*Updated Dec. 21st* Even though the holiday season is just around the corner, there’s another season that online investors and brokerages look to for big gifts: RSP season. There are no red-nosed reindeer or chimney scaling figures, but there is lots to cheer about in terms of promotional offers that are now available for DIY investors shopping for an online investing account.
This month, in addition to the strong selection of discount brokerage deals, there is a shiny new offer from a shiny new bank-owned player in the robo-advisor space, RBC InvestEase, which rolled out in late November. RBC’s InvestEase joins BMO’s SmartFolio in the deals and promotions category below.
The start of the month also sees Desjardins Online Brokerage’s commission credit offer come back in time for the holidays. Terms and conditions for the 1% commission credit offer have been updated and the official expiry date bumped to December 31st.
Looking across the board, there is a strong selection of offers from a number of bank-owned brokerages. Scotia iTRADE jumped back into the promotions arena last month with a relatively aggressive cash-back or commission-free trade offer. For DIY investors, that’s great news.
Unlike last year’s feverish push into all things weed and crypto, this year presents a mixed bag of economic uncertainty and no real strong momentum story.
On the one hand that might present a challenge to Canada’s discount brokerages in terms of the volume and enthusiasm for online brokerage accounts. On the other hand, with so many investors likely torched by dipping into crypto or who’ve seen the run-in weed stocks take their course, it might just be the perfect storm to keep things simple with a robo-advisor or passive DIY investment strategy. If last year was any lesson, families and friends talk finance over the holidays, so the timing is right for online brokerages to be visible in the conversation about finance and investing.
The bottom line for Canadian discount brokers is that they can’t count on the massive enthusiasm to push online investors their way, there has to be real value and incentive to pull investors in. We’re looking for those brokerages currently on the sidelines to step into the deals mix with some interesting offers soon. And, if the timing is right, a well-structured offer will find its way into a turkey dinner conversation or two.
There were no online brokerage offers that expired at the end of November.
The famously long-standing offer from Desjardins Online Brokerage made an official comeback as the terms and conditions for the popular 1% commission credit deal were updated on the Desjardins website. The original deadline of the offer was October 31st and for a good portion of November those terms remained in place even though the link was still live indicating that it was awaiting some kind of decision. Fortunately for investors the deal is available now until the end of December. This cautious extension is not unusual but with rival National Bank Direct Brokerage also offering up a promotion that runs into 2019, it is unlikely Desjardins Online Brokerage will enter the new year without a compelling deal for DIY investors.
*Updated Dec. 21st: TD Direct Investing has launched a new trading commission rebate offer for DIY investors just before the holidays. This tiered trading commission promotion offers rebates ranging from 25 trades to 200 trades for deposits ranging between $15,000 and $100,000+. There is a twist to this offer which we haven’t seen quite often, namely that registration is required to qualify for the offer. To qualify, accounts must be opened before March 1st, 2019 and commission rebates apply to trades between the time of account opening and July 1st, 2019. See table below for more information. *
Not only do we have a new offer in the Robo-advisor/digital-advice segment, it happens to be from a new player in the space. RBC’s InvestEase platform officially went public and kicked off with a waiver of management fee (normally 0.5%) until October 31, 2019 with no cap on the amount of assets invested. With Questrade’s recent drop in management fee, the competition for investor assets is intensifying and a new entrant into the passive investing space with discount of this magnitude will get the attention of online investors (and competitors).
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||December 31, 2018|
|Open a new qualifying TD Direct Investing account by March 1, 2019 with a minimum deposit of A) $15,000; B) $25,000; C) $50,000 or D) $100,000+ and you may be eligible to receive commission rebates for A) 25; B) 50; C) 100 or D) 200 trades. To qualify online, individuals must register here and open the account by March 1, 2019. See terms and conditions for full details.||A) $15,000 B) $25,000 C) $50,000 D) $100,000+||A) 25 B) 50 C) 100 D) 200||Trades made prior to July 1, 2019 will be eligible for rebate.||TD Direct Investing Winter Promotion||March 1, 2019|
|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 Fall 2018 Campaign||January 2, 2019|
|Last Updated: Dec. 21, 2018 16:00 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: Dec. 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|
|Desjardins Online Brokerage 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 Desjardins Online Brokerage 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||December 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: Dec. 1, 2018 14:00 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: Dec. 1, 2018 14:00PT|
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|
|Discounted Management||Open a new account with RBC InvestEase and the standard management fee will be waived until October 31, 2019. See offer terms and conditions for full details.||$1,000||No management fees until October 31, 2019||None||March 31, 2019||RBC InvestEase Pricing Details|
|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: Dec. 1, 2018 14:00 PT|