Canadian Online Discount Broker – Credential Direct

Canadian Discount Broker - Credential Direct

Contact Information

Phone: 1-877-742-2900


Mailing Address:

800 – 1111 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4T6

Customer Service Hours of Operation:
Mon to Fri 6:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT

Credential Direct – Review of Pricing

(updated Sept. 2013)

Credential Direct may not be as recognizable name in the online discount brokerage world as some other names, however they’ve been around since 2000 and are part of Credential Financial Inc.  Credential Direct offers clients the ability to trade stocks, ETFs bonds, mutual funds and options in both registered accounts and non-registered accounts

Registered accounts include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs).  While they do offer trading of US stocks, they will charge mandatory foreign exchange fees in both registered and non-registered accounts, so be on the lookout for your trading activity that includes stocks priced in $US.  For registered accounts you cannot use margin or short stocks. Options trading in registered accounts is limited to buying and selling options – there is no writing of options allowed.

The price you pay for commissions is determined by your activity.  For Credential Direct, however, there is a pretty low bar as to what they consider “active” compared with other Canadian online discount brokers.  To be considered “active” and therefore qualify for the best commission rate of $9.95 per trade, you have to make 10 or more trades per quarter (and also be subscribed to their eServices).

If you are trading less than 10 trades a quarter, pricing gets a bit trickier.  The price you pay for your trading commission is based on the number of shares as well as the dollar value of the whole trade.  For orders of 1000 shares or less or a total trade value of $2000 or less, you can expect to pay $19.   For orders of 1001 shares or more of a stock priced at $1.01 or higher, you can pay $0.02/share up to a maximum of $250 per trade – yes you read that correctly. If you place a trade of 1001 or more shares with a share price of a $1.00 or less, the amount of commission you pay is 1% of the total trade value up with a minimum charge of $19 and a maximum of $250.

There are no required minimums to open an account nor are there minimums to keep an account open.  For RRSPs there is an annual charge of $50 if you have a balance less than $15 000.

The Bottom Line

Credential Direct offers a compelling pricing structure based on trading activity because they have the lowest threshold for getting the best commission rate amongst brokerages that require volume minimums for best rates.  Additionally, their absence of inactivity fees or balance minimums (with the exception of RRSPs) makes this particular discount brokerage one worth considering if your trading activities are low and your investing capital is also limited.

 Discount Brokerage Pricing Review Table

Account Types OfferedFunding Requirements and FeesRegistered Account Types and Fees
TFSAMinimum Opening BalanceNot RequiredTFSAAnnual Charge$100 (See Conditions for Inactivity Fees)
RRSPMinimum Account BalanceNot RequiredTransfer Out$125 (full)
$75 (partial)
RESPMinimum Balance for Best or Discounted CommissionNot RequiredWithdrawals$0
CashMinimum Commission per Equity Trade$8.88US Dollar Account
Margin ShortMaximum Commission per Equity Trade*$8.88RRSPAnnual Charge$100 (See Conditions for Inactivity Fees)
Margin OptionsMinimum Trades per Quarter for Best Commission RateNot RequiredTransfer Out$125 (full)
$75 (partial)
CIPF MemberInactivity or Maintenance Fees$25/quarterUS Dollar Account
Conditions for Inactivity/Maintenance FeesIf client has <$15,000 across all accounts AND makes <2 trades/qtr AND is not part of preauthorized contribution plan of at least $100/moRESPAnnual Charge$100 (See Conditions for Inactivity Fees)
Transfer Out$125 (full)
$75 (partial)
US Dollar Account
Last updated: Mar. 8, 2016

Credential Direct Website Links:

Here are some useful links to important information on Credential Direct’s website.

Discount Broker Customer Survey Ratings by J.D. Power:
  • Not featured in 2013 ratings
Link to 2013 online broker ratings by the Globe and Mail:

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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Credential Direct

This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by 3 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #19164 Reply


    Chose a different online trading service. The platform is ancient and the stock price is delayed. You don’t know what your portfolio is worth til 10 pm of the trading day.

    #18385 Reply


    If you’re considering Credential Direct, I strongly advise to stay away. In addition to ridiculous fees for the quality of service they provide, I will reiterate what Edmond said above in 2015: complete incompetence. My situation may not be that of most Canadians looking for a discount brokerage firm, but it will nonetheless attest to their ludicrous processes.

    Since opening an account with them, I have become a U.S. resident and for a few months now, I’ve been trying very hard to get my money out of Credential Direct to bring it to the U.S. Call after call, they keep requesting me to mail in various forms and documents although they already have all the information on file. Case in point, in order to close my account, I had to send in a form to request to open a NEW account, via regular mail no less. Confused? So was I! Apparently, no matter how many documents I have sent them to change both my last name (maiden to married) and address over the years, including a w9 (sent three times) to show that I am no longer a resident of Canada, they have the audacity to tell me today that they can’t release my money because they didn’t know I wasn’t a resident of Canada and that it’s an entirely different process for me. I dare ask: how did you not know I was no longer a resident of Canada if you just asked me, a month ago, to send you forms to open a new account to accommodate the fact that I am now a U.S. resident? Makes no sense whatsoever.

    Worst is, I had to delay a sell trade because of their incompetence and that delay cost me thousands of dollars. Yet, they still decided that they would charge me that $8.88 fee to sell my stocks. A good company will recognize the absurdity of its processes and offer to swallow the fees it has control over. I wasn’t expecting them to cover my loss, obviously, but at the very least to apologize and offer to waive their own transactional fees. A simple gesture that they’ve failed to make.

    As we speak, I still don’t know if I can take back control of my money.

    #15867 Reply


    Thanks for your feedback Patrick. That’s really good info for anyone considering doing active trading via their platform and also for the folks at Credential Direct to take note of.

    #15866 Reply


    Credential Direct trading I find all the information needed but I do use other web sites for real time information even though CD does give real time quotes. Why do traders using the CD platform
    need to type in the trading password every time a trade is to be initiated? This leads a delay from the time i enter my bid/ask buy price from being executed after I put in my password then click the agreement clause if you have already a purchase of shares.. and then click the enter order screen icon to place the order.. result.. the ask price has risen or dropped. Thus I will go back to modify order and do the whole process over to get a better current price.
    The system should be set up so I can put in a password to trade once and then enter my trade instantly when I see the price I want and click of a button for entry to buy or sell. Maybe in time Credential will be offering this on the platform as it is frustrating the way the current system is set up with always having to type the password first then put in the order price for entry. It would just be more simple to have a one time password setup and your in the platform secure and you can buy or short any stock you want at the price you see on the real time screen. Makes life a lot easier for trading stocks.

    #12338 Reply


    Incredibly frustrating experience. Am closing my account, would not recommend.

    #12098 Reply


    Thanks for your comment Edmond. Sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience with the process of getting started. Hope the next attempt at opening an account with a brokerage goes much smoother.

    In the spirit of keeping the criticism constructive and helpful to fellow readers, your comment has been edited to bring it in line with our posting policy.

    #12096 Reply


    Pathetically incompetent. I couldn’t even open the account, because they kept asking for documents that had already been sent.
    The G&M places them 9 out of 12. Well, I don’t know the other 3 below it, but Credential Direct is, in my short experience with them, the worst.
    I even wrote to the CEO, which took me some doing to find his email, and the person could not be bothered to answer. *comment removed*. So disrespectful that they kept misspelling my name in spite of seeing it written half a dozen times.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  Sparx_Admin.
    #9988 Reply


    (Updated: July 9, 2014) Credential Direct has now changed it’s commission price structure. Effective July 9, 2014, the commission pricing at Credentia[See the full post at:]

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Ken Y.
    #10169 Reply


    Thanks for your comment Bruce. Depending on the provider some data can be delayed (especially if it is ‘free’ data). Even with some paid data streams, there can be delays or outages. Out of curiousity, how far behind was the data and how did you determine price information was being relayed ‘late’?

    #10168 Reply

    Bruce Barbour

    Data is late in Credential. Contact with Credential agent to complain that stock trade totals and price were far behind and reported late. Agent advised but was apparently unaware that the TSE is a major exchange.

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