*Updated April 17* At the outset of April, there’s lots of deals and promotions activity to report on. Like most people, Canadian discount brokerages have done quite a bit of ‘Spring cleaning’ with their deals. For those looking to open an online trading account, this month has a number of interesting offers to consider.
RSP season was a big catalyst for many brokerages which resulted in an all-time high number of deals (25+) being offered through February and dropping to 15 by the end of March. With many of those offers set to expire at the end of March, we weren’t sure which would live to see another day and which would expire, however as March drew to a close, at least a handful of offers started to show signs of being continued, albeit briefly.
While it looks like many of the biggest brokerages are taking a breather, other brokerages are seizing that chance to step up. Some of the independent and less well-known brokerages, for example, are launching promotions that are sure to get the attention of self-directed investors as well as the larger brokerages.
April begins with 15 deals being offered by 7 different brokerages. There are two offers set to expire within the month, and three more by the end of the month. As has been the case with most deals and promotions, the number of deals at the beginning of the month is likely not going to be the same at the end.
There were 10 discount brokerage promotions that expired in March. Many of these offers were extensions of offers initially launched as incentives during “RSP season” as well as one offer from Questrade that was timed around the Chinese/Lunar New Year.
Notably, RBC Direct Investing and TD Direct Investing left the deals field (for now) at the end of March. Also, National Bank Direct Brokerage closed out its rather sizeable offer as March ended. Desjardins Online Brokerage technically saw the expiry of its over three year old $300 commission offer however another (larger) offer has replaced it.
Below is a list of the offers that expired within or at the end of March 2015:
- HSBC InvestDirect 50 commission-free trades
- Questrade Unlimited Trading Offer
- Questrade Unlimited Trading Offer RSP
- Questrade Chinese New Year Promotion
- Scotia iTrade Cash back + Free Trade Offer
- RBC Direct Investing 20 Free Trades
- NBDB $500/$1000 Commission Rebate
- TD Direct Investing 200 Free Trade Offer
- Disnat $300 Commission Credit
- Questrade iPad Mini Offer
Qtrade’s RSP contest promotion also concluded at the end of March.
Just before the end of March, BMO InvestorLine extended the deadlines for two of its currently advertised promotions. Their Youth Promotion was extended once again, this time with the expiry date now bumped to April 30th. Interestingly, the RSP promotion was also extended for another two weeks with the new deadline for this offer moved to April 15th.
*Updated April 17* It’s been a busy week for discount brokerages launching their new looks and celebrating the events with new deals. BMO InvestorLine rolled out their new public facing website this week and with it they also launched a new promotion offering either a cash back or commission-free trading choice. Their latest offer requires asset deposits of at least $100,000 to be eligible for either $250 cash back or 125 commission-free trades. The other tiers for this offer include: depositing between $250,000 – $499,999 to receive $500 cash back or 250 commission-free trades; depositing $500,000+ to receive either $1000 cash back or 500 commission-free trades. See table below for further details.
Another promotion crossed our radar this week that was not advertised but is open to all. The promotion is a cash back or commission-free trade offer from Scotia iTrade and has been part of their tour with Larry Berman. The offer itself is similar to previous (and current) offers except that there are more deposit tiers and correspondingly different cash back and commission-free trade amounts. Interestingly, because it provides a longer time horizon to use the commission-free trades, it is slightly more competitive an offer than the current BMO InvestorLine offer, however the flip side is that cash back rebates will take slightly longer. A scan of the terms and conditions has been taken since no information was posted online, however for more information on this offer be sure to contact Scotia iTrade directly. See table below for further details.
*Updated April 13* To celebrate the launch of their new Investor Information Centre in downtown Toronto, Scotia iTrade has taken the interesting step of launching a substantial promotional offer alongside a similar promotion. The newest offer, however, trumps the existing promotion hands down. In their latest promotion (open to both new and existing clients) Scotia iTrade is combining free trades AND cash back as part of this latest incentive (the other promotion requires that individuals choose free trades OR commission-free trades).
Specifically, individuals depositing $15,000 – $49,999 can receive $75 cash AND 75 free trades; individuals depositing $50,000 – $99,999 can receive $125 cash AND 125 free trades; individuals depositing $100,000 – $249,999 can receive $250 cash AND 250 free trades; and individuals depositing $250,000 or more can receive $500 AND 500 free trades. The biggest ‘catch’ to the is offer, according to the terms and conditions, is that individuals must open the account at one of three specific locations in downtown Toronto. Here is the quote from the terms and conditions:
To qualify for this offer, new Scotia iTRADE account must be opened at one of the following locations: Scotia Plaza Banking Branch, 40 King Street W, Toronto, ON, M5H 1H1; Scotia iTRADE Investor Information Centre at 48 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M5E 1G6; or Scotia iTRADE Investor Information Centre at Scotia Plaza, Concourse Level, Suite CAB001, 44 King Street W, Toronto, ON, M5H 1H1.
For more information and details on this deal, see the table below.
This month there are four new commission-free trade or cash back offers and a new transfer fee promotion.
Virtual Brokers has stepped back into the deals arena after a month-long break with an offer that is sure to get other brokerages’ attention. Their latest deal offers 25 commission-free stock or ETF trades which are good for up to a year – far longer than most of the offers currently on the deals and promotions list.
Although Scotia iTrade retired their largest offer yet, they have brought back two other offers in its place. First, their $500 or 500 free trade offer. Scotia iTrade still remains one of the only brokerages to be targeting deposit sizes of over $500,000. The other offer making a comeback is the 100 free trade offer (which also includes a trial offer to their trading platform FlightDesk).
Desjardins Online Brokerage’s latest offer, however, is going to raise a few eyebrows. Their long standing offer of $300 in commission credits has been replaced with a $500 commission credit offer for deposits of $50,000 or more in assets. This is an attention grabbing number as comparable offers require deposit sizes of at least $500,000 (e.g. Scotia iTrade). Drilling down into the fine print, however, this offer combines the transfer credit (of up to $150) as well as commission-free credits. Thus, for individuals switching brokerages to Desjardins Online Brokerage it may be closer to $350 in commission credits if the full transfer fee has to be covered. Of course, for those thinking of switching, it is worth requesting or negotiating that the brokerage cover all of the transfer fees as well as offer the full credit ($500) which could then make this offer stand head-and-shoulders above the others currently being offered for the $50,000+ deposit category.
While technically not initiated at the beginning of April, Questrade introduced a new version of their prepaid Visa offer midway through March. This latest offer has up to a $250 prepaid Visa card for deposits of $100,000 or more (there are lower prepaid Visa card amounts available for smaller deposit sizes too).
Finally, Qtrade Investor is offering a new transfer fee rebate offer in which individuals who switch to Qtrade with at least $10,000 can have up to $150 in transfer fees covered. Although this is a limited time offer, it is the lowest deposit amount required to qualify for that level of transfer fee coverage.
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|
|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||April 30, 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 29, 2015|
|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||June 30, 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 – $249,999; or D)$250,000+ and you may be eligible to receive a corresponding cash-back AND commission rebate. New clients use code GO15 when opening the account. Note: Only accounts opened at one of the three downtown Toronto locations specified can qualify for this promotion. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully for rebate and cash back eligibility.||A)$15,000 – $49,999 B)$50,000 – $99,999 C)$100,000 – $249,000 D)$250,000+||A) $75 cash back AND 75 commission-free trades B) $125 cash back AND 1255 commission-free trades C) $250 cash back AND 250 commission-free trades D) $500 cash back AND 500 commission-free trades||90 days for commission-free trades. Cash back to be deposited by August 31, 2015.||Cash back AND commission-free trade offer||May 31, 2015|
|Open and fund a new account at Virtual Brokers with at least $15,000 and you could be eligible to receive up to 25 commission-free stock or ETF trades good for use for up to one year. Use promo code “TRYUS2015” when signing up to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions carefully.||$15,000||25 commission-free trades||365 days||Free trades for one year promotion||May 31, 2015|
|Open and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least A) $15,000 – $99,999, B)$100,000 – $499,999, C)$500,000+ and you may be eligible to receive a corresponding cash-back or commission rebate. For commission-free trades use code: PST15 or for cash rebates use code: CSINE. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully for rebate and cash back eligibility.||A)$15,000 – $99,999 B)$100,000 – $499,999 C)$500,000+||A) 100 commission-free trades OR $50 cash B) 250 commission-free trades OR $250 cash C) 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash||180 days for commission-free trades Cash back to be deposited by February 17, 2016.||500 Free Trade or $500 Cash Back Offer||May 17, 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 – $249,999; D)$250,000 – $499,999; E) $500,000 – $999,999 or F)$1,000,000+ you may be eligible to receive a corresponding cash back or commission rebate. For commission-free trades use code: LBS15FT or for cash rebates use code: LBS15C. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully for rebate and cash back eligibility. Contact Scotia iTRADE for full details on this offer.||A) $15,000 – $49,999 B) $50,000 -$99,999 C) $100,000 – $249,999 D) $250,000 – $499,999 E) $500,000 – $999,999 F) $1,000,000+||A) 50 commission-free trades OR $50 cash back B) 100 commission-free trades OR $100 cash back C) 250 commission free trades OR $250 cash back D) 350 commission-free trades OR $350 cash back E) 500 commission-free trades OR $500 cash back F) 1000 commission-free trades OR $1,000 cash back||180 days for commission-free trades Cash back to be deposited by January 31, 2016.||Larry Berman Seminar Offer – Front and Terms & Conditions||May 31, 2015|
|Open a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least $15,000 by June 30, 2015 and you could be eligible to receive up to 100 online trades commission-free (equities, options, ETFs). Use promo code HUN-SP when registering to qualify. Be sure to carefully read full terms and conditions.||$15,000||100 commission-free trades (+ free trial of FightDesk platform for 60 days)||60 days||100 Free Trades Offer||June 30, 2015|
|Disnat is offering new & existing clients $500 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 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code Disnat500. See details link for more info.||$50,000||$500 commission credit||6 months||Disnat $500 Commission Credit Promo||June 30, 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 – $249,999 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).||BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend||October 30, 2015|
|Open and fund a new qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with at least A)$100,000 – $249,999; B)$250,000 – $499,999 or C)$500,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive either: A)$250 cash back OR 125 commission-free trades; B) $500 cash back OR 250 commission-free trades; C)$1000 or 500 commission-free trades. Use promo code 5CASH for cash back promotion or 5TRADE for commission-free trade promo. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for eligibility and further details.||A) $100,000 – $249,999 B) $250,000 – $499,999 C) $500,000+||A) $250 cash back OR 125 commission-free trades B) $500 cash back OR 250 commission-free trades C) $1000 or 500 commission-free trades.||Cash back: 6 months – 7.5 months Commission-free trades: 90 days (note: commission fees rebated within 45 days after 6 month credit period)||Five Star Promotion||June 30, 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 *expired*|
|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||April 15, 2015 *expired*|
|Last Updated: April 17, 2015 2:30pm PT|
Transfer Fee Deals
|Company||Brief Description||Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount||Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility||Details Link||Deadline|
|Qtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $150 when transferring a balance of $10,000 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||$10,000||Transfer Fee Promo||April 30, 2015|
|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||500 Free Trade or $500 Cash Back Offer||May 17, 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|
|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 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 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code Disnat500. See details link for more info.||$150||$50,000||Disnat $500 Commission Credit Promo||June 30, 2015|