltaneutral83
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by deltaneutral83 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:36 pm

duuuuuude wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:19 pm
Current BofA and Merrill Edge platinum honors status.

Anyone know if one could transfer assets in kind to another brokerage for a little whole then bring it back to Merrill Edge to get a bonus, as the money needs to be “new” money?

Would that be something legal to do?
As far as bonuses go be sure to read the terms on the holding periods at each brokerage to satisfy their requirement(s). Not sure the legal aspect you are referencing if you're simply referring to moving ETF's between brokerage firms. Why would that be a legal issue?

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:40 pm

Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.
I've never even had a whisper of that, and my total account balance routinely exceeds that level. Currently it's > 600k, although spread over multiple accounts. Some of that needs to move to another custodian for more bonus.
Play Gloria!

Watts
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by Watts » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:30 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:40 pm
Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.
I've never even had a whisper of that, and my total account balance routinely exceeds that level. Currently it's > 600k, although spread over multiple accounts. Some of that needs to move to another custodian for more bonus.
Yeah, I don't know why it applies to some but not everyone. Glad to hear you haven't experienced that yourself.

Lastrun
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by Lastrun » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:04 pm

Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:30 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:40 pm
Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.
I've never even had a whisper of that, and my total account balance routinely exceeds that level. Currently it's > 600k, although spread over multiple accounts. Some of that needs to move to another custodian for more bonus.
Yeah, I don't know why it applies to some but not everyone. Glad to hear you haven't experienced that yourself.
If you Google Merrill Edge and $250,000 you will indeed see it is a magic number where they want you to move into the ML platform. I spoke about this with the local ME rep at my BofA branch as well. I have $100k plus there and have been pleased and would recommend the preferred rewards program. But, I look at ME/BofA like going to the zoo, if I stay on the paths, etc. I will be fine, but if I climb into the cage, I will get eaten alive.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:23 pm

Lastrun wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:04 pm
If you Google Merrill Edge and $250,000 you will indeed see it is a magic number where they want you to move into the ML platform. I spoke about this with the local ME rep at my BofA branch as well. I have $100k plus there and have been pleased and would recommend the preferred rewards program. But, I look at ME/BofA like going to the zoo, if I stay on the paths, etc. I will be fine, but if I climb into the cage, I will get eaten alive.
As I said, my total is well above that, and I'm certain that at various times individual accounts have been as well. Never heard anything about it from Edge.
Play Gloria!

Lastrun
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by Lastrun » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:43 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:23 pm
Lastrun wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:04 pm
If you Google Merrill Edge and $250,000 you will indeed see it is a magic number where they want you to move into the ML platform. I spoke about this with the local ME rep at my BofA branch as well. I have $100k plus there and have been pleased and would recommend the preferred rewards program. But, I look at ME/BofA like going to the zoo, if I stay on the paths, etc. I will be fine, but if I climb into the cage, I will get eaten alive.
As I said, my total is well above that, and I'm certain that at various times individual accounts have been as well. Never heard anything about it from Edge.
What the ME rep told me is that when you start with ME as an advisor, you have two choices-- a call center or a BofA branch, to solicit for clients. Once you amass enough $250K clients you move up to the full ML platform as an ML advisor. Of course, this does not apply to the self-directed ME platform. So there is likely more going on here and perhaps people are part of the guided solutions and are encouraged to move up with their rep. But this is speculation.

As I said, I am in the preferred rewards program and the platform and service are great and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to maximize their brick and mortar and credit card cash back opportunities.

Watts
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by Watts » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:55 pm

Lastrun wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:04 pm
Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:30 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:40 pm
Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.
I've never even had a whisper of that, and my total account balance routinely exceeds that level. Currently it's > 600k, although spread over multiple accounts. Some of that needs to move to another custodian for more bonus.
Yeah, I don't know why it applies to some but not everyone. Glad to hear you haven't experienced that yourself.
If you Google Merrill Edge and $250,000 you will indeed see it is a magic number where they want you to move into the ML platform. I spoke about this with the local ME rep at my BofA branch as well. I have $100k plus there and have been pleased and would recommend the preferred rewards program. But, I look at ME/BofA like going to the zoo, if I stay on the paths, etc. I will be fine, but if I climb into the cage, I will get eaten alive.
That's very good advice. I also keep the minimum to maintain Platinum Honors status. The benefits of Preferred Rewards are great, and I've been very happy!

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dodecahedron
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by dodecahedron » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:33 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:23 pm
Lastrun wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:04 pm
If you Google Merrill Edge and $250,000 you will indeed see it is a magic number where they want you to move into the ML platform. I spoke about this with the local ME rep at my BofA branch as well. I have $100k plus there and have been pleased and would recommend the preferred rewards program. But, I look at ME/BofA like going to the zoo, if I stay on the paths, etc. I will be fine, but if I climb into the cage, I will get eaten alive.
As I said, my total is well above that, and I'm certain that at various times individual accounts have been as well. Never heard anything about it from Edge.
I have had multiple individual accounts above that level at various points, including one that has been above that level for three years. It remains a Merrill Edge self-directed account.

There was an ML rep who ¨lurked¨ at my bank and was always interested in buttonholing me when I happened to be in the bank but I told him I was not interested and he left me alone.

jimmyg
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by jimmyg » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:40 am

Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.

viewtopic.php?t=218460
http://i.imgur.com/t6wUnJc.png

From what I've read, some people with balances > $250k are automatically upgraded, while others are not. If you don't care about the 100 free trades you get with Platinum Honors, then this shouldn't make a difference to you.
Thanks for the info! I was hoping to do all my investing at one brokerage, but investing at several brokerages would provide more opportunities to earn more bonuses. That being said, I would imagine if I invest a substantial amount at Merrill and they "upgrade" me against my will, then I can request to be "downgraded" or request free ETF trades. If they refuse, then I will force a "downgrade" by taking the bulk of my investments elsewhere and leaving $100,000 at Merrill Edge. :D

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international001
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by international001 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:26 am

jimmyg wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:06 am
I plan to open a Merrill Edge account and fund it with $300,000. That should qualify me for Preferred Rewards in one to three months (I'm hoping one month), making me eligible for the $900 bonus, correct?
PEr my recent experience, after you open the ME account, you have to call them, so they can 'code' it to give you the $900 bonus. Otherwise, it's for members who are already in the Rewards Honors program

jimmyg
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by jimmyg » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:27 pm

international001 wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:26 am
PEr my recent experience, after you open the ME account, you have to call them, so they can 'code' it to give you the $900 bonus. Otherwise, it's for members who are already in the Rewards Honors program
Thanks for the tip! I'll probably open my Merrill account in person at a local BofA branch. This will be my first brokerage account, so I want to make sure I get started on the right foot.

BTW, it seems all the "Merrill" investment offerings are being rebranded as "Merrill" (https://www.merrilledge.com/merrill-flagship), which might make things a bit more confusing... :mrgreen:

student
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by student » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:51 am

jimmyg wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:40 am
Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.

viewtopic.php?t=218460
http://i.imgur.com/t6wUnJc.png

From what I've read, some people with balances > $250k are automatically upgraded, while others are not. If you don't care about the 100 free trades you get with Platinum Honors, then this shouldn't make a difference to you.
Thanks for the info! I was hoping to do all my investing at one brokerage, but investing at several brokerages would provide more opportunities to earn more bonuses. That being said, I would imagine if I invest a substantial amount at Merrill and they "upgrade" me against my will, then I can request to be "downgraded" or request free ETF trades. If they refuse, then I will force a "downgrade" by taking the bulk of my investments elsewhere and leaving $100,000 at Merrill Edge. :D
You can indeed ask them to "downgrade" you (and they will comply for obvious reasons, as you have observed).

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indexfundfan
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by indexfundfan » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:33 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:40 pm
Watts wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:31 am
I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exception that there are no free trades.
I've never even had a whisper of that, and my total account balance routinely exceeds that level. Currently it's > 600k, although spread over multiple accounts. Some of that needs to move to another custodian for more bonus.
Never been contacted about such an "upgrade" either.

Note: once you hit the $1m mark, they put you in "premium elite" customer service. The only difference is that you get a rep who you can contact for help. There is no "upgrade" to "Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management".
My signature has been deleted.

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international001
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by international001 » Tue May 14, 2019 8:34 am

I'll give an update of my process. Don't rely on what they tell you and call both ME and BofA and don't trust anybody

t0: Open ME account
t0: Transform Vanguard MF into ETFs. Many of VAnguard MF are not accepted by ME
t0+5: Transfered completed (w/o cost basis)
t0+5+x: Cost basis transferred. However for MF cost basis doesn't allow you to select your lot. You have to call them to do it. ETFs are fine
t0+20: TME tells me Preferred Rewards Status credit card perks are on BofA. ME gives me free trades in the meantime. BofA tells me that I have to wait 90 dates, despites the $900 offer says the requirement is waived
t0 + 40 (today): On ME website there is a link to subscribe for Preferred Status. It directs me to BofA where I apply. However it's platinium. We guess it's somehow they way they make the avarage balance over 3 months. Instead of waiting 3 months, ME tells me they'll ask platinium Honors status to BofA.
t0+90: I expect to receive the $900 bonus. When I do, I'll move back Vanguard MF to Vanguard. Having a bit over $100k on ETFs will be enough for me.

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international001
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by international001 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:32 pm

Another update:

6/7: I finally see the Platinium Honors membership. I had to wait for the average over 3 months to get > 100k. It looks they don't do the average everyday and this is why it took so long.


An unpleasant surprise, the 75% bonus is over the base rate. For the travel rewards, It's 1.5*1.75 %. For the AA, offering already 2% on gas, it's only 1% + 1 * 1.75%

stilllurking
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by stilllurking » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:52 pm

international001 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:32 pm
Another update:

6/7: I finally see the Platinium Honors membership. I had to wait for the average over 3 months to get > 100k. It looks they don't do the average everyday and this is why it took so long.


An unpleasant surprise, the 75% bonus is over the base rate. For the travel rewards, It's 1.5*1.75 %. For the AA, offering already 2% on gas, it's only 1% + 1 * 1.75%
Looking at dedicated credit card sites, it seems that they all seem to say it's the 2% + the extra 75% on top of it for a total of 3.5%. I always thought it was this way but would be surprised if it wasn't since I'll save myself a credit hit and stay with my current deck of credit cards rather than moving to BoA.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bank-of- ... purchases/

mchampse
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by mchampse » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:23 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:49 am
clown wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:41 am
With respect, allow me to be a skeptic. Do you think ME is setting these up to benefit YOU? Or does it seem more likely that they are setting these up to benefit MERRILL? The answer should be pretty clear. In the long run, it benefits THEM or they wouldn't be doing it. It's just like buying the new car, when they want you to buy the warranty. They sell it because it benefits THEM.
Their motivation is a puzzle but all I can say is that I easily moved most of my funds out of Merrill Edge years ago (after satisfying the six month minimum holding period or whatever it was) and there clearly has been a significant benefit to me from costlessly parking the funds at ME for a while. I moved the VG funds in-kind very easily out of ME to Schwab.
The benefit to ML is that while you intend to take your money back out once the bonus period is over, there’s some number of people who don’t and keep their assets there. While the assets are at ML, they make money in a variety of ways. Lots of banks and financial firms give out incentives to move assets to their institution only dependent on keeping the promised amounts for several months so clearly it does bring long term business into those firms.

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international001
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by international001 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:56 am

stilllurking wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:52 pm
international001 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:32 pm
Another update:

6/7: I finally see the Platinium Honors membership. I had to wait for the average over 3 months to get > 100k. It looks they don't do the average everyday and this is why it took so long.


An unpleasant surprise, the 75% bonus is over the base rate. For the travel rewards, It's 1.5*1.75 %. For the AA, offering already 2% on gas, it's only 1% + 1 * 1.75%
Looking at dedicated credit card sites, it seems that they all seem to say it's the 2% + the extra 75% on top of it for a total of 3.5%. I always thought it was this way but would be surprised if it wasn't since I'll save myself a credit hit and stay with my current deck of credit cards rather than moving to BoA.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bank-of- ... purchases/
WEll.. I bet they didn't check it out. I had AAA card and grocery gives me back 1% + 1% + 0.75%

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international001
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by international001 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:02 am

ACtually, it's described better if you look down:

----
AAA Member Rewards
This is the card I was most excited about researching. Points are worth 1¢ a piece. Update: It looks like you only earn the Bank of America Preferred Rewards bonus on the 1 base points and not on the category bonuses as well, this makes it significantly less attractive of an option. We’ve updated the post accordingly, thanks to reader, Tyler for pointing this out.

AAA Purchases

Gold: 3.25x points on AAA purchases
Platinum: 3.5x points on AAA purchases
Platinum Honors: 3.75x points on AAA purchases
--


AAA Purchases I guess it means travel


For whatever reason, 'BankAmericard Cash Rewards' doesn't seem to have this limitation.

stilllurking
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Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Post by stilllurking » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:34 am

I was only referring to the BoA line up of cards and noticed you were taking about the AAA card.

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