Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Scotia iTrade

Canadian Discount Brokerage - Scotia iTrade

Mailing Address
48 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
M5E 1G6
Email Address: [email protected]
Phone: 1-888-872-3388
Customer Service Hours:
Mon to Fri 8 am to 8 pm ET

Scotia iTrade Review

Updated on: Jun 1, 2020
Scotia iTRADE, a subsidiary of Scotia Capital, is a bank-owned online brokerage that is active in providing investor education as well as trading platforms geared towards advanced or active traders. In addition they are one of the only bank-owned online brokerages to offer commission-free ETF trading. As of Feb. 2019, Scotia iTRADE has now lowered their standard commission pricing.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $9.99
Best Commission Price $4.99
Minimum to Open Account Not Required
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETFs Yes
Young Investor Offer Yes
(Age ≤ 26)

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

It may have taken some time, but Scotia iTRADE has joined the rest of Canada’s online brokerages in setting their standard commission pricing to $9.99 per trade, and in the process, simplify the experience of being a client. Fortunately, investors who wish to know what it costs to be a client at Scotia iTRADE will be glad to know that the $9.99 is flat pricing (i.e. there are no ECN fees). Frequent or active investors can also benefit from commissions of $4.99 per trade, with the condition being that at least 150 trades per quarter need to be made. For options trading at Scotia iTRADE, the cost is $9.99 + $1.25 per contract. Finally, for clients who place 150+ trades per quarter, the options trading price is $4.99 + $1.25 per contract. Click the following link to learn more about commission-free ETF trading.

Scotia iTRADE does charge a quarterly inactivity fee of $25 which it charges to clients that have less than $10,000 combined across all their iTRADE accounts. To avoid being charged this fee, those clients can place at least 1 commission-generating trade per quarter or hold a registered account.

Account Types

Scotia iTRADE offers online trading in both non-registered and registered accounts. In terms of non-registered accounts, Scotia iTRADE offers cash and margin accounts and also their higher interest cash optimizer account. Margin accounts to be used for short selling or options trading require additional approval and have minimum equity requirements.

For registered accounts, Scotia iTRADE offers tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs). Registered accounts such as the RRSPs are offered in both US and Canadian currencies however note that the US account types have a quarterly fee associated with them (of $30/quarter per account). Also, clients who have RSP accounts and less than $25,000 in aggregate across all iTrade accounts and who place less than 12 commission generating trades per year are subject to annual fee of $100.


Through 2012 and 2013, Scotia iTRADE worked to improve their platform offering. Currently they offer mobile, web browser based and desktop based trading platforms.

In terms of web browser based interfaces, their standard platform allows for both fundamental and technical analysis, charting and keeping track of watchlists. In addition they also have a ‘trading desk’ order entry and review system that allows for multiple orders to be managed.

Their flagship trading platform, FlightDesk, is a desktop based platform that is geared towards advanced or active traders. FlightDesk comes in two versions, the standard and the premium, the key differences between the versions being that the premium offers streaming level 2 quotes, options chain trading and advanced options analysis. Data package pricing for FlightDesk’s standard and premium versions depend on the amount of assets and/or trading activity level. The prices for data can range from free for those who trade 30+ times per quarter to 79.95/mo for the FlightDesk premium service for those who trade between 0 and 8 times per quarter.

For mobile users, Scotia iTRADE has a mobile app that is supported for iPhone and Android. There is also an iPad app as well as for users who want to trade via tablet.

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 “B+”
Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
6th 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 5th out of 8
8th out of 8
4th out of 10
9th out of 10
9th out of 10
6th out of 7
11th out of 11
June 2019
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Top Pick – Best bank-owned brokerage July 2017


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