Once the new disruptive force on the online discount brokerage scene, Robinhood’s “gamification” of commission-free stock trading changed the way millions of young people thought about the stock market. 

Robinhood’s commission-free trades, as well as their sleek and easy-to-use interface, appealed to first-time investors. However, the company has been vilified since it went public, perhaps most notably the star-laden film “Dumb Money” in 2023.

Unfortunately for Robinhood investors, this has meant that their stock has plunged from a high of $55.00 USD, to under $12 USD at the beginning of 2024.With many Canadians wondering when Robinhood will be available in Canada, the answer for now appears to be: Not any time soon. On the other hand there are some excellent (and much more transparent) online broker options available in Canada.

Can I Use Robinhood in Canada?

Robinhood is not available for Canada in 2024 and there is no clear answer as to whether it ever will be. Currently, it is only licensed to sell within the United States, so you  can’t even download the Robinhood app in Canada. If you are a US resident, you can still access it from almost anywhere in the world, but if you are a resident of Canada, it’s a no-go. 

At one point Robinhood tweeted about coming to Canada, and thereafter announced plans for expanding to the UK and Australia. Alas, those plans were “postponed indefinitely” in 2020, and presently it doesn’t seem like Robinhood will be expanding outside of the USA anytime soon.

Never fear, excellent Robinhood alternatives in Canada are here!

Here are our best picks for the best stock trading apps right here in your own backyard that will give you the same benefits as Robinhood (or even more).

Best Robinhood Alternatives For Canadians

Below are Canadian brokers that, like Robinhood, offer free ETF and stock trades, while maintaining an exemplary level of service and reputation.

star rating4.9 / 5
Trading Fees

$6.95 - $8.75

ETF Fees

Free buying AND selling of 100+ ETFs

Best broker overall in Canada. Slightly more expensive stock trading than Questrade, but has a better app, service and promo.
star rating4.7 / 5
Trading Fees

$4.95 - $9.95

ETF Fees

Free BUY of ETFs (full prices for ETF sales)

Low trading fees. Strong online platform with advanced data streams. The “Robinhood” of Canada.
star rating3.8 / 5
Trading Fees

$9.95

ETF Fees

Free buying and selling of 80+ ETFs

None

Best Big Bank Brokerage - 80+ Free ETF Trades, Big Bank Convenience, High Fees.
Star Rating3.7 / 5
ETF Comissions

Only TD ETFs are free, otherwise $9.95 per trade

Trading Fees

$9.99 (first 50 trades free)

None

Great selection of educational tools and fantastic customer service. 50 free stock trades per year. Limited selection and no promo offer.
Star Rating3.6 / 5
ETF Comissions

$6.95

Trading Fees

$6.95

None

Solid Big Bank Brokerage with lower fees than other big banks. No promo offer, fees apply to buying and selling ETFs.
Star Rating3.4 / 5
Trading Fees

Free

ETF FEES

Free to Buy And Sell

Stock trading app (Wealthsimple Trade) is very basic - clunky mobile app and nonexistent customer service. But it’s free.

Alternatives to the Robinhood App in Canada

As we’ve highlighted above, while Canadians don’t have access to Robinhood you still have great choices when it comes to commission-free brokers in Canada. The best choice for you will depend on your investment strategy, what level of service you expect from your online brokerage, and how much importance you place on free trading options.

Three Canadian alternatives are Qtrade, Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade. We specifically recommend 2 of the three, but the best choice for you depends on your needs and your investing strategy. 

Keep in mind, you have the choice between robo advisors and discount brokerages here. Both Wealthsimple and Questrade offer options for each; however, since Robinhood is a discount brokerage we are going to be focusing on comparing the brokerage aspects of each company to help you find the best Robinhood-like app in Canada.

Robinhood vs. Wealthsimple

When it comes to Robinhood equivalents in Canada, Wealthsimple Trade is a top contender, especially for those looking for free trades.

Now, before we dive in too far when it comes to this one-on-one comparison I should point out that the idea of a “free discount broker” is a bit of a misnomer. The brokerages still make money on currency conversion, cash accounts, selling your order information to other banks (one thing regulators are considering putting a stop to) and so on.

This is one reason why Wealthsimple Trade is our third choice out of the three—despite the slightly more expensive fee structure, we recommend other, much-better resourced Canadian discount brokerages.

Wealthsimple TradeRobinhood
Free ETFs Purchases and Stock TradesYes, but there is a 1.50% base conversion fee on US trades.Yes
RRSP, TFSA, non-Registered accountsYesNo
Fractional Shares OfferedYesYes
Cryptocurrency PurchasesYesYes
Account MinimumNoneNone
Monthly FeesNoneNone, unless you sign up for Robinhood gold, then it’s $5 per month.
User ExperienceThe mobile app has greatly improved in the last couple of years, and their web app was recently launched.Excellent, clean interface is easy to navigate on both the mobile and desktop versions
Safety and SecurityImplements top notch safety and security to keep user information safe, and customer accounts are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.Questionable practices, such as sharing your trading information with other banks as well as concerning hacks into the platform.

Wealthsimple Trade is a $0-per-trade brokerage in Canada. That means for any share or ETF, you don’t have to pay anything to either buy or sell. There is a 1.50% base conversion fee when you make US trades.

Another big perk to using Wealthsimple Trade is that there is no account minimum, making it an ideal choice for young investors or those just starting out. 

While Wealthsimple Trade shares a no-trading-fees structure with Robinhood, its platform leaves much to be desired, and its drastic deficit in user experience, as well as investor education tools should be noted by Canadian investors

Top Wealthsimple Trade Features 

  • $0 trades- no restrictions/exemptions
  • RRSP, TFSA, non-Registered accounts
  • No inactivity fees
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum required to open an account

Plus, when you sign up for Wealthsimple Trade with us, you are entitled to our MDJ exclusive promo which means when you deposit a minimum of $150 and make $100 worth of trades you will receive a $50 cash bonus. You can learn more about Wealthsimple Trade in our Wealthsimple Trade review.

Robinhood vs Qtrade or Questrade

Even though they’re not free stock trading platforms, the best alternatives for people searching for Robinhood in Canada are our top 2 preferred online brokerages for Canadians: Qtrade and Questrade. The added features and benefits blow Wealthsimple Trade out of the water and make it worth the slightly increased cost.

While Questrade and Qtrade aren’t free, fees are relatively low and you can still find no fee ETFs to build an ETF portfolio. It’s also worth noting that there are no annual administrative fees and they have the best USD trading options in Canada, plus a large range of account options (something which Wealthsimple Trade lacks). 

There is simply no comparison when it comes to the user experience and customer service aspects of these discount brokerages relative to Wealthsimple Trade. Qtrade especially shines when it comes to these aspects, and they proved just how important these areas were during the recent pandemic.

While most brokerages had crazy long wait times in order to use their services Qtrade was one of the very few that managed to keep their wait times for service short.

Top Qtrade Brokerage Features

  • Free ETF trades
  • Award-Winning Customer Service
  • Excellent Platform
  • Large variety of account options including RRSP, TFSA, RESP, Non-Registered, LIRA, RIF, LIF, Joint Accounts, and Corporate Accounts
  • Ability to hold USD
  • Access to data platforms, watchlists, news, and other information services
  • Access to stock exchanges other than TSX and NYSE

Plus, when you sign up for Qtrade you get up to $2,000 in cash back, based on your initial deposit.

Is Robinhood In Trouble In the USA?

As I mentioned before, Robinhood has come under a lot of pressure over the last few years as its revenues from highly-volatile asset trades like cryptocurrency have shrunk. It has also faced competition from other brokerages that have rapidly caught more costs to appeal to fee-conscious investors.

Likely the biggest threat to Robinhood though (and what has likely prevented Robinhood from coming to Canada) is the reputational damage the Gamestop saga did to their brand. By making choices that led to the downfall of thousands of their most passionate users, the company didn’t do a lot to bolster its reputation.

Furthermore, the situation was blown out to the widest audience possible by the Seth Rogen movie “Dumb Money” and the Netflix documentary “Eat the Rich”. If you’ve watched these two Hollywood interpretations of events, you’ll know that Robinhood (and its founders Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt) don’t come off looking so good.

All that to say, I don’t think Robinhood will be coming to Canada anytime soon!

Best Robinhood Alternative for Day Traders

Robinhood’s easy-to-navigate platform and no-commission trades make it a great choice for day trading. But what’s a day trader to do in Canada when Robinhood isn’t available? 

You can read more about Canada’s best day trading alternatives in our list of the Top Canadian Trading Platforms, but our top recommendation is AvaTrade Canada

With elite research tools and a range of assets including forex and CFD trading options, plus a lower fee than our top recommended brokerages, Avatrade is built for day traders. 

That being said, we don’t recommend day trading for the average Canadian investor. It requires a lot of knowledge, skills, and time (not to mention risk tolerance) to do right. Proceed at your own risk. And if you want to have some more stable registered accounts such as an RRSP and a TFSA as well (and you should), then Qtrade or Questrade are top picks.

Robinhood For Canadians: FAQ

So What is The Best Robinhood Alternative in Canada?

So with Robinhood trading not available in Canada, what’s a new investor to do?

We recommend checking out Qtrade or Questrade, as both top our list of the best stock trading apps in Canada. These two brokerages have separated themselves from the pack due to cheap trades, great mobile apps, and in Qtrade’s case: excellent customer services.

Both Qtrade and Questrade also offer free ETF trades, and freedom from account fees. If you want the best combination of elite features and low prices, these two blow away the offerings put forward by Canada’s big banks.

To top it all off, Qtrade currently has the best promotional offer that I’ve ever seen! They obviously have decided to make a big splash during RRSP season, and they’re going to toss some cold hard cash at you even if you just open an account with a very small deposit. And if you have some real cash to throw their way, you can get up to 2,000 bucks instantly! Click below to see the full details.

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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