Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – December 2015

*Update Dec 19th* With 2015 quickly drawing to a close, it looks like Canadian discount brokerages have already put forward their best deals and promotions to take investors into 2016. As the year winds down, DIY investors and traders are looking at places to spend their money rather than grow it, and as such, markets as a whole tend to wane. Still, there are 15 deals on the table and who knows, if DIY investors have been a good bunch perhaps there may be a surprise or two left under the tree before the month is through.

Once again, the month is off to a slow start with no new offers officially launching at the beginning of December. There were two noteworthy promotions that resurfaced through November that reiterated which brokerages are continuing to actively pursue bringing on clients, regardless of the time of year.

As has been the case for most of 2015, Questrade continues to offer more promotions than any one of the other discount brokerages. This month, Questrade has a whopping 8 of this month’s 15 16 open offers. The next nearest brokerages are BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade which each have two offers each and are the only two major bank-owned brokerages with advertised promotions. Other brokerages with offers this month include Desjardins Online Brokerage, Jitneytrade and Virtual Brokers.

We’ll be sure to check in on the brokerages regularly throughout December to see if there are hints of any other deal miracles. In the meantime, if there are any other offers that we might have missed, please let us know.

Extended Offers

There was one online brokerage that took the opportunity to revive one of their longstanding refer-a-friend offers. After a brief absence from the November deals section, BMO InvestorLine updated the terms and conditions of their refer-a-friend program which now states that the promotion runs from November through to January 3rd 2016. As seen in the following tweet, the deadline date was the source of some confusion until the update occurred.

The extension of this program is not a long one so it looks like whatever changes were being contemplated to the refer-a-friend program may show up at the beginning of 2016.

Expired Offers

Heading into December, there were a pair of promotional offers from bank-owned brokerages that expired.

The first was a free trade promo from TD Direct Investing. Although TD has typically not been as active with promotions as some other bank-owned brokerages, they have run promotions during the fall period for two consecutive years now suggesting that they have preferred spots during the year to run promotions. Spring is another of the key seasons, especially for discount brokerages, so stay tuned for what could transpire in early 2016.

The other promotional offer that expired was a commission-free trade offer from National Bank Direct Brokerage.

New Offers

*Update Dec. 19th* For some DIY investors looking for a good deal, Christmas came early in the form of an offer from National Bank Direct Brokerage. Earlier this week NBDB launched a commission-credit promotion that offers up to either $500 or $1,000 in commission rebates for individuals opening a new account with at least $20,000 or $100,000 respectively. The credits are applicable to trades made within 90 days of signing up. See table below for more information.

*Update Dec. 3rd* It looks like at least one Canadian discount brokerage is getting into the holiday spirit. HSBC InvestDirect has launched a commission-free trading offer for individuals who open a new account with them. The offer is for 30 commission-free North American equity trades (i.e. it does not include options trades) which are good for use for up to 60 days. Unlike many of the offers currently on the market, this one does not appear to require a minimum deposit. See table below for additional details. Thanks to Tim for sharing that with us!

While there were technically no new offers that arrived at the outset of December, shortly before the beginning of this new month Questrade once again launched their Apple Watch themed promotion. Specifically, individuals who open a new Questrade account with at least $100,000 may be eligible to receive a gift card from Apple worth $500.00 CAD. While the promotion is certainly suggesting that individuals could receive an Apple Watch, in reality, qualifying individuals can use the $500 gift card towards any other Apple product. Interestingly, the expiry date for this promo has been set to fall right in the middle of the infamous “RRSP” season which means this is likely to be one of the more valuable offerings Questrade puts forward going into the New Year.

Discount Brokerage Deals

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit AmountCommission/Cash Offer/Promotion TypeTime Limit to Use Commission/Cash OfferDetails LinkDeadline
Jitney TradeA Sparx Trading exclusive offer! Use the promo code "Sparx Trading" when signing up for a new account with Jitneytrade and receive access to their preferred pricing package.n/aDiscounted Commission RatesnoneFor more details click here none
Open a new qualifying account with HSBC InvestDirect and you could be eligible to receive up to 30 commission-free North American equity trades. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.n/a30 commission-free trades.60 daysWinter free trade promotion March 15, 2016
Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) and receive $50 commission credit . Use promo code: kdkfnbbc$1,000$50 commission credit
nonenonenone
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 - $9,999
B) $10,000 - $24,999
C) $25,000 - $49,999
D) $50,000 -$99,999
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
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, 2016
Open and fund a new online trading account with Questrade with at least A)$1,000 or B)$10,000 and you could be eligible to receive either A)10 or B) 100 commission-free trades. Use promo code 100LOWCOM2015 when applying to be eligible for this offer. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for this promotion. A)$1,000
B)$10,000
A) 10 commission-free trades
B) 100 commission-free trades
60 days Commission-free Trade Promotion December 31, 2015
Open a new online trading account (registered, margin or FX and CFD) with Questrade and deposit at least $5,000 in order to be eligible to qualify for a $50 Amazon.ca gift certificate. Clients must also place at least one commission-generating trade within 60 days. Use promo code AMAZON50 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.$5,000$50 Amazon.ca gift certificateThe Amazon.ca gift certificate will be awarded in CAD and emailed to the client within 30 business days of the account reaching the minimum funding requirement of $5,000 and execution of one commissionable trade in the eligible account. Amazon.ca Gift Certificate Promotion December 31, 2015
Open and fund a new account at Virtual Brokers with at least $5,000 and you could be eligible to receive up to 25 commission-free stock or ETF trades good for use for up to one year. Use promo code "TRADEFREE2015" when signing up to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions carefully.$5,00025 commission-free trades365 days25 commission-free trades December 31, 2015
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 December 31, 2015
Scotia iTradeOpen and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least A) $15,000 - $49,999; B) $50,000 -$99,999; C)$100,000 - $249,999; or D)$250,000+ and you may be eligible to receive a corresponding cash back or commission rebate. For commission-free trades use code: FTN-F15 or for cash rebates use code: NC-F15. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully for rebate and cash back eligibility. Contact Scotia iTrade for full details on this offer.A) $15,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 -$99,999
C) $100,000 - $249,999
D) $250,000+
A) 75 commission-free trades OR $75 cash back
B) 125 commission-free trades OR $125 cash back
C) 250 commission free trades OR $250 cash back
D) 500 commission-free trades OR $500 cash back
120 days for commission-free trades;
Cash for the cash back offer will be deposited directly by September 30, 2016.
500 free trade or $500 cash back promo December 31, 2015
Open and fund a new National Bank Direct Brokerage account with at least A) $20,000 or B) $100,00 and you may be eligible to receive up to either A) $500 or B) $1,000 in commission credits. Use promo code CashBack2016 when registering for an account to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for additional details.A) $20,000 - $99,999
B) $100,000+
A) $500 in commission credit
B) $1,000 in commission credit
90 daysCash back promo March 31, 2016
Open a new online trading account (registered, margin or TFSA) with Questrade and deposit at least $25,000 in order to be eligible to qualify for free advanced data and 30 days of unlimited commission-free trades. Use promo code ADVANTAGE14 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.$25,00030 days unlimited commission-free trades and free advanced data30 days30 days unlimited commission-free trades and free advanced dataDecember 31, 2015
DisnatDisnat is offering new & existing clients $500 in commission credits which can be used for up to 6 months. To be eligible, new/existing clients need to deposit $50,000 into a Disnat account. You'll have to call 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code Disnat500. See details link for more info.$50,000$500 commission credit6 monthsDisnat $500 Commission Credit PromoDecember 31, 2015
BMO InvestorLineIf you refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with a)$50,000 - $249,999 or b)$250,000+ the referrer and the referee will both receive cash. The new account must be opened with the referral code specific to the referrer. A) $50,000 - $249,999
B) $250,000+
A) You(referrer): $200; Your Friend(referee): $50
B) You(referrer): $300; Your Friend: $100
Payout occurs after 60 days (subject to conditions). BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend January 3, 2016
Open or fund an account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) with at least $100,000 and you may be eligible to receive an iPad Mini 2. Use promo code IPADMINI15Q4 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully.$100,000iPad Mini 260 days IPad Mini 2 PromotionDecember 31, 2015
Open or fund an eligible account with at least $100,000 and make at least one commission generating trade and you may be eligible to receive a $500 gift card for the Apple Store. Use promo code APPLEWATCH when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully.$100,000$500 Apple Store gift cardGift card will be sent within 30 days of client meeting eligibility requirements. Apple Watch PromoMarch 31, 2016
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine, and fund it with at least $100,000 in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive either A)$200 cash back plus 20 commission-free equity trades. Use promo code FALL2015 when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.$100,000$200 + 20 commission-free equity trades
Cash award will be paid the week of January 16, 2017. Trades are good for 1 year from signing up for promotional offer. Fall 2015 PromotionJanuary 3, 2016
Last Updated: December 19, 2015 11:50 PT

Transfer Fee Deals

CompanyBrief DescriptionMaximum Transfer Fee Coverage AmountMinimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee EligibilityDetails LinkDeadline
Scotia iTradeTransfer $15,000 or more to Scotia iTrade from another Canadian brokerage, and iTrade may pay up to $150 in transfer fees. $150$15,000 500 Free Trade or $500 Cash Back Offer December 31, 2015
Transfer $15,000 or more to RBC Direct Investing and they will pay up to $135 in transfer fees$135 $15,000 Transfer Fee Rebate Details none
Transfer $25,000 or more from another brokerage and Credential Direct will cover up to $150 in transfer fees. Use promo code SWITCHME when signing up to qualify for the transfer promotion. $150$25,000 Credential Direct Transfer Fee Rebate none
Qtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $150 when transferring a balance of $10,000 or more. For reimbursement, please mail or fax a copy of your statement from the transferring institution that shows the transfer charge to Qtrade Investor at 604.484.2627 and indicate your Qtrade Investor account number. $150$25,000 Transfer Fee Rebatenone
Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they'll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150.$150$25,000 Transfer Fee Promo 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 info (1-800-567-3343)none
Transfer $25,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees$135$25,000 Transfer Fee Rebate none
DisnatDisnat is offering up to $150 to cover the cost of transfer fees from another institution. To be eligible, new/existing clients need to deposit $50,000 into a Disnat account. You'll have to call 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code Disnat500. See details link for more info.$150$50,000Disnat $500 Commission Credit PromoDecember 31, 2015

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