If you have $100,000 in cash and/or eligible securities, you can take advantage of Fidelity’s 200 free trades offer . It’s not uncommon for brokers to offer free trades to entice you to transfer your funds, TradeKing  has a $100 refer a friend offer  and a $150 transfer reimbursement offer , and 200 seems to be a nice round number that has the “wow factor” they’re looking for. If you want to do a dollar comparison, Fidelity trades are $7.95 a piece so this offer has a potential value of $1590, if you were to use all the trades.
Some basic ground rules:
- The funds have to come from an external account, so you can’t transfer from another Fidelity account.
- The free trades must be used within 90 days.
- The offer ends June 31, 2011.
I personally prefer cash bonuses, but that’s because I don’t think I’ll be making 200 trades in 90 days. The trade-off between a cash bonus as a free trade bonus is that the cash is immediately reported on a 1099. With free trades, it’s not clear how the promotion is going to be reported to the IRS but at worst it’ll be the cash value of the free trades you actually use. I find it difficult to believe they’d 1099 you for $1590.
Some more terms & conditions:
This Free Trade offer is valid only to new Fidelity customers opening a Fidelity IRA or brokerage account. In order to receive 200 free trades, you must open and fund a new eligible account with at least $100,000 in cash and/or eligible securities.
This Free Trade offer is valid for non-retirement (Individual, Joint or Trust) or Fidelity IRA (Rollover IRA, Traditional IRA, Inherited IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA) accounts in which individual security trading is not prohibited and which meet the minimum account opening or funding requirements for this offer. Offer not valid for non-U.S. residents, Stock Plan Services accounts, PAS accounts, clients of registered investment advisors working with Fidelity Investments, persons affiliated with FINRA, or employees of Fidelity, its affiliates, and members of their immediate families and households. Fidelity reserves the right to terminate this offer at any time. Additional exclusions, terms, and conditions apply, including trade limitations and minimum account balance requirements. Visit www.fidelity.com/200trades for complete Offer Rules.
(Photo: walkercleaveland )