For our most up-to-date ranking of student credit cards, go here.
For students who want to build a credit history, nothing beats a simple no-free card that offers low annual fees and generous rewards. But don’t be fooled—to make this work their your favour, students need to pay off the balance every month. Note: We’ve assumed a $1,000 monthly spend when working out our rewards calculations.
Winner: Scotiabank Scene Visa*
It’s free: No annual fee
Welcome bonus: Get 2,000 bonus points after you spend $500 on the card in the first 3 months—enough for 2 free movies.
Earn Scene points at Cineplex theatres: Earn 5 Scene points for every $1 spent on Scene Visa purchases at Cineplex Cinemas.
Earn 1 Scene point for every $1 you spend on regular credit card purchases.
Watch free movies and more: Redeem Scene points for free movies or for discounts at over half a dozen eligible restaurants and stores, including Bier Markt and Swiss Chalet. (Note: a movie can be redeemed for 1,000 points.)
Save on car rentals: get up to 25% off base rates at eligible Avis and Budget locations
Second place: BMO SPC CashBack Student MasterCard*
Warm welcome: 5% cash back welcome bonus on purchases (up to $100) for the first 3 months.
It’s free: No annual fee.
Straightforward rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases after the welcome bonus ends.
Free SPC membership: A value of $10. Through this program you’ll get an additional 10-15% discount at hundreds of merchants across Canada.
More perks: Get deals on certain events and concerts with BMO Extra Deals.
Third place: Tangerine Money-Back*
Free: No annual fee
Accessible: No income qualifications requirements
Students rejoice: Not specifically designed for students but it definitely suits their needs, making it one of the best credit cards for students
Customizable rewards: 2% cash back per $1 spent in up to three categories of your choice, and 0.5% for everything else
No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn.
What rewards can you expect?
|Card||Net reward (excluding 1st year sign-up bonus)|
|Scotiabank Scene Card||$192|
|BMO SPC CashBack MasterCard||$120|
*Based on $1,000 monthly spending in the second year
Honourary mention: BMO SPC Air Miles MasterCard*
-500 Bonus Air Miles for new card buyers
-0.05 reward miles for every $1 in credit card purchases
-No annual fee
-10% to 15% SPC discounts at hundreds of stores
For more on the best student credit cards in Canada, check out our partner Ratehub.ca.
Ratehub.ca may be partnered with some financial institutions. This does not influence the “Canada’s Best Credit Card” rankings.