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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – November 2020

*Update: November 27* Daylight isn’t the only thing being saved this as we enter the month of November. It seems like DIY investors are also in for some savings too.

Like adjusting the clocks back, it’s going to take some getting used to online investing in November. With the US presidential election likely to shape the rest of the month, online brokers and investors alike are uncertain as to what the fallout will be.

Heading into a new month there is a mixed picture for promotional offers. On a down note, the 60-day commission-free trade offer from HSBC InvestDirect concluded at the end of October. On the plus side, however, Questrade rolled back the clock on inactivity fees, taking them back to zero. While technically not a promotion, it is a piece of good news for DIY investors looking to park their money without penalty.

Another bit of good news for DIY investors is November is historically a big month for online brokerage offers coming to market. We expect that several big names will be launching new offers in anticipation of RRSP season and the heightened activity around TFSAs and markets heading into the end of the year.

So, don’t forget to check back throughout the month for any updates. The US election is expected to heavily impact investor behaviour and in turn, the discount brokerage space. As always, we’ll continue to monitor and provide new developments on discount brokerage promotions as they arise but if you hear about any offers that would be interesting to fellow DIY investors, feel free to drop a comment below.

Expired Deals

The 60-day free online equity and ETF trading promotion from HSBC InvestDirect concluded on October 30th. 

Extended Deals

No extended deals to report at this time. 

New Deals

*Update: Nov. 6 – Brokerage promotions for November are heating up, with four online discount brokerages unveiling new cash back deals at the start of this month. BMO InvestorLine, BMO SmartFolio, and TD Direct Investing are all offering cash back bonuses for clients who open a new qualifying account, while CIBC Investor’s Edge is offering cash back for clients who fund a new or existing account. See the table below for full details, including eligibility requirements, applicable promo codes, and deadlines.*

*Update: Nov. 13 – Despite it being Friday the 13th, luck is on the side of DIY investors, as two online brokerages have recently unveiled new promotions. Scotia iTRADE launched a deal that allows new clients to choose from bonus cash back or free trades, and RBC Direct Investing is offering 25 commission-free trades to clients who open new accounts.  For full promotion details and eligibility requirements, see the table below. *

*Update: Nov. 27 – Our radar has picked up on a new deal, just in time for Black Friday. Wealthsimple Trade is offering a free stock promotion for clients who open and fund a new Non-Registered trading account by December 18th. See the table below for full terms and conditions. *

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
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.
$5,000Cash Back or Free Trades90 days Scotia iTRADE's Cash Back or Free Trade OfferMarch 1, 2021
Fund your new or existing CIBC Investor’s Edge account before Mar 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.$10,000Cash Back Program Page March 2, 2021
Open a new TD Direct Investing account by Mar 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.
$15,000Cash Back TD Direct Investing Cash Back PromotionMarch 1, 2021
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) $100; B) $250; C) $450; D) $950 or E) $2,000. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions.$50,000Cash Back Fall 2020 Cashback CampaignJan 5, 2021
New accounts opened between Jun 22 and Nov 30, 2020 will be awarded 100 free online trades in one year. This promotion applies to new and existing NBDB clients who uses the code "FREE2020" to open new accounts.There's no minimum funding requirement, however some other restrictions may apply. $0100 Free Trades1 yearPlease refer to the full details of the deal.
November 30, 2020
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 December 31, 2020 and fund it with at least $5,000 by March 5, 2021 and you will receive commission rebates for 25 trades that occur within 1 year of account opening. Be sure to use promo code NTBW2 during account opening. You will be charged regular commissions on the trading date, and the rebate will be deposited back into your account after 3-5 business days. If you are an existing customer to RBC DI, the type of the new account being opened must be different from the account types that you current have.$5,00025 commission-free trades for a year1 year 25 commission-free trades December 31, 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
Last Updated: Nov. 12, 2020 17:35PT

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 $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: Oct 30, 2020 14:40PT

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: Nov. 30, 2020 14:36PT

Other Promotions

CompanyBrief DescriptionMinimum Deposit Amount RequiredDetails LinkDeadline
The minimum commission per equity trade ($1.99) is waived for new accounts from account opening till December 31, 2020. As a result, your commission is just 1¢/share (max $7.99). However, this offer does not apply to Odd Lot orders (i.e. orders with quantity less than 100 shares if price >= $1 or price < $0.10; or less than 500 shares if price in the $0.10 - $0.99 range).
Please be reminded that at Virtual Brokers ETFs are always free to buy.
$0No Minimum 2020 - Terms & ConditionsDecember 31, 2020
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
Open a new Non-Registered trading account and fund it with at least $100 by December 18, 2020 and you may receive a random cash bonus ranging from $1 to $4,500. The cash bonus amount will be equivalent to the value of one of the fifteen stocks that have been selected by Wealthsimple Trade for this program. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for more details.$100 Wealthsimple Trade Free Stock Promotion December 18, 2020
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
Last Updated: Nov 24, 2020 16:16PT

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 SFNOV1000 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. SFNOV1000January 5, 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: Oct. 30, 2020 14:38PT

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 old investorsBenefits:

* 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 old investorsAccounts 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 investorsBenefits:

* $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 below 26 years oldLow activity account administration fee and the RSP account administration fee are waived.not requiredNoneYoung Investors Offer
Zero Account Administration FeeClients below 26 years oldThe account administration fee ($24.95 per quarter) is waived.not requiredNone$0 Account Administration Fee
Last Updated: Oct. 30, 2020 14:41PT

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