In the face of commission-free trading recently unveiled by a slew of discount brokers, Bank of America has extended unlimited free trading in stocks, exchange traded funds and options to all customers of its self-directed Merrill Edge platform, the bank says.

“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,” Aron Levine, head of consumer banking and investments at Bank of America, the parent company of Merrill Lynch, says in a press release from the company.

“Our award-winning service, innovative solutions, and unmatched benefits support clients throughout their entire financial journey and during every stage of their lives.”

In October, days after Charles Schwab, E*Trade, Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade announced they were dropping trading commissions, Bank of America unveiled unlimited commission-free stock, ETF and options trades to members in all tiers of its “Preferred Rewards” program, which has an account minimum of $20,000, as reported.

That program has more than six million clients, according to Bank of America.

Other clients on Merrill Edge received a $4 drop in commissions, from $6.95 to $2.95, for stock and ETF trades.


Yesterday’s move from the bank extends free trades to every self-directed Merrill Edge customer, Levine says in the press release.

The company didn’t disclose the number of accounts on the platform, but it had $223 billion in client assets as of September, according to Investor’s Business Daily.