Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Credential Direct

Canadian Discount Broker - Credential Direct

Mailing Address
700 – 1111 Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC
V6E 4T6

Email Address:
Phone: 1-877-742-2900
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 6:00 a.m. to 5 p.m PT

Credential Direct Review

Updated on: Feb 3, 2016
Credential Direct is an independent online brokerage headquartered in Vancouver BC. Although they may not be as recognizable name in the online discount brokerage world as many of their peers, they’ve been around since 2000 and are part of Credential Financial Inc. Credential Direct primarily partners with credit unions to provide their clients with access to online trading accounts.

Like its peers, Credential Direct offers clients the ability to trade stocks, ETFs bonds, mutual funds and options in both registered accounts and non-registered accounts.


Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $8.88
Best Commission Price $8.88
Minimum to Open Account Not Required
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETFs No

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

(Updated: July 9, 2014)

Credential Direct has now changed it’s commission price structure. Effective July 9, 2014, the commission pricing at Credential Direct has been lowered and simplified so that all clients are eligible for the $8.88 standard commission rate. As such, they are also removing their “active trader” program.  The new pricing structure is much easier to follow than its predecessor.  It should be noted that fees such as SEC fees, ECN fees or any additional stock exchange fee is extra and will be added onto the total commission for a given trade.

Options commission pricing has also been reduced . For active traders, options commission pricing is $8.88 + $1.25 per contract. Note that assignments and exercises of options are priced according to the regular telephone order commission rate.

As part of the new pricing structure, Credential Direct is introducing an “administration fee” of $25 per quarter.  Like some of their competitors, Credential Direct does offer several ways in which clients can avoid having to pay these fees including:

  1. Having a combined (across all accounts) balance of at least $15,000
  2. Making at least 2 commission generating within a quarter
  3. Have an active pre-authorized contribution plan of at least $100 per month

Clients who have had their account for 6 months or less are also exempt from the administration fee.

Account Types

Credential Direct offers clients both non-registered and registered online trading accounts.

Non-registered trading accounts with Credential Direct include both cash and margin accounts. For their margin accounts, a minimum balance of $2,000 must be maintained.

Their registered accounts include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs). For registered accounts clients cannot use margin or short stocks.

While clients can trade US stocks, Credential Direct will charge mandatory foreign exchange fees in both registered and non-registered accounts, so it is important to consider the amount of trading of US-listed securities as this activity can add to the cost per trade.


The online trading platform offered by Credential Direct is a fairly standard web browser based interface. Basic functionality is available for order entry as well as for conducting technical analysis research. There are ‘real time’ quotes available as part of their standard platform. In addition to the desktop site, there is also a mobile website available which users can trade and manage their account from.

Reviews & Ratings

Review What Review Measures Score Date of Ranking
Dalbar Canada Review Client Service Not Rated
Not Rated
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Letter Grade “D”
Letter Grade “C”
11th out of 12
Letter Grade “C”
8th out of 12
Letter Grade “C”
9th out of 12
Letter Grade “C”
February 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction Not Rated
Not Rated
Not Rated
Not Rated
Not Rated
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013


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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Credential Direct

This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Joanne 1 year, 3 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #10168 Reply

    Bruce Barbour

    Data is late in Credential. Contact with Credential agent to complain that stock trade totals and price were far behind and reported late. Agent advised but was apparently unaware that the TSE is a major exchange.

    #10169 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    Thanks for your comment Bruce. Depending on the provider some data can be delayed (especially if it is ‘free’ data). Even with some paid data streams, there can be delays or outages. Out of curiousity, how far behind was the data and how did you determine price information was being relayed ‘late’?

    #9988 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    (Updated: July 9, 2014) Credential Direct has now changed it’s commission price structure. Effective July 9, 2014, the commission pricing at Credentia[See the full post at:]

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Profile photo of Ken Y Ken Y.
    #12096 Reply


    Pathetically incompetent. I couldn’t even open the account, because they kept asking for documents that had already been sent.
    The G&M places them 9 out of 12. Well, I don’t know the other 3 below it, but Credential Direct is, in my short experience with them, the worst.
    I even wrote to the CEO, which took me some doing to find his email, and the person could not be bothered to answer. *comment removed*. So disrespectful that they kept misspelling my name in spite of seeing it written half a dozen times.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Profile photo of Sparx_Admin Sparx_Admin.
    #12098 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    Thanks for your comment Edmond. Sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience with the process of getting started. Hope the next attempt at opening an account with a brokerage goes much smoother.

    In the spirit of keeping the criticism constructive and helpful to fellow readers, your comment has been edited to bring it in line with our posting policy.

    #12338 Reply


    Incredibly frustrating experience. Am closing my account, would not recommend.

    #15866 Reply


    Credential Direct trading I find all the information needed but I do use other web sites for real time information even though CD does give real time quotes. Why do traders using the CD platform
    need to type in the trading password every time a trade is to be initiated? This leads a delay from the time i enter my bid/ask buy price from being executed after I put in my password then click the agreement clause if you have already a purchase of shares.. and then click the enter order screen icon to place the order.. result.. the ask price has risen or dropped. Thus I will go back to modify order and do the whole process over to get a better current price.
    The system should be set up so I can put in a password to trade once and then enter my trade instantly when I see the price I want and click of a button for entry to buy or sell. Maybe in time Credential will be offering this on the platform as it is frustrating the way the current system is set up with always having to type the password first then put in the order price for entry. It would just be more simple to have a one time password setup and your in the platform secure and you can buy or short any stock you want at the price you see on the real time screen. Makes life a lot easier for trading stocks.

    #15867 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    Thanks for your feedback Patrick. That’s really good info for anyone considering doing active trading via their platform and also for the folks at Credential Direct to take note of.

    #18385 Reply


    If you’re considering Credential Direct, I strongly advise to stay away. In addition to ridiculous fees for the quality of service they provide, I will reiterate what Edmond said above in 2015: complete incompetence. My situation may not be that of most Canadians looking for a discount brokerage firm, but it will nonetheless attest to their ludicrous processes.

    Since opening an account with them, I have become a U.S. resident and for a few months now, I’ve been trying very hard to get my money out of Credential Direct to bring it to the U.S. Call after call, they keep requesting me to mail in various forms and documents although they already have all the information on file. Case in point, in order to close my account, I had to send in a form to request to open a NEW account, via regular mail no less. Confused? So was I! Apparently, no matter how many documents I have sent them to change both my last name (maiden to married) and address over the years, including a w9 (sent three times) to show that I am no longer a resident of Canada, they have the audacity to tell me today that they can’t release my money because they didn’t know I wasn’t a resident of Canada and that it’s an entirely different process for me. I dare ask: how did you not know I was no longer a resident of Canada if you just asked me, a month ago, to send you forms to open a new account to accommodate the fact that I am now a U.S. resident? Makes no sense whatsoever.

    Worst is, I had to delay a sell trade because of their incompetence and that delay cost me thousands of dollars. Yet, they still decided that they would charge me that $8.88 fee to sell my stocks. A good company will recognize the absurdity of its processes and offer to swallow the fees it has control over. I wasn’t expecting them to cover my loss, obviously, but at the very least to apologize and offer to waive their own transactional fees. A simple gesture that they’ve failed to make.

    As we speak, I still don’t know if I can take back control of my money.

    #19164 Reply


    Chose a different online trading service. The platform is ancient and the stock price is delayed. You don’t know what your portfolio is worth til 10 pm of the trading day.

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