CIBC Investor’s Edge Broker Review 2021: Trading Fees, TFSAs, and RRSPs

   (Editor Rating)

CIBC Investor's Edge Review
  • Fees and Commissions
  • Account Options
  • ETF Trading Fees
  • Customer Service
  • User-Friendly Platform and Mobile App
  • Overall Banking Convenience
3.8

CIBC Investor's Edge Review Summary:

CIBC Investors Edge is undergoing a bit of a facelift, and is a very solid overall discount broker. If you happen to do the rest of your banking with CIBC, then for the safety and convenience factors alone, I would likely consider CIBC.

While the Investors Edge trading fees are lower than those of the other big banks, they still lag behind the low-cost leaders in the space such as Qtrade, Virtual Brokers, and our #1 overall Canadian discount broker: Questrade.

Pros

  • One of Canada’s biggest banks
  • Very good customer service
  • All account options available
  • Lower trading fees than other big banks

Cons

  • Outdated mobile app and online platform
  • More expansive than the best brokers
  • No free ETFs

CIBC Investor’s Edge is one of the best among big banks, but other discount brokers are still much better.

View Better Rated Discount Brokers

The CIBC Investors Edge online broker has been a real bright spot for CIBC over the years and it stacks up quite well against many of Canada’s best discount brokerages

With a history that stretches back to the original Canadian Bank of Commerce in 1867 (and subsequently merging with the Imperial Bank of Canada in 1961) there is no doubt that CIBC is one of the most trusted names in Canadian finance. 

That said, in many areas they have fallen behind their more well-known peers at BMO, TD, RBC, and Scotiabank over the years.  Their Investors Edge trading platform is definitely not one of those areas, and indeed, when it comes to trading commissions, it rises to the top of the big bank pack.

CIBC Investors Edge Trading Fees and Commissions

CIBC Investors Edge is not only competitive with the other big bank brokerages in Canada, they are significantly cheaper when it comes to daily trading fees, clocking in at a flat $6.95 per transaction.  That gets lowered to $5.95 if you’re still under a student account (if you’re a student and already investing – good on you!) and $4.95 if you meet the active investor threshold of 150 trades per quarter.

While not quite matching low-cost leaders like Questrade , Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade, CIBC’s online discount brokerage beats up BMO, RBC, TD, and Scotia when it comes to trading fees.

Account and Transaction Fees

Like the other major banks CIBC Investors Edge has no account minimum in place; however, they will not hesitate to charge a fairly substantial fee if you do not meet their account minimum threshold.

If your RRSP account has a balance under $25,000, you’ll pay $100 annually.

If your basic non-registered account is below $10,000, then you’ll owe an annual $100 fee as well.

The good news is that the TFSA and RESP are completely free to open and trade in, no matter what your balance is.  Additionally, the CIBC Smart™ Account for students is free, and might be the best deal out there for students who want to get started with investing.

Below is a quick chart of the more common CIBC Investor’s Edge account fees that you might run into.

Transfer Out$135
RRSP Withdrawals$50
TFSA Withdrawals$0
Home Buyers Plan & Life Long Plan Withdrawals$50
Copies of Statements, Confirms, Cheques and Tax Receipts$5
Research Account Inquiries$40 per hour 
Certificate Registration $50
Wire fee (out)$40
Wire fee (in) Free
Estate Account Processing$100 per account

CIBC Investors Edge ETF Fees

One of the major reasons that Questrade is our #1 most recommended broker is that they combine the elite level information and platforms that the big bank brokerages like Investors Edge bring to the table, with free ETF purchases. 

Considering how big your portfolio has to get before you should ever need to sell an ETF in order to rebalance, these free ETF purchases can keep a substantial amount of your money in your account – ready to compound – instead of getting siphoned away.

Online Discount BrokerPer Transaction Cost to Buy ETFsPer Transaction Cost to Sell ETFs
CIBC Investors Edge $6.95$6.95
Questrade$0$5
Qtrade$0 – $8.75$0 – $8.75

Options Trading Fees

The CIBC Investors Edge’s… um… edge… when it comes to trading fees continues on when we look at options trading.  Their $6.95 rate continues to shine vs TD and RBC.  There is also the standard $1.25 contract fee.  The rate goes down to $4.95 (matching the Scotia iTrade rate) if you hit active trader status.

CIBC Investors Edge Account Types: TFSA, RRSP, Non-Registered

The wide variety of both registered and non-registered accounts available with Investors Edge, stacks up well against what any other discount broker brings to the table.  You should expect no less from such a large-scale Canadian corporation!

  • Non-registered accounts (both CAD and USD)
  • Margin Accounts
  • RRSP (both CAD and USD)
  • TFSA 
  • RESP (both CAD and USD)
  • RRIF
  • LIF
  • LIRA
  • Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC)
  • Informal Trust
  • Investment Club
  • Trust or Estate

CIBC Investors Edge Mobile App Review

I’ve seen the rumour that Investors Edge is getting a refreshing new look commented on in both the Globe and Mail and Moneysense magazine, so I’d assume that extends to the app interface as well. 

The interesting thing is that the Investors Edge Mobile app already has a pretty solid reputation amongst users.  The 2,000+ reviews on Google Play are mostly solid with a 3.5-star average, and the 1,100+ reviews from the Apple App Store following right behind with a 3.4-star average.

For my purposes, all I need my brokerage mobile app to do is login and let me purchase my same ETF(s) over and over again – so every app should be able to meet that low standard!  Now that I think about it, I rarely even use my phone to do that (preferring my desktop instead).

CIBC Investors Edge Review Frequently Asked Questions

Does CIBC Investors Edge have a practice account?

No.  At this time Investors Edge does not have a practice account.

Does CIBC Investors Edge have an account minimum?

No, there is no account minimum.  That said, CIBC will charge you those account maintenance fees described above if you don’t meet certain minimum thresholds.

Is CIBC Investors Edge Safe?

Yes!  Like the other major online brokers in Canada, CIBC Investors Edge accounts are protected by an excellent cyber safety team, and the Canadian Investment Protection Fund (CIPF) insurance – for up to $1 Million in each account.  The Canadian financial system overall is excellent at protecting investors from fraud or criminal activity – and CIBC can afford the biggest and best when it comes to safety.

Just remember that being safe from fraud doesn’t mean that your investment is “safe” from a market downturn.  Inherent investment risk cannot be protected against – no matter what anyone promises you.

Does CIBC Investors Edge have a DRIP or DPP Plan?

Yes.  CIBC Investors Edge does have a DRIP plan (often referred to as a “synthetic DRIP” because the Dividend Reinvestment Plan is not run through the broker as opposed to registering shares of the company specifically).  The DRIP is often referred to as the Investors Edge Sharebuilder Plan.

Is CIBC Investors Edge good for investor information and education?

Yes!  CIBC Investors Edge has long held themselves up as the top dog when it comes to the amount of free information available on their trading platform and through their investor education channel.  I think there are a few other brokerages that would give them a run for their money as of 2020, but there is no doubt that there is a ton of information available here. 

Who Is CIBC’s Self Directed Discount Broker Best for?

If you currently bank with CIBC and safety + convenience are at the top of your wishlist when it comes to choosing a discount broker, then CIBC is a really solid option. 

There is nothing to really dislike or any serious drawbacks when it comes to Investors Edge, it’s simply that you can get a trading platform with very similar strengths – but with lower fees and commissions – over at Qtrade.  Check out our complete Qtrade review for more info on just why we give it the uh… edge… over CIBC Investors Edge, and the other Canadian discount brokers.

Kornel

Kornel Szrejber is the host of the Build Wealth Canada Show, and has been featured for paying off his mortgage in only 6 years while still in his 20s, and becoming one of Canada’s youngest retirees at the age of 32. He now runs a top personal finance and investing podcast created specifically for Canadians, as well as Canada’s largest personal finance and investing conference. There he interviews the top personal finance experts to share their best practices, tips and tactics when it comes to investing and financial planning in Canada.
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Rick
24 days ago

I tried to call them to resolve some login issues but instead spent an hour on hold yesterday and another hour and a half on hold today. Still haven’t gotten through to them. By far the worst customer service ever.

Brandon Farrell
1 month ago

Don’t let the lower trade fees suck you in. Investors Edge had The worst customer service. Chat is always closed and you will often get “Internal error, please contact us” when you try to place a trade. Then you will wait forever on hold. On top of this, I have had market orders take over 40 minutes to get filled. If the only other option was a shifty broker running his server out of the back of his car, pick that one.

Brad
1 month ago

I use the Brokerage mainly due to having been banking them for years. The review is solid and accurate for sure. Free ETF purchases would be great so for now I personally only buy and sell stocks and do so in good size amounts for each trade do keep fees down. As for the mobile app, I don’t even use it after checking it out on my phone. The ability to access the brokerage side when logged into online banking is one of my fav options. Thanks for the review, well done.