Up to 20,000 Starpoints or 25,000 Airline Miles with TD Ameritrade

by on January 18, 2012 · 32 comments

in American, amtrak, Continental, Delta, TD Ameritrade, United, US Airways

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I recently wrote about an offer to earn up to 50,000 miles on United or American and another 50,000 Delta miles by opening Fidelity Brokerage accounts, but Fidelity is not the only investment firm offering lucrative mileage bonuses.

When the US Airways Grand Slam was going on, I noticed that one of the airline’s partners was TD Ameritrade. Back in September (the deadline was 9/30/2011), TD Ameritrade was offering Dividend Miles members the opportunity to earn up to 25,000 miles by opening and funding a new account. With the minimum opening deposit of $2,500, you’d earn 5,000 miles; you’d get 15,000 miles for a $10,000 deposit, and 25,000 miles for a $50,000 deposit. The major caveat here was that you had to keep the account open through May 14, 2012 in order to keep your miles, otherwise you’d lose all Grand Slam miles. Pretty harsh!

But it turns out that TD Ameritrade offers miles and points bonuses with a number of other partners as well.

Bonus Levels

For United and Continental (separately), American, Delta, US Airways and Amtrak, the opening dollar amounts and corresponding mileage bonuses are:

$2,500            :           5,000 miles

$10,000          :           15,000 miles

$50,000          :           25,000 miles

SPG is another partner program, and the funding/bonus structure looks like this:

$2,000            :           3,000 points

$10,000          :           10,000 points

$25,000          :           20,000 points

In my opinion Starwood is the best value because Starwood points can be transferred to many airlines with a 25% bonus, including Delta, American and US Airways. So even if you want airline miles, going through Starwood makes the most sense since it requires a lower cash deposit. Note: Starwood’s transfer ratio to United/Continental is 2:1.

It looks like you get half the bonus once your account is funded and then the other half after 9 months. I personally applied for the SPG offer, since I value 20,000 Starwood points at around $600 and I’ll find ways to put my TD Ameritrade money to work for me.

Terms and Conditions

I’ve pasted in the Terms and Conditions from the Delta offer below, but the main points to pull out that this is for new individual or joint accounts only, that there is a limit of one account per client, the account must maintain at least the minimum level of funding for at least 9 months or you might be charged for the miles, and the deadline for opening a new account is 2/29/2012—though they seem to keep pushing this deadline back, so you might actually have more time than this, but you never know.

If you’re married, you might also consider opening two individual accounts rather than a single joint account so you have a chance at twice the miles. For instance, instead of opening a joint account with $50,000 for 25,000 miles, you can open two individual accounts with just $10,000 each (so $20,000 total) and earn 30,000 miles.


So if you’re thinking of opening a new investment account and have the funds to do so, you might as well be earning valuable bonus miles on them! Here are the links to the individual partner pages on TD Ameritrade’s web site for those interested.





US Airways:

Starwood SPG:



†Offer valid for one new Individual or Joint TD Ameritrade account opened and funded by U.S. residents with $2,500 or more by 2/29/12. Not transferable and not valid for IRA or other tax-exempt accounts, internal transfers, current TD Ameritrade clients or with other offers. Limit one offer per client. Offers are not valid for TD Ameritrade Investing accounts using the Amerivest service. Offers are not valid for accounts managed by independent investment advisors and maintained by TD Ameritrade Institutional. Account must remain open with minimum funding required for participating in the offer for 9 months, or TD Ameritrade may charge the account for the cost of the SkyMiles. Allow 6-8 weeks from account funding for the first half of the miles to appear in your SkyMiles account. To qualify for the second half, TD Ameritrade account must remain open with minimum funding required for participating in the offer for 6 months from the first mileage posting date. TD Ameritrade reserves the right to restrict or revoke this offer. This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to business. All SkyMiles program rules apply to SkyMiles program membership, miles, offers, mile accrual, mile redemption and travel benefits. To review the rules, please visit TD Ameritrade and Delta Air Lines are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for one another’s services and policies. Delta and SkyMiles are registered service marks of Delta Corporate Identity, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Andre LaPlume

    Did it and got half the miles within a week. Nothing wrong with having an account with TD along with other brokerages. Their commission is reasonable and their executions are as good as any.

    Note that it’s not for IRA accounts. If it was it would be a slam dunk.

  • Bluecat

    “since I value 25,000 Starwood points at around $750 ”

    should say 20,000 Starwood points

  • Anonymous

    You are correct- I updated the post and valuation to ~ $600

  • PJ

    i am for SPG. Let ‘s see how an old dog there can get new treats. old dog means I have accounts there already.

  • Hank

    So if you open the account with $25,000 would that be the minimum funding that you must maintain for 9 months, or is $2,500 the minimum funding?

  • Anon

    I have been, and continue to be, a loyal Interactive Brokers (IB) customer. Their commissions are much lower than TD and they have much better technology. Having said that, I did open up a TD account for the miles and I have to say that I’ve been disappointed with their platform. On two separate occassions I was denied trades that should have gone through. Their customer service ackowledged that the trade from the second incident should have gone through (I didn’t ask about first incident), but they didn’t give more details than that or offer the price that I should have been executed at. It’s trading slightly higher today and to my advantage, so I won’t complain, but I can’t wait ’til I meet the terms of this promo so that I can go back to IB exclusively.

  • CT

    Do we qualify if we are an existing Ameritrade Customer ?

  • Vicente

    I clicked through on the $10K offer. The additional bonus offered for the top bonus just wasn’t attractive enough to sink a bunch of money into this place for 6+ months if I don’t like it.

  • Asdfasdf

    Got 1099?

  • Sheldonchristensen

    I did this and scored the 20,000 Starpoints from SPG. I am about to pull the money and open a new account in my wife’s name so she can get the 20,000 Starpoints as well. I think that the SPG options is by far the best option.

  • Harv

    Is there a fee to close the account?

  • PJ

    I just booked 3 nights at Sheraton Iguazzu Fall with 4.8K plus $40 per night for late April which is still classified as off peak season. 4.8K plus $90+some taxes &fees at Sheraton Berra (?) in Rio even much cheaper in Buesnosaires.. I would say SPG is the best points Virgin Elevate is second for non elite frugal travellers. Opportunity cost on 25K for 9 months is NOT that much anyway. My alternative to get more SPG is to plea my kids to apply to expand my collection over 2 cards so far .

    A reminder, referral bonus is 5K for each approved application

  • PJ

    dont you need to let the money stay there for 9 months?

  • PJ

    good question!!Did anybody who opened CITI gold to get Thanks points ever get 1099 ?

  • PJ

    a reminder to all : when deciding which card to pull amex spg card is soaking all 1 % items with 1 % if not accepted I would love to have a new VISA or Master card to hit SPEND. I sniff when I get only 1% on my Chase Freedom :) thinking of getting Virgin Signature Visa card to build up VA Elevate which let you fly very cheap non stop in between many popular destinations if you plan well..

  • PJ

    14+ years ago,Interactivebrokers charged $ 1 (fees in) on 200 APPL still same rate today on 200 GOOG ..If you can not beat it, please join in: When you are keen on points hunting IB is a nobrainer. In my social circle they know me as a nosy man( mind over other people $ for non monetary retrun) to tell people go after credit card signon bonus; to trade with IB ; also to put liquid money into 1.75-2.50% RCA ( rewards checking account)
    these days retirees on interest income are getting pinched.. We do need to ” get tough on money when our money get rough at Banks “

  • LAbackpackerchick

    Hi there. Sorry I’m new to all this. I want to try this promotion but I have couple of questions:

    1) If I open this Ameritrade Account, is my money safe for 9 months?
    2) Why is it better to pay $2k for 3,000 Starwood Points than $2500 for 5000 American Airline points?

    Thanks for your help. I prefer American Aadvantage.

    Thank you!

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  • PJ

    $ should be safe; SIPC protected, although we all saw how much SIPC was worth in the collapse of MF GLOBAL.
    be selective !! after your ss# is tracked to TD promotion you are not eligible for any other promotion for the rest of your life. anybody there can share different experience pls chime in .
    i think my wife has used up all SS# in my family. not sure if minor+guardian accounts can qualify.

  • Perknstein

    Does the deposit have to be cash? or can we open a new account with stock holdings transferred from another brokerage with a value of $25K?

  • Sbbi98

    have the same question..

  • JM

    is this only open to NEW TD Ameritrade customers, or are there options for existing customers to add funds to get the mileage bonus?

  • KS

    I’m an existing TD Ameritrade account holder and opened another new account and just received the first points. Only took 4 days to receive points.

  • Kevin

    I opened up an account via the UA link and funded it with $10,000, which should equate to 15,000 miles. Today, however, I received 2500 miles labeled “Ameritrade Enrollment.” Maybe I missed it in the T&Cs but I didn’t think the bonus was broken down in that manner — 2500 on enrollment, the remainder dependent on your funding level. Thanks in advance for any insights anyone can provide.

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  • leeschneider

    Looks like only the AA deal is active at TD Ameritrade still. Too bad, was looking forward to some SPG points.

  • egwg

    You’re right. Does anyone know if these deals return from time to time?

  • Caseysmom41

    We opened an account at TDAmeritrade in Sept and didn’t know about the mileage bonus. Can we still get the miles?

  • Pointless

    I opened a TDAmeritrade account under the SPG promo, received my first 10,000 SPG points in Feb. with the remaining 10,000 due in July.
    On May 18 I recieved “great news” in a letter from TDAmeritrade stating I would get my remaining points early because they were ending their relationship with SPG.
    I just spoke with them by phone and they made a mistake and did not process my points and I will not receive my remaining 10,000 points because the program has ended.
    After politely telling them this was unacceptable I received a return call stating they would credit my account $185 in lieu of the points. Again, I stated this was unacceptable and I would need my 10,000 points or $350 so that I could purchase the points directly from SPG and if they were going to 1099 the $350 I would need them to gross up the $350 to cover any taxes I would be required to pay Uncle Sam. Again I received a return phone call stating that their cost with SPG for the 10,000 points would have been $185 and that was all they are willing to offer me. I told them no thanks I would contact the office of the President which I intend to do.
    I am amazed that such a large corporation could admittedly make a mistake and not process my points and then not step up to the plate and cover the actual cost of providing the points for which I am due.
    What should my next step be if the office of the President fails to fullfil the companys obligation?

  • Daninstl

    Links all appear to be dead. Not sure any offers like these still exist with td ameritrade.

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  • Biggee

    Did you make any progress with them?

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