*Updated August 8, 2015* It’s hard to believe that August is already here. That’s right, 146 days left until Christmas, 142 left until winter and just a paltry 53 days until the beginning of fall. For Canadian discount brokerages, however, the ramp up to a busy fall and winter promotions session has already begun and time is definitely not on their side.
As far as discount brokerage deals and promotions go, August is shaping up to be an important month. Of the
15 16 deals now in play, just under half ( 47% 44%) are set to expire at the end of the month. At the outset of August, it is interesting to see that even deals that showed up later in July were still scheduled to expire at the end of August.
In addition to the standard cash back and commission free promotions, there are also some promotions going on that don’t usually end up in the deals tables but which we can mention here.
The first is Questrade’s Portfolio IQ contest in which individuals can enter for the chance to win a $5,000 professionally managed portfolio. Another interesting promotion, this one from Scotia iTrade, offers 10 commission-free trades to clients of Scotiabank’s StartRight program for newcomers to Canada. Finally, BMO InvestorLine (as part of a contest run by BMO) is offering students the chance to win up to $10,000 towards tuition and $500 towards books.
With so much poised to change heading into September and with so much activity already underway at Canadian brokerages, it will be interesting to watch how the discount brokerage deals unfold through this month. As always if there are any promotions that we’ve missed drop us a note or post in our online brokerage deals discussion thread.
Heading into August, only one discount brokerage, Questrade, had offers that officially expired. The two offers from Questrade that were retired were the Amazon gift card promotion and the 25 commission-free trade offer.
Although it technically expired at the end of June, Virtual Brokers did bring back their 25 commission-free trade offer towards the end of July and bumped the expiry date to August 31, 2015. For that reason it is not being listed as a new deal, but rather an extended one. The deal is identical to that listed in June’s deals – the minimum deposit to qualify is $15,000 and individuals receive 25 commission free trades (valued at $6.49 per trade) to use for up to 1 year from the time their account is open and funded.
Starting first with Questrade. Their latest promotion offers new or existing clients 5 commission-free trades for opening an account with at least $1,000. On the surface, it may not seem like a very exciting offer however it is nonetheless interesting for two reasons.
First, the offer is set to expire at the end of 2016. That is an interesting signal that this is going to be a standing offer. The second reason this promotion is interesting is because there are other offers that appear to be slightly more compelling that are directly competing with this.
The $50 commission credit offer, for example, has no deadline and can be good for up to 10 trades (depending on the structure of the trade and the commission charge). This latest offer by Questrade (the 5 free trade promotion) is good for 5 trades of up to $9.95 each and has a window of 60 days within which these bonus trades can be used.
BMO InvestorLine’s latest promotion (the “summer promotion”) is a reincarnation of their 5 star offer with some key differences. The most significant component to BMO InvestorLine’s new deal is that it takes at least $100,000 to qualify for the offer and there are cash back offers based on deposit tiers that go beyond the historically high $500,000 deposit mark and up to the $1 milllion+ dollar deposit range.
The only other brokerage in recent memory (and currently) to have a promotional offer geared to these higher deposits is Scotia iTrade. For more details on the BMO InvestorLine offer see the table below.
*Updated August 8, 2015
Questrade has relaunched its $50 Visa gift card promotion, which was last seen in May of this year. To qualify for the $50 Visa gift card, individuals must deposit a minimum of $5,000 of net new assets into a new online trading account (registered, margin or FX and CFD are eligible) and make at least one commission-generating trade within 60 days. This offer is currently set to expire at the end of October. Read the table below for additional details.*
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, $50 cash back and potentially waived account minimum fees. Use promo code “YOUNG” when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.||A) for commission free trades: n/a B) for cash back: $25,000||A) 35 commission-free trades B) $50 cash back + 35 commission-free trades||90 days||Youth Promotion||August 31, 2015|
|Open a new account with HSBC InvestDirect and you may be eligible to receive up to 30 equity trades (North American listed equities only) commission free. Only trades placed within the first 60 days of account opening will be eligible. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for full details on this offer.||n/a||30 commission-free trades (commission will be rebated within 90 days after 60 day trading period)||60 days||HSBC InvestDirect Summer Promotion Terms & Conditions||August 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 $25 cash back and they receive either A) $25; B) $50; C) $75; D) $100; or E) $250 depending on the amount deposited amount. Enter code: 476104302388759 during account sign up to qualify. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for eligibility and additional bonus payment structure and minimum balance requirements.||A) $1,000 – $9,999 B) $10,000 – $24,999 C) $25,000 – $49,999 D) $50,000 -$99,999 E) $100,000+||$25 cash back (for referrer per referral; $50 bonus cash back for every 3rd referral) For referred individuals: A) $25 cash back B) $50 cash back C) $75 cash back D) $100 cash back E) $250 cash back||Cash deposited into Questrade billing account within 7 days after funding period ends (90 days)||Refer a friend terms and conditions; Code Number: 476104302388759||none|
|Open and fund a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) with at least $1,000 and you may be eligible to receive 5 commission-free trades. Use promo code 5FREETRADES when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully.||$1,000||5 commission-free trades||60 days||5 commission-free trade offer||August 31, 2015|
|Open and fund a new account at Questrade with at least A)$1,000, B)$25,000 or C)$50,000+ and you could be eligible to receive either A)1 month, B) 2 months or C)3 months of commission-free trading. Use offer code UNLIMITED2015 when opening an application to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions on this offer.||A)$1,000 B)$25,000 C)$50,000||A) 1 month commission-free trading B) 2 months commission-free trading C) 3 months commission-free trading (*note trading commissions will be rebated within 10 business days of trade execution)||A) 1 month B) 2 months C) 3 months||Unlimited Trading Promotion||August 31, 2015|
|Open a new online trading account (registered, margin or FX and CFD) with Questrade and deposit at least $5,000 in order to be eligible to qualify for a $50 prepaid Visa gift card. Clients must also place at least one commission-generating trade within 60 days. Use promo code VISA502015 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||$5,000||$50 prepaid Visa card||Prepaid Visa cards will be mailed after clients complete eligibility requirements.||Prepaid Visa Promotion||October 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||September 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; 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: THSP15 or for cash rebates use code: RNYDMN. 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 + KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription D) 350 commission-free trades OR $350 cash back + KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription E) 500 commission-free trades OR $500 cash back + KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription F) 1000 commission-free trades OR $1,000 cash back + KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription||120 days for commission-free trades Cash back to be deposited by February 13, 2016.||$1000 or 1000 free trade offer||September 13, 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||August 31, 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||September 30, 2015|
|National Bank Direct Brokerage is offering either A) a 16GB iPad Mini or B) $300 cash back to new clients who sign up for the InvestCube service and deposit at least $50,000. Use either promo code “Mini2015” for the iPad or “Cash2015” when signing up to be eligible for this offer. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of this promotion carefully.||$50,000||A) iPad Mini (16GB) B) $300 cash back||Within 45 days of the eligibility date either A) the order for the tablet will be processed or B) cash back will be credited to the account.||InvestCube Tablet or Cash Back Promotion||August 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 – $249,999 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 a new account (registered, margin, or FX & CFD) with at least $100,000 in new assets and execute at least one commission-generating trade and you may be eligible to receive an Apple Gift Card worth $500.00. Use promo code APPLEWATCH2015 when registering. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions on this offer.||$100,000||$500 Apple Store gift card||Apple Store gift card will be emailed within 30 days of eligibility requirements being met.||Apple Gift Card Promo||August 31, 2015|
|Open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine, and fund it with either A)$100,000 – $249,999; B)$250,000 – $499,999; C)$500,000 – $999,999 or D)$1 million+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive either A)$200; B)$500; C)$750 or D)$1,000 cash back. Be sure to use the appropriate promotion code for the corresponding cash back tier when signing up. For the $200 cash back use DISC200; for $500 cash back use DISC500; for $750 cash back use DISC750 and for $1000 cash back use DISC1000.Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.||A) $100,000 – $249,999 B) $250,000 – $499,999 C) $500,000 – $999,999 D) $1,000,000+||A) $200 B) $500 C) $750 D) $1000||Cash award will be paid the week of April 11, 2016.||Summer Offer Promotion||August 31, 2015|
|Last Updated: August 8, 2015 17:40 PT|
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 or $1000 Cash Back Offer||September 13, 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 Transfer Fee Rebate||none|
|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||$25,000||Transfer Fee Rebate||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|
|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||September 30, 2015|