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When they announced the no-commission deal, I knew it wouldn't last long, so this is no surprise. I agree that they did not think it through, and early on it was obvious that they were flooded with more accounts, more trades, and more web site traffic than they were prepared to handle. I'm surprised it took them so long to wise up to the day-traders.

The only thing that bothers me now is the fee for limit orders, which I do use. I could go elsewhere and pay more for market orders (which I also use), or just figure that I am setting my limit price to gain a few hundred $, and the $20 fee is worth it. I think it is quite reasonable, though, that they should allow a small number of limit orders for free, and maybe if they hear that enough they will do it. I would give "2-for-1" if they want: 10 free market orders, or 5 free limit orders, or any combination.

I don't think it was "bait and switch", it definitely was an attempt to buy market share (and access by their account reps to these juicy $100K customers, so they can attempt to sell them other Amex products), but I think they probably started out intending to keep their original pricing, and just didn't anticipate things that a company already in the online brokerage business - or an online brokerage customer - would have considered obvious. This might be a reason to knock management's competence, but not their integrity.
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