Canadian Online Brokerage Review – RBC Direct Investing

Canadian Discount Broker - RBC Direct Investing

Mailing Address
200 Bay Street, North Tower
P.O. Box 75
Toronto, ON
M5J 2Z5–>
Phone: 1-800-769-2560, option 4
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 7am to 8pm ET

RBC Direct Investing Review

Updated on: Feb. 8, 2019
RBC Direct Investing has been working towards improving the functionality, pricing and features of their online trading platform. Early in 2014, they caused a major pricing shift among Canadian discount brokerages by lowering their standard commission pricing to $9.95 per trade.
As a bank-owned brokerage, RBC Direct Investing offers the convenience of being able to manage multiple financial products via the RBC online platform. The integration with holders of certain RBC banking plans may enable certain client to be exempt from paying certain account fees at RBC Direct Investing.
Another feature about RBC Direct Investing that makes it stand out from its bank-owned online brokerage peers is the community feature. The community section allows comparison with other investors, provides educational support and it contains a moderated forum for asking questions to the community or RBC Direct Investing.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $9.95
Best Commission Price $6.95
Minimum to Open Account Not Required
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETFs No
Student Pricing Offer Yes

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

Commission pricing at RBC Direct Investing has become much simpler to understand. The standard equity commission for online trading is now $9.95 per trade regardless of account size or trading activity.For very active traders, in this case clients that make 150 or more trades per quarter, the price per trade drops to $6.95. Options trading is also possible via RBC Direct Investing with the cost per trade at $9.95 + $1.25 per contract. Again, active traders (150+ trades per quarter) benefit from reduced pricing of $6.95 +$1.25 per contract.

One of the important points to note is that there is a quarterly fee (called an “Inactivity Fee”) charged to those with balances under $15,000 and there are also several ways to have this fee waived. Clients who deposit at least $100 per month in their RBC Direct Investing account as part of a pre-authorized contribution plan, those who make at least 3 commission-generating trades per quarter, those who have a group RRSP with RBC Direct Investing, those who qualify for the RBC Direct Investing Royal Circle program as well as those who are current student banking package holders (or have been in the past 5 years) and clients who have an RBC VIP banking package can all have their quarterly inactivity fee waived.

Account Types

The account types offered by RBC Direct Investing are similar to many of their peers and can be generally categorized as non-registered and registered. In terms of non-registered accounts, RBC Direct Investing offers cash and margin accounts and registered accounts include TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs, and RRIFs. With the exception of RESP accounts, all other accounts are dual currency meaning that if you trade in US equities or US dollars there is no required conversion between Canadian and US currency. For registered accounts you cannot use margin or short stocks. Options trading in registered accounts is limited to buying and selling options and writing of covered calls.

Although it is not a ‘live’ account, RBC Direct Investing also offers practice accounts to RBC (as well as RBC Direct Investing) clients. The accounts are funded with $100,000 in practice money and individuals can use a cash, margin or RSP configuration to practice with.


RBC Direct Investing uses a web browser based platform to execute trades as well as conduct research and manage one’s account. Unlike an active trader platform or a desktop based platform, the web browser based offering is fairly standard. The order entry window requires filling in a number of fields however there are a number of guides and explanations across the window to help users through the process. The charting features are minimal so for those looking at doing in depth comparisons and chart analysis, the Recognia technical analysis tool may help but the overall charting functions are basic.

Reviews & Ratings

Review What Review Measures Score Date of Ranking
Dalbar Canada Review Client Service Top Rating
Top Rating
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Leter Grade “B”
Leter Grade “B”
Leter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B-”
7th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
5th 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 6th out of 8
5th out of 8
6th out of 10
4th out of 10
4th out of 10
3rd out of 7
8th out of 11
June 2019
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013


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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – RBC Direct Investing

This topic contains 28 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  WILLIAM 1 week, 4 days ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 21 through 29 (of 29 total)
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  • #12697 Reply


    Platform? What platform? I decided to sign up with RBC after doing some looking around and immediately I regretted my decision. They don’t really have any trading platform to speak of, and their beta version leaves so much to be desired? Forget about charting. It’s archaic and completely useless for someone looking better than basic charting analysis. Too bad all discount brokers don’t offer a trial period before signing up. I wouldn’t have wasted my time.

    #10059 Reply


    Hi Dale,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. The last thing you want when rocking up to a trading platform pre-market is to not have it ready to go to work. This is especially true for the west-coasters who have to do it at 6:30am! Hopefully life is greener on the other side of whatever fence you’re on now.

    #10058 Reply

    Dale Plourde

    For your best interest stay clear of RBC’s platform, it is not dependable. It just randomly will stop working properly, especially first thing in the morning at the start of trading 6:30am pacific time. You can’t put your online buy and sells in as the trading tab during these outage times will not even open, or the order status tab to cancel your trades, stay clear of their investing site. I lost out on many great opportunities as I couldn’t get do my trade, as their system was down. When I would try to call in, my price point had past as it can take up to 10-15 minutes to get a rep. on the phone. I have since switched to another provider. I have no idea how they can even operate with their system.

    As well RBC does not offer premarket or aftermarket online trading which is really important to have.

    #10057 Reply

    Ken Y

    Commission pricing at RBC Direct Investing has become much simpler to understand. The standard equity commission for online trading is now $9.95 per t[See the full post at:]

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by  Ken Y.
    #10180 Reply


    Thanks for sharing your experience Suzanne. There have been a number of comments on this site, forums and social media about wait times for customer service at several bank-owned brokerages. The fact that individuals at several different discount brokerages are reporting delays suggests this could be a busy time of the year. That said, if client response times and order processing times are important service components, a quick test is to call those brokerages on your short list and go through the menu as if you were a client (rather than a prospective client) to see how long it takes to talk to someone (and then be routed to the right person). Hope there are better days ahead!

    #10179 Reply


    I have just moved my investments over to RBC Direct Investing from RBC Bank and after less than 2 weeks I will be transferring my account out! I am incredibly dissatisfied with their poor customer service, very lengthy wait time for phone inquiries (over 45 minutes hold on average) and slow order processing time (3 days for mutual funds). RBC Direct Investing is a huge disappointment!

    #10178 Reply


    I don’t know why anyone who trades would go there. Its only for the long pull investor who has $50,000 in cash. I mean who in their right mind would pay almost $60 round trip commissions for a trade in these times? The platform is light years behind other brokers and there is no speed of execution, limited order types or price discovery. It’s hard enough to make money with good trading software and $2.00 commissions in today’s markets so why pay 30 times that to trade? You need an edge and opening an account with this broker will only set you light years behind.

    #10177 Reply


    I’ve been with RBC Direct Investing now for just over 4 years and my experience has been quite mixed. As Carlos infers, the website is extremely outdated but I have not had any trouble with real time quotes for equities, preferred shares, debentures or options. My major complaints are with the DRIP options (only market DRIP available and no option to enroll by individual security) and with the customer service. An error was committed by an investment representative in my account that has so far required more than 5 phone calls to fix – additional mistakes were made by RBC in trying to fix the error (a foreign exchange was made in the incorrect account, interest charged for RBC’s mistake, instructions not followed, phone calls not returned, treated disrespectfully, etc.). Working in the industry and having worked in a similar role with a competitor out of university, my customer service experience has been a nightmare. I would suggest avoiding RBC DI if at all possible – I will be transferring my account out.

    #10176 Reply


    If you are trading options, this is one of the worse platforms you can use to trade. I recently joined RBC DI, stock trading is OK. Not great. It still feels like I am using a 1998 web page. My biggest problem with this platform is that you cannot place a stop loss order on options. Add to that the 20 minute delay and the slow order processing and what you have is a perfect formula to loose all your money. It is impossible to keep up with the options price (up or down) and it seems I am always pricing myself out of the market. I had to modify my order at least 15 times before I finally got my order filled. When that happened the price had fallen more than 50% when I could have stopped my loses at 20%. THIS IS UNFORGIVABLE for a company that claims to be conservative.
    I hope RBC reads this post and correct this problem as quickly as possible.

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