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Questrade fees explained

Jun 2019
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Overview of Questrade fees and charges

Questrade logo

When it comes to brokerage fees Questrade shows a mixed picture: some fees are high but some are low. First you need to figure out your approach or you should use our questionnaire to be able to tell whether Questrade fees are an advantage for you. Continue reading about Questrade fees and charges to see if this is the right brokerage for you or a similar broker like Interactive Brokers or Tradestation is better for you.

Here's a high level overview of Questrade's fees

Questrade Fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee Low $0.01 per share, min $4.95, max $9.95, az ETF trading the buying is free
EURUSD fee High The total transaction cost of an FX trade consists of the trading spread you pay, which may vary from the target spread
US tech fund fee Low $9.95 per trade
Inactivity fee High $24.95 per quarter if you have less than CAD 5,000 on your account and didn't trade in the last querter, no inactivity fee for forex and CFD accounts

Questrade fees
Questrade fees explained

Online brokerages in general charge much lower brokerage fees than traditional brokerages do - this is largely due to the fact that online brokerages' businesses can be much better scaled: From a purely technical standpoint it doesn't make that much of a difference for them if they have 100 or 5000 clients.

This is not to say however that they don't have any fees at all. They make money by charging you at various events for various rates. Usually you need to keep an eye on these 3 types of fees:

  • Trading fees - these are brokerage fees that you pay when you actually do a trade, i.e. buying an Apple stock or an ETF. What you pay is either a commission, a spread or financing rate. Some brokers apply all of these.
    • A commission is either based on the traded volume or it is fixed.
    • A spread is the difference between the buy price and the sell price
    • Financing rate or overnight rate is charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than one day.
  • Non-trading fees. These occur related to some operations you make in your account, i.e. depositing money to your account, withdrawing money from it or not trading for an extended amount of time.

We compare Questrade fees with its closest competitors, Interactive Brokers and Tradestation.

Questrade fees
Questrade trading fees

Questrade's trading fees are mid-tier which means you need to pay special attention to asset classes with high trading fees.

Let's break down the trading fees into the different asset classes available at Questrade.

Trading fees

Questrade's trading fees are average.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Questrade has low stock trading fees.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
USA $5.0 $1.0 $1.0
UK - $8.7 -
Germany - $4.6 -

Forex fees

Questrade's forex fees are high.

Forex fees of a $20,000 30:1 position open, 1-week-hold, and close
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
EURUSD benchmark fee $36.4 $23.0 -
EURGBP benchmark fee $38.3 $17.0 -

Fund fees

Questrade fund fees are low.

A $2,000 fund buy fees
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
USA tech fund buy $10.0 $15.0 $15.0
Europe stock fund buy - $4.6 $15.0

Bond fees

Questrade has low bond fees.

Bond fees of a $10,000 trade
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
USA $0.0 $5.0 $20.0
Europe - $10.0 $20.0

Options fees

Questrade's options fees are high.

Stock index options fees of 10 contracts
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
USA $20.0 $7.0 $10.0
UK - $24.7 -
Germany - $19.4 -

CFD fees

Questrade has high CFD trading fees.

CFD fees, commission of a $2,000 trade
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
USA $10.1 $1.0 -
UK $16.9 $4.4 -
Germany $14.1 $3.4 -

Financing rates

Questrade financing rates are high.

If you want to trade on margin and prefer to hold your positions long, financing costs can be significant.

Questrade yearly financing rates
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
Apple financing rate 9.0% 5.8% 9.3%
Vodafone financing rate 9.0% 3.9% -
EURUSD financing rate 9.0% 4.9% -
EURGBP financing rate 9.0% 3.3% -

Questrade fees
Questrade non-trading fees

When it comes to looking at all the non-trading fees Questrade is an average broker. This means that some of the non-trading fees are high, but the others are low or not charged at all.

Non-trading fees include various brokerage fees and charges at Questrade that you pay not related to buying and selling assets. Among some others, typical non trading fees are withdrawal fee, deposit fee, inactivity fee and account fee.

A high level overview of how Questrade stacks up in non-trading fees
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $35
Deposit fee 0 0 0
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Account fee No No No

Questrade fees
Questrade deposit fee

Deposit fees are applied when you send money to your trading account from your bank account. Usually brokers don't charge money for that and Questrade is not different: you will see the exact same amount on your brokerage account that you sent by any of the deposit methods Questrade offers.

Questrade deposit methods
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No
Deposit fee 0 0 0

Questrade fees
Questrade withdrawal fee

Unlike the majority of the online brokers we have reviewed Questrade does not charge a withdrawal fee. This means that you'll see the same amount of money on your bank account that you transferred from your brokerage account.

Questrade withdrawal fees and options compared
Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No
Withdrawal fee with bank transfer $0 $0 $35

Questrade fees
Questrade inactivity fee

Questrade does apply an inactivity fee and it is $24.95 per quarter if you have less than CAD 5,000 on your account and didn't trade in the last querter, no inactivity fee for forex and CFD accounts. This means that you need to be strategic about your trading activity to avoid getting charged after a longer time of no trade. The fact that Questrade charges an inactivity fee makes it less ideal for you if you are a buy and hold investor.

Questrade has high inactivity fee.

Questrade Interactive Brokers Tradestation
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Inactivity fee $24.95 per quarter if you have less than CAD 5,000 on your account and didn't trade in the last querter, no inactivity fee for forex and CFD accounts $10 per month if you don't generate minimum $10 commission $50 USD per year if less than 2000 USD on balance or less than 5 trades per year.

Read more about Questrade inactivity fee on their own site.

AUTHOR

Bence Komáromi
Bence Komáromi
guest writer
Bence is a finance professional and a former media executive. Currently he works at Morgan Stanley's brokerage and clearing department as a trading fees controller in Budapest, Hungary.
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