Investing

Trying to choose between RBC, TD or Questrade

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 11th, 2020 10:22 am

Poll: Which on-line broker do you use?

  • Total votes: 217. You have voted on this poll.
RBC DI
 
20
9%
TD DI
 
61
28%
Questrade
 
96
44%
CIBC IE
 
4
2%
BMO IL
 
4
2%
Other
 
21
10%
More than 1 from above
 
11
5%
Newbie
Apr 30, 2018
46 posts
50 upvotes
I currently use both TD DI, RBC DI, and used to have Scotia Itrade before.

if i had to pick only one i would use RBC DI, because i find that they are better integrated.

RBC DI
- You can transfer $US to TFSA instead for TD u can only transfer in $CAD
- must easier and simple to navigate and good research with morning star
- Most of the easy things like journal entries can be done online, no need to call in like TD
- Many of the form to fill can easily be done online
- RBC has better integration
- More stable and less down turn, TD DI in Jan 2018 was down for many weeks but RBC wasnt.
- RBC royal circle requires $250,000 to get Priority Service
- Their currency exchange spread seems a bit better than TDs

TD DI
- They have better research than RBC
- I like how they shows EPS for the last few quarters
- The interface looks much prettier and polish
- usually requires more call in and branch visits for forms signature.
- TD DI requires $500,000 to get LVL 2 quotes and advance dashboard.

Really i would go for whoever you bank with, u shouldnt consider the other unless u also have an account there

I used to have Scotia ITrade but i decided to move to TD DI since Scotia Itrade charges $25 per quarter to hold US Dollars in TFSA... for me thats unacceptable thats like 10 free trades a year. I really did like Scotia Itrade, its interface was very clean and simple, u can easily apply DRIP on individual stocks, and the research was pretty good.... but they just keep taking a lot of commission when dealing with FX rates....
Newbie
Aug 24, 2005
44 posts
98 upvotes
You needs seem straight forward. I don't feel that you'll find much differences in product offering between TD and RBC direct brokerages.
I agree with the poster above, best to go with who you bank with.
You'll get online single sign on for bank and brokerage, with consolidated view.
Ease of funds transfer within the same institution may be more relevant in future years when you start drawing down from RESP/TFSA/RSP accounts.

As a High New Worth client at RBCDI, you'll also have access to much of the research and reports used by your current DS IA.
Their active trader platform works well for your needs. Its not really designed for day traders, more for active traders that want market data.
Its a great product, easy to use.
Down side to RBCDI, the main website is dated and difficult to locate items and functionality. Once you overcome the initial learning curve, it's bearable.
The same cannot be said about the RBCDI mobile app....its absolutely unusable.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 12, 2009
1320 posts
327 upvotes
I second iTrade and agree don't let Scotia's retail experience dissuade you from an otherwise great platform. I bank primarily with Scotiabank and have iTrade as well simply due to the ease of funds transfer between my accounts. Yes, the commission is a bit higher than some, but the ease of access to my own funds trumps the other options IMO. I previously had BMO InvestorLine but their interface wasn't the greatest and transferring funds (to their own chequing account even, on top of other banks' accounts) would take a few business days.

Comparing BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade, one HUGE advantage with iTrade is that I can enroll in DRIP on my own through the website. BMO's only option to enroll in DRIP was to call in and wait over an hour...hopefully BMO's updated that feature but it was not a pleasant experience.
"Portfolios are like a bar of soap. The more you touch it the smaller it gets" - Preet Banerjee
Member
Jan 12, 2007
417 posts
117 upvotes
ECBomb wrote: I second iTrade and agree don't let Scotia's retail experience dissuade you from an otherwise great platform. I bank primarily with Scotiabank and have iTrade as well simply due to the ease of funds transfer between my accounts. Yes, the commission is a bit higher than some, but the ease of access to my own funds trumps the other options IMO. I previously had BMO InvestorLine but their interface wasn't the greatest and transferring funds (to their own chequing account even, on top of other banks' accounts) would take a few business days.

Comparing BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade, one HUGE advantage with iTrade is that I can enroll in DRIP on my own through the website. BMO's only option to enroll in DRIP was to call in and wait over an hour...hopefully BMO's updated that feature but it was not a pleasant experience.
Does itrade charge you fees to transfer cash from itrade account to your scotiabank account?
The website says $150 for full or partial transfer.. Which seems very high.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 12, 2009
1320 posts
327 upvotes
vancdeals wrote: Does itrade charge you fees to transfer cash from itrade account to your scotiabank account?
The website says $150 for full or partial transfer.. Which seems very high.
It should be free of charge. The method I mentioned was a withdrawal type of transfer.

If you’re transferring from iTrade TFSA to Scotiabank TFSA, you would have to either call iTrade/Scotiabank retail branches or fill out some forms.

Either or, I’m sure Scotiabank would reimburse you if the process does incur fees since the funds are still within their bank network.
"Portfolios are like a bar of soap. The more you touch it the smaller it gets" - Preet Banerjee
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2320 posts
1670 upvotes
SW Ontario
Arrgh wrote: Don't rule out Scotia itrade just because Scotia bank messed up something on the banking side RESP.

I used TD DI, Scotia iTrade, and CIBC IE. CIBC is primitive and far inferior.

TD DI has made improvements over the last two years, but is still inferior to itrade in too many areas. So I moved most of the funds to iTrade now to trade there. The $4.99 commission is good (vs $9.99 with TD DI), as is the prime rate for margin borrowing (which TD won't give, but adds a percentage above prime). iTrade's backend support is much stronger, whereas TD DI just seem to have too many junior staff who don't know enough.
Oh so very true ... in an attempt to simplify my investments, we decided to move my trading accounts from iTrade to TD DI since TD Canada Trust is our main banking institution ... and I've been regretting every moment of it since starting.

There is absolutely no comparison in service levels from my personal experience ... it's been one headache after another for us with TD DI.

I'm wishing we had moved all our banking over to Scotia instead ...
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 14, 2007
2229 posts
1621 upvotes
Nova Scotia
I already bank at RBC and I have a saving's account sitting idle earning nothing.
Is RBC DI a good solution if I want to just buy ~$17,000 worth of 1 company's shares and let it sit for a long time while collecting dividends? Meaning, other than the initial trade fee, do I pay any maintenance fees?
Newbie
Nov 10, 2018
25 posts
20 upvotes
I also recommend giving Scotia another chance. I don't bank with BNS, but iTrade is my broker of choice. They have the best trading platform of the big 5 (imho), and have the best overall fee structure/market access if you have over $50K (also imho).

I started out with CT Securities, which got absorbed into TDW/TDDI. I actually miss CT - they had decent access to US index options market way back when. Got tired of TDDI making mistakes and charging for trading platform. Migrated over to iTrade because the comparable platform is free, as is market depth access.

Outside the big 5, I like Quest and IB, but IB is a different beast.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 16, 2017
575 posts
241 upvotes
Scotia iTrade and RBC DI are now trending top 2 in Canada ..while CIBC is getting closer as well
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2006
2279 posts
1855 upvotes
Toronto
mattdominic wrote: Scotia iTrade and RBC DI are now trending top 2 in Canada ..while CIBC is getting closer as well
Looks like you revived an old thread, and I'm commenting since I trade with iTrade-their platform is good, but their customer service sucks. It's impossible to phone them these days unless you are prepared to wait over an hour, and they don't respond to messages, except a non helpful answer a week later. The only way to reach iTrade these days is complaining through Office of the President. I have a simple question to ask them, and have been trying to get hold of them for over a week.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 16, 2017
575 posts
241 upvotes
Bull Dog wrote: Looks like you revived an old thread, and I'm commenting since I trade with iTrade-their platform is good, but their customer service sucks. It's impossible to phone them these days unless you are prepared to wait over an hour, and they don't respond to messages, except a non helpful answer a week later. The only way to reach iTrade these days is complaining through Office of the President. I have a simple question to ask them, and have been trying to get hold of them for over a week.
ofcourse same with RBC because of lot of people trying to reach them and limited advisors .. if you want quick question to get answered should try TD there trading platform is not as good as itrade or RBC DI but customer service is spot on just 2-5 mins avg wait
Deal Addict
Nov 11, 2006
1312 posts
836 upvotes
mattdominic wrote: Scotia iTrade and RBC DI are now trending top 2 in Canada ..while CIBC is getting closer as well
In what sense? How much do they charge for active traders, both stock and option trades?
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 16, 2017
575 posts
241 upvotes
CanRulez wrote: In what sense? How much do they charge for active traders, both stock and option trades?
Scotia,TD & RBC Charge same 9.95 per trade even if you buy 1 stock only CIBC is the cheapest i think
Deal Addict
Nov 11, 2006
1312 posts
836 upvotes
mattdominic wrote: Scotia,TD & RBC Charge same 9.95 per trade even if you buy 1 stock only CIBC is the cheapest i think
Ultimately it will depend on a few things:

1. How frequently do you trade?
2. What's your asset level? *Some brokerages offer better pricing for clients who have large amounts with the brokerage.
3. What kind of trading platform will you need? Again, depending on your asset/trade frequency, you may qualify for a more advanced trading platform.
4. Stocks or options? or Both?

If you are just trading infrequently (i.e. buy and hold), then CIBC Investor's Edge at $6.95 is a good choice. If you trade more frequently, there are better options out there.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 16, 2017
575 posts
241 upvotes
CanRulez wrote: Ultimately it will depend on a few things:

1. How frequently do you trade?
2. What's your asset level? *Some brokerages offer better pricing for clients who have large amounts with the brokerage.
3. What kind of trading platform will you need? Again, depending on your asset/trade frequency, you may qualify for a more advanced trading platform.
4. Stocks or options? or Both?

agree i mentioned the same about CIBC

If you are just trading infrequently (i.e. buy and hold), then CIBC Investor's Edge at $6.95 is a good choice. If you trade more frequently, there are better options out there.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2015
1136 posts
469 upvotes
Fees arnt everything theyre the only thing.

If you're doing options and all kinds of crazy things then I guess you need think or swim from what I've heard.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 12, 2009
1320 posts
327 upvotes
Can't believe iTrade isn't on the poll. I use iTrade and I think it's great for what I need. Hope they combine iTrade with their regular Scotia app, which will make it easier to use and they can finally retire their aging iTrade app.

Yes, it's $9.99/trade, but I buy XGRO and it's commission free to trade (same with XBAL, XEQT still charges a commission though). So if you're looking to invest in a CCP all in one fund, iTrade would be a great option.
"Portfolios are like a bar of soap. The more you touch it the smaller it gets" - Preet Banerjee
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2018
1726 posts
1156 upvotes
ECBomb wrote: Can't believe iTrade isn't on the poll. I use iTrade and I think it's great for what I need. Hope they combine iTrade with their regular Scotia app, which will make it easier to use and they can finally retire their aging iTrade app.

Yes, it's $9.99/trade, but I buy XGRO and it's commission free to trade (same with XBAL, XEQT still charges a commission though). So if you're looking to invest in a CCP all in one fund, iTrade would be a great option.
If you can maintain their account minimums to avoid quarterly fees.

Itrade is bare bones, I like it so far.

Ultimate Plan with Scotia also gets you 5 free trades on Itrade, but you have to keep $5k minimum in your chequing account.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 12, 2009
1320 posts
327 upvotes
EDL67134234 wrote: If you can maintain their account minimums to avoid quarterly fees.

Itrade is bare bones, I like it so far.

Ultimate Plan with Scotia also gets you 5 free trades on Itrade, but you have to keep $5k minimum in your chequing account.
Yup that's true but if you have a TD All Inclusive Plan (which has the same $5k minimum requirement), the Ultimate Package with Scotia makes a lot of sense with the 5 free trades/year, especially if you're going to buy and hold.

If you have a non-registered account and/or TFSA, the account minimums on iTrade don't apply. It's only if you have a retirement registered account (RRSP, RRIF, LRSP/LIRA, LIF, etc.) where you'd need minimum of $25k across all iTrade accounts (or 12 commission based trades per year) to waive the $100/year fee.
"Portfolios are like a bar of soap. The more you touch it the smaller it gets" - Preet Banerjee
Member
Jan 24, 2013
484 posts
449 upvotes
Rainy River
I've used or used in the past several of them- Questrade, RBC DI, Scotia Itrade, CIBC IE, National Bank Direct Brokerage and BMO Investorline. None of them are perfect, generally speaking if you need customer service it can be challenging with all of them (kind of the way of the world nowadays I guess). CIBC IE and RBC DI have been having website issues lately. My preference would be Questrade. I also kind of like National Bank Direct Brokerage if doing ETF's. If you buy or sell 100 shares or more all ETF trades are free at National Bank so I like that. Quirky thing National is funding your account, they aren't set-up to my knowledge as a bill payment payee on online banking so you have to link up your accounts by sending them a cheque or account statement.

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