Updated on: Dec. 11, 2018
Established in 1999, Questrade is one of several independent Canadian online brokerages. Like their peers, Questrade offers online trading for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and bonds. Additionally, Questrade also has online trading for currencies, CFD’s and gold bullion. They also support dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs).
Since inception, Questrade has been actively working to position itself as a top choice amongst price conscious investors and traders. Being both newer and independent means that Questrade has been able to grow its brand via innovation. Historically, they have either been first in launching products (such as US Dollar RSPs) or quick to respond to trends for self-directed investors. To that end, Questrade has recently put a lot of focus on their platform (Questrade IQ) development and improvements to their account user interface.
|Standard Equity Commission||Min: $4.95
|Best Commission Price||$0.01/sh
|Minimum to Open Account||$1,000|
|Commission Free ETFs||Buy only|
|Account Types Offered||Funding Requirements and Fees||Registered Account Types and Fees|
|TFSA||Minimum Opening Balance||$1,000||TFSA||Annual Charge||$0|
|RRSP||Minimum Account Balance||$250||Transfer Out||$150 (Full)
|RESP||Minimum Balance for Best or Discounted Commission||Not Required||Withdrawals||$0|
|Cash||Minimum Commission per Equity Trade||$0.01/share: |
$0.01 (min) on Advantage plan
$4.95 on Standard plan
|US Dollar Account|
|Margin Short||Maximum Commission per Equity Trade*||$6.95 (on Advantage Plan)|
$9.95 (on Standard Plan)
|Margin Options||(options available in Cash account)||Minimum Trades per Quarter for Best Commission Rate||Not Required||Transfer Out||$150 (Full)
|CIPF Member||Inactivity or Maintenance Fees||24.95/quarter||US Dollar Account|
|Conditions for Inactivity/Maintenance Fees||if account balance (combined equity across all accounts) <$5000, you must make at least 1 trade per quarter. Fee waived for clients <25 years of age, charitable organizations or those with level 1 data package.||RESP||Annual Charge||$0|
|Transfer Out||$150 (Full)
|US Dollar Account|
|Last updated: Mar. 9, 2016|
Pricing & Fees
In terms of trading platforms, Questrade offers free platforms for desktop, web and mobile that are available to all clients. Questrade’s online trading platforms are completely proprietary and are built and maintained in-house. Questrade’s new mobile app, Questrade Mobile, supports functions for both managed portfolios and self-directed accounts.
Questrade’s Advantage plan is geared towards very active traders which they released in 2013. Designed to provide lower pricing for frequent traders, the pricing plan offers two choices: the first being a “per share” version at $0.01 per share with a minimum commission cost of $0.01 and maximum of $6.95 (+ Exchange or ECN fees); the second plan is a “flat pricing” version with trades costing $4.95. As part of their Advantage plan, a paid market data subscription is required.
Standard options pricing is $9.95 (base) + $1 per contract and under the Advantage plan, options trades are priced at $6.95 (base) + $0.75 per contract. Options assignments and exercises are $24.95 flat.
Questrade has broken away from their ‘no inactivity fee’ structure since 2012. At that time, they introduced inactivity fees of $19.95 per quarter. In 2015 they increased the fee to $24.95 per quarter. This fee applies to clients with less than $5,000 in combined assets across accounts and who trade less than once per quarter. There are several exemptions to this fee including clients who are under 25 or those clients who are signed up to a data package subscription. Interestingly, if clients are charged an inactivity fee, this fee may be used as commission ‘credit’ (to a maximum of $24.95) towards trades made in the quarter following the one in which the fee was assessed.
For the majority of investors, the standard Questrade “democratic pricing” is the best deal rather than the Questrade Advantage. Pricing is fair, transparent, and capped for regular stock trades.
The registered accounts offered by Questrade include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs). For registered accounts there is no margin or shorting of stocks. Trading options in registered accounts is limited to buying and selling of options as well as writing covered calls. Questrade’s most popular account types are TFSA, RRSP, Margin and Forex & CFDs accounts.
Reviews & Ratings
|Review||What Review Measures||Score||Date of Ranking|
|Dalbar Canada Review||Client Service||Below Average
|Globe and Mail Review||Overall Impression||Letter Grade “B+”
Letter Grade “B+”
3rd out of 12
Letter Grade “A-”
2nd out of 12
Letter Grade “B+”
4th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
|JD Power Review||Investor Satisfaction||4th out of 8
10th out of 10
8th out of 10
5th out of 10
9th out of 11
Fees & Commissions
Best for ETFs