DIY investing in Canada has never been easier, with more ways to invest than ever before. With so many brokerage options available to customers, brokerages are vying for your funds and offering perks like free trading and no minimum account balance to capture more clients.
In this BMO InvestorLine vs Questrade comparison, we’ll be looking at how one of Canada’s Big Banks compares to one of the top discount brokerages in Canada.
Choosing the right brokerage depends on many factors, such as security, convenience, fees, accessibility and customer service. BMO InvestorLine and Questrade have some definite differences in what they offer. Which one is better? Let’s dive into it.
Questrade vs BMO InvestorLine Quick Comparison
Free buying and selling of more than 80 ETFs, others will cost $9.95 to buy and sell.
Free buying of ETFs, BUT does charge the normal trading fee to sell ETFs.
Very good. Perhaps second only to Qtrade in our personal rankings.
Has made big gains over the last three years, but still needs a bit of polish.
Again, very solid. Has the massive resources of a big Canadian bank to help answer the phones.
Definitely still an area in need of improvement. Some customers have reported waiting weeks to get a query response.
All of the big banks come in at some version of: $9.95 per trade, with a discount for high frequency traders. Not ideal, but much better than 10+ years ago!
As low as 1 cent a share to buy and sell stocks. Questrade clearly shines here.
$25 per quarter - WAIVED IF you hold more than $15,000 in the account.
Very solid variety and depth.
Equally solid variety and depth.
$50 in free trades
BMO InvestorLine vs Questrade Fees
While BMO Investorline (along with its big bank brothers at RBC Direct Investing, TD Direct Investing, CIBC Investor’s Edge, and Scotiabank iTrade) pride themselves on the full package of bells and whistles available – along with strong customer service – there is no denying that Questrade has significantly lower trading fees.
Whether it is their free ETF trades, their low-cost options trading, or their $0.01 everyday trading fees, they just can’t be topped when it comes to price (as evidenced in the quick compare chart above).
Questrade vs BMO InvestorLine GIC Rates
Much like the discussion in regards to safety or account options, both Questrade and BMO will allow you to invest in Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). These are obviously very safe investments that belong in the “fixed income” part of your portfolio.
Currently Questrade is offering commission-free GICs, but the minimum purchase amount is $5,000. It’s not super convenient to purchase them, as you have to actually call a customer service agent to do so.
BMO InvestorLine is similar, in that you need to call or book an appointment with one of their representatives. However, they make it very easy to do so on their site. The site also offers a wealth of information on GICs, as well as lists the GICs they have on offer. They have a range of short-term and long-term GICs with yields ranging from 0.05% to upwards of 9.0% or more.
For my money, when it comes to GICs, I’d check out our EQ Bank Review for the best GIC rates in Canada. That said, if you want to keep life simple, most Canadian online brokers will allow you to invest in a very similar range of GICs.
Questrade vs BMO Investorline Account Options
Whether you choose Questrade or BMO Investorline, you’re going to have access to the full range of Canadian discount brokerage account options. Simply stated, these are both mature companies who have consistently added to their product lines year after year.
While most Canadians will simply make use of the TFSA and RRSP options, both BMO Investorline and Questrade also offer a full variety of non-registered accounts, corporate accounts, spousal RRSP accounts, USD accounts, and pretty much anything else that you can think of.
BMO InvestorLine vs Questrade Mobile App Review
With more DIY traders using the mobile apps to complete their investment transactions, it’s essential to know that the brokerage you choose has a functional app.
With the money and power a Big Bank like BMO has, one would expect that they have a world-class mobile app. So, how does their app fare?
The app has all of the features you would expect from a brokerage, such as being able to see all of your accounts in one place and complete transactions, along with extras such as being able to create customized watchlists. With the BMO InvestorLine app, you can rest assured that it’s safe and secure, as the iOS version offers both face and touch ID authentication. Both the Android and iOS apps offer encryption and firewall protection.
Currently the BMO broker app has a 4.3 star rating on the App Store and a 3.8 star rating on the Google Play store. Users report that its functionality is not up to expectations with frequent technical issues.
Although BMO InvestorLine’s app has room for improvement, it’s still way ahead of Questrade’s mobile app. As of writing, the Questrade app has a 1.7 star rating on the App Store and a 2.1 star rating on the Google Play Store.
In theory, the app should provide users with a quality trading experience. On the app, you can place real-time stock and options trades, withdraw money from your Questrade account, transfer money between Questrade accounts, and create watchlists using their simple and straightforward interface.
However, when it comes to the functionality of the app, things go a bit south. Users report that the app frequently crashes, chart data that should be available is not, and navigation within the app is poor.
So, it’s safe to say that when it comes to the mobile app showdown, BMO InvestorLine wins. For more specific details about trading through your phone, visit our best stock trading apps page.
Qtrade vs BMO InvestorLine or Questrade
Even though this article focuses on BMO vs Questrade showdown, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include some information on the MDJ #1 rated overall Canadian online broker. Read our full Qtrade review and our Qtrade vs Questrade comparison for more information on our favourite company.
In many ways Qtrade hits the sweet spot between the low fees of Questrade and the focus on convenience and support that BMO Investorline brings to the table. While their trading fees aren’t quite as low as Questrade’s, they are substantially lower than those of the big Canadian bank brokerages (including Investorline).
The main reason that we made Qtrade our #1 pick in 2024 is the strength the customer service strength that they showed during 2020. Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail picked up on this theme as well, as more and more Canadians want to switch to low-cost investing, but are finding the lack of customer service to be a real negative in the space. This is where Qtrade really shines.
Questrade or BMO – Frequently Asked Questions
If you bank with BMO already, find it important to be able to visit a branch for your customer service needs – and don’t mind paying a bit extra for these conveniences – it might make sense for you to choose BMO InvestorLine over Questrade for your DIY investing needs.
If you value saving money on things like commission fees and account fees to make the most of your investments, then Questrade might make the most sense to you.
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