Bank of America Expands Free Trading for Rewards Customers

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. is expanding a perk for its loyalty-program members: free trades.

The lender is broadening eligibility for commission-free trades on stocks and exchange-traded funds to more than 5.25 million clients who are enrolled in its Preferred Rewards program, it said Wednesday in a statement. That group of customers, which have combined banking and investment assets of more than $425 billion, can trade stocks for free on the Merrill Edge online platform.

“It’s a massive number of our clients that have access and ability to leverage this program,” said Aron Levine, the firm’s head of consumer banking and Merrill Edge. He said the company aims to provide more benefits as customers increase their deposits and investments.

The lender plans to spend $250 million over the next four years on its business catering to affluent customers, largely on digital technology, including financial-planning and advice tools, Levine said in a phone interview from Atlanta. That follows a $250 million investment in the last four years.

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