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Qtrade vs Questrade

Compare two of Canada’s most popular trading platforms to find out which one is the best fit for your needs. 

Do you want to manage your own investment portfolio? If so, you might benefit from comparing Qtrade Direct InvestingTM and Questrade. These are two of Canada’s most reputable and affordable trading platforms. It’s easy to sign up for an account and you can start executing trades as soon as you load money into your wallet.

Learn which trading platform might be the best choice for your unique set of financial needs. Once you decide on a platform, and sign up today to get started.

Which one is better?

There isn’t a wrong or right platform when it comes to trading, although many Canadians contemplate between Questrade and Qtrade. Below is an overview of which is better for what purpose.

  • Choose Questrade if you are interested in international equities or precious metals and intend to trade actively and frequently
  • Choose Qtrade if you plan to invest in various exchange traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds

Qtrade vs Questrade: Quick comparison

Both Qtrade and Questrade were launched in Canada over 20 years ago, and both have head offices located in the country.

Feature

Qtrade

Questrade

Launch date

2001

1999

Assets

$15 billion

$8 billion

Headquarters

Vancouver

Toronto

Investment types

Stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, GICs

Stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, GICs, international equities, precious metals

Commissions

Between $6.95 and $8.75(or pick from 100 free ETFs)

Between $4.95 and $9.95 per trade (but free to buy ETFs)

Minimum balance

$0

Minimum $1,000 account balance

Go to site

Go to site

Qtrade vs Questrade: How they work

Qtrade and Questrade are both well-known self-directed trading platforms in Canada. They offer streamlined technology that lets you manage a number of different investment types at one time. This means you’ll have full control over all of the trades you make. (You won’t get specialized advice from a financial advisor, but if that’s what you’re looking for, both providers offer a robo-advice platform. To read about each platform’s robo-advisors, read our review of Virtual Wealth vs Questwealth Portfolios here.)

You’ll typically pay a much lower commission to make trades with this type of platform when compared to a dedicated advisor. You’ll just need to rebalance your investments manually when they fall out of line with your risk profile, which requires a certain level of expertise.

Qtrade vs Questrade: Fees

Questrade and Qtrade are on par in terms of the commissions they charge to execute trades. That said, Qtrade is a little bit cheaper for regular traders while Questrade is cheaper for active traders.

Commission type

Qtrade

Questrade

Quarterly fee

$25 (waived if you hold $25,000 or make 2 trades per quarter)

$0

Stocks

Between $6.95 and $8.75

Between $4.95 and $9.95

Exchange traded funds (ETFs)

Between $6.95 and $8.75 (or pick from 100+ free ETFs)

Between $4.95 and $9.95 (but free to buy)

Options

Between $6.95 and $8.75 (+$1.25 per contract)

$9.95 plus $1 per contract

Mutual funds

Free

$9.95

International equities

Not available

1% of trade value with a minimum of $195

Precious metals

Not available

Varies

Bonds, IPOs and GICs

Varies

Varies

Dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) fees

$0 (for both Canada and US)

Usually $0, unless the balance is below $5,000 where a $20 fee per quarter will apply

Forex spread fees

Varies

Varies (15% higher than Qtrade, roughly)

Institutional account transfer fees

Reimburse up to $150 to transfer from another broker account

Reimburse up to $150 to transfer from another broker account

Qtrade vs Questrade: Account types

You can open a couple of different registered and cash accounts with both Qtrade and Questrade. Cash accounts will allow you to hold more flexible investments that you can withdraw from at any time without penalty. Keep in mind that your gains may be subject to taxes.

Registered accounts, like RRSPs, TFSAs and RESPs, allow you to earn investment income tax-free. The drawback is contribution and withdrawal limitations apply as they are regulated by the government. It’s up to you to decide which type of account is the best match for your savings goals. Most Canadians prefer to open an RRSP and TFSA first. Once they’ve maxed out the contributions, they open a cash account and continue to save. However, everyone’s financial needs are unique.

Questrade and Qtrade offer US dollar account options in addition to Canadian dollar options. They are available in registered accounts and cash accounts. If you’d like a corporate account for your business, Questrade and Qtrade have account options for that as well.

Qtrade vs Questrade: Research options

Both Qtrade and Questrade offer a wealth of educational resources for clients. These include finance blogs, webinars and special courses to help you get familiar with the building blocks of self-directed investing. Both sites also have extensive FAQ sections to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about their services.

Once you start trading, you can also take advantage of a number of different research tools with each service. The tools offered are similar and include up-to-the-minute news and market data. They also include more advanced options like specialized watchlists and screening tools.

Can I access my account through a mobile app?

Yes. Both Qtrade and Questrade offer a mobile app for easy access to your investments. That said, both apps receive a high number of negative reviews from customers and are considered fairly unreliable. Customers complain that the apps for both services are glitchy and difficult to access at times. They also complain that charting and research tools aren’t as developed as they are on the desktop interface for each platform.

Qtrade vs Questrade: How is my money protected?

Both Qtrade and Questrade are regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). They are also both members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which insures a portion of any money you have invested in the unlikely case that either company becomes insolvent.

You can also take advantage of a number of safety features with both services. For example, Questrade uses facial recognition software and instant alerts if there’s any suspicious activity on your account. Qtrade encrypts all of your personal and financial information and adheres to strict regulatory standards for all of its services.

Compare stock trading platforms

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Finder Rating Available Asset Types Stock Trading Fee Account Fee Signup Offer Table description
Interactive Brokers
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4.2 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Index Funds, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
min $1.00, max 0.5%
$0
N/A
Winner for Best Overall Broker in the Finder Stock Trading Platform Awards.
Moomoo Financial Canada
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.9 / 5
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0.014/stock
$0
Get up to $1,200 or a $1,200 Apple gift card
Trade US stocks for up to 90% less and access free real time stock quotes and level 2 market data. T&C's Apply.
CIBC Investor's Edge
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.7 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
$6.95
$0 if conditions met, or $100
100 free trades + up to $4,500 cash back
An easy-to-use platform with access to a variety of tools to help you trade with confidence.
RBC Direct Investing
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.8 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $9.95
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
N/A
Enjoy no minimum trading activity requirements and pay just $9.95 per trade or $6.95 if making 150 trades per quarter.
Questrade
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.9 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$4.95 - $9.95
$0
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio to take out some of the guesswork.
Qtrade Direct Investing
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.6 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $8.75
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
Get up to a $150 sign-up bonus. Use code OFFER2024. Ends October 31, 2024.
Low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options.
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Bottom line

Qtrade and Questrade share a number of the same features. They are both popular choices for Canadians that are interested in self-directed investing. Questrade is generally favourable to active, frequent traders. In addition, individuals interested in international equities and precious metals tend to choose Questrade. On the other hand, Qtrade is better suited for frequent ETFs and mutual funds trades. If you’re ready to open an account with either Questrade or Qtrade, you can easily complete an application online.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

Online brokerage services are offered through Qtrade Direct Investing, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Qtrade, Qtrade Direct Investing, and Write your own future are trade names and/or trademarks of Aviso Wealth Inc.

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