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Qtrade Direct Investing Review 2024

Written by
Oskar G.
Fact checked by
Adam N.
Updated
1w ago
Key data
Fees
Safety
Deposit and withdrawal
Account opening
Mobile app
Web trading platform
Product selection
Regulated and trusted. Tested via live trading.
815 people chose this broker
Not available in United States; see best alternatives

Why choose Qtrade Direct Investing

Qtrade Direct Investing is a Canadian stockbroker regulated by CIRO, the top-tier Canadian financial authority.

Qtrade's strengths include low trading fees for some asset classes like bonds and mutual funds. Opening an account is easy, with several account types at your disposal, and there are also some high-quality educational tools. It is a good choice for beginner investors.

On the other hand, Qtrade Direct Investing's products cover only the Canadian and US markets. Trading fees overall are average, and high for some products. The lack of bank card or electronic wallet integration limits deposit and withdrawal options.

BrokerChooser gave Qtrade Direct Investing a 4.0/5 rating based on analyzing 600+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

  • Low fund fees
  • Easy account opening
  • Solid educational tools
Overall score
4/5
Minimum deposit
$0
Stock fee
Average
Options fee
High
Inactivity fee
yes
Account opening
1-3 days

Not sure if this is the right broker for you? See the best ones.

Fees

Score: 2.9/5
Qtrade Direct Investing has average fees overall, including for stocks and ETFs, although you can trade 100+ ETFs commission-free. Fund and bond fees are low, but options fees are high and there is also an inactivity fee.
  • Low fund fees
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Trade 100+ ETFs commission-free

We compared Qtrade Direct Investing's fees with two similar brokers we selected, RBC Direct Investing and Questrade. These competitors were selected based on objective factors like products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed comparison of Qtrade Direct Investing alternatives.

Average stock and ETF commission

Qtrade Direct Investing US stock fees are much higher than the industry average. US stock fees are calculated as follows: CAD 8.75 per trade (CAD 6.95 if you make 150+ trades per quarter or have a CAD 500k+ account balance)

Broker
US stock
Qtrade Direct Investing
$8.8
RBC Direct Investing
$7.4
Questrade
$5.0
Qtrade Direct Investing stock and ETF commission

It also offers 115 Canadian and US-listed ETFs that you can trade commission-free with no minimums.

Average margin rates

Qtrade Direct Investing USD margin rate fees are slightly lower than the industry average. USD margin rate fees are calculated as follows: Base rate plus up to 1.25% markup, depending on your debit balance

Broker
USD margin rate
Qtrade Direct Investing
9.8%
RBC Direct Investing
9.8%
Questrade
13.0%
Qtrade Direct Investing annual margin rates

High options commission

Qtrade Direct Investing US stock index options fees are much higher than the industry average. US stock index options fees are calculated as follows: $8.75 flat fee and $1.25 per contract, but the flat fee is $6.95 if you trade 150+ per quarter or have at least $500k account balance

Broker
US stock index options
Qtrade Direct Investing
$21.3
RBC Direct Investing
$16.6
Questrade
$20.0
Qtrade Direct Investing stock index options commission

Low inactivity fee, no withdrawal fee

Deposits and withdrawals are free of charge, but there's an account fee that functions similarly to an inactivity fee.

Broker
Inactivity fee
Withdrawal fee
Qtrade Direct Investing
$0
RBC Direct Investing
$0
Questrade
$0
Qtrade Direct Investing inactivity, withdrawal and other fees

There are several additional fees that might apply to you; here are a few examples:

  • CAD 100 is charged if you close your account within the first year after your account is opened.
  • Transferring out assets (rather than cash) costs $150.
  • If you set USD as the base currency for registered accounts (LIF, RIF), there is a $15 quarterly fee (waived for Investor Plus program members).

Qtrade Direct Investing will charge the CAD 25 quarterly account fee unless you satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • you have more than $25,000 account balance
  • you made at least two stock or options trades in the last quarter
  • you made at least eight stock or options trades in the last 12 months
  • you have automatic monthly deposits of at least $100
  • your age is between 18 and 30 years and you add at least $50 to your account each month

As these conditions are not difficult to meet, in practice the inactivity fee is waived for most customers.

Other commissions and fees

Low mutual fund commission: trading mutual funds involves the following charges - CAD 8.75 per trade (CAD 6.95 if you make 150+ trades per quarter or have a CAD 500k+ account balance).

Low bond commission: US treasury bonds come with the following charges - $1 per $1,000 face value, $24.99 min and $250 max.

Broker
Mutual fund
US micro e-mini stock index futures
Qtrade Direct Investing
$6.5
-
RBC Direct Investing
$0.0
-
Questrade
$10.0
-
Misc. fees compared with other brokers

Safety

Qtrade Direct Investing is regulated by the top-tier CIRO, offers strong investor protection and has a solid corporate background. On the negative side, it is not listed on a stock exchange.
  • Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
  • Solid ownership background
Read more

Deposit and withdrawal

Score: 2.6/5
Qtrade Direct Investing offers user-friendly and free deposit and withdrawal. Unfortunately, your options for both are quite limited, as you can only use bank transfer.
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Read more

Account opening

Score: 4.4/5
Qtrade Direct Investing has an easy and fully digital account opening process, with no minimum deposit and plenty of account types.
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
  • Many account types
Read more

Mobile app

Score: 3.3/5
Qtrade Direct Investing's mobile app is very similar to the web platform in design and functions. However, there are no price alerts and we experienced glitches during testing.
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Good search function
  • Good variety of order types
Read more

Web trading platform

Score: 3.8/5
Qtrade Direct Investing's web trading platform has solid search, alert and order functions and portfolio reports. A safer, two-step login is also available.
  • Clear fee report
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Good search function
Read more

Product selection

Score: 2.6/5
Qtrade Direct Investing covers only the Canadian and US markets. You can trade basic asset classes like stocks, ETFs or mutual funds, but forex, futures, CFDs and cryptos are not available.
Read more
“I recommend Qtrade Direct Investing for investors, including beginners, who focus on the Canadian and US markets.”

FAQ

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Author of this review

Oskar Golebiowski
Oskar Golebiowski

Oskar is a former Canadian broker expert for BrokerChooser. Oskar's goal is to bring transparency to investors in the Canadian stock brokerage market. With a bachelor’s degree in finance and over 3 years of business experience, Oskar has tested many different investing platforms in the past. His aim is to provide unbiased and honest reviews of the best tools available to Canadian investors.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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