Questrade is one of Canada's leading online brokerage firms that enjoys a prominent position in the market. If you're an investor, there's a good chance you've heard of Questrade and come across some positive Questrade reviews.
In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at this brokerage and decide if the positive reviews are warranted. We'll also evaluate what Questrade has to offer and help you decide if it's the right choice for you.
No inactivity fees, mobile app available
Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.
- No fees for ETF purchases
- Excellent customer support
- Low trading fees
- No inactivity fees
- Covers up to $150 in transfer fees
- Access to both US and CA stock exchanges
- $1,000 minimum is required to start investing
- No cryptocurrency trading
Questrade is an online broker that offers Canadians a simple and affordable way to invest in the stock market. With Questrade, you can trade stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, mutual funds, and bonds on your own or with the help of a robo-advisor. Moreover, forex and contracts for differences (CFDs) trading are also possible but require a separate platform.
Established in 1999, Questrade is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which protects your investments up to $1 million in case of insolvency.
Importantly, Questrade's trading fees are among the lowest. The company offers a variety of account types, including tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), retirement savings plans (RRSP), and registered education savings plans (RESP).
However, there’s a downside to Questrade, namely that it doesn’t offer banking services (e.g., checking or savings accounts). Another shortcoming is that it doesn’t have a physical presence; all interactions are done online or over the phone.
Questrade online broker offers its customers various self-managed and managed accounts. For future reference, you should know that Questrade refers to managed accounts as Questwealth portfolios.
In managed stock accounts, all investment decisions are made on the account holder's behalf by a professional money manager or robo-advisor. These accounts are a good choice for individuals who lack the time or knowledge to manage their investments. However, managed stock accounts come with fees that reduce returns, so weighing the advantages against the expenses is critical.
Since robo-advisors are in charge of managing Questwealth portfolios, the fees are competitive. The best part is that the broker takes a percentage of your portfolio value rather than applying fixed costs. That is usually a good indicator since the more money you earn, the more the broker makes; thus, it’s in its best interest to provide excellent service and generate a bigger return.
In contrast, companies that charge a fixed fee don’t have an additional incentive to manage your account. They get the money no matter how much you make or lose on the market.
Questrade clients who want complete control over their accounts or who intend to engage in swing trading should use self-managed accounts. Both kinds of accounts provide a variety of options, the most popular being the Questrade TFSA, RRSP, and RESP accounts. Margin accounts are only available for investors with self-managed accounts.
Questrade Account Fees
We already mentioned that Questrade trading fees are among the lowest, but what about account fees? The good news is that it’s completely free to open a Questrade account. True, you won't be able to trade until you deposit $1,000, but there are no other requirements or fees.
You should keep in mind that there is a fee of $25-$100 for complete and partial de-registration from plans. Electronic fund transfers up to CAD 50,000 and USD 25,000 are free, but wire transfers have a fixed cost of $20 for CAD, $30 for USD, and $40 for international transfers.
Questrade will refund up to $150 for transfer fees when moving your account from another broker’s agency or bank. At the same time, if you wish to leave, it costs $150 for a full transfer and $25 for a partial one. During the transfer, you can change your account type. That means if you transfer an RRSP account, it will stay an RRSP account. You can’t change it to a TFSA or any other type.
All of it isn’t anything out of the ordinary for any brokerage, but the fact that there are no yearly or inactivity fees with Questrade is a plus.
Questrade Trading Fees
Questwealth accounts charge a percentage of your portfolio value. The percentage itself is determined by the value of your portfolio: If your portfolio is worth less than $99,999, the percentage is 0.25 and if it’s worth more, a 0.20% fee will apply. On the other hand, for self-managed accounts, the commission fees will be calculated differently.
When buying ETFs, you won’t be charged any commission fees. However, when selling your ETFs, you’ll pay $0.01 per share, with a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95 per trade. The Questrade commission fee for stocks is the same as with ETFs, but you can’t buy them without a fee.
There isn’t a bond commission fee, but you have to buy at least $5,000 of bonds per trade. Trading options will cost you $9.95 per option, plus $1 for every contract. So, for example, if you want 10 contracts, it will cost you $19.95. The mutual fund fee is fixed at $9.95 per transaction.
The fact that you don't have to pay commission fees to purchase ETFs makes it one of the top trading platforms in Canada, but it's not the only reason.
Questrade Market Data Plans
When it comes to making an informed decision, you should take into consideration that Questrade online broker provides four market data plans:
- Basic - Free
- Enhanced - CAD 19.95 per month
- Advanced Canadian data package - CAD 89.95 per month
- Advanced US data package - USD 89.95 per month
The Basic plan offers only Level 1 snap quotes for the US and CA markets but comes without an on-demand market data request. That means you'll have to refresh the page each time you want to see how the market is faring.
The Enhanced Questrade market data plan gives you access to the CA and US Level 1 market data and includes a real-time market feed, which is required if you plan to do any day trading. That could also be one of the reasons it’s among Questrade's most popular packages.
The Advanced Market Data plans come in CA and US variants. Each provides access to Level 1 and Level 2 live streaming data for the corresponding market.
All three paid plans have rebate options, with the Enhanced Market Data plan having only a partial rebate and the Advanced plans having a full one. To qualify for a partial rebate of $19.95 for any plan, you must spend $48.95 in Questrade commission fees. Moreover, you can get a full refund on Advanced market plans, but you must spend $399.95 on commission fees.
Questrade Active Trader Investing Plans
When you subscribe to an Advanced Monthly Data Package, you can access two reduced-fee alternatives accessible exclusively to active traders: Fixed and Variable. Fixed pricing works well if you trade in large numbers, whereas variable pricing is ideal if you simply want to acquire a few shares of a high-priced company.
- Stocks - $4.95 per trade
- ETFs - $4.95 per sale
- Options - $4.95 per trade + $0.75 per contract
- Stocks - Minimum $0.01 - maximum $6.95
- ETFs - Minimum $0.01 - maximum $6.95 per sale
- Options - $6.95 per trade + $0.75 per contract
Questrade Trading Apps
You can access Questrade’s services and tools on the web via Questrade Web and on the desktop app called IQ Edge. Questrade also boasts one of the best mobile apps on the market.
Questrade Mobile App
The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Due to its features that are almost the same as the web app, you can trade on the go. The only shortcoming is its inability to send push notifications to the phone, but hopefully, we won’t have to wait long for it to be added. Integration between apps is excellent: Everything done on one will be copied to the other two, including customized alerts.
The web app design is clean and simple, so you’ll be able to find everything quickly. For some reason, fee reports are placed under the Account section. We doubt it's done on purpose since all the transaction fees are transparently listed on the website.
Questrade IQ Edge
Designed for Windows and macOS devices, IQ Edge is the most advanced of the three apps offered by Questrade and is among the best stock trading apps in Canada. It offers customizable charts, alerts, and a stock screener, which allows you to sort the available stocks, ETFs, and options. Even so, the IQ Edge can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner.
The only drawback is that IQ Edge doesn’t have access to portfolio manager and fee reports like the web and mobile apps.
Questrade Customer Service
If you need assistance, you can visit Questrade’s FAQ section and search for an entry related to your issue or talk to one of its support agents via live chat, phone call, or email. For the live chat option, the waiting time is usually less than a minute. It could take a bit longer if you call the support team, but they will still answer your call within a few minutes. Although email has the longest response time, we were pleased to see that we received a reply within three hours.
Customer support can only be reached from a Canadian phone number, and the support is offered in English and French. The working hours are Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
Questrade online broker is, without a doubt, one of the best brokerages in Canada. Its offer includes forex and CFD trading and the fees are among the lowest in the industry, even providing several options to waive the commissions. Questrade customer support is quite helpful and can be reached via phone, live chat, or email.
The only service we'd like to see added to the Questrade range is cryptocurrency trading. Judging by its offer to date, we’re certain they will become one of the best crypto exchanges in Canada. Other than that, Questrade is a top-notch brokerage firm that we can wholeheartedly recommend.
Is Questrade good for beginners?
Our Questrade review shows that the brokerage is excellent for beginners due to its intuitive web and app design, as well as low account and trading fees.
How much money do you need to open a Questrade account?
A deposit isn’t required when opening an account. However, to be able to start trading, a deposit of $1,000 is required.
Is Questrade better than a bank?
According to almost all Questrade reviews, investing with Questrade is preferable to a bank. As you can see from our review, we concur. After all, Questrade provides lower stock expenses, no maintenance fees, and no commissions on exchange-traded fund purchases (ETFs).