*Updated: May 27* April showers are supposed to bring May flowers but when it comes to deals for DIY investors in Canada, the promo parade in May is definitely getting rained on. After an incredibly busy start to the year – especially in the lead up to the RSP contribution deadline, deals activity at Canadian brokerages has tapered off considerably at the start of May.
Although some pullback in discount brokerage deals and promotions activity is normal for this time of year, to see brokerages step back in terms of offering incentives is noteworthy. Specifically, the context this year matters: there has been strong stock market performance to begin the year; there are lots of big-name IPOs coming to market and a new ultra-low cost competitor has entered the online brokerage space. Add these factors up, and it should be a perfect storm for Canadian discount brokerages to be more aggressively promoting offers to win over new investors and appealing to investors who are now more tuned into what the markets are doing.
Of course, it’s great news to the handful of online brokerages who are offering promotions to investors as they will get a greater share of attention from investors hunting around for an offer on a new account.
Specifically, to start off the month, BMO InvestorLine, CIBC Investor’s Edge, Desjardins Online Brokerage, HSBC InvestDirect and Questrade have offers in play. That said, CIBC’s offer is scheduled to expire on May 2nd and HSBC InvestDirect chose to extend their offer to the end of May from its previous deadline of April 30th.
On balance, we see a strong likelihood that additional online brokerage offers come to market over the late spring/early summer period. The opportunity to get access to a younger, engaged investor ahead of the major IPOs taking place this year seems too tempting to pass up. We’ll be keeping our eyes open for deals that hopefully also evoke that same sentiment.
Heading into May, National Bank Direct Brokerage’s offer for 50 commission-free trades officially expired as did the BMO SmartFolio promotional offer for the free first year of management (BMO SmartFolio’s cash back offer is still running until June).
In a surprise move, HSBC InvestDirect opted to extend their winter promotion for another month, with the new deadline for their cash back offer falling on May 31st.
*Update: May 27 – There have been a couple of interesting deals from large bank-owned online brokerages to cross the deal wire this month.
RBC Direct Investing kicked things off earlier this month with a cash back offer for new (i.e. not existing) clients of RBC Direct Investing. This new promo was a really limited time offer and expires in early June. Cash back rewards for this promotion range from $100 for a minimum deposit of $25,000 to $1,000 cash back for a deposit of $500,000+. See table below for more details.
CIBC Investor’s Edge also launched a new deal in May that is going to turn a few heads with investors and competitors alike. CIBC Investor’s Edge is offering 100 commission-free trades which are good for 90 days from the date of account opening. This deal is especially enticing as it has no minimum deposit requirement stated to qualify and commission fees are waived at the time the trade is placed meaning there is no long wait for a commission rebate. See table below for more information.*
There are no new deals to announce (yet).
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 a new qualifying account with CIBC Investor’s Edge and you may be eligible to receive 100 commission-free trades. Eligible trades include equity, ETF and options trades (per contract charges still apply). Commission-free trades are good for up to 90 days after account opening date. Use promo code EDGE28 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||n/a||100 commission-free trades||90 days||CIBC Investor’s Edge Free Trade Promotion||July 31, 2019|
|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, 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||none|
|Open and fund a new account with at least A) $25,000; B) $100,000; C) $250,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1M+ AND place at least three commission-generating trades and you may be eligible to receive a cash back promotion amount of at least A) $188; B) $388; C) $688; D) $988 or E) $1288. Be sure to read offer terms & conditions for full details.||A) $25,000 B) $100,000 C) $250,000 D) $500,000 E) $1M+||A) $188 B) $388 C) $688 D) $988 E) $1288||Cash back will be deposited by November 29, 2019||HSBC InvestDirect 2019 Winter Offer||May 31, 2019|
|Open and fund a new eligible RBC Direct Investing account with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000 or E) $500,000+ and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward of A) $100; B) $150; C) $200; D) $500 or E) $1,000. Use promo code CASHB when registering. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.||A) $25,000 B) $50,000 C) $100,000 D) $250,000 E) $500,000+||A) $100 B) $150 C) $200 D) $500 E) $1,000||Cash back will be deposited by December 16, 2019||RBC Cash Back Offer||June 7, 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, 2019|
|Open a new qualifying account or fund an existing qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $50,000; B) $100,000; C) $500,000 or D) $1M+ and you may be eligible to a cash back reward of up to A) $100; B) $300; C) $900 or D) $1600. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions.||A) $50,000 B) $100,000 C) $500,000 D) $1M+||A) $100 B) $300 C) $900 D) $1,600||Cash back will be deposited the week of December 16, 2019.||BMO InvestorLine Spring 2019 Campaign||June 3, 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. 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 September 2nd.||CIBC Investor’s Edge Cash Back Promo||May 2, 2019|
|Last Updated: May. 27, 2019 08:30 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, 2020|
|Last Updated: Apr. 1, 2019 17:00 PT|
Transfer Fee Promotions
|Company||Brief Description||Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount||Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility||Details Link||Deadline|
|Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they’ll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150.||$150||no minimum required||Transfer Fee Promo||June 30, 2019|
|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|
|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||none|
|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: May 1, 2019 21:00 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|
|Last Updated: May1, 2019 21:45 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, 2020||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: May 1, 2019 21:45 PT|