Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Questrade

Canadian Discount Broker - Questrade

Mailing Address
5650 Yonge Street
Suite 1700
Toronto, ON
M2M 4G3

Website: http://questrade.com
Email Address: support@questrade.com
Phone: 1-888-783-7866
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 8 am to 8 pm ET


Questrade Review

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.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission Min: $4.95
Max: $9.95
Best Commission Price $0.01/sh
(Max:$4.95)
Minimum to Open Account $1,000
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $24.95/quarter
Commission Free ETFs Buy only

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

At Questrade, standard trading commissions are calculated at $0.01 per share with a minimum commission cost per equity trade of $4.95 and a maximum commission cost of $9.95. Additional fees such as stock exchange or ECN fees and SEC fees are charged on top of the commission fees depending on the order type. As with a few other Canadian online brokerages, Questrade also offers discounted ETF trading. Specifically, they offer commission-free ETF buying and charge a commission on the sale of an ETF [learn more about commission-free ETFs here].

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.

Account Types

Like most other Canadian online brokerages, Questrade offers both non-registered and registered account types. Non-registered accounts are margin accounts and clients can trade options as well as short stocks with this account type.

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.

Platform/Data

As of 2015 Questrade overhauled their platform, replacing IQ Essential with IQ Edge (desktop based) still keeping their IQ Web (browser based). Providing two primary trading platforms. Questrade describes IQ edge as their advanced trading app. As well as the addition of IQ Edge, Questrade has added a mobile app for trading on the go with built in features, such as symbol lookup and charting, and Questrade FX Global, a global forex trading platform, allowing trading from anywhere in real time, in currencies and commodities. Features of the FX Global include 24-hour trading with their award-winning web-based FX and CFD platform, with an economic releases built-in feature that allows users to monitor market-moving events.

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 “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”
February 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 4th out of 8
10th out of 10
8th out of 10
5th out of 10
Not Rated
9th out of 11
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Getting Started
User Experience
Fees & Commissions
Best for ETFs
Best Overall
Top Pick
Top Pick
Top Pick
Top Pick
Runner Up
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017

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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Questrade

This topic contains 25 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  jonathan bouvette 5 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 24 total)
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  • #10068 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin
    Sparx_Admin
    Keymaster

    At Questrade, standard trading commissions are calculated at $0.01 per share with a minimum commission cost per equity trade of $4.95 and a maximum co[See the full post at: https://www.sparxtrading.com/canadian-online-brokerage-review-questrade/]

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Profile photo of Ken Y Ken Y.
    #10069 Reply

    Jason

    [Edited by Moderator]
    BEWARE of Questrade!!
    Just want to warn people about this horrible platform. I’ve had numerous bad experiences with them over the past few years but have let it go until now. Today was the last straw. I currently own one stock. Last week I received a margin call and fulfilled it by depositing $8,000. A few days later, I received another margin call telling me $X amt was due today at 1PM EST. I was at a medical appointment today when they called me around noon and sent an email saying that I was in a real time margin call. As soon I got to my car (less than 5 minutes), I called. I spoke with someone and explained that I was on the road and he put me on hold and then came back and confirmed that they would give me until 1pm EST. I ran home and made a transfer for $5,230 immediately, responding to the most recent margin call email with a screen shot of the transfer as required. As I always do, I called them immediately as well to ensure that it was received and things were okay. I spoke with [name edited out] and he assured me not to worry, that it would be fine. He began discussing something else, and then right there as I was on the phone with him (after talking with him for approx. 15 min), I see that a large portion of my shares are liquidated. I told him this and he said “Oh no, that can’t be right.” After telling me he would look into it, I receive an email shortly after apologizing for the inconvenience. They cost me almost $5,000 and they are sorry for my inconvenience. I called and spoke to management [name edited out], and was on the phone for an hour and a half and again was told “Sorry” and that the margin call time frame is simply a courtesy and does not have to be adhered to.
    This is unacceptable. My wife and I have been clients for a few years and always adhere to all procedures. I want to ensure that Questrade loses from this by letting all prospective clients know that this is how the company is run. And any current clients- be extra cautious, or I would advise, as I will be doing – move your money as soon as you can.

    #10070 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin
    Sparx_Admin
    Keymaster

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and for highlighting the challenges of trading on margin. Margin calls are always nerve wracking however it’s better to be given the opportunity to take appropriate action instead of automatically getting liquidated or stopped out. Judging from your experience however, this sounds like an awful scenario to watch unfold or to have to deal with. With the whipsaw action in the markets, trading on margin has likely been a nail-biter for many. That said, others can definitely see from your experience that in a ‘risk compliance’ scenario (i.e. margin call), brokerages reserve the right to take care of themselves/their risk exposure first. Hope there are gains in your future to offset this loss.

    #11886 Reply

    jxg67

    Questrade is really bad. They have ECN fee hiden. I was charged $90 in one transaction for selling 100K penny stocks. Find another broker who doesn’t have hiden fee. Otherwise you’ll regret.

    #11983 Reply

    bob

    agreed, they are terrible!!! in one day of trading they charged me $700 for 25 trades performed. i am officially livid and need to find a different trading platform without hidden fees.

    #12102 Reply

    Damien

    The decision doesn’t get easier for new guys looking to start trading stocks. Every forum or website I go to is bouncing me around from one broker to the next.

    Being tossed being IB and Questrade until today. I know it really depends on the type of investing you’ll be involved with. One thing is for sure “It’s not as simple as taking $1000 and going right at it”

    What about Easy-Forex?

    Any experience with them?

    #12103 Reply

    Damien

    Egh, Never Mind! You can’t trade stocks with them, just FX. Now I’m searching too hard!

    #12321 Reply

    starplus

    I would like to warn all the account holders of Questrade and any one planning to trade in future through this…recently my account was hacked by someone and he made a large no of trades without my knowledge and within an hour. Questrade has no system to inform or flag it’s user from such fraud or security breach. They did not alert me even after such a huge amount of transaction happened in my account. Luckily I logged in the evening and to my surprise my account was in a huge mess. When I called up the customer support all they had to say was that they are not liable in case of security breach. This is a huge problem..this can happen to anyone anyday. I have incurred a huge loss with no fault of mine.

    #12730 Reply

    Jacques

    Be warned that whatever Questrade promise you via their agents when opening an account will NOT be honored for various bu$%$^@#$ reasons. Too bad I had transferred alot of money before I learned they would not honor their deal. I am selling everything and cancelling my account as soon as the market will allow me. It may cost me extra money, but I cannot support a company that outright lies to you to get you to open big accounts and then blame it on my understanding. I understood right! I am out of here!!!!

    #12733 Reply

    Carl from Team Questrade

    Hi Jacques,

    I’d like to find out what happened here. Here at Questrade, we strive for the very best in client service and if we didn’t live up to your expectations in this case, I’d like to do what I can to make it right. Please send an email to support@questrade.com with your account number and direct it to the attention of “ Carlton B – Marketing” and I will follow up with you right away.

    Thanks,
    Carl from Team Questrade

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