11 Ways To Get Free Stocks for Signing Up + Bonus Offers

Shawn Manaher
Shawn Manaher
Updated on December 13, 2022
free stocks

Nowadays, it seems like everybody wants to get involved in stock trading and investments. After all, why shouldn’t they? Investing and trading stocks is an excellent way to gain control of your finances. 

In this era of financial literacy, it’s easier than ever to get involved with stocks and bonds. Additionally, in an era of advanced technology, you can apply this knowledge with minimal effort.

Many developers, entrepreneurs, and investment firms have had hands in creating specialized investing and trading apps to help individuals manage their financials and get ahead in their investing journey.

If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. You have plenty of potential applications and programs to help you in your investing journey. 

However, you don’t want to use just any app. When starting a financial journey, what better way is there to start than getting the best bang for your buck? You want to find the most value, but what if you didn’t even need to spend a dollar to get started?

Several apps, such as Robinhood or Public, offer you a free stock of varying value simply for signing up for their program. Others may offer similar, but more complex, bonuses with unique benefits that you may find appealing.

In this article, you will read about eleven of the best free stocks, sign-up benefits, and bonus offers available in the digital world of stocks and personal finance. 

Read on to learn how you get started with free stock!

How Can I Get Into Stocks If I Don’t Have Any Starting Cash?

Have you heard the following phrase before?

“You have to spend money to make money.”

This phrase reflects a popular sentiment. Entrepreneurs will typically spend a varying amount of capital to get their businesses up and running, regardless of what field they operate in.

For example, you need to obtain a stock to sell it. Typically, you obtain stocks by purchasing them. 

However, if you do not have enough cash in your budget to purchase a sizable amount of stock, there are other methods you may pursue.

Many investment apps offer free starting stocks when you open an account with their program or deposit a certain amount of cash for use. 

Additionally, very few of these apps- virtually none of them- require any form of exclusivity. This freedom means you can download most of these apps to take advantage of their free stock offers.

Some investment and trading apps allow you to transfer stocks to other apps to sweeten the deal. Check if your favorite app offers this feature, as it can help you centralize all of your investments and trades for easier access.

However, some apps will feature roadblocks to prevent users from taking advantage of their free stock programs. 

Check to see what requirements your app has for transferring stocks before planning to make a transfer.

Can You Get Stocks For Free?

Keep in mind that many apps want to retain their user base. They don’t want you to sign up, take their free stock offering, transfer it to another app, and leave.

To this end, an app may add roadblocks to transferring stocks, such as fees. However, they may also add positive incentives to keep using the app.

For example, some apps may go beyond giving you a free stock when you sign up. These apps may grant you another free stock at certain milestones, such as when you invest $25 into the app.

Alternatively, these apps may grant you a cash bonus, which you may withdraw or re-invest for what is functionally a free stock.

However, free stocks don’t end there. Keep an eye out for any promotions as any event or seasonal celebrations may provide free stocks for users who meet a certain set of criteria.

Ultimately, it is not only easy to get stocks for free, but you can continually get more free stocks if you play your cards right.

Are Free Stocks A Good Way To Get Started With Investments?

Free means free. How could something that you get for free have a downside? Especially free money!

It may be confusing, but free stocks do come with some downsides that you might not expect. 

Let’s take a quick look at whether free stocks are a good way to get started on your investment journey, depending on your goals.

Ultimately, in the most simple terms possible, it boils down to this statement. Yes, free stocks are a great way to get started with investments. However, there are several caveats to using and receiving free stocks.

First and foremost are any associated taxes. When you receive, hold, and sell a stock, especially a free one, you will have to pay taxes on any income you receive from them. However, we’ll have more on that later when it’s more relevant.

Second is the worry of quantity. In many cases, you will receive only one free stock from your investment app, and they may not let you choose which stock you receive.

Once you get a foothold in the stock market and understand how it works, you can worry about quality over quantity- though you should consider quantity, as well. The more stocks you have, the more you can sell!

However, when you’re just getting started, a single stock may not suffice. Your free stock may plummet in value. While you’ll make a profit, either way, it can be a challenge to use your funds to buy any new meaningful stocks.

Ultimately, if you want to get serious about investing and trading stocks, you need to start with more than just the one you received for free.

While a free stock is a great way to supplement your investments, you shouldn’t rely on it. Always consider diversifying your portfolio as much as you can.

11 Best Ways To Get Free Stocks

Unfortunately, free stocks don’t fall out of the sky. Most of the time, you have to pay for a stock, especially one you want- so it makes sense that you’d have to put in some effort to receive a free stock.

The best and most recognizable way to get a free stock, or a similarly-priced cash bonus, is to sign up for an app that has an associated program for bonuses and rewards.

We have compiled a list of some of the apps which represent the best ways to get free stocks. Our list goes as follows:

  1. Webull
  2. Robinhood
  3. Public
  4. Acorns
  5. M1 Finance
  6. Firstrade
  7. Stash
  8. SoFi Invest
  9. E-Trade
  10. Tornado
  11. Moomoo

All the apps on this list are secure, so you don’t have to worry about some bad actor stealing your funds, personal information, or stocks. 

Additionally, all of these apps have a positive reputation among their users for general usability, helpfulness, and transparency.

When you download an investing app, you’re downloading more than a tool. You’re downloading a platform to launch your unique journey into the world of finance and, in many cases, to communicate with like-minded investors about investments and trades.

To that end, we will cover the features of these apps as well as how their bonus, rewards, and referral programs work. Read on to learn more about your new favorite investment apps!

Option 1. Webull

If you’ve opened a YouTube video in the past few months, you probably know about Webull. This platform’s all-pervasive advertising presence is an indicator of its explosive growth, which comes off the back of its intuitive trading costs.

Webull offers stock trading via both mobile and desktop applications, neither of which harbors any commission fees. 

You can make sales and trades for the full value of your stock without sacrificing any of your money to the investment platform.

Webull also offers more than just stocks. Webull’s platform helps broker trades between options, cryptocurrencies, and ETFs just as well as traditional stock trading.

The platform also hosts plenty of market reports and commentary to help you make informed decisions for the future of your investing journey.

With extended operating hours and an online assistance team that’s available at any hour, there are plenty of reasons to use Webull. Their bonus offers are just the icing on the cake.

How Can I Get Bonus Offers On Webull?

Webull’s bonus offers are some of the best in the business. When you sign up for the platform, you will receive two free stocks, worth anywhere from $3 to $300.

The offers don’t end there. When you fund your account, you can get anywhere from 4 to 10 more free stocks.

These new, free stocks may hold an even higher value than the ones you received from signing up, ranging in worth from $7 to $3,000 each.

If your goal is to receive a sizable amount of stocks with a potentially high value from a reliable platform with a strong community, then consider investing on Webull.

This offer is one of the best ones available, so make sure you take advantage of it when you can!

Option 2. Robinhood

Robinhood is one of the most well-known and well-trusted names in brokerage and investment apps. Founded in 2013, what was once a small investment broker quickly became a giant in the financial world.

True to its fairytale namesake, Robinhood pioneered the concept of giving away free stocks and commission-free trades, both of which are significantly popular trends in the modern investment industry.

Robinhood supports fractional shares of stocks and features a cash management account to earn interest on your money, all to help you make money off your money in the easiest ways possible.

Robinhood offers a smaller selection of cryptocurrencies than other, similar apps, but its user interface is practically unmatched. 

If you want an easy-to-use app to manage your investments, with no frills or extraneous bells and whistles, then Robinhood should be your go-to.

How Can I Get Bonus Offers On Robinhood?

Robinhood was once the easiest way to get bonus offers, such as free stocks. However, they have tightened restrictions some since their founding.

With that being said, it is still remarkably easy to get free stocks off of Robinhood, especially if you have friends or family who are interested in stock trading or starting an investment journey.

When you sign up for Robinhood, you should open your account within 24 hours. Fill in all of the information they require.

Once Robinhood underwriters approve your account, you will receive a free stock worth anywhere from $2.50 to $200.

However, free shares from Robinhood don’t end there. If you invite people from your phone’s contact list, you will receive a new stock for every person who joins. You can receive up to $215 per year in stocks via this method!

Option 3. Public

Public is unique for an investment app. As a company, Public’s mission is to demystify investments and open the markets to everybody. Their name is accurate- Public supports the public!

Public offers the same commission-free sales and lack of account minimums as other competitors that users love, but with one key difference.

Public is not just an investment app. The app contains social media elements so you can find and follow other investors to join a sizable community built around a common love of finance and investing.

To make stock selections easier, Public uses “themes.” Themes are groups of companies with a common feature, such as female CEOs or American companies, to help you find companies that you’re interested in.

If you’re interested in alternative investments, such as fine art and NFTs, Public has your back.

With fractional share purchases available, and full comment sections and profiles, Public is a great way to get started with investing. You can invest easier than ever and find mentors to guide you along your way while doing so.

How To Get Free Stocks From Public

When it comes to free apps, Public operates very similarly to Robinhood. When you sign up via the app or the website, the platform will give you one free stock worth up to $300, with a $3 minimum. This price limit is the same as Webull’s.

Additionally, when you refer a friend via your unique referral code, you and your friend receive a stock with a similar value. 

These referral stocks have a higher value and higher annual limit than Robinhood, meaning that if you want more stocks from referrals, Public may be your go-to app.

Option 4. Acorns

Acorns is a far different investment program than some of the others on this list, so read carefully before you decide that Acorns is right for you.

Many investment apps, such as the others on this list, require that you play an active role in your investments. Once you buy a stock or receive one for free, you must keep an eye on its value to sell at an opportune time.

The Acorns app functions differently. By downloading Acorns, you round up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar, with the rounded-up cost going towards your investment.

This app does not feature individual stocks. Instead, you can choose from a series of portfolios curated by professionals to keep your spare change and watch it grow.

However, there is a significant downside to Acorns. Unlike the free nature of other apps on this list, Acorns requires a minimum monthly fee of $1.

However, if you spring for the $3 plan, you receive access to an Acorns retirement account and can withdraw your funds from over 55,000 ATMs worldwide.

Because Acorns does not work with individual stocks, its bonuses are somewhat different from other apps on this list. Let’s take a look at the bonuses you can receive from the Acorns app.

Does Acorns Offer Free Stocks?

To put it simply, no, the Acorns app does not offer free stocks. However, it does offer bonus cash to help boost the effectiveness of your investment.

When you sign up for an account via the Acorns app, you receive a $10 bonus in your account, with an investment according to the preferences that you set in your profile.

When you consider the minimum $1 monthly fee, the bonus that Acorns offer is questionable at best. If you want free stocks or bonus payments, then there are better ways to go.

However, if you like the hands-off approach of Acorns, the bonus offers can be an additional enticement to an already effective deal.

Option 5. M1 Finance

There are no two ways around it. People love the M1 Finance app. With over 20,000 5-star reviews, something about it speaks to its users. Just what is it that attracts people to this app?

M1 Finance has all the functionality of a robot advisor, offering free, automated investing. You can cultivate a custom portfolio with your favorite securities and stocks or choose from over 80 expertly-curated portfolios for a wide variety of investment choices.

Once you sign up for M1 Finance, all you have to do is deposit your money. The automatic M1 app will take care of all the rest for you, with no management fees, commission fees, or signup fees- it’s completely free.

What Kind Of Bonuses Does M1 Finance Offer?

Currently, M1 Finance does not offer any free stocks whatsoever. However, new users are eligible for a $10 bonus when they sign up. 

M1 Finance will invest these $10 automatically, much like the rest of your funds. You may receive an additional $10 bonus every time a friend signs up via your referral.

However, M1 Finance also offers significant bonuses with higher balances. If your account transfer size is higher than $10,000, you may receive a bonus of $40. With $100,000, you may receive $250.

At the highest level, if your account is worth $2,000,000, you receive a bonus of $3,500.

Option 6. Firstrade

Firstrade lives up to its name. As a tool for first-time traders, Firstrade is exceptional. Users love the powerful research tools that Firstrade offers, as well as their commission-free trades and a wide variety of investment opportunities.

Whether you’re interested in traditional stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, or options, Firstrade has your back at any hour of the day- you can even trade during after-hours.

With $0 options contract fees, Firstrade is one of the best names in the industry for convenience.

How Can I Get Free Stock From Firstrade?

Firstrade follows the traditional methods of handing out free stocks, as pioneered by Robinhood. When you sign up, you get a free stock. 

Once Firstrade staff approves your account, you have a 30-day window in which you can deposit or transfer at least $100. If you do so, you get another free stock.

Finally, you can receive plenty of additional free stocks by inviting your friends. By sharing your referral program link, any friends who sign up for the app will grant you a free share worth anywhere between $3 and $200.

Option 7. Stash

Stash, like M1 Finance, is an automated investor that experts call a “Robo advisor.” Stash doesn’t focus solely on investments but also offers advice on how to efficiently save your money.

Stash is both an investment app and a checking account to help hands-off investors make money as they go about their day. However, unlike M1 Finance, Stash requires a minimum $3 monthly fee.

How Do The Rewards From Stash Work?

Stash rewards are fairly simple, beginning with a $5 bonus when you make an initial deposit of $5 or more.

Additionally, Stash features a built-in debit card that they call the “Stock-Back Card.” When you make any purchases with the Stock-Back Card, you receive a piece of bonus stock when you make a purchase.

For example, if you purchase something via Amazon, you may receive a sliver of AMZN stock as a reward. Functionally, it is notably similar to a cash-back program.

Option 8. SoFi Invest

SoFi Invest is a powerful investment and financial platform that can handle almost anything you require, from automated investing to trading stocks and buying cryptocurrency.

With additions such as a built-in credit card, personal loan management, and student loan refinancing, SoFi is more than an investment app. It’s a one-stop shop for all of your financial needs.

SoFi Bonus Cash Programs

SoFi Invest does not offer bonus stocks, but you will receive plenty of bonus cash that you can use to purchase stocks on your own.

Currently, SoFi features a promotion where you can receive up to $100 in bonus cash. After making an account, take the following two actions:

  • Deposit $250 to receive $25
  • Add $500 via direct deposit for an additional $75

Option 9. E-Trade

E-Trade is far from the easiest investing platform to use. It does not have Robinhood’s sleek, efficient nature. 

However, E-Trade is a powerful tool that has remained at the head of the investment industry for several years.

E-Trade features educational resources to help you make informed decisions regarding your portfolio, as well as retirement planning and real-time data.

How The E-Trade Cash Bonus System Works

With E-Trade, you won’t receive bonuses for small cash. Their cash bonus system works as a tiered structure.

At the bottom tier, you receive a $25 bonus for every deposit between $5,000-$9,999. At the highest tier, you receive $2,5000 for every deposit over $1,000,000.

Regardless of which benefit you receive, the cash bonus is sizable- you can purchase plenty of stocks.

Option 10. Tornado

If you’re interested in trading stocks, Tornado is not the option for you. However, if your focus lies more on investing, Tornado may be your new favorite app.

Tornado offers easy access, allowing you to invest with a single click. With personalized content and a strong community, Tornado focuses on education. It lives up to its motto, “Teach your money how to make money.”

Tornado’s Free Bonus Is Random, Is It Worth The Risk?

You will receive a free bonus from Tornado when you create an account. However, unlike other apps, this bonus is not a set value.

The sign-up bonus for Tornado is random, but you can receive up to $1,000- the largest cash sign-up bonus on this list. You will receive your bonus if you purchase stock within two months of opening your account.

Option 11. Moomoo

Moomoo is a powerful stock trading app in line with Webull, offering advanced research tools and high levels of data to help new and professional investors alike.

Keep An Eye Open For Moomoo Free Stock Promotions

Unfortunately, Moomoo does not feature perpetual free stocks like its competitors. However, when they do run a free stock promotion, you should jump on it as soon as you can.

Moomoo occasionally runs a promotion where you receive free stock for opening an account, with additional shares, whenever you add funds.

Moomoo also partners with certain media, such as magazines, to provide additional free stocks. Always keep an eye out because you never know where you’ll find a new promotion from Moomoo!

How Do Taxes Apply To Any Free Stocks I Receive From An App?

If you have made money via any method over the last 12 months, the odds are high that you will owe some taxes on it. Taxes are the price we pay to live in a society, and they apply to stocks just as much as they do to a paycheck you would receive from an employer.

Ultimately, you will pay taxes on any free stocks you receive. 

However, you will pay most of these taxes after you sell them, with a few minor exceptions.

Several tax rules come into play when you deal with stocks, whether you are trading or investing them. 

Chief among these rules is the capital gains tax, which you will accumulate when you sell a stock at a high enough value that you receive a profit.

There are two variations of capital gains tax, distinguished by how long you hold a stock before selling it for a profit. Let’s take a look at how they differ.

  • The Long-Term Capital Gains Tax occurs when you sell an investment for a profit after you have held it for over a year. Long-term capital gains taxes may be more favorable than their short-term counterparts, as you may pay between 0% and 20% depending on your marginal income tax bracket.
  • The Short-Term Capital Gains Tax, on the other hand, occurs when you sell an investment for a profit when you have held onto it for under a year. For the short-term capital gains tax, you will pay taxes matching your usual marginal income tax bracket. For example, you will owe 22% on your sale if that number matches your top tax bracket.

The majority of your taxes on stocks may be resigned to a capital gains tax, but when it comes to free stocks, there are more aspects to consider.

When you receive free stocks, you have gained something of monetary value. Technically, you’ve received money, and the government considers it the same as taxable income.

Make sure you include any free stocks on your tax return. The government will tax it the same as any other source of income, such as your usual paycheck.

There is another form of tax that you may have to pay on your investments, which you must consider when attempting to calculate the value of your free stocks.

If your stocks act as income-generating assets, such as quarterly or annual dividends, you may have to pay taxes on these payments as with any other form of income.

However, these dividends may file differently than regular forms of income, depending on if the tax form regards them as “qualified” or “non-qualified.”

Traditional, or non-qualified, dividends utilize the same tax rate as your ordinary income tax and should be filed as such- similarly to receiving free stocks or a paycheck.

On the other hand, qualified dividends utilize the same tax bracket as the long-term capital gains tax. As a reminder, this tax can vary from 0% to 20%, depending on your income and tax bracket.

To minimize your tax payments on your free stocks, you must formulate a long-term strategy for your investments and put in a fair amount of homework before choosing a stock.

For example, try to make investments that you can hold for over a year. By keeping your hands on your stocks for a longer period, you can ensure that you pay the lower, long-term capital gains tax rather than its more expensive but short-term variant.

We’ve talked a lot about selling at a profit, but unfortunately, it does not always work out that way. When you’re dealing with stocks, you’ll have to take a loss at some point.

This loss does not speak to your skill as an investor but more to the volatile nature of investment banking. However, every cloud has a silver lining.

If you’ve sold the stock and incurred a loss, you can offset your capital gains tax with the balance of your deficit.

Alternatively, you can use up to $3,000 in capital losses per year to lower your reported taxable income.

If you’ve taken a substantial loss, you can roll forward any unused dollar amount indefinitely, though you can only utilize up to $3,000 per year.

It can be challenging to formulate a taxation plan for your stocks, especially if you’ve only recently begun your foray into the world of finance.

Thankfully, that’s what I’m here for. Join me at ShawnManaher.com to learn the best advice possible for your financial future in plain, actionable terms.


Currently, we live in an economy of options. There are dozens of companies vying for your attention and your money at any given moment and in any market that you could think of.

Investment apps are no exception. Whether they’re offering free bonus cash or stocks just for signing up, they are doing so to try to draw you in and earn your business.

As a consumer and an investor, your job is to decide which app grabs your attention and best fits your needs.

For example, if your goal is to receive as many free stocks as you can, you should consider creating an account on the Robinhood app.

Aside from providing a free stock when you sign up, Robinhood also gives you up to $215 in free stocks per year when somebody signs up for the app via your referral code.

However, if your goal is to get cash as soon as possible, the bonus money from SoFi or Acorns may seem appealing to you.

Each of these companies and applications will have its methods in an attempt to reach out to you, the investor. You simply have to decide which one will help you reach, and exceed, your goals.

If you want to reach your goals, you need the straightforward advice of somebody who’s been in your shoes. Everybody wants to make more money, whether they aim to keep themselves comfortable or provide for their family.

Join us now on ShawnManaher.com to get the best actionable finance advice. Your financial journey isn’t over yet, but it can get far less stressful than you would expect. Come learn how we can help.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author.

He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.

He loves to share his personal finance tips and money management wisdom with others to help them find financial freedom.
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