Best Canadian brokerage firms: top online stock trading brokers in Canada

Best Canadian brokerage firms in 2019. Top rated online brokers offering investing and stock trading account services to citizens and residents of Canada (Toronto, Ontario, BC/British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec).

Questrade Commissions and Products

Stocks (Democratic Plan) $0.01 per share, $4.95 minimum, $9.95 maximum per trade
Stocks (Advantage Variable Plan) $0.01 per share, $0.01 minimum, $6.95 maximum per trade
Stocks (Advantage Fixed Plan) $4.95 per trade
ETFs All Canadian and U.S. ETFs are free to buy; standard commission to sell
Options $9.95 + $1 per contract ($6.95 + $0.75 per contract in Advantage Variable; $4.95 + $0.75 per contract in Advantage Fixed)
Options assignments$24.95
Mutual funds $9.95
Gold or Silver $19.95 per trade
Bonds $0 per trade
Forex spreads as low as 1-2 pips on the major currency pairs

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, international stocks, gold, CNSX securities, bonds, term deposits, GICs, ETFs
Questrade minimum deposit to open account $1,000 ($250 minimum to keep an account open)
FeesQuestrade fees

Questrade Pros

  • Very good commissions on all products, except options
  • Ability to buy physical gold
  • No surcharges for large orders, stocks under $1, or extended hours trading
  • Ability to hold U.S. dollars
  • Forex trading is available
  • Online Trading Academy courses
  • Checking account (but with an annual fee)

Questrade Cons

  • Customer service needs improvement
  • Quarterly $20 inactivity fee if no trades were executed in a quarter AND account balance is less than $5,000
  • Outgoing ACAT of $125 - most companies charge this fee, but few set it so high

Best Canadian Brokerage Review

Read detailed Questrade Review »

Questrade is a discount online Canadian brokerage firm that excepts as customers only Canadian citizens and residents. The company provides very good investment commissions: 1 cent per share, $4.95 minimum, $9.95 maximum per trade on stocks and exchange traded funds, $9.95 plus $1 per contract on options and $9.95 per trade on mutual funds. There are no account maintenance and inactivity fees for accounts with over $5,000 balance. Minimum to open cash account is $1,000, and $250 to keep it open.

Questrade is known best for offering easy way for its customers to buy and store physical gold. Each gold trade is only $20. Client's gold is kept safe at the Royal Canadian Mint. This is a very convenient and cheap way for investors to hedge against possible inflation and currency collapse.

Questrade offers a few choices for trading platform: QuestraderWEB is web-based and free; QuestraderPRO and QuestraderELITE are stand-alone, professional platforms for active traders for which company charges fee. All platforms are well designed, fast and intuitive.

Questrade is ranked #1 online brokerage in Canada in commissions and fees. Because of very low pricing, ability to buy gold, few fees and no surcharges we strongly recommend Questrade to anyone - whether they want an active trading platform or a tool for do-it-yourself investing.

Questrade Promotion - click link below to get $50 in free trades

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Interactive Brokers Commissions and Products

Stocks and ETFs $0.005 per share with $1 minimum, 0.5% of trade value maximum for SMART routed orders
Options $0.70 per contract if premium => $0.10; $0.50 per contract if $0.05 =< premium < USD 0.10; $0.25 per contract if premium < $0.05 + exchange fees. Minimum $1 per order.
Mutual funds $14.95 (minimum size on initial fund order is $3,000, subsequent minimum order size is $100)
Corporate and municipal bonds0.1%* face value (10 bps) if <= $10,000 face value; 0.025%* face value (2.5 bps) if > $10,000 face value
Treasuries (bills, notes, bonds)0.02%* face value (2 bps) if <= $1,000,000 face value; 0.002%* face value (0.2 bps) if > $1,000,000 face value; $5 minimum
Metals0.15 basis point * trade value; minimum $2; storage cost 0.10% per annum
US-future and future options$0.85 per contract
Forex0.20 basis point * trade value if <= $1,000,000,000; minimum $2

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, futures, currency transactions, US SSFs, EFPs, metals
IB minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesInteractive Brokers fees
Promotion linkInteractive Brokers promotions

Interactive Brokers Pros

  • Low pay-per-share commissions on stock trades with up to 1,000 shares and on options trades of up to 20 contracts
  • Professional trading platform
  • Lowest margin rates in the industry
  • Access to 100 markets worldwide
  • Rich selection of products for trading

Interactive Brokers Cons

  • $10 per month minimum commission requirement to avoid $10 monthly fee (rises to $20 monthly if account balance is less than $2,000; waived for $100,000+ accounts)
  • $10 monthly for market data feed (waived if trade commissions are more than $10 per month)
  • $7.50 quarterly fee for IRA accounts ($30 per year)
  • $10,000 minimum to open most accounts
  • Complicated fee structure
  • Trader Workstation is designed for professional traders; it is not intuitive and difficult to learn
  • Expensive to make trades with over 1,600 shares
  • Lots of customer complains about snobby customer service (and yes, we experienced it ourselves)
  • Merciless margin tightening and fast margin calls - IB apparently doesn't care if their customers get completely wiped out
  • Minimum size on initial mutual fund order is $3,000 (subsequent minimum order size is $100). Only no-load funds and short term redemption fee funds are offered
  • Technical problems with trading platforms and website
  • Long login process

Full Review

Read detailed Interactive Brokers Review »

There are a number of online trading platforms to choose from, and one of the leaders is Interactive Brokers (IB). Founded in 1993 the company in headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut and has offices in several financial centers around the world including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Zug (Switzerland), and Chicago.

The platform is preferred by traders whose platforms include a large number of U.S. and international stocks, include a large number of forex traders. IB is known for its commission rates, which are lower than most of its competitors.

IB's value proposition is not only low pricing but also international trading. Unlike other online platforms, the trading mix is extremely broad. IB currently supports trades of stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, futures and futures options, mutual funds, CFDs, structured products, warrants, metals, and forex just to name a few. Another plus of the platform is that IB keeps adding new features.

Interactive Brokers also has sophisticated derivative trading tools. OptionTrader is specifically designed for customers who want to buy and sell derivatives. IB’s software in 2016 was awarded “Best Options Trading Platform” by WSL Institutional Awards. The broker charges anywhere from $1 per contract to 15¢ per contract, depending on the total number of monthly contracts traded, with a $1 minimum commission per order. IB also has a $10 minimum commission amount per month. If an account doesn’t place enough trades, it is billed the difference, unless it has a $100,000 balance. The broker also requires $10,000 to open an account.

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Best Canadian Brokers reviewed by Rating: 5