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Questrade Improves Commission Structure

A Questrade PR rep emailed me about their new and improved commission structure.  Their old system gave you a choice of either $4.95/trade for up to 495 shares ($0.01/share after that) OR $9.95/trade for unlimited shares.  Depending on the volume of shares that you're trading, one choice may be more cost effective than the other. 

They have now changed their system so that their clients always get the best commission structure.  Clients are now charged a $0.01/share with a minimum of $4.95/trade up to a maximum of $9.95/trade.  No more switching between commission structures because it will always be the most efficient.  This change will benefit those who dabble with penny stocks as buying the occasional high volume of stock can really add up commission wise.

Questrade is definitely among the most cost effective Canadian Discount Brokerages.  I've been using them for over a year now with no problems. 

Here are the highlights:

  • No annual fees 
  • Only brokerage in Canada that allows US Dollars to be held within an RRSP
  • Only $1,000 initial deposit required
  • $250 balance to maintain the account 
  • Free data feeds
  • $0.01/share with a min of $4.95/trade and a maximum of $9.95/trade.
  • $50 trading rebate for referred new clients. You can read more about the Questrade referral here.

Here is a snippet of the press release:

Toronto, ON (April 1, 2008) – Questrade Inc., Canada's most innovative brokerage, announces today it is simplifying its top-rated stock trade commission plans into a single "democratic" price. All Questrade clients are eligible for 1¢ per share, with a minimum commission of $4.95 and a cap of $9.95.

Democratic pricing automatically gives clients the best possible commission for every trade. Small lots can qualify for a commission of $4.95, trades of between 495 and 995 shares are priced at a penny per share, and larger lot trades are capped at $9.95.

Says Edward Kholodenko, President and CEO of Questrade: "We want to offer a fair deal to all our customers, no matter their trade activity level or account balance. It's the democratization of trading. New or more casual investors now get the same purchasing power that was always available to active and pro traders."

Democratic pricing takes effect April 1st, 2008, and all Questrade clients are automatically enrolled. A Questrade account can be opened with $1000, there are no annual fees, no trade activity thresholds and a balance of only $250 is required to maintain an account in good standing.

The new commission is a continuation of the firm's commitment to accessible, cost-effective investment solutions for Canadians.

  • In January, 2008, Questrade introduced USD in RSP™, the first RSP to hold U.S. dollars. This service eliminates the 1% to 2% currency conversion fees that other brokerages attach to all RSP trades in U.S. markets.
  • In January, 2007, Questrade began offering the gold RSP, the only registered savings account in Canada that directly deals in physical gold. With gold around USD $1000 today, investor interest in the service has been surging – doubling since the beginning of 2008.

Happy trading! 

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FrugalTrader About the author: FrugalTrader 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.

{ 35 comments… add one }

  • Nicolas April 2, 2008, 9:28 am

    This is good news for those making bigger purchases but they still have some seirous issues to resolve with customer service.

  • Telly April 2, 2008, 10:43 am

    99% of the time the $4.95 commission is fine for me but
    Grrr…I just spent $60 for a trade when I doubled my position on a penny stock I’m dabbling in only a few weeks ago. Still, this could be useful for others.

    I’m sure they got sick of having to change the commission structure on accounts fairly regularly. It might be one of the reasons people had complaints about customer service being so slow (although I’ve had no problems)! Maybe now they’ll have more time to address other issues rather than switching over accounts.

  • Hannah April 2, 2008, 10:51 am

    I’ve never actually heard of Questrade, I’ll look into them more for sure, it sounds very interesting! I had always seen CIBC as having the best discount brokerage in Canada!

  • FrugalTrader April 2, 2008, 10:54 am

    Telly, I believe that you could change commission structures online under “my account”. But yes, it was a pain.

    Hannah, CIBC has a decent discount brokerage but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they are the best. Check out my discount brokerage review to see all the options out there.

  • Hannah April 2, 2008, 1:25 pm

    Hi FT!

    I took a look at your discount brokerage review which was very thorough, and I think all things considered, Questrade is the only one there which has an edge on CIBC. The others I find to be too limited or too expensive, while Questrade and CIBC both maintain a balance of having a diverse availability of investment vehicles and low minimum requirements.

    I’m personally not a fan of CIBC at all but their discount brokerage is good. Questrade, however, looks to be better!

  • Telly April 2, 2008, 1:45 pm

    FT, I’ve changed commission structures in the past but my last purchase was made near the start of the month and due to a (hopefully ;) ) big dip, I couldn’t wait for the end of the month to change structures. Also, I bought a small # of shares of RY & BMO during the same month so the $4.95 structure came in handy for those. I guess technically my trade only cost me an extra $40 all things considered.

    Changing commission structures is a PITA if you dabble in cheaper stocks or make larger purchases (lump sum ETFs) while also buying small #’s of shares for say dividend payers in the same month. I think this is farily common so this should be a welcomed change for Questrade customers.

  • Eva-novice April 2, 2008, 6:21 pm

    Hello everyone. I am novice on the market. I signed up with Questrade, their website sucks, but at least is free, awesome account for trades has Royal bank, how ever they charge you after 90 days free trial $60 per annum.
    Can you advice me how or where is the best place to go look for stock paying good dividends? Is there some site where individual traders can chat, or change info etc?
    Thank you in advance for any advice
    Eva the novice

  • Greybeard April 2, 2008, 10:58 pm

    A couple of months ago I was considering opening up an account with Questrade, so I emailed them with a request for a copy of their summary audited financial statements in order to get an appreciation of their financial strenth. The response was “… Questrade is a private company and we do not release this information. …”

    I found the response rather interesting, because IDA rules require an IDA member to provide summary audited financial statements to clients (& presumably prospective clients) on request. While this was just Questrade’s response to one request, it didn’t give me any sense of comfort about the their financial strength; and their regulatory compliance culture.

  • Four Pillars April 3, 2008, 12:12 am

    Telly – what kind of penny stocks do you dabble in? I thought you were just into banks? :)


  • Little Ms.Scrooge April 3, 2008, 12:39 pm

    Does anyone know about tradefreedom. I heard that they were taken over by Scotia bank. They offer 9.95/ trade and they seem to offer account managers with every customer. I don’t mind paying that extra 5$ if it has a better customer satisfaction/care. Actually when I checked last, surviscor had a review of all firms and Credential direct ranked first in over all.Have a look at-
    http://www.surviscor.com/scorview/2007Summer/. I am unable to provide the link-don’t know why!

  • Little Ms.Scrooge April 3, 2008, 12:40 pm

    Actually the link works!!

  • heather May 6, 2008, 5:42 pm

    I just signed up with Questrade in February, but I’ve had nothing but problems with them. First I found their site unhelpful with regard to filling out some of the paperwork to transfer in to them and setting up. Then they took too much money from my other broker’s account, refused to admit an error and return it. So I had to pay the other broker’s transfer fees, plus Questrade’s transfer out fees to get the extra money back to the other broker. Then they refused the other broker’s request to transfer it out, saying that the money was in US$ (it isn’t). When I called they agreed that it was in Canadian $ and could give me no reason why their “clearing house” (Penson Financial) had refused the transfer request. Then we requested it again, and it was refused again (it takes 3 weeks each time). Now they say it’s because my account is not an RRSP account (it is). I called again, they agreed that it is an RRSP account and couldn’t explain why their “clearing house” had declined the transfer request. They will never let you talk to a manager or to the transfer department, just the customer service rep that answers the phone. They won’t accept a phone call from my other broker, who is trying to straighten it out for me. Not to mention other times when I have tried to find out other types of things and found their customer service very frustrating. My advice? Stay away.

  • Eva Bell May 6, 2008, 5:59 pm

    I am with Questrade almost a year I have 3 accounts, individual, RRSP and Lira, so far, I am happy. I have to recomend to everyone.
    Sorry to hear about your trouble.

  • Lynn Suderman May 7, 2008, 3:12 pm

    Hi Heather – I reviewed your account with a senior client services specialist and we were able to isolate most of the issues you discuss in your post. He will contact you directly to explain the instructions you need to convey to your other broker in order for your request to be completed.

    The issue comes down to your other broker’s misunderstanding regarding the Questrade RSP. In early January 2008, we became the first Canadian brokerage to allow clients to hold USD in their RSPs. This service is in all RSPs, whether the client uses it or not, and is represented as a separate sub-account within the overall RSP account. If a client does not use the USD capabilities – holds only CAD – then the USD sub-account would be empty. If a 2nd financial institution requests a transfer from an empty USD sub-account, it would be declined.

    I am sorry about the frustration you experienced. We receive a lot of positive feedback, but when this is not the case, we want to know why. I would welcome more details about your experience. Please feel free to email me or to post your comments here.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager, Questrade

  • Cash Instinct June 11, 2008, 2:30 am

    How much Questrade would require to transfer in assets, in order to pay transfer fees (+-130$) from another broker?

  • Rex June 25, 2008, 12:14 am

    Hello everyone. I am novice on the market. I am doing demo on Questrade FOREX platform. I am thinking to open a live account on FOREX market. Can you advice me how or where is the best place to go do FOREX trading?
    Thank you in advance for any advice

  • Eva Bell June 25, 2008, 2:10 pm

    16. Cash Instinct – nothing, be careful, I transferred to the Questrade over $12.000 and ones it came to pay me up to $150 advertised rebate for transfer they said that because I was not charge by my previous broker nothing will get nothing. Although I lost on DSC fees over $600

    17. Rex My recommendation is to go with basic Web Beta version. When you click on refresh you will get real price for a stock as well and no monthly fee for $20.00 contra streaming version and as a comparison I started with Royal bank, awesome web site, informative, good design, easy to see and very easy to find any info. And they charging $60 for whole year, first 3 months for free, but yes, their fee to buy a stock is much more. Questrade is still quit messy, takes time until you will understand how to orient on their site, how to for instance, look for stock proper name, to be sure you buying what is in your mind etc.

  • Rex June 25, 2008, 3:16 pm

    Thanks a lot Eva Bell.

    But I am interested in doing FOREX trading.

    So which broker is the best place to start?

    Any suggestion and advice welcome!

    Thank you in advance,

    Rex from Canada

  • Eva Bell June 25, 2008, 4:34 pm

    Oh, sorry, FOREX – do you have to have $100.000 to start? Are they not the same comp? I am confuse now

  • Rex June 25, 2008, 5:24 pm

    Hi Eva Bell,

    I am a novice so I am thinking to open a live account with $1,000.00.

    Do you mean one hundred thousand dollar?

  • Eva Bell June 25, 2008, 7:06 pm

    yes, you talking about Questrade Forex, I do not have the experience with Forex on Questrade how ever I can see that ignitial deposit for some exch.pricing is 10 000 US

  • Eva Bell June 25, 2008, 7:10 pm

    If you are a novice I would start with the above basic version with $1000 ignitial deposit. But it is up to you if you want to spend $20.00 for each month practically for something what you can see as well in the basic version.

  • Rex June 26, 2008, 1:31 am

    Hi Eva Bell,

    Thanks a lot!


  • Max Power August 25, 2008, 7:48 pm

    Questrade’s promotion for 30 Free Trades is a Scam!!! I signed up because of the promotion and now they tell me I didn’t enter the promotion code. I made sure that the code was inputted and perhaps their site made an error by omitting it but instead of offering to investigate the situation their answer is because you didn’t enter the code you do not qualify. Customer Service is horrible!! They even tried to tell me my account was activated after the deadline (July 31, 2008) which really outraged me. The email they sent thanking me for opening an account with them was dated in July. And when they say they will call you back regarding an issue be sure not to hold your breath because you will definitely not hear from them.

    It is really sad to see nowadays that a company’s image is only worth approxiamately $150.00.

  • Eva-Novice August 25, 2008, 8:04 pm

    As to customer service I can not complain, I am usually dealing with Dow and ones he promises to call me, he does. As to some promotion I was misled as well, thy were advertising up to $150 fees back if you transfer account to them from some other financial institution. I did, actually over $12000, which was condition as well it must be over $10,000 and I was charged with hefty DSC fees over $600. Than when I was looking for a credit from Questrade up to $150 as they were advertising without any further specification, I was told that DSC fees are not countable and sorry no credit for you.

  • Victor January 14, 2009, 5:51 pm

    I opened my account back in mid Dec. 2008 at Questrade after reading on few of the canadian blogs and entered the four pillar discount coupon but I have not seen the deposit of $50 into my account, so I contacted the customer service 3 times in regards to this and now they are saying that they do not see that I entered coupon when I filled out the application, I know I did because that was one of the reason I got interested to open Questrdae account. So it is now my word againt their word…

    They are not honouring the promise, this is false advertisement.

    Has anybody else who opened an account with Questrade last month got $50 discount on their trade fees?

    Please reply.

  • Gary March 25, 2009, 5:51 pm

    I open the account with QT year ago all i have to said is this company give me nothing about problem .. poor customer services.. speak with supervisor ..forget it all they want to do is try get you off the phone .. mess up my trading account .. not just one time it’s so many time ..sell stock slow.. not fast enough for day trader try put stop loss not even work .. call they said i don’t know nothing about commission rate too good to be true if u want buy US stock dont use questrade .. if u think about use questrade i would said go looking for other broker .. QT isn’t the one u want to put your money in to ..

  • Jack May 9, 2009, 3:04 pm

    With so many bad reviews, it’s amazing anyone still uses Questrade.

  • Lorne December 14, 2009, 8:27 pm

    I opened several questrade accounts. I spoke to customer service before I opened an account and verified fees to be charged and they have not honored what customer service told me. In my opinion their website is terrible. You have to enter one site to deal with admin and reenter another to access accounts and make trades. Their platform is a pain in the butt and if you want to contact customer service you better have all week. I have $300+K in total invested and access is worse than my full-service broker. I think I gotta move. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

  • Eva -Novice December 15, 2009, 4:02 pm

    My reply to Lorne: I guessYou getting what you paid for…..I think this stands very well for Questrade. Myself I have 3 accounts with them. Started with Royal bank, they have excellent web site, easy to look and get all info, but you paying close to $30 for each trade, plus after free 3 month you paying annual fee $90
    Therefore I was as well very disappointed with Questrade compare Royal, but much cheaper and after while I get use to it. Now I know how to look for info, remember how to sign into 2 different sites – but again, $4.95 compare $28 for each trade is significant difference to stay with Quastrade.

  • Lorne December 15, 2009, 4:28 pm

    Eva – Novice

    I agree you do get what you pay for. I can see them ranking high because of their fee structure. I am alittle confused with how they were able to rate very highly in customer satisfaction unless most people never need to contact Customer Service.

    Currently I am on my third customer service rep and no resolution. After a couple of back and forth discussions the issue is dropped until I recontact them. My next stop is with the regulator.

  • Eva -Novice December 16, 2009, 1:57 pm

    To Lorne
    Usually ones I had/have some issue I am asking for name/e-mail and guarantee he/she will send me e-mail with resolution within xx days.
    So far it worked out.

  • luana October 30, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Can you help me to understand the accounts balanace page. My ‘additions’ are not matching that of questrade’s. Trying to understand what the balances really are.How many days behind are they with balnaces etc.?

  • Jim December 21, 2012, 1:09 pm

    The reviewer forgets to mention the Inactivity Fee of $19.95 that you will be charged per quarter if you have less than $5000.00 combined total equity in your account and do not make at least one commissionable trade during that quarter.

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