The Best Student Credit Cards Canada

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

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  • Max credit Ingen kreditgräns
  • Yearly fee 120 CA$
  • Interest rate 0,00 %
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  • Cash Back Rewards - earn up to 4% cash back on everyday purchases including groceries, recurring bill payments and gas.
  • Travel Benefits - experience numerous travel perks including hotel upgrades, travel insurance and savings on car rentals.
  • 24-Hour Concierge Service - Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite cardholders receive access to a complimentary concierge service that is available 24/7.

As a student, applying for a traditional credit card can be difficult because of income requirements. This is why card issuers offer credit cards for students.

Young people need to build a credit score by using their own credit card. As a secondary cardholder on their parent’s account, students cannot generate credit history. Student credit cards, however, allow young people to start building a credit score.

Building a credit score is essential for the following:

  • Rental applications
  • Loans
  • Mortgages, and more

Determining the Best Credit Cards for Students

There are several elements to consider when choosing the best student credit cards Canada. This includes:

  • Welcome Bonuses
  • Rewards or Cash Back
  • Travel Bonuses
  • Annual Fees
  • Application Requirements 
  • Insurance

Most importantly, the best student credit card is the one that is most appealing and beneficial to you.

Welcome Bonuses

When comparing student credit cards, consider the welcome bonus that each issuer provides. The best student credit card will offer a generous welcome bonus as a way to win you over.

Depending on what you’re looking for, you may come across the following welcome bonuses:

  • Increased cash back for a promotional period

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  • Bonus Air Miles

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  • Complementary points

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Cash Back and Rewards

Credit cards for students, when used responsibly, can assist with the constant financial stress of post-secondary education. For instance, cash back incentives and rewards can make your money go further. 

If used properly, a cash back credit card can save cardholders up to 3% on some purchases. Student credit cards will usually provide a percentage of cash back on the following:

  • Gas
  • Transit
  • Groceries
  • Restaurants, and more

A student credit card can also help you earn points and save money. There are many rewards programs that are offered via student credit cards. The most common include:

  • PC Optimum
  • Air Miles
  • Scene

In addition to these specific points programs, many credit cards for students have their own rewards program. These programs will allow you to redeem points for the following:

  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Cash back, and more

Be sure to choose a student credit card with perks that best fit your lifestyle. 

Travel Bonuses

If you love to travel, look for a student credit card that caters to avid travellers. Student credit cards for travel may include the following benefits:

  • Extra points on travel purchases
  • Air Miles rewards that can be applied to flights, hotels, etc. 
  • Access to complimentary trip planning and booking assistance 

Annual Fee

The best student credit cards in Canada have no annual fee. 

Most student credit cards will waive the annual fee. Credit card issuers offer this discount because they know students are strapped financially with tuition, books, etc. 

Application Requirements 

Every credit card in Canada is associated with some eligibility requirements. These requirements can include:

  • Minimum age 
  • Minimum income
  • Credit score, and more

Minimum Age

All credit cards, including credit cards for students, have a minimum age requirement. 

A minimum age requirement is permitted by law and cannot be altered by a credit card issuer. 

Minimum age requirements in Canada are based on your province or territory:

  • British Columbia - 19+
  • Alberta - 18+
  • Saskatchewan - 19+
  • Manitoba - 18+
  • Ontario - 18+
  • Quebec - 18+
  • New Brunswick - 19+
  • Nova Scotia - 19+
  • Prince Edward Island - 18+
  • Newfoundland and Labrador - 19+
  • Nunavut - 19+
  • Northwest Territories - 19+
  • Yukon - 19+

Minimum Income

Look for a student credit card that requires low or no income. This is especially important if you are a full-time student with no income. 

If you are a full-time student and not working, here are some forms of income that student credit card issuers will accept:

  • Scholarships
  • Money from family
  • Shared income
  • Investments, and more

Credit Score

The best student credit cards should have an easy approval process and require no credit history. Since a student credit card is often an individual’s first card, credit score should not be considered.

At the end of the day, ensure you’re applying for credit cards that you know you’ll be approved for. This is important because multiple credit card applications can bring down your credit score. 

Insurance 

Student credit cards, like traditional credit cards, come with some insurance. When choosing the best student credit card for yourself, take time to review the insurance offered by each credit card. 

Credit cards for students commonly offer the following types of insurance:

  • Purchase protection insurance

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  • Extended warranty

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  • Travel insurance

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Student Credit Card Tips

A credit card can be a useful tool for students transitioning from high school to university. Financial independence, in the form of a credit card, can be very exciting and beneficial. 

Managing money and maintaining good credit is an important skill for students to acquire. However, credit cards do carry a certain risk and can become problematic if not used properly. 

 Here are some tips for those who are new to credit cards:

  • Pay off your credit card balance in full each month

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  • Keep track of due dates

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  • Always pay the minimum payment

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  • Know your limit

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Prepaid Credit Cards for Students 

An alternative to a student credit card is a prepaid credit card for students. 

If budgeting is a challenge then a prepaid card may be right for you. This type of credit card still provides security but helps prevent overspending. This is because a prepaid credit card requires you to load money onto the card before you can use it. 

Here are some of the benefits of prepaid credit cards for students:

  • Gives you access to a credit card network 
  • Makes online purchases easier 
  • Provides a great alternative to carrying cash

The major downfall of a prepaid credit card for students is that it won't help you establish a credit score. Prepaid credit cards are simply an alternative that will prevent you from spending money you don’t have.

FAQ

What is the best student credit card in Canada?

There are several great student credit cards available in Canada. The best student credit card is the one that you are eligible for and that provides the most benefit to you. Always take time to research and compare credit cards before you apply. Use online reviews, like this one, to help you narrow down which student credit card is best for you.

How do I apply for a student credit card in Canada?

Before applying for a student credit card in Canada ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. It can be harmful to your credit score to apply for multiple credit cards. Applications usually require personal information, student information and financial information. The easiest way to apply is to complete the application process on the credit card issuer’s website, if possible. Once you have completed and submitted the application, wait for approval.

How old do I have to be to get a credit card?

The minimum age to get a credit card in Canada varies by province and territory. In British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon, applicants must be 19 years old or older. In Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island, applicants must be 18 years old or older. 

Emma Tremblay

Emma is responsible for all content on Creditcards360.ca. She has a college degree in economics and a keen interest in personal finance. Get in touch with her by email.

Last updated Mar 18, 2021