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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – January 2020

*Update Jan. 21* It’s a new year, a new decade and what better way to ring it all in than with some new discount brokerage deals for online investors looking to find a new home for their hard-earned investment dollars. The past year was a time of significant change in the online brokerage space – most notably in the US – but also in Canada as the field of online brokerages continued to evolve along with investor preferences for DIY investing.

Fortunately, deals and promotions for Canadian online investors remain healthy at the start of the new year and this being the busiest stretch in the year for online brokerages, there aren’t that many brokerages that will be sitting on the sidelines for too long. If the “RSP season” rush wasn’t enough of a motivating factor, TD Direct Investing launching a new offer would certainly change the priority for other brokerages. As the largest online brokerage in Canada, TD Direct Investing has a lot of folks paying attention to when promotions take place, and their latest offer (described below) is sure to get some of their peers to act ahead of the RSP contribution deadline.

With a few offers also set to expire in early January, the month will undoubtedly provide some surprises and it will be worth tuning in through the month to see what surfaces. Of course, if there are any promotions that would benefit other DIY investors, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Expired Deals

*Update: Jan. 21 – Desjardins Online Brokerage’s 1% commission credit promotion came to an end earlier this month.  Not to worry, however, as several other brokerages are also offering new clients commission-free deals at the moment. Scroll down to our tables below to find other similar promos currently available.*

The start of another year is often the chance to start anew. Of course, that means being ready to say goodbye to the things that no longer fit for a new future. Case in point is one of the longest standing offers in the discount brokerage deals & promotions section – the commission discount from Jitneytrade. This offer is finally being retired as Jitneytrade has been acquired by Canaccord Genuity and the online trading service is now known as CG Direct.

Another notable name in the online brokerage space also bid adieu to their commission-free promotion in mid-December. RBC Direct Investing’s 25 commission-free trades deal expired last month. With a minimum deposit threshold of $5,000 it was one of the more accessible offers from a bank-owned online brokerage.

Extended Deals

*Update: Jan. 21 – Those who missed BMO InvestorLine’s Refer-a-Friend promotion can rejoice, because the brokerage has extended this deal for an additional year. The referral promo benefits both the referrer and referee, providing a cash back incentive for both parties, and expires on January 5, 2021. See table below for additional details.*

While there were some deals that didn’t make the leap from 2019 to 2020, it was great to see two different offers from Questrade find their way into the new year. Questrade’s five commission-free trades, a staple offer for low balance account openings, has now been extended out to the end of 2020 as has their active trader program promotion.

New Deals

*Update: Jan. 14 – Qtrade Investor has launched a new tiered cash back offer for DIY investors. Investors who open and fund a new Qtrade account with at least $25,000 in new assets by March 31, 2020 and may be eligible to receive a cash credit ranging from $75 up to $2,000. Individuals who contribute more than $1,000 through pre-authorized contributions by December 31, 2020 may also be eligible to receive an extra $50. See table below for more details.*

*Update: Jan 8 – With RSP contribution season now in full swing, BMO InvestorLine has launched a new tiered cash back offer that is set to compete aggressively against its bank-owned online brokerage peers. BMO InvestorLine’s new offer ranges from $250 cash back for deposits of $50,000 to $2,000 cash back for deposits of $1M or more. See table below for more details. *

Of course, the biggest deal news of 2020 (so far) is the launch TD Direct Investing’s latest tiered cash back offer. With five deposit tiers ranging from $15,000 to $500,000 or more, this cash back promotion is a tactical deal for TD Direct Investing and shows it has carefully weighed which segments of investors it wants to appeal to the most. The lowest tier, which requires a minimum deposit of $15,000, is in and of itself a unique tier compared to other brokerages that have either $10,000 or $25,000 as cutoff points for deposits. At the $15,000 level TD Direct Investing is offering up the most generous cash back amount at $100. In fact, for deposits ranging between $15,000 and $50,000, TD Direct Investing has the highest cash back bonus. Also, for deposits of $500,000 to $1M, TD Direct Investing’s offer of $1,000 cash back is tied with Scotia iTRADE as being the highest cash back bonus. One important note, which is found in the deal terms and conditions, is that in order to qualify for the cash back bonus, at least one commission-generating trade needs to be made by June 30th 2020. See table below for more information and link to terms & conditions.

Interestingly, there was another promotion that surfaced last month from National Bank Direct Brokerage who is offering 20 commission-free trades for users that submit their information via the Hardbacon app website. The free trades are valid for up to 12 months and apply to the first 20 trades on stocks, options and ETFs. Of particular interest, there also appears to be a commission discount from the standard commission of $6.95 per trade to $4.95 per trade for the duration of the offer once the free trades have been used up. See table below for more details.


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

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
Scotia iTradeOpen and fund a new Scotia iTrade account to be eligible for up to $1,500 in cash back and $6.99 commission pricing, or up to 500 free equity trades. The amount of cashback and free trades are dependent on the funding of your account. Take a look at the offer details link for further information. $5,000Cash + discounted commissions, or free trades. $6.99 trades available until June 30, 2020; Cash or commission rebate for free trades available until July 31, 2020. iTrade Offer DetailsFebruary 29, 2020
Open a new RBC Direct Investing account by March 27th and you may be eligible for 25 commission-free equity and ETF trades. You must deposit or transfer $5,000 in your account by May 8th, 2020 to be able to use this promotion. Make sure that the offer code MFTC2 is applied during account opening. As always, be sure to take a look at the terms and conditions for further details. $5,00025 commission-free trades1 year Commission-Free Offer DetailsMarch 27, 2020
Open and fund a qualifying new or existing account at TD Direct Investing with at least A) $15,000; B) $25,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000 or E) $500,000 or more and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward up to A) $100; B) $200; C) $300; D) $500 or E) $1,000. Use promo code RSPCash20 when applying online. Be sure to read full terms and conditions. A) $15,000
B) $25,000
C) $100,000
D) $250,000
E) $500,000
A) $100
B) $200
C) $300
D) $500
E) $1,000
Cash back will be deposited by Aug. 16, 2020. TD Direct Investing Promotion February 29, 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
When you transfer funds from another account into a CIBC Investor’s Edge account with assets worth at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000, you may be eligible to receive A) $100; B) $200; or C) $400 in cash back. A) $25,000
B) $50,000
C) 100,000+
A) $100
B) $200
C) $400
Cash back will be deposited between May 18 - September 17, 2020. CIBC Cash Back Offer DetailsMarch 4, 2020
Open and fund a new Qtrade account with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000 C) $100,00; D) $500,000; E) $1M or D) $2M+ in new assets by March 31, 2020 and you may be eligible to receive a cash bonus of A) $75; B) $150; C) $400; D) $800; E) $1,500 or F) $2,000. Individuals who contribute more than $1,000 through pre-authorized contributions by December 31, 2020 may also be eligible to receive an extra $50. Use promo code QTRADECASH at sign up to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for more details. A) $25,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M
F) $2M+
A) $75
B) $175
C) $400
D) $800
E) $1,500
F) $2,000
The cash award will be credited to your cash/margin account in the week of October 30, 2020.Qtrade Investor Q1 2020 Cash Back Offer March 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 October 12, 2020BMO InvestorLine Cash Back Offer DetailsMarch 3, 2020

Expired Offers

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@desjardins.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 8, 2020
Last Updated: Jan. 16, 2020 14:16 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
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: Jan. 21, 2020 11:12 PT

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

Expired Offers

DisnatDesjardins Online Brokerage is offering up to $150 to cover the cost of transfer fees from another institution. To be eligible, new/existing clients need to deposit $10,000 into a Desjardins Online Brokerage account. You'll have to call 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code DisnatTransfer. See details link for more info.$150$10,000Disnat 1% Commission Credit PromoJanuary 8, 2020
Last Updated: Jan. 16, 2020 14:45 PT

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: Jan. 2, 2020 16:30 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.$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: Jan. 16, 2020 14:55 PT

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