It never fails. The week *after* I decide to take advantage of the Costco sign-up bonus at Sharebuilder ($60 added to your account via code COEXECLIST60), I get the new November, 2008 edition of the Costco Connection magazine and there on page 20 is a new $90 account bonus offer! It’s just like buying electronics I guess — immediate obsolescence.
The $90 account bonus is for Executive Members (Gold Star and Business Members just get $70.00) who setup a new ShareBuilder account, enter their Costco membership number, and make at least one stock or ETF purchase. The $90.00 will be added to your account approximately 4 to 6 weeks after that stock or ETF purchase. (The $60 offer had claimed 6 to 8 weeks so they must be getting better at processing these or something 🙂 ) This offer only applies to non-IRA and non-ESA (Education Savings Accounts) opened by Dec 15, 2008 and the first stock purchase must be by January 31, 2009. (How many people put money into a trading account and then wait 45 days to do something with it??) In addition, you’ll get a 25% quarterly rebate on transaction charges.
To sign up, go here: www.sharebuilder.com/stockup Or use the code ‘COEXSTOCKUP’ when opening an account.
The fine print also says “Limit one ShareBuilder account bonus per unique customer or custodial beneficiary”. I’m unsure if this means for this offer or in total across all ShareBuilder accounts you may have. I do interpret that to mean that you could open 3 accounts for a husband and wife — one individual for him, one individual for her, and one joint for both. Those are often treated as three different legal entities when it comes to finances.
So why would you want to do this? Well, for approximately $15.00 in transactions fees, you can make a 100+% return on your money! Just open an account with at least $20 (ShareBuilder lets you buy fractional shares of stocks by the way) and wait for that $90 to hit your cash balance and then withdraw it all. The $20 is the minimum ‘funding’ that qualifies as far as I can tell. You’ll need to do the automated stock purchase plan that buys on Tuesdays to get in with a $4.95 comission, then sell using the “Real Time” $9.99 commission option. If you put in $20 to start, and can make your roundtrip trades without losing any money (buy an ETF based on bonds?), you’re making a 375% ROI!
Yes, I know you can only do this on $20, which is peanut change, but still it’s pretty close to free money for just a little bit of work. I’ve even read that some people are even doing this multiple times by opening an account, waiting to get the bonus, then closing the account so they can establish a new one after a little bit of a delay. Say they did this 4 or so times per year, 8 for a married couple — making a maximum of $300 (or $600 for a couple) for locking up $20 dollars through out the year. Still not a huge amount but every little bit helps, right?
EDIT: The bonuses have made it in to our accounts only 30 days later.