Robinhood Canada Doesn’t Exist – 3 Closest Alternatives

Updated: Mar 24, 2024

Highlights

  • Robinhood is currently not available in Canada and they have no intentions of expanding here anytime soon.
  • Their website explains that to open an account, you must be a US citizen, US permanent resident, or have a US visa.
  • Luckily, there are great alternatives to consider such as Wealthsimple Trade. It has similar features to Robinhood like investing, banking, and a mobile-first experience with low fees.

What Is Robinhood?

Robinhood is an American stock and crypto investing app with commission free trading and 22 million registered users. They also introduced high interest savings, a Cash Card, stock lending, and even a Web3 wallet. It's an all-in-one finance tool.

The platform has mixed reviews. Their reputation is tarnished because they turned off the buy button during the Gamestop short squeeze. They also sell your trading info to institutions who front-run your trades and give you worse prices. On the other hand, they still have millions of users thanks to their amazing mobile experience and easy to use trading features. 

Robinhood's Key Features

Robinhood is an all-in-one finance app. Here's an overview of the key benefits:

  • Stocks, Options, ETFs - Trade thousands of stocks commission-free with real-time market data, advanced orders, and analysis tools. It's all packaged into a great user-interface on mobile and desktop.
  • Cryptocurrency Investing - Buy and sell crypto with zero commissions and and with as little as $1. Robinhood also introduced a Web3 wallet.
  • Cash Card - A free debit card with round ups and bonuses to help you earn stocks and crypto. 
  • Robinhood Gold - For $5/month you can earn 3.75% interest on your cash, increase your buying power (margin), and more.
  • User-Friendliness - One of Robinhood's main appeals is their very easy-to-use app and user-experience. 

Best Robinhood Alternatives in Canada

While many American apps like Robinhood, Cash App and Venmo are unavailable in Canada, the good news is we still have lots of great platforms of our own. These include Wealthsimple Trade, Questrade, and more.

1. Wealthsimple Trade

  • Closest Robinhood Alternative

In case you haven't heard of it, Wealthsimple is a Canadian discount brokerage and all-in-one finance app with 2.5 million registered users. You can invest, save and earn cash back through a variety of features like stock trading, roboadvisors, crypto, fractional shares, and more.

Like Robinhood, Wealthsimple also has a Cash Card which pays you 1% back in cash, stocks, or crypto. Unlike Robinhood, there is no options trading or advanced trading features.

Pros

  • Stocks, ETFs, crypto, fractional shares, and more
  • Hands-off investing with Wealthsimple Invest
  • Cash Card to earn stocks or crypto
  • Beginner friendly
  • TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered accounts

Cons

  • 1.50% FX fee when buying and selling US stocks
  • 1.50% fee + spread when buying and selling crypto 
  • No options trading or advanced features like Robinhood

2. Questrade

  • Best for Advanced Trading
Questwealth

If you're looking for margin, options, and professional trading features, Questrade might be worth considering. They have CAD and USD stocks and ETFs, plus lots of charts, data, and advanced settings.

They offer free trades when you buy ETFs, but you’ll have to pay $4.95 to $9.95 for just about everything else (including a fee when you sell ETFs). Even though Questrade is not commission free, it’s inexpensive compared to bank brokerages. It's also one of the best Canadian platforms to trade U.S. stocks.

Pros

  • Stocks, options, ETFs, and Questwealth (roboadvisor)
  • Advanced data streams and trading tools
  • Hold CAD and USD accounts

Cons

  • Account minimum of $1,000
  • It's not commission free like Robinhood
  • Not as user friendly as Wealthsimple or Robinhood

3. Newton

  • Low-Cost Crypto Exchange
Newton Website

Newton is the best Robinhood alternative for Bitcoin and crypto purchases. It's trusted by 500,000 Canadians and has 75+ coins (more than Robinhood), free interac e-transfers, no trading fees, and low spreads. While it doesn't offer stock trading or advanced trading features, it's the best crypto on-ramp for Canadians that's easy to use with low fees.

While Newton is our best overall choice, there are many features to consider when choosing a crypto exchange. You can check out our comparison tool here to find the best Canadian platforms.

Pros

  • Zero trading fees and low fees (hidden fees included)
  • Quick funding and withdrawals with free interac e-transfers
  • Newton covers first $5 on crypto withdrawals
  • Beginner-friendly and great UX

Cons

  • No stocks and ETFs
  • Limited advanced trading features
  • Many complaints for slow customer support

Tips To Choose A Broker

Choosing the right broker is important because it's something you'll be using for many years. It helps to find a platform that you can enjoy, minimizes your fees, and gives you the features you need.

1) Decide What Features Are Important To You

Every investor is different. So first, write down what features are important to you. Popular things to consider are:

  • How many trades per month will you be making?
  • What will you be trading? (Stocks, ETFs, options, etc)
  • What currencies/markets do you need access to?
  • What type of account do you need? (TFSA, RRSP, etc)

Features to consider:

  • Fees - Trading fees, currency exchange fees, etc.
  • Platform - User-friendliness, Desktop app, mobile app
  • Customer Service - Speed, email, telephone, live chat

2) Test Your Options

After you identify what you need, compare all of your options, and go for it. Ultimately, you won't know if you like a broker until you try it. To avoid making a mistake, don't deposit everything into the first broker you try. Start small to test it out. It's okay to use multiple brokers as well. I use two for different reasons, and it's an excellent way to test them out.

FAQ

Who Is Eligible For Robinhood?

To open an account, Robinhood explains that you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or have a U.S. visa.

What's The Best Robinhood Alternative in Canada?

Wealthsimple is the closest Robinhood alternative. It has commission free stock trading, fractional shares, and even a Cash Card. Questrade is best for margin and advanced trading but it's not as beginner friendly and does not have zero commissions.

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