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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – March 2020

*Updated March 9* Even though the markets might be in meltdown mode, one of the interesting features of the Canadian discount brokerage deal landscape is that there’s still solid ground for DIY investors in search of a good deal.

Most offers from Canada’s online brokers were timed around the RSP contribution deadline and though several will be expiring in the next few days, there are a number of big names that are staying in the deals and promotions mode through the end of this month.

There will certainly be turnover forecasted in the deals space. Even though TD Direct Investing extended the deadline for their cash back offer from Feb. 29th to March 3rd, the largest bank-owned online brokerage will be joining CIBC Investor’s Edge in winding down their promotion in the first week of March.

Later on in the month, RBC Direct Investing and Qtrade Investor have scheduled the end of their RSP campaigns. BMO InvestorLine does have their RSP offer scheduled to expire in the first week of March however if history is any indicator, there may be another offer coming after March 3rd. Finally, Scotia iTRADE peeled off a little bit early with their promo expiring at the end of February.

In terms of volatility, stock markets aren’t the only place where uncertainty reigns this month. With so much negative sentiment around stocks, it will be a real challenge to Canadian online brokerages to navigate getting DIY investors to step into a falling market. For most DIY investors, however, money is still on their minds – including during tax filing season – so for the right price (or promotion) – it could still be compelling enough to consider opening an online investing account. For that reason, it will be especially interesting to tune into deals and promotions activity this month.

Expired Deals

One deal officially concluded at the end of February and that was from Scotia iTRADE. Their historical cadence of promotions has changed so it is unclear when or if another large public offer will be launched to replace the cash back/free trade/commission drop combo offer.

Extended Deals

*Update: Mar. 9 – If you were worried you had missed out on BMO InvestorLine’s special cash back offer, then have no fear. Originally set to expire on March 3, the deal has now been extended until June 1. This means you have about three months to take advantage of this deal with the code SPARXCASH when you open a new qualifying account. See table below for additional details.*

Although it is only for a few more days into the month, the good news for last minute RSP contributors is that the TD Direct Investing cash back offer has been extended through to March 4th.

New Deals

Virtual Brokers has jumped back into the deals and promotions pool – with a catch. To presumably boost adoption and feedback on their recently launched revamped mobile app, Virtual Brokers is offering up 5 commission-free trades for downloading their app and complete a 3-minute survey about the app.

With a number of expiring offers early in March, we’ll be watching for something new to sprout up in time for spring.


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
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 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
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 December 14, 2020BMO InvestorLine Cash Back Offer DetailsJune 1, 2020
Last Updated: Mar. 9, 2020 11:08PT

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: Feb. 28, 2020 17:13PT

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: Feb. 28, 2020 17:15PT

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: Feb. 28, 2020 17:15PT

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: Feb. 28, 2020 17:15PT

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