Summer is close at hand and now that May is behind us, those who have sold in May and gone away might still find a reason to come back to the markets – at least that’s what some brokerages are banking on.
As we launch into a new month the discount brokerage deals and promotions landscape this year looks quite different than a year ago at this time.
For starters, one of the major sources of promotional offers for DIY investors, Questrade, is still in a holding pattern with no new noteworthy promotions being put forward. This is in stark contrast to last year where they were leading all brokerages with the most offers. For those still seeking a deal with Questrade, several are available, including (see below) links to affiliate plans and refer-a-friend bonuses.
In terms of the bank-owned brokerages, there were two interesting developments. First, BMO InvestorLine started the month with a new offer for the summer to replace their outgoing promotion that concluded at the end of May. Second, Scotia iTrade recently celebrated their 1-year anniversary of their downtown Toronto investor centre opening and marked it with incentives like free gelato and movie passes to meet with investment representatives.
There’s been a recent uptick in the number of contests being put forward by online brokerages so it will be interesting to monitor this approach to see if this will be a strategic way to drum up excitement for online brokerages during the summer months.
That said, there are a number of offers that are scheduled to expire during and at the end of June. Desjardins Online Brokerage’s commission credit offer, Virtual Brokers Apple gift card promotion, BMO InvestorLine’s refer-a-friend and National Bank Direct Brokerage’s commission-free Canadian ETF promotion are all on the chopping block this month so it will be interesting to see which discount brokerage promotion, if any, gets renewed.
If not, it will definitely be a much smaller field of brokerages and offers for DIY investors to choose from, at least until the fall season shows up when brokerages will be more interested in ramping up their promotional activities.
The turnover in deals in May was not that substantial, with an offer from BMO InvestorLine and Virtual Brokers’ referral deal expiring. At the time of publication, it was not confirmed if Virtual Brokers would be extending the Cash Referral Program however we will post an update when we have one.
No deals were officially extended at the time of publication.
BMO InvestorLine was the only online brokerage to kick off the new month with a new offer. Specifically, BMO InvestorLine is offering investors cash back for opening and funding a new qualifying account. The cash back amounts range from $200 to $1,000 cash back depending on deposit sizes. In keeping with many of their previous promotions, the minimum deposit to qualify (for the entry level cash back amount) is $100,000. Interestingly, and unlike many other brokerages, BMO InvestorLine enables this cash back offer to be combined with their referral bonus ($50 for a minimum deposit of $50,000).
Discount Brokerage Deals
- Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions
- Referral Promotions
- Transfer Fee Promotions
- Contests & Other Offers
Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions
|Company||Brief Description||Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount||Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility||Details Link||Deadline|
|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|
|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 at least $25,000 or more in new assets to TD Direct Investing when opening a new account and you may qualify to have transfer fees reimbursed up to $150. Be sure to contact TD Direct Investing for further details.||$150||$25,000||Contact client service for more information (1-800-465-5463).||none|
|Transfer $25,000 or more to Virtual Brokers and they may cover up to $150 in transfer fees.||$150||$25,000||Apple gift card promo||June 30, 2016|
|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 information (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, 2016|
|Last Updated: June 1, 2016 16:50 PT|
|Company||Brief Description||Minimum Deposit Amount Required||Details Link||Deadline|
|Credential Direct has partnered with Trend Micro to offer 50% off Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security. Use code “TrendCF” at checkout.||n/a||Trend Micro Special Offer Code||none|
|National Bank Direct Brokerage is sponsoring the latest edition of the Horizons ETFs Biggest Winner simulated trading competition. Top prize for the contest winner is $7,500 with a runner up prize of $2,500. There will also be weekly prizes of $500. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details on timing and eligibility.||n/a||Horizons ETFs Biggest Winner 6||June 17, 2016|
|Scotia iTRADE is offering a no-purchase entry option to their Stock Shopping Spree contest. There is a limit of one (1) ballot per person using the no purchase required method. Top prize is $10,000 and there are 5 runner-up prizes of $1,000. Be sure to read full contest rules and regulations for eligibility.||n/a||No Purchase Entry Link . Click here for full contest rules.||July 31, 2016|
|Desjardins Online Brokerage is offering $50 in commission credits for new Disnat Classic clients depositing at least $1,000. See terms and conditions for full details.||$1,000||[email protected] 18-30 Promotion||none|
|Scotiabank StartRight customers can receive 10 commission-free trades when investing $1,000 or more in a new Scotia iTrade account. Trades are good for use for up to 1 year from the date the account is funded. Use promo code SRPE15 when applying (in English) or SRPF15 when applying in French. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for full details.||$1,000||StartRight Free Trade offer||none|
|Virtual Brokers is offering the chance for individuals who sign up for a new online trading account on the classic commission structure with a deposit of at least $1,000 to win an Apple $500 gift card. Be sure to read terms and conditions for more information.||$1,000||Apple Gift Card Promotion||June 30, 2016|
|Last Updated: June 1, 2016 16:50 PT|
Transfer Fee Promotions
|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 Jitneytrade and receive access to their preferred pricing package.||n/a||Discounted Commission Rates||none||For more details click here||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||December 31, 2016|
|Open and fund a new account at Virtual Brokers with at least $5,000 and you may be eligible to receive 3 months of commission-free equity trading and a $150 USD/mo credit towards Edge Trader Pro for 3 months. Use promo code sent at sign up to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for details.||$5,000||3 months commission-free equity trading + $150 USD/mo platform fee rebate.||3 months||3 months free trading / Sign up form for promo code available here||none|
|Open and fund a new account at Scotia iTrade with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000 D) $250,000 E) $500,000 or F) $1,000,000+ and you may be eligible to receive up to A) 75 commission-free trades and 5 contest ballots; B) 150 commission-free trades and 10 contest ballots; C) 200 commission-free trades and 25 contest ballots; D) 250 commission-free trades and 50 contest ballots; E) 250 commission-free trades and 100 contest ballots; or F) 250 commission-free trades and 200 contest ballots. Use promo code SP16FT when opening account to be eligible. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||A) $25,000 – $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) 75 commission-free trades + 5 contest ballots B) 150 commission-free trades + 10 ballots C) 200 commission-free trades + 25 ballots D) 250 commission-free trades + 50 ballots E) 250 commission-free trades + 100 ballots F) 250 commission-free trades + 200 ballots||90 days for free trades||TSX Shopping Spree Contest . For full contest rules, click here||July 31, 2016|
|Disnat is offering new & existing clients up to $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||August 30, 2016|
|Open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine, and fund it with at least A) $100,000 or B) $250,000 or C)$500,000 in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive A) $200 cash back, B)$500 cash back or C) $1,000 cash back. Use promo code Summer1000 when signing up to be eligible. 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+||A) $200 cash back B) $500 cash back C) $1,000 cash back||Cash back will be deposited the week of Mar. 6, 2017.||Summer 2016 Promotion||July 31, 2016|
|Last Updated: July 8 14:45 PT|
|Company||Brief Description||Minimum Deposit Amount||Incentive Structure||Time Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer Deposit||Details Link||Deadline|
|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|
|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||tbd|
|If you (an existing Virtual Brokers client) refer a friend or family member to open a new account with at least $5,000 you may be eligible to receive $25 cash per referral. For 3 or more referrals Virtual Brokers will add a $50 bonus. Referred individuals depositing either A) $5,000 – $50,000 or B) $50,000+ may be eligible to receive A) $25 or B) $50 cash back. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions carefully for full details. Be sure to read the terms and conditions to this offer carefully for full details.||A) $5,000 – $50,000 B) $50,000+||Referrer: $25 per referral; $50 bonus for each 3 or more referrals. Referee: A) $25 B) $50||Cash to be deposited to VB account by August 15, 2016.||Cash Referral Program||May 31, 2016|
|If you (an existing BMO InvestorLine client) refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with at least $50,000 the referrer and the referee may both be eligible to receive $50 cash. To qualify the referee must use the email of the referrer that is linked to their BMO InvestorLine account. See terms and conditions for full details.||$50,000||You(referrer): $50; Your Friend(referee): $50||Payout occurs 45 days after minimum 90 day holding period(subject to conditions).||BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend||October 31, 2016|
|Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) and receive $50 commission credit . Use promo code: kdkfnbbc||$1,000||$50 commission credit||30 days||none||none|
|Last Updated: July 8, 2016 14:51PT|