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For Canadian investors looking to minimize their trading fees as much possible their search inevitably leads them to a Questrade vs Virtual Brokers comparison. Both of these Canadian discount brokerages seek to attract the same cost-conscious demographic and offer excellent overall value.

We appreciate that both Questrade (see our full Questrade Review) and Virtual Brokers offer paperless setup, have a wide variety of platforms available depending on your preferred complexity level of investing, offer rock bottom per-trade costs, and free ETF purchases.

That being said – there can only be one Champion! Read on to find out who took home the low-cost title.

Easy Questrade vs Virtual Brokers Comparison

Questrade Advantages:Virtual Brokers Advantages:
An excellent Questrade promo offer code of $50 in free trades when you sign up.Slick initial updates when you login to your account.
Virtual Brokers charges a $15 quarterly fee, per registered USD account – whereas it is totally free with Questrade. If you and your wife each have some USD denominated stocks or ETFs in a TFSA and RRSP, that’s $240 per year!Commission-free trades IF you purchase their elite-level trading platform package ($150 per month)
The Live Chat feature and every improving customer services give Questrade a solid edge in this department. Virtual Brokers had consistent complaints on several online forums about long 3-day waits on email inquiries and 2-hr+ phone delays.Offers no-fee purchasing of mutual funds (which we recommend against investing in).
RESP plans with more than $15,000 have $0 in administration fees at Questrade vs $25 annually at Virtual Brokers.
Lower wire transfer and EFT fees.

While Virtual Brokers is certainly amongst Canada’s better discount brokerages and a good option for mutual fund investors, (not our thing) Questrade is still #1 for us based on the commission-free ETF purchases (VB requires the premium account for that) and the slightly lower account fees in several areas.

Try Questrade today using our free promotion – Simply click the link below (no promo code required)

Visit Questrade.com & Automatically Receive $50 in FREE Trades

Who Should Choose Virtual Brokers

You might want to try Virtual Brokers if you:

    • Are interested in mutual funds.  (Not something I recommend!)

Actively trade more than 200x per month.

Want to spend several hundred dollars per month on an elite trading platform.

Don’t want to hold any USD stocks or ETFs (such as those traded on the New York Stock Exchange) in any TFSA, RRSP, or RESP accounts .

Who Should Choose Questrade

Questrade might be a better fit when it comes to the Questrade vs Virtual Brokers competition if you:

    • Value having live chat feature that will get you help quickly and efficiently.

Will be purchased any stocks or ETFs in USD (such as those trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Want an automatic $50 in free trades when you start up. (click here or use the code a1b9d1d9).

Want to have an RESP plan for your child.

Will make use of the extensive customer education tools.

Want access to a robo advisor option (Portfolio IQ)

Why Questrade Wins our Virtual Brokers vs Questrade Debate

With these low-cost discount brokerage competitors offering many of the same perks such as no-fee ETFs (if the premium account is purchased), we believe that the considerable fee difference in USD account gives Questrade the decisive edge in the Questrade vs Virtual Brokers matchup.  The $15 quarterly fee per USD account can add up in a hurry. (We also gave Questrade the edge in our Questrade vs Qtrade matchup.)  When you combine that substantial difference with a lack of Norbert’s Gambit availability and our $50 in free trades Questrade promo offer code.

Visit Questrade.com & Automatically Receive $50 in FREE Trades

Article comments

R N says:

Virtual Broker fee: No fee on RESP. Please see extract below
$24.95 per quarter will be charged to each client’s account if their combined total assets are lower than $5,000 or they do not complete at least one trade with a minimum commission of $1.99 per calendar quarter. Clients will be exempt from the account administration fee if they are under 26 years old or if their account is either a Commission-Free Trading Account, RESP account or a registered charity. If, in the following quarter after incurring the account administration fee, a client trades at least one trade with a minimum commission $1.99, commissions will be reimbursed up to $24.95 provided that the account remains opened at the end of the following quarter.

Christian says:

I have been with Virtual Brokers for several years. I make several trades a day and have had minimal service interruptions, certainly no more than with my trading account at a major Canadian bank.
Virtual Brokers’ fee structure has been consistent and excellent. My account balance is updated far earlier in the evening than with my bank broker.

Dana says:

Stay away from Virtual brokers. The customer service is disgusting. You have to ask a person for their name and most time they are hesitant to do this.

They are constantly changing their fee structures. They will not tell you, they say that it is your responsibility to continually check the website.

The fees the charge are far more than you would expect. You are better off going with another broker who has a black and white fee structure as opposed to trying to understand the hidden fees. Then , try to get someone from VB to explain them to you…….good luck. Stay away from Virtual brokers

Lilly says:

My issues with VB:

– useless customer service – either nonresponsive or brushes you off.
– RRSP/TFSA forms almost impossible to find
– purchasing an ETF in an RRSP almost never works because – even if you use the commission-free ETF purchase – the system allegedly wants to see $10 on top of what you have in your account. In other words – if you have, say, $100 in your account and want to buy one ETF share worth $99 – you will not be able to.
– I have been with them for several years and I still see spelling/grammatical errors on their webiste, which I pointed out to them repeatedly until I gave up after being ignored.

The commissions are the only reason I am with them. That being said, I will do more research to see if I can switch to someone else.

Doug Burke says:

Been with Virtual Brokers since Feb 2018 and seeking to switch. I have not have one trading day without system crashes and unfilled orders. Have become non existent to get replies from about issues/questions even though I am supposed to be assigned a dedicated rep. When the market is crashing and their system does not have the horse power to handle trades suddenly they become extremely expensive to deal with.

Greg C. says:

The RESP fee can be waved by having $15,000 across multiple accounts, so if you do other investing with them it will allow you to meet those requirements easier. This is nice for those parents that contribute only for CESG matching and contribute $2500 per year.


(2)You won’t be charged the $50 annual fee if you have more than $15,000 in investments across multiple accounts or you are part of a myFamily group and together the group has at least $15,000 in investments.