Bank of America expands commission-free online stock, ETF and option trading

Maria Nikolova

Bank of America extends unlimited commission-free online stock, ETF and option trading to all Merrill Edge Self-Directed investors.

Bank of America today announces it is expanding its unlimited commission-free online stock, ETF and option trading to all Merrill Edge Self-Directed investors.

Zero-dollar trades, together with the firm’s powerful combination of personalized guidance, straightforward tools, professional expertise and the industry-leading Preferred Rewards program, ensure Bank of America and Merrill clients can pursue their financial goals through a complete continuum of banking and investing solutions.

Let’s note, however, that other fees may apply. Free and $0 means there is no commission charged for these trades. $0 option trades are subject to a $0.65 per-contract fee. Sales are subject to a transaction fee of between $0.01 and $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. In addition, there are costs associated with owning ETFs.

Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking and Investments at Bank of America, explains:

“We first introduced zero-dollar trading in 2006, expanded it to unlimited free online trading for all Preferred Rewards members this fall, and are now making it available to all of our self-directed clients. With free trades now an industry standard, attracting clients and building lifelong relationships will depend even more on the value investment firms bring to the table. Our award-winning service, innovative solutions, and unmatched benefits support clients throughout their entire financial journey and during every stage of their lives.”

A number of online trading majors have shifted to zero-commission trading this fall. The group includes companies like TradeStation, Ally Invest, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab. In terms of financial effects of such a change, TD Ameritrade expects this decision to have a revenue impact of approximately $220-240 million per quarter, or approximately 15-16% of net revenues, based on June Quarter fiscal 2019 revenue.

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