How to get free stocks

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated Aug. 29, 2022

Free USD
  • An explosion of new online brokers in the market means competition for customers is heating up.
  • Start trading the markets with free shares from popular brokers.
  • Get free shares or bonus deposits to refer a friend or open an account.

Did you know you can get free shares of stocks to trade? Yes, you read that right ― free stocks! With the rise of commission-free trading, brokerages are looking to attract new clients using clever marketing tactics and free offers.

These promos are typically for new users only. Usually you get free stock when you to sign up and fund your account, or have referred a friend who has opened and funded their account. Some promos give stock away — usually a random choice — and some are a cash bonus that can be invested.

Free stock for signing up

Several brokers offer free stocks when you or a friend open and fund a new account. Typically you need to open your account and then fund it with a certain amount of money before the free stock is issued. Sometimes you get free stocks just for signing up using a referral link.


Up to two free stocks

  • Criteria: Sign up and fund your account with at least $100
  • Who chooses: Webull
  • Randomized: Yes
  • Stock choice: Selected from inventory of settled stock
  • Value: Up to $1,850, but typically less

Founded in 2017, Webull is one of the newer brokers in the industry. This commission-free trading app lets you invest in stock, options, and ETFs for free. Widely considered the best alternative to Robinhood, Webull offers you up to two free shares of stock when signing up and funding your account.

Webull will give you one free share for signing up for a brokerage account and another free share for funding the account with a minimum of $100. Shares will be given from their inventory of stocks of US-based, listed companies with a minimum market capitalization of $2.5 billion (think P&G, Facebook, Google, Starbucks, among others). Your shares could be worth up to $1,850 in value!


One free stock

  • Criteria: Sign up and fund your account
  • Who chooses: Robinhood
  • Randomized: Yes
  • Stock choice: Selected from inventory of settled stock
  • Value: Typically between $2.50 - $10.00

Robinhood is one of the most popular stock trading apps for millennials and Zoomers. However, the company recently came under fire after the GameStop debacle. Robinhood prevented traders from purchasing trending stocks like GameStop and AMC due to massive collateral requirements from the DTCC. This commission-free platform makes money by selling order flow to Citadel, front running its traders. Therefore, its reputation has been somewhat tarnished.

However, if you decide to fund a Robinhood account, you can get a signup bonus and free stock. All it requires is opening an account and then linking your bank account. You will get one share of free stock from Robinhood’s inventory of popular, high market cap companies. The value of the free stock you receive depends on the size of your deposit. Your free stock can vary from as little as $3 to $225, though Robinhood discloses that 98% of the time, your stock bonus will have a value below $10.


One free stock

  • Criteria: Get referred from an existing user and sign up
  • Who chooses: Dough
  • Randomized: Yes
  • Stock choice: Selected from inventory of 200 most traded stocks
  • Value: Typically between $2.00 - $10.00

Dough is a fantastic, low-cost trading app. The company takes a minimalistic approach to trading, offering new traders a user-friendly trading platform that isn't confusing or intimidating. Dough’s free stock offer is based on referrals, with the good news being the existing user and the new user they refer both get one share each of free stock. After signing up for your account and receiving approval, you and the friend who referred you will both get free stock issued to your account within seven business days. If you feel like cashing out, you'll need to link an external bank account to your profile.

To get a free stock, you'll need to sign up after clicking through from a referral link. Dough chooses your free stocks from the top 200 most traded stocks, giving you one share valued up to $200 of the stock to trade as you please. Most users get free stock with a value between $2 to $10. However, users that make larger deposits may receive stock between $10 to $200 in value.


$50 of stock

  • Criteria: Get referred from an existing user and sign up
  • Who chooses: You
  • Randomized: No
  • Stock choice: Select from 9 stocks
  • Value: $50

This commission-free broker lets you invest in fractional shares, with a deposit as low as $5. You can invest in high-priced large-cap stocks like Tesla and Apple without spending thousands of dollars to buy a whole share. You can choose to invest in slices (top-rated ETFs from companies like Blackrock and Vanguard) without spending a fortune.

Public is currently offering free shares up to $50 to qualified customers who refer new users to open an account. Both the referrer and new customer will each receive up to $50 of stock.


1 free stock

  • Criteria: Refer a friend
  • Who chooses: Firstrade
  • Randomized: No
  • Stock choice: Selected from inventory of settled stock
  • Value: Typically between $3.00 - $10.00

This low-cost broker gives you zero-commission trades on stock, ETFs, options, and more than 11,000 mutual funds. Sign up for a free account and refer friends to the platform using your unique referral link. If someone signs up with your link, Firstrade gives you free stock. The Firstrade algorithm selects the stocks for you based on your account deposit. The stock value can be anywhere between $3 to $200, fluctuating with market movements.

Cash bonus to invest in stock of your choice

Free stocks are great, but deposit bonuses are even better. If you get free stock, you typically don't choose what the broker issues you. Winding up with stock in some small-cap stock that's doing nothing is a waste of your time. However, with a deposit bonus, you can use the money to buy any stock you like. Here are our top choices for brokers with the best deposit bonuses.

M1 Finance

$30 to invest

M1 Finance offers you the opportunity of investing in "pies." These pies are baskets of stocks, REITs, ETFs, mutual funds, and more that align with your investment goals and financial objectives. You have the option of creating a pie yourself or investing in one of 100 expert pies hand-picked by experienced traders and investors. Currently, M1 is offering a transfer bonus when signing up.

To get $40 deposited into your M1 Finance investment account, new users must sign up and deposit at least $1,000 into your M1 Finance investment account.

M1 Finance have a separate bonus for transferring securities from another brokerage. The promotion is tiered. Bonuses start at $250 for a transfer of $100,000 – $249,999.99, up to $2,500 for a transfer of $1,000,000 or more.


$10 to $1,000 to invest

Optimize your portfolio with a single click using the Nvstr Nobel Prize-winning software developed by top institutional investors. Nvstr offers you access to the US stock market with no minimum deposit required to open an account. If you sign up for their subscription-service, you get 25 commission-free trades per month for just $4.99 monthly with additional trades costing $4.50 each. When opening and funding your account, you'll receive a deposit bonus between $10 to $1,000, depending on the size of your deposit.


Win up to $1,000 to invest

This trading app lets you trade the top stocks, IPOs, ETFs, and even crypto assets. You can fund your account and start trading with as little as $1. ETFs and some stocks are free to trade with no commissions, and you also have the opportunity to buy fractional shares of your favorite stocks. When you sign up and open an Active Invest account, you can "spin to win" up to $1,000, which is converted into stock.


What are the tax implications of free stock?

If you don't sell your stock or receive dividends, you have no tax responsibility to the IRS. Traders making less than $10 in dividends or less than $600 in profits on a free stock are required to report the gift to the IRS, although the broker won't issue you a 1099 tax form.

Is it worth signing up just to get stock or a deposit bonus?

Who doesn't want free money? Sure, it's a great incentive for signing up with a broker, but make sure you do your research before funding your account.