As two of Canada’s best discount brokerage the Questrade vs Qtrade debate has had DIY investors arguing for years. We’ll do our best to break it down and find the best fit for you.
Before diving in and splitting hairs, I should point that both platforms are excellent options and share many common traits such as being CIPF-insured, having substantial help libraries available, slick practice accounts to get your feet wet, USD-registered accounts, and are just generally seen as being very user-friendly
Easy Questrade vs Qtrade Comparison
1) No fees on ETF purchases. This simple feature has saved me hundreds of dollars in commissions over the years.
2) An excellent Questrade promo offer code of $50 in free trades when you sign up.
3) A quick and easy paperless account set up.
4) $4.95 Baseline trading fees simply can’t be beat (Qtrade = $8.75)
Advantages of Qtrade over Questrade
1) Excellent customer service that is raved about consistently in online forums.
2) Slick initial updates when you login to your account.
3) No fees or commissions on buying mutual funds. I generally find mutual funds to be a terrible investment option, but if they are your preferred investing method, then this is obviously a key feature.
Who Should Choose Qtrade
You should go with Qtrade in the Questrade vs Qtrade battle if you:
- Are interested in mutual funds. (Again, not something I recommend.)
- Don’t mind paying a little more for elite customer service.
- Actively trade more than 200x per month.
Who Should Choose Questrade
Questrade should come out on top in the Questrade vs Qtrade competition if you:
- Are a basic couch potato investor (aka index investor) who will be purchasing a lot of ETFs. (Qtrade does have a limited menu of ETFs you can purchase for free, but my favourite options are not on the list.)
- You want to cut costs to the absolute bone.
- You don’t need a lot of hand-holding when it comes to maintaining your portfolio, and you aren’t trying to make a lot of exotic trades every month.
- Our Questrade promo offer code (click here or use the code a1b9d1d9) gives you an automatic $50 in free trades no matter your portfolio size.
Why Questrade Wins our Qtrade vs Questrade Debate
While Qtrade is a very good discount brokerage option (in fact the only low-cost competitor that I'd put in their ballpark is Virtual Brokers), Questrade is still the Canadian Champion. You can check out our Questrade vs Virtual Brokers showdown as well for the full details there.
When you combine the no-fee ETF purchases with our $50 Off Questrade promo offer code, you can effectively set up and maintain a couch potato portfolio for years before ever owing any fees!
If I was into owning mutual funds, or was an extremely active investor that needed customer service to help with exotic trades of various kinds, then I might look harder at Qtrade. But for the vast majority of Canadian investors who just want to keep as much of their money working for them as possible, a basic index ETF portfolio is still their best bet, and that’s why Questrade comes out on top in Questrade vs Qtrade comparison.