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If you’re new to investing, the idea of managing your own investment accounts can be daunting. Even if you have some experience, you may not have the time or desire to do the necessary research and work to maintain a well-balanced portfolio.

Robo-Advisor Robo-Advisor Bonus/Promotion

M1 Finance

Earn up to $2,500


Portfolio managed for free for up to six months


First $10,000 managed for free

Merrill Edge

Bank of America customer benefits


No annual fee if minimum is met


First $5,000 managed for free


First month free


$15 off with a promo code

A robo-advisor can help by providing a hands-off, inexpensive alternative to traditional investment managers. In most cases, robo-advisors use algorithms to manage your investments. In other cases, however, they may combine algorithms and human insight to help you maximize your returns and provide educational resource like information about the differences between mutual funds and ETFs.

Slickdeals is not registered as an investment adviser under the U.S. Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and nothing on should be construed as advice concerning securities, the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities, or the merits of any investment adviser.

Robo-Advisor Bonuses and Deals

If you’re considering using a robo-advisor to manage your money, some companies are providing upfront bonuses to new customers who qualify. Here are several robo-advisor promotions going right now.

M1 Finance Bonus: Earn up to $2,500

M1 Finance is technically registered as a broker/dealer, but its combination of automation and customization gives you the chance to create a tailored portfolio, then does the rest of the legwork for you, just like a robo-advisor.

Per their website, M1 Finance allows you to borrow money, secured by your portfolio, which you can use pay to off high-interest debt or just about anything else. You just need $10,000 invested to qualify, and you can borrow up to 35% of your portfolio. With a basic account, your interest rate is 3.5%, and M1 Plus account holders can get a 2% rate.

M1 also provides a robo-advisor promotions for new customers. While the minimum opening investment is $100, you can earn up to $2,500 if you transfer high-dollar amounts from another brokerage within 60 days of opening an account.

More specifically, here's what you can earn.

Transfer Amount Bonus Amount

$100,000 – $249,999.99

Receive $250

$250,000 – $499,999.99

Receive $500

$500,000 – $999,999.99

Receive $1,000

$1,000,000 or more

Receive $2,500

Also, you must open the account and initiate the transfer by December 31, 2021.

To learn more about its hybrid approach to automation and DIY investing, read our full review of M1 Finance.

M1 Finance doesn't do tax-loss harvesting, but it does employ other tax minimization efforts to reduce your tax burden when you sell securities. It does, however, offer automatic rebalancing like many other robo-advisors, which the firm says helps to maintain your original risk profile as your individual securities experience gains and losses.

Betterment Promotion: Free Portfolio Management for up to Six Months

Another robo-advising service, Betterment offers a fully digital robo-advisor experience for a 0.25% management fee. If you have more than $100,000 invested and want more, you could upgrade to a premium plan. For a 0.40% annual fee, the premium plan adds advice about your investments outside of the Betterment platform, plus unlimited access to CFP professionals for financial planning.

If you open a Betterment account through one of its affiliate partners — again, a quick Google search will help you find one — you can get your portfolio managed for free for up to 12 months:

Deposit Amount Promotion

$15,000 – $99,999

Get one month free

$100,000 – $249,999

Get six months free


Get 12 months free

To give you an idea of how much you'd save with the Betterment promotion, let’s say you deposit $250,000. Over 12 months, you’d pay $625 in fees for the basic plan.

In addition to automated investing, Betterment also offers a checking account and a high-yield cash account, both of which are insured by the FDIC instead of the SIPC, which covers your investment accounts. The checking account debit card offers cell phone insurance and reimbursements for ATM and foreign transaction fees. According to Betterment, its high-yield cash account gives you a higher APY than you can get from a traditional savings account. Betterment also offers tax-loss harvesting and automatic rebalancing, which can help make your portfolio more efficient.

SigFig Promotion: First $10,000 Managed for Free

Formerly Wikinvest, SigFig is an option for investors who don’t have a ton of cash to invest. All customers will get their first $10,000 managed for free. Even after you have more than that in your portfolio, you still won’t pay for SigFig to manage your first $10,000.

What’s more, SigFig's annual fee beyond the first $10,000 is 0.25%, and the platform provides access to an advisor. The only catch is that you have to start with a $2,000 investment, which may not be possible for some new investors.

SigFig offers a portfolio tracking feature. You can connect your employer-sponsored 401(k), IRA, brokerage and even advisor accounts from more than 80 brokers, allowing you to view all of your investments in one place — similar to what Personal Capital offers. SigFig will also analyze your portfolio for free and give you personalized advice that it claims will help you maximize your return. SigFig also offers tax-loss harvesting.

Merrill Edge Promotion: Bank of American Customer Benefits

Like M1 Finance, Merrill Edge isn’t a true robo-advisor in the sense that it only relies on algorithms to manage your money. Instead, the investment arm of Bank of America combines computer-driven decisions with the expertise of its investment team. Merrill Edge adapts your investment strategy with its Guided Investing platform, which it claims will help clients maximize their returns.

While Merrill Edge doesn’t provide an upfront bonus, customers can take advantage of a host of features through the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. To qualify, you need to have a Bank of America personal checking account, plus meet three-month average minimum balances between Bank of America bank accounts and Merrill investment accounts.

Here’s what you’ll get with Bank of America and Merrill Edge on each level:

Gold ($20,000 to $50,000)

  • 5% more interest on savings accounts
  • 25% more rewards on credit cards
  • 0.05% fee discount on your Merrill Edge Guided Investing account
  • $200 savings on mortgage origination fees
  • 0.25% discount on auto loans
  • No fees on select banking services

Platinum ($50,000 to $100,000)

  • 10% more interest on savings accounts
  • 50% more rewards on credit cards
  • 0.10% fee discount on your Merrill Edge Guided Investing account
  • $200 savings on mortgage origination fees
  • 0.35% discount on auto loans
  • No fees on select banking services
  • No out-of-network ATM fees on up to 12 transactions per year

Platinum Honors ($100,000 to $1 Million)

  • 20% more interest on savings accounts
  • 75% more rewards on credit cards
  • 0.15% fee discount on your Merrill Edge Guided Investing account
  • $200 savings on mortgage origination fees
  • 0.50% discount on auto loans
  • No fees on select banking services
  • No out-of-network ATM fees on all transactions

Diamond ($1 Million to $10 Million)

  • 20% more interest on savings accounts
  • 75% more rewards on credit cards
  • 0.15% fee discount on your Merrill Edge Guided Investing account
  • $200 savings on mortgage origination fees
  • 0.50% discount on auto loans
  • No fees on select banking services
  • No out-of-network ATM fees on all transactions

Some credit card enthusiasts consider investing with Merrill Edge advantageous because of the enhanced rewards Bank of America Preferred Rewards status offers cardholders. If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more rewards on every purchase you make with a Bank of America credit card.

Wealthsimple Promotion: No Annual Fee When Minimum Is Met

Based in Canada, Wealthsimple offers a robo-advisor experience and the chance for a break on its annual fee for people who invest more than $100,000 with the company. Once you join, you can take advantage of the firm’s referral program to save additional money on fees.

For every person, such as friends and family members, that you refer to Wealthsimple, who joins and funds their account, you’ll get $10,000 in assets managed for free for 12 months. With a 0.50% management fee, that’s up to $50 per referral. What’s more, the people you refer will also get up to $10,000 managed for free for 12 months.

In addition to its robo-investing arm, the broker also offers Wealthsimple Save, which invests your money in investment portfolios that the company considers to be low risk. The account, which is technically a cash management account (so it's insured by the SIPC), could offer a higher return than what you'd earn from a high-yield savings account.

The Wealthsimple Save account comes with a 0.25% management fee.

Wealthfront Referral Promotion: Refer a user and you both get $5,000 Managed for Free

One of the first companies to pioneer robo-advising, Wealthfront charges a 0.25% annual fee to manage your investment portfolios through computer-driven analysis. If you sign up for an account through one of the firm’s affiliate partners — you can search online for the promotion— you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free.

That’s a savings of up to $12.50 per year, which isn’t a lot. But if you’re just starting out, free is free.

Additionally, you can get more savings through the Wealthfront Invite program. Similar to Wealthsimple’s referral program, you’ll get an additional $5,000 managed for free for each person you refer to Wealthfront, who funds an investment or cash account.

Instead of placing an expiration on the benefit, though, Wealthfront provides the additional free management for as long as the person you referred maintains a funded account with the firm. This means you could get free management on some or all of your investments for years.

Like other robos, Wealthfront offers other banking products you can use to keep all your money in one place. Its cash account, for instance, offers an APY that's on par with many high-yield savings accounts, but you can use it like a checking account. It also offers FDIC insurance of up to $1 million (four times the standard amount) because it puts your money in multiple bank accounts. That said, you could get up to $1.5 million in FDIC insurance through a Personal Capital account.

Also, if you have $25,000 or more in your account, you can get a portfolio-secured line of credit with interest rates ranging from 2.4% to 3.65%. You can borrow up to 30% of your portfolio balance. You'll also get tax-loss harvesting.

Ellevest Promotion: Free First Month

Primarily designed as a money manager for women, by women, Ellevest is open to all genders. Ellevest Digital is an investment service that charges a 0.25% annual fee with no account minimum, and you’ll get a traditional robo-advisor experience. If you want access to a CFP professional and financial planning, though, you can upgrade to Ellevest Premium, which comes with a 0.50% annual fee. There is a $50,000 minimum for the premium tier.

If you sign up for an account through one of the firm’s affiliate partners, you’ll get your first month free.

Ellevest focuses primarily on female investors by providing them with different advice than what you might get from a traditional robo-advisor, which treats men and women equally based on earnings and opportunities. Additionally, if you choose to pay for Ellevest Premium, CFP professionals can provide you with targeted advice for financial issues that the company says women face more than men.

With an Ellevest Spend and Save account, you can manage your money and use a debit card with unlimited ATM reimbursements. The accounts don't offer interest like some of the cash accounts that other robo-advisors offer, but the Spend account does have a roundup feature. When you enable it, Ellevest will round up every transaction you make with your debit card (tied to your Spend account) and deposit the roundup in your Save account. The Spend account also has no overdraft fees, which is common for banks. Ellevest does not offer tax-loss harvesting.

Blooom Bonus: $15 Discount With Promo Code

Blooom offers all the standard features of a robo-advisor, but its fee structure is different from what its competitors provide. Instead of charging you a percentage of your portfolio every year, Blooom offers three pricing plans with a flat annual fee.

For example, with the Essentials tier, which is $95 per year, you’ll get a personalized portfolio, and that’s it. Choose the Standard plan at $120 per year, and you’ll also get auto-optimization for your portfolio, withdrawal alerts and access to advisors. Pay $250 per year for the Unlimited tier, and you’ll get all the benefits of the lower tiers, plus priority access to the firm’s advisors.

Regardless of which plan you choose and how much you invest, you can get $15 off with the promo code COOODE15. Blooom also offers bigger discounts from time to time, too, so check the robo-advisor’s website for updates.

Unfortunately, Blooom doesn't offer any other types of accounts like some of the other robo-advisors on our list. Also, the broker doesn't offer tax-loss harvesting as a benefit, which means your investment portfolios may not be as efficient.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: $100-$1,000

Charles Schwab offers a variety of investment account options, but its Intelligent Portfolios program uses robo-advising to manage your money for you. If you have a friend or family member who is a Schwab customer, you can receive a bonus of up to $1,000 if they refer you to the broker. Your bonus will depend on how much you deposit in cash and securities.

Deposit Amount Bonus

Deposit $25,000 – $49,999

Receive $100

Deposit $50,000-$99,999

Receive $300

Deposit $100,000-$499,999

Receive $500

Deposit $500,000 or more

Receive $1,000

You can qualify for the $100 bonus with a $25,000 deposit. To be eligible, you’ll need to open an account and make your qualifying deposit within 45 days. You’ll receive the bonus 1-2 weeks after the 45-day period ends.

As one of the biggest brokerages in the U.S., Charles Schwab offers a number of other products and services. You can get bank accounts (consumer and business), credit cards, a high-yield checking account, home loans and more. You can also work with a financial advisor to get a human touch. Charles Schwab can provide a one-stop shop for most money needs.

How to Choose a Robo-Advisor

Getting a bonus for signing up for a robo-advisor or by referring friends and family members can be a significant incentive to join. However, it’s important to consider the full scope of what each robo-advisor provides when choosing an automated investment service.

As you compare these and other robo-advisor promotions you come across, consider how much money you have to invest and how much you’d earn or save with an upfront bonus. If you’re new to investing and don’t have much money to spare, getting a few months of free management, for instance, won’t provide much value. And if you don’t have enough to meet minimum deposit requirements, you may not get anything at all.

As a result, it’s important to look at the services each robo-advisor provides. Is it a fully robo-driven experience or are there human advisors involved, too, for instance? Also, look for tax-loss harvesting, dividend reinvestment and automatic rebalancing, all of which may be helpful features when attempting to maximize your returns.

Finally, consider the ongoing fees each robo-advisor charges. Getting free management for a while is nice, but if you end up paying more over time, it may not be worth it. Regardless of which option you choose, consider using a service like Personal Capital to keep track of all of your investments and other financial accounts for better financial planning.


Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.