A few months back I did an analysis of the different online stock brokers available to Canadians and it’s been getting a fair number of hits so I thought I’d do an update. Notably, TD Ameritrade has made some dramatic changes to their fee and commission structures.  The fee structures for most brokers are different for 6 different kinds of customers:

I also did a comparison of account fees.

Here are the comparisons valid as of January 27th, 2011.

The conclusion at the end of this analysis is Questrade beats all the other brokers hands down. Interactive Brokers has comparable commissions, but they can’t handle RSP or TFSA accounts.

Comparison of Account Fees

Firm Account Charge Withdrawal Fee Inactivity Fee RSP / TFSA Account Charge USD Registered Account Charge USD Account Charge Will They Cover Account Transfer Fees?
Questrade $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Yes, if greater than $25K
TD Ameritrade $0 $0 $0 $0 Not Advertised Not Advertised No
QTrade $0 $125 $0 $50 / year $50 / year $0 No
Scotia Bank iTrade $0 $125 $25 / quarter $0 $30 / quarter $0 No
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $50 / year $50 $50 / year $50 / year NA NA No
CIBC Investors Edge $60 / year $50 $0 $100 / year if less than $25K NA NA No
RBC Direct Investing $80 / year if less than $10K $50 $0 $75 / year if less than $25K NA NA No
BMO Investorline $100 / year if less than $10K $50 $0 $50 / year if less than $25K NA NA No
Interactive Brokers $0 $12 $0 NA NA NA No

Customers investing less than $50,000 who make less than 30 trades per month

Firm Min. Commission Max. Commission Commission Calculation
Questrade $4.95 / trade $9.95 / trade 1¢ / share
TD Ameritrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
QTrade $19 / trade $200 / trade $19 / trade or 1% whichever is higher
Scotia Bank iTrade $19.99 / trade No Max. $19.99 / trade + 2¢ / share over 1000 shares
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $29 / trade No Max. 1.5% of trade if share price is less than $2, else 3¢ / share
CIBC Investors Edge $28.95 / trade No Max. 1.5% of trade if share price is less than $2, else 3¢ / share
RBC Direct Investing $28.95 / trade No Max. 1.5% of trade if share price is less than $2, else 3¢ / share
BMO Investorline $29 / trade No Max. 1.5% of trade if share price is less than $2, else 3¢ / share
Interactive Brokers $1 / trade 0.5% of trade value 1¢ / share

Customers investing less than $50,000 who make more than 30 trades per month

Firm Min. Commission Max. Commission Commission Calculation
Questrade $4.95 / trade $9.95 / trade 1¢ / share
TD Ameritrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
QTrade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Scotia Bank iTrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade flat
CIBC Investors Edge $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
RBC Direct Investing $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
BMO Investorline $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Interactive Brokers $1 / trade 0.5% of trade value 1¢ / share

Customers investing more than $50,000 but less than $100,000 who make less than 30 trades per month

Firm Min. Commission Max. Commission Commission Calculation
Questrade $4.95 / trade $9.95 / trade 1¢ / share
TD Ameritrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
QTrade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Scotia Bank iTrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $29 / trade No Max. 1.5% of trade if share price is less than $2, else 3¢ / share
CIBC Investors Edge $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
RBC Direct Investing $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
BMO Investorline $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Interactive Brokers $1 / trade 0.5% of trade value 1¢ / share

Customers investing more than $50,000 but less than $100,000 who make more than 30 trades per month

Firm Min. Commission Max. Commission Commission Calculation
Questrade $4.95 / trade $9.95 / trade 1¢ / share
TD Ameritrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
QTrade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Scotia Bank iTrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade flat
CIBC Investors Edge $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
RBC Direct Investing $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
BMO Investorline $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Interactive Brokers $1 / trade 0.5% of trade value 1¢ / share

Customers investing more than $100,000 who make less than 30 trades per month

Firm Min. Commission Max. Commission Commission Calculation
Questrade $4.95 / trade $9.95 / trade 1¢ / share
TD Ameritrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
QTrade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Scotia Bank iTrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade flat
CIBC Investors Edge $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade flat
RBC Direct Investing $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
BMO Investorline $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Interactive Brokers $1 / trade 0.5% of trade value 1¢ / share

Customers investing more than $100,000 who make more than 30 trades per month

Firm Min. Commission Max. Commission Commission Calculation
Questrade $4.95 / trade $9.95 / trade 1¢ / share
TD Ameritrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
QTrade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Scotia Bank iTrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade $9.98 / trade flat
CIBC Investors Edge $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade flat
RBC Direct Investing $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
BMO Investorline $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Interactive Brokers $1 / trade 0.5% of trade value 1¢ / share

Customers who make more than 150 trades per quarter or are investing more than $1 million

Firm Min. Commission Max. Commission Commission Calculation
Questrade $4.95 / trade $9.95 / trade 1¢ / share
TD Ameritrade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade $9.99 / trade flat
QTrade $7 / trade $7 / trade $7 / trade flat
Scotia Bank iTrade $6.99 / trade $6.99 / trade $6.99 / trade flat
Tradefreedom Now Scotia Bank iTrade
E-Trade Canada Now Scotia Bank iTrade
HSBC Invest Direct $6.98 / trade $6.98 / trade $6.98 / trade flat
CIBC Investors Edge $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade flat
RBC Direct Investing $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade $6.95 / trade flat
BMO Investorline $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade $9.95 / trade flat
Interactive Brokers $1 / trade 0.5% of trade value 1¢ / share

Full Disclosure:
I noticed that Questrade has an affiliate program and I signed up for it right away.

Lowest commission