I placed a real order early today and it's filled now. You are right, RBC did charge as high as 1.79% spread/mark-up in bonds!!! I was cheated by their practice account. I called the client service today and was told that the practice account is just for "DEMO" purpose. I would say this is not demo but cheating!!! I'll never ever believe RBC. So pissed off.This is just a feeling, but knowing how brokers work and considering their history in ripping off people in bonds, my gut tells me that the practice account quotes don't have the spread. At the end of the day you might have to place a real bond trade with say 10K and see what happens with real money.
My order in RBC DirectInvesting:
iTrade Bond Price