Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – February 2017

With the big game coming this weekend, it seems fitting to kick off the deals and promotions action for February in a big way. Canadian discount brokerage deals have reached a feverish pitch as the race to win over DIY investors intensifies to all-time highs.

The biggest news, however, is the launch of four new promotions in a single day by Virtual Brokers. If they were looking to make a splash, then this was certainly one sure fire way to get some attention.

Before getting into what’s new in February, a quick highlight of January will point to how Canadian DIY investors now have the champagne problem of which online brokerage offer to choose from when opening up a new trading account.

Like 2016, January 2017 was also a busy month for launching deals and promotions. Deals from BMO InvestorLine, CIBC Investor’s Edge, Scotia iTRADE, Credential Direct, Qtrade Investor and RBC Direct Direct Investing were all launched throughout the month, with almost all these offers falling into the commission-free trade or cash-back category.

Both Scotia iTRADE and RBC Direct Investing, however, launched deals that were related to credit card bonus points. In the case of RBC Direct Investing, clients who also had an RBC credit card were able to use points towards trading commissions (at RBC Direct Investing) and individuals signing up for a Scotia iTRADE account could also receive a welcome bonus of travel reward miles. Interestingly with almost all of the offers extending to at least the end of February if not the end of March, the RBC Direct Investing points bonus offer expires in mid-February, setting the stage for an intriguing question as to what – if any – offer RBC Direct Investing may come up with as Canadian DIY investors sprint towards the March 1st RRSP contribution deadline.

As always, if we’ve missed a deal or promotion, send us a note and we can hopefully share it with all of our readers.

Expired Deals

To make room for the slew of offers, Virtual Brokers also retired a couple of their promotional offers at the end of January.

Most notable among the changes was the retirement of Virtual Brokers’ three months of unlimited trading. In addition to three months of commission free trading, this deal included a free trial of the PowerTrader Pro trading platform, which was subsequently then going to be $150USD/mo after the free trial was completed. Fortunately, there is a replacement offer now on the table, although it is not quite the same deal as the one that just expired and with a slightly higher per month cost for the trading platform.

Also on the bench for the time being is the referral program which offered up cash bonuses to new clients as well as those who referred them.

Extended Deals

No deals to mention at this time

New Deals

Go big is the game plan for Virtual Brokers as they launch their most aggressive promotional campaign ever adding four new promotional offers into the deals mix in one launch.

There’s a lot to dive into, so here’s a quick overview.

First, their headline deal of $10,000 in commission rebates is something that is unprecedented in terms of size and scope. Because it is a commission rebate, individuals making up to 1005 trades would have the commissions associated with those trades refunded. What makes this number all the more headline worthy is the fact that the minimum deposit to qualify for this offer is $10,000. The catch, presumably, is that this deal would be most appealing to active traders more so than passive investors, especially because the deadline to use up the commission-free trades is the end of March.

In keeping with the RRSP season, Virtual Brokers has also included a tiered commission offer for new and existing clients. Although it is branded as an RRSP promotion, a number of registered accounts are a part of this promotion, notably TFSA accounts and RESPs. The cash back amounts being offered are $30, $50 or $100 for minimum deposits of $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000 respectively.

The third offer is another commission-free trading promotion. Similar to the unlimited trading deal that was recently retired, this current offer enables clients to trade up to two months commission-free as well as receive two months of the PowerTrader Pro trading platform for free.   After the free trial period, the platform costs $250USD per month and trading will remain commission-free. See the table below for more information.

Finally, for good measure Virtual Brokers has brought back their gift card draw for new clients. Individuals signing up for a new account with Virtual Brokers with a deposit of at least $1,000 will be eligible to be entered into a draw for a $250 Apple store gift card. There are five gift cards up for grabs as part of this contest and the draw for the gift card will take place on October 31, 2017.

Although it hit the deal wires late last month, we’re mentioning the RBC Direct Investing credit card points offer here and adding it to the list of offers covered in the “other promotions” section as well as adding Scotia iTRADE’s travel points promotion to the same category.

As always, we’ll be watching the deals action this month but if there are any deals that we’ve missed that other DIY investors would benefit from knowing about, let us know in the comments below and we update our list accordingly.

Discount Brokerage Deals

  1. Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions
  2. Referral Promotions
  3. Transfer Fee Promotions
  4. Contests & Other Offers

Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit AmountCommission/Cash Offer/Promotion TypeTime Limit to Use Commission/Cash OfferDetails LinkDeadline
Jitney TradeA 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/aDiscounted Commission RatesnoneFor more details click here none
Open a new account with HSBC InvestDirect and you may be eligible to receive up to 50 commission-free North American equity trades. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full offer details.n/a50 commission-free North American equity trades60 daysHSBC InvestDirect Cash Bonus Promo March 3, 2017
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.$1,0005 commission-free trades60 days 5 commission-free trade offer December 31, 2017
Open and fund a new registered account at Virtual Brokers with at least A) $5,000; B) $25,000; or C) $50,000+ in new assets and you may be eligible to receive A) $30; B) $50; C) $100 cash back. Use promo code RRSPCB2017 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $5,000 - $24,999
B) $25,000 - $49,999
C) $50,000+
A) $30
B) $50
C) $100
Cash back will be deposited just after October 31, 2017 RSP cash back bonus April 30, 2017
Open and fund a new account at Virtual Brokers with at least $5,000 and you may be eligible to receive 2 months of commission-free equity trading and a $250 USD/mo credit towards Edge Trader Pro for 2 months. Use promo code 2MFREE2017 at sign up to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for details.$5,0002 months commission-free equity trading + $250 USD/mo platform fee rebate.2 months 2 months free trading April 30, 2017
DisnatDesjardins 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 DisnatFlex or email: infodisnat@disnat.com. See details link for more info.$10,0001% of assets transferred in the form of commission-credits (max credits: $1,000)6 monthsDisnat 1% Commission Credit PromoFebruary 28, 2017
Open and fund a new account with Virtual Brokers with at least $10,000 and you may be eligible to receive a commission-credit of up to $10,000. Use promo code 10K2017 at sign up to qualify. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. $10,000Up to $10,000 in commission credits (@ $9.95 per trade)deadline to use trades March 31, 2017. Commission rebates to be offered in January 2018. $10,000 Commission Credit Offer March 31, 2017
Open and fund a new account or fund an existing account at Credential Direct with at least A) $15,000; B) $50,000; C) $150,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1,000,000+ in new assets and you may be eligible to receive A) $75; B) $125; C) $200; D) $500 or E) $1,000. Use promo code CASH2017RSP when signing up. As an added bonus, Credential Direct will donate an amount equivalent to 10% of the bonus paid out to United Way. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $15,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 - $149,999
C) $150,000 - $499,999
D) $500,000 - $999,999
E) 1,000,000+
A) $75
B) $125
C) $200
D) $500
E) $1,000
Cash back will be deposited week of October 9, 2017. Credential Direct Cash Back Promotion March 16, 2017
Open and fund a new account by March 31st with at least A) $20,000 or B) $100,00+ and you may qualify to receive up to either A) $500 or B) $1000 in commission reimbursements. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full offer details.A) $20,000 - $99,999
B) $100,000+
A) up to $500 commission reimbursements
B) up to $1000 commission reimbursements
90 days National Bank Direct Brokerage Cash Back Promotion March 31, 2017
Open and fund a new account with Qtrade Investor with a deposit of at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000; E) $500,000 or F) $1,000,000 or more and you may be eligible to receive a cash back bonus of A) $25; B) $50; C) $100; D) $250; E) $500 or F) $1,000. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $25,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 - $99,999
C) $100,000 - $249,999
D) $250,000 - $499,999
E) $500,000 - $999,999
F) $1,000,000+
A) $25
B) $50
C) $100
D) $250
E) $500
F) $1,000
Cash back will be deposited by July 31, 2017.Qtrade Investor Cash Back BonusFebruary 28, 2017
Open and fund a new account at TD Direct Investing with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000 or C) $100,000+ and you may be eligible to receive A) 50; B) 100 or C) 200 commission-free trades. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full offer detailsA) $25,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 - $99,999
C) $100,000+
A) 50 commission-free trades (max value: $500)
B) 100 commission-free trades
(max value: $1000)
C) 200 commission-free trades
(max value: $2000)
April 28th, 2017
Commission charges will be credited the month following when the charge was incurred.
TD Direct Investing 200 Commission-free Trade Offer March 31, 2017
Open and fund a new account with Scotia iTRADE with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000 or D) $250,000+ and you may be eligible to receive A) 75; B) 150; C) 200 or D) $250,000+ in commission-free trades. In addition, new clients will also receive FlightDesk active trading platform free for 90 days. Use promo code W17FT when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $25,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 - $99,999
C) $100,000 - $249,999
D) $250,000+
A) 75 (max value: $749.25)
B) 150 (max value: $1498.50)
C) 200 (max value: $1,998)
D) 250 (max value: $2,497.50)
90 daysWinter 2017 Free Trade OfferMarch 31, 2017
CIBC Investors EdgeOpen and fund a new account at CIBC Investor's Edge with at least A) $50,000 or B) $100,000 and you may be eligible to receive A) $200 or B) $400 in cash back. Also, individuals who setup a regular investment plan may also be eligible to receive 50 commission-free equity trades. Be sure to read terms and conditions for more information. A) $50,000 - $99,999
B) $100,000+
A) $200
B) $400

+Bonus 50 commission-free trades for setting up Regular Investment Plan.
Cash back will be deposited within 30 business days after account funding.

Commission-free equity trades good for 60 days after setup of Regular Investment Plan.
Cash Back & Free Trade Offer March 31, 2017
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine, and fund it with at least A) $100,000; B) $200,000 or C) $300,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive A) $200; B) $400 or C) $750 cash back. Use promo code PROMO750 when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.A) $100,000 - $199,999
B) $200,000 - $299,999
C) $300,000+
Cash back bonus
A) $200
B) $400
C) $750
Cash back will be deposited the week of November 6, 2017.2017 Winter CampaignApril 2, 2017
Last Updated: Feb. 1, 2017 21:15 PT

Referral Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit AmountIncentive StructureTime Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer DepositDetails LinkDeadline
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 - $9,999
B) $10,000 - $24,999
C) $25,000 - $49,999
D) $50,000 -$99,999
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: 476104302388759none
Scotia iTradeIf 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 daysRefer A Friend to Scotia iTrade tbd
BMO InvestorLineIf you (an existing BMO InvestorLine client) refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with at least $50,000 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. $50,000You(referrer): $50; Your Friend(referee): $50
Payout occurs 45 days after minimum 90 day holding period(subject to conditions). BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend June 30, 2017
Last Updated: Feb. 1, 2017 21:30 PT

Transfer Fee Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMaximum Transfer Fee Coverage AmountMinimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee EligibilityDetails LinkDeadline
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 $25,000 or more from another brokerage and Credential Direct will cover up to $150 in transfer fees. Use promo code SWITCHME when signing up to qualify for the transfer promotion. $150$25,000 Credential Direct Transfer Fee Rebate none
Transfer $25,000 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$25,000 Transfer Fee Rebatenone
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$25,000Contact client service for more information (1-800-465-5463).none
Transfer $25,000 or more to Virtual Brokers and they may cover up to $150 in transfer fees. $150$25,000 Transfer Fee promo tbd
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$25,000Confirmed with reps. Contact client service for more information (1-800-567-3343).none
Transfer $25,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees$135$25,000 Transfer Fee Rebate none
DisnatDisnat 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 Disnat account. You'll have to call 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code DisnatFlex. See details link for more info.$150$50,000Disnat 1% Commission Credit PromoFebruary 28, 2017
Last Updated: Feb. 1, 2017 21:30PT

Other Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit Amount RequiredDetails LinkDeadline
Credential Direct has partnered with Trend Micro to offer 50% off Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security. Use code "TrendCF" at checkout. n/a Trend Micro Special Offer Code none
DisnatDesjardins 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/aMoneyTalks Inside Edge Discount none
Existing RBC clients can redeem 20% more RBC reward points towards contributions to a registered or non-registered account as well as towards RBC Direct Investing commissions.n/a RBC Reward Points Bonus Offer March 1, 2017
DisnatDesjardins 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. $1,000Broker@ge 18-30 Promotionnone
Scotia iTradeScotiabank 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
Scotia iTradeOpen and fund a new account with Scotia iTRADE with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000; E) $500,000 or F) $1,000,000+ and you may be eligible to receive 50 commission-free trades plus A) 5,000; B) 7,500; C) 15,000 or D) 20,000; E) 25,000 or F) 50,000 travel points on an eligible Scotia travel points credit card. In addition, new clients will also receive FlightDesk active trading platform free for 90 days. Use promo code W17RP when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $25,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 - $99,999
C) $100,000 - $249,999
D) $250,000 - $499,999
E) $500,000 - $999,999
F) $1,000,000+
Scotia reward points offer March 31, 2017
Open a new account with Virtual Brokers with a deposit of at least $1,000 (for the Classic Commission Account) and you may be eligible to win a $250 gift card to the Apple store. Use promo code 250AGC2017 during sign up to be eligible. Residents of Quebec are not eligible for this contest. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.$1,000 (Classic Commission Account) $250 Apple Gift Card Draw April 30, 2017
Open a new account with Virtual Brokers with a deposit of at least $1,000 (for the Classic Commission Account) or $5,000 (for the Commission Free Trading Account) and you may be eligible to receive a one-year subscription to access 5i Research. Use promo code 5iVB2016 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.$1,000 (Classic Commission Account); $5,000 (Commission Free Trading Account) 5i Research Offer March 31, 2017
Last Updated: Feb. 17, 2017 21:15 PT

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