What Are the Minimum Purchase Requirements and the Interest Rates for GICs at RBC Direct Investing?

While I wait for the funds to transfer in to my new RBC Direct Investing RSP account, I’ve started clicking  around looking at my investment choices. I keep a solid, secure base to my RSP investments by investing a hefty amount in GICs. So one of the first things I looked at was what GICs I can buy at RBC Direct Investing, what minimum purchase amount is required and what interest rates they are offering.

What are the Minimum Purchase Requirements for GICs at RBC Direct Investing?


This was one unexpected and good thing I noticed right away about RBC DI:

For registered accounts (RRSPs, LIRAs, RRIFs, TFSAs, RESPs etc.) you can buy a GIC with a minimum purchase of $3500!

That’s quite a bit better than BMO InvestorLine and CIBC Investor’s Edge where the minimum purchase is $5000.

For non-registered accounts, RBC DI takes a unique approach. The minimum GIC purchase depends on how long the term is! For a one-year term, the minimum is $20,000. That’s quite a bit worse than at InvestorLine or Investor’s Edge. But for a 4-year term the minimum is $5,000 and for a 5-year term the minimum is $3,500. This minimum for the 5-year is much better than at BMO’s or CIBC’s self-directed brokerages.

How do the Offered GIC Rates at RBC Direct Investing Compare with Those at InvestorLine and Investor’s Edge?

I decided to check the best rate available today, November 5, at each of the three self-directed brokerages for a 1-year and a 5-year annual pay GIC.

RBC Direct Investing

  • Best 1-year annual pay GIC rate: 1.75% by Home Trust Company and VanCity Credit Union
  • Best 5-year annual pay GIC rate: 2.75% by Canadian Tire Bank

BMO InvestorLine

  • Best 1-year annual pay GIC rate: 1.75% by Home Trust Company and VanCity Credit Union
  • Best 5-year annual pay GIC rate: 2.75% by Canadian Tire Bank

CIBC Investor’s Edge

  • Best 1-year annual pay GIC rate: 1.75% by VanCity Credit Union
  • Best 5-year annual pay GIC rate: 2.71% by Manulife Bank

So it appears that RBC Direct Investing and BMO InvestorLine offer the same best rates.

It may be important to remember, though, that RBC DI allows a minimum purchase of $3500 and BMO IL requires a $5000 minimum purchase for registered accounts. So for today, RBC Direct Investing wins.

Usually CIBC Investor’s Edge is a clear loser on rates because they don’t sell GICs from Home Trust.  Today, though, they tied in the 1-year term category because they do offer VanCity GICs.

In general, I’ve found I can get better rates at InvestorLine than at Investor’s Edge.

What GICs Can I Buy at RBC Direct Investing?

Here’s the list of financial institutions from which I can buy a 1-year term annual payment GIC from RBC Direct Investing:

  • B2B Bank
  • Bank of Nova Scotia
  • BMO Advisors Advan
  • Canadian Tire Bank
  • Cdn Western Bank
  • Cdn Western Trust
  • Equitable Bank
  • Home Trust Company
  • HomEquity Bank
  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • ICICI Bank Canada
  • ING Bank of Canada
  • Korea Exchange Bank
  • Laurentian Bank
  • LBC Trust
  • Manulife Bank CDA
  • Manulife Trust Co.
  • Montreal Trust CDA
  • Nat’l Bank of Canada
  • NatCan Trust Company
  • Pacific & Western
  • People’s Trust
  • RBC Mortgage Corp
  • RBMC 30D Cashable
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Royal Trust Company
  • Royal Trust Corp
  • State Bank of India
  • TD Mortgage Corp.
  • TD Pacific Mtge Corp.
  • VanCity Credit Union

I’ll Test Buying GICs When I Have Some Money

I’d like to test the actual GIC purchase procedure at RBC Direct Investing but right now I don’t have any cash in my account. I’ll try to buy one, though, once my transfer comes in from ING Direct.


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