The Best Student Credit Cards In Canada

Some people don’t think students should have access to credit cards.  Their reasoning is that 18-year olds are not yet mature enough to understand the tool of credit, and they can get themselves in quite a lot of trouble before they learn their lesson.

My thoughts are, instead of being scared of the tool why not just learn how to use it?  Credit cards are basically just grade 7/8 math applied to chunks of money.  If you can’t understand that when you borrow money and don’t pay it back every month you have to pay interest, and that paying interest sucks – then you probably shouldn’t be in post-secondary education and should go back to math class to be frank.

Because there should be no reason for you to carry any interest on your credit cards, I didn’t really take interest rates into consideration in these rankings (if you absolutely have to go into debt, use a student line of credit and don’t carry a monthly balance for goodness sakes).  Here are a few cards that will provide you with some cool “free” stuff if you simply use them to pay for items you’ll use anyway and then pay the balances every week.

Best Credit Cards Canada



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1) RBC Cash Back Mastercard

  • No annual Fee
  • 19.99% interest rate
  • Earn 2% cash back on your grocery store purchases (up to a maximum you shouldn’t ever hit as a student).
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

(I’m not even sure how this is considered a student card actually, but that’s how it’s listed on the RBC website – cash back in your pocket is a pretty great deal here).

The Best Student Credit Cards In Canada
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2) Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

  • No annual fee
  • 19.99% interest
  • Earn 1 SCENE Point for every dollar you spen.d
  • 1,000 SCENE Points gets you a free movie at Cineplex theatres.
  • Get 5 SCENE points for every dollar you spend while at Cineplex theatres.
  • 10% discount on snacks at Cineplex theatres.
  • Get 4,000 bonus points (or 4 free movies) as a bonus when you make your first purchase.

3) Dejardins Visa “For Students Only” Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • 19.4% interest rate
  • Free cell phone insurance in the event of loss or theft – This feature alone would have saved some of my friends hundreds of dollars as they went through school!
  • 3-Day travel insurance at no charge.
  • Under “options” it lists “lowering your interest rate” – maybe something that is negotiable?
  • Access to a unique ticket-selling service that has some reservation perks.

4) TD Classic Travel Visa Card

  • $20 annual fee (likely negotiable if you bank with TD)
  • 19.99% interest rate
  • Earn 2 TD travel points for every dollar you spend.  Every 10,000 TD Points = $50 off the cost of travel (very easy to redeem).
  • 2,000 Bonus TD Points upon sign up.

5) L’earn Visa card

  • No annual fee
  • 19.99% interest rate
  • Earn 1% of your purchases back every year (i.e. if you purchase $5,000 worth of stuff throughout the year, you get $50 just for using the card).

6) Signature RBC Rewards Visa

  • $39 annual fee, but it is waived if you bank with RBC.
  • 19.99% Intererest
  • Earn 1 RBC Point for every dollar in purchases.  RBC Points can be exchanged for travel through Travelocity, merchandise, Esso Extra Points, Shopper Optimum Points or WestJet dollars.

7) Laurentian Bank Student Visa Black Card

  • $20 annual fee that is waived when if you buy over $200 every month (likely negotiable in any circumstance).
  • 19.99% interest rate
  • Rewards program that gives one point for every dollar purchased with the card.  Redemptions start at 2,600 points.
  • Extended purchase insurance and manufacturer guarantees (up to one year).

If you’re an older student with some earnings and a credit history you may want to check out some more advanced rewards cards such as the one I carry in my wallet – the Capital One Aspire Mastercard.

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Absolutely credit cards are a great tool. I love this line: If you can’t understand that when you borrow money and don’t pay it back every month you have to pay interest, and that paying interest sucks – then you probably shouldn’t be in post-secondary education and should go back to math class to be frank. You may want to read this article: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/11/06/young-canadians-feeling-the-financial-pain/ One surprising finding from it: No wonder one in five young people say they use their credit card to “supplement” their income, according to a recent TD Canada Trust poll. That’s not all university students, but… Read more »

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