Questrade Review 2021 [$50 Promo Offer Code]

   (Editor Rating)

Our Opinion & Rating
  • Industry Reputation
  • Account Opening
  • For ETF Trading
  • Annual Fees ($0)
  • For High Volume Traders
  • App Rating
  • Customer Service
4.4

Review Summary: Questrade is GREAT, for Investors

Questrade is Canada’s low-cost leader when it comes to full-service discount brokerages in 2021. Both Moneysense Magazine and the Globe and Mail rank Questrade quite highly, although note that customer service problems rose to the forefront during the rush to open accounts in 2020.

MDJ has loved and recommended Questrade to Canadian DIY investors for years, and we still think it is a very solid option. Check out our Qtrade review and Questrade vs Qtrade article to see our full comparison of the top two options in the Canadian market today.

The new Questrade app and website upgrade provide the shine and polish on top of their usual leadership in the low-fee categories.  The user experience is pleasant and feels safe and secure throughout, while enjoying free ETF buys and razor-sharp commissions.

With $50 in free trades available via our promotional offer code, there is no better time to try one of Canada’s best online brokerage.

Pros

  • No Fees To Build an ETF Portfolio!
  • Very Low Trade Costs (ideal for building a dividend-heavy portfolio)
  • $0 Annual Account Fees
  • 24-Hour Paperless Account Opening
  • Moneysense #1 Ranked Online Discount Brokerage
  • Globe and Mail “A” Rating + Best DIY Brokerage Website
  • Good Promo Offer (see below)
  • Solid USD Trading Options

Cons

  • Better options online for those interested in doing in-depth analysis research on stocks prior to purchase
  • Only 2.9/5 app rating on Google Play – reviews mentioned delay in pricing on app vs desktop

Is Questrade Safe & Secure?

One of the most common questions that I have gotten in the comments below is:

Is investing my money through a Questrade online brokerage account safe? Is Questrade as safe as RBC, TD, CIBC, ScotiaBank, and BMO?

– MDJ reader

The answer: Yes!

Here’s the deal.  Off the top Questrade is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

iiroc 1

Why this should matter to you is that these organizations hold Questrade to a pretty high standard as far as investor safety goes.  Since the CIPF was founded in 1969, no eligible customers have suffered a loss of property.  The CIPF has paid claims/expenses of roughly $43 million, net of recoveries, on the odd occasion where there has been a member insolvency.

Questrade has been around since 1999, and controls over $9 Billion in assets!  On top of MoneySense and Rob Carrick giving them their stamp of approval, Questrade has won eight annual awards as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.

Finally, Questrade has created an online security Guarantee.  The company will 100% reimburse you for any authorized transactions in any of your Questrade accounts that result in a loss to you AND your account is insured for up to $10 Million in the incredibly unlikely event that Questrade goes broke (“insolvent”).  This is of course on top of the latest in online security features. My guess is that if you’re promising 100% reimbursement on losses, you’re going to take security pretty seriously.

“When I first wrote this Questrade review back in 2008, there were very few Canadian online discount brokerage accounts available to Canadians who wanted to open a DIY RRSP account, TFSA, or non-registered account, and trade their own stocks and ETFs. 

In the last 11 years, we’ve seen an explosion in online stock broker competition, but for my money (literally) Questrade is still one of the top Canadian low cost option due to their commission free ETF purchases, low fees, and easy-to-navigate website

FT

Founder & Chief Blogger, Million Dollar Journey


EEdited in April 2021, by FT with help from Kyle Prevost and Kornel Szrejber.  All writers of this Questrade review have used Questrade in the past, and believe it is either the #1 or #2 option in Canada next to Qtrade.

Questrade Fees – Focused on Dividend Investing and ETFs

While Questrade has introduced some shiny new features (and excellent marketing) the last few years, the key reason that they are our choice for best discount brokerage in Canada is their low overall fees, and especially their commission-free ETF investing options.  It’s worth noting that Questrade has NO ACCOUNT Fees on popular accounts such as RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, and non-registered accounts.

Let me repeat that.

Questrade Fees Summary

  • Free ETF Buying (There are Fees on ETF Sales)
  • Low Commission on Trades @$4.95/ Trade
  • ECN Fees Capped at $5.00 / Trade
  • No Account Fees on RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, and Non-Registered Accounts
  • Quarterly Account Fees on Other Account Types $25.00 (But Can Be Avoided for Bigger Accounts)

If you’re new to MDJ, you might want to have a look around for more information on why I prefer dividend investing and index-investing approaches for 99%+ of investors.  Basically, if you’re trying to trade stocks daily or think that you can do some fancy research that allows you to time getting in and out of the market, then you’re probably costing yourself serious money.  If you wish to stick basic tried-and-true strategies that are supported by math and the last 100+ years, then Questrade Canada is the place to DIY your nest egg and cut your costs to the bone.

Experts have consistently pointed out that while the average investor can’t control their returns, they can (and should) control their investment costs.

Fees on ETF Sales: Not That Bad

Some critics point out in their Questrade review articles that Questrade only covers free ETF purchases.

While this is technically true, what they fail to mention is that the vast majority of our transactions will be purchases if we are building a basic “couch potato” passive index investing portfolio. 

With today’s excellent “all-in-one” ETF options, the average Canadian would do very well to just log into their Questrade RRSP or TFSA each month and purchase that same ETF over and over again for their entire working lives.  Alternatively, if you want to really cut costs to their absolute minimum, you can buy your bond ETF, domestic market ETF, and international ETF separately, and then rebalance each month simply by adding a little more to the asset class that has the worst over the preceding month, in order to keep your overall asset allocation where you want it.

The only selling you should really have to worry about is when your portfolio gets close to the $1 Million level and can’t be re-balanced by monthly additions, or when you are ready to start selling pieces of your portfolio to fund your retirement living.  Paying $5 to take my spending money out for the year is a small price to pay when I’ve been getting to invest for free over the last 30+ years![

Comparing Questrade’s Fees with Competitors

Here’s how the Questrade free ETF purchasing stacks up against some of the big names in Canada.

Broker

Trade Fee

ETF Fee

Stock Options

Annual Fees

Questrade

$4.95

$0

$9.95/m + $1 per contract

$0

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99/m + $1.25 per contract

$100 for small accounts

$24.99

$24.99

$24.99/m + $1.75 per contract

$100 for small accounts

$9.95

$9.95

$9.95/m + $1.25 per contract

$100 for small accounts

… How Does Questrade Compare with its #1 Competitor: Qtrade?

Qtrade

Questrade

Free ETFs

Yes! free buying AND selling of 100+ ETFs.

Free buying of ETFs, BUT does charge the normal trading fee to sell ETFs.

User Experience

Consistently ranking #1, high availability and friendly to customers

Has made big gains over the last three years, rated just behind Qtrade by most publications

Customer Service

Truly elite customer service, basically, the #1 reason to go with Qtrade

Problematic. During the recent pandemic they saw wait times of 4+ hours to answer basic queries.

Trading Fees

Very Competitive, $6.95/ Trade for Investor Plus Program members / $7.75 for investors aged 18-30/ $8.75 for everyone else

A rock bottom $4.95 for up to 500 shares, to a maximum of $9.95. Questrade clearly shines here

ECN Fees (additional trading fees)

None whatsoever

Charged - often small amounts for most investors

Account Fees

$25 per quarter - WAIVED IF you hold $25,000 in the account OR you make 2 trades per quarter or 8 in the last 12 months OR you add $100+ automatic recurring monthly contribution (my preferred option)

$25 per quarter - WAIVED IF you hold more than $5,000 in the account, make one trade per quarter, or are younger than 25

Research Tools and Education Materials

Has been at the top of Canadian brokerage ranking in this category for over a decade

Made excellent gains in the last few years

Safety

CIPF Member
CIPF Member

Mutual Fund Purchases

Free of Charge
Fees Apply

Sign Up

For another low fee alternative in Canada, have a look at my Questrade vs Wealthsimple comparison. For more details on Questrade vs Qtrade view this comparison.

Questrade Inactivity Fees

Over the years, I’ve read several comments at the bottom of this Questrade review that refer negatively to Questrade’s inactivity fees.  While I’m not in love with the idea, they are fairly up front with them, and it costs exactly $0 to make sure that you never have to pay these fees.

The long story, in short, is that Questrade will charge you $25 if you do not place a trade in three consecutive months (often called “a quarter” amongst tv investment gurus trying to sound smarter than they are).

BUT….

You can make sure you never get charged this fee simply by purchasing one ETF during those three month stretches.  Questrade will charge you $0 to purchase this ETF and you will not trip the inactivity fee wire.

FT, Million Dollar Journey’s founder

You can also avoid Questrade’s inactivity fee by having more than $5,000 in your account or by being younger than 25!

Dividend Investing with Questrade

If you’re like me, and looking to build a healthy portfolio of money-generators that will spin of cash for the 50ish years of your retirement, then you probably purchase shares of your targeted companies most months.  This strategy makes a ton of sense if your using the Smith Maneuver or investing in a non-registered account (not an RRSP, TFSA, or RESP).

When it comes to the basic standard of buying basic shares, Questrade’s fees are quite low – although not quite as cheap as the free ETF purchases.

Here’s how Questrade’s fee structure works when buying a share of a company : $4.95 (standard charge on every trade) + ECN Fees (up to a maximum of $5.00) = Overall Cost

If you’re not familiar with ECN fees, the acronym stands for Electronic Communication Networks.  All you really need to know is that companies charge Questrade about $0.0035 per share when you buy a share with them.  There are ways to shrink this miniscule number even further using limit order and whole board lots – but that starts to be way too much worry for the average Canadian investor.  Here’s a common example one might see if they are a monthly dividend investor.

Ex: I decide to target three Canadian Dividend All Stars with my contribution this month, so I split my 1,200 contribution equally between Bell Canada, IGM Financial, and Fortis.  All traditionally loved by dividend-savvy investors. This is what my investment would likely look like for the month.

  • BCE at $52 per share: 7 shares = $364
  • IGM at $36 per share: 11 shares = $396
  • FTS at $42 per share: 9 shares = $378

If I wanted to maximize my contribution, I could buy another share of BCE with the leftover money, but let’s just go with this for now.

Each of these trades would cost $4.95 + ECN fees of roughly (.0035 x 10 shares) $0.035, for a grand total of less than $4.96.  So the total for all three trades for the month would be ($4.96 x 3 = $14.88).

Now, I realize that some people are buying more than 10 shares at a time.  If you purchased $10,000 worth of Bell (BCE) stock, then you’d be buying 192 shares, and your ECN fees would be a grand total of 67 cents.  Personally, it’s not really a factor I care to pay attention to.

Plus, don’t forget that with our Questrade promotional offer coupon of $50 in free trades, you can start your dividend investing journey for free!

Questrade Enhanced and Questrade Advanced

While the vast majority of investors in Canada will not get much value from Questrade’s “professional trader” platforms: Questrade Enhanced and Questrade Advanced

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Opening a Questrade TFSA, RRSP, RESP Account

Opening your Questrade RRSP, TFSA, or RESP accounts is easier than ever before.  Given how complicated this process was the last time I wrote my Questrade review, the guys/gals in green have really upped their game.

Opening your Questrade Canada account can now be done completely online, and in as little 24 hours.

Basically you click here and our $50 questrade promotional offer code will be automatically applied.  Then you simply select which accounts you would like to open. The main options available are TFSA, RRSP, Margin (non-registered), and Forex.  There are also options for “more” and then a Questrade Portfolios option which is similar to a robo advisor, and which I’ll talk about a little later.

The Questrade sign up process will guide you through the following three steps:

  1. Create a user ID
  2. Build Profile
  3. Setup Account

You’ll need a few documents and/or snippets of info including:

  • Your preferred email address (used to create your User ID)
  • Your name and home address as they appear on your Government ID
  • After creating your User ID, you’ll need your new Questrade login and password
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Employment information including your income, plus your income from other sources
  • A Government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport (which can be uploaded via scanned document or picture)

Once you’ve completed the sign up with these documents, the final step to opening your Questrade RRSP or TFSA is to go to your normal “all-in-one” bank account or chequing account that your pay gets deposited into, and then to send your investing dollars over to your shiny new DIY Questrade account. 

From every bank account that I’ve ever used or helped people through, it’s the same process as you would use to send money to pay your credit card or utility bill from your online banking platform. Setting up your seperate Questrade RRSP and TFSA accounts as recurring payees will significantly help you cut down on time going forward.

Technically – you can open a Questrade brokerage account without any actual money in it! 

In order to actually purchase your first share of a stock or unit of an ETF though, you’ll need to have $1,000 in the account.

While pretty much everyone reading  my website over the years knows that I recommend sticking to dividend-stock investing and basic index investing, Questrade offers a ton of choice when it comes to what you purchase within a TFSA or RRSP.

Questrade RRSP Account Details

Once you have setup your Questrade RRSP and have your deposit info all setup within your online banking platform it’s time to choose how to invest that money.  It’s also worth noting that Questrade will transfer your current RRSP or TFSA over to their platform for FREE!

In case you haven’t brushed up on some of the specifics of RRSPs lately, the point of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan is to help you save for retirement but sheltering your investments from the tax man’s icy grasp, and allowing you postpone paying taxes when you are working (and hopefully in a high tax bracket) to when you are retired (and likely in a lower tax bracket).

You can check your last tax return to find out how much you can invest within your Questrade RRSP account.  A lot of people don’t realize that RRSP room is like a fine wine – it just gets better with age! Each year the Canadian government allows you to put up to 18% of your income into your RRSP up to a maximum amount (in 2019 the RRSP contribution maximum is $26,500).  This amount is adjusted if you contribute to a workplace pension plan. For example, since I’m a teacher and make pre-tax contributions to my pension plan, I get less RRSP room than other Canadians might.

If you just opened a Questrade RRSP account, and have never had other RRSP investments over the years, it’s quite possible that you have a significant amount of room that you can make use of over the next few years.

Questrade TFSA Account Details

Your new Questrade TFSA account will be the flip of the RRSP.  You’ll get taxed when you put money into it, but there is no “postponement” of taxes to worry about paying on the back end when you take the money out.  Just like the RRSP (and RESP for that matter), the TFSA is what’s known as a registered account, and consequently, the TFSA umbrella will prevent the taxing rain from eroding away your investment returns over the years.

The other similarity the Tax Free Savings Account has with your Questrade RRSP is that it is extremely easy to open, as you simply select which accounts you want to open when you register at Questrade for the first time.

One point worth nothing when it comes to your Questrade TFSA Account: It should be called a Tax-Free Investing Account.  I’ve long believed that adding the “S” to the TFSA has misled about 90% of Canadians into believing a TFSA is basically just a premium version of a high-interest savings account.  Of course it is so much more than that, and can be used to shelter the same wide variety of investments as the Questrade RRSP account does.

You can contribute $6,000 per year to your TFSA and the federal government has stated that the plan is to increase that amount along with inflation over the upcoming years.  Just like it’s RRSP cousin, TFSA contribution room does not disappear if it is not used in a given year.

In fact, if you were 18-years-old in 2009, you will have accumulated $63,500 in contribution room (increasing to 69,500 in 2020), and can immediately deposit this amount into your new Questrade TFSA account if it is your first time using a TFSA.

Holding USD In My Questrade RRSP and TFSA

Investing in USD can save you a ton of money in currency conversion fees when you think about how much it costs to convert dividend income and new stock purchases back and forth over your investing lifetime.  Questrade RRSPs and TFSAs allow you hold both USD and CAD in your portfolio – and they do this for no added fees. (Each account is still $0).

Questrade was the first online discount brokerage to allow investors to hold USD in a registered account.

Questrade RESP and Family RESP Accounts

If you have children and you think they might one day attend post-secondary schooling of ANY KIND (it does NOT have to be university) then you are throwing away free money by not opening a Questrade RESP account.  Given how quickly post-secondary education costs are rising (2.5x-3x the rate of general inflation) can you afford to throw away free money?

Here’s how to get $10,000 in free money from our government.

  1. Setup a FREE Questrade RESP account and deposit $208.34 into it every month.
  2. Collect the free $500 Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) each year, up to a lifetime limit of $7,200.
  3. Invest the money in a conservative all-in-one ETF or even just a basic Canadian bond ETF.
  4. The interest/investment return you will make on your own money that you put it is nice – but you know what’s nicer?  The $2,500-$3,000 return that you make on someone else’s money! (Especially when that someone else is the government!)

If your income is below $42,000 then there are some extra incentives for you.

The CESG cash, plus your investment returns within the Questrade RESP account will be taxed as income in the hands of the student.  This means that it’s almost always tax-free because of the large amount of tax credits and deductions that students enjoy. Your original cash can be withdrawn tax-free as you already paid tax on it before investing it.

If you have more than one child, you can combine their contribution room into one big easy-to-manage Questrade Family RESP account (which is also free to open with no annual fees).  The advantage to these accounts is that you can handle the withdrawals amongst your children in whatever way is convenient for you.

What If My Child Doesn’t Go to University? Do I Lose My Questrade RESP Money?

Here are the main points to think about if you’re worried about “wasting” RESP contributions:

1) The Questrade RESP account can be active for up to 35 years and you can use the RESP money for a HUGE variety of post-secondary studies.  Everything from massage therapy to airplane mechanic courses can be covered. This combination means that it’s VERY likely your child will be able to use the RESP help at some point.

2) If you haven’t maxed out the CESG or contribution room for Child 2, you can simply take Child 1’s RESP money and use it for Child 2 within your Questrade Family RESP account.

3) If you have no children that ever attend any sort of post-secondary education, you can roll $50,000 into your RRSP (assuming you have the contribution room) and all you would lose is the free CESG money, and the investment earnings on the government’s cash.

4) You can withdraw the money you originally contributed tax-free without any penalties.

5) If you withdraw the investment returns that you made on your money, you will be taxed as if you earned the money as income, plus an additional 20% penalty.  (This is a very unlikely scenario.)

Questrade Margin and Non-Registered Account

First of all – kudos to you for maxing out your Questrade RRSP and TFSA accounts!  If you haven’t done that yet, you can probably keep life simple and skip this part of our Questrade review.

Once you have contributed the maximum amount to your RRSP and TFSA accounts, and (if you’ve got children) the Questrade Family RESP is on autopilot, your next step becomes a good news – bad news situation.

The good news is that you are in great financial shape, and there are options available for continued investing.

The bad news is that there is no more space under your tax-sheltered registered account umbrella.  From here on out, you will be investing in the rain, and the tax man will get his chunk.

So, while there are semi-exotic accounts one could open if they want to exchange foreign currency or invest within a corporation, the option most people will opt for is a Questrade Margin Account.

The Questrade Margin Account is a fancy name for a basic non-registered account, with the added feature of being able to borrow money from Questrade and invest that money alongside your own.  When you borrow money to invest it, this is called “investing on the margin”.

Now, I don’t recommend investing on the margin unless you really really know what you’re doing, and even then it often isn’t a good idea.  The main takeaway from this though, should be that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BORROW MONEY to invest within a Questrade Margin Account. Most everyday investors in Canada will be best served by using this account to invest in Canadian-dividend payers (my Smith Maneuver account for example) or other Canada-based ETFs.

You can however, put almost any kind of investment in a Questrade Margin account.  Here’s a few more quick Questrade review facts about the non-registered option:

  • You can invest in short-selling (watch the Big Short to have Margot Robbie in a bathtub telling you what this means)
  • There are no contribution limits to worry about like there are with the Questrade RRSP, TFSA, and RESP accounts.
  • Investment returns inside an unregistered account are still treated much nicer than income you make from a job.  Capital gains and dividends are eligible for special tax treatment in Canada.
  • There are no taxes to worry about upon withdrawal like there are in a RRSP.
  • You can engage in complex options trading (again, not my thing).
  • Questrade Margin accounts are governed by margin falls.  This part is important: If you borrow money from Questrade, and the investment drops below the margin requirement, Questrade will essentially demand that you pay them their money back.  If you don’t immediately pay them back, Questrade can sell your investments and take the money in lieu of your payment.

Overall, using the Questrade Margin Account as a basic non-registered account is a great option.  Getting into the more exotic options like leveraged options trading is not my cup of tea.

Questrade’s Trading Platforms – A Peek Inside

Questrade offers quite an exquisite and exclusive trading experience. It’s true that I believe that there are better brokers out there in Canada for mobile app functionality or ease of use, but all in all Questrade delivers a home run, especially when you compare it to its immediate peers. The Questrade Trading and Questrade IQ Edge (web), as well as the Questrade App look and feel smooth and are generally bug-free, a thing which can’t be wholeheartedly said about most Canadian brokers’ software.

Below you can find a myriad of screenshots we have gathered from Questrade’s website which will be soon replaced by more exclusive imagery (we are working on it!).

Images from Questrade’s Trading Platform:

Questrade Customer Service in 2020 and 2021

While Questrade continued to lead the pack when it comes to per-trade fees in Canada the rush to DIY investing – combined with Covid-related logistics issues – led to customer frustration with Questrade throughout the last year.  With many commenters reporting wait times of 3-5 hours whether they used the call-in feature or online messaging, there was a premium to be put on customer service.

Now that’s not to say that Questrade won’t adapt and adjust to these new market realities in 2021 (I think it’s likely they will), but for now, Canadians’ consistent expectation of solid customer service means that Qtrade has climbined to our #1 position when it comes to crowning the King of the Discount Brokerage mountain.

All of that said, if you’re an experienced investor that rarely requires help when using your discount brokerage platform, then the consistent commitment to low fees might mean that Questrade is still the best fit for you.

Questrade Review Conclusion: An Award-Winning Canadian Leader

As you can tell from our consistently-updated Questrade review, Questrade has a lot going for it. 

In fact, in early June it was announced that Questrade was named as the number one overall online brokerage in the JD Power 2020 Canada Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study. JD Power is considered to be a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services, and data analyses. They do not run their own in-house reviews, but rather rely on customer feedback which, I think, says even more about the quality of this ranking. After all, consumers are generally the most trustworthy when it comes to opinions.

As the winner for the Best Overall Investor Satisfaction for 2020, Questrade actually scored 19 points above the industry average. A pretty impressive feat for what is now becoming a competitive market.

Of course, this isn’t Questrade’s only award. Questrade is regularly named as one of the best managed companies in Canada. In March of 2020, they scooped that award for the 9th year in a row!

If Questrade can shore up their customer service wait times, they should find themselves back in consideration for our top spot, but with Qtrade’s recent additions to their stellar platform, they are proving to be a brutally tough competitor. The good news is that this Canadian discount brokerage rivalry only means continued great things for DIY investors in the Great White North!

FT

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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Michael
1 year ago

I’m opening up a questrade account and i just have a question about the options. On the choosing an account page i can’t seem to find the RRSP option, the only thing there is RSP. Is that the same as an RRSP? I know when i look it up it shows RRSP for everyone else so im wondering if questrade just recently changed their naming for their accounts? Thanks

Editor
Kyle Prevost
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael

It’s the same Michael.

Francois
1 year ago

Where is the setting for turning off the ability to borrow in a margin account?

I asked Questrade support and here’s what they said: “There is no feature to turn off the borrowing on a margin account. The whole nature of this account is that it allows you to borrow funds if you don’t have. If you don’t wish to borrow then you can just ensure to trade with the funds you deposit. Whenever, it exceeds the amount you have then you will be borrowing.”

Editor
Kyle Prevost
1 year ago
Reply to  Francois

I apologize Francois, this was an old feature of their accounts that I never dreamt they’d change. I will update the review immediately.

Jim
2 years ago

I had the same initial impression, however this does not work for trades with accounts valued over $1M USD. SOOO many issues with account locks for “inquiries”or “risk reviews”, delayed transfers on amounts of $100K to my bank account…all while being a “platinum member”.

I left TD because of the fees, but now think it’s worth it…I’m moving back.

Don McLean
3 years ago

WOW sooooo glad I read this. Was looking for a broker with good trading platform for my new trading experience. CIBC fees good but platform really lacking, Customer service VERY important to a newbie, On line reviews were good for Questrade but you have convinced me that i need to go else where THNX Now mt search for good trading platform continues frustrated this is soon difficult

Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Don McLean

Hey Don – haven’t been here for years, but saw a bunch of notifications in my email and figured I would check it out again. I see lots of complaints, but understand, its the people with complaints that will post to a forum, not those that are content. You are looking for platforms – since TDW killed their active trader, questrade IS the best canadian platform out there now IMH (IQ edge). I have been with them for about 15 years I think, rarely have issues and have withdrawn at least a dozen times (EFT) with no problems (note with USD to CAD – you have to exchange first, then withdraw once funds moved to Cad side). I see some complaints about exchange fees, well, it was the same as TD was from what I recall. Part of doing business. Also see complaints about orders being dropped – it COULD be the ‘aggressive bid’ rule where you can’t place an order greater than 20% above/below last price. This affects stop limits (ie, stoploss $1, with a limit of 0.79 – the order will go in, but will get rejected once triggered.
This is all brokers, so maybe the person just doesn’t understand and blames them.
One thing for sure, if you also want to trade OTC/PINK in US market, this is the place to be. Maybe its not for those with million $ accounts, but why are you using a discount broker if you have $million account?

moneyhelp
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Just curious, who would you go with if you had a $million account?

I’m more concerned with Suz story of having issues withdrawing from the account. I can say, like you, I have never had issues when withdrawing funds via EFT from my margin account over to my bank, however; in a few years time I am interested in buying a home and will be using the HBP, but I will be depositing $25K into my RRSP, hold it for 90 days to trigger a tax refund (from what I’ve read can be ~8-10k) then I will withdraw the money to be used with the HBP, but I don’t want to have issues when withdrawing the funds.

Nikolai Grigoriev
3 years ago
Reply to  moneyhelp

Hard to say which platform is the best, but I like what I get from the Interactive Brokers. I would also imagine they are used to the large transactions because they, supposedly, deal more with the wealthier investors and traders. Also, I believe, IBC has, by far, the best mobile and standalone application.

As for the issues…Since beginning of April I am trying to move a small (<$10K) RRSP account from RBC to my broker and the only word I would use to describe it is "sabotage". RBC has came up with several excused for refusing a simple and straightforward RRSP all in-cash account transfer. So…as usually, "your mileage may vary".

moneyhelp
3 years ago

That’s interesting, because I just moved my RRSP from RBC to Questrade less than a month ago, with zero issues. And I didn’t speak with RBC at all. I filled the transfer form that Questrade provides and they dealt with it, pretty easy.

One thing, Questrade did say that it could take about 20 business days to finalize, but it took about one week, so much faster than anticipated. Cash still sitting in my RRSP account waiting for trade :)

Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  moneyhelp

Hard one to answer – one of the banks probably (TD), but to be honest, all the banks trading platforms suck, so if you want to self manage, not sure the best route. If you are fine with some one else managing, I would use a full service (locally have used Odlum Brown & Hollis Wealth and they have done fine).

Personally I don’t know if taking out large sums would be a common issue with Questrade. Max I have done at once was $10000, and no problem with that, but if it was $100000???

Team Questrade
3 years ago

Hi Suz,

My name is David, and I work at Questrade.

We came across your comment, and we’re sorry to hear about your experience with us. We can only imagine how you must have felt at that moment.

We want to hear more from you and check what exactly happened there. Please send us an email with your contact information to feedback@questrade.com, and we’ll reach out to make things better.

Sorry for the trouble.
Thank you,
David – Team Questrade

Suz
3 years ago

I was a Questrade advocate for years. Had cash, TFSA, and RRSP accounts and was happy with the low fees and intuitive trading platform. There were a few minor issues along the way such as stock prices being incorrect after a purchase or currency exchange not being executed etc, which CSR solved.

This all changed when I tried to pull cash out for down payment on a house. I didn’t think $100k was outrageous given the context. For over 2 months, I got the run around from various CSR on why I couldn’t transfer funds out of Questrade into my bank. One CSR would ask for certain documents from my bank, which another CSR would then discredit and said was useless. I was stressed beyond belief as all the papers were already signed. My house almost fell through. I did not think it would take 2 months to transfer the money out when transferring in takes 1 day. Thankfully, my parents were able to borrow against their house to cover the down payment while I traded calls and emails with Questrade on a daily basis.

After the ordeal, I transferred RRSP out and lo and behold, the prices were all wrong. Not a single stock was transferred at the purchase price. Some were off by a few cents, some a few dollars. When I asked Questrade to correct them, CSR told me the account is closed, nothing they can do. They also continuously stressed that stock prices don’t matter. I lost $500 overnight. To this date, I still consider the $500 a small price to pay to be rid of Questrade. However, it’s still $500 that I shouldn’t need to lose. Due to this experience, I sold all the positions in TFSA within Questrade, transferred cash into margin account then out of Questrade little chunks at a time.

My experience has deterred many of my family and friends from Questrade and I would advise against ever signing up with Questrade. The “F” BBB rating is definitely justified.

moneyhelp
3 years ago
Reply to  Suz

Hey Suz,

I’m curious, when you say all the prices were wrong, were they over or under the purchase price?

Also, were the prices on the statements correct or only your final (transfer) statement show incorrect prices?

Herald
3 years ago
Reply to  Suz

Strange. I do transfer out large amount form QT quite frequently and have never had any issues. Latest was two weeks ago. It is very possible that you hit the wrong person dealing with your case. I am not for or against QT. Most brokers offer similar services and have the same level of support.
I use both QT and IB (QT for registered and IB for no-registered accounts). What I don’t like about QT is their currency conversation hidden fees are very high. I calculated that they will charge close to 2% if they convert one currency to another and back. Usually banks charge that kind of fees, but QT is not a bank, and banks take higher compliance risks.

moneyhelp
3 years ago
Reply to  Herald

Yes, Questrade charges 2% service fees for currency conversions. Definitely an excessive charge fee, that’s why most people (and yours truly) will use Norbert’s Gambit to convert USD to CAD or vice versa for a fraction of the cost, from what I’ve read that is usually around 0.3%

Herald Gjura
3 years ago
Reply to  Suz

Also, I don’t understand the part of purchase price being wrong. Did you transfer the shares, or you sold everything, transferred, and bought everything back at the receiving broker? If you transferred the shares, are the # of shares in the other end the same of what you had before? In that case the “purchase price” is only a reporting inconvenience. It happens all the time. You can call the receiving broker and tell them what the “purchase price” of record should be, and they will change it for you. I did that with RBC when I transferred out the RRSP & TFSA accounts from QT to RBC. The $500 loss is just a paper loss.
If the amount of shares transferred is lower in the other side, you have a problem, and should follow up. Definitely illegal and unjustifiable.
If you sold, transferred, and repurchased, well, that is is a bit of a risk you have to take. You maybe lost $500, but if you sold before a market downturn you could of have “made” $500. What I usually do, is that I have enough funds (on margin) on the other side, and I purchase the same funds prior to selling them in the other account. Like that I am guaranteed to have the same price, and I also account for trading fees + tax to be covered by selling a bit higher.

Vito
3 years ago

Question in regards to your promo code. You mention that it must be used within 30 days of opening my account. I am planning to open an RRSP account, and have contacted Questrade both via online chat and on the phone asking one specific question.

Does the $50 commission rebate from using a promo code have an expire date or can it be used in the future indefinitely?

The CSR on the online chat said it must be used within 30 days. Occasionally getting burned in the past with promo bonuses, I decided to also call Questrade with the same question. The CSR on the phone at first thought I was referring to the cash bonus, but once he understood I was referring to the commission rebate code, he had to place me on hold twice to confirm my question and was told that there is no expire date and can be used indefinitely.

Now, I came across your article and you state that indeed it needs to be used within 30 days of opening the account.

Which is it? So frustrated (not with you of course) right now.

Pat
4 years ago

Also agree with Christian et al;

Extremely poor experience with their customer service, also being put on hold for hours & the live chat is useless, it’s too busy to respond.
I’m in the process of moving a large account out because they cannot even bother to respond email request for the failure to process a 2016 RRSP deposit made a month ago.
Avoid Questrade at all costs.

Dave
5 years ago

I opened an account with Questrade in 2015 when they had a $50 bonus promotion to open a TFSA account. Does anyone know if that $50 will count towards my TFSA contribution?

Savs
5 years ago

Agree with you Christian,

Extremely poor experience with their customer service, being put on hold for hours and not receiving call backs for WEEKS (and when they do call back its at the exact times you told them you were unavailable).

They also now charge RESP fees and basically told me to suck it.

AWFUL. Starting my son’s RESP there was the worst move I could have made. I’m glad i didn’t move my other accounts to them.