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Qtrade vs. Questrade 2023: Fees, Pros, Cons, and More


Fact Checked

Qtrade and Questrade are two of the best online brokerage platforms in Canada. Both companies are positively rated and offer self-directed investors an opportunity to directly control their investments while saving on fees.

Questrade is the largest independent discount broker in the country and is my top choice when considering a stockbroker for experienced investors.

Over the years, Qtrade has earned its stripes as a reliable online brokerage platform with award-winning customer service and user experience.

This Qtrade vs. Questrade comparison digs into the services, investment products, and accounts they offer, how they compare on fees, the benefits you can expect, and more.

Questrade Overview


questrade logo transparent

On Questrade’s Website

  • Fees: Buy ETFs commission-free and stocks at $0.01 per share
  • Account minimum: $1,000 to start trading
  • Promotions: Get $50 in free trades
SNC Rating
  • Choose from thousands of stocks and ETFs with commission-free ETF purchases and low-commission stock trading.
  • Supports multiple investment products, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, GICs, options, foreign currencies, and precious metals.
  • No minimum balance to open a new account and only $1,000 to start trading.
  • No quarterly inactivity fees for all accounts. Transfer fees are waived up to $150 when you transfer your accounts at other brokerages to Questrade. Annual fees for TFSA or RRSP accounts and no account transfer fees either.
  • Unlimited snap quotes for stocks and ETFs with the option to upgrade to real-time quotes through a monthly subscription starting at $19.95/month.
  • Real-time customer support via talk, email, or live chat.
  • Enjoy extended hours trading on U.S. Markets from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST.
  • QuestMobile allows you to manage your investments from any mobile device.
  • You can open a Questwealth portfolio to invest in a pre-built portfolio with 0.20% to 0.25% management fees.
  • Gain access to other Questrade financial tools, including QuestMortgage.
  • Trust in one of Canada’s top brokerages with over $30 billion in assets under administration.

Our Verdict

Questrade is Canada’s largest and oldest discount brokerage. It offers accounts and financial tools for investors of all experience levels. Commission-free ETFs allow you to generate long-term wealth through diversified exposure to global equities while saving on trading fees.

Access to multiple investment assets

Offers real-time market data for day traders

No commissions on ETF purchases

Highly-rated mobile app

Advanced charting and analytical tools are available

Minimum $1,000 balance to trade

Advanced data packages have a monthly fee

Trading fees apply to all stock trades

Questrade was established in 1999 and has over $30 billion in assets under management.

It is one of the fastest-growing online brokerages in Canada, with over 200,000 new accounts added every year.

Some reasons for the remarkable growth of this platform over the years include its trading fees, innovative trading tools, safety, and more.

In 2022, Questrade was ranked #2 by J.D. Power in its Canada Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study. It has also been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for several years.

In addition to self-directed accounts, Questrade offers managed portfolios for investors who prefer someone else to manage their investments. This service is referred to as Questwealth Portfolios.

Qtrade Overview



On QTrade’s Website

  • Fees: $8.95 per trade, commission-free on select ETFs
  • Account minimum: Fees on balances under $25,000
  • Promotion: Get up to $2,000 bonus
SNC Rating
  • Qtrade is one of Canada’s largest independent discount brokerages and is a part of Aviso Wealth, which has over $95 billion in assets under management/administration.
  • Trade a wide range of assets, including stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, and GICs.
  • Open a registered or non-registered account, including TFSAs, RRSPs, and Margin trading.
  • Trade from anywhere with a highly-rated mobile app.
  • Enjoy no commission trading on over 105 Canadian and US-listed ETFs.
  • Investing tools available include Morningstar research reports and a built-in stock screener.
  • The Portfolio Simulator allows you to practice trades before making them with your real money.
  • Contact customer support during business hours by email, live chat or phone.
  • The Portfolio Creator analyzes your investing goals and creates a diversified ETF portfolio.
  • Discounted fees for investors under the age of 30.

Our Verdict

Qtrade has long been a popular Canadian discount brokerage. It offers lower commission fees than most big banks but falls short of zero-commission brokerages like Wealthsimple. The platform offers plenty of tools to help new and experienced investors, and free ETF trades for over 105 ETFs encourage diversified portfolio building.

Lower commission fees than most big bank brokerages

Build an ETF portfolio with the help of the Portfolio Creator

Free trades on more than 105 ETFs

Highly-rated mobile app

Plenty of research tools and market analysis

The ability to trade options contracts for advanced traders

Fees are still higher than other discount brokerages

High maintenance fees for balances below $25,000

Qtrade is an online discount broker launched in 2001. It has been voted as the best overall brokerage platform many times over the years and has award-winning customer service.

You can use Qtrade to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, and many other securities.

Qtrade is a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. and is owned by Aviso Wealth.

If you are looking for professional portfolio management, you can use Qtrade Guided Portfolios, a company also owned by Aviso Wealth.

Related: How To Buy Stocks in Canada.

Qtrade vs. Questrade

1. Investment Accounts Offered

Questrade and Qtrade offer all the popular registered and non-registered accounts you would expect to find on a full-fledged brokerage, including;

  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

They also offer cash, margin, individual and joint taxable, and corporate accounts.

2. Investment Products Options

Questrade has more variety and offers trading in stocks, ETFs, options, foreign currencies, initial public offerings (IPOs), mutual funds, precious metals, bonds, GICs, and contracts for difference (CFDs).

As for Qtrade, you can trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, IPOs, options, and GICs.

3. Trading Fees

Questrade takes the edge on trading fees and commissions because it offers free ETF purchases, and you only pay when you sell.

Qtrade currently has 100+ ETFs you can trade for free (including Responsible Investing and Thematic ETFs).

The minimum standard fee for stock trades is $4.95 as opposed to $8.75 for Qtrade.

The table below compares fees for both Qtrade and Questrade.

Trading CommissionsQtradeQuestrade
Stocks$8.75 per trade$4.95 – $9.95 per trade
ETFs$8.75 (100 ETFs free)Free to buy; $4.95 – $9.95 for sell-side transaction
Options$8.75 + $1.25 per contract$9.95 + $1 per contract
Bonds$24.99 min; $250 maxFree with a $5,000 minimum purchase
Mutual fundFree$9.95 per trade
FX & CFDsN/ASpread varies
Precious metalsN/A$19.95 USD per trade
Base Active Investor pricing$6.95 per trade$4.95 per trade

Other trading fees that may apply to both platforms include Electronic Communication Networks (ECN) fees, SEC fees for U.S. trades, Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs) fees, telephone-assisted trades fees, and more.

Visit the “pricing” page for each platform for a complete and updated list of fees.

4. Account Management Fees

Questrade recently eliminated its $25 quarterly inactivity fee.

On Qtrade, you can expect to pay $25 per quarter if your investment asset balance is under $25,000, and you do not qualify for a rebate through other offers.

The quarterly account maintenance fee for U.S. dollar registered accounts on Qtrade is $15 USD.

Closing your Questrade account is free. If you close an account within the first year of opening it with Qtrade, a $100 fee applies.

Qtrade and Questrade charge a $150 account transfer fee if you transfer your account to another financial institution.

5. Trading Platforms

Questrade offers a web-based trading platform you can assess on your computer and a smartphone app that works on iOS and Android devices.

It also has a desktop application, Questrade IQ Edge, which you can use for advanced options trading techniques.

Qtrade offers both a web-based platform and a smartphone app.

Both platforms offer access to real-time quotes, market research, charting capabilities, screeners, watchlists, alerts, and other useful tools.

6. Minimum Investment

The minimum amount you need to start trading on Questrade is $1,000. However, Qtrade does not have a minimum balance requirement.

7. Safety

Clients on both platforms enjoy coverage against insolvency (up to $1 million) through the Canada Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

8. Other Features

Questrade has a robo-advisor (Questwealth) you can use if you want someone else to manage your investments.

Qtrade’s managed investing service is known as Qtrade Guided Portfolios.

Over #1 choice for an online wealth management service (aka robo-advisory) in Canada is Wealthsimple Invest.  Get a $25 cash bonus when you open an account.

9. Promotions

Questrade will give you $50 in free trade credits when you open an account and fund it with at least $1,000. Use the promo code SAVVY50 to take advantage of this offer.

Qtrade offers a $50 cashback when you open an account and deposit at least $1,000. You can earn up to $150 cashback when you fund with higher amounts.

Pros and Cons of Questrade


  • You can purchase ETFs for free.
  • It has no account maintenance or inactivity fee.
  • Its base trading fees are competitive and active traders save even more with $4.95/trade.
  • Clients enjoy an extra $10 million in private insurance.
  • Registered accounts do not have an annual fee.
  • Fees are covered up to $150 when you transfer your account to Questrade from another financial institution.
  • It offers all the popular securities you may be interested in trading.
  • It offers new clients $50 in free trades, and you can refer your friends to earn additional rewards.


  • The minimum $1,000 account balance requirement may be prohibitive for some investors.
Open a Questrade Account

Pros and Cons of Qtrade


  • It offers a variety of investment products and accounts.
  • You can trade using your computer, tablet, or phone.
  • Great customer service.
  • 100+ free ETFs.
  • No minimum balance to start investing
  • Up to $150 cashback


  • Accounts with assets under $25,000 may pay a $25 fee every quarter.
  • Qtrade’s trading commissions are a bit higher
  • A $100 fee applies if you close your account within the first year.
Open a Qtrade Account

Qtrade vs. Questrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade

We compare and contrast all three independent brokerage platforms in the table below:

QtradeWealthsimple TradeQuestrade
Stock trading fee$8.75$0$4.95 – $9.95
ETF trading fee$8.75 (100+ free ETFs)$0$4.95 – $9.95; ETF purchases are free
Options trading fee$8.75 + $1.25N/A$9.95 + $1
Active trader base fee$6.95N/A (no trading commission)$4.95
Accounts offeredRRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIRA, LIF, corporate, margin, cashTFSA, RRSP, individual non-registeredRRSP, TFSA, RESP, LRSP, LIRA, LIF, margin, corporate, cash
Investments offeredStocks, ETFs, Bonds, GICs, IPOsStocks and ETFsStocks, ETFs, bonds, GICs, mutual funds, IPOs, FX, CFDs
Minimum investment$0$0$1,000
Account Maintenance fee$25/quarter if balance < $25,000NoneNone
Mobile app?YesYesYes
Transfer-in fees waived?Up to $150 with transfers or $25,000+Up to $150 with transfers of $5,000+Up to $150/account
Promotional offerGet a $50 to $150 bonus when you fund$25 cash bonus when you fund with at least $150$50 in free trade credits when you fund your account with $1,000+
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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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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. You can read his full author bio.

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