Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – March 2018

*Updated Mar. 19* With so much activity and anticipation leading up to the RSP contribution deadline for the 2017 tax year, the rollover into March 1st feels a little like the start of a new year.

This past RSP season was one of the busiest in recent memory with almost all of Canada’s discount brokerages offering up some kind of deal or promotion to open a new account. Not only has the calendar rolled over, but also a few offers from Canada’s online brokerages have also turned a corner.

In the weekly roundup preceding the launch of this deals update, we also broke down how savvy DIY investors can get more mileage out the current discount brokerage deals by considering multiple brokerages instead of just one. Another important point from that post was that the details of the offer also matter, so be sure to understand the terms and conditions of the offer before agreeing to sign up.

So, with the rest of 2018 now ahead of us, the deals crop at the start of March looks healthy, clocking in at least 24 offers for DIY investors to choose from. We’ve crunched the numbers on the current cash back offers to list the ones that offer the biggest rewards at each deposit tier currently being advertised by all online brokerages. With the exit of TD Direct Investing and Scotia iTRADE, the standout cash back bonus offer field now includes Credential Direct and HSBC InvestDirect – at least for a portion of March.

As always, if there are any offers that you know about that other readers might find helpful, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

Canadian discount brokerage promotions - cash back offers

Cash back bonus offers for Canadian discount brokerages (As of Mar. 19, 2018)

Expired Offers

Starting first with the promotions that expired heading into March. Qtrade Investor’s cash back promotion officially expired at the end of February as did Scotia iTRADE’s cash back bonus and the transfer offer which accompanied it. At the time of writing, offers from TD Direct Investing and CIBC Investor’s Edge are set to expire at 11:59pm ET on March 1st.

Extended Offers

BMO SmartFolio extended its offer of one year with no management fees. The new deadline to take advantage of this offer is now April 1st.

New Deals

The newest offer to cross the tape for DIY investors is from Qtrade Investor. The transfer fee “promotion” lowers the deposit level to qualify for a $150 fee rebate from $25,000 to $15,000. It is not the first time this offer has been run by Qtrade Investor however it is interesting to note that there is no deadline associated with this offer suggesting this might now become a standard offering. Also interesting is the timing given the wave of contributions to RRSPs that has just taken place. The deposit amount looks like it will be friendly to younger investors and beginner investors with modest portfolio sizes as well as those who are looking for an inexpensive way to “try out” Qtrade Investor.

Discount Brokerage Deals

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

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 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 credit60 daysAccess 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.$1,0005 commission-free trades60 days 5 commission-free trade offer December 31, 2018
Open and fund a new account with Virtual Brokers with at least $5,000 and you may be eligible to receive up to two months of trading at $4.99 per trade (maximum of 15 trades per month). Use promo code 499COM2017 when signing up to qualify. See terms and conditions for full details.$5,000Up to 2 months of trading at $4.99 per trade (max 15 trades per month)Commissions will be reimbursed after June 30, 2018.For more details, click hereMarch 31, 2018
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 DisnatTransfer 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 PromoMarch 31, 2018
Open a new account at National Bank Direct Brokerage with at least a) $10,000 or B) $20,000+, and you may be eligible to receive up to A) 10 or B) 25 commission-free trades. For the 10 free trades offer, enter promo code FREE10 and for the 25 free trades offer enter promo code FREE25. This offer is also available to existing clients. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $10,000
B) $20,000+
A) 10 commission-free trades
B) 25 commission-free trades
12 months Free Trades Campaign April 30, 2018
Open a new account with HSBC InvestDirect by transferring in at least A) $25,000; B) $100,000; C) $250,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1,000,000 or more from another Canadian financial institution and execute at least three commission-generating trades by April 30th, 2018, and you may be eligible to receive a cash bonus of up to A) $88; B) $188; C) $288; D) $688 or E) $988. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $25,000
B) $100,000
C) $250,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M+
A) $88
B) $188
C) $288
D) $688
E) $988
Transfer-in bonus will be deposited by November 30, 2018. Winter Offer - Transfer-In Bonus March 30, 2018
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.$25,000commission-free trades for 1 month + 1 month of advanced data.1 monthActive Trader Program December 31, 2018
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account, with at least A) $100,000; B) $200,000 or C) $300,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive up to A) $200 or 20 commission-free equity trades; B) $400 or 40 commission-free equity trades; or C) $750 cash back or 75 commission-free equity trades. Commission-free trades are good for up to two months. In addition, eligible individuals can receive an extra $50 as part of the refer a friend program. Use promo code SPARXCASH when signing up for the cash back offer or SPARXTRADES when signing up for the commission-free equity trade bonus. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.A) $100,000
B) $200,000
C) $300,000
A) $200 or 20 commission-free equity trades.
B) $400 or 40 commission-free equity trades.
C) $750 or 75 commission-free equity trades.
Cash back will be deposited the week of Nov. 12, 2018.

Commission-free equity trades are good for up to two months.
BMO InvestorLine Winter 2018 CampaignApril 1, 2018

Expired Offers

Open and fund a qualifying account with TD Direct Investing with at least A) $10,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000 or E) $500,000+ and place at least 5 commissionable trades within 90 days of account opening and you may be eligible to receive either A) $100; B) $200; C) $300; D) $500 or E) $1,000 in cash back. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for eligibility for this offer.A) $10,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
D) $250,000
E) $500,000+
A) $100
B) $200
C) $300
D) $500
E) $1,000
Cash award will be paid to the client before the last day of the month following the conclusion of the qualification period (90 days).#RetireReady PromotionMarch 1, 2018
Transfer at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; or C) $100,000 into a new or existing RRSP, spousal RRSP or TFSA at CIBC Investor's Edge before March 1, 2018 and you may be eligible for a cash back offer of A) $100; B) $200 or C) $400. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $25,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
A) $100
B) $200
C) $400
Cash back will be deposited the week of May 4, 2018 (for transfers received by Dec. 31, 2017) or July 3, 2018 (for transfers received after Dec. 31, 2017).CIBC Investor's Edge Cash Back PromoMarch 1, 2018
Open 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) $1M+ and you may be eligible to receive a cash bonus of A) $75; B) $125; C) $200; D) $500 or E) $1,000. For new clients, use promo code CASH2018RSP when applying. Existing clients can access this promotion from the promotions page available on the account backend. A donation equivalent to 10% of the bonus payout will also be made by Credential Direct to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $15,000
B) $50,000
C) $150,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M+
A) $75
B) $125
C) $200
D) $500
E) $1000
Cash will be credited to qualifying investor accounts the week of August 20, 2018Winter Offer 2018 March 16, 2018
Last Updated: Mar. 19, 2018 15:50 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
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: 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 October 31, 2018
Last Updated: Mar. 1, 2018 19:00 PT

Transfer Fee Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMaximum Transfer Fee Coverage AmountMinimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee EligibilityDetails LinkDeadline
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 Rebatenone
Transfer $15,000 or more to HSBC InvestDirect, and they will pay up to $150 in transfer fees.$150$15,0002018 Winter Offer - Transfer-In Bonus March 30, 2018
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 $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
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 April 30, 2018
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
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 DisnatTransfer. See details link for more info.$150$50,000Disnat 1% Commission Credit PromoMarch 31, 2018
BMO InvestorLineOpen 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 to also be eligible for cash back offer or SPARXTRADES to be eligible for the commission-free trade offer. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.$200$200,000BMO InvestorLine Winter 2018 CampaignApril 1, 2018
Last Updated: Mar. 1, 19:00 PT

Other Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit Amount RequiredDetails LinkDeadline
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
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
Last Updated: Mar. 1, 2018 19:00 PT

Digital Advice + Roboadvisor Promotions

Robo-advisor / Digital advisorOffer TypeOffer DescriptionMin. DepositReward / PromotionPromo CodeExpiry DateLink
Discounted ManagementOpen 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.$10001st month no management feesKDKFNBBCNoneQuestrade Portfolio IQ Promo Offer
Discounted ManagementOpen 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.$1,0001 year no management feesSTSF
April 1, 2018SmartFolio New Account Promotion
Cash Back - ReferralBMO 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.NoneSmartFolio Website
Transfer Fee CoverageTransfer 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 coveredNoneNoneContact customer service directly for more information.
Last Updated: Mar. 1, 2018 19:00 PT

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