Updated May 4, 2024

How to Get Free Stocks

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Discover 15+ platforms offering free stocks and bonuses - a fortune isn't essential.

The stock market can feel intimidating and expensive.

But as it turns out, you don't have to break the bank to get your portfolio started.

In fact, there are ways to get stocks for free.

In this article, review the best places to get free stocks and how to cash in. Plus, learn which platforms offer trading bonuses.

How to Get Free Stocks

Retail investors may not have huge fortunes to work with. But their numbers are growing thanks to active efforts made to recruit them.

One way they're being recruited is through free stock offerings. Or, rewards that can be put toward buying stocks.

Let's take a look at the best ways to get stocks for free.

Robinhood: Commission-free trading

You've probably heard of Robinhood. It's one of the most well-known apps targeted toward retail investors.

This commission-free trading platform offers stocks, options, ETFs, and limited crypto trading with no minimums.

Their user-friendly app does a lot to make investing easy and stress-free. It's intuitive, so that all you really have to do is download it from the App Store or Google Play Store and follow where it leads you.

While Robinhood isn't necessarily the best investing platform out there, it does provide new investors the opportunity to get comfortable with the investing process.

Key Features:

  • Commission-free trades
  • User-friendly app
  • No minimums
  • Fractional shares
  • Real-time market updates
  • Extended trading hours
  • Free cash card account
  • Stocks
  • Cryptocurrency
  • 24/7 customer support online and by phone

Value of free stock: $5 to $200[1]

How to get your free stock
Robinhood will give you free stock when you sign up and when you refer friends to the app. You will receive a cash value, and you can pick your gift stock from a list of 20 of America's leading companies.[2]

How to sell or cash out
You can sell your free stock 3 trading days after you receive it. But you cannot withdraw the cash value of your free stock for 30 days.

Public: Social trading ETFs

Public is a popular app that's part investing platform and part social network. Users can trade fractional shares of stocks, crypto, and ETFs, and even keep up with recent IPOs on Public.

Trading starts at just a dollar.

On Public, you can see what other people trade, see when people are selling and buying, how long they've held, and more.

Plus, thanks to their messaging system, you can chat with other traders publicly about strategy, investing news, and anything else you might need to make the best investments.

Key Features:

  • Invest in themed ETFs
  • Social investing
  • Commission-free trades
  • Fractional shares
  • Over 5,000 U.S. stocks and ETFs
  • Cryptocurrency

Value of free stock: $3 to $300

How to get your free stock
Public offers new users a free stock just for signing up. Referring friends to the app will also earn you stocks.[3]

How to sell or cash out
You can sell your free stock as soon as you get it. But you cannot cash out the proceeds from free stocks for 90 days.

Webull: Platform for active traders

Webull is another investing app catering to retail investors, and it's particularly popular with millennials. They offer commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, and options.

Like Robinhood, Webull's goal is to bring trading to the masses. The biggest difference between the two is that Webull has decided to cater to traders who have more experience.

They offer a lot more in terms of research than Robinhood does, meaning it can be a little overwhelming for beginners, but provides added value to those who know what they're doing.

That said, if you're still learning and want to level up faster, Webull also offers a practice account where you can trade without the risk of losses.

Key Features:

  • Commission-free trades
  • No minimums
  • Free extended trading accounts
  • Free margin account with $2,000 minimum
  • Trading simulator
  • Advanced research tools
  • Offers fractional shares
  • 24/7 customer support online and by phone

Value of free stock: $3-$300 for account opening bonus; $7-$3000 for initial deposit promotion

How to get your free stock
Webull is offering new users a free stock when they sign up. When you fund your account with a deposit, you can earn additional stock.

How to sell or cash out
You can sell your free stock as soon as it has settled into your account. But you cannot withdraw the cash value of your free stock for 30 days from the sell date.

Tornado: Social media-style investing

Previously known as Nvstr, Tornado is a community-based investing platform that aims to help everyday people make smarter long-term investments, rather than focusing on short-term gains.

Tornado is targeted toward newer traders who want to become experts. It offers features like Learn and Earn that pay you $50 to study investing. Their 1-click portfolio optimization tool is designed to help you make the best decisions on what and how much to buy.

They offer trading with no minimums, with a set number of commission-free trades per month. After you reach your monthly limit, each trade costs $4.50 to execute. Subscriptions start at $9.99 per month.[4]

They charge several other fees that can be found here.

Key Features:

  • Low monthly subscription
  • Limited commission-free trades
  • Investing community
  • Learn and Earn curriculum
  • Portfolio optimization
  • Margin trading
  • Trading simulator

Value of free stock: $5 - $1000 cash reward

How to get your free stock
Tornado offers users a cash bonus when they fund their accounts. That bonus can then be invested in the stock of the user's choosing. You must place a trade within one month of receiving the award in order to keep it.[5]

How to sell or cash out
You can withdraw your reward one year after it's received.

Moomoo: One-stop investing platform

Moomoo is another commission-free trading platform. Users can trade stocks, ETFs, and ADRs through their mobile and desktop apps.

They offer full extended trading hours, and a range of financial data and news for the research-oriented trader.

Because of their advanced interface, Moomoo is probably better suited to more experienced investors than beginners.

Key Features:

  • Commission-free trading
  • Trade stocks, ETFs, ADRs
  • Advanced research tools

Value of free stock: $3 - $2000[6]

How to get your free stock
Moomoo has several ways to earn free stocks. They'll give you a free stock worth just for opening an account. And you can get additional free stocks for funding your account and maintaining a balance.[7]

How to sell or cash out
You can sell and cash out your free stock as soon as it has settled into your account.

Firstrade: Discount securities broker

Firstrade offers a wider range of trading options than many of the other competitors on this list. Users can take advantage of commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, options, fixed income securities, and mutual funds.

They have a wider variety of account types as well. While they offer regular investing accounts, users can also sign up for retirement and education investing accounts, among others.

Firstrade users have access to research and reports, and can trade via desktop or mobile platforms.

Key Features:

  • Commission-free trading
  • Trade stocks, ETFs, options, fixed income securities, and mutual funds
  • Advanced research tools
  • Retirement and education accounts
  • Extended trading hours

Value of free stock: $3 - $200

How to get your free stock
You can earn free stocks at Firstrade when you sign up, or by referring friends. For referrals, both you and your friend will be rewarded.[8]

How to sell or cash out
You can sell your free stock as soon as you get it. But you cannot withdraw the cash value for 30 days.

SoFi: Invest with just $5

SoFi started out as a platform helping college students refinance their federal and private student loans. Since then, they've gone on to offer a range of services, including mortgage lending, personal loans, spending, and investing accounts.

Users of the SoFi Invest platform can trade stocks, ETFs, crypto, and even participate in IPOs. Investing starts as low as $5, and it's easy to open an account through your mobile device or online.

SoFi offers regular investment accounts, as well as ones for retirement planning, and even automatic investing for those who would rather let them take the wheel.

Key Features:

  • Commission-free trading
  • Trade stocks, ETFs, crypto, and IPOs
  • Research tools
  • Retirement accounts
  • Automated investing
  • Active investing accounts

Value of free stock: $5 - $1000

How to get your free stock
When you open an account with SoFi, you'll be eligible for a bonus of up to $1,000 with no purchase necessary. That reward can then be put straight toward your investments.[9]

How to sell or cash out
You can trade your stock once it's in your account.

Bits of Stock: Earn stock by shopping

Unlike many of the other apps on this list, Bits of Stock isn't a trading app that will reward you with stock for signing up. Instead, their business model revolves around giving you stocks as rewards when you shop.

All you have to do is download the app and link a credit or debit card. Then, whenever you spend, you'll earn rewards.

Bits of Stock is available for iOS and Android devices.

Key Features:

  • Earn stock as you spend
  • Earn dividends
  • No fees

How to get your free stock
Just download the app, link your card, and you'll start earning stock as you spend.

How to sell or cash out
You can sell your stock pieces at any time. Proceeds from sales will be held in your BITS account, and from there, you can withdraw to your bank account.

Are free trading apps safe?
If the investing app is registered with the SEC and FINRA, you can trust that it's a legit broker. By visiting FINRA BrokerCheck, investors can conduct research on the professional backgrounds of brokers, brokerages, investment adviser firms, and advisers.

Also, all registered brokers must be a member of the SIPC. This insures your investments up to $500,000 per account type, should the brokerage fail. Note that the SIPC does NOT protect against the decline in the value of your assets due to market loss. It also does not protect against crypto investments.[10]

Other Trading Apps with Bonuses

While these apps won't give you any free stock directly, many of them will provide bonuses and rewards that you can easily exchange for stocks of your choosing. Let's take a look.

M1 Finance
M1 Finance is a commission-free investing app that lets you trade stocks and ETFs and save for retirement. It also offers crypto, but you'll need to open a Crypto account for that.

They make it easy by helping you manage your investments. You can open an account for $100, or $500 for a retirement account.

They have an M1 Spend, which includes a credit card allowing you to earn cash-back rewards at qualifying brands. They also offer M1 Borrow, which allows you to take loans against the value of your investment portfolio.

Stash Invest
Stash is a stock trading app that guides beginners in creating a portfolio. It offers a range of financial and educational features.

You can invest in stocks and ETFs, open IRAs or custodial accounts, and take advantage of a bank account that comes with a debit card.

Acorns started out as an app that would roundup and invest your spare change. But it does a lot more than that now.

It lets you invest automatically through curated portfolios that you choose when you set up your account, rather than going to the effort of investing in individual stocks.

There is a monthly fee, but if you sign up for Acorns, you can earn a bonus that they'll invest in your chosen portfolio.

E*Trade is an investment broker targeting users with a little more money to invest. They offer commission-free trading on stocks, options, and ETFs, and you can also trade mutual funds, futures, and more.

They support trading and retirement accounts, and you can earn a pretty hefty reward if you've got the cash to invest. Rewards range from $50 for a $5k deposit to $3,500 for a deposit of over $1.5m.

Another commission-free trading platform, Ally Invest lets you trade stocks and ETFs without fees, as well as options, bonds, mutual funds, and Forex.

They have margin trading and robo-portfolios for users who want to automate their investing.

Ally offers regular trading accounts as well as IRAs for retirement.

TD Ameritrade
Trade stocks and ETFs free of charge on TD Ameritrade, another popular investing platform. This platform is expert-oriented, with advanced research and charting tools to help you pick the best investments.

But for those who are not quite there yet, they also offer useful educational tools to help you on the way.

For parents trying to save for their kids' futures, UNest offers tax-advantage custodial investment accounts. It's easy to set up and get started by choosing how aggressive they want their portfolio to be.

Investments will include a range of fixed income, bond, and equity ETFs that are automatically rebalanced depending on your preferences.

Users can get a $25 bonus when they sign up to start off their investing.[11]

You've likely heard of Schwab, a recognizable name in the investing world.

Users can trade a variety of products, including stocks, ETFs, index funds, bonds, CDs, money market funds, options, futures, cryptocurrency, and more.

Options involve risks and are not appropriate for all investors. Options trading may expose investors to potentially significant losses.[12]

Are Free Stocks Worth It?

A free stock could be a great way to kickstart your investment journey. It could be the nudge you need to start investing. But before you jump in, check if the investing app is right for you. If it's not a good fit, you might never use it.

Keep in mind, though: snagging a really high-value free stock is rare. And the stock could be for a company you're not too excited about.

That said, a free stock of any value is still a gift. And it could be that important first step into wealth building.

Do You Pay Taxes on Free Stocks?

If you received free stocks from an investing app, you need to report the value of your shares as income. And you will need to pay taxes on it. It's treated as if you received a cash gift.

Say you got a free stock worth $10 on the day that you received it. Even though it's only $10, you're still required to report it on your tax return as "other income."

If you decide to sell your free stock at a profit, you will also have to pay capital gains tax on it. So say you sell it later at $15, you'll pay $5 in capital gains. You'll be taxed depending on how long you've had the stock.

  • Less than one year - you pay short-term capital gains tax. This is the same as your regular income tax rate.
  • More than one year - you pay long-term capital gains rate. This is 0%, 15%, or 20% depending on your income.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are free stocks really free?
Yes. Free stock offers are really free. A lot of investing apps give you a free stock just for opening a new account. Some may require a minimum deposit in order to get your free stock.

How long does it take to get a free stock?
Investment apps will usually give you your free stock within 5 business days of meeting requirements.

Can you sell a free stock?
Yes, you can sell the free stock you receive. After you sell it, you can use the proceeds to buy stock in other companies that you want to invest in.

Can you cash out a free stock?
You can sell and withdraw your free stock as cash. However, there may be rules. For example, Robinhood doesn't let you withdraw the cash value of the free stock for 30 days. Public has a 90-day hold before you can withdraw after selling.

This is because the companies want people to use their apps. Instead of just receiving the free stock, cashing out, and deleting the account.

This means let's say you receive a free stock worth $10 on Robinhood. You cannot cash out the $10 you got from selling the free stock for 30 days.

Why do companies give away free stock?
Brokerages give away free stock because they want to attract new users to their investment platform. It's just like how a bank may offer a cash bonus for opening a new checking account.

What the Experts Say

CreditDonkey asked a panel of industry experts to answer readers' most pressing questions about stocks. Here's what they said:

Bottom Line

Whether you're looking to get into investing for the first time or just interested in switching to a new platform, it's a good time to be an investor.

Trading platforms are all vying for your business, and that means they're willing to offer generous rewards to those who sign up.

And if you're just in it for the free stocks, the good news is that there's nothing stopping you from signing up for more than one.


  1. ^ Robinhood. Open account, pick your stock, Retrieved 7/27/23
  2. ^ Robinhood. Open Account, Pick Your Stock, Retrieved 6/26/2022
  3. ^ Public. Public Referral Program, Retrieved 2/10/2022
  4. ^ Tornado. Fee Schedule, Retrieved 6/30/2022
  5. ^ Tornado. Rewards Rules, Retrieved 2/10/2022
  6. ^ Moomoo. Summer special promotion terms and conditions, Retrieved 7/28/23
  7. ^ Moomoo. Welcome Bonus, Retrieved 2/10/2022
  8. ^ Firstrade. Refer Friends Get Free Stocks, Retrieved 2/10/2022
  9. ^ SoFi. The SoFi Invest Claw Game Promotion, Retrieved 2/10/2022
  10. ^ SIPC. What SIPC Protects, Retrieved 4/3/2022
  11. ^ UNest. Promotion, Retrieved 2/10/2022
  12. ^ OCC. Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options, Retrieved 4/3/2022

Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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