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RBC Direct Investing Review 2024

Written by
Oskar G.
Fact checked by
Gyula L.
Updated
2d ago
Key data
Fees
Safety
Deposit and withdrawal
Account opening
Mobile app
Desktop platform
Product selection
Regulated and trusted. Tested via live trading.
814 people chose this broker
Not available in United States; see best alternatives

Why choose RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing is a Canadian stockbroker regulated by the top-tier Canadian authority CIRO.

It is an established company with a banking background and fast account opening for RBC banking clients. Customer service is reliable and quick via most channels, while education resources are also great, covering a lot of tools, including a demo account. It is a good choice for beginner investors.

RBC Direct Investing's most obvious weakness is its outdated mobile trading app. Also, the product portfolio covers only the US and Canadian markets, and withdrawal and deposit options are limited.

BrokerChooser gave RBC Direct Investing a 3.9/5 rating based on analyzing 600+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

BrokerChooser score
3.9 3.9 /5
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Pros
  • Quick, helpful live chat
  • Easy account opening in some cases
  • High-quality educational tools
Cons
  • Only US and Canadian markets covered
  • Limited withdrawal/deposit options
  • Outdated mobile trading platform

RBC Direct Investing at a glance

🗺 Country of regulationCanada
💰 US stock feeCAD 9.95 per trade; CAD 6.95 if you make more than 150 trades per quarter
💰 Inactivity fee chargedNo
💰 Withdrawal fee$0
💰 Minimum deposit$0
💵 Available base currenciesUSD, CAD
💵 Conversion fee of deposits in non-base currency2% mark-up
💳 Deposit with bank cardNot available
🕖 Time to open an account1-3 days
🎮 Demo account providedYes
🛍️ Products offeredStock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Options
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Fees

Score: 3.2/5
RBC Direct Investing has low non-trading fees, and trading mutual funds is free. However, withdrawals are only free for RBC banking clients, and an account fee applies if your account balance isn't high enough.
Pros
  • Low non-trading fees
  • No mutual fund trading fee
  • No withdrawal fee for RBC clients
Cons
  • Quarterly account fee
  • High withdrawal fee for non-RBC clients

We compared RBC Direct Investing's fees with two similar brokers we selected, Qtrade 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 RBC Direct Investing alternatives.

Average stock and ETF commission

RBC Direct Investing US stock fees are much higher than the industry average. US stock fees are calculated as follows: CAD 9.95 per trade; CAD 6.95 if you make more than 150 trades per quarter

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

RBC Direct Investing's fee structure is mostly transparent. Stock, ETF and options fees are volume-tiered, and you get a discount after 150 trades per quarter.

Average margin rates

RBC Direct Investing USD margin rate fees are slightly lower than the industry average. USD margin rate fees are calculated as follows: Investment account: 8.75% annual financing rate for CAD accounts, while 9.5% for USD accounts

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

Average options commission

RBC Direct Investing US stock index options fees are higher than the industry average. US stock index options fees are calculated as follows: CAD 9.95 + CAD 1.25 per contract, if you have more than 150 trades per quarter then CAD 6.95 + CAD 1.25 per contract

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

No inactivity fee, high withdrawal fee

It charges no inactivity fee and there is no withdrawal fee in some cases. However, there is an account management fee of CAD 25 per quarter if your account balance is below CAD 15,000, and the withdrawal fee can be quite high in certain cases (see below).

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

Withdrawal fees vary widely based on whether you have an RBC bank account, which account type you choose and which withdrawal method you use. See the table below for details:

RBC Direct Investing withdrawal fees
Account type With RBC bank account Without RBC bank account
Margin, cash, RESP, TFSA accounts Free Cheque: CAD 10
Wire: CAD 45
RRIF account Free up to 2 withdrawals, CAD 25 each after Cheque: CAD 10
Wire: CAD 45
RRSP account CAD 50 plus tax Cheque: CAD 10
Wire: CAD 95
RRSP account under Home Buyer's Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan CAD 25 plus tax Cheque: CAD 10
Wire: CAD 95

Other commissions and fees

Low mutual fund commission: trading mutual funds involves the following charges - No fee.

Low bond commission: US treasury bonds come with the following charges - Commission is included in the quoted price. Minimum commission: CAD 25 per transaction. Maximum commission: CAD 250 per transaction..

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

Safety

Backed by its parent, the Royal Bank of Canada, which has a long history of banking and is publicly listed, RBC Direct Investing is considered to be safe. It is also regulated by a top-tier financial authority.
Pros
  • Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
  • Banking background
Cons
  • No negative balance protection
Read more

Deposit and withdrawal

Score: 1.9/5
Withdrawals and deposits are free if you have a bank account with RBC. On the other hand, credit/debit cards and electronic wallets are not accepted, and most withdrawal options carry a fee if you're not an RBC bank client.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
  • Free withdrawal for clients with RBC bank account
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Fewer withdrawal and deposit options for non-RBC clients
Read more

Account opening

Score: 4.4/5
RBC Direct Investing has an easy, fully digital and fast account opening, with no minimum deposit. However, account opening for non-RBC bank clients is more complicated.
Pros
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • Account opening complicated for non-RBC bank account holders
Read more

Mobile app

Score: 1.2/5
RBC Direct Investing's mobile app is outdated, has limited functionality, and may suffer from bugs and freezing. On the plus side, it offers biometric authentication.
Pros
  • Touch/Face ID login
Cons
  • Not user-friendly
  • No price alerts
  • Bugs
Read more

Desktop platform

Score: 2.9/5
RBC Direct Investing does a great job of covering the basics, and has clear fee reports. On the other hand, there is no two-step login and the design feels outdated.
Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • Price alerts
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Outdated design
Read more

Product selection

Score: 2.3/5
You can trade multiple asset types, but some important ones like forex or CFDs are not available. The offering is also limited to the Canadian and US markets.
Read more
“I recommend RBC Direct Investing for investors, including beginners, focusing 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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