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CommSec CDIA: What is the Commonwealth Direct Investment Account?

Should you trade shares from CommSec’s CDIA or stick with your own cash account? We compare the difference.

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If you’ve looked into opening a CommSec Share Trading Account, you may have come across the Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA). So, what is this account and should you take advantage of it? We take a look at the pros and cons of the CDIA and how it compares to your own cash account.

What is a CDIA account?

The Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA) is much like any other transaction account except that it’s designed to let you trade CommSec shares. In order to settle trades via an online share trading platform, you’re required to have a linked cash management account. You could use any transaction account for this purpose, but the CDIA gives you a few key benefits. Here are its main functions:

  • Buy and sell shares. After transferring funds onto the CDIA account, you can use it to trade shares and store any additional cash.
  • Transact. Like any other cash account, you can use the CDIA to make everyday transactions, and you can access your cash via an ATM through an optional Debit Mastercard.

What are the benefits of using the CDIA?

Low trading fees. The main highlight of using the CDIA to trade shares through CommSec is the cheaper brokerage fees. If you buy shares using the CDIA account, you’re charged a brokerage fee of as little as $10, compared to $29.95.

Earn interest. In addition to cheaper shares, you’ll be able to earn interest on cash in your account, so long as you have more than $10,000 sitting in it.

CDIA account balanceInterest earned*
$500,000 or more0.3% p.a.
$250,000 - $499,9990.05% p.a.
$100,000 - $249,9990%

*Must be linked to a CommSec Share Trading Account

Online banking. If you already have a CommBank account, your CDIA account will appear in your main Internet banking window, making it easy to transact between accounts online.

Transaction account. The CDIA has an alternate function as an everyday transaction account, with the option of a debit Mastercard, making it all the more functional. Interest on cash in the account is calculated daily and paid monthly.

CDIA vs your own cash account

The biggest difference between using the CommSec CDIA account and another account is the brokerage fees. Here’s a breakdown of the brokerage fees that you can expect when using the CDIA versus using your own account.

Trade amountCDIA account broker feeNon-CDIA broker fee
Up to $1,000$10$29.95
$1,001 - $10,000$29.95$29.95
$10,001 - $25,0000.12% of trade0.31%

If you’re already a Commonwealth Bank member, a CDIA account is opened automatically for you on application of CommSec, so there’s no real reason not to use it. Even if you hold an account with another bank, transferring funds to CommSec CDIA for the purposes of trading is little effort and can save you a lot on fees.

If you prefer to keep funds sitting in another account, you’ll just need to ensure you have enough cash in the CDIA should you want to have the freedom of placing trades at a moment’s notice.

Also through CommSec, you can use CommBank's ATM network and the NetBank online banking system to access your account. You can also enjoy unlimited electronic transactions and two assisted withdrawals each month.

What fees you can expect from a CommSec CDIA account?

There’s no monthly fee for CDIA accounts linked to the CommSec Share Trading Account and there are unlimited fee-free electronic withdrawals.

This means that you have complete access to the cash in your trading account at all times – something that isn't always possible with brokers that use external bank accounts.

What are the pros and cons of using a CommSec CDIA account?

Pros

  • Low brokerage fees. If you settle your share trades directly through your CommSec CDIA account, then you'll pay as little as $10.00 per trade as opposed to $29.95 per trade.
  • Instant share trading. Balances are automatically recognised by CommSec so when you see a trading opportunity, you won't have to worry about transferring funds first.
  • Dividend consolidation. CommSec offers a free dividend direction service for CDIA account holders, meaning that they'll be automatically paid into your account where you can start earning interest immediately.
  • No monthly fees. There are no subscription or account keeping fees on the CDIA account.

Cons

  • One more bank account. While you have to fund your share trading somehow, if you're not already a member of the Commonwealth Bank, then an extra account is a hassle.

How do I open a CommSec CDIA cash management account?

Customers that already have a CommSec Share Trading Account can apply by logging in through the CommSec website and navigating to Products > Cash > Apply Now.

If you wish to apply for a CommSec Share Trading Account, you can apply for a CDIA during the application process.


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5 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    kvMay 27, 2016

    how do i transfer my existing share in commsec account to CDIA account

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyMay 30, 2016Staff

      Hi KV,

      Thanks for your question.

      To better answer your question, can I clarify if you’ve sold the shares?

  2. Default Gravatar
    WillMarch 31, 2014

    What are the pros and cons of using a CDIA account as opposed to your own cash account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcApril 1, 2014Staff

      Hi Will,
      thanks for the question.

      There are a number of differences between these two options. As the Commsec website states, trading with your own cash account means trades start at $29.95, whereas trading with the CDIA has costs which start at $19.95. The CDIA also presents a streamlined option by allowing you to earn interest between investments on balances of over $10,000 without the requirement of transferring funds between the difference accounts you might have.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcApril 1, 2014Staff

      Hi Will,
      thanks for the question.

      There are a number of differences between these two options. As the Commsec website states, trading with your own cash account means trades start at $29.95, whereas trading with the CDIA has costs which start at $19.95. The CDIA also presents a streamlined option by allowing you to earn interest between investments on balances of over $10,000 without the requirement of transferring funds between the difference accounts you might have.

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