Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – September 2015

*Updated September 26*

September is not even a day old and it’s off to a volatile start in the equity markets. Even though this is the month when leaves start changing colour, it seems like DIY investors are going to see portfolios and markets change colour first.

Canadian discount brokerages, and in particular their deals and promotions, are also stepping into September having to navigate some big changes. Specifically, heading into this new month, seven deals or promotions from five different brokerages have officially expired leaving the those brokerages who have offers a better chance at getting the attention of DIY investors and those on the sidelines with some catching up to do.

While brokerages, such as BMO InvestorLine and Questrade continue to rotate offers, other online brokerages, such as National Bank Direct Brokerage, HSBC InvestDirect and Virtual Brokers have opted to let offers lapse, at least for the moment.

Part of the strategy behind the number of discount brokerage deals being offered in the summer was to offset the slowdown that typically occurs as investors take time away from the markets. This fall, however, brokerages may have to get creative in providing incentives for DIY investors to open up online trading accounts because of substantial stock market volatility.

As always, we’ll be watching closely to see which brokerages decide to launch offers this month and if you’ve heard of anything not listed, drop us a note or comment below.

Expired Deals

The end of August saw seven deals officially expire from five discount brokerages. Of those, however, three brokerages still have these offers posted on their websites (at the time of publication). Here’s a quick list of the deals that expired at the end of August:

  • BMO InvestorLine – Summer Cash Back Promotion
  • BMO InvestorLine – Youth Promotion Phase II
  • HSBC InvestDirect – 30 commission free trades promotion
  • NBDB – iPad Mini or $300 Cash Back promotion
  • Questrade – 3 months free trading promotion
  • Questrade – $500 Apple Store Gift Card Promotion
  • Virtual Brokers – 25 commission free trades promotion

As mentioned above, there are a couple of “expired” offers still being advertised on brokerage web pages at the time of publication, specifically BMO InvestorLine’s Youth Promotion, HSBC InvestDirect’s 30 free trade promotion and Virtual Brokers’ 25 commission-free trades promotion. We’ll continue to monitor them for any updates or extensions.

Extended Deals

*Update: Although it took a few days to reach the website, BMO InvestorLine has extended their Youth Promotion once again. The new deadline to take advantage of this offer is October 31st, 2015. See table below for more info*

At the time of publication there are no extensions of deals to report.

New Deals

*Update: Virtual Brokers is back in the deals ring with a “back-to-school” themed promotion. Students who sign up for a Virtual Brokers account (with a deposit of at least $1,000) can receive a cash-back promotion of $50. See table below for more details*

*Update: The deals and promotions are starting to ramp up as three new offers from three different online brokerages have been spotted since the update four days ago.

First, Scotia iTrade has launched their latest cash back or commission free trade offer to replace the offer which expired Sept. 13th. Their latest offer is similar in that it provides the choice of cash back or free trades, however it looks like Scotia iTrade is sweetening the deal for investors with lower deposit amounts by offering $75 cash back (instead of $50) for the first deposit tier. When the bids increase it’s a sure sign of competition becoming more fierce. See table below for more details on the pricing tiers and deadlines.

The next offer is from Questrade who started the month without a dedicated offer for the deposit tier of $50,000+ but who also has decided to provide a cash-back bonus that is quite competitive. Questrade is offering either $100 cash back or $250 cash back for deposits of either $50,000 or $100,000+ respectively. See table below for more information.

Finally, National Bank Direct Brokerage has stepped back into the deals and promotions arena with a multi-tiered commission-free trades offer. For deposits of between $5,000 to $24,999 eligible clients can receive 25 commission-free trades; for deposits between $25,000 and $49,999, eligible clients can receive 50 commission-free trades; and finally, for deposits of $50,000+, eligible clients can receive 100 commission-free trades. See the table below for more information.*

Two new offers from BMO InvestorLine and Questrade kick started the deals activity for September.

Starting first with BMO InvestorLine, their latest promotion is a combination of free trades and cash back and is aimed at individuals depositing at least $100,000. Specifically, BMO InvestorLine is offering $200 cash back and 20 commission-free trades which are good for use for up to a year. The offer runs until October 31st and is open to both new and existing clients (who open a new account). See table below for more details.

Questrade starts the month with the most deals of any Canadian online brokerage. Their latest promotion is a relaunch of a previously posted commission-free trading deal. This offer gives eligible clients either 100 commission-free trades (for deposits of at least $10,000) or 10 commission-free trades (for deposits of $1,000 to $9,999).

Discount Brokerage Deals

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 Jitney and receive access to their preferred pricing package and a massive 45% discount on the Real Tick trading platform.n/aDiscounted Commission RatesnoneFor more details click here none
BMO InvestorLineIndividuals between 18 and 35 years of age who open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine, may be eligible to receive 35 commission-free trades, an eBook on investing, $50 cash back and potentially waived account minimum fees. Use promo code "YOUNG" when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer. A) for commission free trades: n/a
B) for cash back: $25,000
A) 35 commission-free trades (rebate for free trades to be applied week of March 28/2016)
B) $50 cash back + 35 commission-free trades (cash back bonus to be applied week of March 28/2016)
90 days Youth Promotion October 31, 2015
For students and recent graduates (within the past 2 years), open a new account with Virtual Brokers with at least $1,000 and you may be eligible to receive $50 cash back. Use promo code UN332015 when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions. $1,000$50 cash backCash deposited shortly after Dec. 31/15 Student Promo October 31, 2015
Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) and receive $50 commission credit . Use promo code: kdkfnbbc$1,000$50 commission credit
nonenonenone
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 - $9,999
B) $10,000 - $24,999
C) $25,000 - $49,999
D) $50,000 -$99,999
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
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, 2016
Open and fund a new online trading account with Questrade with at least A)$1,000 or B)$10,000 and you could be eligible to receive either A)10 or B) 100 commission-free trades. Use promo code 100LOWCOM2015 when applying to be eligible for this offer. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for this promotion. A)$1,000
B)$10,000
A) 10 commission-free trades
B) 100 commission-free trades
60 days Commission-free Trade Promotion December 31, 2015
Open a new online trading account (registered, margin or FX and CFD) with Questrade and deposit at least $5,000 in order to be eligible to qualify for a $50 prepaid Visa gift card. Clients must also place at least one commission-generating trade within 60 days. Use promo code VISA502015 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details.$5,000$50 prepaid Visa cardPrepaid Visa cards will be mailed after clients complete eligibility requirements. Prepaid Visa Promotion October 30, 2015
Open a new online trading account with National Bank Direct Brokerage and deposit either A) $5000 - $24,999; B) $25,000 - $49,999 or C) $50,000 and you may be eligible to receive either A) 25; B) 50 or C) 100 commission-free trades. Use promo code "Trade" when applying to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions carefully.A) $5,000 - $24,999
B) $25,000 - $49,999
C) $50,000+
A) 25 commission-free trades
B) 50 commission-free trades
C) 100 commission-free trades
90 days Commission-free Trades Offer November 30, 2015
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 September 30, 2015
Scotia iTradeOpen and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least A) $15,000 - $49,999; B) $50,000 -$99,999; C)$100,000 - $249,999; or D)$250,000+ and you may be eligible to receive a corresponding cash back or commission rebate. For commission-free trades use code: FTN-F15 or for cash rebates use code: NC-F15. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully for rebate and cash back eligibility. Contact Scotia iTrade for full details on this offer.A) $15,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 -$99,999
C) $100,000 - $249,999
D) $250,000+
A) 75 commission-free trades OR $75 cash back
B) 125 commission-free trades OR $125 cash back
C) 250 commission free trades OR $250 cash back
D) 500 commission-free trades OR $500 cash back
120 days for commission-free trades;
Cash for the cash back offer will be deposited directly by September 30, 2016.
500 free trade or $500 cash back promo December 31, 2015
DisnatDisnat is offering new & existing clients $500 in commission credits which can be used for up to 6 months. 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 Disnat500. See details link for more info.$50,000$500 commission credit6 monthsDisnat $500 Commission Credit PromoSeptember 30, 2015
BMO InvestorLineIf you refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with a)$50,000 - $249,999 or b)$250,000+ the referrer and the referee will both receive cash. The new account must be opened with the referral code specific to the referrer. A) $50,000 - $249,999
B) $250,000+
A) You(referrer): $200; Your Friend(referee): $50
B) You(referrer): $300; Your Friend: $100
Payout occurs after 60 days (subject to conditions). BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend October 30, 2015
Open and fund a new online trading account with Questrade with at least A)$50,000 to $99,999 or B)$100,000+ and you could be eligible to receive either A)$100 or B) $250 cash back. Use promo code CASHBACK2015 when applying to be eligible for this offer. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for this promotion.A) $50,000 -$99,999
B) $100,000+
A) $100 cash back
B) $250 cash back
Cash will be deposited within 30 days of account being properly funded.$250 Cash Back Promo October 30, 2015
BMO InvestorLineOpen a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine, and fund it with at least $100,000 in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive either A)$200 cash back plus 20 commission-free equity trades. Use promo code FALL2015 when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer.$100,000$200 + 20 commission-free equity trades

Cash award will be paid the week of June 6, 2016. Trades are good for 1 year from signing up for promotional offer. Fall 2015 PromotionOctober 31, 2015

Expired Offers

Scotia iTradeOpen and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least A) $15,000 - $49,999; B) $50,000 -$99,999; C)$100,000 - $249,999; D)$250,000 - $499,999; E) $500,000 - $999,999 or F)$1,000,000+ you may be eligible to receive a corresponding cash back or commission rebate. For commission-free trades use code: THSP15 or for cash rebates use code: RNYDMN. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully for rebate and cash back eligibility. Contact Scotia iTRADE for full details on this offer.A) $15,000 - $49,999
B) $50,000 -$99,999
C) $100,000 - $249,999
D) $250,000 - $499,999
E) $500,000 - $999,999
F) $1,000,000+
A) 50 commission-free trades OR $50 cash back
B) 100 commission-free trades OR $100 cash back
C) 250 commission free trades OR $250 cash back + KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription
D) 350 commission-free trades OR $350 cash back + KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription
E) 500 commission-free trades OR $500 cash back
+ KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription
F) 1000 commission-free trades OR $1,000 cash back
+ KeeneOnTheMarket Subscription
120 days for commission-free trades
Cash back to be deposited by February 13, 2016.
$1000 or 1000 free trade offer September 13, 2015
Last Updated: September 26, 2015 1:30am PT

Transfer Fee Deals

CompanyBrief DescriptionMaximum Transfer Fee Coverage AmountMinimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee EligibilityDetails LinkDeadline
Scotia iTradeTransfer $15,000 or more to Scotia iTrade from another Canadian brokerage, and iTrade may pay up to $150 in transfer fees. $150$15,000 1000 Free Trade or $1000 Cash Back Offer September 13, 2015
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 $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
Qtrade InvestorQtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $150 when transferring a balance of $10,000 or more. For reimbursement, please mail or fax a copy of your statement from the transferring institution that shows the transfer charge to Qtrade Investor at 604.484.2627 and indicate your Qtrade Investor account number. $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 $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 info (1-800-567-3343)none
Transfer $25,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees$135$25,000 Transfer Fee Rebate 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 Disnat500. See details link for more info.$150$50,000Disnat $500 Commission Credit PromoSeptember 30, 2015

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