BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills.
Post Reply
Topic Author
SwiftKey
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2023 6:46 am

BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by SwiftKey »

Hi all,

I am looking at moving some assets to Merrill Edge for three main reasons:
- there is a $600 bonus offer for transferring $200k in new assets
- Platinum Honors for the BofA credit cards (I’m still considering which one specifically).
- stop direct depositing a portion of payroll to BofA chequing while still avoiding account fee

Currently my taxable and IRA accounts are at Vanguard. The taxable account specifically is invested in VTSAX and VTIAX, plus a small emergency fund in VUSXX.

My plan is as follows:
  1. Call Vanguard to convert the VTSAX and VTIAX mutual fund holdings to their ETF counterparts, VTI and VXUS
  2. Open a Merrill Edge brokerage account using the bonus offer
  3. Initiate a partial transfer of assets from Vanguard brokerage (not IRA) to ME (VTI and VXUS only)
  4. Apply for BofA card (TBD specifically which one) and make sure Platinum Honors is active
  5. Leave assets in ME long enough for bonus deposit
  6. Partial transfer back to Vanguard, leaving enough for PH
Any pitfalls or anything I’ve missed? From what I can tell, none of the above should trigger a taxable event, nor should there be any transfer fees.

Will all of the cost basis information survive the conversion to ETF and then transfer to ME?
lakpr
Posts: 11279
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:59 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by lakpr »

If you transfer those assets to Robinhood, you will get $6,000 bonus instead of $600.

It would take a whole lot of charging and 5.25% cash back to make up the difference of $5,400..

Just saying!
LifeIsGood
Posts: 1230
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by LifeIsGood »

All I'm seeing for a Robinhood transfer bonus is 1% of assets transferred - not the 3% you quoted and it appears the 1% offer expired 1/31/24.
lakpr wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 2:53 am If you transfer those assets to Robinhood, you will get $6,000 bonus instead of $600.

It would take a whole lot of charging and 5.25% cash back to make up the difference of $5,400..

Just saying!
lakpr
Posts: 11279
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:59 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by lakpr »

LifeIsGood wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 4:51 am All I'm seeing for a Robinhood transfer bonus is 1% of assets transferred - not the 3% you quoted and it appears the 1% offer expired 1/31/24.
lakpr wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 2:53 am If you transfer those assets to Robinhood, you will get $6,000 bonus instead of $600.

It would take a whole lot of charging and 5.25% cash back to make up the difference of $5,400..

Just saying!
There is a mega thread about Robinhood bonus on transfer of IRA assets.
viewtopic.php?t=410277

Edit: I just realized that I was posting about the transfer of IRA assets and the associated RH bonus; but the OP, @SwiftKey has explicitly mentioned about partial transfer of taxable assets. My apologies for mis-reading.
Last edited by lakpr on Mon Feb 12, 2024 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
SwiftKey
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2023 6:46 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by SwiftKey »

lakpr wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 2:53 am If you transfer those assets to Robinhood, you will get $6,000 bonus instead of $600.

It would take a whole lot of charging and 5.25% cash back to make up the difference of $5,400..

Just saying!
My emergency fund extends beyond the 90 days for the BofA/ME lockup period; I can’t say the same about 5 years for RH. Maybe something to look into for the IRA though, since I can’t access those funds without penalty for many years anyway.
evancox10
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by evancox10 »

SwiftKey wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:58 pm Hi all,

I am looking at moving some assets to Merrill Edge for three main reasons:
- there is a $600 bonus offer for transferring $200k in new assets
- Platinum Honors for the BofA credit cards (I’m still considering which one specifically).
- stop direct depositing a portion of payroll to BofA chequing while still avoiding account fee

Currently my taxable and IRA accounts are at Vanguard. The taxable account specifically is invested in VTSAX and VTIAX, plus a small emergency fund in VUSXX.

My plan is as follows:
  1. Call Vanguard to convert the VTSAX and VTIAX mutual fund holdings to their ETF counterparts, VTI and VXUS
  2. Open a Merrill Edge brokerage account using the bonus offer
  3. Initiate a partial transfer of assets from Vanguard brokerage (not IRA) to ME (VTI and VXUS only)
  4. Apply for BofA card (TBD specifically which one) and make sure Platinum Honors is active
  5. Leave assets in ME long enough for bonus deposit
  6. Partial transfer back to Vanguard, leaving enough for PH
Any pitfalls or anything I’ve missed? From what I can tell, none of the above should trigger a taxable event, nor should there be any transfer fees.

Will all of the cost basis information survive the conversion to ETF and then transfer to ME?
Seems fine, this is basically what I did. Make sure you transfer enough assets to account for some market value fluctuations and still meet the $200k threshold.

Since you already have a checking account, you will have to wait ~2-3 months for the 3-month average balance to catch up and for the rewards status to become active.

And yes, for tracked securities cost basis will carry over. If for some reason it didn't, you could call to rectify this (I suppose).
Topic Author
SwiftKey
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2023 6:46 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by SwiftKey »

Thanks for the heads up on the rolling average 👍
CashConfessions
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:24 pm

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by CashConfessions »

I would just caution that you make sure Vanguard is converting the MF shares to their ETF equivalent.

When I did something similar a few years ago, the front-line call center employee was initially going to sell the MF and repurchase the ETF (a taxable event.)
Topic Author
SwiftKey
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2023 6:46 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by SwiftKey »

CashConfessions wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:19 pm I would just caution that you make sure Vanguard is converting the MF shares to their ETF equivalent.

When I did something similar a few years ago, the front-line call center employee was initially going to sell the MF and repurchase the ETF (a taxable event.)
Glad I tried this in my Roth IRA first.. I thought I was clear but it still seems like it went in as a sell and a buy. Irrelevant since it’s Roth, but will have to try harder for my taxable account….
Okoboji
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:07 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by Okoboji »

I did just that recently, transferred inkind stocks 225k. I did it online from the merril site, after 90 days when I’ve received the $600 I’ll move 100 back to VG. It currently shows me as platinum. While I was at it, I cancelled my AMEx gold card that I’ve had since 1995- wasn’t worth the $250 fee per year- I moved over to their no fee, everyday so I don’t lose the points.
User avatar
UncleLeo
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:43 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by UncleLeo »

SwiftKey wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:58 pm - there is a $600 bonus offer for transferring $200k in new assets
There's a $750 offer: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/me750
Topic Author
SwiftKey
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2023 6:46 am

Re: BofA/ME bonus offer and Platinum Honors - critique my plan please

Post by SwiftKey »

UncleLeo wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:04 pm
SwiftKey wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:58 pm - there is a $600 bonus offer for transferring $200k in new assets
There's a $750 offer: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/me750
Thanks, just saw that today actually :)
Post Reply