Merrill Lynch is offering new retail clients 100 dollars to open an ML Direct Cash Management Account. Between now and July 21, clients who sign up for ML Direct's CMA using the firm's online account application will have 100 dollars deposited into their accounts within six weeks of funding the account.
ML Direct is Merrill's online service for self-directed investors, offering 29.95 dollar trades, research and other services.
The firm made the pitch in May via an e-mail sent to those who had signed up for a free 30-day trial of ML Direct's research. The CMA account must remain open for six months to qualify for the cash.
The firm does not charge for its online CMA, which requires a minimum of 20,000 dollars in cash and/or securities.
The firm said in a quarterly SEC filing on May 12 that ML Direct has more than 2 billion dollars in customer assets after its first full quarter in operation.
A "tour" of the service is available at www.mldirect.ml.com.