Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – January 2018

*Update: 1/25* Happy New Year! It seems like the one place in Canada that is still hot this winter is the deals and promotions section for Canada’s discount brokerages. It’s a strong start to 2018 for Canadian discount brokerages, as the official race to the RSP contribution deadline is on.

With excitement about marijuana legalization, blockchain and crytptocurrencies as well as stock markets continuing to push higher, there are many reasons DIY investors would be looking into online trading accounts. Fortunately, for those in the market for an RSP or TFSA or even a cash/margin account, there are over two dozen offers now in play.

Leading off the deals news this month is BMO InvestorLine, who upped the ante in the promotional pool with a cash back/commission-free trade offer to start 2018. In addition, BMO’s SmartFolio has also lowered the minimum account deposit threshold to open an account (and thus to qualify) for their waived management fee promotion, from $5,000 to $1,000.

For the new year, almost all of Canada’s major online brokerages have a promotional offer in play. The most common offer online brokerages are putting forward are transfer-fee coverage offers that help pay for the cost of switching discount brokers.

Of course, the most popular category of offers for Canadian DIY investors is the cash back or commission-free trade offer type. Starting off in 2018 there are 9 of these offers to choose from. Four of Canada’s bank-owned online brokerages currently have promotions in this category, with TD Direct Investing having the lowest deposit threshold ($10,000) of this group to qualify for a cash-back promotion.

The best news, however, is that with a few more online brokerages still on the sidelines, there’s lots of momentum and incentive for them to jump into the fray. And, to ensure they get noticed, the deals will have to either stand out or match some of the more competitive offers currently out there.

As always, we’ll continue to monitor the deals activity, however if you find out about an offer that would be of value to our readers, feel free to post it in the comments below.

Expired Offers

There were a couple of offers that expired through December. The first was HSBC InvestDirect’s commission-free trade offer which expired Dec. 15th. The second offer that expired was BMO InvestorLine’s cash back promotion. Not to worry, however, as BMO launched a new deal to replace its outgoing offer (more details below).

Extended Offers

Good news for Questrade fans as an extension was granted for Questrade’s 5 commission-free trade offer to Dec. 31st 2018.

New Offers

*Update: 1/25 – National Bank Direct Brokerage has stepped into the deals and promotions race with an interesting commission-free trading offer. NBDB appears to be targeting investors with lower balances to qualify for this promotion with the first deposit tier (for 10 free trades) being $10,000 and the next tier (for 25 free trades) being $20,000. The bonus for this particular offer is that the commission-free trades are good for up to one year meaning there is no rush to use them up. See the table below for more information*

*Update: 1/17 – Just one day after Credential Direct launched a cash-back offer, Qtrade Investor also went live with a cash-back offer of their own. Qtrade Investor is offering up $50 (for deposits starting at $50,000) to $1,000 (for deposits of $1M+) cash back. This offer is running until Feb. 28th. See table below for more information.*

*Update: 1/16 – Credential Direct is the latest Canadian online brokerage to launch an offer for the RSP season. The promotion is a combination of a tiered cash back offering as well as a bonus of donating cash to a good cause (Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada). Qualifying deposits for this offer start at $15,000 (which offers $75 cash back) and go up to $1 million dollars (which offers $1,000 cash back). See table below for more information.*

*Update: 1/12 – HSBC InvestDirect joined the deals pool this month by launching a new cash back offer. Bonus amounts range from $88 (for a minimum deposit of $25,000) to $988 (for deposits of $1M or more).  The language of this offer is particularly interesting as it stresses the ‘transfer in’ of assets from another Canadian financial institution from “any type of account” – a sign that HSBC InvestDirect may be stepping up its campaign to win market share away from its bigger bank-owned brokerage competitors. See table below for more details.*

To kick off the new year, BMO InvestorLine has upped the ante by offering a cash back or commission-free trade promotion. As this is a tiered offer, the deposit levels start at $100,000 and go up to $300,000+ with the cash back bonuses ranging from $200 through to $750. See table below for more details.

Also worth noting was the introduction TD Direct Investing’s offer in early December. As one of Canada’s largest and most popular online brokerages, the actions of TD Direct Investing are influential in shaping what other online brokerages put forward.

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 (new!)

Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions

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 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, 2018
Open and fund a new account with Virtual Brokers with at least $5,000 and you may be eligible to receive up to two months of trading at $4.99 per trade (maximum of 15 trades per month). Use promo code 499COM2017 when signing up to qualify. See terms and conditions for full details. $5,000Up to 2 months of trading at $4.99 per trade (max 15 trades per month)Commissions will be reimbursed after June 30, 2018.For more details, click hereMarch 31, 2018
Open and fund a qualifying account with TD Direct Investing with at least A) $10,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000 or E) $500,000+ and place at least 5 commissionable trades within 90 days of account opening and you may be eligible to receive either A) $100; B) $200; C) $300; D) $500 or E) $1,000 in cash back. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for eligibility for this offer.A) $10,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
D) $250,000
E) $500,000+
A) $100
B) $200
C) $300
D) $500
E) $1,000
Cash award will be paid to the client before the last day of the month following the conclusion of the qualification period (90 days).#RetireReady PromotionMarch 1, 2018
DisnatDesjardins Online Brokerage is offering new clients 1% of assets transferred into the new account in the form of commission credits (to a maximum value of $1,000). Minimum qualifying deposit is $10,000. To qualify, individuals will have to call 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code DisnatTransfer or email: infodisnat@disnat.com. See details link for more info.$10,0001% of assets transferred in the form of commission-credits (max credits: $1,000)6 monthsDisnat 1% Commission Credit PromoJanuary 31, 2018
Open a new account at National Bank Direct Brokerage with at least a) $10,000 or B) $20,000+, and you may be eligible to receive up to A) 10 or B) 25 commission-free trades. For the 10 free trades offer, enter promo code FREE10 and for the 25 free trades offer enter promo code FREE25. This offer is also available to existing clients. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. A) $10,000
B) $20,000+
A) 10 commission-free trades
B) 25 commission-free trades
12 months Free Trades Campaign April 30, 2018
Open a new account or fund an existing account at Credential Direct with at least A) $15,000; B) $50,000; C) $150,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1M+ and you may be eligible to receive a cash bonus of A) $75; B) $125; C) $200; D) $500 or E) $1,000. For new clients, use promo code CASH2018RSP when applying. Existing clients can access this promotion from the promotions page available on the account backend. A donation equivalent to 10% of the bonus payout will also be made by Credential Direct to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $15,000
B) $50,000
C) $150,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M+
A) $75
B) $125
C) $200
D) $500
E) $1000
Cash will be credited to qualifying investor accounts the week of August 20, 2018Winter Offer 2018 March 16, 2018
Transfer at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; or C) $100,000 into a new or existing RRSP, spousal RRSP or TFSA at CIBC Investor's Edge before March 1, 2018 and you may be eligible for a cash back offer of A) $100; B) $200 or C) $400. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. A) $25,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
A) $100
B) $200
C) $400
Cash back will be deposited the week of May 4, 2018 (for transfers received by Dec. 31, 2017) or July 3, 2018 (for transfers received after Dec. 31, 2017).CIBC Investor's Edge Cash Back PromoMarch 1, 2018
Open a new account with HSBC InvestDirect by transferring in at least A) $25,000; B) $100,000; C) $250,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1,000,000 or more from another Canadian financial institution and execute at least three commission-generating trades by April 30th, 2018, and you may be eligible to receive a cash bonus of up to A) $88; B) $188; C) $288; D) $688 or E) $988. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $25,000
B) $100,000
C) $250,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M+
A) $88
B) $188
C) $288
D) $688
E) $988
Transfer-in bonus will be deposited by November 30, 2018. Winter Offer - Transfer-In Bonus March 30, 2018
Scotia iTradeOpen and fund a new account with Scotia iTRADE with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000; E) $500,000 or F) $1M+ and you may be eligible to receive a pre-paid Visa gift card worth A) $50; B) $100, C) $200; D) $300; E) $600 or F) $1200. Use code VISA18 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $25,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
D) $250,000
E) $500,000
F) $1M+
A) $50
B) $100
C) $200
D) $300
E) $600
F) $1200
pre-paid card should arrive by July 31st 2018Scotia iTRADE offerMarch 1, 2018
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, 2018
Open a new account or fund an existing account with Qtrade Investor with 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) $50; B) $100; C) $250; D) $500 or E) $1,000. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.A) $50,000
B) $100,000
C) $250,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M+
A) $50
B) $100
C) $250
D) $500
E) $1,000
Cash back will be credited by July 31, 2018. Cash back offer February 28, 2018
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account, with at least A) $100,000; B) $200,000 or C) $300,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive up to A) $200 or 20 commission-free equity trades; B) $400 or 40 commission-free equity trades; or C) $750 cash back or 75 commission-free equity trades. Commission-free trades are good for up to two months. In addition, eligible individuals can receive an extra $50 as part of the refer a friend program. Use promo code SPARXCASH when signing up for the cash back offer or SPARXTRADES when signing up for the commission-free equity trade bonus. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.A) $100,000
B) $200,000
C) $300,000
A) $200 or 20 commission-free equity trades.
B) $400 or 40 commission-free equity trades.
C) $750 or 75 commission-free equity trades.
Cash back will be deposited the week of Nov. 12, 2018.

Commission-free equity trades are good for up to two months.
BMO InvestorLine Winter 2018 CampaignApril 1, 2018
Last Updated: Jan. 25 2018 12:45 PT

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
BMO InvestorLineIf you (an existing BMO InvestorLine client) refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with at least $50,000 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. $50,000You(referrer): $50; Your Friend(referee): $50
Payout occurs 45 days after minimum 90 day holding period(subject to conditions). BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend June 30, 2018
Last Updated: Jan. 17 2018 15:30 PT

Transfer Fee Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMaximum Transfer Fee Coverage AmountMinimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee EligibilityDetails LinkDeadline
Transfer $15,000 or more to HSBC InvestDirect, and they will pay up to $150 in transfer fees.$150$15,0002018 Winter Offer - Transfer-In Bonus March 30, 2018
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 $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 $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
Transfer $25,000 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$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 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$25,000Contact client service for more information (1-800-465-5463).none
Transfer $25,000 or more to Virtual Brokers and they may cover up to $150 in transfer fees. $150$25,000 Transfer Fee promo tbd
Transfer $25,0000 or more to Scotia iTRADE and they cover up to $150 in transfer fees.$150$25,000 Transfer Fee promo March 1, 2018
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
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 DisnatTransfer. See details link for more info.$150$50,000Disnat 1% Commission Credit PromoJanuary 31, 2018
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account, by transferring in at least $200,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to have transfer fees covered up to $200. Use promo code SPARXCASH when signing up to also be eligible for cash back offer or SPARXTRADES to be eligible for the commission-free trade offer. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.$200$200,000BMO InvestorLine Winter 2018 CampaignApril 1, 2018
Last Updated: Jan. 12 2018 13:00 PT

Other Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit Amount RequiredDetails LinkDeadline
DisnatDesjardins Online Brokerage, in conjunction with MoneyTalks, is offering 3 months of the "Inside Edge" investor information service to Desjardins Online Brokerage clients. Use promo code DESJ2016 during checkout to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for more information.n/aMoneyTalks Inside Edge Discount 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: Jan. 2 2018 09:00 PT

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.$10001st month no management feesKDKFNBBCNoneQuestrade Portfolio IQ Promo Offer
Discounted ManagementOpen a new account with BMO SmartFolio and receive one year of management of up to $15,000 free. See offer terms and conditions for more details.$1,000 1 year no management feesSTSF
February 28, 2018SmartFolio New Account Promotion
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: Jan. 2 2018 11:45 PT

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