*Update: May 29* There’s an old trader tip that says “buy when it snows and sell when it goes.” Now, it wasn’t too long ago that the snow actually did leave but the arrival of May “should” mean no more snow. Alas, snow wasn’t the only thing disappearing to kick off this month. Several Canadian discount brokerages decided to hang up their promotional skates (for the moment anyway) which has certainly cleared the field for those brokerages actively promoting offers, to continue to post offers to win over new clients and assets.
Discount Brokerage Deals Quick Nav
Yes, the big story heading into the new month isn’t who arrived but rather who stepped back. As of the beginning of May, HSBC InvestDirect, National Bank Direct Brokerage and Virtual Brokers all let the clocks on their respective offers run out.
For DIY investors seeking out cash-back promotions, the field is slim, with either Questrade (via their referral offer) or BMO InvestorLine (whose offer also comes with free trades) providing easy to access cash back offers.
Scotia iTRADE and BMO InvestorLine also offer referral promotions with a cash-back component to them however accessing these offers requires more effort that either Questrade’s referral-based cash-back offer or BMO’s standard offer. Side note, BMO InvestorLine’s referral offer can be combined with their current commission-free trading + cash back offer.
It will be interesting to see just how long competitor online brokerages to BMO InvestorLine and Questrade are willing to sit on the sidelines while both firms dominate the deals field unchallenged (at least for now). For the moment, however, the stats are clear: for DIY investors looking for a deal are going to focusing hard on the only brokerages in the spotlight at this point.
Correction: an earlier version of the table that referenced a cash reward of $400 at Questrade for a deposit of $250,000 was incorrect. The current table has been updated with correct information.
Several offers from Canadian online brokerages expired at the end of April. Virtual Brokers’ transfer fee technically expired, while National Bank Direct Brokerage’s commission-free trading promotion also expired. HSBC InvestDirect’s cash back promotion officially ended after having been extended just a little while longer.
No offers were extended as of the beginning of May.
*Update May 29 – After an interesting little blip in the deals section, National Bank Direct Brokerage is back once again with their commission-free trade offer.
The deal, which is interestingly not posted on their promotions section or in their header slider, is being advertised (and was discovered) on Facebook. In any case, there is a live link to the offer that we’ve included in the table below.
This new offer is similar previous commission-free trade deal of 25 trades which are good for one year except there is also promotional pricing of $6.95 per trade when the 25 trades are used up. This is actually quite a compelling offer for anyone interested in trying out NBDB because they are lowering their standard commission pricing down from $9.95 to where CIBC Investor’s Edge pricing is on a standard basis. So, although this discounted pricing is temporary, it definitely means National Bank Direct Brokerage has one of the most competitive offers out there.
See table below for more information.*
*Update May 7 – After a long absence from the commission-free trade section of the deals section, RBC Direct Investing is stepping back into the mix with a new offer of 20 commission-free trades which are good for up to one year. This is likely to be a popular offer in the category for several reasons. First, the hurdle to qualify for this offer is incredibly low – the minimum deposit required is only $5,000. Second, RBC Direct Investing is part of Canada’s largest bank, which means there’s lots of attention this offer will garner from DIY investors. Last (but not least), there are fewer players on the deals field at the moment which necessarily means this offer will get more exposure. Scroll down to read additional details.*
No new offers to announce at the outset of May.
Discount Brokerage Deals
- Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions
- Referral Promotions
- Transfer Fee Promotions
- Contests & Other Offers
- Digital Advice + Roboadvisor Promotions
Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer 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 $88 in commission credits (up to 17 commission-free trades). Use promo code SPARX88 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully.||$1,000||$88 commission credit||60 days||Access this offer by clicking here: $88 commission-credit offer . For full terms and conditions, 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, 2018|
|Open a new account at National Bank Direct Brokerage with at least 5,000 and you may be eligible to receive up to 25 commission-free trades, good for up to one year. There is also a promotional discounted commission-pricing available within the first year to individuals who use up their 25 trades; trading commissions for the first year are $6.95. Use promo code SPRING 2018 when signing up to be eligible for this offer. This offer is also available to existing clients. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||$5,000||25 commission-free trades + $6.95 commission per trade pricing||365 days||National Bank Spring Offer||July 6, 2018|
|Open and fund a new account at RBC Direct Investing with at least $5,000 in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive up to 20 commission-free equity trades which are good for up to one year. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||$5,000||20 commission-free trades||365 days||RBC Direct Investing Commission-free Trades Promotion||June 14, 2018|
|Desjardins Online Brokerage is offering new clients 1% of assets transferred into the new account in the form of commission credits (to a maximum value of $1,000). Minimum qualifying deposit is $10,000. To qualify, individuals will have to call 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code DisnatTransfer or email: [email protected] See details link for more info.||$10,000||1% of assets transferred in the form of commission-credits (max credits: $1,000)||6 months||Disnat 1% Commission Credit Promo||May 31, 2018|
|Open and fund a new qualifying account with at least $25,000 and you may qualify for one month of unlimited commission-free trades and up to one month free of an advanced data package. Use promo code ADVANTAGE14 when opening a new account. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||$25,000||commission-free trades for 1 month + 1 month of advanced data.||1 month||Active Trader Program||December 31, 2018|
|Open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account, with at least A) $50,000; B) $100,000 or C) $300,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive up to 20 commission-free equity trades plus A) $50 cash back; B) $150 cash back or C) $500 cash back. Commission-free trades are good for up to two months. In addition, eligible individuals can receive an extra $50 as part of the refer a friend program. Use promo code SPRING when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.||A) $50,000 B) $100,000 C) $300,000||20 commission-free equity trades AND A) $50; B) $150 C) $500.||Commission-free equity trades are good for up to two months. Cash back will be deposited the week of January 21, 2019.||BMO InvestorLine Spring 2018 Campaign||May 31, 2018|
|Last Updated: May 29, 2018 10:15 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 B) $10,000 C) $25,000 D) $50,000 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 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, 2018|
|Last Updated: May 1, 2018 22:45 PT|
Transfer Fee 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 Qtrade Investor from another brokerage and Qtrade Investor may cover up to $150 in transfer fees. See terms and conditions for more details.||$150||$15,000||Transfer Fee Rebate||none|
|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 $20,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees.||$135||$20,000||Transfer Fee Rebate||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 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|
|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 DisnatTransfer. See details link for more info.||$150||$50,000||Disnat 1% Commission Credit Promo||May 31, 2018|
|Open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account, by transferring in at least $200,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to have transfer fees covered up to $200. Use promo code SPRING when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.||$200||$200,000||BMO InvestorLine Spring 2018 Campaign||May 31, 2018|
|Last Updated: May. 1, 22:35 PT|
|Company||Brief Description||Minimum Deposit Amount Required||Details Link||Deadline|
|Desjardins Online Brokerage, in conjunction with MoneyTalks, is offering 3 months of the “Inside Edge” investor information service to Desjardins Online Brokerage clients. Use promo code DESJ2016 during checkout to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for more information.||n/a||MoneyTalks Inside Edge Discount||none|
|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|
|Last Updated: May. 1, 2018 22:35 PT|
Digital Advice + Roboadvisor Promotions
|Robo-advisor / Digital advisor||Offer Type||Offer Description||Min. Deposit||Reward / Promotion||Promo Code||Expiry Date||Link|
|Discounted Management||Open and fund a new Questrade Portfolio IQ account with a deposit of at least $1,000 and the first month of management will be free. For more information on Portfolio IQ, click the product link.||$1000||1st month no management fees||KDKFNBBC||None||Questrade Portfolio IQ Promo Offer|
|Discounted Management||Open a new account with BMO SmartFolio and receive one year of management of up to $15,000 free. See offer terms and conditions for more details.||$1,000||1 year no management fees||STSF||April 1, 2018||SmartFolio New Account Promotion|
|Cash Back – Referral||BMO SmartFolio clients will receive $50 cash back for every friend or family member who opens and funds a new SmartFolio account. Friends and family referred to SmartFolio will receive $50 cash back for opening and funding an account, plus automatic enrollment into SmartFolio’s mass offer in market at the time. See offer terms and conditions for more details.||$1,000||$50 cash back (referrer) $50 cash back (referee)||Unique link generated from SmartFolio required.||None||SmartFolio Website|
|Transfer Fee Coverage||Transfer at least $25,000 into Virtual Wealth when opening a new account and you may be eligible to have up to $150 in transfer fees covered by Virtual Wealth.||$25,000||up to $150 in transfer fees covered||None||None||Contact customer service directly for more information.|
|Last Updated: May 1, 2018 22:45 PT|