Qtrade is one of the top discount brokerage platforms in Canada.
This Qtrade review covers its main features, pros and cons, fees, safety, and how it compares to other stock trading platforms in Canada.
Ease of use
Accounts & products
Qtrade is an online brokerage service based out of Vancouver. It is a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc; and a part of Aviso Wealth. Qtrade has won many awards and is regarded as one of Canada’s best online brokerage platforms. In addition to its web interface, you can use the Qtrade app to trade on Android and iOS devices.
From online reviews and ratings from The Globe and Mail, Surviscor, and others, Qtrade is consistently ranked one of the best discount brokers in Canada. This Qtrade review covers its pros, cons, fees, and how it compares to Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade.
- Up to $2,000 welcome bonus offer.
- Qtrade refunds transfer fees up to $150 when you transfer $15,000 or more.
- Offers multiple investment products and accounts.
- Excellent customer service and support.
- Offers Canadian and U.S. dollar accounts.
- Excellent mobile investment app.
- Trading fees are not the most competitive.
- Quarterly $25 account maintenance fee for smaller accounts.
How To Invest With Qtrade
Qtrade offers a robust selection of investment products and accounts to self-directed investors.
Investment choices include:
Stocks: You get access to stocks traded on Canadian and U.S. exchanges, as well as over-the-counter stocks, rights, and warrants.
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs): You can trade hundreds of ETFs listed on Canadian and U.S. exchanges and from providers, including iShares (BlackRock), Vanguard, Horizons, and Desjardins.
Mutual Funds: Thousands of available mutual funds are available on the platform.
Bonds: This includes government and corporate bonds and other fixed-income assets such as commercial paper, strip coupons, and treasury bills.
Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs): Easily invest in term deposits and GICs with varying maturities and rates.
Options: Experienced investors can place various options trades.
New Issues: If you are interested in initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary offerings, they are offered by Qtrade.
You can choose from a variety of investment accounts depending on your needs.
The personal accounts offered include individual and joint taxable accounts and registered accounts such as RRSP, TFSA, LIRA, RESP, RRIF, LIF, cash, and margin accounts.
Corporate and business investment accounts are available for investment clubs, trusts, estates, religious organizations, societies, and more.
One benefit of this platform is that you can trade using either Canadian or U.S. dollars and can avoid having to pay currency exchange fees.
The trading fees and commissions you incur on Qtrade are higher than some no-commission competitors like Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade.
Qtrade offers discounts to active traders who make 150 or more trades per quarter. You can also enjoy commission discounts if your investment balance on the platform is at least $500,000 via their Investor Plus program.
The standard trading fees on the platform are:
|Standard Fee||Active Traders|
|ETFs||$8.75/trade; some free||$6.95/trade|
|Options||$8.75 + $1.25/contract||$6.95 + $1.25/contract|
|Fixed income||$1 per $1,000 of face value ($24.99 min; $250 max)||$1 per $1,000 of face value ($24.99 min; $250 max)|
Young investors between the ages of 18 and 30 who add at least $50 to their account each month get a $1 discount for stock and ETF trades (i.e. $7.75/trade). The quarterly administration fee is also waived.
If you hold a mutual fund for less than 90 days before selling or switching it, a 1% fee (minimum $45) may apply.
Telephone trades of stocks and options placed using the assistance of a Qtrade representative incur the following commissions:
|Stock Price||Stock Trading Commission||Option Price||Option Trading Commission|
|$0.00 – $0.245||2% of principal value||$0.00 – $1.00||$30 + $1.00/contract|
|$0.25 – $1.00||$30 + 5 cents/share||$1.01 – $2.00||$30 + $1.50/contract|
|$1.01 – $2.00||$30 + 2 cents/share||$2.01 – $3.00||$30 + $2.00/contract|
|$2.01 – $5.00||$30 + 3 cents/share||$3.01 – $4.00||$30 + $2.50/contract|
|$5.01 – $10.00||$30 + 4 cents/share||$4.01 – $5.00||$30 +$3.00/contract|
|$10.01 – $20.00||$30 + 5 cents/share||$5.01 and over||$30 + $3.50/contract|
|$20.01 and over||$30 + 6 cents/share||–||–|
In addition to trading fees, Qtrade has the following accounts fees you should be aware of:
- A $25 quarterly account administration fee applies to accounts with less than $25,000 in assets. This fee is waived if you qualify as a “Young Investor” or set up a recurring deposit of at least $100/month
- Accounts closed within the first year of opening pay a $100 fee
- A $150 fee is charged when you transfer your accounts to other financial institutions
- U.S. dollar-denominated registered accounts pay $15 USD per quarter
- Paper account statements: $6/quarter
- Paper trade confirmations: $2.50/trade
Qtrade Free ETF Trading
Qtrade offers commission-free trading on 100+ ETFs with no minimums.
No minimums enable newbie investors to benefit from low- to no-commissions or trading fees when trading eligible ETFs.
To qualify, you must hold the eligible ETF for at least one business day and sign up for electronic documents.
Qtrade Trading Platform
Qtrade offers a web-based trading platform you can access on your computer or smartphone. It also has a dedicated iOS and Android app.
The trading platform has screening tools you can use to filter stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs based on set criteria.
You can access technical analysis tools and research featuring the fundamentals of various securities.
Three of its top portfolio analysis tools include:
Portfolio Score: This tool assesses your portfolio’s risk profile based on its diversification, performance, fees, income, and downside protection.
Portfolio Simulator: You can use this tool to test investment strategies and ideas before committing funds.
Portfolio Creator: This tool helps you to create an ETF portfolio based on your preferences.
If you’d like to try the Qtrade platform before committing to it, they offer a trial account for up to 30 days.
Qtrade New Account Promotion ($2,000 Offer)
You can get up to $2,000 cashback for a limited time when you sign up for a new account and fund it.
Here’s how the Qtrade promotion works:
Open a new Qtrade account by March 4, 2024, and fund it with at least $5,000 to receive a bonus by October 31, 2024.
|New Funds/Assets Transferred||Cashback bonus|
|$5,000 – $49,999||$150|
|$50,000 – $99,999||$250|
|$100,000 – $249,999||$500|
|$250,000 – $499,999||$700|
|$500,000 – $999,999||$1,000|
Is Qtrade Safe and Legit?
Yes, Qtrade is a safe and legitimate financial institution.
It is a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc., which is regulated by the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) – formerly IIROC. It is also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
CIPF membership means that the securities in your account are protected against insolvency by up to $1 million.
The Qtrade platform uses 256-bit encryption to protect your data.
If you incur losses in your account from unauthorized online brokerage activity in your Qtrade account, Qtrade offers 100% reimbursement (terms and conditions apply).
Pros of Qtrade
The benefits of the Qtrade investing platform are:
- Qtrade reimburses transfer fees up to $150 when you transfer assets of $15,000 or more
- An impressive sign-up bonus for new clients
- It offers access to innovative portfolio management tools
- It offers a variety of products and account types
- It is well-ranked for its customer service and support
- It offers Canadian and U.S. dollar accounts
Cons of Qtrade
The downsides of the Qtrade investing platform are:
- Qtrade’s trading commissions are average, and you can find cheaper or no-fee alternatives elsewhere
- The quarterly $25 account maintenance fee increases your investment costs if you have a modest account balance (this fee can be waived if you meet certain conditions)
Qtrade v. Questrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade
Self-directed investors in Canada can access several online brokerage accounts to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, and other investment securities.
These platforms are offered by big banks, e.g. TD Direct Investing and BMO InvestorLine, and independent brokerages such as Questrade, Wealthsimple Trade, and Qtrade.
Independent brokerage platforms have their pros and cons. See how they compare in the table below:
|Stocks and ETF trading fee||$8.75/trade||$4.95 – $9.95/trade||$0/trade|
|Options/contract||$8.75 + $1.25||$9.95 + $1||N/A|
|Commission-free ETFs||100+ free ETFs||All ETF purchases are free||All ETF trades are free|
|Standard trading fee discount (stocks/ETFs)||$6.95/trade for active traders||$4.95/trade for active traders||No trading commissions|
|Types of accounts||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, LIRA, LIF, margins, corporate accounts||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, LRSP, LIRA, RRIF, LIF, margin, corporate, cash, partnership||RRSP, TFSA, personal non-registered|
|Maintenance fee||$25/quarter if balance less than $25,000||None||None|
|Platforms||Web and mobile app||Web and mobile app||Mobile app and web|
|Transfer fees waived?||Up to $150 or transfers of $15,000 on more||Up to $150 per account||Up to $150 on transfers of $5,000 or more|
|Promotion||Up to $2,000 signup bonus when you fund your account||Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with at least $1,000||Get a $25 cash bonus when you deposit at least $200|
|Apply||Sign up||Sign up||Sign up|
|Reviews||_||Questrade review||Wealthsimple Trade review|
Qtrade Canada FAQs
There is no minimum balance to start trading using Qtrade.
No. Qtrade is owned by Aviso Wealth Inc., while Questrade is owned by the Questrade Group of Companies.
Wealthsimple Trade, National Bank Direct Brokerage, and Disnat are discount brokers that offer zero-commission stocks and ETF trades in Canada.