Questrade Fees & Commissions: Is It Canada’s Low-Cost Leader?

Questrade is one of Canada’s most popular online brokerages. It markets itself as “Canada’s low-cost leader” offering one of the lowest commissions in the industry.

In this post, we’ll look at Questrade fees and commissions. Are they really low and competitive compared to the other brokerages?

Read on to find out.

About Questrade

Questrade is Canada’s most popular and fastest-growing online brokerage. Each year, more than 200,000 new accounts are opened on the platform.

Since its founding in 1999, Questrade has been providing Canadians with simple and cost-effective investing options.

Questrade offerings include managed or robo-advisory investing, self-directed investing, FX & CFD trading, commodities trading and many more.

It supports a wide range of investment accounts and its pricing are competitive and compares well against the other trading platforms in the country.

Questrade Fees

There are several administrative and transaction fees at Questrade. Many of them won’t be relevant to the average investor.

Below, we cover the most common fees and commissions you may have to deal with as a Questrade client.

Questrade Self-Directed Fees

Excluding Wealthsimple Trade app that offers commission-free ETF and stock trading on its platform, the trading fees at Questrade are one of the lowest in Canada.

ETFs are free to buy but selling costs 1 cent/ share with a minimum fee of $4.95 and max of $9.95. Buying and selling stocks has the same trading cost. Options trading costs $9.95 + $1/contract.

Questrade fees for self-directed investing

Questrade Active Traders Fees

Active traders can get reduced pricing from Questrade. To qualify, you’ll need a subscription to one of Questrade’s advanced market data plans that cost $89.95/month but fully rebatable.

The Questrade active traders’ fees are shown in the table below:

TransactionFixedVariable
Buy ETFsFreeFree
Sell ETFs$4.95/trade1 cent / share
min:$0.01; max:$6.95
Trade Stocks$4.95/trade1 cent / share
min:$0.01; max:$6.95
Trade Options$4.95 + $0.75/contract$6.95 + $0.75/contract

Questwealth Portfolio Fees

Questrade’s robo-advisory or managed account offering is called Questwealth Portfolio. The accounts are actively managed, yet it still manages to keep the management fees low.

In fact, the Questwealth Portfolio management fees start at 0.25% – just half of the fees at Wealthsimple. And the fees drop to 0.20% for balances of $100,000+

The table below shows the Questrade robo-advisory fees.

Account BalanceManagement Fee
Less than $100,0000.25%
$100,000+0.20%

Questrade Withdrawal Fees

You’ll probably need to transfer or withdraw your funds at some point. Questrade lets you withdraw CAD and USD using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for free.

The amounts you can withdraw for CAD and USD are CAD50,000 and USD25,000 respectively.

But there are charges if you use the other withdrawal methods like wire transfers and certified cheque.

Withdrawal MethodFees
CAD Wire Transfer$20
USD Wire Transfer$30
CAD and USD Uncertified Cheque$50
Certified Cheque$75
International Wire Transfer$40

Learn more about how to withdraw from Questrade to your bank in the linked post.

There are also transfer-out fees from Questrade to other financial institutions. Full transfers have a fee of $150, while partial transfers of accounts to other institutions cost $25.

These fees are comparable to what many other financial institutions also charge for transfers of accounts to other institutions. But Wealthsimple does not charge for the service.

Questrade, however, covers your transfer-in charge up to $150 when you move your account from other financial institutions. Check here for a guide on how to Transfer TFSA to Questrade.

Related Post: TFSA/RSP Transfer Fees

Questrade Administrative Fees

To start with, Questrade is one of the few brokerages that do not charge any quarterly or annual account maintenance fees or inactivity fees.

There are also no fees for opening and operating a TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP and so on. But it charges USD5 commission for days when you trade USD in an RESP account.

Opening and closing a Questrade account is also free.  Some of the other administrative fees at Questrade include:

ServiceFees
NSF Cheque or Returned Items$30
Stop Cheque$25
Copy of Account Statement$20
Copy of Trade Confirmation$20
Estate settlement$200 per account

Questrade Fees vs Wealthsimple Fees

Wealthsimple’s flagship product is Wealthsimple Invest, a robo-advisor account. In addition, it provides a self-directed trading platform through Wealthsimple Trade.

Here’s how the fees on both products compare to their Questrade equivalent.

Robo-advisory Fees:

Deposit/Account BalanceQuestwealth PortfolioWealthsimple Invest
Less than $100,0000.25%0.50%
$100,000+0.20%0.40%

Self-directed Investing Fees:

TransactionsQuestradeWealthsimple Trade
Buy ETFsFreeFree
Sell ETFs1 cent/share
min:$4.95; max:$9.95
Free
Trade Stocks1 cent/share
min:$4.95; max:$9.95
Free
Trade Options$9.95 + $1/contractN/A

Note that Wealthsimple Trade’s offerings are currently limited. For example, it only offers ETF and Stocks trading for now so you can’t trade options.

USD balances are also not supported yet and the only registered accounts available are TSFAs and RRSPs.

Related Post: Wealthsimple Cash Referral Bonus & Review

Questrade Fees vs Qtrade Fees

Qtrade is another popular online brokerage available to Canadian investors. Like Questrade, it has been operating for over 20 years in Canada.

Over the years, it has consistently been ranked as one of the best online trading platforms by MoneySense, The Globe and Mail and Surviscor.

But how does Qtrade’s fees compare with the ones at Questrade?

TransactionsQuestradeQtrade Investors
Buy ETFsFreeFree for selected ETFs
Sell ETFs1 cent/share
min:$4.95; max:$9.95
Free for selected ETFs
Trade Stocks1 cent/share
(min:$4.95; max:$9.95)
$8.75
Trade Options$9.95 + $1/contract$8.75 + $1.25/contract
Account Maintenance Fees$0$25/quarter

Note that Qtrade only supports commission-free ETF trading on 100 selected ETFs – both US and Canadian. And the trade order value must be a minimum of $1,000 and you must hold the ETF for at least one business day.

Questrade on the other hand allows commission free purchase on all ETFs without any restrictions on order value.

Questrade Fees vs National Bank Direct Brokerage Fees

National Bank Direct Brokerage has the best pricing among the big banks’ brokerages.

Like Questrade, it also allows commission-free ETF purchase. In addition, ETF sales are also free at National Bank.

However, there is a caveat – the trade must involve a minimum of 100 units of the ETF to qualify for $0 commissions. For an ETF trading at $20, that’s a minimum of $2,000 per trade. The requirements are high because most regular investors don’t trade such high amounts.

The table below compares Questrade trading fees to National Bank Direct Brokerage Fees:

TransactionsQuestradeNational Bank Direct
Buy ETFsFreeFree*
Sell ETFs1 cent/share
min:$4.95; max:$9.95
Free*
Trade Stocks1 cent/share
(min:$4.95; max:$9.95)
$6.95
Trade Options$9.95 + $1/contract$6.95 + $1.25/contract
Account Maintenance Fees$0$100*/annum

The annual account administration fees of $100 at National Bank Direct Brokerage can be waived in some cases.

For example, if you hold assets of $20,000+, had 5 or more commission-generating trades in a year, an active or young investors and so on.

Final Thoughts: Questrade Fees

Overall, Questrade fees compare favourably with the other online brokerages in Canada. In many instances, its fees are below the cost of similar services at its competitors.

So whether you’re looking to open a self-directed account or a managed account with Questrade, you can be rest assured that you’ll be paying low fees and commission.

And with its support for several investment products and registered account types, Questrade is a solid trading platform for both beginners and experienced investors in Canada.

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Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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