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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – January 2021

*Update: January 8* Cheers to 2021! While 2020 marked a year full of surprise and change – both inside and outside the DIY investing space – we believe it is safe to say we are all ready for a fresh start. To help you ring in the new year and celebrate in (financial) style, Sparx Trading has rounded up the latest deals and promotions from Canadian discount brokerages. 

With 2021 officially here, RRSP season is now officially in full swing. Whether it is a personal New Year’s resolution of yours or not, make sure you do not fall victim to procrastination this year. The deadline for contribution to RRSPs to count for the 2020 tax year is March 1st, 2021.

Scroll on to learn more about all the current online brokerage deals and promotions for January – including a new offering and a few that are set to expire at the very start of the month.

As always, we will continue to monitor the deals space and provide updates on new discount brokerage developments, so make sure you check back throughout the month. In the meantime, if you discover any new deals that you believe would be of interest to fellow DIY investors, please let us know in the comments below. 

Expired Deals

The stroke of midnight not only signified the beginning of a new year, but it also signified the end of several online brokerage deals. Optimistically, we expect that after the holiday, various online brokerages will be updating their sites and long-standing offers which technically happened to expire might be given a new lease on life. That said, here’s what officially expired as of January 1st, 2021.

  • National Bank Direct Brokerage’s 100 free online trades 
  • Questrade’s 5 commission-free trades and month-long commission-free trades/advanced data (now back)
  • RBC Direct Investing’s 25 commission-free trades
  • Virtual Brokers’ “No Minimum 2020” promotions all expired on December 31st, 2020

During the month of December, we also saw a rather creative cash back offer from Wealthsimple Trade quietly expire.

Looking ahead, three promotions are scheduled to expire on January 5th, 2021: BMO SmartFolio’s cash back promotion, BMO InvestorLine’s refer-a-friend campaign, and BMO InvestorLine’s Fall 2020 cash back campaign. See tables below for full promotion details and eligibility requirements.

Extended Deals

*Update: Jan. 8 – Questrade’s promotion section is now up to date as their entry level five commission-free trade offer makes a comeback. Also back, is the 30 days of unlimited commission-free stock and option trades in the form of commission rebates, plus one free month of an advanced data package, when opening a new account. Both deals will expire on December 31st. See the full terms and conditions in the tables below.*

New Deals

*Update: Jan. 8 – RBC Direct Investing has launched a new cash back promotion that will run until the spring. Set to expire on March 31st, this new deal offers cash back and commission-free trades to investors who open a new account and transfer funds from a non-RBC investment account to their new account. See the table below for full terms and eligibility details.

BMO InvestorLine has also launched a new cash back promotional offer which is set to expire on March 2, 2020. This new promo is a tiered promotion and qualifying deposit levels start at $15,000. Scroll down to see the full promotion terms and conditions.*

Though not technically new, we are adding the Wealthsimple Trade referral promotion to our coverage. DIY investors can receive cash towards their next trade each time a new client signs up for an account using their referral link. For more details, including eligibility requirements, please see the table 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 a new RBC Direct Investing account by March 31, 2021 and fund it with at least A) $5,000; B) $25,000; C) $50,000; D) $100,000; E) $250,000; F) $500,000 or G) $1M+ by May 31, 2021 and you may receive a cash back of A) $50; B) $100; C) $200; D) $300; E) $500; F) $1,000 or G) $2,000; plus 10 free trades to be used by August 31, 2021. The fund must be from a non-RBC investment account.
Use promo code WCMP2 during account opening and be sure to review the full Terms and Conditions.
A) $5,000
B) $25,000
C) $50,000
D) $100,000
E) $250,000
F) $500,000
G) $1M+
Cash Back:
A) $50
B) $100
C) $200
D) $300
E) $500
F) $1,000
G) $2,000

Plus 10 free trades
Free trades must be used by August 31, 2021. Cash Rebate and Free TradesMarch 31, 2021
Scotia iTradeScotia iTRADE is offering two choices for new investors who open accounts before March 1, 2021 and fund it with at least A) $5,000; B) $10,000; C) $25,000; D) $50,000; E) $100,000; F) $250,000; G) $500,000 or H) $1M+:
Option 1: you can use promo code C21 to receive cash reward of A) $25; B) $50; C) $100; D) $200; E) $400; F) $750; G) $1,000 or H) $1,500; plus a discounted commission of $6.99 per trade until June 30, 2021.
Option 2: Use promo code FT21 and you may be eligible for A) 10; B) 20; C) 50; D) 100; E) 200; F) 300; G) 400 or H) 500 free trades to use for 90 days after the account is funded.
See terms and conditions for full details.
A) $5,000
B) $10,000
C) $25,000
D) $50,000
E) $100,000
F) $250,000
G) $500,000
H) $1M+
Cash Back:
A) $25
B) $50
C) $100
D) $200
E) $400
F) $750
G) $1,000
H) $1,500

or Free Trades:
A) 10
B) 20
C) 50
D) 100
E) 200
F) 300
G) 400
H) 500
Free Trades: 90 days Scotia iTRADE's Cash Back or Free Trade OfferMarch 1, 2021
Fund your new or existing CIBC Investor’s Edge account before March 2, 2021 with at least A) $10,000; B) 25,000; C) $50,000; D) $100,000; E) $500,000 or F) $1M+ and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward of up to A) $50; B) $100; C) $200; D) $500; E) $1,000 or F) $2,000. To qualify, the fund must be from outside CIBC. No promo code required. See terms and conditions for full details.A) $10,000
B) 25,000
C) $50,000
D) $100,000
E) $500,000
F) $1M+
Cash Back:
A) $50
B) $100
C) $200
D) $500
E) $1,000
F) $2,000
Program Page March 2, 2021
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $15,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000; E) $500,000 or F)$1M+, and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward of up to A) $150; B) $250; C) $500; D) $800; E) $1,000 or F) $2,000. Use promo code SDCASH2000 when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions.A) $15,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
D) $250,000
E) $500,000
F) $1M+
Cash Back:
A) $150
B) $250
C) $500
D) $800
E) $1,000
F) $2,000
Winter 2021 Cashback CampaignMarch 2, 2021
Open a new TD Direct Investing account by March 1, 2021 with promo code INVESTNOW and fund it with new assets worth at least A) $15,000; B) $25,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000 or E) $500,000, and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward of up to A) $100; B) $200; C) $300; D) $500 or E) $1,000. The fund must be deposited to the account by April 30, 2021 and at least one trade is placed by June 30, 2021.

In addition, you may also be eligible for another $100 cash reward by setting up a Monthly Contribution Plan (min. $100 per month) with the first contribution occur before April 30, 2021.
The maximum reward one could receive is $1,100. See terms and conditions for full details.
A) $15,000
B) $25,000
C) $100,000
D) $250,000
E) $500,000
Cash Back:
A) $100
B) $200
C) $300
D) $500
E) $1,000
TD Direct Investing Cash Back PromotionMarch 1, 2021
New clients who open and fund a new Qtrade Investor account before March 01, 2021 with at least A) $25,000; B) 50,000; C) $100,000; D) $500,000; E) $1M or F) $2M+ may be eligible to receive a pre-paid Visa gift card of up to A) $50; B) $100; C) $250; D) $800; E) $1,500 or F) $2,000. Only the first 500 customers are eligible. Please use promo code VISA2K. See terms and conditions for full details.


A) $25,000
B) $50,000
C) $100,000
D) $500,000
E) $1M
F) $2M+
Cash Reward:
A) $50
B) $100
C) $250
D) $800
E) $1,500
F) $2,000
Up to $2,000 Visa Gift Card Offer

March 1, 2021
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, 2021
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, 2021
Last Updated: Jan. 10, 2021 18:00PT

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
You may receive $10 cash incentive for each new client that you refer to Wealthsimple Trade. They must use your unique referral link during account opening and make a trade value of at least $100. The referred friend will also get $10.$100You and the referred friend will each get $10. n/aReferring a Friend to Wealthsimple Tradenone
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 6, 2022
Last Updated: Jan. 10, 2021 18:00PT

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: Jan. 01, 2021 10:00PT

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 200 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. $1,000[email protected] 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
Be one of the first 100 clients to open and fund an account with a minimum of $10,000 at Qtrade Investor using the promo code TRADE695 and you may be eligible for 100 trades at a preferred commission rate of $6.95 for 6 months. See terms and conditions for more details.$10,000 100 Discounted Commission TradesMarch 1, 2020
Last Updated: Jan. 01, 2021 22:00 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.$1,0001st month no management feesKDKFNBBCNoneQuestrade Portfolio IQ Promo Offer
Cash BackOpen a new SmartFolio account and fund it with at least $1,000 and you could receive 0.5% cash back up to $1,000. Use promo code SFJAN1000 when opening a new account. See terms and conditions for full details. This offer is limited to new SmartFolio clients only, and can be combined with the refer-a-friend promotion. $1,0000.5% cash back to a maximum of $1,000. SFJAN1000March 2, 2021SmartFolio Cash Back Promo
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. 08, 2021 10:00PT

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
[email protected] 18-3018-30 years oldBenefits:

* 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
$1,000None[email protected] 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 investors offer18-30 years oldAccounts holders who are 30 years old or younger are offered 10 free trades each year. After the free transactions, a commission rate of $4.95 per transaction will be applied (which is just half of the regular price). not requiredNoneYoung Investor Offer
Young investor pricing18-30 years old Benefits:

* $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 26 years old and underLow activity account administration fee and the RSP account administration fee are waived.not requiredNoneYoung Investors Offer
Waiver of account administration feeClients younger than 26 years oldThe account administration fee ($24.95 per quarter) is waived.not requiredNone$0 Account Administration Fee
Last Updated: Jan. 01, 2021 10:00PT

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