If you want to fast-track your personal finances, success ultimately boils down to how badly you want financial freedom, how willing you are to capitalize on opportunities when they arise, and how disciplined you are about spending.
Remember, achieving long-term financial success starts with being highly discerning. Sometimes, the best deal you take is the one that you avoid. Still, if you’re considering opening up a new brokerage account, why not get free stocks while you’re at it?
Today, several apps give out free stocks. In most cases, all you have to do is sign up with one of the investing apps below using a referral link or promo code. The promotional bonus is then automatically applied to your account.
13 Apps with Free Stock Sign-Up Bonuses
Here are the top apps offering free stocks when you open a new account or refer your friends:
- M1 Finance
- SoFi Invest
Public.com lets you invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, and alternative investments. Unlike other platforms, Public offers a unique social component with access to the wider Public community, which can lead you to discover new investing opportunities.
Sign-up for Public, open a brokerage account, deposit funds, and they will give you a piece of stock valued at up to $300.
Robinhood is a leading investing app that offers commission-free trading for stocks, options, and ETFs. The platform also offers micro-investing and lets you buy and sell cryptocurrencies. However, even though I made some solid money on bitcoin back in the day, I generally don’t encourage my readers to gamble their savings on crypto.
Here’s how Robinhood’s free stock offer works: When you sign up for Robinhood, the company will automatically add up to $200 in free stock to your account when you fulfill the conditions of their promotion. Stock bonuses are usually awarded within about a week.
In addition, Robinhood offers a referral program that will give you up to $1,500 annually in free stocks.
Robinhood makes investing simple with their mobile app. You'll also trade commission-free, and can start building your portfolio with just $1. Use our link to earn up to $200 in free stock.
Webull is an online brokerage that offers 2 free fractional shares, each valued up to $300, when you open an account. Then, when you deposit any amount to receive 4 – 10 free fractional shares each valued up to $3000; a total of up to 12 free stocks.
According to Webull, the free stock you’ll receive is valued between $3 and $300. After an initial deposit, you receive get an additional either 4, 8, or 10 free stocks valued between $7 and $3,000.
Webull also offers a referral program that will give you more free stocks. However, it comes with a catch: The person you invite must make an initial deposit of $100 or more in their account.
Stash is an automated investment service for beginners who want a passive way to start putting money aside for long-term growth. The subscription-based service will take small amounts of money and invest it in the stock market while giving you options as to where you should invest your money. Stash lets you buy fractional shares of stocks—which is also called micro-investing—so you can invest however much or little money you want.
As a promotion, Stash is currently offering a $20 of free stock for signing up for its service. However, they also charge a monthly fee. There are two plans: Stash Growth a $3/month and Stash+ at $9/month.
If you think this app will encourage you to invest, then go for it. But you’ll want to get in and get out quickly before you start paying hefty annual fees, which can potentially negate your earnings.
Price: $3 - $9 Per Month
Stash is one of the best investing apps for beginners, with tons of options, a low price point, and personalized guidance.
Acorns is an investment platform that enables you to invest your spare change by automatically rounding up each purchase and routing your spare change to your account. The platform also issues rewards to users who shop with partner brands, so depending on your style and habits, you might be able to start growing a decent account by spending your money strategically.
The Acorns app offers three plans: Assist at $1/month for those experiencing financial hardship, Personal at $3/month, and Family at $5/month. The platform doesn’t have hidden fees, and they also reimburse any ATM fees you might incur.
Currently, Acorns is offering a $10 sign-up bonus, and has a “Get $5, Give $5” referral program.
Price: $3 per month
Easily save & invest in the background of life. Invest your spare change, save for retirement, spend smarter, earn more, and grow your knowledge.
6. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is a money management platform and trading app designed to help users save more money and invest their funds for free. You can also borrow funds with a minimum of $2,000 invested and open a cashback rewards credit card.
When you refer a friend to M1, you get a $100 investing bonus, plus six free months of M1 Plus, the platform’s premium version that comes with higher cashback rewards, lower borrowing rates, and on-demand crypto trading.
Free automated investing. Create your own portfolio with any stock and/or ETF, for free. Users can also get access to lines of credit. Try M1Finance Today!
7. SoFi Invest
With SoFi Invest, users can trade stocks, ETFs, crypto, or try out their automated investing. Invest in fraction shares and get a chance to participate in IPOs before they trade on public markets.
New users who sign up for a SoFi Active Investing account get to use The Claw to win free stock ranging from $5 – $1000.
DiversyFund is a real estate investment platform that allows the inexperienced to easily start and diversify their portfolio. This easy to use service, available on desktop, tablets, and phones, gives the user the control and knowledge to meet their financial goals.
The financial and real estate pros at DiversyFund will manage your account! So you can relax knowing your investments are in good hands.
Earn a $100 bonus for opening a new account! The only catch is you first have to make the investment minimum of $500 to receive it.
ETRADE, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, is an online trading platform with over 3 million users. Being one of the first of its kind, this online service offers an array of ways to create a solid portfolio that is personalized to you!
Choose the best account that fits you (brokerage, small business, retirement, personal portfolio).
Receive up to $600 by creating and funding (5,000 or more) a new brokerage or retirement account! The more you deposit, the more free cash you earn.
Building a strong portfolio is not just for the elite anymore. Groundfloor is a great way to start making money investing in real estate. Unlike most services of its kind, you can start making dividends in the short term.
Once the account is created, invest at least $100 to be eligible to receive the sign up bonus of $50. Once you do this, the $50 will hit your account in 30 days.
Tornado is a great example of why it’s important to read the fine print before jumping into any of these services. On their website, Tornado claims you receive up to $1,000 in “free cash after joining”. Cashback is also distributed for each successful referral. Not too bad, right?
This offer seems pretty solid at first — until you look at the probability of receiving each randomly selected award. For example, the company claims there is a 39.94% chance of receiving the minimum $5 award. On the flip side, there is only a 0.02% chance of receiving $1,000. Aha!
Granted, an $5 referral bonus is not terrible, and if you like gambling, you may enjoy the thrill of potentially landing a large bonus.
It’s also important to consider that Tornado charges a $4.50 commission per stock trade. But keep in mind that many platforms, like Robinhood, Fidelity, and Schwab, now offer commission-free trades.
However, Tornado doesn’t have any monthly fees or membership fees, which is a great thing. Customers also don’t have to pay fees to open or close accounts, or when transferring funds. Last but not least, there is also no minimum account requirement.
Stockpile is an online investing platform that lets new users get started with just $5. I’m detecting a pattern here.
On Stockpile, you can buy fractional shares of upwards of 1,000 stocks and ETFs. Stockpile is free to sign up for the first month, but the service charges a $4.95 monthly membership fee after the free trial period.
What sets Stockpile apart from its competitors is that you can send gifts of stock to your friends on the network. Your kids can also open up shop on the network, and you’re able to approve their trades before they go through.
At the time of this writing, Stockpile is offering $10 worth of free stock. Hey, at least they’re more honest than the companies suggesting you might end up with hundreds of dollars worth of stock, or even more.
Popular for beginners, MooMoo is an online trading platform that doesn’t take any broker commission from its U.S. users. Take advantage of the educational and analytical tools offered to optimize your portfolio.
Something to be aware of…MooMoo is restrained by only offering stocks, ETFs, and options.
Open an account today and get free stocks! ($0 deposit = 1 stock, $100 = 5 stocks, $1000 = 15 free stocks + sweepstakes entry)
Are Free Stocks Legit?
While the apps that give you free stocks listed above are legit, the real question here isn’t whether free shares of stock are worth it.
Instead of going after free stuff as a priority, you should first ask whether investment apps, in general, are a good fit for your needs. You need to determine how much you want to commit to this process. You also need to decide whether you are serious about building a strong and diversified portfolio that’s designed for long-term success or whether you’re just looking to passively invest using apps.
If you have no skin in the game, and you just need a push to start buying stocks, then using an investment app is a great way to begin. Even just having an app handy on your phone will encourage you to spend more time thinking about your finances, instead of mindlessly browsing Instagram or burning hours away on mobile games.
Who knows? A simple decision to download an app could be a stepping stone to financial mindfulness. Only you can determine whether investment apps and their free stock bonuses and referrals are right for you, or whether you need something more structured right off the bat.
So, what’s the catch?
By this point, you are probably wondering why companies would give money away for merely signing up for their services. Is there a catch?
There is one answer and one answer only: These are promotions. And almost all promotions are designed to make companies money first, at the expense of their customers. It may sound cold, but that’s just how it works.
Be wary that the signup bonus isn’t masking hidden fees. As my readers know, I detest fees. They are one of the top wealth killers — and one of the most overlooked aspects for investors.
Also, keep in mind that some of these apps offer free stocks that aren’t all that valuable. Many of the free stocks that you might get don’t even offer dividends, which are something that new investors may want to prioritize.
Typically, customers have no say in the free stocks they receive during promotions. Of course, some free stocks can be valuable. Remember, this is how investment apps like to pull in consumers: by dangling the opportunity for large payouts.
How to Choose the Right Investing App
When choosing an investment or stock trading platform, you should spend more time looking into the actual program, and deciding whether it’s a good fit for you personally.
For example, does the company offer a commission-free trading platform, or do they charge fees for trades? Are there account minimums to worry about? And does the platform offer access to the types of investment vehicles that you want (e.g. ETFs, index funds, or IRAs)?
Are Free Stock Bonuses Worth It?
It’s important to think about what you are actually getting in terms of free stock shares in exchange for what you’re giving up.
Just because a company is offering something for free, doesn’t necessarily mean you should take the deal. You should always question what you are getting in return and whether the offer is worth your time and your money.
For example, you may be better off pulling your money together and investing in some ETFs or index funds that will benchmark your investments and provide relatively stable returns over time. It will also help you plan more for the long term instead of potentially wasting your time buying and selling stocks for short-term gains.
Of course, investment apps don’t like to advertise the dangers of reckless investing and making haphazard decisions. If you’re just starting off, think carefully about building a stable financial future for yourself. The best way to win in the long run is to be intelligent about the choices you make from the outset.
Do your due diligence, design an investment strategy that works for you, and never invest any more money than you’re comfortable losing. With a little patience and a lot of determination, you can put together a decent portfolio that starts going to work for you every day. Inch by inch is a cinch, as they say.