*Update Nov. 17th* If there’s one month of the year known for deals, it’s November. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers are getting geared up for some serious savings. For Canadian DIY investors, the fun has already started as Canada’s online brokerages gear up for their busiest shopping season – RRSP season – and offer some compelling promotions in the process.
This month’s crop of discount brokerage deals is numerically close to where things were last month, however within those numbers lies a very interesting development that could touch off a local, if not national, deal battle-royale. The good news for DIY investors is that the new offers that came to market are definitely full of value so for anyone hunting for an online trading account, there are some very tempting offers on the table to choose from.
While they’ll be detailed further below, BMO InvestorLine and National Bank Direct Brokerage both start the month with new promotional offers – each putting an interesting twist on commission-free trading. In the minus column, Desjardins Online Brokerage, who, as of publication of this deals update on November 1st, have allowed their long-standing 1% commission credit offer to officially expire.
Historically, Desjardins Online Brokerage has almost always extended this long-standing offer prior to the expiry date hitting, so unless there was a major Halloween candy hangover to blame, this would mark the first time in a few years that Desjardins Online Brokerage hasn’t posted a significant commission-free trading offer. While it is just speculation at this point, the move by their close rival National Bank Direct Brokerage, might prompt an even bolder offer to come to market.
Of course, there is still some ambiguity around the RBC Direct Investing commission-free trade offer. This deal, which was mentioned last month in the Weekly Roundup, is being marketed to healthcare workers, however online investors interested in the offer can also take advantage of it. Whether this offer goes mainstream or whether another comes along from RBC Direct Investing, there is nonetheless another offer available from a major bank-owned online brokerage that will get the attention of DIY investors.
With so many offers already in the mix, there’s a good chance we’ll see other discount brokerages come off the sidelines and step up their promotional game. Stock markets aren’t the only place where there’s volatility, so we’ll be very interested to see what the autumn wind will be blowing in with it at the rest of Canada’s online brokerages. As always, if there are any other discount brokerage deals that might be of interest to DIY investors to know about, please let us know.
As of the publication (on November 1st) of the deals and promotions update, Desjardins Online Brokerage was the lone brokerage to have a deal expire heading into the new month. Their ultra-long-standing offer of 1% commission credit along with their transfer fee bonus have technically expired. We’ll keep an eye out to see if there is a refresh or new offer and update things accordingly.
BMO SmartFolio has extended their 0.5% cash back offer to the new year. The new expiry date for the cash back promotion is January 2nd, 2019.
*Update Nov. 17 – Scotia iTRADE jumped back into the deals pool with a new cash back or commission-free trade promotion. Unlike previous promotions of this kind, there are slightly different offers and requirements for the cash back and commission-free trade components. For example, the minimum deposit required for the commission-free trade reward is $10,000 (which comes with 20 free trades) whereas the minimum deposit to qualify for a cash back reward is $25,000. Also, on the commission-free trade offer the deposit level which maxes out the number of commission free trades (which is 300 trades in this promotion) is $250,000 whereas the upper deposit limit to qualify for a cash back offer is $1M+ (which comes with a $1500 reward). See table below for more details and read an analysis of the cash back promotions in this issue of the Weekly Roundup here.*
Starting first with one of the mainstays of the online brokerage promotions section, BMO InvestorLine who rolled out their new combined cash back and commission-free trade offer at the outset of the month. Their latest promotion offers between $100 and $1,000 cash back for deposits that range from $50,000 to $600,000+. As a bonus offer, there are 30 commission-free trades which are good for use in February and March of 2019, a typically busy season for RSP account openings and purchases of securities. See more information in the table below.
After a long absence from the discount brokerage deals section, National Bank Direct Brokerage came back with a bang. Not only did they roll out a new website but they also published a deal that is sure to ruffle some feathers with cross-town rivals as well as other online brokerages. NBDB’s latest promotion offers up an eye-popping 50 commission free trades that are good for use for one year and all for the ultra-low qualifying threshold of $5,000. Combined with commission free ETF trading, this is a signal that more commission free trading is likely on the horizon.
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 and fund a new account with at least $5,000 at National Bank Direct Brokerage and you may be eligible to receive up to 50 commission free equity trades, which are good for up to one year. Use promo code: FREE50 when applying. Be sure to read offer terms and conditions for full details.||$5,000||50 commission-free trades||12 months||National Bank Direct Brokerage 50 Free Trade Offer||April 30, 2019|
|Open a new account or fund an existing account with A) $10,000; B) $25,000; C) $50,000; D) $100,000 E) $250,000; F) $500,000 or G) $1M+ and you may be eligible to receive either A)20; B) 50; C) 100; D) 200; or E), F), G) 300 commission free trades; or B) $100; C) $200; D) $500; E) $800; F) $1100 or G) $1500. Use promo code 19CA for the cash back or 19FT for the free trades offers. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for full details.||A) $10,000 B) $25,000 C) $50,000 D) $100,000 E) $250,000 F) $500,000 G) $1M+||For cash back: A) $0 B) $100 C) $200 D) $500 E) $800 F) $1100 G) $1500 For commission-free trades: A) 20 B) 50 C) 100 D) 200 E) 300 F) 300 G) 300||For cash back: Cash will be deposited by July, 2019. For commission free trades: 120 days to use trades from date of account funding.||iTRADE commission-free trade + cash back offer||March 31, 2019|
|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||October 31, 2018|
|Open and fund a new qualifying account with CIBC Investor’s Edge with a deposit of at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000 or C) $100,00+ and you may be eligible to receive a cash back bonus of A) $100; B) $200 or C) $400. This offer is open to both new and existing clients. Use offer code SPARX18 when opening the account to obtain this offer. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for complete details.||A) $25,000 B) $50,000 C) $100,000||A) $100 B) $200 C) $400||Cash back will be deposited on the week of March 24, 2019 for transfers received by December 31, 2018; transfers received after December 31, 2018 but before May 1, 2019 will receive cash back on the week of July 1, 2019.||CIBC Investor’s Edge Cash Back Promo||March 24, 2019|
|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 account or fund an existing account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $50,000; B) $200,000; C) $400,000 or D) $600,000+ and you may be eligible to receive 30 commission-free equity trades AND a cash back reward of up to A) $100; B) $300; C) $600 or D) $1000. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions.||A) $50,000 B) $200,000 C) $400,000 D) $600,000+||30 commission-free equity trades plus: A) $100 B) $300 C) $600 D) $1000||commission-free equity trades can be used in February & March of 2019. Cash back will be deposited the week of July 15, 2019.||BMO InvestorLine Summer 2018 Campaign||January 2, 2019|
|Last Updated: Nov. 17, 2018 00:45 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 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 (an existing Qtrade Investor client) refer a new client to Qtrade Investor and they open an account with at least $1,000 the referrer and the referee may both be eligible to receive $25 cash. See terms and conditions for full details.||$1,000||$25 cash back (for both referrer and referee)||Cash deposited at the end of the month in which referee’s account funded||Refer A Friend to Qtrade Investor||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 $5,000 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.||$5,000||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||January 2, 2019|
|Last Updated: Nov. 1, 2018 22:55 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 into a new HSBC InvestDirect account and you may be eligible to have up to $152.55 in transfer fees covered.||152.55||$15,000||Confirmed via email contact with HSBC InvestDirect Rep. Contact client service for more information.||none|
|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|
|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||October 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 SPARXCASH when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.||$200||$200,000||BMO InvestorLine Summer 2018 Campaign||September 3, 2018|
|Last Updated: Nov. 1, 2018 22:55 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|
|Open and fund a new qualifying account with at least $5,000 at RBC Direct Investing and you may be eligible to receive up to 20 commission-free trades, which are good for up to one year. Use promo code MDFT8 to qualify. This promotion is being marketed towards healthcare workers, so be sure to review terms and conditions or speak to an RBC Direct Investing representative for full details.||$5,000||RBC Direct Investing 20 Free Trade Offer||Feb. 28, 2019|
|Last Updated: Nov. 1, 2018 22:55 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.||$1,000||1st month no management fees||KDKFNBBC||None||Questrade Portfolio IQ Promo Offer|
|Cash Back||Open and fund a new or existing SmartFolio account with at least $1,000 and you could receive 0.5% cash back up to $1000. Use promo code PROMO1000 when opening a new account. See terms and conditions for full details. This offer can be combined with the refer-a-friend promotion.||$1,000||0.5% cash back to a maximum of $1000.||PROMO1000||January 2, 2019||SmartFolio Cash Back Promo|
|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 30, 2019||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: Nov. 1, 2018 22:55 PT|