With summer just around the corner, a few of Canada’s discount brokerages are going to be working a little harder this month to try and win over self-directed investors. The recently announced earnings from several major Canadian banks indicate that they aren’t making as much money as their shareholders are expecting. As a result, getting more clients and assets will surely be on their to do list to boost their bottom lines. For consumers, they can expect much more marketing coming their way from the big banks as well as the independent discount brokerages who wish to keep pace.
While likely unrelated, the timing of the deal being offered by TD Direct Investing this month is particularly intriguing. TD Direct Investing has typically avoided deals and promotions, especially the “free trade” variety. So, their “50 free trade” offer launched at the end of May is somewhat of a major departure from their previous approaches to attract new clients. The end date of the free trade deal, which they can admittedly change at any time, was also curiously positioned to expire mid-July.
BMO Investorline’s cash back promo is set to expire a few days into June, so the next offer, should there be one, is what we’re looking out for over the coming month. BMO InvestorLine has announced their latest promotion which offers new accounts the choice between $250 cash back or 2000 Air Miles when a deposit of $100,000 or more is made. This isn’t the first time Air Miles have been offered for signing up for an InvestorLine account, however after Scotia iTrade’s “Get Educated” promo it seems that the big bank-owned discount brokerages are starting to get more creative with their promotions.
Overall, this summer could prove to be fairly interesting from a deals perspective for a number of reasons. Most importantly, there are five deals which are scheduled to expire within this month signalling that marketing teams are faced with deciding where and how to outsmart one another. For their part, Scotia iTrade looked to using a contest (the “Get Educated” promotion) and waving around some big prize money to get the attention of existing and would be investors. Questrade‘s Advantage promotion also expires at the end of the month – just make sure to read through and understand the terms and conditions, in particular for start dates for data packages, minimum account balance maintenance and start dates for the commission-free trading month.
Coming up with something ‘new’ isn’t nearly as easy as just extending the expiry dates of existing deals, which is exactly what a couple of discount brokerages have done. Scotia iTrade has extended their refer-a-friend deal and Disnat has extended their 30th anniversary deal until the end of August. Also still on the table is another offer by Disnat that was part of their SCATE tour.
We will continue to monitor the deals over the course of the month and, as always, if there are any offers you spot that you’d like to share, please drop us a note.
[Updated June 12]
National Bank Direct Brokerage has just announced a promotion on their margin accounts (for 3 months) which also includes a fixed commission rate of $6.95 per trade. To qualify for this account, clients will have to pass a credit check as margin accounts essentially allow clients to borrow money in order to trade with greater buying power. The discount on margin rates is definitely something different than what is being offered currently so it will be sure to attract the interest of those investors/traders who use margin as part of their strategy.
Discount Brokerage Deals & Promos
|Company||Brief Description||Minimum Deposit Amount||Commission/Cash Offer Type||Time Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer||Details Link||Deadline|
|A Sparx Trading exclusive offer! Use the promo code “Sparx Trading” when signing up for a new account with Jitney and receive access to their preferred pricing package and a massive 45% discount on the Real Tick trading platform.||n/a||Discounted Commission Rates||none||For more details click here||none|
|Open a new margin account with National Bank Direct Brokerage before August 31st 2013 and receive a 1% discount of prime for a margin interest rate. Also, commission rates will be fixed at $6.95 for 3 months. Be sure to read the terms and conditions as well as understand the risks associated with trading on margin. Use promo code: “MARGIN2013” when signing up.||n/a – while no minimum deposit is required, you must pass a credit check to qualify||1% of prime rate for margin borrowing $6.95 fixed commission rate for 3 months||Margin rate discount: 3 months Commission rate discount: 3 months||Click here for margin promo details and here for terms and conditions||August 31, 2013|
|Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) and receive $50 commission credit . Use promo code: kdkfnbbc||$1,000||$50 commission credit||none||none||none|
|Refer a friend to Questrade and when they open an account you receive $100 and they receive $50. To receive this deal you must be an existing client with an equity account and refer a person that does not reside with you and who has not previously opened a Questrade account.||$1,000||$50 commission credit (friend) $100 commission credit (referrer bonus)||60 days||Refer a friend||none|
|Open a new account with TD Direct Investing before July 12, 2013 and deposit either A)$5,000 to $25,000 B)$25,000 to $50,000 or C)$50,000 or more to receive commission credits for A) 3 trades, B)10 trades or C) 50 trades. Be sure to read the details about keeping your account balance at qualifying levels, eServices subscription as well as other terms and conditions.||A)$5,000 B)$25,000 C)$50,000+||A) 3 Trades (max value $87) commission credit B) 10 trades (max value $290) commission credit C) 50 trades (max value $500) commission credit||Trades must be used by September 30, 2013 4pm ET.||50 free trades offer||July 12, 2013|
|As a follow up to their SCATE tour, Disnat is offering new clients who deposit $10,000 before June 30, 2013 a bundle that includes commission credits and a one year free subscription to Tyler Bollhorn’s Stockscores daily newsletter. This is an unadvertised deal so the details link is to a scan of the flyer with the offer.||$10,000||$300 commission credit||30 days||For more details, click here and here||June 30, 2013|
|If you refer a friend/family member who is not already a Scotia iTrade account holder to them, both you and your friend get a bonus of either cash or free trades. You have to use the referral form to pass along your info as well as your friend/family members’ contact info in order to qualify. There are lots of details/conditions to this deal so be sure to read the details link.||A)$10,000 B)$50,000+||A) You(referrer): $50 or 10 free trades; Your “Friend”: $50 or 10 free trades (max total value:$199.80) B) You(referrer): $100 cash or 50 free trades; Your “Friend”: $100 cash or 50 free trades (max total value: $999)||60 days||Refer A Friend to Scotia iTrade||June 30, 2013|
|Open and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least $25,000 before June 30, 2013 and the commissions associated with your first 100 trades placed within 60 days of the date the account is activated and funded are free. Also, the new FlightDesk platform is being offered for free for 60 days. Use promo code 100FT. See details link for further terms and conditions.||$25,000||100 free trades ($999 value @ $9.99 commission rate)||60 days||Scotia iTrade 100 free trades + FlightDesk||June 30, 2013|
|Open a new account with National Bank Direct Brokerage before Oct. 31st and the commission rate for equity transactions will be fixed at $6.95 for 6 months. Use promo code: EVENT2013. Since this is unadvertised, you’ll have to call their customer service line: 1-800-363-3511 for full details.||$25,000||$6.95 fixed commission rate for 6 months||6 months||Click here for a low-res version of flyer or here for a high-res version.||October 31, 2013|
|If you refer a friend/family member who is not already a National Bank Direct Brokerage account holder to them, both you and your friend get a bonus of $100 each. The promotion code “FRIEND” must be used on the account application form. Read the details link for full terms and conditions. Note the maximum referral bonus per client is $1000.||$25,000||$100 referral bonus (referrer) $100 referee (your “friend”)||Payout occurs after 6 months||Share $200 with a Friend Promotion||October 31, 2013|
|Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) and receive 30 days of commission-free trading and one month free of the US Advanced market data package. Use promo code ADVANTAGE when signing up. Offer is open to new clients only. There are a number of important conditions to qualify – be sure to read terms and conditions to the deal.||$25,000||30 days unlimited commission-free trading + 1 month free Advanced US market data package.||30 days||Advantage Promotion||June 30, 2013|
|Disnat is celebrating its 30th anniversary by offering new & existing clients $300 in commission credits which can be used for up to 6 months. To be eligible, new/existing clients need to deposit $50,000 into a Disnat account. You’ll have to call 1 800 268-8471 and mention promo code Disnat30. See details link for more info.||$50,000||$300 commission credit||6 months||Disnat 30th Anniversary Promo||August 30, 2013|
|Open a new account or upgrade an existing account with $100,000 and choose to receive either $250 cash back or 2000 Air Miles. Use Promo Code: BONUS250 to receive the cash back offer or BONUSAM (+ Air Miles Collector #) to receive the Air Miles offer. NOTE: There are lots of details/important conditions attached to this promotion. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.||$100,000||$250 Cash Back OR 2000 Air Miles||Payout occurs after 6 months||Air Miles Promotion||September 4, 2013|
Transfer Fee Deals
Below are the discount brokerages deals that cover transfer out fees from other discount brokerages.
|Company||Brief Description||Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount||Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility||Details Link||Deadline|
|Transfer your discount brokerage account to Credential Direct and they’ll pay up to $200 of the transfer fees. If after 90 days you’re not satisfied they will waive the $125 transfer out fee too.||$200||$10,000||Switch Me Promo||June 30, 2013|
|As part of their SCATE tour promotion, if you open a new account by June 30th with $10,000 or more Disnat will cover up to $150 of the transfer fees from another brokerage.||$150||$10,000||For more details, click here and here||June 30, 2013|
|Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they’ll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150.||$150||$25,000||Transfer Fee Promo||none|
|Open a new account by July 12, 2013 and transfer $25,000 or more to TD Direct Investing and they will cover up to $150 of the brokerage transfer fees.||$150||$25,000||50 free trades offer||July 12, 2013|
|Transfer $25,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees||$135||$25,000||Transfer Fee Rebate||none|
|Qtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $125 when transferring a balance of $25,000 or more. For reimbursement, please mail or fax a copy of your statement from the transferring institution that shows the transfer charge to Qtrade Investor at 604.484.2627 and indicate your Qtrade Investor account number.||$125||$25,000||Transfer Fee Promo||none|
|Disnat is celebrating its 30th anniversary by offering up to $150 to cover the cost of transfer fees from another institution. To be eligible, new/existing clients need to deposit $50,000 into a Disnat account. You’ll have to call 1 800 268-8471 and mention promo code Disnat30. See details link for more info.||$150||$50,000||Disnat 30th Anniversary Promo||August 30, 2013|