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Homemoney savingThe perfect pupil bank cards in Canada for April 2024

The perfect pupil bank cards in Canada for April 2024


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MoneySense is an award-winning journal, serving to Canadians navigate cash issues since 1999. Our editorial workforce of educated journalists works carefully with main private finance consultants in Canada. That can assist you discover the very best monetary merchandise, we examine the choices from over 12 main establishments, together with banks, credit score unions and card issuers. Study extra about our promoting and trusted companions.

The perfect pupil bank cards by class

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The correct pupil bank card can get you nice perks—like a free tank of gasoline or dinner out on the finish of the semester—all when you’re constructing a credit score historical past. By the point you graduate and get your first huge gig, paying off your pupil bank card each month might show you how to finally purchase a house or automobile extra simply. That’s what having a historical past with a bank card and a great credit score rating can do. Now, let’s have a look at your choices. 

Greatest bank card by class Why we like it
Greatest money again bank card for college kids
BMO CashBack Mastercard
Annual price: $0
3% again on groceries and the power to redeem rewards at any time
Greatest journey bank card for college kids
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for College students
Annual price: $0
Good return on spending, plus a number of journey advantages and student-friendly perks
Greatest no-fee low-interest bank card
Flexi Visa
Annual price: $0
10.90% buy rate of interest and no annual price
Greatest secured bank card
Dwelling Belief Secured Visa
Annual price: $0
Assured approval no matter your credit score rating, with the choice to pay no annual price or obtain a low APR of 14.90% when you decide to pay an annual price
Greatest retailer bank card for college kids
PC Monetary Mastercard
Annual price: $0
Highest return on spending on the largest grocery and drug retailer community in Canada, with low eligibility necessities
Greatest pupil bank card for leisure
Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card for college kids
Annual price: $0
Tailor-made to movie-going college students, with good earn charges in a number of classes and versatile redemptions

Greatest money again bank card for college kids

At a look: The BMO CashBack Mastercard is a best choice for college kids on the lookout for simple money again earnings. Combining no annual price with a powerful 3% money again price on grocery purchases, this card gives college students an opportunity to earn money rewards in a high-spend class. With versatile redemptions, you may redeem your rewards at your comfort, making this card a robust choose for college kids and people with variable incomes.

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BMO CashBack Mastercard for College students

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: 3% money again on groceries (on the primary $500 monthly), 1% on recurring payments and 0.5% on every part else
  • Welcome supply: You possibly can earn 5% money again in your first 3 months. Circumstances apply.
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Execs

  • You’ll obtain the very best money again price for groceries amongst no-fee bank cards in Canada, incomes 3% money again.
  • You possibly can redeem your money (beginning with as little as $1) whenever you want, and have it utilized as a press release credit score, added to your BMO InvestorLine account or deposited into your BMO chequing or financial savings account.
  • Get pleasure from reductions on choose rental vehicles and Cirque du Soleil reveals.

Cons

  • Groceries and recurring payments are boosted spending classes, however they every have a low month-to-month cap of $500 (although that cap could also be sufficiently excessive for a pupil).
  • When you attain the month-to-month max in a class, you’ll solely earn the 0.5% base price. Some no-fee money again playing cards accessible to college students supply a base earn price larger than 0.5% for purchases in non-boosted classes.
  • You’ll be charged a 2% price when you reap the benefits of the steadiness switch bonus.
  • Comfort shops, bakeries and different specialty meals retailers are excluded from the grocery class.

Honourable point out

At a look: The Tangerine Cash-Again Credit score Card stands out as a rewarding possibility for college kids seeking to stretch their funds. With no annual price, cardholders can get pleasure from as much as 2% money again in as much as three personalised classes (when you’ve got a Tangerine financial savings account). There’s additionally a pretty steadiness switch supply for college kids seeking to get debt below management.

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Tangerine Cash-Again Credit score Card

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  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: 2% in as much as 3 classes of your alternative (together with groceries, gasoline and eating) and 0.5% money again on every part else
  • Welcome bonus: You possibly can earn an additional 10% again on as much as $1,000 in on a regular basis purchases inside the first 2 months. Should apply by April 30, 2024.
  • Annual earnings requirement: Private or family earnings of $12,000

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Execs 

  • Choose two 2% bonus classes from a collection of 10 classes. Get a 3rd 2% bonus class by depositing your earnings in a Tangerine financial savings account.
  • In contrast to plenty of no-fee playing cards, Tangerine’s card gives limitless money again earnings.
  • Join free playing cards for extra customers.
  • Change your bonus classes inside an eligible time span so you may earn extra throughout journeys or when doing a reno, when you plan forward.
  • Cardholders can reap the benefits of a low rate of interest of 1.95% on steadiness transfers for the primary six months, so long as you do the switch inside the first 30 days of getting the cardboard.
  • The cardboard is cell pockets suitable, so you may conveniently use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Cons

  • Whereas it’s nice that your a refund earnings are paid month-to-month, as a substitute of yearly, some playing cards supply better flexibility by letting you redeem your rewards everytime you need.
  • The annual earnings requirement of $12,000 per yr makes this card accessible, however many pupil playing cards haven’t any earnings requirement.


Greatest journey bank card for college kids

At a look: The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card is tailor-made to the wants of scholars, particularly those that can reap the benefits of journey rewards. This student-friendly card has no annual price, and it gives a free SPC+ membership that allows you to get pleasure from financial savings of as much as 30% throughout 450-plus manufacturers.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for College students

Go to CIBC.com for extra particulars

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: 1 level per $1 spent on gasoline and EV charging, groceries and Air Canada purchases, and 1 level per $1.50 on every part else
  • Welcome supply: Earn 10,000 Aeroplan factors whenever you make your first buy ($200 worth).
  • Rates of interest: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on money advances (21.99% in Quebec)
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Go to CIBC.com for extra particulars

Execs

  • Earn Aeroplan factors in your on a regular basis purchases and luxuriate in versatile redemption choices, together with flights and merchandise.
  • The earn price could appear low in comparison with different playing cards, however Aeroplan factors are sometimes price extra so long as you redeem them for journey.
  • Redeem your factors for any Air Canada seat with out worrying about blackout dates. Plus, you may pay for flights with a mixture of factors and money.
  • The cardboard comes with some journey insurance coverage, like collision and loss injury insurance coverage for automobile leases and customary service insurance coverage. You additionally get buy safety and prolonged safety insurance coverage.
  • Get pleasure from a free SPC+ membership that might prevent cash at choose retailers.

Cons

  • In contrast to with different Aeroplan playing cards, you received’t earn Standing Qualifying Miles in your on a regular basis purchases.
  • For those who don’t journey ceaselessly through Air Canada or certainly one of its associate airways, this card would have restricted worth.

Honourable point out

At a look: The TD Rewards Visa is price contemplating as a basic journey rewards card, when you’re a pupil who likes to journey however doesn’t wish to be restricted to Air Canada and Aeroplan companions for flights. This no-fee card has a stable earn price of 4 TD Reward factors per $1 spent on journey when booked by Expedia for TD.

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TD Rewards Visa Card

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: 4 TD Rewards factors per $1 spent on journey purchases made by Expedia for TD, 3 factors per $1 on groceries and at eating places, 2 factors per $1 on recurring invoice funds, and 1 level on all different purchases
  • Welcome supply: You possibly can earn a worth of $50 in TD Rewards Factors to make use of on eligible Amazon.ca purchases, plus no annual price. Circumstances apply. Account should be permitted by June 3, 2024.

Execs

  • Earn 4 TD Rewards factors per $1 spent on journey whenever you e book by Expedia for TD, and there’s no annual restrict to the quantity of factors you may earn on journey.
  • You’ll additionally earn 3 TD Rewards factors per $1 spent on groceries and at eating places, 2 factors per $1 on recurring invoice funds, and 1 level per $1 on different purchases
  • Redemptions are versatile, permitting you to spend your factors on every part from flights and accommodations to Amazon purchases, or you may select present playing cards, merchandise or assertion credit. 
  • This card comes with student-friendly perks at companions together with Starbucks, Amazon and Uber.
  • The TD Rewards Visa is likely one of the few no-fee playing cards that provides as much as $1,000 insurance coverage for cell gadgets.
  • Buy safety and prolonged guarantee safety include the cardboard. 

Cons 

  • Though customers profit from the flexibleness of TD Rewards, factors are price much less in comparison with different loyalty applications. One level is valued at $0.05.
  • Whereas the earn price is excessive for bookings on Expedia for TD, these made on different websites solely earn you the bottom price of 1 level per $1. 
  • There are caps on what number of factors you may earn within the grocery, eating places and recurring invoice funds classes. When you spend $5,000 in a yr in any of the classes, you’ll earn only one level per $1 in each class.
  • This card doesn’t include journey insurance coverage, so that you’ll must pay further for protection whenever you journey.

Greatest no-fee low-interest bank card

At a look: Whilst you received’t earn rewards with this card, the Flexi Visa from Desjardins credit score union stands out as a low-interest, no-fee bank card for college kids seeking to decrease bank card debt. It additionally options advantages like restricted journey insurance coverage, rental automobile reductions, a month-to-month installment fee plan and cell machine insurance coverage.

Flexi Visa

Go to desjardins.com for extra particulars

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: None
  • Welcome supply: None
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Go to desjardins.com for extra particulars

Execs

  • This card has the bottom common buy rate of interest in Canada for a no-fee card (the exception could also be playing cards with a variable rate of interest that fluctuates with modifications within the prime price). 
  • Comes with $5 million in emergency medical protection for journeys as much as three days, plus journey cancellation and baggage protection—greater than appropriate for a weekend getaway together with your buddies.
  • You possibly can pay for purchases of $200 or extra in installments with collaborating retailers. 

Cons

  • The rates of interest are low, however you will get a card with decrease charges (such because the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard) when you’re prepared to pay an annual price. 
  • For those who desire in-person assist, word that Desjardins solely has bodily branches in Ontario and Quebec.
  • In contrast to many different pupil Visas, the Flexi Visa doesn’t supply a rewards program.


Greatest secured bank card

At a look: The Dwelling Belief Secured Visa is an efficient software for Canadians aiming to determine or rebuild their credit score historical past. You set your individual spending restrict, which may vary from $500 to $10,000. For those who do sometimes have bother paying off your steadiness, you may reap the benefits of deciding on between two rates of interest: 19.99% with no annual price or 14.90% with a $59 annual price. We like that this card allows you to select, however we suggest the low-rate possibility.

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Dwelling Belief Secured Visa

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: None
  • Welcome supply: This card doesn’t have a welcome bonus at the moment.
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Execs

  • This card provides you the choice to decide on the next or decrease rate of interest. With no annual price, the acquisition APR is nineteen.99%. With a $59 annual price, you’ll get a decrease buy APR of 14.90%. 
  • Once you use your card, Dwelling Belief will report funds to each of Canada’s credit score bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax, which helps you construct your credit standing. In distinction, the Neo Secured Card, for instance, solely reviews to TransUnion, which signifies that your credit score historical past won’t present up correctly for lenders that solely depend on Equifax scores.
  • Suitable with digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Cons

  • In contrast to with the Neo Secured Card, you received’t earn rewards in your spending. Nonetheless, that is typical for secured playing cards, which prioritize low curiosity.
  • The minimal deposit for the Dwelling Belief is $500, whereas some playing cards require solely $50. Nonetheless, it is a negligible disadvantage, as most cardholders will doubtless want entry to at the least a number of hundred {dollars} on their card. 
  • This card will not be obtainable to residents of Quebec.

Honourable point out

At a look: The Neo Secured Credit score provides entry to advantages like limitless money again and boosted rewards. Plus, with opt-in perks and bundles, you may tailor the cardboard to your wants. 

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Neo Secured Credit score

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: A minimal of 0.5% money again and a median of 5% money again on purchases at companions
  • Welcome supply: You possibly can earn $25 money again.
  • Annual earnings requirement: Private or family earnings of $50,000

Execs

  • You should use a Neo card even when you’ve got no credit score historical past, with only a $50 minimal deposit—which is nice for college kids who’re simply beginning out.
  • You’ll get a bodily card within the mail, however you too can use the Neo app to make purchases utilizing your telephone.
  • You should buy optionally available perks and bundles on a subscription foundation to speed up your earn charges and entry advantages as wanted. For instance, when you’re heading residence for the vacations, you may spring for the “journey bundle” and earn boosted money again in your journey spends, and—that is good—you may sit back within the airport lounge. 
  • The Neo app has a great deal of instruments that can assist you funds, monitor your spending and hold tabs in your money again.

Cons

  • For those who don’t store at Neo companions, you’ll earn a non-competitive base price of simply 0.5%.
  • The Neo card doesn’t include insurance coverage.
  • As with different secured playing cards, you may solely use the Neo Secured Credit score for the sum of money that you just placed on it. Secured playing cards aren’t for these needing further credit score (with cash, not the educational sort).


Greatest retailer bank card for college kids

At a look: Drugstores and grocery shops are the place many college students are inclined to spend probably the most. That makes the PC Monetary Mastercard a robust choose for many who store ceaselessly at collaborating shops. With earn charges starting from 10 to 30 factors per $1, relying on the shop, you may accumulate rewards rapidly.

PC Monetary Mastercard

Go to pcfinancial.com for extra particulars

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: 25 factors per $1 spent at Customers Drug Mart; at the least 30 factors per $1 at Esso and Mobil gasoline stations; 20 factors per $1 at PC Journey; and 10 factors per $1 on every part else
  • Welcome supply: You possibly can earn 20,000 PC Optimum factors
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Go to pcfinancial.com for extra particulars

Execs

  • Earn 25 factors for each $1 spent at Customers Drug Mart and 30 factors per litre of gasoline at Esso and Mobil, translating to a return of two.5% and three%, respectively. These returns are beneficiant for a pupil card. 
  • Redemption is straightforward. You might have the flexibleness to make use of your PC Optimum factors at numerous Loblaw-affiliated shops, which might considerably decreasing your day-to-day bills. The intensive redemption community covers Canada’s largest pharmacy and grocery chain, together with Joe Contemporary, spanning over 4,500 places nationwide. 
  • There’s no cap on what number of PC Optimum factors you may earn.

Cons

  • Not as versatile as money again rewards, as redemptions are restricted to particular retailers. 
  • You should redeem a minimal of $10 at a time.
  • A comparatively excessive customary buy rate of interest of 21.99%.

Greatest pupil bank card for leisure

At a look: For those who go to film theatres to get away from dorm drama or to take a break from finding out, contemplate this card. What you spend on the cinema can flip into some good perks. 

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Scotiabank Scene+ Visa for college kids

  • Annual price: $0
  • Earn charges: 2 Scene+ Factors per $1 spent on groceries at Sobeys-affiliated shops, 2 factors per $1 at Cineplex theatres or cineplex.com, and 1 level per $1 on every part else
  • Welcome supply: You possibly can earn as much as 7500 bonus Scene+ factors inside your first 3 months. Should apply by July 1, 2024.
  • Annual earnings requirement: Private earnings of $12,000

Execs

  • Scene+ is a reasonably versatile factors program. For instance, you may e book flights with any airline with out having to depend on a particular journey company or portal. Plus, you may redeem for different journey objects, equivalent to Airbnbs. It’s among the best factors applications obtainable to Canadians.
  • The rewards are nice for issues outdoors of a typical pupil funds. Deal with your self for managing the stresses of college through the use of the rewards on issues like motion pictures, takeout, retailer present playing cards, flights, accommodations and extra.
  • It can save you 25% off base charges for automobile leases at collaborating Avis and Finances rental places in Canada and the U.S.

Cons

  • There are not any bonus factors for different widespread spending classes, like gasoline or eating, which means fewer methods to maximise your returns. So, you would need to go to the flicks often to actually reap the benefits of the bonus earn price.
  • Not as versatile as a money again program, however redeeming is simple for journey objects.

How we decide the very best pupil bank cards

Our editors apply their bank card experience and information of Canadians’ monetary objectives to provide you with choice standards that matches the wants of the supposed cardholder. For college kids, the very best playing cards ought to typically haven’t any annual price, and low earnings and credit score rating necessities—as a result of constructing a credit score historical past is a typical purpose for individuals who use these playing cards. Past that, we contemplate the return on spending (for rewards playing cards), the acquisition APR (for low-interest playing cards) and different components, based mostly on the class. The addition of hyperlinks from affiliate companions has no bearing on the outcomes. Learn extra about our choice course of and how MoneySense makes cash.

Continuously requested questions

In contrast to making use of for a summer season job, making use of for a pupil bank card is fairly simple, though there are a number of eligibility necessities to bear in mind.

  • You’ll have to be the age of majority in your province. That’s both 18 (in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan) or 19 (in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Yukon).
  • For those who don’t earn an earnings, you could want to offer proof that you just obtain some type of monetary assist, equivalent to allowances from your loved ones or a scholarship.

As a brand new bank card holder, it’s a sensible thought to evaluate your choices earlier than you apply. Try what totally different banks are providing and select a card that finest matches your way of life and spending habits. Every software does have an effect on your credit score rating, so that you’ll wish to keep away from making use of for a number of bank cards needlessly. Stick to one card as you study the ropes and begin constructing your credit score historical past. 


Sure, they will. Banks, bank card corporations and monetary establishments acknowledge the ability of what you are promoting, in order that they’ve created “newbie” bank cards for younger adults and college students in Canada. These are typically stripped-down variations of bank cards loaded with perks. However, as you may see above, there are nonetheless rewards available with secured and unsecured bank cards for college kids. Truly, having a bank card is the way you construct a credit score historical past, which is a part of how a credit score rating is calculated. Right here’s how:

  • Credit score historical past: An extended historical past reveals lenders you’ll be able to repay debt, and finance consultants suggest to apply for a card as a younger grownup, and use it responsibly.
  • Debt load: That is the entire sum of money you owe collectors—together with bank cards, loans and mortgages. However mortgages aren’t usually a difficulty for college kids, so your low debt load can work in your favour.
  • Fee historical past: That is about the way you nicely you pay your payments, which means in full and on time, in addition to when you’ve missed any funds and for a way lengthy you’ve carried any debt. At this level in your life, hold your payments low and pay them off on time.
  • Kinds of credit score you carry: The extra collectors you owe cash to, the upper danger you may pose to lenders. Stick to one bank card to keep away from wanting dangerous to lenders.

Can a highschool pupil apply for a bank card?

Bank cards have an age restriction and, usually, earnings necessities that top faculty college students could not be capable of meet. Nonetheless, that doesn’t put all bank cards totally out of attain. If a highschool pupil is the age of majority (18 or 19 years outdated, relying on their province or territory), there are some choices. 

Bank card candidates in highschool ought to search for playing cards that don’t require a credit score historical past and have a low or no earnings requirement. They’ll contemplate beginning with a secured card, the place they apply a deposit that they will spend, as these assist construct a credit score historical past. A stable possibility is a secured bank card.

What does a highschool pupil want to use for a bank card?

Normally, candidates will want a chunk of presidency ID, a social insurance coverage quantity, a mailing tackle, an employment standing, and earnings info to use for a bank card. 

I used to be declined for a pupil bank card—what can I do?

For those who had been declined for a card, it might must do together with your credit score historical past or your earnings. Think about a secured card or a bank card that’s geared toward folks with below-average credit, as their necessities might be extra modest. Whilst you received’t get the perks and advantages hooked up to different playing cards, accountable use may also help you construct up your credit score rating so you may entry higher merchandise sooner or later.

Bank card suggestions for college kids

You already know you should be accountable in how you employ your bank card—however what, precisely, does that imply? Learn on for tips about utilizing your bank card to enhance your credit score rating and keep away from any issues. 

  1. Examine your fee due dates
    You in all probability know that bank card payments arrive each month, however that doesn’t imply the due date in your fee is on the primary day. The date that begins your billing cycle relies on when you find yourself permitted for the account, and it might be any day of the month. Make word of the due date and be sure you pay on time. Think about including these dates to your faculty calendar, too.
  2. Repay your steadiness in full
    For those who’re going to be accountable together with your bank card, you received’t use it to spend cash you don’t have. Don’t go into debt. It’s finest apply to repay your invoice in full, on time, each month. Not solely will this increase your credit score rating, however it can additionally show you how to keep away from expensive curiosity expenses.
  3. Heed the minimal steadiness
    For those who do overspend, you’ll nonetheless must repay a few of your steadiness. Your invoice will present a complete steadiness and a minimal fee. You should pay at the least the minimal fee, on time and each month, it doesn’t matter what. Lacking funds is likely one of the worst issues you are able to do in your credit score rating. Paying solely the minimal signifies that you’re accumulating curiosity on the unpaid steadiness. At a median of round 20%, this could add up rapidly. 
  4. Don’t overspend
    In case it’s not clear: Don’t overspend! Credit score is borrowed cash, and a bank card isn’t a debit card. All the cash you cost to your card should be paid again. For those who don’t or can’t, you’ll end up racking up curiosity expenses along with wrecking your credit standing. 
  5. Don’t max out your bank card
    Your bank card could have a credit score restrict; that’s the sum of money you may technically borrow on it. However spending all the way in which as much as your restrict—that’s, maxing out your card—is reckless. It will likely be tougher to repay your steadiness. Use your card selectively for smaller purchases, at the least initially, and think about using debit for nearly every part else.

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That is an editorially pushed article or content material bundle, offered with monetary assist from an advertiser. The advertiser has no affect on the creation of the content material.

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