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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – May 2014

[Updated: July 10, 2014]

While many in the markets might be thinking of  May as the time to head for the exits, it is interesting to see what is or isn’t being offered by Canadian discount brokerages in terms of deals and promotions. Heading into a new month, there were a few deals from April that were poised to officially expire, most notable among them the TD Direct Investing deal as well as the BMO InvestorLine 500/500 offer. Of the two brokerages, only the latter has put forward a new deal for the next 3 months – a signal that one of the bigger players is timing and structuring their offering around a typical slowdown in the activity level of account opens.

So, as we start May, it appears that most discount brokerage deals are in a bit of a holding pattern. There are still at least 12 promotions on the table from 6 brokerages so for those shopping around for an online trading account deal, there is a decent selection of offers to consider. And, with news about increased participation from retail investors back in the market, we expect brokerages to continue to compete for new clients with new offers in the not-too-distant future. As always, we’ll continue to monitor for new deals & promotions.

New Deals

Update May 20, 2014:

  • A helpful reader (thanks Pierre-Luc!) shared the news of another BMO offer aimed at higher account balances/deposits.  The “Select1500” promotion provides $700 cash back for deposits of at least $700 and $1500 for deposits of $500,000 or more. See table below for more info.

Update May 18, 2014:

  • Questrade is offering a promotion of a $50 gift card for clients who open and fund a new account with at least $5,000 and who make at least 1 commission generating trade.  This promotion appears to be short lived and expires at the end of June 2014. See the table below for more details
  • BMO InvestorLine launched a new promotion aimed at younger investors (between the ages of 18 and 35) with an offer of 35 free trades and the chance to enter a contest to win $3500.  Automatic entry to the contest is granted to those opening new non-registered accounts.  Included as part of the deal is an investing eBook from the Globe and Mail. See the table below for additional details and deadlines.

The one deal that is new for this month is an offer (the 50/50 promo) by BMO InvestorLine. For self-directed investors, this is an interesting one in that the commission credit ($50) and number of free trades (50) is lower than the deal that just ended but BMO InvestorLine is offering a year-long subscription (~$240 value) to GlobeInvestor as part of the sign-up offer. The total face value of the offer works out to be just shy of $788.

Strategically this offer could work for or against BMO InvestorLine. Several of the other bank-owned online brokerages advertise in the Globe and Mail so providing new clients with more access to the paid-only GlobeInvestor means putting those same clients into a channel where other advertisers will be looking to win them back over. In one plausible scenario, it could prompt other brokerages to launch some headline grabbing deals between now and July which would certainly get those newly opened accounts thinking hard about the deal they were offered. We’ll certainly be watching closely to see what unfolds from here though.

Extended Deals

At this time it looks like most of the deals that weren’t set to expire at the end of April have expiry dates past May.

Expired Deals

[Update: July 10, 2014]

  • Editor’s Note: A representative from BMO Investorline has contacted us directly to let us know that the terms for the Select1500 and Select700 offers are being updated and that this will only be offered to select existing clients.  As such we have removed this offer from the deals sections in which it appears.

The two big deals that expired at the end of April were the offers by TD Direct Investing and BMO InvestorLine respectively.  TD Direct Investing also had an account transfer offer that expired along with their commission-rebate offer.

Discount Brokerage Deals

Company Brief Description Minimum Deposit Amount Commission/Cash Offer Type Time Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer Details Link Deadline
Jitney Trade 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
BMO InvestorLine For individuals between 18 and 35 who open a new qualifying account with BMO Investorline, they may be eligible to receive 35 commission-free trades, an eBook on investing and potentially waived account minimum fees. Use promo code “New” when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer. n/a 35 commission-free trades 90 days Youth Promotion October 31, 2014
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
Open an account with Virtual Brokers with a deposit at least $1,000 and Virtual Brokers will offer 25 commission free trades which can be used for up to 1 year. Use promo code “FTR2” when signing up. This offer is open to new clients only. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for full details on this offer. $1,000 25 commission-free trades 365 days 25 free trades offer June 30, 2014
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 (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) by July 1 2014 A) $1000 or B) $10,000 to receive either A)10 commission-free trades or B)100 commission-free trades. The promo code QT100 must be used at time of account opening. There are many conditions attached to this offer so be sure to read the details link for more information. A)$1,000 B)$10,000 A)10 free trades B)100 free trades 60 days 100 commission-free trades July 1, 2014
Open and fund a new account at Questrade with at least $5000 and place at least one commission generating trade, and Questrade will provide a gift card from worth $50. Use promo code BONUS50 when signing up. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for more information. $5,000 $50 gift card from Amazon Receive gift card after placing 1 commission generating trade Amazon Gift Card Promo June 30, 2014
Disnat As part of their Stockscores tour, Disnat Direct is offering a “hat trick” promotion. Open a new account with at least $10,000 by June 15, 2014 and receive: $300 in commission credits, 3 months of trading at $5 commission per trade, 3 months of platform access to DDWeb/DDXtra and 1 year’s free subscription to TradeScores daily newsletter. Use the promo code “Hat Trick” when registering via phone. Read the terms and conditions for more details. $10,000 1) $300 commission credits 2) 3 months of $5/trade commission rate 3) 3 months platform access to DDWeb/DDXtra 4)1 year’s free subscription to TradeScores daily newsletter 1) 3 months Disnat Direct Hat Trick Promotion June 15, 2014
Scotia iTrade 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:$99.90) B) You(referrer): $100 cash or 50 free trades; Your “Friend”: $100 cash or 50 free trades (max total value: $499.50) 60 days Refer A Friend to Scotia iTrade June 30, 2014
Scotia iTrade Open and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least $15,000 before June 30, 2014 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 HUN-SP. See details link for further terms and conditions. $15,000 100 commission-free trades ($999 value @ $9.99 commission rate) 60 days Scotia iTrade 100 free trades + FlightDesk June 30, 2014
Scotia iTrade Open a new account by June 29 & fund with: A) between $15,000-$99,99 B) $100,000-$499,999 or C)$500,000+ and receive either A)$50 cash back or 100 free trades B)$250 cash back or 250 trades or C)$500 cash back or 500 free trades. Also, Scotia iTrade is including 6 months free access to their FlightDesk trading platform. Use promo code: SPTRD14 for free trades and CSHSG for cash back. Be sure to read the terms & conditions on this deal. A)$15,000 – $99,999 B)$100,000 – $499,999 C)$500,000+ A)$50 or 100 free trades B)$250 or 250 free trades C)$500 or 500 free trades Cash Back: deposit by Feb 28/15 Commission Rebate: 90 days $500 Cash Back or 500 Free Trade promo June 29, 2014
BMO InvestorLine Open a new qualifying account or fund an existing qualifying account by July 31, 2014 with at least $50,000 and BMO InvestorLine will provide a $50 cash back offer, 50 commission-free trades and a 1 year subscription to GlobeInvestor. Use promo code BONUS to qualify when signing up. Be sure to read full deal terms and conditions. $50,000 $50 cash back 50 commission-free trades ($497.50 value) 1 year subscription to Globe Investor (~$228 value) Cash Back: Payout after 6 months Commission-Credits: 50 days Spring “New Investors” 50 50 Promotion July 31, 2014
Disnat Disnat is 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 Disnat300. See details link for more info. $50,000 $300 commission credit 6 months Disnat $300 Commission Credit Promo August 29, 2014
Open and fund a new account with Questrade before May 30th 2014 and receive either A)$100 or B)$250 cash back for a deposit of either A)$50,000 or more or B)$100,000 or more. This offer is open to new and existing clients. Use promo code CASHBACK250 to qualify. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions associated with this offer. A)$50,000 B)$100,000 A)$100 cash back B)$250 cash back Payout occurs within 30 days of account funding Cash Back 250 Offer May 30th, 2014
BMO InvestorLine If you refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with a)$50,000 – $249,999 or b)$250,000+ the referrer and the referee will both receive cash. The new account must be opened with the referral code specific to the referrer. A) $50,000 – $249,000 B) $250,000+ A) You(referrer): $200; Your Friend(referee): $50 B) You(referrer): $300; Your Friend: $100 Payout occurs after 60 days (subject to conditions). Refer A Friend Terms & Conditions October 31, 2014

Transfer Fee Deals

Company Brief Description Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility Details Link Deadline
Scotia iTrade Tranfer $15,000 or more and Scotia iTrade may cover up to $150 of the transfer fee. $150 $15,000 $500 Cash Back or 500 Free Trade promo June 29, 2014
Transfer $15,000 or more to RBC Direct Investing and they will pay up to $135 in transfer fees $135 $15,000 Transfer Fee Rebate Details none
Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they’ll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150. $150 $25,000 Transfer Fee Promo none
Virtual Brokers will cover transfer fees from your transferring institution to a maximum of $150 per account. This offer is only applicable to accounts opened with at least $25,000 in equity before June 30, 2014 $150 $25,000 Transfer Fee Promo June 30, 2014
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 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 Disnat is 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 Disnat300. See details link for more info. $150 $50,000 Disnat $300 Commission Credit Promo August 29, 2014

3 thoughts on “Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – May 2014

  1. There’s also a promo from BMO InvestorLine with up to $1,500 cash back (on transfers of $500k or more):

  2. Thanks Pierre-Luc! We appreciate the spot. We’ll add it into the tables above.

  3. We’ve been contacted directly by a senior representative at BMO InvestorLine and they’ve let us know that the deal mentioned is only open to existing BMO Investorline clients and as such we have removed it from the deals/promos section. Also, we’ve been assured that the terms and conditions referencing the deal will be updated to reflect this restriction. Thanks for spotting and sharing this all the same!

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