Skip to main content
Ratehub logo
Ratehub logo

The best online brokerages in Canada for 2024

Many Canadians want to get started with investing but aren’t aware that some traditional brick and mortar investment brokerages charge high investment fees, wearing away at their portfolios that hold funds for goals like retirement. That’s where online brokerages come in. The best online brokerages charge low or no fees for trades, allowing investors to choose from a wide variety of stocks or funds like ETFs, and offering a cost-effective way to tap into foreign markets for further portfolio diversity, too.

Read on to compare the best online brokers in Canada and learn what features to look for when exploring your options.


Wealthsimple Trade

$0 commission trading for Canadian stocks and ETFs

$0 account fee

Dividend reinvestment plan

go to site

Average cost per trade


Minimum investment



National Bank Direct Brokerage

$0 stock and ETF commission structure

Provides investors with industry-leading research and fundamental information, and mobile-based screeners

Digital platform experience

go to site

Average cost per trade


Minimum investment



Moomoo Financial Canada

$0 account fee and trade US stocks for up to 90% less

Free real time stock quotes and access to level 2 market data

Advanced charting and research tools

Average cost per trade


Minimum investment


Frequently asked questions

Which online brokerage is the best in Canada?

What are online brokerages used for?

What are the advantages of online brokerages?

What are the disadvantages of online brokerages?

What is commission-free stock trading?

Additional online brokerages 

Our guide to the best online brokerage in Canada


What is an online brokerage?

An online brokerage is an online platform that enables you to buy and sell stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and more, all within a trading account.  The fees associated with this kind of software are much lower than those you’ll pay with a financial advisor, which is why they are also sometimes called discount brokerages in Canada.  With an online brokerage, you’ll invest your money yourself, choosing a combination of stocks, bonds, and ETFs to create a balanced portfolio that will reach your long-term goals. There is no oversight with an online brokerage, and aside from a helpful education center, you are responsible for your investments. Instead of paying fees as a percentage of your overall investments, you’ll pay per trade. 


What to consider when selecting an online brokerage?

The main benefit of using an online brokerage is the money you’ll save on fees, but low fees are not the only factor you should consider when choosing the right online broker for your needs.

1. Trading fees

Not all online brokerages charge the same fees, and the fees can change depending on the type of investment you plan to purchase, and how frequently you make trades. If you are planning to build a passive portfolio out of ETFs, then you should look for an online brokerage with free ETF purchases. If you are planning to purchase stocks and bonds individually and trade at a higher volume, you should prioritize an online brokerage that has high-quality trading platforms and access to third-party research.

2. Account fees

Most online brokerages also charge administrative account fees determined by the assets you hold in a single account or the size of your portfolio across all accounts. If you have a smaller portfolio, these fees will heavily erode your returns, so it’s best to choose a brokerage that doesn’t charge those smaller portfolio fees. Wealthsimple Trade, for example, charges no fees to use the account and doesn’t have minimum balance or minimum trade requirements.

3. Account minimums

Some online brokerages also have account minimums, usually around $1,000. However, some online brokerages like Qtrade, Wealthsimple Trade and Moomoo Financial Canada have no minimum deposit requirements.

4. Customer service

If you’re new to investing online, there will be a learning curve when you begin building your portfolio and making your first trades. An online brokerage with a good customer service track record will ensure your questions are answered quickly.

5. Transfer fees

When you move your money from your financial advisor or robo advisor to an online brokerage, the original financial institution will often charge you transfer fees in the range of $150. Some online brokerages will pay these fees for you. 


Alternative investing options

Looking for alternative methods of wealth management? Look no further. Below are several popular alternatives to online brokerages.

  • Robo-advisors are suitable for beginners or people with little investing knowledge. Similar to (human) financial advisors, a robo-advisor uses an algorithm to invest and manage money on behalf of the client. Fees tend to be higher than self-directed investing but are still cheaper than financial advisors.
  • Financial advisors are licensed professionals who manage money and investments for a number of clients. They also provide advice to their clients. In return, the financial advisor’s clients pay a fee. Though the client’s investments receive more attention from a financial advisor, they tend to be more expensive.
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are low-risk investments that provide interest over the course of the investment's term. They are incredibly safe and secure but do not promise very high returns. They are also inaccessible until the term is complete.

For additional investment options, also consider:

The knowledge bank

A wealth of knowledge delivered right to your inbox.

By submitting your email address, you acknowledge and agree to’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Contact us for more information. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Whether you need a mortgage, credit card, savings account, or insurance coverage, we help you find and compare the best financial products for your specific needs.

When it comes to mortgages, is more than just a place to research and compare the best rates. Our goal is to give Canadians the best mortgage experience from online search to close. This means offering Canadians the mortgage tools, information and articles to educate themselves, allowing them to get personalized rate quotes from multiple lenders to compare rates instantly, and providing them with the best online application and offline customer service to close their mortgage all in one place. has been named Canada's Mortgage Brokerage of the Year for four years straight (2018-2021). With over 12 years of mortgage experience, and over $11 billion in mortgages funded, we deliver you the best mortgage experience in Canada.

How does make money?

Financial institutions pay us for connecting them with customers. This could be through advertisements, or when someone applies or is approved for a product. However, not all products we list are tied to compensation for us. Our industry-leading education centres and calculators are available 24/7, free of charge, and with no obligation to purchase. To learn more, visit our About us page.

read more about us