Questrade Review: Canada’s Leading Discount Brokerage

For a discount broker that you can trust, Questrade is your best bet– Canada’s largest independent online brokerage. Established in 1999 and headquartered in Toronto, Questrade has $8 billion in assets under management and has earned the title as Canada’s fastest growing online brokerage, partly thanks to their bare-bones fee structure and excellent trading platforms.

You can use Questrade's investing platforms to build a portfolio from stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, even precious metals and GICs, and using these various options, build any type of portfolio.

With its low fees and ease of use, Questrade is our top pick for the best overall online brokerage in Canada. Read our Questrade review for the full details on why it's the best trading platform.

Our Rating: 4.6/5

Bottom Line: After extensive research, we find that Questrade is the best online brokerage in Canada. Questrade is Canada's low-cost leader, offering no-fee ETF purchases. With its low fees and easy-to-use DIY trading platform, it's perfect for Canadian Couch Potato Portfolio followers who want to build a passive portfolio from ETFs, or any investor looking to save thousands on fees.

Best For:

  • Low trading fees
  • No annual fees
  • No Fees on ETF Purchases
  • Multiple trading platforms
  • Excellent customer service
  • Pays transfer fees
  • Solid reputation in Canada

Promo: Young and Thrifty readers who open a Questrade account get $50 in free trades.

Questrade Fees

Questrade is the best way to save money on your DIY investing and the way they do that is by cutting fees. Questrade charges no annual fees but to avoid their quarterly inactivity fee of $24.95, one has to make at least one trade during the quarter.

When you sign up with Questrade, you’ll pay $4.95 per trade up to a maximum of $9.95 to buy stocks, and $0 per trade to buy ETFs. This means that you can sign up for Questrade, transfer money into your account, and build an ETF portfolio all for $0.

If you’re an experienced investor making a lot of trades, you’ll also appreciate Questrade’s advanced trading fee structure, called their “Active Trader” program. Register for an advanced market data plan and choose between:

  • The “Variable” tier at $0.01 per share to a maximum of $6.95 per trade; and
  • The “Fixed” tier which lets you trade stocks for a fixed rate of $4.95 per trade. 
PRODUCTFEES
Stocks$0.01 per share (min. $4.95 to max. $9.95 per trade)
ETFs• No Fees on ETF Purchases
• Lowest Per-Trade Costs (min. $4.95 to max $9.95)
Options$9.95 + $1/contract
Forex & CFDsSpreads as low as 0.8 pips
Mutual Funds$9.95 / trade
Bonds & GICSFree with min. $5,000 purchase
Int’l Equities1% of trade value, min. $195.00 plus applicable exchange or stamp fees
IPOs & New IssuesFree with min. $5,000 purchase
Precious Metals$19.95 USD / trade

Pros and Cons

Questrade Features

Whether you are a beginner or experienced investor, Questrade offers a bunch of features that distinguish it from other online brokers. Getting started with Questrade is a breeze thanks to no annual fees and a minimum investment of just $1,000. Automatic deposits are easy to set up, and Questrade will pay your transfer out fees (up to $150 for transfers of $25,000 or more) when you move your money from another brokerage.

Annual feesNone
Minimum investment$1000
Types of accountsRRSP, TFSA, margin accounts, forex, CFDs
Automatic Portfolio RebalancingNo
Automatic DepositsYes
Transfer fees None! Questrade will rebate up to $150 for transfers of $25,000 or more.
AccessWebsite, app, online chat, phone
Customer serviceExcellent
Young and Thrifty promo:Start your investment account with $50 in free trades
Trading FeesBasic "Democratic" pricing: $0.01 per share (min. $4.95 to max. $9.95 per trade)
Advanced “Active Trader” pricing: A fixed-rate plan at $4.95 per trade + a variable plan at $0.01 per share, capped at $6.95 per trade.
  • No Annual Fees: 

    Most online brokerages charge a fee between $50-100 per year to “maintain” your RRSP or TFSA, especially for balances under $15,000. Questrade charges no annual fees. This is a perk for smaller investors since a $100 annual fee on a smaller account (say $10,000) is equal to a 1% fee – which essentially negates any savings you’d accrue by going the DIY route.


  • Commission-Free ETFs: 

    You can purchase ETFs for free! That means that you can transfer money into your Questrade account and build an ETF portfolio for $0. It does cost $0.01/share to sell your ETFs, with a minimum fee of $4.95 per trade to a maximum of $9.95, which you may need to do to rebalance your portfolio.


  • Low Commission on Stocks: 

    It’s $0.01 per share, with a minimum of $4.95 and up to a maximum cap of $9.95 per trade to buy stocks. For example, if you were to purchase 100 shares, you’d pay the $4.95 base fee + $1.00, for a total cost of $5.95.


  • Commission Free Bonds and GICs: 

    Your portfolio should not be all stocks – it should also contain less volatile assets like bonds and GICs. Questrade charges a spread that is built into the price of the bond and varies depending on the individual bond. There is a minimum purchase amount of $5,000 to buy bonds. Trading GICs at Questrade is commission-free, but the minimum order is $5,000 (some GICs may have higher minimums).


  • Excellent Customer Service:

    Questrade offers support over the phone, through chat, or by email. The “Chat with Us” feature is especially handy, allowing clients to type and instant chat with a Questrade representative (Monday to Fridays from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST). They also have a searchable self-help function that provides information and support on a range of topics. Plus, Questrade recently received the 2018 DALBAR Seal for Service Excellence — a prestigious award that recognizes service leaders within the financial services industry.


  • Holding USD In Questrade's RRSP or TFSA:

    A big bonus is you can hold USD in your registered accounts, which means you don't have to do the dreaded currency conversion if you have USD to invest.  You can also convert your CAD into USD with their currency converter too or use Norbert's Gambit to save money on foreign exchange fees.  Avoiding needless currency conversion fees are another way to keep your money working for you!


  • Paid Transfer Fees: 

    When switching to Questrade, some financial institutions may charge you a transfer fee. Don’t sweat it – Questrade will rebate you transfer out fees of up to $150 for transfers of $25,000 or more. This is a good deal considering transfer out fees can be hefty at most places.  When combined with our Questrade promo, it is obviously a pretty strong incentive for people to switch from their other brokerage to Questrade.


  • IPO Centre:

    Questrade allows you to purchase Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) for FREE (no commissions) with a minimum purchase of $5,000. IPO occurs when a private company goes public (offers shares on a stock exchange) for the first time. Questrade has an IPO Centre where you can review the most recent IPOs, sign up the IPO Bulletin, and buy IPOs by filling out an online form.


  • Mobile Trading App:

    The New Questrade Mobile App works flawlessly on smartphones and tablets, and is available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. The app is targeted at investors who trade frequently, but it’s handy to have regardless, but the power to trade “on the go” means you’ll never miss an investment opportunity.


  • Refer a Friend Program

    Tell your friends about Questrade and get $25 for every friend who opens an account. Get a $50 bonus for every third referral.


  • Other Investing Options:

    • Questwealth Portfolios: If DIY investing seems too daunting or you’d like to try Questrade’s online platform without having to build your own portfolio from scratch, Questwealth Portfolios is a great way to ease into online investing. Questwealth Portfolios (previously known as Questrade Portfolio IQ)is Questrade’s robo advisor. Like most robo advisors, you’ll pay slightly higher fees but you won’t need to manually purchase stocks and your assets are re-balanced automatically. With Questwealth Portfolios, you’ll pay fees that are a percentage of your portfolio valueranging from 0.25% for portfolios up to $100,000 to 0.20% for larger portfolios. See our Wealthsimple review and BMO SmartFolio review for more information on Questwealth's competitors.

How Do They Compare?

When it comes to DIY online investing, Questrade offers very competitive pricing and beats out the competition in many areas. Compared to other discount brokerages, Questrade wins out as the lowest cost option for DIY investors.

BrokerCost per tradeCost per ETF purchaseOptions contractRegistered account fees
Questrade$4.95$0$9.95 + $1/contract$0
RBC$9.95$9.95$9.95 + $1.25/contract$100 per year on accounts < $15,000
Scotia iTrade$24.99$24.99$24.99 + $1.75/contract$100 per year on accounts < $25,000
TD Direct $9.99$9.99$9.99 + $1.25/contract$100 per year on accounts < $15,000

How much can you save if you go with Questrade versus the other brokerages? Let's look at an example if you are determined to buy and sell individual stocks rather than the preferred ETF investing strategy.  Let's be conservative, calculating at one trade per month (and this only counts purchases, not selling):

Questrade: $4.95 x 12 = $59.40

Other brokerages: $9.95 x 12 = $119.40

$60 dollars may not seem like very much, but spread out over time and compounded, it certainly adds up.

For those using an ETF based investing strategy, you are essentially paying zero dollars to invest with Questrade. For example, let’s say you wanted to replicate the ETF based “Assertive” Couch Potato Portfolio by holding three main ETFs in your portfolio. Every month you would add to your accounts by purchasing those three main ETFs. Since you pay $0 per trade, you are essentially paying nothing to hold those ETFs besides the MER of the ETFs themselves (about 0.15%). Alternately, choosing an actively managed mutual fund would cost you around 2.5%.

Why do these prices matter? Consider this: $100 minimum account fees and high trading fees will significantly eat into your overall returns, especially if you have a small account balance. So if you’re a DIY investor, it’s worth your while to get the cheapest option possible.

Another consideration: for most portfolios under $200,000, you won’t need to sell your ETFs very often. The most common reason to sell your ETFs is to rebalance your portfolio when one asset class becomes larger than its designated percentage. Fortunately, if your portfolio is smaller than $200,000, re-balancing is very easily done by adding funds to the ETFs that are underrepresented in your portfolio. By buying ETFs, you are taking advantage of the free ETF trades to bring your portfolio back into balance.

If you do need to sell your ETFs, you’ll pay $0.01 per share, with a minimum fee of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95.

If you’re choosing between Questrade vs TD Direct, Scotia iTrade or RBC, Questrade beats the competition every time. Here at Young and Thrifty, we’ve looked at the best low-cost Canadian discount brokerages, from looking at Questrade's closest competitor in our Virtual Brokers Review to testing Questrade vs Qtrade and Questrade vs. Virtual Brokers in past years. The verdict? Questrade wins every time.

A Peek inside Questrade

Before you dive into Questrade yourself, here is an inside look at Questrade’s platform. The screenshot below shows the watch list and the order entry to buy shares.

Questrade reviewHere's another example of what a watch list might look like with the Questrade trading platform.  I like the colours in the red and green to help you discern/ visualize how the stocks that you are watching are doing more easily.  If you're wondering what a watchlist is, the basic idea is that if you pick stocks, you might want to keep your eye on how your “targets” are doing at any specific time.  This allows you to quickly pull up a screen and see if there have been in any movements in the companies that you are interested in.

Here's what Questrade's investment return page looks like in the chart format, it's an easy way to analyze your portfolio's performance.

best trading platform Canada

 

IQ Edge

Another platform that Questrade has is called IQ Edge. This platform is suitable for investors looking to trade in higher volumes (not couch potato investors) and has a darker, more intense layout. IQ Edge is much more customizable and lets you adjust the settings to accommodate your personal needs.

It also has pre-installed option trading layout, and IQ Edge gives you the ability to make advanced trading orders, such as conditional orders and multi-leg options strategies.  IQ Edge is highly customizable and created for advanced day traders (not my style).

Here's a screenshot of what IQ Edge looks like, as you can see it's much more detailed compared to the regular Questrade Platform and is complete with advanced trading tools:

questrade IQ edge

IQ Web Platform

Questrade also has a third platform to choose from called IQ Web Platform. This platform allows you to add customizable gadgets that are easily accessible when you log in. Here is a screenshot of a margin account on IQ Web.

questrade IQ web

For the vast majority of DIY investors who are using ETFs to build passive investing portfolios, you won’t need IQ Web or IQ Edge. Just stick to the basic trading platform, and you’ll be just fine.

Mobile App

Questrade also has a mobile app, and it has gone through a lot of changes recently to make it easier to manage and less clunky. Their mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to either check on your investments or even make trades on the go.

 

Security: Is Questrade Safe?

Questrade is safe. The company is a registered investment dealer and a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). They’re also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), a not-for-profit insurance program. These Canadian regulatory organizations oversee Questrade’s operations and ensure that they adhere to strict investment industry standards.

The company also gets an A+ for security: Questrade has numerous technology and infrastructure installed to protect your money. Your account is encrypted and securely stored, and you will receive an alert if there’s suspicious activity in your account. With security measures such as PIN numbers and Touch/Face ID, you can feel assured that only you can access your account. They also care about your privacy: Questrade promises to never sell, trade or share your information with anyone.

Above all, Questrade promises 100% reimbursement for any unauthorized transactions in your Questrade account that result in direct losses to you, and your account is insured for up to $10 million in the event that Questrade becomes insolvent.

Sign Up Process

Signing up for Questrade is a cinch. If you’re ready to sign up with Questrade, a few documents are needed. The entire process Questrade is done online, and you’ll only need the following to get going:

  • Your email address
  • Your Questrade login and password
  • Your full name and home address
  • Your social insurance number
  • Employment information
  • Your phone number
  • Government-issued photo ID (and the ability to either take a picture of it or scan it)

Once you’ve opened an account, the last step is to transfer funds to from your bank into your Questrade account.

Summary

Questrade excels at taking the hassle out of DIY investing plus saving big on fees. With the competitive pricing (especially for ETFs), $0 account fees, simple account set up, ease of use, and innovative trading platforms, Questrade is an excellent choice for Canadian investors looking to save thousands on fees. It’s no wonder that Questrade is Canada’s most popular online brokerage.

The basic Questrade platform is a breeze to use and accessible online and via the mobile app. It’s sleek and straight forward and makes adding to your portfolio a breeze. As Canada’s low-cost leader, we recommend Questrade for the vast majority of Canadian DIY investors. Whether you are an index investor making only a few trades per month, or an active trader looking to pick the next hot stock, Questrade has a platform that will suit your needs.

Overall Questrade Rating and Promo Offer Code

OUR DETAILED QUESTRADE REVIEW
  • Promotion
  • Prices
  • ETF's
  • USD Functionality
  • IPO Centre
  • Customer Service
  • Platform
  • Mobile App
  • Online Security
  • Questwealth Portfolios
4.6

Summary

If your goal is to pay the minimum amount of investing fees possible, there is simply no better option than Questrade. It is the perfect discount brokerage option for the everyday investor who has no wish to execute complicated day-trading strategies, and is perfect for index investing devotees like yours truly! What are you waiting for? If you haven’t already, sign up now with our FREE OFFER CODE to get $50 of free trades just for checking out our Questrade Review!

Using our referral link, you will be entitled for $50 in free trade. If you have used a link other than ours and have not signed up yet, use our Questrade promo code a1b9d1d9 upon sign up

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Jordann Brown

Jordann Brown is a millennial money expert and personal finance blogger based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Jordann is the founder of the popular personal finance blog, My Alternate Life, and she frequently appears as an expert in Canada media.

65 Comments

  1. Steve Zussino on January 19, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Great list of pros and cons.

    I agree with the harder to use platform

    The fees are among the lowest I have seen but the platform is one of the worst. This depends on how many trades you make per year.



  2. young on January 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks Steve. You’re a Questrader too? =)

    That’s true, if you don’t plan to make that many trades, then there isn’t really a point to go with Questrade- might as well go with something that is easy on the eyes.

    If you DO make many trades, then I think Questrade is worth it, despite the budget-looking platform. To avoid the confusion, I used the Bloomberg app for my itouch and it tracks how much I’m up or down, thereby avoiding the need to rely on the unreliable platform.

    That said, Questrade DOES have a few platforms where you can pay money for. I guess you get what you pay for. =)



  3. young on January 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Hey Steve,
    you know, the QuestraderWEB platform is free/ included, and it’s better than the webtrader platform. At least the + and – are in COLOUR! Not sure if you have checked it out yet. I guess I always just default to “webtrader” because it’s the top tab.



  4. mike on February 15, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Have you tried moving any money out of questrade since they “upgraded” their websites? It’s been a horrible experience for me. Try contacting customer support and you’ll be on hold for a lot longer than before. Perhaps you should update your review on them and warn people to stay away until all their bugs clear up.



  5. young on February 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    @mike- I have checked out their new website and have tried contacting customer support (I was on hold for a ridiculous amount of time- used the online chat thing and then was on hold for 50 minutes, then called in and got through much quicker). I anticipate these are temporary issues because everyone is probably calling in and asking what their new account number is… I have a post coming up on Friday detailing the new changes. Thanks mike for sharing your opinion 🙂



  6. chris on February 18, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I have not found one person to say that they are satisfied with Questrade & their customer service. This company is THE WORST NIGHTMARE you could imagine – to deal with.

    Try calling them – they do not answer for hours
    – If you email -they do not answer for days or do not answer at all
    – try live chat – most of the time does not work
    – eventually if you get someone on the phone – person is plain lying to you or can not help or do not know anything
    – THE ARE RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS

    BEWARE – STAY AWAY !!!!



  7. young on February 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    @chris- Sounds like you have had a bad experience. I would not recommend emailing them, but I do find that livechat and calling them quite effective. I think with the recent changes to the interface, there have been MANY calls, and higher call volume. Before, I didn’t have to wait too long (maybe 10 minutes max) to speak to someone, but I’m sure it’ll resolve once everyone settles with the new changes. Again, I am okay paying $5 per trade and dealing with a smaller company than paying $29 per trade and dealing with a big bank.



  8. Real on February 24, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Questrade has mishandled their change over. They refuse to admit that and they say that 2 weeks to wait for a request is acceptable considering the changes being in place. I have reached the threashold for 10$ trades at big banks, I think it is time to move there. Do not go for Questrade if customer service is a priority to you.



  9. Dan on April 14, 2012 at 6:16 am

    DO NOT SIGN UP WITH QUESTRADE. Here



  10. young on April 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    @Dan- Transferring from another brokerage can be a big hassle- I remember it was when I was transferring over myBMOinvestorline stuff. Once it’s done though and things are within Questrade, it’s much easier to transfer between Questrade accounts.



  11. Japhro on April 25, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Avoid them for this and a ton of other reasons – they are unreliable, their platforms are full of bugs, which they expect their clients to vet via poor customer service and long waits for online or phone help. Bugs that are reported are not fixed for months, losing trades and cash for clients. Cheap? Hardly. Since when is bad service and losing money cheap? Avoid like the plague, or sign up at your peril



  12. Andrewww on May 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    hey young have you noticed the recent changes to questrade??? they changed thier hours and they now have an inactivity fee!!! but at least that’s for under $5000 account balance

    do you think thier going out of bussiness?



  13. Teacher Man on May 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Definitely not going out of business. I recommend using their online help function, always had much better luck with that. The inactivity fee is very minor as far as I am concerned (especially relative to fees you could pay elsewhere).



  14. astor on August 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    WARNING : I want to share with all people that are thinking to open a Questrade account and also to the already clients to be very carefull.

    I will relate one issue that it’s happening to me right now with them.
    I open an account on March 2012. I fill all the papers as canadian citizen as I am.
    after I bougth some dividends US stocks. I check the amount received and I notice that they take 30% for tax proposes and sometimes 35%. (as Canadians we have to pay 15% witholding tax on any US share and dividend payement).
    I call them to verify why it’s happening that. and the support desk (Laura), tell me that she will check that for me.
    After that she sent me an e-mail telling me that she recalculate all the taxes and she doesn’t see any 30, 35% taken.
    I sent to her all my stock list , with all the dividend payement and also I sent to her how I was calculating them.

    In front of evidence she accept that was an error ???. they consider me as non canadian ???. and they will correct that for me.
    I have to escalate to a supervisor ( Lulu, they refuse to give as the last name for all the staff), and she tell me this will be corrected very soon ( My demand was made at the begining of july one month and nothing happens).
    The relationship with a broker is based on confidence and transparency.
    I ask to them WHY ?, why laura have to see my calculation to assume the error
    the answer was : I don’t know
    I ask why they consider me as non canadian if all my papers are from a canadian?
    the answer was: We don’t know, the problem is the clearning broker with we work ?????.
    very evasive answer.
    She tell me something that is very suspicious : You are the administrator of your account ( that’s right) and you are responsable of ALL. WE COULD TELL YOU BAD ANSWER BUT IT’S YOUR RESPONSABILITY TO VERIFY WHAT WE TELL YOU !!!. THAT HAPPENS VERY OFTEN !!!.

    then I want to be aware if you are tradding with questrade to verify on all US dividends stock that you have to TRIPLE CHECK the amount they take for US taxes proposes.
    If Questrade make with hundreds of client that they trying to do with me. You could be stoled by 15.% and 20% without you realize that .

    BE VERY CAREFULL WITH THEM !!!



  15. Teacher Man on August 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Astor, do you think a language barrier may have impacted the situation. Also, if those stocks were not held in an RRSP, that could have been part of the error?



  16. Japhro on August 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Their accounting/reporting is inadequate, and there are constantly missing funds from my account, at least 5 times already I have caught them in miscalculations and so on. Be very, very careful with them, it is very hard to recover your missing funds, they mire you in endless red tape even when you prove that they are incorrect.

    Their favourite trick is to continue to charge you interest on money that you have paid back (on margin and after selling shares and settling balance), very hard to calculate as they do not include any specifics in their reporting, no specific trades for which the ‘interest’ applies to. Calculate all your trades and fees/commissions etc. manually in a spreadsheet, and you will likely find missing funds from your account.

    I can’t move my account until all my missing funds are back, and only have gotten back about half, still missing about $1700 so far. You cannot trust them, period.



  17. Teacher Man on August 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Hmm… well good to know Japhro, this is very different from our collective experience dealing with them. I guess I also keep things fairly simple and don’t use margin accounts. I know that my US RRSP holdings have been calculated just fine.



  18. Questrade on August 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Hello Astor,

    My name is Jaanu and I work at Questrade. What you are referring to is the U.S./Canada tax treaty, which allows Canadians with non-American tax status to claim certain tax exemptions including withholding tax on dividends paid by some U.S. corporations.

    We are in contact with our clearing house to correct the dividend tax withheld for your eligible securities. For an update on this issue, please contact client services directly at 1.866.783.7866.

    Here



  19. Japhro on August 17, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Questrade’s accounting/financial reporting is very rudimentary. I had to have my accountant create a new spreadsheet which inputs all the trades and comms (because QT supplies data separately) and calculate running profit/loss. This has shown dozens of errors on QT’s part (all in their favour btw). Now I am in the process of sorting all of that out. The problem is, that they want me to prove every single item, and make a claim for every single item separately. this is tremendously time consuming.

    They do not have a single accountant on staff either. Just csm phone staff that know little to nothing.

    They might be ok for a small amount, buy and hold account, but to day trade they are a nightmare.



  20. Teacher Man on August 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Well as a person that believes the idea of day trading is ridiculous I am definitely fine with the great service I’ve gotten from the boys and girls in green at Questrade!



  21. Joe on September 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    in queue for over 2hrs as a client needing assistance and no response! bucket shop



  22. Andrewww on September 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    get on live chat its way faster.

    btw has anyone tryed Forex with them?



  23. Teacher Man on September 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I agree Andrew, as long as you don’t do live chat at 4 in the afternoon. On weekends I get on right away. I’ve never tried Forex. I just assume the IB would probably be the route most forex traders would go.



  24. Raj on January 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I do have questrade account.

    The commission is cheapest among the other discount brokerage but the service is horrible.

    I transferred some money, it didn’t show up in the account (bc I transferred from a joint account)

    Transferring money take time.

    Also check the currency tranfer fee (it is about 1.5%) BOTH way from Canadian to US and US to Canada.



  25. Teacher Man on January 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    This is why you use their USD RRSP Raj!



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  29. Herald on October 31, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I have been with Questrade for over 5 years and overall I have had an OK experience. Their pricing is fair (but not the best), their customer service is OK, for the few things I have had to contact them. They do have some fees that you should be aware of, for example if you exchange funds from CAD to USD (to be able to use their RRSP USD features, they will charge a markup fee of 2% in top of the forex spread. So in my case it was over $2000 that Questrade took away for this. I find that kind of fee outrageous!! I wish I knew this before hand, I would of have never made the transaction. But this was not advertised in any of their documents or website. Of course, God forbid consumers should need to know this kind of stuff! I have moved all my non-registered accounts somewhere else with more transparent fee structure. What a disappointment!



  30. Kyle on October 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    This is true Herald, but at the same time Questrade is one of the only brokerages that allows you to keep USD in your RRSP. Many of the major banks don’t even allow this.



  31. […] Questrade Review […]



  32. Quest Trade Sucks!! on March 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Quest Trade customer service really bad. I have never seen such a poor response towards customers request.

    I went in their office to open an account I requested the representative to let me know about any offers or promotions. She only informed me about the offer for which i was not eligible. For the one i clearly qualify she didn’t mention that.
    After opening the account i got to learn about the offer which should have been given to me by quest trade i.e “1 month free unlimited trading” for new accounts.
    So i reached out to the customer service and requested them to provide me that offer. The representative assured me that he will back date the offer as its not my fault. But after 2 days on following up on my request the same agent told me that my request was denied and i cannot get the offer.
    I will only get 5 trades free i should take it or leave it.
    It’s the worst attitude i have ever seen for any customer service. I would ask you guys to stay away form them. Its better to pay few cents extra than to get poor customer service.



  33. Kyle on March 7, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    This is vastly different than anything we’ve heard from Questrade clients before QTS. Can you provide the name of the person you dealt with and we’ll check up on it?



  34. Heppell on June 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I’ve been using their services over a 3 years and called them for several questions as I learned the investment process. Always great service. The pros up there are awesome, compared to other brokers. The cons are bearable and actually all just fine with me. It takes a while and they need lots of info to set up accounts.. Well that makes me feel good about security. The platforms are not that great.. I use other several platforms to figure out trades, I use questrade as a broker to fill my orders… The US dollar thing? I can get Canadian/US money in my account in 2-3 days with my direct deposit setup.



  35. Larry Page on September 5, 2014 at 5:44 am

    QUESTRADE IS THE WORST BROKER EVER!

    So many hidden charges, and hidden fees, and restrictions, coupled with terrible customer service, and a confusing platform. This is just a bad company.

    Do not recommend. I get better service from my regular bank, even if it’s not great.



  36. Kyle on September 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I disagree Larry, what hidden fees did you receive? What sort of fees do you pay at your regular bank? Care to compare? I basically pay $0 fees in my account (purchased ETFs trade for free).



  37. W on February 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    What is your opinion about Virtual Brokers?
    I’m undecided if I should go with VB or QT for ETF investing.



  38. Kyle on February 15, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Nothing wrong with VB. Low fee leader over the years. I personally find Questrade’s platform a lot easier to use.



  39. LL on April 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    DO NOT USE THIS BROKER!!!

    I wish I did my due diligence before signing up for Questrade. ALL of their advertising is extremely misleading!!!

    1.) $4.95 Trades!?? Sounds cheap. They don’t tell you about the additional ECN fees + fees this and fees that. Some of my trades have cost me $25-$100 per trade!! This is way more than the banks & other brokers charge.

    2.) Their promotional bonuses!? They will advertise that if you transfer over, they will give you these promotional bonuses. THEY DON’T!!! I signed up with two separate trading accounts with Questrade. I have yet to get any of my bonuses despite calling in several times. They say they will even pay for your transfer costs. Extremely bad service!! Took one month to set up both my accounts.

    3.) Their website is down for upgrades after trading hours every day! This means you can’t research or put orders through after hours. I’ve been with Questrade for 3 months now. Grrr

    Now I understand why they say Questrade is a discount broker. You pay for what you get. Consumers beware!!!



  40. Kyle on April 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I can honestly say I have never experienced any of these problems LL. I’m not saying your account is false, I’m just saying I don’t think they are problems everyone faces. I’ve actually traded almost totally for free with Questrade due to their free ETF purchases policy.



  41. Xhulio on April 27, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Worst Costumer Service ever. I have spent hundreads of dollars there and when I threatened them that I will close my account, they told me to go right ahead..

    I was going to cash out some money and they made it so hard. The guy on the phone said that he needed a void check to verify my bank account which is redicilous because A you had to do that when you first made the account and B) I have been sending Bi-Weekly payinments out of my bank account for the the last year…. Makes nooooo sense.



  42. Rob on May 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    It doesn



  43. Kyle on May 9, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Rob, do you really think that the majority of people ever need to purchase more than 995 shares? Or need to know what a triggered stop sell is? If you are investing at $20,000 a crack and day trading stuff using options and limits you have way more appetite for risk than I do my friend.



  44. Rob on May 10, 2015 at 11:20 am

    My post was a reply to the article not your post, but it doesnt change simple math.



  45. Kyle on May 11, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Would you agree though then that if you’re an average millennial investor and buying blocks of a hundred shares or less, then free ETF purchases are a pretty good deal?



  46. dross on April 26, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    not sure why but calculating capital gains/losses is far harder now than it used to be.on’t know why this is such a futile and manual process in this year of 2016.TFSA is far less hassel.Questrade doen’t even list equity symbol.TD Webroker far easier to calculate taxes.



  47. Jen on January 4, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Has anyone tried to withdraw money from their Questrade account, let’s say to a bank account? Is there a fee?



  48. John McKay on January 26, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Great summary Kyle, I’ve been a Questeader for more than 10 years. I’ve never had any major problems, I did get locked out of a trade due to a mystery glitch once. I’ve seen the platform change several times and I’ve got to say it’s not all that great but it’s acceptable. Never ever had an issue about price or hidden fees because there aren’t any. All of their fees are listed and very transparent. Low cost trading? You bet. I’ve recently moved away from Questeade because I’ve analyzed my past 10 years of trading and found that I am better off keeping my bloody hands off the keypad. I’ve tinkered and botched up a few investments over the years. For me, Questrade has been an excellent low cost trading platform, my life has changed now, time, energy, research, discipline that type of stuff. I no longer do my own trades (I’m a robo guy now). Have to say, learnt a lot ……. and Questrade is a very viable option for those that want to get into things.



  49. Kyle on January 26, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for the input – Ten years is a great amount of time to give a review based on! I hear on keeping your hands off the keyboard and going robo – we’ve heard from many readers who’ve enjoyed this transition.



  50. Tom on March 3, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    One thing you should be aware if you use them for ETF’s. There is no charge to buy, but you are charged “the usual commission” when you sell.

    I looked everywhere and couldn’t find what the “usual” commission is. Would want to track that down before you get tied in.



  51. Kyle on March 5, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Not sure where you looked Tom, but Questrade is up front about it being $4.95 + ECN fees (about .01 per unit) to a maximum of $9.95.



  52. Jim on March 13, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    After a lot of people posted their bad experiences with Questrade, I just checked my account where I only bought ETFs. However, I found a worrying issue (I do not know if it was a real problem). I had shares of VFV in my TFSA. I checked vanguardcanada website and found that VanguardCanada distributed the capital gains as cash for VFV shares. However, I can only find the Dividend cash distribution in my TFSA account. It seems that Questrade did not record the capital gain cash distribution for me. If it was true, it means that I lost a lot of money. I found the same problem with VIU shares as well in my TFSA account. Did anyone have the similar problem with Questrade? I cannot believe this happened. I will check it with Questrade to see what happened.



  53. Jim on March 14, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Recently I posted a comment about the capital gain cash distribution. I just had a chat with Questrade agent, who was very nice and patient. I learned something from this chat that TFSA account does not receive any capital gain cash distribution. However, if RSP or margin account, we will receive a tax slip to claim the tax deduction. So there was not any mistake at all with Questrade. So far so good with Questrade.



  54. Kyle on March 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Appreciate the feedback Jim – sounds like pretty good customer service experience overall?



  55. Kyle on March 15, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Editor’s Note – Check out Jim’s follow up comment.



  56. derek on November 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I recently opened an account with Questrade as a Non-Resident Canadian Citizen. Most brokerages in Canada (and USA for that matter) will NOT open a brokerage account if you are a non-resident of the country where the brokerage firm is domiciled. Questrade accepted me after being vetted by their lawyer in the country I currently reside in. Before I opened the account I asked a lot of questions via chat and email. The reps have been nothing but exceptional with responses to my questions regarding account documentation, fees related to opening the account, trading fees, withholding taxes as a non-resident, etc. My account was opened without problem after all the necessary documents were received. I transferred money internationally without problems. I have since made several trades buying ETFs and individual securities without problems. So far, I am very happy with Questrade’s service and hope it continues.



  57. Kyle on November 21, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Thanks for the thorough review Derek – appreciate your unique experience!



  58. susan on January 5, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Kyle and Justin – thank you first for all the great resources and articles you provide. I am a trader on TDwaterhouse. Just personal stuff, USD and CDN cash accounts. I have now setup a Questrade account. I have never set up any kind of TFSA account anywhere. I am 55 female. Do you suggest a TFSA account and individual self directed account , and should i be trading in a tfsa, like I say never opened one for anything.? your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Susan



  59. Kyle on January 6, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Hard to make any individual recommendations based on that info Susan. It all depends on income level, current RRSP/TFSA contribution room etc.



  60. moneyhelp on January 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Hey Kyle,

    Just a quick question, I am planning on opening an RRSP account at Questrade and wondering about your promo code. In the past, I opened at TFSA with Questrade and used a friends refer-a-friend promo code and and received $75 (invested >$25K) deposited into my Margin account. Is your promo code the same promo? You mentioned $50, but according to Questrade’s website, $50 promo bonus is only offered if investing a minimum of $10K. Is this correct for your promo code?

    And lastly, but most importantly, you mentioned that the $50 can be used later for several year’s worth of needing to sell off ETFs for rebalancing purposes. Are you sure you can carry that $50 indefinitely. I seem to remember when I originally opened just the Margin account, Questrade’s promo was that they would give you a 5 free trades if opening any account by a certain deadline. I did so, but the stipulation was that those trades needed to be completed within 90 days of the account being opened, which was never explained to me and had to place a complaint with them. In the end, they did reimburse me the trade costs, but I would like to avoid the same thing here, so I’m curious if the $50 can be carried in future years indefinitely?

    Great article! Love your site.



  61. Kyle on January 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Hey MH,

    Margin accounts are a different deal than RRSPs – so I would imagine the promos are different.

    Our promo code is specific to Young and Thrifty, and you only need to invest $1,000 to trigger the $50. I have yet to hear from anyone that has had the $50 run out on them, but truth be told, if you’re using the account for several years and your fees add up to be less than $50 – that’s already a win isn’t it?



  62. moneyhelp on January 30, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Hi Kyle,

    I opened an RRSP (started the application) but unfortunately, Questrade informed me that your promo code is not acceptable since I am an existing Questrade client with other products with them. This is a bummer.

    I have not funded the account yet with the minimum of $1,000 as I was planning on closing my RRSP account with RBC and moving them over to Questrade, but if that promo code is not accepted, then I have to rethink this or find another code, if possible.

    They did offer me their standard 5 free trades using promo code 5FREETRADES but I don’t want that because after reading their T&C those 5 free trades must be placed within 60 days of activating the RRSP account, which completely defeats the purpose of using them with ETFs since buying is free and the portfolio rebalance would be likely be once per year.

    Still I appreciate your website and knowledge base, thank you.



  63. Km on February 4, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Hey Kyle, I wonder if you can transfer your RRSP from like another brokerage like TD to Questtrade for free? does it have to be like min 25k?



  64. Kyle on February 11, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Hey KM – if you use our promo code Questrade will pay the fees up to $150!



  65. taz on February 14, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Kyle, I checked the terms and conditions at my.questrade.com/my_ac…e=a1b9d1d9 and it does say it’s only for 30 days.

    “Once your account has been activated, any trades you execute within the next 30 days will receive trading commission rebates, up to a total
    maximum rebate of $50.”
    “Only trades completed within 30 days of account activation will be eligible for the rebate.”

    The 5FREETRADES promo is good for 60 days. I suppose the affiliate offer would be more useful to someone doing more than 5 $4.95 trades in the first month; if doing $9.95 trades then 5FREETRADES is equal or better. Unfortunately neither of these seem very useful to ETF index investors.

    You seemed to think the $50 does not expire. Is this something that has changed for 2018?



  66. Kyle on February 15, 2018 at 9:12 am

    We have an email in asking about this Taz…



  67. Keith on June 29, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I have been using Questrade for the past year to implement the Couch Potato Portfolio. My biggest gripe with the online platform is that there isn’t an easy to see Performance Chart for my portfolio as a whole. You would have to download the monthly statement to get that. I also use Wealthsimple, ModernAdvisor and even TD Direct Investing and they all have quick, easy access to a Performance Chart.



  68. WS on October 30, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Is there any fees for non-registered account at Questrade? TDDI offers HISA fund such as TDB8150 that pays 1.35% interest. It’s a no commission and no load fund. What do you buy while waiting for stock price to be dropped or leave the cash as is without making any interest at Questrade? Thanks.



  69. Ronaldo on December 13, 2018 at 10:09 am

    To Keith – u have tried several investment methods including 2 robo if Modernadvisor is robo too. Can u compare with some reference to ur investments having in mind time frames net rate of returns as there r few investors who have the experience of using several investment vehicles like yourself? As well am i to assume that the last one opened with QT implies that u r not totally satisfied with the others? Am also wondering how net returns would compare in ETF couch style with net returns i get from big bank or good size other brokers who invest mainly in individual stocks and perhaps Kyle can answer this question… or u also may have some imput. thks so much



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