Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Qtrade Investor


Mailing Address
Suite 1920, One Bentall Centre
505 Burrard Street, Box 85
Vancouver, BC
V7X 1M6
Phone: 1-877-787-2330
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 5:30 am to 5:00 pm PT

Qtrade Investor Review

Updated on: Feb. 8, 2019
Qtrade Investor – a division of Qtrade Financial Group – is an independent (non-bank owned) online brokerage headquartered out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite their smaller size, Qtrade has formed partnerships with many financial institutions, credit unions in particular, in order to provide online brokerage services to their partners’ clients. Early in 2013, Desjardins (parent to Desjardins Online Brokerage/Disnat) acquired a significant ownership portion in Qtrade.

As with their discount brokerage peers, Qtrade Investor allows clients to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. Qtrade is part of a small group of online brokerages that offers commission-free ETF trading on select ETFs. Click here for a detailed review of their commission-free ETFs.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $8.75
Best Commission Price $6.95
Minimum to Open Account $0
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETF Yes
Young Investor Offer Yes
Age range: 18-30

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

As of September 26th 2014, Qtrade is officially part of the group of online brokerages offering sub-$10 standard commission trades. Their new pricing has two tiers known as “investor” and “investor plus”.

For the “investor” pricing tier, equity commissions are $8.75 per trade and options trades are $8.75 + $1.25 per contract. The next commission pricing tier, “investor plus” offers clients equity commission fees of $6.95 per trade, however to be eligible for this pricing clients must either trade 150 (or more) times per quarter or have at least $500,000 in assets with Qtrade.
While they have reduced commission fees, Qtrade Investor has introduced administration fees of $25 per quarter for clients with combined Qtrade account balances under $25,000. Fortunately, the fee may be waived by placing at least 2 commission generating trades per quarter.

The fees for US dollar accounts has increased from $50 per year to $60 per year ($15/quarter) and the fee structure for registered accounts has also changed: the minimum threshold to avoid administration fee is now $25,000 (combined across all accounts) and the amount of the administration fee is now $100 per year.

Account Types

Qtrade offers self-directed investors two main categories of online trading accounts – “Investment Accounts” and “Self-Directed Registered Plans”.

The “Investment Accounts” consist of cash accounts and margin accounts, both which can be in either Canadian or US dollars.

The “Self-Directed Registered Plans” include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs).

In both categories of account, individuals are able to trade stocks, bonds, mutual funds and options. Like other Canadian online brokerages, there are some restrictions. Short selling and complex options trading are only allowed in margin accounts and there are limitations on options trading in registered accounts.


Qtrade offers a primarily web-based trading platform. From web-based platform it is possible to perform the standard order functions present with most brokerages. In terms of accessing additional market data, Qtrade also offers Qtrade Streamer which provides 15 minute delayed data for $1.99/mo or $14.99 + exchange fees per month for real time. For level 2 depth, the cost comes to $34.99/mo + exchange fees.

Reviews & Ratings

Review What Review Measures Score Date of Ranking
Dalbar Canada Review Client Service Below Average
Below Average
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Letter Grade “A-”
Letter Grade “A”
Letter Grade “A”
1st out of 12
Letter Grade “A-”
2nd out of 12
Letter Grade “A”
1st out of 12
Letter Grade “B+”
February 2019
February 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 2nd out of 10
10th out of 10
8th out of 10
Not Rated
5th out of 11
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Top Pick – User Experience
Top Pick – Best Overall
Runner Up – User Experience
Runner Up – Fees & Commissions
Runner Up – Reporting & Record Keeping
Runner Up – Market Data
Top Pick – Best Overall
June 2019
July 2018
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017


Coming Soon

What Would You Like to do Next?

Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Qtrade Investor

This topic contains 30 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Qtrade Sux 3 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 21 through 30 (of 31 total)
  • Author
  • #21633 Reply


    Is it easy (and free) to transfer money out of a QTrade account to a non-related financial institution? I have a RBC DI account that happily lets me do electronic transfers in, but will not let me do electronic transfer to my non-RBC daily banking account.

    #21383 Reply


    Sam, something you should keep in mind is the following:

    Unfortunately, QTrade will charge you $25 every quarter that you don’t make a trade, which if you have $1000 to play with, can really cut into your play money. I had a registered account and after getting tired of the $25 fees I decided to close the account at which point I learned about a $125 administration fee associated with closing an account. Overall, a little unimpressed with all of these pieces. I suppose some of these fees were likely shown in some fine print somewhere, but I wish it been more upfront hence why I’m a bit sour and leaving this review.

    Good luck

    #21366 Reply



    #21365 Reply


    Hi Sam,

    Good question. For Qtrade Investor, if you are in a position then the total account equity on a cash account can dip below $1,000 (e.g. cash + stocks you may have purchased). If it’s just cash, however, the balance has to be at least $1,000. I would recommend calling Qtrade Investor directly to clarify – they are generally pretty quick to answer the phone (1.877.787.2330).

    #21364 Reply


    So to keep the account active, we have to keep at least $1000 or we can take the balance to $0 on a cash account.

    #21362 Reply


    Thanks for your question Joe. Qtrade states that the minimum account balance to begin trading is $1,000 for most accounts and $2,000 for a margin account. (reference:

    #21361 Reply


    So to start trading on Qtrade investor you basically need $2000?. $1000 to Open an account and $1000 to keep up with the minimum balance.

    #18602 Reply


    I know nothing about trading stocks, I’ve done my research in the market but I haven’t been successful in locating a broker that can help guide me through the process, is there any information you could provide to new comer like myself.

    #11873 Reply


    Hi Arnold,

    We contacted Qtrade to get an answer to your question. Yes, Qtrade Investor does offer margin accounts (note: SparxTrading does not offer accounts of any kind). The rate that they charge for debit balances depends on the amount borrowed.

    Here are the rates they quoted:

    Amount Borrowed Canadian Dollar
    Balance Rate
    US Dollar
    Balance Rate
    less than $10,000 6.2% 6%
    less than $50,000 6.15% 5.85%
    less than $100,000 6% 5.8%
    over $100,000 5.65% 5.65%
    Date Checked: 4/13/15 Source: Client Rep.

    Hope that helps to clarify.

    #11872 Reply

    Arnold Denton

    Do you have margin accounts and what interest rate do you charge on the debit balances

Viewing 10 posts - 21 through 30 (of 31 total)
Reply To: Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Qtrade Investor
Your information: