Best Credit Cards for Students in Canada 2021

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Many Canadian students find the transition from high school to college a steep hill to climb. Not only will they be living away from home for the first time in their lives, but they’d also have to fend for themselves and manage their financial resources. Some students may opt for a credit card, while others might prefer to defer till later in the future. But it is always a good idea to get a credit card as a student to help build the foundations for an excellent credit score. However, students who opt for a credit card need to understand the benefits and drawbacks before signing up for one. Read on to find out the best credit cards for students in Canada.

Best Student Credit Card for Cash Back Offers

BMO CashBack Mastercard

The BMO Cashback Mastercard is a zero annual fee credit card that provides students with excellent incentives on everyday purchases from supermarkets and grocery stores. Students will earn 3% cashback on the initial C$500 expended on groceries monthly and an additional 1% on recurring bills to a maximum of C$500 monthly.

Students will also receive 0.5% cashback on daily purchases without any restrictions. The great thing about the BMO CashBack Mastercard is that the cashback rewards reset after 30 days making it difficult to max out on a student’s budget.

Like other great credit cards, the BMO Cashback Mastercard offers many rewards with no income requirement and annual fees, making it the ideal choice for students on a shoestring budget. You don’t have to scrutinize the fine print of loyalty point programs, enabling you to concentrate on conserving funds on daily purchases instead of racking points for discounted flights you don’t need.

Redeeming the cashback is straightforward, and you can receive rewards at any time rather than wait till the month or year-end to redeem your cashback. The card also has a three-month welcome offer of 5%, enhancing its appeal to students. Students may also qualify for purchase and extended warranty protection, including eligibility for rental car discounts courtesy of National and Alamo.

Highlights

  • C$0 annual fee
  • 5% welcome offer for the first three months on all purchases up to C$100
  • 3% cashback on initial C$500 spent on groceries, including 1% on recurring bills up to C$500 monthly
  • No-limit 0.5% cashback on other purchases

Best Store Credit Cards for Students

PC Financial Mastercard

The PC Financial Mastercard allows Students in Canada to earn 25 PC Optimum points on every dollar while shopping at Drug Mart stores.  Cardholders also earn a minimum of 30 PC Optimum Points per dollar while buying gas at Mobil and Esso filling stations, including 10 PC Optimum Points per dollar on any other purchase.

Users may also earn points when they shop at PC stores like No Frills, Joe Fresh, Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, and many more. You can redeem PC Optimum Points at affiliate stores at the rate of C$10 per 10,000 points. The credit card has no yearly fee or income requirement, and it’s easy to sign up for even for students with little or no credit history. However, this card isn’t a student credit card in the strictest sense and may need the student to be earning some income.

The PC Financial Mastercard is a viable choice because of its minimum earn rate at 10 points per dollar and its ability to outshine many other entry-level point cards or cashback cards on daily purchases. You can redeem the points you earn in over 2500+ stores across Canada, making it convenient to enjoy your earnings. Cardholders also receive free purchase assurance, including extended warranties for twelve months.

Highlights

  • Zero annual fee
  • 25 PC points per C$1 on purchases at Pharmaprix or Shoppers Drug Mart
  • 10 PC Optimum points on every C$1 every other purchase
  • 30 PC Optimum points per litre of gas at Mobil or Esso

Best Miles Student Credit Card

BMO Air Miles Mastercard

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard is an excellent option for students who enjoy shopping at Air Miles affiliated stores like Metro, Staples, Shells, and Sobeys. The card offers 0.04 miles on the dollar and three times the miles at Air Miles connected stores. Besides, cardholders aren’t required to pay annual fees and no qualifying income requirement.

Students may also enjoy a welcome offer of 800 miles when they use the card to spend C$1000 in the initial three months. Students may spend their miles on Dream Miles, which qualifies them for flight discounts or free flights on designated airlines. Another option is to redeem miles through Air Miles Cash, receiving a discount at Air Miles affiliate stores at the rate of C$10 per 95 miles or e-gift cards.

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard provides cardholders with multiple pathways to redeem rewards, mainly if you live close to an Air Miles affiliated store. The Air Miles Shopping Portal also allows individuals to boost their bonus miles and earn discounts thanks to retailers like Walmart, Apple, Nike, Amazon, and more. Users also receive purchase and extended warranty protection, including discount car rental offers from Alamo and National.

Highlights

  • Zero Annual fees
  • Free 800 Air Miles Welcome Offer
  • Thrice the Miles per dollar on Air Miles affiliated stores
  • 0.04 miles per dollar on any other purchase
  • Earn twice the Miles purchasing goods at Air Miles partners

Best Student Travel Credit Card

TD Rewards Visa Card

For students who enjoy traveling for the holidays or exploring new places, the TD Rewards Visa Card is an excellent credit card choice. It is an entry-level no-fee card that allows cardholders to earn TD Points, which can be redeemed for designated flights, car rentals, hotels, and any other product available on Expedia.

Students can redeem TD Points online from the Expedia website at the rate of 100 TD points per dollar. You can also 3 TD Points per dollar when you book travel tickets and reservations from the ExpediaTD website, 2 TD Points shopping groceries, fast food and restaurants, and 1 TD point on any other spending.

The TD Rewards Visa Card is an excellent choice for students because of its no-frills approach. The rewards program is easy to understand and perfect for students signing up for their first credit card. Cardholders who travel regularly can take advantage of the credit card to earn significant rewards. The TD Rewards Visa also provides extended warranty protection, including discounts on car rentals from Budget and Avis.

Best Student Secured Credit Card

Home Trust Secured Visa Card

 It’s not common for students to have lousy debt at such an early stage in life, but the Home Trust Secured Visa Card can come in handy if you want to focus on building a credit history rather than earn points. Because it’s a secured credit card, it works slightly differently from the other credit cards mentioned above. Cardholders will deposit a minimum of C$500, using that number as the credit limit. Once you make purchases against your deposit, pay on time and in full, you’ll build an excellent credit history just in time to hit the job market.

The Home Trust Secured Visa Card is an excellent option because it enables cardholders to get rid of poor spending habits and straighten out their finances. Students with bad credit history can also apply, including those who have been bankrupted in the past.

Highlights

  • Zero annual fee
  • Purchases attract19.99% interest
  • The credit limit is based on an initial deposit from C$500 up to C$10,000
  • Not available to Quebec residents

FAQs

What’s a student Credit Card?

Student credit cards usually spot tell-tale features like no yearly fees, zero income requirements and are often targeted at people trying out a credit card for the first time. Although many student credit cards are bereft of benefits, some of the best student credit cards have many perks ranging from cashback offers to points and Air Miles.

What is the Best Credit Card for Students in Canada?

The best credit card for students will depend on their needs and lifestyle. If you enjoy cashback offers, the BMO Cashback Mastercard is your best bet. Students who enjoy flying will prefer the TD Rewards Visa or BMO Air Miles Mastercard. And if you want to build a credit history, look no further than the Home Trust Secured Visa Card.

Is it Worth Getting A Credit Card?

Although the idea of getting a credit card straight into college may raise a few eyebrows, it is still one of the best pathways to build a credit history as a young adult. Apart from the chance to earn rewards, paying credit card bills on time also enables students to manage money and be financially responsible as they make their debut into adult society. That being said, it is good advice to spend with caution to not run into debt so early in life.

What is the Best TD credit card for students?

The best TD credit card for students is the TD Rewards Visa Card. The credit card allows students to earn TD Points that can be redeemed for significant rewards, including purchases, flights, hotels, and car rentals, including Expedia products.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.