*Updated Nov. 27* Welcome to November, where DIY investors, like daylight, are in for some savings when it comes to investing online. Despite the extra hour available to online brokerages, TFSA contribution room dates, RRSP contribution deadline season and tax season are all quickly approaching, and as a result, investors are already kicking the tires on where best to park their capital. Add to the mix record highs on the stock markets, and it’s a potent combination for investors interested in market momentum.
After the most turbulent month in the history of online brokerages in the US that saw trading commission fees drop to zero, the moose in the room for Canadian discount brokerages is how to temper expectations for zero-commission trading. There is clearly demand for it across social media and among DIY investors, and there is even supply in the form of a couple of online brokers ponying up commission-free trading of one kind or another.
The next best option to fully dropping commissions to zero, is a generous helping of commission-free trades (or cash back) to win over investor loyalty.
It is against that backdrop that we see the Canadian discount brokerage deals activity at a bit of a crossroads this month. On the one hand, the uptick in investor interest is imminent, so there have to be offers coming to market soon. On the other, brokerages are watching one another carefully to see which major online brokerage makes the first move with respect to pricing or promotions (or both) going into the end of 2019.
Already at the beginning of the month we’ve witnessed some bold moves by BMO InvestorLine, with the launch of a new cash back offer geared towards bigger balances than have ever been pursued before. Other brokerages, such as RBC Direct Investing are in the mix with commission-free offers, and bank-owned brokerages National Bank Direct Brokerage and Scotia iTRADE are offering up free trades on an annual basis to certain account holders. In the case of National Bank Direct Brokerage, young investors (under 30 years old) can get 10 commission-free trades per month (as well as a discounted commission fee thereafter). For Scotia iTRADE, the Ultimate banking package with Scotiabank provides 10 commission-free trades in the first year and 5 commission-free trades every year thereafter.
All told, there’s plenty of activity to keep things warm, toasty and inviting for DIY investors looking for promotions or deals to open or add funding to an online investing account. Of course, there’s still likely more to come, so be sure to check back through the month or follow us on Twitter for more deals announcements.
Scotia iTrade’s $50 cash back and $6.99 per trade promotion officially expired at the end of October. This unique approach to a promotion signals that there’s something creative being cooked up in the iTRADE kitchen and we’ll be watching to see what ultimately surfaces over the next few weeks.
Although it has been replaced by a new offer already, there was a technical expiry of the summer cash back promotions from BMO InvestorLine, which retired their tiered cash back promotion that started off at a minimum deposit tier or $100,000.
No extensions to report at the time of publication
BMO InvestorLine is pushing the line even higher on the top end of both the cash back and the deposit level required to qualify for it with the launch of their latest cash back promotion. The new deal has an initial qualifying deposit tier of $250,000 and associated cash back of $400, and tops out at a new high for a deposit tier of $5M+ for which a whopping $5,000 bonus can be paid out.
*Update November 12 – CIBC Investor’s Edge has launched a brand new cash back promotion for individuals that transfer their account out of their current online brokerage and into Investor’s Edge. The minimum deposit required to qualify for this deal is $25,000; you may be eligible to receive $100 – $400 in cash back depending on the size of your deposit. Scroll down for more details!
*Update November 27 – Scotia iTrade has released a promotion that offers new account holders the choice of a) cash back + $6.99 commissions; or b) free equity trades. The minimum deposit required for this deal is $5,000, and you could be eligible to receive either a) $25 – 1,500 cash back + $6.99 per trade; or b) between 10 – 500 free equity trades, dependent on the size of your funding. Scroll down for more info.
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, 2019|
|Open a new RBC Direct Investing account by December 13th and you may be eligible for 25 commission-free equity and ETF trades. You must deposit or transfer $5,000 in your account by February 14th, 2020 to be able to use this promotion. Make sure that the offer code MCFT1 is applied if you wish to qualify for this deal. As always, be sure to take a look at the terms and conditions for further details.||$5,000||25 commission-free trades||1 year||Commission-Free Offer Details||December 13, 2019|
|Open and fund a new Scotia iTrade account to be eligible for up to $1,500 in cash back and $6.99 commission pricing, or up to 500 free equity trades. The amount of cashback and free trades are dependent on the funding of your account. Take a look at the offer details link for further information.||$5,000||Cash + discounted commissions, or free trades.||$6.99 trades available until June 30, 2020; Cash or commission rebate for free trades available until July 31, 2020.||iTrade Offer Details||February 29, 2020|
|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 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|
|When you transfer funds from another account into a CIBC Investor’s Edge account with assets worth at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000, you may be eligible to receive A) $100; B) $200; or C) $400 in cash back.||A) $25,000 B) $50,000 C) 100,000+||A) $100 B) $200 C) $400||Cash back will be deposited between May 18 – September 17, 2020.||CIBC Cash Back Offer Details||March 4, 2020|
|Open a new qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $250,000; B) $500,000; C) $2M or D) $5M+, and you may be eligible to a cash back reward of up to A) $400; B) $800; C) $2,000 or D) $5,000. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions.||A) $250,000 B) $500,000 C) $2M D) $5M+||A) $400 B) $800 C) $2,000 D) $5,000||Cash back will be deposited week of Aug. 17, 2020||BMO InvestorLine Cash Back Offer Details||January 6, 2020|
|Last Updated: Nov. 1, 2019 23:00 PT|
|Company||Brief Description||Minimum Deposit Amount||Incentive Structure||Time Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer Deposit||Details Link||Deadline|
|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|
|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 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|
|Last Updated: Nov. 1, 2019 23:00 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||n/a||Transfer Fee Promo||none|
|Transfer $15,000 or more to RBC Direct Investing and they will pay up to $135 in transfer fees.||$200||$15,000||Transfer Fee Rebate Details||none|
|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 $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 and you may be eligible to have transfer fees covered up to $200. Contact client service for more details.||$200||Contact client service for more information||Contact client service for more information (1-888-776-6886)||none|
|Last Updated: Nov. 1, 2019 23:00 PT|
|Company||Brief Description||Minimum Deposit Amount Required||Details Link||Deadline|
|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: Nov. 1, 2019 23:00 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: Nov. 1, 2019 23:00 PT|