Bank of America Expands Unlimited Zero-Dollar Trades to All Merrill Edge Self-Directed Clients

December 9, 2019 at 8:00 AM Eastern

Bank of America today announced the expansion of unlimited commission-free online stock, ETF and option trading to all Merrill Edge Self-Directed investors.1 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.

“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,” said Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking and Investments at Bank of America. “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.”

Turning ideas into action – The award-winning Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform delivers a personalized investing experience to clients through:

  • Insightful research: Clients gain valuable insights into what’s driving the market through research and perspectives from a range of resources, including award-winning BofA Global Research, CFRA (powered by S&P Global) and Morningstar.
  • Informed investing: Self-Directed clients can evaluate stocks, funds and their portfolios through Merrill’s patent-pending Stock Story, Fund Story and Portfolio Story capabilities, which provide engaging experiences that help clients make more informed investing decisions.
  • Best execution: Trade execution is a critical factor in determining investing success. Merrill optimizes and continuously monitors trades and does not accept payment for order flow.

Advice and guidance – Merrill Guided Investing is a unique online advisory program, combining a convenient digital experience with access to investment strategies developed and managed by the company’s Chief Investment Office, rather than algorithms. Merrill Guided Investing was expanded in June 2019 to include the option for clients to partner with a Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor (FSA) to help identify life priorities, chart a course to achieving financial goals and track progress toward those goals.

Rewarding relationships – With more than 6 million members, Preferred Rewards is the first no-fee program of its kind that recognizes and rewards clients for choosing to do more across their Bank of America and Merrill accounts. The loyalty program’s unique relationship-based approach provides members extensive rewards and benefits across their deposit accounts, investments, credit cards, mortgages and auto loans, along with exclusive discounts and experiences. Members enjoy program benefits including credit card rewards bonuses, discounts on home and auto loans, monthly account maintenance fee waivers, and more.

Integrated banking and investing – Clients can access a full range of Bank of America banking products and Merrill investing strategies through a customizable dashboard, along with an integrated view of their banking and investment accounts. Clients can easily manage and transfer funds between their Bank of America banking and Merrill investment accounts in real time and with a single login.

Industry-leading client care – Merrill is continually recognized for client service, user experience and everyday banking rewards benefits. Most recently, the Merrill Investment Center was recognized for the ninth consecutive year by J.D. Power for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" for phone support.3 The certification reflects Merrill’s ongoing commitment to industry-leading client care. Earlier this year, the company was also recognized in Barron’s 2019 Best Online Brokers review4 and the 2019 annual review by, which ranked Merrill Edge No. 1 for “Overall Client Experience” and highlighted Merrill Edge’s “award-winning customer service.”5


1 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. There are costs associated with owning ETFs. To learn more about Merrill pricing, visit

2 Source: S3, a third-party analytics provider. Figures include orders sized 500-4,999 of S&P 500 stocks only for the third quarter ending September 30, 2019. For more information, see

3 J.D. Power 2019 Certified Customer Service ProgramSM recognition is based on successful completion of an evaluation and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark through a survey of recent servicing interactions. For more information, visit Rankings and recognition from J.D. Power are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results, and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement. Participation in this survey was paid for by Merrill.

4 Merrill Edge Self-Directed was one of 14 brokers evaluated in the Barron’s 2019 Best Online Broker Survey, February 22, 2019. Barron’s evaluated firms in their trading platform, usability, mobile, research, education, news, information, international offerings and retirement/divided-related services to rate the firms. Merrill Edge Self-Directed earned an overall score of 28 out of a possible 50. Learn more at Barron’s is a trademark of Dow Jones & Co., L.P. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Barron’s. Rankings and recognition from Barron’s are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results, and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement.

5 Merrill Edge Self-Directed was evaluated as one of 16 online brokers in 2019 Online Broker Review, published on February 20, 2019. evaluated brokers using 284 variables across nine categories. The “Best-In-Class” rating recognizes brokers that ranked in the top five in that category. Learn more at Rankings and recognition from are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results, and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, including approximately 2,400 lending centers, 2,600 financial centers with a Consumer Investment Financial Solutions Advisor and 1,900 business centers; approximately 16,600 ATMs; and award-winning digital banking with nearly 38 million active users, including approximately 29 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.

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Reporters May Contact:
Andy Aldridge, Bank of America
Phone: 1.980.387.0514