Questrade is one of Canada's leading online brokerages. Its desktop version of Questrade Edge is our favourite trading platform out of the Canadian brokers we tested. The broker offers a great balance of user-friendly technology, markets to trade, and account services.
Options (Per Contract):
$50 trade commission rebate.
Top Takeaways for 2023
Here are out top findings on Questrade:
- Its breadth and depth of services, platforms, investment options, and clear pricing make it one of the best brokers in Canada.
- Questrade trading fees are transparent, with commission-free ETF buys, $4.95 minimum stock commissions, and discounts available for active traders, with no annual fees. We’ll say that again: no annual fees.
- The Questrade Edge desktop and web-based platforms are both highly functional and very satisfying to use.
|Commissions & Fees|
|Mobile Trading Apps|
|Platforms & Tools|
|Ease Of Use|
Commissions and fees
Questrade’s pricing is a bit complicated due to there being plans and then choices within plans, but we found it easy to scan through the options to decide which would best suit our needs and those of most investors.
There are two pricing plans for trading stocks, options, and ETFs: Self-Directed Investing pricing (the default) and Active Trader pricing.
Self-Directed Investing pricing: For most investors, Questrade’s standard pricing is the best deal.
- Stocks cost $0.01 per share with a minimum charge of $4.95 and a max of $9.95.
- ETFs follow the same structure, except you are not charged when you buy, only when you sell an ETF.
- Options trading is priced at a flat rate of $9.95 plus a $1 fee per contract.
Active Trader pricing: Under Questrade’s Active Trader program, clients must subscribe to at least one advanced market data offering, then select between the variable or fixed-rate pricing plan.
- For trading stocks, the cost is $0.01 per share, with a $0.01 minimum and $6.95 maximum (variable plan) or a flat $4.95 per trade (fixed plan). The variable pricing is best suited for trading smaller quantities and isn’t a good choice if you mostly trade more than 495 shares.
- Likewise, for trading options, the cost is $6.95 + $0.75 per contract (variable plan) or $4.95 + $0.75 per contract (fixed plan). Lastly, ETF trades are listed as commission-free to buy but incur a $4.95 commission when you sell on the fixed plan; with the variable plan pricing you pay 1 cent per share with a maximum commission of $6.95.
Data subscriptions and rebates: Level 1 real-time stock data is free with all accounts, which is great.
Questrade automatically rebates charges for more comprehensive market data packages after you hit commission thresholds. Buying either of the Advanced data packages unlocks active trader pricing, but it may not be worth it unless your strategy depends on the data or you spend enough in commissions to justify the cost and get the fee rebated. For example, U.S. Level 1 and 2 (and Canadian Level 1) data costs $89.95 monthly and is fully rebated if you spend more than $399.95 in commissions.
You can also upgrade to enhanced streaming options data for $19.95 per month. That fee is rebated after you spend $48.95 in commissions.
Questwealth Portfolios: Questwealth Portfolios are portfolios of exchange-traded funds managed by Questrade Wealth Management and clients are charged 0.25% of the portfolio’s value per year, or 0.20% if you invest more than $100,000. That’s about average for robo portfolio management.
Dive deeper: See our picks for best Canadian online brokers
|Penny Stock Fees (OTC)||$4.95|
|ETF Trade Fee||$4.95|
|Options (Base Fee)||$1.00|
|Options (Per Contract)||$0.75|
|Options Exercise Fee||N/A|
|Options Assignment Fee||N/A|
|Futures (Per Contract)||(Not offered)|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||9.95|
|Broker Assisted Trade Fee|
Platforms and tools
Whether you’re a passive long-term investor or the twitchiest of short-term traders, there’s a home screen waiting for you at Questrade. Platforms come in two distinct flavors: Questrade Trading, which is a streamlined, user-friendly, just-the-essentials-please experience, and Questrade Edge, which is for trading.
We’ll say that once more, slowly, because it took awhile for us to finally get this: the Edge platforms are for traders, not the Trading platforms. The Trading platforms are okay for trading, but they aren’t as trading-focused as Edge. Don’t ask us why Questrade chose this nomenclature. We’re just as confused as you.
Both Trading and Edge come in mobile and web browser versions. There’s also a downloadable desktop application, called Edge desktop, with the most customizability and trading-focused widgets. Most investors don’t need Edge desktop to make solid investing decisions, but active traders will gravitate to the more informative and configurable desktop app once they try it. It’s one of our favourite desktop applications in North America.
Questrade Trading: The Trading mobile app and browser platforms were designed for clarity, education, and ease of use.
There’s been a trend among brokers to pepper their sites and apps with clever quips and splashy animations. If you want confetti to pop all over your screen when you place a trade, you’ll be disappointed. That’s not really Questrade’s thing. Instead, the Trading app and browser experiences were thoughtfully designed to deliver the information most investors typically want to know.
Novices don’t need flying unicorns across their screen when they place a trade; they deserve education that will make them better investors and, especially, prevent them from becoming frustrated enough to not invest or, worse, make a costly mistake. Beginners on the Trading platforms can click on a yellow question mark icon to access the Learning Mode, which provides detailed explanations of what’s on the screen. This feature alone makes a compelling case for beginners to strongly consider Questrade.
Other non-unicorn but highly relevant research tools include analysts' opinions, forecasts, fundamental and technical ratings, and good sentiment measures. The gadgets are provided by TipRanks, a popular third-party provider.
Questrade Edge web: We were impressed with the platform’s ease of use and clean, well-rounded experience. Streaming watch lists, stock charts, the sidebar, and options chains can all be easily customized.
Edge web does a very good job of providing the core necessities of trading, including quotes, charts, trading, customizable watch lists, news, and account management. The charting package is powerful enough to satisfy most casual traders and order management is surprisingly robust, with available order routing and bracket orders. Options traders get five Greeks and orders grouped by strategy (hooray), but options analysis tools are lacking.
The Research tab will lead you to trending stocks, an event calendar, and news. Analyst rating changes can be filtered. Individual stock research also includes analyst ratings, sentiment analysis, and a TipRanks Smart Score.
Edge desktop overview: Edge desktop offers more features than the Web platform and is built for more experienced investors. With a goodly variety of predefined and custom layouts available, the desktop app is versatile and has a silky smooth feel. Gadgets move across the screen as if you’re physically moving index cards on your desk; no jittery behavior from antiquated code here.
There are plenty of tools and settings to satisfy active traders’ preferred workflows. The same research tools available on Edge web are available on desktop but are found in widgets. We also like the Market View gadget. It has a simple interface, yet it’s rich with multiple views and various types of heat maps that can be filtered across exchanges to view the best and worst performers. The screener is easy to navigate with good presets and simple customization.
Edge desktop active trading features: Edge desktop ran smoothly during our test on a Mac. We were also happy to find that traders are offered the option of skipping the order confirmation window (important for day traders), full hotkeys are supported, and default order values can be set for stocks and options together with order parameters, including order type, duration, and route. Last but not least, charting has far more customization options throughout, including the addition of quick trade buttons, alerts, a profit and loss calculator, screening, and a market movers’ list, which can be viewed for both Canadian and U.S. markets.
Some Canadian brokers skimp on research, but Questrade isn’t one of them. You’ll find customizable watch lists and reports, filterable analyst ratings, a stock screener, insider transaction information, and sentiment rankings. Many of these tools are licensed from TipRanks, a respected third-party data provider.
One of Questrade’s distinguishing qualities is the amount and depth of its documentation. There’s plenty of it, it’s there where you need it, and it’s high quality. Often, brokers simply dump data and ratings on the screen with little explanation, leaving their customers to hopelessly fish around the web. Questrade doesn’t leave beginners drowning or experienced investors wondering. I can’t rave about that enough.
Intraday Trader: When I was learning chart analysis, my instructors and mentors always spoke of how much time they (or, more likely, their junior analysts) spent updating dozens of charts a day with pencils and rulers.
Luckily, those days are long, long gone. Now the day has come when chartists don’t even need to glance at charts. They can just enter a list of chart signals and wait for alerts. Questrade’s Intraday Trader, powered by Recognia, scans markets for technical signals and alerts you when a stock traces out a pattern you follow.
Events Calendar: The events calendar, found on both Edge web and desktop, is very handy, allowing clients to sift through various time frames and note stock announcements and events (such as split dates and IPOs), analyst rating changes, and economic indicator announcements.
Questrade offers two mobile apps. QuestMobile closely matches the web version of the Questrade Trading platform, including the very beginner-friendly Learning Mode. Questrade Edge Mobile is for more active traders who require order routing, multileg, and bracket orders.
Questrade offers research consisting of both fundamental and technical analysis, on its website for logged-in customers as well as on its trading platforms. There is an argument to be made for consolidating some of the research resources into one place, such as within the IQ Web platform. That said, there are at least six predefined public watchlists, and while I was happy to see these available, it’s still far fewer than the number of predefined watchlists available at brokers like Wealthsimple or Robinhood.
The Research Center is home to Questrade’s two primary research tools: Market Intelligence for news and analysis, and Intraday Trader for trading signals. Stocktwits is also directly integrated and enables you to view a Twitter-like feed of social updates from other users that share their analysis.
Market Intelligence tool: Market Intelligence is powered by third-party research provider Morningstar and provides thorough fundamental analysis for equities and ETFs traded in Canada alongside the United States.
Reports for individual securities are high quality, and to scan for ideas, the screener tool gets the job done well. For mutual funds research, customers have access to the Mutual Fund Centre (also powered by Morningstar) which focuses on Canadian funds only. In the U.S., Morningstar is the leading research data provider for online brokers.
Intraday Trader tool: Intraday Trader is a trade ideas generator that uses automated technical analysis algorithms to present actionable opportunities, powered by Trading Central (formerly known as Recognia).
IPO Centre: Questrade also provides IPO Centre as a web portal for investors looking to receive early notification of upcoming listings via email subscription to its IPO Bulletin newsletter. I liked how the open IPO opportunities are listed within Questrade’s IPO Centre web portal, where you can sort between offerings when considering to invest in an initial public offering, in case you miss an email notification or just want to browse available offerings. Note: The minimum investment amount per IPO is $5,000.
IQ Web research: Besides the ability to look up a stock or options symbol, research within IQ Web consists of Calendar, News, and Videos tabs, where each module allows you to perform related actions such as checking analyst ratings or reading news about a particular security.
I found the economic calendar to be versatile, allowing clients to sift through various time frames and use up to 10 filters, including IPOs, conference calls, dividends, earning announcements and other important events. Overall, the IQ Web delivers a touch above the minimum needed to conduct market research in a simple and easy-to-use trading platform.
Beginning to intermediate investors will find a good assortment of articles that cover the most important topics. The content is well organized, clearly titled, and fairly presents potential risks alongside potential rewards. The Intraday Trader module contains a suite of tools that includes educational content powered by Trading Central. As I noted earlier, the Learning Mode, available on the Trading platforms, is invaluable.
Together with access to Canadian stock markets, Questrade clients can trade all U.S.-based securities on the NASDAQ, NYSE, and other bourses. Stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, and precious metals are supported in every account.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin are not available to trade at Questrade.
Forex and CFDs: Questrade clients can also trade over 100 forex currency pairs and a good variety of contracts for difference (CFDs) with a separate account. Target spreads are listed as low as 0.8 pips. Note: if you’re interested in comparison shopping, we review forex brokers in detail on our sister site, ForexBrokers.com.
Account types: Questrade supports a full array of account types, from traditional margin to retirement, and even managed, accounts. Here’s a full list:
- Individual, joint, or organization margin accounts
- Tax-free savings accounts
- Registered retirement savings plans
- Registered education savings plans
- Locked-in retirement accounts
- Registered retirement income funds
- Life income funds
- Fully managed accounts
IPO Centre: Questrade also provides the IPO Centre as a web portal for investors seeking early notification of upcoming listings via email subscription to its IPO Bulletin newsletter. We like how open IPO opportunities are listed within Questrade’s IPO Centre web portal, where you can sort between offerings when considering investing in an initial public offering, in case you miss an email notification or just want to browse available offerings. Note: The minimum investment amount per IPO is $5,000.
Questrade provides a well-rounded trading experience with five trading platforms to satisfy both casual and active traders (even more, if you count their forex trading capabilities). We also appreciate Questrade’s transparent and competitive pricing along with a wide array of investment options and a growing library of investor education content.
What is Questrade?
Questrade is a Canadian financial services firm that primarily serves Canadian investors. Questrade Financial Group includes Questrade, Inc., a broker-dealer, and Questrade Wealth Management, an investment advisor.
Is Questrade owned by a bank?
Questrade is not owned by a bank. Questrade Financial Group comprises a broker-dealer arm, Questrade, Inc., and an investment advisor, Questrade Wealth Management. The firm did apply for a banking license in 2019, which suggests Questrade may offer banking services in the future.
Is my money safe with Questrade?
Yes, your money is safe with Questrade, a firm founded in 1999 that now holds $30 billion in customer assets. The broker is regulated by the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization, the successor to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada. Questrade is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Questrade has purchased additional coverage that provides additional coverage beyond CIPF limits.
Is Questrade good in Canada?
Questrade offers multiple pricing options for active and retail traders and is optimized for Canadian investors, thanks to its wide selection of account types that cater to local laws and access to Canadian equity markets.
For example, residents of Canada can access managed portfolios offered exclusively to residents, and open self-directed accounts such as a tax-free savings account (TFSA), registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or registered education savings plan (RESP).
Is Questrade good for beginners?
Questrade is very good for beginners, thanks to the straightforward design and a Learning Mode setting on its Questrade Trading mobile and browser platforms. There’s also a growing selection of educational content, and competitive commission rates for the U.S. and Canadian equity markets.
Are Questrade’s fees high?
Though some brokers in Canada have lower pricing, Questrade’s pricing is both transparent and a good value for the extensive services it provides. The broker has one particular quality that stands out from much of its competition: no monthly or inactivity fees.
Does Questrade have hidden fees?
Questrade is exceptionally transparent with its fees. The published charges are easy to find on the website and straightforward to calculate. There are plans for active traders that rebate data fees. Smaller and less active investors will appreciate not being subject to account and inactivity fees.
How much money do you need to open a Questrade account?
The minimum initial deposit to open a Questrade account is $1,000.
Questrade was founded in 1999 and has since amassed $30 billion under its administration as one of Canada’s largest providers of financial services. The Questrade brand includes Questrade Inc., which is registered as an investment dealer, and Questrade Wealth Management Inc., a registered portfolio manager, investment fund manager, and exempt market maker.
Its headquarters are located at Questrade Centre, 5700 Yonge Street, North York, ON. The firm’s website says that although it operates primarily online, we are always welcome to drop by for a chat, which we think is quite nice of them.
2023 Review methodology
Our mission at StockBrokers.com is simple: provide thorough and unbiased reviews of online brokers, based on an extraordinary level of hands-on testing and data collection. Our ratings and awards are based on this data and our experts’ deep authority in the field; brokers cannot pay for preferential treatment. Here’s more about trustworthiness at StockBrokers.com.
For the StockBrokers.com 13th Annual Review published in January 2023, a total of 3,332 data points were collected over three months and used to score 17 top brokers. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry. All research, writing and data collection at StockBrokers.com is done by humans, for humans. Read our generative AI policy here.
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy. Brokers also were offered the opportunity to provide executive time for an annual update meeting.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.