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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – April, 2020

*Updated April 7* It’s finally April and, after the unprecedented changes and challenges that have unfolded over the past month, we would love to say that current world events are nothing but an April Fool’s Day joke gone wrong but sadly, that isn’t the case. 

To start off the month, online brokerages have opted to stick to tried-and-true offerings, perhaps as a result of the air of uncertainty and instability that currently looms over the markets. 

Even with volatility and turbulence rocking the markets in the past month, which has rightfully left many investors feeling panicked, there has been an emergence of risk-taking investors who have been trying to hastily enter the markets in hopes of making fast money or picking up assets at low prices. 

That said, investors should be prepared to wait. Increased interest and call volumes have put a strain on online brokerage technical systems and client service teams – here’s hoping there’s some good music to pass the time on hold.

For investors who are keen on moving fast and stepping into the present market, scroll on to review the current deals and promotions activity from Canadian discount brokerages this month.

Expired Deals

Two deals officially concluded at the end of March. The first was RBC Direct Investing’s promotion that offered 25 commission-free trades with the opening of a new account, which ended on March 27th.

Another deal that expired in March was Qtrade Investor’s cash back promotion, which officially concluded on March 31st. If cash back promotions are what you’re in the market for, though, be sure to scroll down to the table below for similar offerings.

Extended Deals

No extended deals to report at this time.

New Deals

*Update: Apr. 7 – This month, we’re introducing a new category of deals to the tables below: offers for young investors. Whether for yourself, or for someone you may know, this is a great resource for younger investors who may be looking to get started in the markets. It is worth mentioning that different online brokerages have different definitions of what a “young investor” means, so be sure to check to see if you qualify. 

CIBC Investor’s Edge offers special student pricing of $5.95 per trade if you already have an eligible CIBC Account for students, plus save on annual account fees. Scroll down for more details.

Investors within the age range of 18 to 30 are eligible for two current deals. The first is the Broker@age 18-30 promotion from Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat), which they’ve stated is “the perfect starter kit to help you invest in the markets.” The second promotion available for investors within this age group is the special Young Investor Pricing offered by Qtrade Investor. For more details, see the tables below. 

Investors who are up to 26 years in age are eligible for two promotions. At Scotia iTrade, young investors can save on administration fees with their Young Investors Offer. At Virtual Brokers, clients in this age range can take advantage of their zero account administration fee offer. See tables below for more details. 

National Bank Direct Brokerage is offering a reduced pricing structure for young professionals and students of various fields. Scroll down to discover which fields are eligible.

Finally, RBC Direct Investing is offering to waive the account maintenance fee for clients who currently have or had an RBC Student Account (within the past five years) with them. More details in the tables below.*


Discount Brokerage Deals

  1. Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions
  2. Referral Promotions
  3. Transfer Fee Promotions
  4. Contests & Other Offers
  5. Digital Advice + Roboadvisor Promotions
  6. Offers for Young Investors

Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit AmountCommission/Cash Offer/Promotion TypeTime Limit to Use Commission/Cash OfferDetails LinkDeadline
Open and fund a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) with at least $1,000 and you may be eligible to receive $88 in commission credits (up to 17 commission-free trades). Use promo code SPARX88 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully.$1,000$88 commission credit60 daysAccess this offer by clicking here: $88 commission-credit offer . For full terms and conditions,
click here.
none
Open and fund a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) with at least $1,000 and you may be eligible to receive 5 commission-free trades. Use promo code 5FREETRADES when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully.$1,0005 commission-free trades60 days 5 commission-free trade offer December 31, 2020
Open and fund a new qualifying account with at least $25,000 and you may qualify for one month of unlimited commission-free trades and up to one month free of an advanced data package. Use promo code ADVANTAGE14 when opening a new account. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.$25,000commission-free trades for 1 month + 1 month of advanced data.1 monthActive Trader Program December 31, 2020
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $50,000; B) $100,000; C) $250,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1M+, and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward of up to A) $250; B) $450; C) $800; D) $1,000 or E) $2,000. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions.A) $50,000
B) $100,000
C) $250,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M+
A) $250
B) $450
C) $800
D) $1,000
E) $2,000
Cash back will be deposited week of December 14, 2020BMO InvestorLine Cash Back Offer DetailsJune 1, 2020
Last Updated: Apr. 01, 2020 15:44PT

Referral Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit AmountIncentive StructureTime Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer DepositDetails LinkDeadline
Refer a friend to Questrade and when they open an account you receive $25 cash back and they receive either A) $25; B) $50; C) $75; D) $100; or E) $250 depending on the amount deposited amount. Enter code: 476104302388759 during account sign up to qualify. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for eligibility and additional bonus payment structure and minimum balance requirements.A) $1,000
B) $10,000
C) $25,000
D) $50,000
E) $100,000+
$25 cash back (for referrer per referral; $50 bonus cash back for every 3rd referral)
For referred individuals:
A) $25 cash back
B) $50 cash back
C) $75 cash back
D) $100 cash back
E) $250 cash back
Cash deposited into Questrade billing account within 7 days after funding period ends (90 days)
Refer a friend terms and conditions Code Number: 476104302388759none
Scotia iTradeIf you refer a friend/family member who is not already a Scotia iTRADE account holder to them, both you and your friend get a bonus of either cash or free trades. You have to use the referral form to pass along your info as well as your friend/family members' contact info in order to qualify. There are lots of details/conditions to this deal so be sure to read the details link. A) $10,000
B) $50,000+
A) You(referrer): $50 or 10 free trades; Your "Friend": $50 or 10 free trades (max total value:$99.90)
B) You(referrer): $100 cash or 50 free trades; Your "Friend": $100 cash or 50 free trades (max total value: $499.50)
60 daysRefer A Friend to Scotia iTrade tbd
If you (an existing Qtrade Investor client) refer a new client to Qtrade Investor and they open an account with at least $1,000 the referrer and the referee may both be eligible to receive $25 cash. See terms and conditions for full details. $1,000$25 cash back (for both referrer and referee)Cash deposited at the end of the month in which referee's account fundedRefer A Friend to Qtrade Investornone
BMO InvestorLineIf you (an existing BMO InvestorLine client) refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with at least $5,000 the referrer and the referee may both be eligible to receive $50 cash. To qualify the referee must use the email of the referrer that is linked to their BMO InvestorLine account. See terms and conditions for full details.$5,000You(referrer): $50; Your Friend(referee): $50Payout occurs 45 days after minimum 90 day holding period (subject to conditions). BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend January 5, 2021
Last Updated: Apr. 01, 2020 15:55PT

Transfer Fee Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMaximum Transfer Fee Coverage AmountMinimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee EligibilityDetails LinkDeadline
Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they'll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150.$150n/a Transfer Fee Promo none
Transfer $15,000 or more to RBC Direct Investing and they will pay up to $200 in transfer fees.$200$15,000 Transfer Fee Rebate Details none
Transfer $15,000 or more into a new HSBC InvestDirect account and you may be eligible to have up to $152.55 in transfer fees covered. $152.55$15,000Confirmed via email contact with HSBC InvestDirect Rep. Contact client service for more information. none
Transfer $15,000 or more to Qtrade Investor from another brokerage and Qtrade Investor may cover up to $150 in transfer fees. See terms and conditions for more details.$150$15,000 Transfer Fee Rebatenone
Transfer $20,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees.$135$20,000 Transfer Fee Rebate none
Transfer at least $25,000 or more in new assets to TD Direct Investing when opening a new account and you may qualify to have transfer fees reimbursed up to $150. Be sure to contact TD Direct Investing for further details. $150$25,000 Transfer Fee Promo
Contact client service for more information (1-800-465-5463).
none
Transfer $25,000 or more into a CIBC Investor's Edge account and they will reimburse up to $135 in brokerage transfer fees. Clients must call customer service to request rebate after transfer made.$135$25,000Confirmed with reps. Contact client service for more information (1-800-567-3343).none
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account and you may be eligible to have transfer fees covered up to $200. Contact client service for more details. $200Contact client service for more informationContact client service for more information (1-888-776-6886)none
Last Updated: Apr. 01, 2020 15:47PT

Other Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit Amount RequiredDetails LinkDeadline
Submit your information via the Hardbacon website to be referred to National Bank Direct Brokerage. Open and fund a qualifying account and you may receive up to 20 commission-free trades and discounted trading commissions. Be sure to read full terms and conditions. n/a Hardbacon Free Trade Promo none
DisnatDesjardins Online Brokerage is offering $50 in commission credits for new Disnat Classic clients depositing at least $1,000. See terms and conditions for full details. $1,000Broker@ge 18-30 Promotionnone
Scotia iTradeScotiabank StartRight customers can receive 10 commission-free trades when investing $1,000 or more in a new Scotia iTrade account. Trades are good for use for up to 1 year from the date the account is funded. Use promo code SRPE15 when applying (in English) or SRPF15 when applying in French. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for full details.$1,000 StartRight Free Trade offer none
Last Updated: Apr. 01, 2020 15:49PT

Digital Advice + Roboadvisor Promotions

Robo-advisor / Digital advisorOffer TypeOffer DescriptionMin. Deposit Reward / PromotionPromo CodeExpiry DateLink
Discounted ManagementOpen and fund a new Questrade Portfolio IQ account with a deposit of at least $1,000 and the first month of management will be free. For more information on Portfolio IQ, click the product link.$1,0001st month no management feesKDKFNBBCNoneQuestrade Portfolio IQ Promo Offer
Cash Back - ReferralBMO SmartFolio clients will receive $50 cash back for every friend or family member who opens and funds a new SmartFolio account. Friends and family referred to SmartFolio will receive $50 cash back for opening and funding an account, plus automatic enrollment into SmartFolio’s mass offer in market at the time. See offer terms and conditions for more details.

$1,000$50 cash back (referrer)
$50 cash back (referee)
Unique link generated from SmartFolio required.NoneSmartFolio Website
Transfer Fee CoverageTransfer at least $25,000 into Virtual Wealth when opening a new account and you may be eligible to have up to $150 in transfer fees covered by Virtual Wealth.$25,000 up to $150 in transfer fees coveredNoneNoneContact customer service directly for more information.
Last Updated: Apr. 01, 2020 15:54PT

Offers for Young Investors

BrokerageOffer TypeEligible Age Range / Client SegmentOffer DescriptionMin. Deposit Expiry DateLink
Student PricingClients with CIBC Smart™ Account for students$5.95 per trade and zero annual account feesnot requiredNoneCIBC Student Pricing
Broker@ge 18-3018-30 years old investorsBenefits:

* 5 free transactions (Minimum deposit of $1,000 required)
* No inactivity fees
* No asset minimum to maintain for free registered accounts
* Exclusive events
* Disnat Mobile App
$1,000NoneBroker@ge 18-30
Offers for professionals & StudentsStudents in selected fields of studyProfessionals and students in the below fields can benefit from a reduced pricing structure:
* Engineering students
* Legal, accounting and business students
* Healthcare students
* Health sciences students
* Nursing students

Benefits:
* $5.95 commission on equities
* $0 commission on ETFs
* $0 annual administration fee
not requiredNoneNBDB Student Pricing
Young investor pricing18-30 years old investorsBenefits:

* $7.75 commissions for stock and ETF trades
* No account minimums
* No quarterly admin fees
min. $50 a month through pre-authorized contributions.NoneYoung Investor Pricing
Waiver of account maintenance fee Clients who have RBC Student account, currently or in the past 5 years.The Maintenance Fee ($25 per quarter) is waived, regardless of the account balance.not requiredNoneZero Account Management Fee
Young Investors OfferClients below 26 years oldLow activity account administration fee and the RSP account administration fee are waived.not requiredNoneYoung Investors Offer
Zero Account Administration FeeClients below 26 years oldThe account administration fee ($24.95 per quarter) is waived.not requiredNone$0 Account Administration Fee
Last Updated: Apr. 01, 2020 15:54PT

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