*Updated March 23* It seems that time flies when you’re hurtling towards the RRSP contribution deadline. At least, that’s the sentiment among many-an-online brokerage as the start of March heralds a new month as well as the end of the busiest stretch in the year for most online brokerages.
And, speaking of busy, the end of RRSP season also means that many online brokerage deals and promotions have expired or will be expiring soon. Specifically, offers from most of Canada’s largest bank-owned online brokerages are set to expire in the first week of March, drastically reducing the number of cash back offers for DIY investors hoping to open an online trading account.
Interestingly, the news isn’t all bad. Wealthsimple Trade actually launched a new promotion at the tail end of February that is part referral bonus, part contest, and offers clients who refer in new customers a shot at winning one of six prizes of $10,000. The timing and nature of this offer, are like most things Wealthsimple Trade, a challenge to other incumbents in the space.
“Normally” promotions filter out at this point with only a select number of online brokerages launching new offers which generally extend through the spring. Wealthsimple Trade’s new offer, described below, is relatively short in duration, large in terms of prize money and lands exactly at the point in the calendar where activity is busiest.
Also new to kick off March, the deals and promotions experience at SparxTrading.com. Readers can still get a quick overview of the latest deals and promotions offered by Canadian online brokerages in this post, but we’ve now added interactive tools to search for and filter deals information based on different parameters like the kind of offer, or account type or even the minimum required deposit.
The good news for DIY investors is that despite the big pull back in offers from some of the bank-owned online brokerages, smaller brokerages might use this opportunity to launch some new offers without having to fight for a crowded field. There is a higher-than-historically-normal amount of interest in trading and investing which means there are still online investors interested in opening up new accounts. While it is not at the excessive levels seen last March, it is actually a bullish signal for online brokerages to continue to compete by providing some kind of incentive offer.
We’ll continue to monitor the turnover in the deals space and if you have any offers or promotions that would be of interest to other online investors, let us know so we can highlight them here.
At the time of publication there are no deals that have expired however here are the list of deals scheduled to expire on the first day of March:
- Qtrade Investor Cash Back
- Scotia iTRADE Cash Back
- TD Direct Investing Cash Back
No extended deals to report at this time.
*Updated March 23: National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) has just (re)launched a commission-free trade offer. They are offering up to 100 commission-free trades, which are good for one year, to individuals who sign up for a new account. This promotion is open to new and existing clients and expires at the end of June. See the deals and promotions section for more details.*
Wealthsimple Trade has launched a new contest combined with their referral program that offers existing clients who refer in new clients the opportunity to enter a draw for one of six prizes of $10,000.
This new promotion, which runs until March 15th, enables existing clients to refer in a new client and if that new client trades at least $100, then the referrer gets $25 plus one entry into the contest and the referee gets $10. Draws for winners will take place on March 2nd, 9th and 16th and in order to enter or receive the prize, an individual must hold or open a Wealthsimple Trade account. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more information.
Looking for the deals & promotions data? Head over to the new online brokerage deals index to browse through active promotions.