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Qtrade Review 2024: Pros, Cons, Fees, and Offers

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Fact Checked

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.

Qtrade Overview

Qtrade Review
  • Ease of use
  • Trading fees
  • Accounts & products
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Overall value
Overall
4.6

Summary

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.

Pros

  • Up to $150 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Qtrade Accounts

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.

Qtrade Fees

The trading fees and commissions you incur on Qtrade are higher than some no-commission competitors like Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade.

That said, its trading commissions are competitive compared to big bank brokerages like TD Direct Investing and RBC Direct Investing.

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 FeeActive Traders
Stocks$8.75/trade$6.95/trade
ETFs$8.75/trade; some free$6.95/trade
Mutual fundsFreeFree
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 PriceStock Trading CommissionOption PriceOption Trading Commission
$0.00 – $0.2452% 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 trading platform
Source: Qtrade.ca

Qtrade New Account Promotion ($150 Offer)

When you sign up for a new account and fund it, you can get up to $150 cashback for a limited time.

Here’s how the Qtrade promotion works:

Open a new Qtrade account by October 31, 2024, and fund it with at least $1,000 (plus make one or more eligible trades) to receive a bonus.

New Funds/Assets TransferredCashback bonus
$1,000 – $9,999$50
$10,000 – $24,999$100
$25,000+$150

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:

QtradeQuestradeWealthsimple Trade
Stocks and ETF trading fee$8.75/trade$4.95 – $9.95/trade$0/trade
Options/contract$8.75 + $1.25$9.95 + $1N/A
Commission-free ETFs100+ free ETFsAll ETF purchases are freeAll ETF trades are free
Standard trading fee discount (stocks/ETFs)$6.95/trade for active traders$4.95/trade for active tradersNo trading commissions
Types of accountsTFSA, RRSP, RESP, LIRA, LIF, margins, corporate accountsTFSA, RRSP, RESP, LRSP, LIRA, RRIF, LIF, margin, corporate, cash, partnershipRRSP, TFSA, personal non-registered
Minimum investment$0$1,000$0
Maintenance fee$25/quarter if balance less than $25,000NoneNone ($10 monthly for access to no-FX fee US trades)
PlatformsWeb and mobile appWeb and mobile appMobile app and web
Transfer fees waived?Up to $150 or transfers of $15,000 on moreUp to $150 per accountUp to $150 on transfers of $5,000 or more
PromotionUp to $150 signup bonus when you fund your accountGet $50 in free trades when you fund your account with at least $1,000Get a $25 cash bonus when you deposit at least $200
ApplySign upSign upSign up
Reviews_Questrade reviewWealthsimple Trade review

Qtrade Canada FAQs

What is the minimum balance to open a Qtrade investing account?

There is no minimum balance to start trading using Qtrade.

Is Qtrade the same as Questrade?

No. Qtrade is owned by Aviso Wealth Inc., while Questrade is owned by the Questrade Group of Companies.

Which online broker is the cheapest in Canada?

Wealthsimple Trade, National Bank Direct Brokerage, and Disnat are discount brokers that offer zero-commission stocks and ETF trades in Canada.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The investing information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as individual investment advice or recommendation to invest in any specific security or investment product. Investors should always conduct their own independent research before making investment decisions or executing investment strategies. Savvy New Canadians does not offer advisory or brokerage services. Note that past investment performance does not guarantee future returns.

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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7 thoughts on “Qtrade Review 2024: Pros, Cons, Fees, and Offers”

  1. Gravatar for Gary Ross Clee

    If your looking to transfer moneys or securities, from Qtrade, to Qtrade expect it to either get lost or never happen on the first attempt, you have to call and remind them , but still the transfer gets dropped and lost very frustrating

    • Gravatar for Trem

      I’ve never had that happen even once, in the 7 years I’ve been using the platform.

  2. Gravatar for ADmim

    $25 quarterly administrative fee for modest accounts is nickel and dining. Questrade and Wealthsimple don’t charge any admin fees. They also don’t charge for ETF purchases or for closing accounts. Qtrade gouges on hidden and non-hidden fees. Beware!

    • Gravatar for Mia

      Wealthsimple charges a 0.4-0.5% management fee. It’s not even mentioned in this article.

      • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

        @Mia: Wealthsimple Invest (robo-advisor) is different from Wealthsimple Trade (brokerage platform).

  3. Gravatar for Bob P.

    DO NOT USE QTRADE is all I can say. We’ve unfortunately been in the situation where we are dealing with my Father-in-laws estate. He had a nominal amount of money with QTrade and it has been the biggest hassle to say the least. To be clear, we also had to deal with TD, Sunlife, Meridian and First Ontario throughout this process and QTrade BY FAR has been THE WORST to deal with. It takes DAYS to get a response. They put up roadblocks every time we get a response from them AND they’ve shown a lack of basic understanding of standard things. For example, we are asking them for a 2020 tax year T5 slip that we need to file my FILs 2020 taxes. We know my FIL received dividends from stock held in his QTrade account during 2020. The death occurred in 2021 and the account is being settled up in 2021. We have been told multiple times by one of their representatives that they can not provide us with a 2020 slip until the account is settled in 2021. WHAT????!!!! This makes no sense.

    Sure, their platform may be half decent, but if you ever want your money back…. DO NOT USE QTRADE!!!!!!!!

  4. Gravatar for Jamie

    Don’t waste your time or Money with Qtrade, just closed out my accounts. Charge lots of fees and poor customer service. Jan. 2022

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