*Updated March 21* March is finally here, and for many it couldn’t be here soon enough. With it comes the promise of Spring, a time for change and new beginnings. In an interesting twist, the Canadian discount brokerage deals and promotions landscape seems to be mirroring this phenomenon.
Heading into March, there are a number of deals and promotions geared towards the RSP contribution deadline (March 2nd) and as a result 5 out the 24 deals (21%) ended within the last few days of February. With an additional four deals are scheduled to expire at the RSP contribution deadline of March 2nd and no new offers announced at the outset of March, the offers pool has thinned out significantly (for now). So, while March will technically begin with 19 offers, within the first week of March this will drop to 14 promotions.
Perhaps the most interesting observation about the remaining discount brokerage deals is how many of them are set to expire within or at the end of March. With the exception of six deals (3 of which are ongoing offers), and not counting the RSP offers, 9 out the 14 (64%) discount brokerage deals are scheduled to expire by month’s end.
What this means for DIY investors is that there is likely to be a lot of volatility in the deals and promotions space this month and next. Whether existing offers get extended out or replaced is the big question.
Online brokerages are still in a busy season (post RSP contribution deadline) as they will be looking to win business from DIY investors wondering where to put any potential income tax returns.
March madness will certainly be taking over NCAA basketball but for Canadian online brokerages, March is going to be filled with its own set of surprises, upsets and wildcards to stay on top of. Stay tuned as this could be quite the ride into Spring.
At the outset of March, there were five deals that expired from last month. The expired promotions included deals from BMO InvestorLine, CIBC Investor’s Edge, Questrade and Virtual Brokers. Here are the specific deals that expired:
- BMO InvestorLine – 5 Free Trades on Tablet
- CIBC Investor’s Edge – Commission-free trades + cash back offer
- Questrade – 10/100 commission-free trades; $50 prepaid Visa
- Virtual Brokers – 50/100 commission-free trades
*Update March 7* RBC Direct Investing has extended their 20 free trade offer. The new deadline for this deal is March 31st, 2015.
There were no deal or promotion extensions noted at the outset of March.
*Update March 21* Questrade continues to add to their list of promotional offers. Their latest offer is similar to a previous gift card-linked promotion however in its current form, this offer consists of four tiers of prepaid Visa card amounts ranging from $50 to $250 for deposits ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.
In addition to meeting the minimum deposit requirements, to be eligible for this promotion, individuals must also execute at least one commission generating trade within 60 days of funding the account. See the table below for additional information and be sure to read the terms and conditions associated with this offer and pay particular attention to the holding period conditions.
*Update March 7* Questrade has (re)launched a commission-free trade offer for new clients only. The offer is for either 10 or 100 commission-free trades (good for up to 60 days) for clients who deposit either $1000 or $10,000. See table below for more details.
While there were no new deals announced at the time of publishing (March 1st), there were several offers that did appear mid-February worth mentioning.
In particular, Credential Direct stepped into the deals/promotions space with a commission-free trade/cash back offer.
Questrade launched a brief Chinese New Year themed offer (cash back + contest draw) as well as a 100 commission-free trade + subscription (to Motley Fool Stock Advisor Canada’s newsletter).
We’ll continue to monitor the deals through March and as always, if there are offers that you’ve spotted and would like to share with other DIY investors please let us know.
Discount Brokerage Deals
|Company||Brief Description||Minimum Deposit Amount||Commission/Cash Offer/Promotion 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 account with HSBC InvestDirect and you could be eligible to receive up to 50 commission-free equity/ETF trades for 88 calendar days. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for full details.||n/a||50 commission-free trades||88 days (payout for rebate is within 90 days of end of free trade period)||HSBC InvestDirect 2015 Winter Offer||March 2, 2015 *expired*|
|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||March 31, 2015|
|Open a new qualifying account with RBC Direct Investing and you may be eligible to receive up to 20 commission-free trades. A promotion code is required for this offer; click on the the link for the promotional page to generate a code. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for full details on this offer.||n/a||20 commission-free trades||1 year||Terms & Conditions & RBC Direct Investing Trade Free for 1 Year Promotion Page||March 31, 2015|
|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 (TFSA, margin or registered account) with Questrade and deposit at least A)$1,000 or B)$10,000 and you may be eligible to receive A)10 commission-free trades or B)100 commission-free trades. Use promo code 100LOWCOM15Q3 when registering. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for this offer.||A)$1,000 B)$10,000||A) 10 commission-free trades B) 100 commission-free trades||60 days||100 free trades offer||May 29th, 2015|
|Open a new TFSA, margin or registered account with Questrade and deposit at least A) $1,000 B) $25,000 or C) $50,000 to receive either A) 30 days B) 60 days or C) 90 days of unlimited commission-free stock & options trades. Use promo code UNLIMITEDW15 when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more information.||A) $1,000 B) $25,000 C) $50,000||Unlimited commission-free trades during associated period.||A) 30 days B) 60 days C) 90 days||Questrade Unlimited Trading Offer||March 2, 2015 *expired*|
|Open a new TFSA, margin or registered account with Questrade and deposit at least A) $1,000 B) $25,000 or C) $50,000 to receive either A) 30 days B) 60 days or C) 90 days of unlimited commission-free stock & options trades. Use promo code UNLIMITEDRSP when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more information.||A) $1,000 B) $25,000 C) $50,000||Unlimited commission-free trades during associated period.||A) 30 days B) 60 days C) 90 days||Questrade RRSP Promotion||March 2, 2015*expired*|
|Open a new margin, or FX/CFD account with a deposit of at least $5,000 and place at least one commission-generating trade and you may be eligible to receive a cash back offer of $88.88 and an entry into a draw for a gold coin. Use promo code CHINESESNY2015. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details on this offer||$5,000||$88.88 cash back||Cash rebate takes place up to 30 days after meeting eligibility||Chinese New Year Promotion||March 6, 2015 *expired*|
|Open a new account (TFSA, margin or registered account) with Questrade and deposit at least A)$5,000; B)$25,000; C)$50,000 or D)$100,000 in order to be eligible to qualify for a Visa gift card in the amount of A) $50; B) $75; C)$100 or D)$250. Clients must also place at least one commission-generating trade within 60 days. Use promo code VISA250 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||A)$5,000 B)$25,000 C)$50,000 D)$100,000||A) $50 prepaid Visa card B) $75 prepaid Visa card C) $100 prepaid Visa card D) $250 prepaid Visa card||Prepaid Visa cards may be issued up to 40 days after eligibility confirmed||Prepaid Visa Promotion||May 18, 2015|
|Open a new TFSA, margin or registered account with Questrade and deposit at least $10,000 dollars to be eligible to receive 100 commission-free trades and a three month subscription to Motley Fool Stock Advisor Canada newsletter. Use promo code 100FREEMFSUBwhen signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more information.||$10,000||100 commission-free trades||60 days||Motley Fool Subscription Promotion||April 30, 2015|
|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||March 31, 2015|
|Open and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least A) $15,000 – $49,999, B)$50,000 – $99,999, C)$100,000 – $249,000, D) $250,000 – $499,999, E) $500,000 – $999,999, or F) $1,000,000+ and you may be eligible to receive a corresponding cash-back or commission rebate. For commission-free trades use code: WTT15 or for cash rebates use code: DL5RP. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully for rebate and cash back eligibility. This offer also includes a free ‘swing trading’ course with Larry Berman and 90 days free of FlightDesk.||A)$15,000 – $49,999 B)$50,000 – $99,999 C)$100,000 – $249,000 D)$250,000 – $499,999 E)$500,000 – $999,999 F)$1,000,000+||A) 50 commission-free trades OR $50 cash B) 100 commission-free trades OR $100 cash C) 250 commission-free trades OR $250 D) 350 commission-free trades OR $350 E) 500 commission-free trades OR $500 F) 1000 commission-free trades OR $1000||180 days for commission-free trades Cash back to be deposited by November 30, 2015.||1000 Free Trade Offer||March 31, 2015|
|Open a new account and fund it with at least (A) $20,000 or (B)$100,000 and NBDB may provide up to (A) $500 or (B) $1,000 in commission rebates for qualifying accounts. Use promo code “CashBack2015” when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for eligibility and refund dates.||A)$20,000 – $99,999 B)$100,000+||A)$500 commission rebate B)$1,000 commission rebate||90 days (rebate of commissions depends on sign up date and is outlined on terms/conditions)||Cash Back Offer||March 31, 2015|
|Open a new account with Credential Direct and fund it with at least A) $25,000 B)$100,000 or C)$500,00+ to receive either A) 100 commission-free trades or $100 cash back; B) 200 commission-free trades or $200 cash back or C) unlimited commission- free trades or $500 cash back. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||A)$25,000 – $99,999 B)$100,000 – $499,999 C)$500,000+||A) 100 commission-free trade or $100 cash back B) 200 commission-free trades or $200 cash back C) Unlimited commission-free trade or $500 cash back||Trades must be used by September 30, 2015 and will be reimbursed on October 15 2015. Cash back deposited October 15, 2015.||Credential Direct Spring Promotion||April 15, 2015|
|Open a new account with TD Direct Investing with at least A) $25,000 B) $50,000 or C) $100,000 and you may be eligible to receive rebates on up to A) 50 B) 100 or C) 200 equity and/or options trades. Be sure to read full terms and conditions||A) $25,000 – $49,999 B) $50,000 – $99,999 C) $100,000+||A) 50 commission-free trades B) 100 commission-free trades C) 200 commission-free trades||60 days (commission rebates to be issued on Aug. 15/2015)||TD Direct Investing Free Trade Promotion||March 27, 2015|
|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||March 31, 2015|
|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).||Contact InvestorLine for full terms and conditions.||October 30, 2015|
|Open and fund a new qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with at least $100,000 in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive $300 cash back. Use the promo code RSP2015 when signing up for the account. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for eligibility and further details.||$100,000||$300 cash back||Payout occurs after 6 months||RSP 2015 Promotion||March 31, 2015|
|Open a new TFSA, margin or registered account with Questrade and deposit at least $100,000 to be eligible to receive an iPad mini. Use promo code IPADMINI15Q2 when signing up. Read the terms and conditions for more information about eligibility.||$100,000||iPad Mini 2 (16gb wi-fi only) [retail value ~$370 including taxes]||iPad Mini will be sent within 60 days of account being funded and 1 commission-generating trade being placed.||iPad Mini Offer||March 13, 2015 *expired*|
Transfer Fee Deals
|Company||Brief Description||Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount||Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility||Details Link||Deadline|
|Transfer $15,000 or more to Scotia iTrade from another Canadian brokerage, and iTrade may pay up to $150 in transfer fees.||$150||$15,000||1000 Free Trade Offer||March 31, 2015|
|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|
|Qtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $150 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.||$150||$25,000||Transfer Fee Promo||none|
|Transfer $25,000 or more from another brokerage and Credential Direct will cover up to $150 in transfer fees. Use promo code SWITCHME when signing up to qualify for the transfer promotion.||$150||$25,000||Credential Direct Spring Promotion||April 15, 2015|
|Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they’ll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150.||$150||$25,000||Transfer Fee Promo||none|
|Transfer $25,000 or more in equity to Virtual Brokers and they’ll cover the transfer-out fees up to $150.||$150||$25,000||Transfer Fee Rebate Terms & Conditions||March 31, 2015|
|Transfer $25,000 or more into a new TD Direct Investing account and they will cover up to $150 of transfer fees.||$150||$25,000||TD Direct Investing Free Trade Promotion||March 27, 2015|
|Transfer $25,000 or more into a CIBC Investor’s Edge account and they will reimburse up to $135 in brokerage transfer fees. Clients must call customer service to request rebate after transfer made.||$135||$25,000||confirmed with reps. Contact client service for more info (1-800-567-3343)||none|
|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|
|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||March 31, 2015|