Canadian Online Discount Broker – Credential Direct

Canadian Discount Broker - Credential Direct

Contact Information

Phone: 1-877-742-2900

Email: [email protected]

Mailing Address:

800 – 1111 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4T6

Customer Service Hours of Operation:
Mon to Fri 6:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT

Credential Direct – Review of Pricing

(updated Sept. 2013)

Credential Direct may not be as recognizable name in the online discount brokerage world as some other names, however they’ve been around since 2000 and are part of Credential Financial Inc.  Credential Direct offers clients the ability to trade stocks, ETFs bonds, mutual funds and options in both registered accounts and non-registered accounts

Registered accounts include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs).  While they do offer trading of US stocks, they will charge mandatory foreign exchange fees in both registered and non-registered accounts, so be on the lookout for your trading activity that includes stocks priced in $US.  For registered accounts you cannot use margin or short stocks. Options trading in registered accounts is limited to buying and selling options – there is no writing of options allowed.

The price you pay for commissions is determined by your activity.  For Credential Direct, however, there is a pretty low bar as to what they consider “active” compared with other Canadian online discount brokers.  To be considered “active” and therefore qualify for the best commission rate of $9.95 per trade, you have to make 10 or more trades per quarter (and also be subscribed to their eServices).

If you are trading less than 10 trades a quarter, pricing gets a bit trickier.  The price you pay for your trading commission is based on the number of shares as well as the dollar value of the whole trade.  For orders of 1000 shares or less or a total trade value of $2000 or less, you can expect to pay $19.   For orders of 1001 shares or more of a stock priced at $1.01 or higher, you can pay $0.02/share up to a maximum of $250 per trade – yes you read that correctly. If you place a trade of 1001 or more shares with a share price of a $1.00 or less, the amount of commission you pay is 1% of the total trade value up with a minimum charge of $19 and a maximum of $250.

There are no required minimums to open an account nor are there minimums to keep an account open.  For RRSPs there is an annual charge of $50 if you have a balance less than $15 000.

The Bottom Line

Credential Direct offers a compelling pricing structure based on trading activity because they have the lowest threshold for getting the best commission rate amongst brokerages that require volume minimums for best rates.  Additionally, their absence of inactivity fees or balance minimums (with the exception of RRSPs) makes this particular discount brokerage one worth considering if your trading activities are low and your investing capital is also limited.

 Discount Brokerage Pricing Review Table

Account Types Offered
Funding Requirements and Fees
Registered Account Types and Fees
TFSA Minimum Opening Balance Not Required TFSA Annual Charge $0
RRSP Minimum Account Balance Not Required Transfer Out $125
RESP Minimum Balance for Best or Discounted Commission Not Required Withdrawals $0
Cash Minimum Commission per Equity Trade $9.95 US Dollar Account
Margin Short Maximum Commission per Equity Trade*** $250 RRSP Annual Charge $50 (if account <$15 000)
Margin Options Minimum Trades per Quarter for Best Commission Rate 10 Transfer Out $125
CIPF Member Inactivity or Maintenance Fees 0 US Dollar Account
Conditions for Inactivity/Maintenance Fees None RESP Annual Charge $0
Transfer Out $125
US Dollar Account

Credential Direct Website Links:

Here are some useful links to important information on Credential Direct’s website.

Discount Broker Customer Survey Ratings by J.D. Power:
  • Not featured in 2013 ratings
Link to 2013 online broker ratings by the Globe and Mail:

More Online Discount Broker Profiles

Click on a logo below to see another discount brokerage review


  1. 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.

    • 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’?

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