Canada's Best Student Credit Cards for 2019
Why Get a Student Credit Card?
Despite the many warnings, we believe student credit cards play an important role in helping you establish a Canadian credit history and a good credit score by the time you graduate (essential for car leases, mortgages, retail financing and more).
Credit cards are essential for many online transactions and reservations (hotel, car rental) and offer richer rewards than debit cards.
How to Choose the Best Student Credit Card
The best student credit cards will have no annual fee and give you the chance to earn great rewards that suit you. But even more importantly, every student credit card should provide easy approval for students with no credit history (sounds obvious, but not every bank makes it as easy as the next). That means not requiring part-time income, or your parents to co-sign your application.
To help you choose the right student credit card for you, we’ve put together a list of our top rated Canadian student credit cards currently available, based on fees, rewards and ease of approval.
Top Canadian Student Credit Cards in 2019
|Credit Card||Rewards||Bonus||Card Review||Apply for Card|
|Scotiabank Scene Visa Card||1 Scene pt per $1||2500 SCENE points = 5 free movies||Read More||Apply Now|
|Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card||0.5%-2% cash back rewards||4% cash back on 2-3 purchase categories of cardholder's choice||Read More||Apply Now|
Scotiabank Scene Visa Card
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $12000
– Annual fees: $0
The Scene Visa card from Scotiabank is a great card for students. It’s the fastest and simplest way to watch free movies. With just 1,000 points you can see a movie at any Cineplex, Scotia, Famous Players, Silver City or Galaxy Theatre. Scotia is offering a 2500 point sign-up bonus – 5 FREE movies – with $0 annual fee, with a minimum spend of $500 in the first 3 months. You can also get $10 off at affiliated restaurants in exchange for 1,000 points. That way you can make it a complete night out.
Earning is simple. You get 1 Scene point for every dollar you spend on the card, plus 5 Scene points for every dollar you spend at Cineplex theatres. You can redeem for free movies, popcorn & soda, combos, WWE events, music downloads and more. The only thing we don’t love about the Scene Visa card for students is that it does require students to either have a part-time job earning a minimum of $251 before taxes per month, or you’ll have to get a co-signor. Either way, you’ll get a $500 line of credit to start, and 5 free movies of course!
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0
Tangerine’s Money-Back credit card is especially beneficial for those who want to save on a variety of their most common purchases, but who don’t have the high income necessary to qualify for most high-yield cashback credit cards. To serve these customers, Tangerine’s only specific requirement from applicants is a minimum annual income of $15000. They also consider other factors in their decision-making process like credit history and credit-to-income ratio. After being approved, new cardholders can choose 2 purchase categories where they’ll earn 2% cash back, with categories like grocery, gas, pharmacy and drugstore, entertainment, restaurants, and more available.
It’s important to save money as a student, and the card encourages it by allowing members to automatically deposit their cash back into a Tangerine savings account. Those who do so will earn a third cash back category, which boosts savings even further. Don’t worry about choosing the wrong category, because Tangerine will let you make changes to your cash back strategy upon request. Every purchase that doesn’t fall in your chosen categories earns 0.5% cash back, so students can expect that all their expenses are offset to a degree.
New cardholders who apply and activate their card before July 31, 2019 will enjoy a double Tangerine promotion that boosts their 2% rate to 4% in the categories they’ve chosen for 92 days. Those three extra months of double cash back are complemented by another limited-time offer for 1.95% interest for 6 months, on all balances transferred to Tangerine by the new cardholder in the first 30 days. Both of these deals favor budget-conscious students.
Finally, since students are often on a budget, it’s nice to not have an annual fee. We think it’s important to emphasize again, though, that the card does require that applicants show a credit history. This condition indicates that the Tangerine Money-Back card might be more suitable for older, or even graduate-level students who have had time to build credit. Regardless, the right candidate will find that the card readily competes with those in higher tiers.
How to Choose the Right Canadian Student Credit Card For You
There are some fantastic student credit card options available in Canada. First and foremost, find one you think you’ll have a good chance getting approved for. Second, find one with a good offer – a generous welcome bonus and ongoing rewards. Third, make sure to pay off your balance every month.
We do have one recommendation to ensure you use your credit card responsibly and build a healthy credit history. If you’re not the most organized person, schedule pre-authorized automatic payments from your bank account to pay off your credit card – don’t leave anything to chance. You can do this by either paying the monthly minimum payment (prevents you from being late), or by automatically paying off the entire credit card bill, every month (prevents you from accumulating debt or being late).