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The 15 Best Online Brokers in Canada for 2023

By Heidi Unrau | Published on 07 Nov 2023

A hand holding a smartphone that is projecting a graph showing positive portfolio growth

    Discovering the best online brokers in Canada is crucial to your success. In today’s dynamic market, there are countless online brokers offering varied services for any budget, making it an ideal time to start investing. Yet, with so many options, choosing the right platform can be overwhelming.

    Consider your investment approach: Are you a frequent trader, or do you prefer long-term investments? Whether you’re into ETFs, mutual funds, or advanced strategies like options contracts, each platform has its own fee structure that can affect your profits.

    In this guide, we zero in on the best online brokers in Canada for 2023, comparing their fees, services, and special features to enhance your investment strategy. Let’s help you compare online brokers to find the one that best fits your financial goals.

    At a Glance: Best Online Brokers in Canada

    BrokerBest For
    QtradeBest Overall
    QuestradeFHSA Account
    Wealthsimple TradeZero-Commission & Crypto
    BMO InvestorLineMarket Research
    CI Direct TradingDividend Reinvestment
    TD Easy TradeYoung First-Time Traders
    National Bank Direct BrokerageZero-Commission Trading From a Big Bank
    Friedberg DirectCFDs & Forex
    MoomooNew Active Traders
    Interactive BrokersHigh-Volume & Experienced Traders
    TD Direct InvestingRDSP Account
    Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat)French-Speaking Canadians
    CIBC Investor’s EdgeLoycal CIBC Clients
    Scotia iTRADEESG Investors
    RBC Direct InvestingLoyal RBC Clients
    Overview of the 15 best online brokers in Canada & their best feature

    Qtrade: Overall Best Online Broker in Canada

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f53bcff863fd264d0c38120″ id=”176598″]
    CategoryStandard Pricing/trade Investor Plus Pricing/tradeAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Equity Trades$8.75$6.95 per tradeCash, Margin, TFSA, RRSP, RESP, etc.Stocks, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, etc.
    Options Trades$8.75 + $1.25/contract$6.95 + $1.25/contract
    ETFsSelect ETFs: Free
    Non-Select: $8.75
    Select ETFs: Free
    Non-Select: $6.95
    Mutual Funds$8.75 each$6.95 each
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products

    Prices & Fees

    Qtrade Direct Investing is an online broker in Canada that continuously ranks as the best online broker in Canada by the likes of the Globe and Mail and other major publications. This platform offers trade commissions under $10. Their pricing has two levels, “Investor” and “Investor Plus”.

    For the “Investor” pricing level, equity commissions are $8.75 per trade, options trades are $8.75 plus $1.25 per contract, and select ETFs are commission-free. The “Investor Plus” pricing level offers clients commission-pricing of $6.95 per trade on equities and $6.95 + $1.25 per contract on options. Select ETFs are free, while all other ETFs and mutual funds cost $6.95 each.

    To qualify for Investor Plus pricing, clients must either trade at least 150 times per quarter or have at least $500,000 in assets. Both plans come with an administration fee of $25 per quarter for clients with combined account balances of less than $25,000. The fee can also be waived by placing at least 2 commission-generating trades per quarter, setting up an automatic deposit to your account of at least $100 per month, or qualifying for the Young Investor offer.

    The fee for registered U.S. Dollar accounts (RSP, RIF, TFSA) is $60 per year, or $15 per quarter. For registered accounts, the minimum threshold to waive the administration fee is $25,000 (combined for all accounts) otherwise the administration fee for all accounts is $100 per year.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    You can choose between two categories of accounts: “investment accounts” and “self-directed registered plans”. Investment accounts consist of cash and margin accounts, both in Canadian and U.S. dollars. Self-Directed Registered Plans include TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs, and more.

    In both categories of accounts, individuals can trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, GICs, and new issues. Like other Canadian dealers, there are certain restrictions. Short selling and trading in complex options is only permitted in margin accounts. Qtrade offers Morningstar as a resource for information.

    Trading Platform

    Qtrade offers a primarily web-based trading platform. From the web-based platform, it is possible to perform the standard order functions present with most brokers. There is also a mobile app available through the App Store and Google Play. It offers real-time quotes, allowing you to follow and manage all your accounts. You can also move money between your Qtrade accounts and other financial institutions. Plus, you can oversee your watchlists and keep an eye on the stocks you’re interested in trading.

    In terms of access to additional market data, Qtrade also offers Qtrade Streamer which provides 15 minutes of delayed data for $1.99 per month or $14.99 plus exchange fees. For Level 2 depth, the cost is $34.99 per month, plus exchange fees.

    Pros

    • Online account opening
    • Account dashboard

    Cons

    • Lack of free resources
    • Outdated platform
    Logo for IIROC, which is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

    Questrade: Best Online Broker in Canada for FHSA Accounts

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f4fc05628fd745eadb16a7e”]
    CategoryStandard PricingActive Trader Pricing (Fixed Plan)Account TypesMargin Account
    Stocks$0.01/share (min $4.95, max $9.95)Fixed Plan: $4.95/transaction
    Variable Plan: $0.01/share (max $6.95)
    TFSA, RRSP, RESP, Margin Account, etc.GICs, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income, options, new issues, foreign exchange, precious metals, CFDz, etc.
    ETF PurchasesFreeFree
    ETF Sales$0.01/share (min $4.95, max $9.95)Fixed Plan: $4.95/transaction
    Variable Plan: $0.01/share (max $6.95)
    Options$9.95 + $1/contractFixed Plan: $4.95 + $0.75/contract
    Variable Plan: $6.95 + $0.75/contract
    Mutual Funds$9.95/transaction
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products

    Prices & Fees

    Questrade is one of the best online brokers in Canada for those wanting to take advantage of the new FHSA. It offers a “self-managed investment price” where you pay a fee of $0.01 per share traded, for a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95. For exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the purchase is free and the sale works the same way as shares. Options are billed at a cost of $9.95, plus $1 per contract. Mutual funds are also $9.95. Finally, you must make a minimum purchase of $5,000 to buy bonds or guaranteed investment certificates (GICs).

    For active traders

    If you are an active investor, you can choose between the fixed or variable plan. For the fixed plan, you pay $4.95 per transaction on stocks and $4.95 plus $0.75 per contract on options. You buy the ETFs for free and sell them for $4.95. The variable plan charges a fee of $0.01 per share traded, to a maximum of $6.95. Options cost $6.95 + $0.75 per contract. You can buy ETFs for free and sell them for $0.01 per share, for a maximum of $6.95.

    ECNs for electronic communication networks may be charged. Rather than including these fees in their trading commissions, they charge them to each investor who incurs these fees. ECN fees do not apply to all trades.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    In terms of account type, you can invest in almost any type of account, with the most popular being a TFSA, RRSP, RESP, margin account, and more. It’s also the first online broker to make the tax-free First Home Savings Account available to users.

    You can purchase all investment products. Like most platforms, you can buy guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, fixed income, options, new issues, and more. With Questrade, you can also trade in the foreign exchange and precious metals markets.

    From your margin account, you can leverage stock trading, short-sell your holdings, trade complex options strategies and leverage your precious metals trading expertise.

    Trading Platforms

    This online broker also allows you to customize your trading platform based on your desktop vs mobile app preferences, the trading features you want, and how active you trade. You have two main platforms available both on desktop and as a mobile app: Questrade Trading and Questrade Edge, with a third platform for those who want access to global markets, called Questrade Global. The two main platforms both offer relatively the same functionality, but active investors will probably prefer Questrade Edge because they will have access to more options and customization.

    Quest Trading & QuestMobile

    The Quest Trading web platform is very easy to use and gives you a complete trading experience, while its QuestMobile is an app that allows you to quickly and easily trade from anywhere, and also does a great job of providing basic trading options. These include quotes, charts, watch lists, news and account management.

    Questrade Edge & Questrade Edge Mobile

    For the Questrade Edge desktop platform, you’ll have many more customization options, including the addition of quick trade buttons, alerts, a profit and loss calculator, filtering, and a list of market participants for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

    You also have the ability to skip the order confirmation window by creating shortcuts on your keyboard. In addition, default order values can be set for stocks and options, as well as order parameters, including order type, duration and route. Questrade offers Morningstar as a resource for information.

    Questrade Edge Mobile is designed as a sleek on-the-go complement to the web-based version. It’s Questrade’s most potent trading tool for mobile use. With its ultra-fast operation and polished interface, it grants access to advanced order options such as bracket orders, multi-leg option orders, and more.

    Questrade Global

    Questrade Global is a much more advanced platform if you’re interested in trading FOREX and CFDs. It’s available as a desktop version as well as an app, allowing you to keep tabs on your investments whether you’re at home or out and about. Questrade Global gives you quick and simple trading access to global markets as well as live charts, economic updates, and alerts.

    Pros

    • FHSA account
    • Design concepts
    • Chat capacity
    • Multiple options

    Cons

    • ECN Fees
    • ETF commissions on sell orders
    • Some navigation problems
    Logo for IIROC, which is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Image links to Questrade's IIROC registration

    Wealthsimple Trade: Best Online Broker in Canada for Zero-Commission Trading on Canadian Stocks

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f53d2134d1911503113cafa” id=”174398″]
    Fee TypeStandard AccountsUSD AccountsAssets over $100,000Account TypesInvestment Products
    Commission$0 for Canadian-listed securities$0 for US-listed securities$0 for all securitiesTFSAs, RRSPs, FHSAs, non-registred, etc.GICs, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fractional shares, fixed income, options, crypto, etc.
    Currency Conversion1.50% on US stock trades in CADNo conversion fees for USD transactionsConversion fee is waived
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products

    Prices & Fees

    Wealthsimple Trade is another one of the best online brokers in Canada because it stands as an almost cost-free platform and opening an account is fast and easy. Wealthsimple does not charge any commissions and there is no minimum account balance requirement either. Compared to other online brokers who charge different fees depending on the type of transaction you make, Wealthsimple only charges a fee for currency conversion depending on the value of assets you have with them.

    While Wealthsimple positions itself as a free trading platform, that’s not entirely true. If you trade US-listed securities in Canadian dollars, you’ll be charged conversion fees. That means only Canadian-listed securities are actually free while US securities come at a cost that beginners are probably not aware of.

    Having said that, only a 1.50% conversion fee is charged when you trade US stocks in Canadian dollars and vice versa. This is very little compared to the average of other platforms that charge around 2%. However, once you have more than $100,000 in assets with Wealthsimple, the conversion fee is waived.

    If you want to skip the conversion fee on US trades, you can open a USD account. Then you’ll be able to trade, deposit, and withdraw in USD without any conversion fees. You’ll only incur conversion fees when you convert money to or from Canadian dollars (CAD). USD accounts also cost $10 plus any applicable taxes per month. If you have at least $100,000 in assets with Wealthsimple, the account fee is waived.

    The rest of the transactions are entirely free. Transaction fees, options commissions, annual fees and account maintenance fees all cost $0.

    Account type & Investment products

    Wealthsimple Trade allows you to trade within TFSAs, RRSPs, FHSAs, and non-registered accounts. They are currently working on other accounts to be integrated into their platform. In terms of investment choices, you can trade guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, fractional shares, fixed income, and options. You can also trade crypto within the app, making Wealthsimple one of the best online brokers in Canada for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

    Trading Platform

    The Wealthsimple Trade platform has been designed primarily for mobile devices. The application is available on iOS and Android. You also have the option to invest via their web platform. It is very simple to learn and use. It has recently become possible to invest automatically with this platform, which is very practical. Simply set up recurring purchases. Choose an amount and a stock to buy regularly. Your amount can even be less than the price of a single share, thanks to split orders.

    However, since Wealthsimple is a relatively new online broker in Canada, it lacks many important features. There is very little information about stocks. There are no tools to analyze stocks. In addition, you can only trade on select Canadian and American stock exchanges. There will be more options in the future, but they will come at an additional cost.

    Pros

    • Unlimited commission-free transactions at $0
    • User-friendly application
    • No minimum account balance required
    • Easy account setup
    • Can trade crypto

    Cons

    • Limited security analysis functionality in the application
    • Limited trading tools & analytics
    • Conversion fee on US stock and ETF purchases when you have less than $100,000 in assets
    Logo for IIROC, which is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

    BMO InvestorLine: Best Online Broker in Canada for Market Research

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f53af174d1911503113caf7″ id=”186136″]
    CategoryStandard FeesBMO 5 Star ProgramAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Equity Trades$9.95 per tradeReduced costs for membersTFSA, RESP, RRSP, non-registred.GICs, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Equities, Fixed Income, Options, etc/
    Options Trades$9.95 + $1.25 per contractReduced costs for members
    ETF TradesCommission-free on certain ETFsReduced costs for members
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products

    Prices & Fees

    BMO InvestorLine is one of the best online brokers in Canada for extensive and accessible market research. It charges a standard trading commission rate of $9.95 per trade for all clients. Options cost $9.95 + $1.25 per contract. However, there are no commissions charged on certain ETFs. For experienced and active traders, BMO InvestorLine offers a program with additional features and special pricing.

    For example, if you’re an investor who makes over 15 trades per quarter or invests $250,000 or more, the BMO 5 Star Program is designed for you. This exclusive program offers attractive rates and pricing, with members enjoying the benefit of reduced costs. You also get access to professional tools, such as the BMO Active Trader, enhancing your trading experience.

    The program offers industry-leading research to help investors make informed decisions. To top it all off, members receive dedicated 5-star customer support, ensuring they have the help they need when they need it.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    With BMO Self-Directed InvestorLine, you can invest in guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, ETFs, equities, fixed income, and options.

    There are several types of accounts offered by BMO InvestorLine, including margin accounts, retirement savings accounts (RRSPs, LIRAs, RSPs), RESPs and TFSAs. A popular feature among many investors is that U.S. dollar-registered accounts are available at no charge.

    As mentioned above, many of these accounts may incur fees if balances are below a certain level. For non-registered accounts, the minimum balance to avoid incurring quarterly fees is $10,000 for TFSA and RESP accounts. For RRSPs, the minimum balance to avoid the $100 annual fee is $25,000.

    Trading Platform

    BMO InvestorLine clients can trade using a web browser or mobile app. The web-based trading platform is very similar to the platforms of other online brokers. You can do high-quality research, use analytical tools, track your performance, etc. The research tools allow you to get all the information you need to stay informed. In addition, whether you are a beginner or an advanced investor, the analysis tools are there to help you analyze the data in depth and invest.

    These tools are powered by Trading Central, a leading third-party trading tool that allows you to analyze potential investments in detail. Once you have analyzed your investments and completed the necessary research, you can trade stocks through the Self-Directed Investments service.

    Finally, once you have completed your transactions, the Self-Directed Investments service provides you with tools to track your performance. BMO InvestorLine also offers mobile trading through its mobile investing application. The broker offers Morningstar and S&P Global Ratings as resources for information.

    Pros

    • Online account opening
    • In-depth account information
    • Stock Picks / ETFs

    Cons

    • Poor customer service
    • High Commission
    • Performance problems on cell phones
    Logo for IIROC, which is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

    CI Direct Trading: Best Online Broker in Canada for Self-Directed Dividend Reinvestment

    [Offer productType=”RoboAdvisorAccount” api_id=”5f511367fc23e26882a797d9″ id=”205854″]
    CategoryStandard PricingActive Trader Pricing (150+trades/quarter)Account TypesInvestment Products
    Equity TradesUSD $1.99 – $7.99 per tradeFixed at USD $3.99 per tradeTFSAs, RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs, LRIFs, LIFs, non-registered, etc.GICs, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Stocks, Fixed Income, Options, New Issues, etc.
    ETF PurchasesFree Free
    ETF SalesUSD $0.01 per share (min USD $1.99 to max USD $7.99)USD $0.01 per share (min USD $1.99 to max USD $7.99)
    Options TradesUSD $7.99 + USD $1.25 per contractUSD $3.99 + USD $1.25 per contract
    Mutual FundsNot specifiedFree
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products

    Prices & Fees

    CI Direct Trading (formerly Virtual Brokers) is the DIY trading platform offered by CI Direct Investing. Their commission plans offer investors a price of USD $0.01 per share with a range of between USD 1.99 and USD 7.99 per trade for equity transactions. ETFs are free to buy, but selling costs $0.01 per ETFs, with a minimum of $1.99 to a max of $7.99 per sell trade. Options cost $7.99 per trade + $1.25 per contract.

    For active traders who trade more than 150 trades per quarter, the price is fixed at $3.99. Combined with the commission-free purchase of ETFs and commission-free buy and sell mutual fund transactions, CI Direct Trading offers a competitive price to investors.

    “Per ticket” pricing means that you are charged by the management of a trade in a particular security. For example, if an investor buys 200 shares of TSLA at 11:00 am and then buys another 500 shares of TSLA at 2:00 pm on the same day, the total commission charged would be 700 shares x $0.01 = $7.00 (as opposed to 2 commission fees charged for 2 trades.

    There is a quarterly inactivity fee of $24.95. This fee can be waived if you make at least one commission-generating transaction worth at least $6.49 in a quarter, if you are under 26 years of age, if you have at least $5,000 combined across all accounts, or if you are a registered charity.

    Account type & Investment products

    CI Direct Trading offers customers the ability to trade on both registered and non-registered accounts. In addition, you can trade guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income, options and new issues. Registered accounts include TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs, LRIFs and LIFs, among others.

    The non-registered account offered by this online platform in Canada is called the “All in One” account, which is a combination of equity, options, margin and short accounts.

    Investment Plans

    A standout feature that makes this one of the best online brokers in Canada is the trading programs available for different types of investors, especially dividend investors. CI Direct Trading offers 4 different programs: Kick Start Investment Program (KIP), Student Benefit Program, Self-Directed Dividend Purchase Plan (Self-Directed DPP), and a Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP).

    KIP

    KIP is tailored for young Canadians and is an automated purchase plan that does not charge trading fees or commissions. Every month, a pre-determined amount is automatically transferred from the user’s bank account to their trading account, which is then used to buy up to five different Canadian or U.S. stocks or ETFs chosen by the client. Plus, students or recent grades within the last 2 years aren’t charged any yearly fees.

    Student Benefit Program

    For students still in school or trying to kick-starting their careers, every penny counts. With the Student Benefit Program, people under the age of 26 do not have to pay any account administrative fees.

    Self-Directed DPP

    Unlike a traditional Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIP), the Self-Directed Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP) lets you decide where to reinvest your dividends. With this program, your dividends are gathered into a single fund. This accumulated fund is then automatically used to buy the stocks or ETFs that you’ve selected.

    Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP)

    The Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP) uses your dividends to automatically buy shares on the market. Unlike a Self-Directed Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP) which collects dividends in a separate account, a DPP buys or sells shares in the same account. Plus, while a Self-Directed DPP only works in non-registered accounts, the DPP can be used in any account.

    Trading Platforms

    CI Direct Trading offers many more trading platform options than most other online brokers. The standard web-based platform is recommended for its simplicity and efficiency. You can view your purchasing power, net equity, margin and open orders on the same page before you trade. The dashboard allows you to trade stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, GICs and new issues, with a simple layout designed to get the job done quickly.

    Free Platforms

    The standard mobile application platform is recommended for its ease of use. It allows you to trade from anywhere. The platform is fast, secure and reliable. You can view your account details, transactions and positions, and transfer funds in and out of your accounts. Both standard platforms are free, with more advanced platforms designed for advanced traders for a cost.

    Paid Professional Platforms

    Developed for professional traders, the desktop-based PowerTrader Pro was originally only available to institutional-level investors but is now available for active traders for US $250. With PowerTrader Pro, you can enter, manage and route complex options orders to designated execution destinations. The Complex Options module includes order management and selected risk controls. Free quotes are available for those who trade complex options.

    RealTick EMS costs US $400 and is designed for brokers who require quick and transparent access to global liquidity and advanced real-time analysis. This trading platform provides you with centralized access to aggregated liquidity and tools to dynamically manage positions, portfolios and trading risks in the global equity, futures and options markets.

    ITS TraderLite costs US $580 and is recommended for custom configurations. The platform enables high-performance trading in all Canadian markets. It allows you to configure various displays depending on how you want to work. It also offers a wide range of benefits including a small system footprint, U.S. market data, U.S. order entry capability, friend trading capabilities and registered broker functionality.

    Pros

    • Video FAQ Account opening process
    • Account
    • Management Resources
    • Self-direct dividend reinvesting

    Cons

    • Poor customer service
    • Management team not responding
    Logo for IIROC, which is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

    TD Easy Trade: Best Online Broker in Canada for First-Time Traders

    CategoryStandard PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Equity Trades* 50 free per month
    * Then $9.99 per trade
    TFSA, RRSP, unregistered.Stocks, TD ETFs.
    TD ETFsFree, unlimited
    ADRsUSD $0.01 per share (min USD $1.99 to max USD $7.99)
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for TD Easy Trade, one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    TD Easy Trade is an app-only platform designed for new traders, especially millennials and younger. In fact, it consistently ranks as one of the best online brokers for new investors. You don’t need any experience to get started and the app is exceptionally straightforward and easy to use. Simple “how to” videos teach you how to trade and understand investing while you grow your portfolio, and you can ask questions during their free Learning Lab classes.

    There are no account fees and no minimum amount required, allowing you to start trading quickly with whatever amount you’re comfortable with. This online broker gives you 50 free stock trades each year plus unlimited free trades on TD ETFs. After your first 50 stock trades, you’ll pay $9.99 per trade for both US and Canadian stocks. 

    Account type & Investment products

    Account types are limited to just three: TFSA, RRSP, or an unregistered personal account. Each account automatically comes with both CAD and US currency components, allowing you the opportunity to save on currency conversion fees by holding both currencies in your account. 

    When it comes to investment products, the selection is extremely limited. You can only trade Canadian and US stocks and TD ETFs.  

    Trading Platform

    TD Easy Trade is only available as a mobile app. It is designed for new and younger traders with little to no experience who prefer the convenience and accessibility of trading on a mobile phone or other smart device. In addition to in-app learning resources, you can also set investing goals. Decide what you want to achieve with your money, pick a plan that fits your goal, and discover how different investment products can help you reach that goal.

    As your experience and comfort level grow, you’ll want to consider switching to a different online broker with more advanced features, a better selection of accounts and investment products, as well as lower fees. However, if you want to stay with TD, you should consider switching to their feature-rich platform TD Direct Investing

    Pros

    • No investment minimums to get started
    • No account fees
    • 50 free stock trades per year
    • Unlimited TD ETF trades
    • Dual currency accounts
    • Free learning resources

    Cons

    • Accounts are limited to TFSA, RRSP, and personal 
    • Can only trade stocks & TD ETFs
    • After your first 50 free stock trades each year, each one will cost you $9.99
    • Not many research tools
    Logo for IIROC, which is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

    National Bank Direct Brokerage: Best Online Broker in Canada for Big Bank Zero-Commission Trading

    CategoryStandard PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Stocks, ETFs, OptionsCommission-FreeTFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, FHSA, Cash, margin, short-selling. Stocks, GICs, mutual funds, ETFs, fixed income, options, link notes, etc.
    ETF Trade RequirementMinimum of 100 units per transaction
    Account Maintenance Fee$100 for accounts with less than $20,000
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for National Bank Direct Brokerage, one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    Back in late 2016, the National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) was the first Canadian brokerage to offer commission-free trades on Canadian-listed ETFs for investors buying over 100 shares. This was aimed at making investing more accessible to the retail investor. Since then, the online broker has expanded zero-commission trading to include all ETFs, stocks, options, and more – making it one of the best online brokers in Canada. NBDB is now one of the cheapest for active investors and their offer for young investors is rather attractive.

    While all purchases and sales of U.S. or Canadian ETFs are eligible for free commissions, the only requirements are that you must have a minimum of 100 ETF units in the transaction and that you receive your documents electronically.

    All accounts with less than $20,000 as of May 31 must pay a $100 account maintenance fee. However, you can avoid these fees if you have an Investcube account, are a young investor between 18 and 30 years old, or if you have subscribed to a promotion for eligible professionals.

    Account Type & Investment products

    With this online broker in Canada, you can trade in a registered or non-registered account. You can trade U.S. and Canadian equities, guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, fixed-income securities, options, link notes, and more.

    At the registered account level, you can save in a TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, and FHSA. However, like most online brokers, you cannot invest in registered accounts on margin. Otherwise, you can invest with cash, margin, or short-selling in a non-registered account.

    Trading Platforms

    National Bank Direct Brokerage offers an all-in-one platform available on desktop and as a mobile app. You can monitor quotes in real-time, create dynamic charts, take advantage of advanced fundamental and technical analysis functions, customize your interface and create personalized alerts.

    You can also keep track of your investments, conduct your transactions with complete peace of mind, consult stock quotes, access decision support tools and benefit from analyses by National Bank Financial experts. National Bank Direct Brokerage offers Morningstar and Trading Central as resources.

    Pros

    • New-look
    • Seminar series
    • All-in-one platform
    • Accessible on desktop and mobile app

    Cons

    • Service Levels
    • Educational Resources
    • Account information is too basic
    Logo for IIROC, which is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

    Friedberg Direct: Best Online Broker CFDs & Forex Trading

    CategoryStandard PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Stocks, ETFs, Options, Forex, CFDs, etcSpread modelnonregisteredStocks, ETFs, CFDs, Forex, Options, Commodities. etc.
    Inactivity fees* $50 after 3 months
    * $100 after 12 months
    Administration fee$100
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for Frieberg Direct, one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    Friedberg Direct is one of the best online brokers in Canada for those interested in CFDs and Forex trading. Instead of a trading commission, this platform charges a spread. This is the difference between the bid (the price someone is willing to pay for an asset) and the ask (the price someone is willing to sell an asset for).

    When you trade with a spread, you don’t see a separate charge on your account because the cost is within the prices. If you’re buying, you’ll pay slightly more than the market price, and if you’re selling, you’ll receive slightly less. The broker makes money from this difference, which is why they don’t have to charge an additional commission.

    Also, after 3 consecutive months of inactivity, a $50 fee will be deducted from your account. If you continue not to use your account for 12 consecutive months, an administration fee of $100 will also be deducted. This is to compensate for the cost incurred to make the service available, even if it is not to be used.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    Friedberg Direct offers a product that is uncommon with most other Canadian online brokers: contracts for difference (CFDs). CFDs are financial instruments that allows you to take advantage of price fluctuations without actually buying the stock. You do not physically own the asset whose price difference you are trading.

    For example, if you think the price of crude oil will rise tomorrow, you can buy a crude oil CFD. With Friedberg you can trade CFDs on stocks, but also on bonds, commodities and some options, in addition to trading currencies on FOREX.

    Trading Platform

    Friedberg Direct is powered by AvaTrade Technology. This means that you are actually trading on Avatrade’s platforms, with its tools:

    • WebTrader (user-friendly platform)
    • MetaTrader 4 (suitable for beginners and advanced traders)
    • MetaTrader 5 (state-of-the-art tools, automated trading, etc.)
    • Mac Trading (for Mac users)
    • Ava Options (for calls and puts orders)

    All trading platforms offered by AvaTrade are free of charge. So you can use more than one. You can also request a demo before opening your account.

    Each platform has its own set of tools, but in general you will find all the popular technical indicators available on any: moving averages, Fibonacci, etc. You will also be able to draw your own trend lines and support and resistance levels. Because every platform is different, it might be good to test them out before committing to a specific platform.

    Pros

    • Almost free of charge
    • CFD and FOREX trading

    Cons

    • No registered accounts (TFSA, RRSP, etc.)
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    Moomoo: Best Online Broker in Canada for New Active Traders

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”65490e3e5095a94f68b0f80e”]

    CategoryStandard PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Stocks & ETFs$0.0099 per share, $1.99 per ordernonregistered
    * RRSP & TFSA launching by end of 2023
    Stocks, ETFs
    Margin Rates7.83% – 8.83%
    Conversion Rate0.09%, min $2 transaction fee
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for Moomoo, one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Available in Ontario and BC, Moomoo is a new online broker in Canada, launching in August of 2023. This platform is ideal if you’re brand new to day trading or want free level 2 market data and sophisticated tools. A few of the stand-out features include extended trading hours, paper trading, multi-monitor setups, as well as a simple and transparent fee structure, making it another one of the best online brokers in Canada for new, active day traders.

    Prices & Fees

    US stocks and ETFs cost $0.0099 per share with a minimum $1.99 per order. Margin rates are tiered based on the amount borrowed, ranging from 7.83% to 8.83%. The more you borrow, the lower your margin rate. To swap CAD for USD to buy US stock, the currency exchange rate is just 0.09% with a minimum transaction fee of $2.

    There are no account fees or funding fees. You get 1 free withdrawal per month. After that, it costs $2 to withdraw by EFT and $12 to withdraw by wire transfer.

    Account type & Investment products

    At the time of writing, the only type of account available is a non-registered personal account. Moomoo plans to launch RRSPs and TFSAs by the end of 2023. You can also sign up to take advantage of paper trading, which is a practice account that allows you to trade, test strategies, and try out various tools with fake money. You do not need to open a real trading account to access a paper trading account.

    On Moomoo, you can only trade stocks and ETFs. If you’re looking for mutual funds, options, futures, etc., you’ll need to go elsewhere. However, you do have access to US and foreign markets such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.

    Trading platform

    Moomoo offers a simple, intuitive and user-friendly design. You can access the platform on both the Moomoo mobile app and desktop application. The mobile app is available for download from both the Apple Store and Google Play store.

    The Moomoo platform stands out with its easy-to-use features designed for both novice and professional traders. The platform offers extended trading hours from 4 AM to 8 PM Eastern. This allows active traders to react quickly to market changes, and new can trade at their convenience without the pressure of standard market hours.

    Additionally, Moomoo’s practice account, or “Paper Trading,” allows you to simulate trading with $1,000,000 in virtual funds, providing a risk-free environment to learn and test strategies. It also provides free real-time data, including a detailed view of 60 levels of bid and ask prices to help you make informed decisions without additional costs.

    The platform’s analysis tools offer a wealth of information, from daily short sale analysis and insights into institutional holdings to comprehensive company valuation and financial reports. Moomoo’s custom charts and a suite of over 63 technical indicators, coupled with 38 drawing tools and customizable functions, cater to the specific needs of any trader. For those looking to learn from market trends, tracking over 20,000 institutions’ and funds’ position changes can be invaluable.

    Beyond the practical trading tools, Moomoo doubles as an educational resource with a rich library of investment materials and free courses. This makes Moomoo ideal for new traders, providing simple explanations of complex concepts, and offering an array of courses and video tutorials to help users progress from beginners to confident, informed traders.

    With Moomoo, learning is integrated into the trading experience so you can foster a comprehensive understanding of investment strategies and market dynamics without the burden of pricey educational expenses.

    Pros

    • Extended Trading Hours
    • Quick & Easy Sign Up
    • Low Trading Fees
    • Access to US & Foreign Markets
    • Free Professional Tools
    • Paper Trading
    • Extensive Educational Material & Free Courses

    Cons

    • Only Available in ON & BC
    • Only Non-Registered Personal Accounts (Registered Accounts to Launch by End of 2023).
    • Only Stocks & ETFs Available
    • Pay-Per-Trade
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    Interactive Brokers: Best Online Broker in Canada for Experienced & High-Volume Traders

    CategoryTierd Pricing
    (based on trade volume)
    Account TypesInvestment Products
    ETFsno commission on some US-listed ETFsRRSPs, TFSAs, CAD and USD non-registered accounts, margin accounts, etc.Stocks, ETFs, Fixed Income, Options, Futures, Derivatives, Forex, etc.
    Stocks$0.0005 – $0.005/share USD; $0.003 – $0.1$/share CAD
    Options$0.15-$0.65/contract USD; $1.00-$1.25/contract CAD
    Futures$0.25 – $0.85/contract USD; $0.30 – $2.40/contract CAD
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for Interactive Brokers, one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    Interactive Brokers is hands down the best online broker for active, high-volume day traders, but comes with a complicated fee structure depending on what asset you’re trading and in what currency. Since Interactive Brokers’ main clients are professional and institutional investors, they have bet on commissions at the lowest possible price.

    There are two basic pricing systems which include tiered pricing and fixed pricing. As the name suggests, tiered pricing commissions will decrease based on the volume you trade. It also depends on the trading exchange as well as clearing fees. 

    If you buy up to 300,000 shares of a stock per month, the amount is $0.008 per share. This reduces to $0.005 per share for monthly trades between 300,001 and 3,000,000. The platform charges $0.004 per share between 3,000,0001 and 20 million shares traded each month while the fee is $0.003 per share for monthly trading volumes higher than 20 million. Many US-listed ETFs are free to trade.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    Interactive Brokers Canada offers registered plan accounts such as RRSPs, TFSAs, CAD and USD non-registered accounts, as well as joint accounts, trusts, margin accounts, and more. RRSP and TFSA accounts are available in both Canadian and U.S. dollars, but withdrawals are only available in Canadian dollars.

    In addition, there is a withdrawal fee of $50 per individual which applies to RRSP accounts. There are also certain restrictions on RRSP accounts that are not common with other online brokers, such as the lack of Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) support.

    You can invest in all kinds of investment products with Interactive Brokers. For example, you can invest in derivatives, exchange-traded funds, stocks, fixed-income securities, options, foreign currency (Forex), and more. Recently, you can also earn up to 4.83% interest on your cash balance.

    Trading Platform

    The most popular Interactive Brokers platform is the desktop-based Trader Workstation (TWS). It offers absolutely everything, including global assets. Although TWS is not designed for new investors, it ranks among the best platforms offered by an online broker in Canada. Watchlists can include stocks, individual options, futures, forex, warrants, etc. You have 494 column customization options. IBot, also available in TWS mobile, uses an artificial intelligence database to quickly respond to customer requests via chat.

    For less experienced investors, Interactive Brokers offers the web-based “Client Portal” and IBKR Desktop platforms. This platform includes all the basic functionality needed to invest in a core portfolio. It is much less robust but much easier to use. IBKR Mobile and IBKR Global Trader let you easily monitor your account and make trades from a mobile device like your phone or tablet.

    Pros

    • A seamless online-to-mobile experience
    • Product availability
    • World Trade

    Cons

    • Online platform designed for experienced traders
    • Not designed for the average investor
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    TD Direct Investing: Best Online Broker in Canada for Self-Directed RDSP Investing

    CategoryStandard PricingSpecial PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Trading Fees$9.99 per trade on Canadian and US stocksActive traders (150+ trades/quarter): $7.00 per transactionTFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs, RDSPs, Cash and Margin AccountsStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Fixed Income, Options, IPOs, New Issues
    Options$9.99 + $1.25 per contract$7.00 + $1.25 per contract
    Mutual fundsNo commssion
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for TD Bank. TD Direct Investing is one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    TD Direct Investing is consistently rated one of the best online brokers in Canada, receiving an A-rating from the Globe and Mail. The standard commission price per trade is $9.99 on Canadian and US stocks and mutual funds. Unlike other brokers, there is no deposit or minimum number of transactions to obtain this price.

    For active investors who make more than a 150 trades per quarter, the cost per transaction is $7.00. For regular traders, Options trading has a cost per transaction of $9.99 + $1.25 per contract, while active traders pay just $7.00 + $1.25 per contract.

    Clients with a balance of less than $15,000 are subject to a $25 administration fee that is billed quarterly. You can waive this fee under certain conditions: complete a minimum of 2 commission-generating transactions in 6 months, have a TD Direct Investing registered account or be enrolled in a pre-authorized contribution plan of $100 per month or more.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    TD Direct Investing offers both registered and non-registered accounts. Registered account types include TFSAs, RRSPs and RESPs. It’s also one of the only platforms that provides self-directed Registered Disability Savings Plan accounts. For non-registered accounts, TD Direct Investing offers cash and margin accounts. If you want to trade options and short sell, a margin account and approval is required.

    To manage currency conversions in registered accounts, TD Direct Investing has set up a “U.S. Dollar Money Market Scanning and Trading” service. The service automatically routes the funds required to settle the transaction through a U.S. dollar money market fund, so that a client does not pay the currency conversion fee. They have also extended the service to dividend payments so that customers receiving payments or making dividend purchases in U.S. dollars do not have to pay additional conversion fees.

    In terms of investment products available, you have several choices including guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, fixed income securities and options.

    Trading Platforms

    You can choose between 4 platforms.

    The WebBroker online trading and investment platform is the most popular. It has several trading tools, market data and research reports to help you manage your investments online. With WebBroker, you can create a diversified portfolio of stocks, exchange-traded funds, options and bonds in the Canadian and U.S. markets.

    The TD App allows you to monitor the performance of your portfolio, keep up to date on market events, learn and trade on the go. The home screen is customizable to help you access investment features. Instant real-time quotes are free, including company profiles, fundamentals, news and charts for stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and option chains. You can access the TD Direct Investing Learning Centre for training for all levels of investors. Finally, you can set up price and volume alerts directly on your cell phone.

    The TD Advanced Dashboard platform allows you to take it to the next level. You’ll be able to take advantage of real-time market data, analytical tools and advanced trading capabilities.

    You’ll have access to U.S. and Canadian equity and options trading with streaming real-time market data, news and charts. Advanced order types include conditional orders, cross-segment option strategies and option transfers. Finally, you will have access to a wide range of trading and application parameters that can be customized to suit your personal preferences.

    The Thinkorswim Platform (powered by TD Ameritrade) is for advanced investors. With its professional-quality tools and resources, the thinkorswim trading platform offers a global, live Tier II advantage in US equity and options trading. The trading platform is fully customizable, with real-time streaming of Level I and Level II American equities and options data. You can trade multi-component option strategies (maximum of four). When you activate your account, the minimum deposit is US $25,000. To trade options, you must maintain a balance of US$25,000 in each account.

    TD offers Morningstar and TD Economics as resources for information.

    Pros

    • Self-directed RDSP
    • In-depth market information
    • Analyst Overviews
    • Multiple options

    Cons

    • Account Management Services
    • Mix-up in banking integration
    • Limited mobile resources
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    Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat): Best Online Broker in Canada for French-Speaking Canadians

    CategoryDisnat Classic PricingDisnat Direct PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Stocks & ETFsNo commission– Options: $1.25 per contract, min $8.75RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs (Classic only), LIRAs, RIFs, LIFs, Cash (Disnat Classic only), Margin, Margin Option, Short SellingStocks, ETFs, GICs, Mutual Funds, Options, Fixed Income, New Issues, etc.
    Mutual FundsNo commission on mostNo commission on most
    Options– Options: $1.25 per contract, min $8.75– Options: $1.25 per contract, min $8.75
    Fixed IncomeMin $50 per transactionMin $50 per transaction
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat)., one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    Formerly called Disnat, Desjardins Online Brokerage is an online broker in Canada provided by Desjardins. If you prefer to deal in French, this is one of the best online brokers in Canada for Francophones. With Disnat Classic, you can trade stocks and ETFs for free. For options, you pay $1.25 per contract, for a minimum of $8.75. Most mutual funds are commission-free. Finally, fixed income securities are at a minimum of $50 per transaction. Inactivity fees are $30 per quarter. However, that fee is waived if the value of the portfolio is $15,000 or more, if 6 transactions were made in the last 12 months or if one of the following plans is held: RRSP, RRIF, RESP.

    At the Disnat Direct level, stocks and ETFs are also commission-free as well as most mutual funds. For options, you pay $1.25 per contract for a minimum of $8.75. Finally, fixed-income securities are at a minimum of $50 per transaction. Inactivity fees are the same as for Disnat Classic, with the same conditions for removing them.

    Account type & Investment products

    Desjardins Online Brokerage offers a selection of non-registered and registered accounts. Regular accounts at Disnat include cash accounts (available only with Disnat Classic), margin accounts, margin option accounts and short selling accounts. Registered accounts offered by Desjardins include RRSPs, TFSAs and RESPs, as well as LIRAs, RIFs and LIFs. While most types of registered accounts are available to Disnat Direct and Disnat Classic clients, RESPs are only available to Disnat Classic clients.

    You can invest in a variety of investment products such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income securities, options, new issues, and more.

    Trading Platforms

    Disnat offers two platforms. The Disnat Classic platform is a simple web-based platform. Customers can conduct transactions, check account balances, monitor order status, create watch lists and conduct basic and technical research.

    Disnat Direct offers several platform options for active brokers. Their standard offering, DD Web, is comparable to many other online brokerage web browser-based platforms and the Disnat Classic platform. Depending on the platform and whether or not a client wishes to trade the TSX-V, the cost of data ranges from $35 to $105 depending on the data platform you choose.

    The good news is that discounts are offered on data costs depending on your trading volume. The Market Q data platform is free if you make at least 10 trades per month, and the more expensive Market Q data platform level 2 is free if you make at least 41 trades per month. This highlights why Disnat Direct is an active broker product. Disnat offers Morningstar as a resource for information.

    Pros

    • Available in French
    • Wide range of customer seminars
    • Disnat Reports (GPS)
    • Search for stocks

    Cons

    • Basic account information
    • Basic Navigation Design
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    CIBC Investor’s Edge: Best Online Broker in Canada for CIBC Clients

    CategoryStandard PricingSpecial PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Trading Fees$6.95/trade– Student Pricing: $5.95 per trade
    – Active Investor: $4.95 per trade
    TFSA, RRSP, RESP, Non-Registered AccountsStocks, ETFs, GICs, Mutual Funds, Fixed Income, Options, IPOs, Precious Metals, Structured Notes, CDRs
    Options$6.95 + $1.25 per contract– Active Broker: $4.95 + $1.25 per contract
    Special FeaturesCommission-free for investors under 25 with CIBC Smart Start (stocks & ETFs)
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products

    Prices and fees

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f53d4e34d1911503113cafb”]

    CIBC Investor’s Edge has established a standard commission price of $6.95 per trade. This online broker also introduced a student-friendly pricing structure that reduced the standard commission price to $5.95 per transaction and waived the annual fee associated with account balances under $10,000. Young investors under the age of 25 with a CIBC Smart Start chequing account enjoy commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs.

    There is also an active investor price of $4.95 per transaction for individuals or households making at least 150 transactions per quarter. A unique feature pools assets per household to take advantage of the Active Investor offers.

    An account maintenance fee of $100 is charged annually for balances under $25,000. This fee is waived for individuals who also hold a registered account such as an RRSP, RESP, RIF, LIF or LIRA. The price of standard options is $6.95 + $1.25 per contract. Active Broker Options are priced at $4.95 + $1.25 per contract.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    CIBC Investor’s Edge offers clients the ability to trade online in both non-registered and registered accounts. For registered accounts, CIBC Investor’s Edge offers the TFSA, RRSP and RESP accounts. There is an administration fee of $100 per year for RRSP accounts that do not meet the minimum balance threshold of $25,000. However, TFSAs and RESPs do not have an administration fee. CIBC Investor’s Edge can hold U.S. dollars or Canadian dollars in their registered accounts.

    You can invest in these investment products: guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed-income securities, options, initial public offerings, precious metals, structured notes, and Canadian Depository Receipts (CDRs). CDRs make it easy to buy shares in US companies in Canadian dollars and act as hedge against currency fluctuations.

    Trading Platform

    You can transact from the online platform as well as from the mobile application. The standard web-based platform provides most of the essential functions for order entry, trade execution notification, alerts, daily market reports, watch list creation and monitoring, as well as basic charting and fundamental research.

    Their platform is comparable to most standard online trading interfaces. The mobile brokerage application is available on iPhone and Android. CIBC Investor’s Edge offers Morningstar and Thomson Reuters as a resource for information.

    Investor’s Edge is a valuable tool packed with information and tips to help you optimize your investments. It lets you track popular stocks and themes based on trusted news sources, blogs, and social media. It offers resources for technical analysis, allowing you to identify new opportunities for stocks and ETFs, and lets you keep track of analyst performance.

    It also provides access to expert insights from top economists, tax experts, and investment analysts through various media like articles, videos, and webinars. Signing up for newsletters provides a comprehensive look at market movements.

    Pros

    • Share commissions
    • FX Transfers
    • Market Notifications

    Cons

    • Management team not responding
    • Transactional processes
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    Scotia iTRADE: Best online broker in Canada for ESG investing tools

    CategoryStandard PricingSpecial PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Stocks & ETFs$9.99 per transaction
    * Select ETFs are commission-free
    Active Investors: $4.99 per transaction (150+ trades/quarter)TFSA, RRSP, RESP, FHSA, Cash, MarginStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, GICs, Bonds, New Issues,
    Options $9.99 + $1.25 per contractActive Investors: $4.99 + $1.25 per contract (150+ trades/quarter)
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for Scotia iTrade, one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    Scotia iTRADE has set its standard commission price at $9.99 per transaction when you trade less than 150 times per quarter. Active investors are also eligible for commissions of $4.99 per transaction, subject to a minimum of 150 transactions per quarter. For options trading, the cost is $9.99 plus $1.25 per contract for regular investors. Finally, for clients who make more than 150 transactions per quarter, the cost of trading options is $4.99, plus $1.25 per contract.

    Scotia iTRADE charges a quarterly $25 inactivity fee to customers who have less than $10,000 combined in all their iTRADE accounts. To avoid paying this fee, investors can make at least one commission-generating trade per quarter or hold a registered account.

    In terms of account maintenance fees, for non-registered accounts, you pay $25 per quarter if no chargeable transactions have been made during the quarter. For TFSAs, there are no fees. For the RRSP, it’s $100 per year and free if one of the following conditions is met: maintain a balance greater than $25,000 or make at least 12 transactions per year. Finally, for the RESP, the fees are $25 per year or exempt if you meet one of the following conditions: maintain a balance of more than $25,000 or make at least 12 transactions per year.

    Account type & Investment products

    Scotia iTRADE offers online trading in both non-registered and registered accounts. For non-registered accounts, Scotia iTRADE offers both cash and margin accounts. Margin accounts to be used for short selling where options trading requires additional approval and minimum capital requirements.

    For registered accounts, Scotia iTRADE offers TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs, and FHSAs. Registered accounts such as RRSPs are available in both U.S. and Canadian currency, but note that U.S. account types have a quarterly fee of $30 per account. Investors with RRSP accounts who have less than $25,000 in total in all their accounts and who make fewer than 12 commission-generating trades per year are subject to an annual fee of $100.

    Trading Platform

    Scotia iTrade offers a desktop and mobile trading platform. For the web interface, the platform allows fundamental and technical analysis, charting and watch list tracking. They also have an order entry and review system that allows multiple orders to be managed.

    Their advanced trading platform, Trade Pro, is designed for advanced or active brokers. Trade Pro offers level 2 streaming quotes, option chain trading and advanced option analysis. Data pricing is based on the amount of assets and the number of transactions per quarter.

    For mobile users, Scotia iTRADE offers a mobile application on IOS and Android. There is also an iPad application. The broker offers Refinitiv and Thomson Reuters as resources for information.

    A standout out feature that makes Scotia iTrade one of the best online brokers in Canada is it’s unique sustainability insights. This platform was the first to give self-directed investors access to sustainable investing tools to help you find investment ideas that match your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values.

    They’ve partner with Sustainalytics to provide insights and offer detailed ESG performance ratings for over 1,200 companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Russell 1000 Index. These ratings consider factors like labor relations, use of clean energy, commitment to green initiatives, and adherence to ethical business practices.

    Pros

    • Exclusive ESG investing tools
    • Account Management Services
    • Inventory Reviews
    • Banking integration

    Cons

    • Poor customer service
    • Management team not responding
    • Minimum resources
    Logo for IIROC, links to Scotia registration page. Scotia iTrade is one of the best online brokers in Canada for ESG investors

    RBC Direct Investing: Best online broker in Canada for people who bank with RBC

    CategoryStandard PricingSpecial PricingAccount TypesInvestment Products
    Stock & ETFs$9.95 per transaction$6.95 per transaction (150+ trades/quarter)TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, Cash, MarginGICs, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Stocks, Fixed Income, Options, New Issues, Gold & Silver Certificates, etc.
    Options Trading$9.95 + $1.25 per contract$6.95 + $1.25 per contract (150+ trades/quarter)
    At a Glance: Fees, Accounts, and Investment Products
    Logo for RBC. RBC Direct Investing is one of the best online brokers in Canada

    Prices & Fees

    RBC Direct Investing is the best online broker in Canada for loyal RBC clients. Stock and ETF commissions are $9.95 per transaction, regardless of the value of your account. If you make more than 150 trades per quarter, the commission fee drops to $6.95 per transaction. You can also purchase options with a cost per transaction of $9.95 plus $1.25 per contract while active traders (150+ traders/quarter) pay $6.95 + $1.25 per contract.

    Inactivity fees are charged quarterly to those with a balance of less than $15,000. You can waive this fee in several ways. Clients who deposit a minimum of $100 per month into their RBC Direct Investing account as part of a pre-authorized contribution plan, those who make a minimum of 3 commission-generating transactions per quarter, those who have a group RRSP with RBC Direct Investing, those who are eligible for the RBC Royal Circle Direct Investing program, those who currently have a student banking package (or have done so within the past 5 years) and clients who have an RBC VIP Banking package can all have their quarterly inactivity fee waived.

    Account Type & Investment Products

    The types of accounts offered by RBC Direct Investing are non-registered and registered accounts. For non-registered accounts, RBC Direct Investing offers cash and margin accounts. Registered accounts include TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs and RRIFs. With the exception of RESP accounts, all other accounts are dual currency, which means that if you trade in U.S. stocks or U.S. dollars, no conversion is required between Canadian and U.S. currency. For registered accounts, you cannot use margin. Options trading in registered accounts is limited to the purchase and sale of options.

    You can invest in guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income securities, and options.

    RBC Direct Investing also offers practice accounts for RBC clients as well as RBC Direct Investing clients. The accounts are funded with $100,000 in practice money and individuals can use a cash or margin configuration to get their hands dirty.

    A nice feature of the RIB Direct Investing platform is the ability to link it directly to your existing RBC bank account. This allows you to instantly fund your trading account and gives you a holistic view of your financial profile in one convenient place.

    Trading Platform

    With their rather standard platform, you find investments using interactive tools. You can network with other investors, find investment ideas and share your experiences within the investment community. You can link your goals to your accounts, tracking and reporting on your progress and adjusting your investments as needed. You can access any information you need through the Morningstar research tool.

    Their Trading Central technical analysis tool helps you identify investment trends and find new opportunities. In addition, you can use the interactive charting tool to more easily identify trends or historical patterns.

    Finally, you can set up and manage notifications to track the progress of your investments, develop quote lists for the investments you are interested in. Every online broker is optimized for a certain type of client which includes the average retail investor, brand-new traders, as well as professional day traders and even passive investors. Every broker on this list charges a different fee and choosing the right platform requires due diligence on the part of the investor in order to get the most bang for your buck.

    A Summary of the Best Online Brokers in Canada

    All the brokerages mentioned here have described their portfolio of products and services on the website. You can easily understand the kind of tools and resources a platform offers. However, it might also make sense to open a brokerage account for free and test a particular platform before diving in completely. You can access these platforms on various devices to see if their interface is user-friendly and if it ticks most of your boxes.

    Investing in equities is one of the best ways to create long-term wealth and identifying the best online broker in Canada for your needs is the first step in this process. It’s imperative to use all the tools and resources provided by the online broker which will help you reach your financial goals, especially if you are an active investor.

    FAQs About the Best Online Brokers in Canada

    What is the best online broker in Canada for trading?

    The best online broker in Canada for trading depends on the type of trader you are. The most popular options include Qtrade for all types of investors, Wealthsimple Trade for crypto and commission free trading, as well as Interactive Brokers for very active/professional traders. TD Easy Trade is the most popular bank-owned platform for brand new traders.

    Which online broker is best for beginners?

    Wealthsimple Trade is often recommended for beginners due to its user-friendly interface and zero commission fees on trades, while TD Easy Trade is incredibly popular for easy-to-use mobile app and learning resources.

    How to choose an online broker in Canada?

    Make sure you compare features like trading fees, account types offered, customer service quality, ease of use, and the broker’s reputation. Also, consider whether the broker offers educational resources if you’re a beginner and whether or not you prefer to trade on a desktop or smart device. To reduce unnecessary risk, choose an online broker that is registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

    How to transfer shares from one broker to another online?

    Contact the broker where you want to transfer your shares to. They will typically have a transfer form you can fill out, and you will need to open an account where the shares will be deposited. Then, contact your current brokerage to initiate the process and submit the required information from the new brokerage. Your current broker will likely charge a transfer fee, but many online brokers in Canada will cover this fee for you in order to attract new business. Ask the new brokerage if this is an option for you.

    Which online broker has lowest fees in Canada?

    Wealthsimple Trade offers zero commission trades, making it one of the best online brokers in Canada with the lowest fees.

    What is a discount broker?

    A discount broker offers lower commission rates compared to traditional brokers because they offer fewer services, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they offer fewer features or less quality. For example, independent online brokers like Questrade and Wealthsimple are not big banks with physical locations and traditional banking services. Their overhead costs are lower so they are able to pass the savings onto investors while delivering a quality trading platform suitable for many types of investors. Discount brokers are a good choice for people who prefer to make their own investment decisions.

    Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.