The deal ends tonight, so time is of the essence (link here, be sure to enter C3 into promo code box during application, or simply click here to bypass that step). I'm putting $600 into an account for myself and $600 into an account for Tiffany. Supposedly, optionsxpress will match $500 for each account (after you leave your money in there for 6 months). Discussions on the promotion are here and here.
Based on the comments of the above links, there doesn't seem to be a great understanding of whether the $500 bonus per account can be cashed out or whether it is strictly to be used as a credit for future trading comissions.
I'm confident that the $500 cash out option will be clarified tomorrow in these threads, as users will post comments after talking to customer service reps. If the $500 turns out to be credits only, then I simply won't bother funding the accounts this week (but I still opened up the two accounts tonight, just in case it turns out favorably tomorrow) .
If it's true, this promotion is the best I've seen in a long time. A while back, I made $240 through a similar Sharebuilder promotion.
As far as I can tell, there is no hard credit pull for opening the account, so your credit won't get dinged (based on comments from the above links).
Good luck to anyone joining me in in this promotion.
UPDATE: As of Tuesday, 12/2, there have been hundreds of comments in the forums linked above confirming that the $500 may be cashed out in 6 months. Happy $1,000 to anyone who created their accounts in time!
UPDATE: As of 5/20, the $1000 was deposited into our accounts and the promotion worked as planned. Yippee. Best promotion I've ever seen.