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 4 posts - 21 through 24 (of 24 total)
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  • #21618 Reply

    Brian

    I strongly caution any traders to avoid Questrade. I have an account with Questrade and am currently looking to move my funds elsewhere due to significant problems with their system. I have been using Questrade for a year, and their platform has crashed as many as five times a month, usually within a half hour of opening. I have lost thousands of dollars (not including lost opportunities) because of open trades where I was unable to close with profit (or cut losses) because of system crashes. I now avoid trading in the first half hour as a result because of the amount of losses I’ve incurred in this period due to crashes. While I’m still positive overall, Questrade system problems will take even more from you. Their platform, IQ Edge, is extremely slow and laggy, with it requiring as long as 30 seconds to select an order (yet on other days, it is much faster). The slow days also seem to be the days with crashes. To be completely frank, their platform looks pretty but is pretty brutal. If you need to execute quick trades, or need reliable opening trades, avoid Questrade like the plague! Perhaps Questrade is good for long-term investors, but it is a joke for trading.

    #21934 Reply

    Sameuel

    People, before signing up with Questrade be aware of their huge ECN fees. 4.95min & 9.95max in which they announce is a false. You might pay hundreds of $s with the ECN fees. With Questrade their is no way to avoid ECN fees. I am planing to go to another brokerage without ECN fees.

    #23049 Reply

    Collin

    Judge for yourself – Questrade exited my same day trade WITHOUT calling me saying it was going against me! Questrade created a HUGE 14K USD loss for me a couple of hours after the position was filled. I had to call them! Now they closed my TFSA to cover that loss. Will YOU trade with Questrade?! You have to decide. I will take my business & hard earned $ where I am appreciated.

    #24294 Reply

    jonathan bouvette

    Its often crashing, often you cant even sell your shares cuz of risks reviews! Im telling you it is happening so often! Today I was up 20% on a stock and questrade didnot want to take the shares back cuz of risk review!! Now lost 30%!!!!!!!!!!! But they are sorry… At less 😀
    Dont ever go with questrade if you want to keep your money

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