In this post, you’ll learn the step-by-step instructions on how to transfer your TFSA to Questrade and some of the other things to consider.
Questrade is a full-service online brokerage that has been serving Canadians for over 2 decades. With over $25 billion in assets under administration and more than 200,000 new accounts opened annually, Questrade is one of Canada’ fastest growing brokerages.
If you’re ready to make the switch to Questrade and start investing at Canada’s low-cost leader, let’s begin.
How to Transfer TFSA to Questrade
To get started, you’ll need to get some details about your old account such as: the name of the institution you’re transferring from, your account number and address. You should be able to find this information in any of your recent account statements or online.
Once you have those information, you’re ready to initiate the transfer request.
So here are the steps to transfer your TFSA to Questrade:
- Login to your Questrade account and go to the “Accounts” section. This is the default page when you login.
- From the top navigation menu, hover over “Funding” and click on “Transfer account to Questrade”
- Click on the green “START Request” button under the “New Request” tab
- Select the Questrade Account you’re transferring to and proceed to the next step
- From the dropdown menu, select the financial institution you’re transferring from
- Enter the account number and the institution’s address. The address is not required for some institutions such as Wealthsimple and Wealthbar.
- Choose the type of transfer: All in kind, all in cash or partial transfer and proceed to the next step
- Provide the value of the transfer in either CAD or USD. Just enter an estimate – the exact value isn’t required.
- Review all the information provided and sign the transfer request.
You’ll be able to sign the transfer request electronically in most cases. However, if your old institution does not support electronic signatures, you’ll be required to download the forms and sign by hand.
A few things to note:
- Where your institution has multiple business names or subsidiaries, confirm the specific institution holding your investments. For example, BMO – Bank of Montreal vs BMO Investorline, RBC – Royal Bank of Canada vs RBC Direct Investing, TD Canada Trust vs TD Direct Invest, ScotiaBank vs Scotia iTrade and so on.
- You’ll have to submit separate transfer requests if your institution has separate accounts for CAD and USD.
Types of TFSA Transfer
In general, there are 3 ways to transfer your TFSA from one account to another. And Questrade allows all three options:
- All in kind Transfers: Here, the sending financial institution transfers all your investments and cash to Questrade as they are – including a record of the book value of your holdings.
- All in cash Transfers: Unlike in-kind transfers, all your existing investments will be liquidated, and the cash proceeds moved to your new Questrade account. There could be extra charges for this service depending on your brokerage.
- Partial Transfers: With the final option, you’re only interested in transferring only a part of your investment account. This could be in-cash or in-kind. For example, you can transfer a specific USD or CAD amount or specific investments.
Which option should you choose? It’ll come down to a few factors such as your preference, account types (managed or self-directed), brokerage etc.
For example, if you’re transferring from a managed account or mutual fund that can only be held at your old brokerage, the only option would be to liquidate your investments and transfer the cash.
Questrade TSFA Transfer Fees
Questrade does not charge any fees to transfer your TFSA or any other types of investment from another brokerage.
But your current brokerage may charge a fee to process your TFSA transfers. This can be as low as $35 or as high as $150.
The good news is: Questrade will cover your transfer fees up to $150 per account.
To claim the transfer fee rebate, simply upload a recent statement or a screenshot of your account at the brokerage showing the transfer fees. You can access the upload portal under “Account Management”. Choose “Rebate” as the “document type”.
This request must be submitted within 60 days of making your TFSA transfer request.
Note: The transfer fee reimbursement only covers the administrative transfer charge. There could be other charges or penalties to liquidate your investment depending on your brokerage.
For example, some mutual funds may charge a deferred sales charge (DSC) for Ontario investors. (Ontario Securities Commission has announced a ban on DSC effective 2022).
It’s best to clarify with your financial institution to understand all the related fees and charges before initiating the transfer.
Learn more about TFSA and RRSP Transfer fees and the institutions that reimburse them in this post.
Other Questrade Fees
Here are the trading fees and some of the other administrative charges at Questrade:
- Questwealth Portfolios: If you open an account with Questrade’s robo-advisor offering, the annual management fees start at 0.25% for assets below $100,000, but drops to 0.20% afterwards. There are no other fees for buying or investing in the account
- Questrade self-directed: Buying ETFs are commission-free but it costs 1 cent per share (min: $4.95 and max:$9.95) to sell ETFs or trade shares.
Other administrative fees at Questrade include:
- Transfers to other brokerages or institutions: $150
- Partial account transfers: $25
- CAD or USD Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT): Free
- Wire Transfers: $20 for CAD; $30 for USD
Learn more: Questrade Fees
How long will the TFSA Transfer to Questrade Take?
Transferring your TFSA from another brokerage to Questrade can take approximately 10 – 20 days. According to Questrade, all submitted online requests will be sent out from their end within one to three business days.
However, processing the transfers by your current brokerage and moving the funds or investments can take much longer.
For example, some brokerages do not support electronic signatures while others will send a physical cheque to Questrade. All of these will add up and increase the processing time.
You can always login to your Questrade account to check the status of your transfer under by clicking the “Request History” on the transfer section.
Questrade TSFA vs Wealthsimple TFSA
Wealthsimple, Canada’s most popular robo-advisor, also has a great TFSA offering. You can choose between it’s managed account offering, Wealthsimple Invest, or self-directed commission-free app, Wealthsimple Trade.
Here’s how Wealthsimple Trade TFSA compares to Questrade TFSA:
|Sell ETFs||Free||1cent/share (min :$4.95; max:$9.95)|
|Buy & Sell Shares||Free||1cent/share (min :$4.95; max:$9.95)|
|USD Cash||Not allowed||Allowed|
|USD Stocks purchases||1.5% currency conversion fee||min:$4.95; max:$9.95|
On the surface, if you want to open a self-directed account, Wealthsimple Trade looks like an obvious winner. And you’ll be right if you’ll only be buying CAD denominated stocks and ETFs.
Wealthsimple Trade makes its money by charging for currency conversion costs. You can’t hold USD cash in the account. That means there’s a conversion each time you buy and sell securities – this can quickly add up and cost more than the $4.95 you’ll pay per trade at Questrade
On the other hand, Questrade allows USD cash and trading. So if you’ll be doing a lot of USD trades, Questrade is a better option.
Alternatively, open an account at both brokerages since you can have more than one TFSA. For example, buy only CAD securities at Wealthsimple and USD stocks at Questrade.
Just remember to track your contributions to avoid TFSA penalties.
So if you’re looking to move from an existing institution with higher fees, either of the 2 offerings above are a great place to start.
FAQs: Transfer TFSA to Questrade
Can I transfer my brokerage account?
You can generally transfer the holdings in your brokerage account in full (in-kind or in-cash) or partially in Canada. Where the holdings can only be held at a specific brokerage, e.g. some mutual funds, you’ll be able to liquidate the investments and transfer the cash to another brokerage.
Are there fees when transferring investments between brokerages in Canada?
Many sending brokerages will charge an administrative transfer fee for the service, ranging between $35-150. But the receiving institutions will generally not charge. A few institutions in Canada that do not charge transfer fees at the moment include Wealthsimple, EQ Bank and Oaken.
Will Questrade Cover the TFSA transfer fees?
Questrade will cover any transfer fees you incur to move your TFSA, or any account, up to $150 per account. To get the transfer rebate, simply upload an account statement showing the charge within 60 days of making the transfer request.
Is a transfer of cash or investments considered a contribution or withdrawal?
Direct transfers of TFSA, RRSP and other registered accounts between brokerages/institutions are not treated as withdrawals and contribution. That means they have no impact on your annual contribution room. However, simply withdrawing cash in one brokerage and depositing in another will affect your contribution and may result in over-contribution.
Related Post: How To Withdraw From TFSA (TFSA Withdrawal Rules)
What of dividends received at the old brokerage after the transfer?
There are instances where you’ll still receive a dividend in your old institution after submitting and completing a transfer request. If this happens, your old brokerage will initiate a “residual sweep” to move any remaining balances including the dividend to Questrade. If it is not done automatically, contact Questrade and they will follow-up on your behalf.
Moving your TFSA could be a smart move especially if you’re currently paying a lot to buy stocks or in annual management fees.
Both Questrade and Wealthsimple are great options with managed and self-directed account options.
Like Questrade, Wealthsimple will also cover your transfer fees (when you transfer $5,000 and above).
If you’re ready to get started with Questrade, click the button below to get $10,000 managed free for the first year if you open a managed account or $50 trade rebate for a self-directed account.