Start buying and selling Australian shares with CommSec’s trusted share trading account.
CommSec is the fully owned, online trading arm of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. As one of Australia’s big four banks with over 20 years of share trading experience, it's a highly trusted brand for both casual and experienced investors alike.
With a CommSec share trading account, clients can buy shares online quickly, easily and most importantly, affordably. Whether via their browser or mobile app, our CommSec review shows clients have access to real time quotes, news and state of the art charting to help give them the competitive advantage required to succeed in the share market.
|Product Name||Commsec Share Trading|
|Type of Broker||
Company issued options
|Standard brokerage fee for ASX shares|
- Trusted brand
- News and research
- Data and monitoring tools
Not so great for
- WebIRESS charting isn't free
- Lack of live-chat support
Who is CommSec?
CommSec is one of the most trusted names in the Australian share trading industry. After launching in 1995 and initially only offering the ability to trade Australian shares, CommSec has now expanded into the full featured trading institution that we see today. Clients can invest in not only Australian shares, but also international shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), margin lending, contracts for difference (CFDs) and even fully administer their own self-managed super fund (SMSF).
While you don't need to be a current banking customer of the Commonwealth Bank to open a CommSec share trading account, they do integrate single logins if you are. This allows current clients to easily view all of their accounts together and gives them the ability to flick between their Netbank and CommSec accounts without logging out. If you've experienced the confusing mess that flicking between multiple accounts and logins can serve up, you'll know how handy this type of full online banking integration can be.
What are the key features of a CommSec share trading account?
A CommSec share trading account offers many features that are appealing to both novice and advanced investors alike – the biggest being their data feed and research sections on all listed securities being second to none and offered free to all clients.
While brokerage fees aren't the lowest, starting at $19.95 for Australian shares, you most definitely get what you pay for when it comes to CommSec. The added security that a trusted name like CommSec provides, when combined with the ability to pay for trades through a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA), make the costs look fair.
Single Commonwealth Bank login
Current clients of the Commonwealth Bank can use a single login to seamlessly switch between both CommSec and Netbank, keeping all your finances easily accessible in the one place. If you choose to go down this path, a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA) can be set up. A CDIA can act as a low brokerage fee settlement account while also being used as an everyday transaction account, viewable right next to your current bank balances within NetBank. It also gives you the option of a debit Mastercard attached to the account.
Earn interest on your cash between investments and remove the need to move money from one account to another when it comes time to buy shares. You can also use the Commonwealth Bank's ATM network and NetBank online banking. Interest on these accounts is calculated daily and paid monthly, with no account keeping fees.
Real time prices, news and research
All CommSec share trading accounts provide clients with free real-time market prices and data. With a CommSec share trading account, you're able to stay up to date with the latest news and releases as they happen. Whether it's news from a specific company or a market-wide, macro release, you can access reports, videos and analysis from CommSec analysts directly within the platform.
Trade international shares and ETFs
CommSec allows you to invest in not only local share markets, but also key overseas markets. Within the one account, clients have the ability to buy shares in US companies such as Apple or Google.
As well as having the ability to buy international shares outright, you also have access to exchange traded funds (ETFs) for cost-effective exposure to markets and asset classes that you may not otherwise have access to.
Browser and app account access
CommSec share trading account holders can log in and place trades through a number of portals. Trades can be placed online via a web browser, through the CommSec mobile app for iPhone and Android, or simply by calling up and placing an order over the phone. Having multiple ways to access your account is not only a plus for convenience, but also for security. Even without Internet access, you have the peace of mind that comes with having phone access to the CommSec office.
What markets can I trade with a CommSec share trading account?
With a CommSec account, you have access to more markets than just simply Australian shares.
- Australian shares. Buy shares in Australian companies that are listed on the ASX.
- International shares. Buy shares in international companies that are listed on over 25 of the biggest global stock exchanges. Exchanges include the NYSE, NASDAQ, LSE and the TYO.
- Contracts for difference (CFDs). Gain access to CFDs, allowing you to either trade short term market swings or to hedge your overall share holdings.
- Options trading. Trade options that allow you to buy more shares in a company at a specific price level. CommSec also gives trading access to some exchange traded options.
- Exchange traded funds (ETFs). Buy and sell managed funds that can be traded on the ASX. CommSec gives access to a number of Australian and international ETFs.
What account types are available with a CommSec share trading account?
Whether you choose a CommSec CDIA, your own account or a margin loan, the following comparison table has been sourced from CommSec's getting started section and is a handy overview of what you can expect when it comes to trade settlement:
What types of customer support are available from CommSec?
A broker the size of CommSec is naturally expected to have a high level of customer support access. On the back of the Commonwealth Bank's renewed focus on customer service, CommSec certainly delivers on this expectation. Whether you have queries, problems or want to execute an order, you have a number of choices when it comes to getting in contact with CommSec.
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ). The CommSec FAQ page is highly in-depth and allows you to search its database with a question that may have already been answered.
- Phone support. CommSec has two English speaking numbers, one for clients within Australia and another for clients overseas. It also has a Cantonese/Mandarin number for use within Australia.
- Email support. The support email address allows clients to articulate their problems via text in a longer format and questions are usually answered within one business day.
- Questionnaire form. Unfortunately this form doesn't lead to a live chat session. The questionnaire form on its support page feels a little bit redundant, especially because attaching any supporting screenshots or documentation will open up an email window anyway.
- Twitter support. CommSec has now opened a dedicated @CommSecSupport Twitter handle and goes some way to supplementing the broker's lack of live chat feature.
Overall, CommSec customers can expect a high level of customer support. The Commonwealth Bank is known for its customer service focus and this flows through to its share trading arm.
The only disappointing feature when it comes to CommSec's customer service is the fact that it doesn't have a live chat option. The live form on its website isn't actually live at all and is nothing but an email that still takes time to be received and answered later in the day – frustrating for clients who have quick questions that could be easily answered on the spot by a live chat representative.
What are the fees I can expect from a CommSec share trading account?
A CommSec share trading account has some basic fees and brokerage charges that you need to be aware of.
Brokerage fees. CommSec's brokerage fees vary depending on how you place your trades and the cash settlement method that you choose.
- Trades placed through a CDIA cash settlement account. If you're a CHESS sponsored customer and settle through either your CDIA account or a CommSec margin loan account, you'll pay $10.00 brokerage for trades up to $1000. For trades between $1000 to $10,000, you'll incur a $19.95 brokerage fee. This fee rises to $29.95 for trades between $10,000 and $25,000 and to 0.12% for trades over $25,000.
- Trades placed through a non-CDIA cash settlement account. If you choose to settle your trades through a different cash settlement account then trades up to $10,000 will incur a $29.95 brokerage fee. This fee rises to 0.31% (for trades over $10,000 and $59.95 for trades over $10,000 that are placed over the phone).
- Ongoing account fees. You pay nothing when you first open a CommSec share trading account and there are no monthly account keeping or inactivity fees.
You can see that in terms of brokerage fees, it's highly beneficial for clients to settle through a Commonwealth Bank account and use the CommSec online platform rather than placing them over the phone.
How do I pay for shares on a CommSec share trading account?
You have a few options when it comes to paying for your share trades through CommSec. Keep in mind that when it comes to share trading, 'T+2' is shorthand for the trade date plus two days. It indicates when share trades must be settled.
- Automatic Direct Debit. On T+2, CommSec will automatically direct debit from your nominated debit bank account. This is the most simple and common way to pay for your share trades.
- BPAY. The alternative to automatic direct debit for Australians is through BPAY. Your unique, personal BPAY details can be found within your CommSec share trading account profile page and can be used as an alternative.
What are the pros and cons of using a CommSec share trading account?
- Trusted share trading name. Not only is CommSec a trusted institution in the Australian share trading space, its intuitive user interface makes buying and selling shares a seamless process.
- News and research. Having access to CommSec's team of trusted analysts is a huge positive for traders looking to gain an edge in their share trading decision making.
- Data and monitoring tools. CommSec's data and monitoring tools including company profiles, releases and market alerts are second to none.
- Access to WebIRESS isn't free. Unfortunately the popular piece of charting software isn't included in a basic CommSec account. However, it can be added for a monthly fee or by completing a minimum number of trades.
- Lack of live-chat support. Sometimes you just want a quick answer to a short question. The fact you can only call or email your questions is inconvenient.
How do I open a CommSec share trading account?
When you're ready to open a CommSec share trading account, simply click the open account button on the CommSec website, then begin the following four-step process:
- Residency check
- Offer details
- Offer document
- Register interest
In order to complete the account opening process, have the following documentation handy:
- You must first be 18 years or older
- Address and contact details
- Valid email address
- Mobile phone number
- Tax file number