Questrade Review: Canada’s Leading Discount Brokerage

(Editor Rating)



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.

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USD Functionality


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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

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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 $9 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. Read our Questrade review for the full details on why it’s the best trading platform.

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.

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, and when you start investing, you’ll pay just $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 active trader, you can also gain access to one of several market data plans that Questrade offers. For a monthly fee, you can get active trader pricing, live streaming data, and other data add-ons. This is perfect for active traders. Here are your options:

  1. Basic (Free with all accounts): This is great for novice traders, and you’ll get free Canadian level 1 snap quotes, free U.S. level 1 snap quotes, and one-click real-time data.
  2. Enhanced ($19.95/month CAD): you’ll get everything that comes with Basic, plus enhanced level 1 live streaming data, live streaming for Intraday Trader, and additional data add-ons. In addition, if you spend more than $48.95 in trading commissions you’ll get an automatic $19.95 rebate.
  3. Advanced ($89.95/month CAD): This package is for the most active traders. You get active trader pricing unlocked, advanced Canadian level 1 and level 2 live streaming data, select U.S. level 1 live streaming data, and individual data add-ons are available. You can earn a partial rebate if you spend more than $48.95 in commissions — for this, you’ll get an automatic rebate of $19.95. If you spend more than $399.95 in trading commissions, your monthly fee is automatically rebated.

If you sign up for the Advanced plan noted above, you will unlock active trader pricing. This gives you low fees on trading so you can trade as much as you want without having to worry about breaking the bank. There are two plans to choose from once you unlock this feature:

Fixed: “Great for high volume share and option trading at one low price.”

  • Stocks: $4.95/trade
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.75 / contract
  • ETFs: Buy for free; Sell for $4.95/trade

Variable: “Great for buying a few shares of expensive companies.”

  • Stocks: 1¢/ share (min $0.01 to max $6.95)
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 / contract
  • ETFs: Buy for free; Sell for 1¢/share (min $0.01 to max $6.95)
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 under normal market conditions
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 & Cons


  • No annual fees
  • Lowest trading fees in the market
  • No fees to purchase ETFs
  • Pays transfer fees
  • $0 inactivity fee — Questrade no longer charges a quarterly inactivity fee


  • Need a minimum of $1,000 in your account to start investing
Start investing with Questrade and get $50 in free trades!

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 when you move an investment account from another brokerage, Questrade will reimburse transfer fees up to $150 per account.

Annual feesNone
Minimum investment$1000
Types of accountsRRSP, TFSA, RESP, margin accounts, LIRA, corporate, forex, CFDs
Automatic Portfolio RebalancingNo
Automatic DepositsYes
Transfer fees None! Questrade will reimburse transfer fees up to $150 per account
Inactivity fees$0
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: 

    Some 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 and no inactivity 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 Purchases: 

    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 will likely contain a mix of stocks along with 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 2019 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 to save money on foreign exchange fees.  Avoiding needless currency conversion fees are another way to keep your money working for you!

  • When switching to Questrade, some financial institutions may charge you a transfer fee. Don’t sweat it – Questrade will reimburse transfer fees up to $150 per account. 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, tablets, and is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play stores. The app is targeted at investors who trade frequently, but it’s handy to have regardless. 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. New customers also receive up to $10,000 managed free for a year. See our Wealthsimple review and BMO SmartFolio review for more information on Questwealth’s competitors.

Start investing with Questrade and get $50 in free trades!

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 in Canada would cost you between 2-3% annually.

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: 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 competitors in Questrade vs Qtrade and Questrade vs. Virtual Brokers in past years. The verdict? Questrade wins every time.

The latest challenger is Wealthsimple Trade, which is a stock-trading mobile app that offers commission-free ETFs and stocks (buy and sell). While that is certainly appealing for new investors looking to trade stocks and ETFs on the regular, when we looked at Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade the one major drawback we found is Wealthsimple Trade’s lack of account availability – with only RRSPs, TFSAs, and non-registered accounts available at present time. Questrade is still, by far, the more robust trading platform.

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.

Questrade Forex

For the more sophisticated trader, Questrade offers a platform to trade currencies, commodities, and global stock CFDs (contracts for difference). With Questrade FX Global, investors can access global markets through more than 15 international exchanges and trade over 110 currency pairs. Questrade Global mobile is available for Apple and Android devices.

You may have never heard of a stock CFD, but it works much like an ETF that tracks an index. In this case, the stock CFD tracks the performance of a stock. The advantage of CFDs is they can give you exposure to international companies at a lower cost than owning international stocks directly.

It’s important to understand that trading CFDs is extremely risky and investors can lose money quickly due to the use of leverage. An estimated two-thirds of retail accounts lose money trading CFDs.

Questrade is one of the only full-service brokers that allows investors to trade forex. It offers competitive pricing with target spreads as low as 0.8 pips. The “spread” is the difference between the bid price that someone is willing to pay, and the ask price that someone is willing to sell at.

Why would you want to trade forex? It’s the world’s largest financial market with more than $4 trillion exchanged each day. Markets are open 24 hours and have a low barrier to entry, meaning even beginner investors can get into forex trading. Trading currency pairs seems highly intuitive – we’ve all at some point closely monitored exchange rates such as CAD-to-USD or USD-to-EUR. If you believe one currency will rise or fall versus its trading pair then you would place a trade making that bet.

Questrade Global is packed with research tools and insights designed to keep you on top of the securities that interest you the most. Best of all, the account is free – meaning there’s no annual fee, and no opening or closing fees.

The best feature Questrade offers here is its 30-day risk-free practice account, where investors get $100,000 CAD in virtual cash to try their hand at trading forex and CFDs. When you’re ready to move from a practice account to the real deal, simply open either an Individual Forex & CFD account, or a Joint Forex & CFD account.

With an individual account, you’ll get access to global markets and can trade 24 hours a day. A joint account gives you all the advantages of an individual account, plus allows you to pool investments with a group of two or three investors for a bigger stake in the market. There’s also the potential for corporate, partnership, informal and formal trusts, investment clubs, and sole proprietorship accounts.

If you’re the type of investor who wants to engage in forex trading – and we’re not suggesting that you are – then you should ask yourself if Questrade is the right platform for this activity. The top competitor to Questrade in the forex broker space is Interactive Brokers.

Interactive Brokers offers a similar number of currency pairs (105) along with more than 7,400 CFDs across global markets. The biggest difference between Questrade and Interactive Brokers is that while Questrade offers competitive spreads as low as 0.8%, Interactive Brokers doesn’t publish its average forex spread and instead charges a trading commission of between $16 to $40 per trade. Active traders may be entitled to lower pricing based on their trading volume.

Interactive Brokers is highly rated for advanced forex traders, but the downside is there’s no practice account feature to test out the platform – you’re immediately thrown to the wolves to fend for yourself.

Questrade’s practice account sets it apart from Interactive Brokers and will give beginners an edge to get their heads wrapped around forex trading before putting their real money on the line.

Get low fees and invest in USD with Questrade FX Global

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 as safe as any other brokerage. 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 takes your security seriously: 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.


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 snap. 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.

Start investing with Questrade and get $50 in free trades!


Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2017 and has been updated to represent the current changes.

Article comments
Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Abraham,

We understand your frustration but it’s not really fair to compare a discount brokerage like Questrade with a big bank brokerage like TD Direct.

Questrade is focused on low cost trading and has put a lot of their effort into commission-free ETF buys (which is a great deal!). Of course, big bank brokerages like TD offer more bells and whistles, but good luck getting them to budge on their $9.95 per trade fee.

Each brokerage offers attractive benefits, depending on what investors are looking for. Questrade happens to be the king of low cost investing, but if your number one priority is market research, or to do heavy, active day-trading, then you might find another brokerage better suits that style. I’d check out our ultimate guide to Canada’s discount brokerages:

Jorge says:

If you close or withdraw all your money, they charge you $100 on top of tax withholding.

Be careful.

Abraham Jacob says:

It is good if you buy up to 500 stocks (a hidden cost they do not reveal) + fees are creeping up making me as client to reconsider options. It is basically bare bones so with barely any added benefit. Fees goes up astronomically for a retail client, if you by in volume. Bank sites are way more competitive. It is like paying brokerage fees few decades earlier. So it is not as good as it seems.

I have an account with these guys and with TD also. TD gives value as a client in terms of research. These guys give value on retail purchase but do not give a damn that you are one of their earlier clients still remaining with you and have no value for any loyalty for nearly a decade.- all I see is increased fees. Plus this huge hidden costs. Considering to negotiate with TD, if they can match rates and move whole on one account – may be move judgmental.

Was initially very supportive but think as a long term client that they are moving on trend of financial greed than providing overall service.

Adam Bell says:

What about trading options? I’m currently looking to open an account with the minimum $1k investment and start but have heard not-so-good things about how long it takes to buy and sell your contracts. Should it not almost be instant or am I dreaming? What does everyone else use for trading options in Canada if not questrade? I can’t find much info and would love some feedback and ideas! Thanks

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Adam,

Check out our guide to the Best Online Brokers in Canada. It gives a head-to-head comparison of all the options:

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Adam,

I’d look at Questrade’s IQ Edge platform. It’s built for more active traders and advanced trading orders.

I’ve also heard good things about Interactive Brokers’ platform for frequent trading and advanced trading strategies.

Ronaldo says:

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

WS says:

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.

Keith says:

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.

taz says:

Kyle, I checked the terms and conditions at 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?

Kyle says:

We have an email in asking about this Taz…

Km says:

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?

Kyle says:

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

moneyhelp says:

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.

moneyhelp says:

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.

Kyle says:

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?

susan says:

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

Kyle says:

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

derek says:

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.

Kyle says:

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

Jim says:

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.

Kyle says:

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

Jim says:

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.

Kyle says:

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

Tom says:

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.

Kyle says:

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.

John McKay says:

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.

Kyle says:

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.

Jen says:

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

dross says:

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.

LL says:


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!!!

Kyle says:

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.

Rob says:

It doesn

Kyle says:

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.

Rob says:

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

Kyle says:

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?

W says:

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

Kyle says:

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

Larry Page says:


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.

Kyle says:

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).

Quest Trade Sucks!! says:

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.

Kyle says:

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?

Herald says:

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!

Kyle says:

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.

Raj says:

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.

Teacher Man says:

This is why you use their USD RRSP Raj!

Joe says:

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

Andrewww says:

get on live chat its way faster.

btw has anyone tryed Forex with them?

Teacher Man says:

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.

Questrade says:

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.


Japhro says:

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.

Teacher Man says:

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!

Japhro says:

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.

Teacher Man says:

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.

astor says:

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 .


Teacher Man says:

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?

Andrewww says:

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?

Teacher Man says:

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).

Dan says:


young says:

@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.

Japhro says:

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

Real says:

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.

chris says:

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


young says:

@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.

Heppell says:

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.

mike says:

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.

young says:

@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 🙂

young says:

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.

young says:

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. =)

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.

Xhulio says:

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.