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Best student credit cards for 2022

A student credit card is the best option for college and university students who want to build a credit history.

Student credit cards are tailored for young adults who may have little or no credit history and need to establish their credit. These cards sometimes even come with excellent perks like rewards and promotional interest rates. In this guide to student credit cards in Canada, you’ll learn what to look for in a student credit card, discover what you need to qualify for a student credit card, learn the critical mistakes to avoid when you’re using a student credit card and get answers to common questions about student credit cards. Plus, we’ve identified the best student credit cards in Canada to help narrow down your search.

The 6 best student credit cards in Canada

    Best student credit card for entertainment and restaurants:
    Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

    Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card logo
    Credit recommended (660-)
    Apply now
    on Scotiabank's secure site
    660
    Min. credit score
    $0
    Annual fee
    Up to 2x
    Points
    7,500
    Points welcome offer
    If you've have no credit history and are looking for a rewards card with a $0 annual fee, the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card is worth taking a look at – especially if you're a big movie buff. Earn 2 Scene+ points on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland & Participating Co-ops, FreshCo and more. Plus, earn 2 Scene+ points per $1 spent at participating Cineplex theatres or cineplex.com, and earn 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere. Redeem your SCENE points for movie tickets or take advantage of discounts at participating restaurants.
    • Annual fee. This card has a $0 annual fee.
    • Rewards points. Earn 2 Scene+ points on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland & Participating Co-ops, FreshCo and more. Plus, earn 2 Scene+ points per $1 spent at participating Cineplex theatres or cineplex.com, and earn 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere. Redeem points for free movies and discounts at participating restaurants.
    • Additional cardholders. Pay $0 to add another authorized user to your account, so you can rack up points faster.
    • Earn more. Earn 5,000 bonus Scene+ points when you spend $750 in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 2,500 Scene+ bonus points when you spend at least $5,000 in your first year. Apply by October 31, 2022.
    • Rental cars. Get a discount of up to 25% off at participating Budget and AVIS car rental locations in both Canada and the US..
    • Extra insurance available. Optional insurance is available (for a fee) to help pay down your balance if you become critically ill, disabled or can't work due to job loss, strikes or lockouts. If you pass away or become diagnosed with a Covered Critical Illness, your card balance can be paid off up to $50,000.00. Terms apply.
    • Missed payment fee. You'll be charged a 24.99% rate on any missed payments.
    • Foreign conversion fee. Every time you charge a purchase to your card in a foreign currency, you'll incur a 2.5% fee.
    Annual Fee $0
    Purchase APR 19.99% fixed
    Balance transfer APR 22.99% fixed
    Welcome offer Earn 5,000 bonus Scene+ points when you spend $750 in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 2,500 Scene+ bonus points when you spend at least $5,000 in your first year. Apply by October 31, 2022.
    Rewards Earn 2 Scene+ points on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland & Participating Co-ops, FreshCo and more. Plus, earn 2 Scene+ points per $1 spent at participating Cineplex theatres or cineplex.com, and earn 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.

    Best student credit card for earning cash back in the long-term:
    Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

    Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card logo
    Credit recommended (600-)
    Apply now
    on Tangerine's secure site
    600
    Min. credit score
    $0
    Annual fee
    6 months
    1.95% intro transfer APR
    Up to 2%
    Cash back
    As a cash back credit card, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card helps you earn cash rewards on every purchase you make with the card. Earn 2% cash back in two Tangerine credit card categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else. Categories include groceries, restaurants, hotels, gas, recurring bill payments, drug store, home improvement and entertainment. Plus, get access to a 1.95% interest rate on a balance transfer for the first 6 months.
    • Earn rewards fast. Earn 2% cash back in two Tangerine credit card categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
    • Annual fee. This card comes with a $0 annual fee.
    • Balance transfer rate. Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. To take advantage of this offer, you must complete the Balance Transfer request within 30 days of account approval and activate your card within 45 days of approval. A balance transfer fee equaling the greater of 3% or $5 will be charged on each transferred amount (fee is waived by Tangerine if you're a resident of Quebec).
    • Low return on other purchases. Receive only 0.5 cash back on all other categories of spending.
    • Currency conversion. You'll pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on all overseas purchases.
    • Missed payment fee. You'll pay a 24.95% rate on missed payments.
    • Balance trasnfer fee. Pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of the total transferred amount or $5, whichever is greater.
    Annual fee $0
    Purchase APR 19.95% fixed
    Balance transfer APR 1.95% intro for the first 6 months (then 19.95% fixed)
    Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
    Rewards Earn 2% cash back in two Tangerine credit card categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.

    Best overall student credit card for cash back:
    BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students

    BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students logo
    Credit recommended (660-)
    Apply now
    on BMO's secure site
    660
    Min. credit score
    $0
    Annual fee
    Up to 3%
    Cash back
    5%
    Welcome offer
    The BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students is cash back credit card designed specifically for students. Earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases. You'll earn even more with its sign up bonus. Get up to 5% cash back in the first three months (up to a maximum spend of $2,500, and earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases thereafter). All that comes with a $0 annual fee.
    • Annual fee. This card comes with a $0 annul fee.
    • Earn cashback. Earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases.
    • Signup bonus. Get up to 5% cash back in the first three months (up to a maximum spend of $2,500, and earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases thereafter).
    • Car rental discount. Get up to 25% off on car rentals with National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car.
    • Purchase protection. Eligible items charged to your card are automatically insured against theft and damage. Plus, double the original manufacturer's warranty on eligible items purchased with your card by up to 1 additional year.
    • Low return on other purchases. You'll only receive 0.5 cash back on all other categories of spending.
    • Missed payment fee. You'll have to pay a 24.99% rate on any missed payments.
    • Currency conversion. You'll have to pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on any overseas purchases.
    Annual Fee $0
    Purchase APR 20.99% fixed
    Balance transfer APR 22.99% fixed
    Welcome offer Get up to 5% cash back in the first three months (up to a maximum spend of $2,500, and earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases thereafter).
    Rewards Earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases.

    Best student credit card for earning AIR MILES:
    BMO AIR MILES Mastercard For Students

    BMO AIR MILES Mastercard For Students logo
    Credit recommended (660-)
    Apply now
    on BMO's secure site
    660
    Min. credit score
    $0
    Annual fee
    22.99% fixed
    Transfer APR
    Up to 3x
    Miles
    The BMO AIR MILES Mastercard For Students helps you build up AIR MILES points with every purchase – taking you one step closer to that epic spring break trip. Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners, 2x the Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store, and 1 AIR MILE for every $25 spent elsewhere. Plus, you'll get an enticing signup bonus: Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
    • Annual fee. This card comes with a $0.
    • Earn reward points. Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners, 2x the Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store, and 1 AIR MILE for every $25 spent elsewhere.
    • Signup bonus. Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
    • Entertainment discounts. Enjoy 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.
    • Car rental discounts. Get a discount of up to 25% at participating National Car Rental® and Alamo Rent A Car® locations.
    • Balance transfer rate.
    • Purchase protection. Eligible items charged to your card are automatically insured against theft and damage for 90 days
      from the purchase date. Plus, double the original manufacturer's warranty on eligible items purchased with your card by up to 1 additional year.
    • Missed payment fee. You'll have to pay a rate on any missed payments.
    • Balance transfer fee.
    • Currency conversion. You'll have to pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on any overseas purchases.
    Annual fee $0
    Purchase APR 20.99% fixed
    Balance transfer APR 22.99% fixed
    Balance transfer fee
    Rewards Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners, 2x the Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store, and 1 AIR MILE for every $25 spent elsewhere.

    Best secured card for students with no credit history:
    Home Trust Secured Visa (No Annual Fee)

    Home Trust Secured Visa (No Annual Fee) logo
    Credit recommended (300-)
    Apply now
    on Home Trust's secure site
    300
    Min. credit score
    $0
    Annual fee
    19.99% fixed
    Purchase APR
    From $500
    Min. deposit
    The Home Trust Secured Visa (No Annual Fee) essentially acts as a revolving line of credit. You submit a security deposit at the time of application, and, if approved, your deposit becomes your credit limit. You can then charge purchases to your card, get cash advances and make payments just like a typical unsecured credit card. The advantage of getting a secured card is that they are much easier to qualify for since the security deposit acts as collateral for the lender. You can qualify with no credit history or a bad credit score, and then use the card to build up a solid credit score over time. Your security deposit will be returned once you close your account and pay off your balance.
    • Interest rate options. If you pay an annual fee of $0 you'll be charged a purchase interest rate of 19.99%. But you also have a no annual fee option where you'll pay a higher purchase interest rate of 19.99%.
    • You decide your credit limit. The amount of security deposit you offer up will determine your monthly credit limit. Your credit limit can range from $500 to $10,000.
    • Your money is safe. Home Trust is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), so your security deposit is safe even if the company fails.
    • Additional cardholders. Cardholders have the option of adding one authorized user to their account.
    • Credit check required. Home Trust will check your credit report for this card, however the approval rate is quite high.
    • Cash withdrawal fee. Every time you withdraw funds from an ATM, you'll be charged a small percentage fee. Different fees apply for withdrawals in Canada, the US and other countries.
    • This card is not available in Quebec.
    Annual fee $0
    Purchase APR 19.99% fixed
    Balance transfer APR N/A
    Recommended minimum credit score 300

    Best prepaid card for students: KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

    $0
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Transaction Cost
    0.5% cash back
    Rewards
    The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard can help you save on many of the fees that come with traditional credit cards. While you can use a prepaid card just like credit cards to make purchases online or in store, prepaid cards work more like gift cards where the amount you load on your card becomes your card's useable balance. Your prepaid card also won't impact your credit score since card issuers don't report to any of Canada's credit bureaus. This KOHO card comes with a $0 annual fee and a $0 interest charge. You'll also be able to earn 0.5% cash back rewards with every eligible purchase, and up to 5% cash back with select merchants. Earn 0.5% cash back on every eligible purchase. KOHO offer credit-building through their prepaid card for an extra monthly fee.
    • Annual fee. The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard comes with an annual fee of $0.
    • Interest rate. This card charges $0 interest on your purchases.
    • Automatic savings. KOHO offers a round-up feature that lets you send a pre-set amount of money from every purchase straight to your savings.
    • Foreign transaction fee. This card comes with a relatively low foreign transaction rate of only 1.5%.
    • Referral bonus. You can earn even more - Refer a friend and both of you will earn $20 each once your referral makes their first purchase within 30 days of signing up. Users are able to refer up to 50 friends allowing to earn up to $1000 in referral cash bonuses..
    • ATM access. You can withdrawal cash from ATMs that are part of the Mastercard network.
    • Out-of-network ATM withdrawals. You'll be charged a $3 fee on any out-of-network ATM withdrawals.
    • Not a bank. You can't visit a branch in person and KOHO doesn't provide all the services of a major bank.
    • Doesn't help your credit score. Using a prepaid card doesn't help you build your credit and you'll have to keep re-loading funds in order to use the card.
    Annual Fee $0
    Transaction Cost $0
    Foreign Transaction Fee 1.5%
    e-Transfer Fee $0
    NSF Fee $0
    Rewards 0.5% cash back

    What are student credit cards?

    Student credit cardStudent credit cards are low-cost cards designed to help students begin to build a credit history. These cards often come with no annual fee, a low credit limit and a basic rewards program. Features between cards will vary, with some student cards offering a low interest rate on unpaid balances while others provide discounts for movies, dining or shopping. Most come with basic insurance like purchase protection and extended warranty, but won’t offer added benefits like travel insurance.

    Rewards across student cards vary, which means you can often choose between earning cash back or rewards points that you can use to pay down your balance, travel, shop, earn gift cards and more.

    Special benefits for students

    While not all student credit card are necessarily easier to be approved for, there are some special benefits offered that can make them more valuable to students.

    • Student price discounts. Many student cards will offer additional money off or a percentage in cash back if you use the card at participating restaurants and merchants across Canada.
    • Financial tools and advice. Most credit card companies offer information on how to get started building credit and what to consider for planning your finances. This is a great way for you to learn how to manage your finances during college and university, as well as after graduation.

    What features to look for in student credit cards

    Many teenagers’ first credit card will be student credit cards. Not every credit card with the “student” label is actually good for students. It’s important to compare credit cards so that you choose the best student credit card to help you build better credit and not get into debt.

    All credit cards come with certain features that affect the pricing and benefits of the credit card. Your goal with a student credit card is to pay as little as possible for the convenience of using the credit card. Here’s what to look for as you choose the best student credit card.

    • Low or no annual fee. It’s common for student credit cards to have a small annual fee, so you don’t have to rule out a card because it has a fee. Consider also that many student credit cards don’t charge annual fees. If you’re wondering whether to apply for a student credit card that has a reasonable annual fee, consider the card’s other features to decide if the card is worth the cost.
    • Low APR. The APR, or annual percentage rate, affects the amount of interest you pay on balances that you carry from month to month. Your credit card will have a grace period during which you can pay your balance in full and avoid paying any interest. Any balance left unpaid after the grace period will be subject to interest charges based on the APR. The higher your APR, the higher your interest charges will be.
    • Promotional APR. Some student credit cards offer an introductory promotional APR on purchases or balance transfers or both. During this promotional period, your balances will be subject to a lower APR. Many credit cards offer a 0% promotional rate, which means you’ll pay no interest during the promotional period, even if you don’t pay your balance in full.
    • Rewards. Student credit cards with rewards pay cash, points, or miles on your purchases. When you evaluate the rewards on a student credit card, look for any limits on the amount of rewards you can earn or expiration on rewards. Ideally, you can accumulate an unlimited amount of rewards that do not expire.
    • Signup bonus. Many student credit cards with rewards also offer a signup bonus that pays a lump sum of rewards if you make a certain amount of charges within the first few months of having the credit card. While signup bonuses are certainly attractive, you must consider whether you can meet the spending requirement without charging more than you can afford to pay back.
    • Other perks. Some student credit cards may come with additional perks, like purchase protection and extended warranty, that make the credit card stand out from the rest. Consider these additional benefits with the other pricing and rewards features to choose the best card.

    Compare student credit card options

    How to get a credit card as a college or university student

    College and university students can get a credit card with a steady source of income or by getting someone to cosign. Getting an on-campus job or part-time job can prove to lenders that you can pay off your credit card balance without any problems. You can often list scholarship money as a source of income too.

    College and university credit cards are a great introduction to the world of finances and credit, but it can be difficult to find the right one. For students who want to start building up their credit, once you hit the 18 age mark, more options will open up for you.

    Credit card options for young adults

    Secured credit cards vs. unsecured student credit cards

    Secured credit cards are another good option for college and university students. You typically don’t need any credit history to apply for a secured credit card, which is why they’re perfect first-time cards for students. Secured credit cards require a deposit that acts as your spending limit and backs your credit card as collateral for lenders in case you can’t pay back your card. Your card could also graduate when you do — some secured cards can be upgraded to unsecured cards when your credit score is high enough.

    If you can’t qualify for a student credit card or want a lower spending limit, a secured credit card is a good option for college and university students.

    Can I get a credit card as a high school student?

    While you must be at least 18 or 19 years old to have your own credit card, it’s still possible to get access to a credit card as a teenager. One common way to get access to a credit card as a high school student is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, which involves a family member or friend adding you to their credit card account. As an authorized user, you are not financially responsible for the debt and your use of the card might not affect your credit history.

    Getting an early start on building your credit rating is an excellent way to set yourself up for financial success. Having a good credit score can open a lot of doors once you graduate high school, such as apartment and car loan approval, lower insurance rates and better credit cards with more benefits.

    Credit card options for teens under 18 years old

    What fees come with student credit cards?

    Besides any annual fee, most other student credit card fees are avoidable. Knowing which fees your credit card charges can help you use your credit card in a way that minimizes the fees you pay.

    Late payment fee

    A late fee is charged to your account whenever you fail to make at least the minimum payment by the due date. A late payment can also trigger your APR to increase.

    Returned payment fee

    If your bank returns your credit card payment, for example, because you don’t have sufficient funds in your account or your bank account is closed, your credit card issuer will charge a returned payment fee. You can avoid a returned payment fee by making sure you’re paying from the right bank account and that you have enough funds in your account to cover the payment.

    Balance transfer fee

    A balance transfer is a type of transaction where you move the balance of one credit card to another credit card. Most credit cards charge a fee of about 3% for transferring your balance. Because the balance transfer fee is a percentage of the balance transfer amount, you pay more when you transfer larger balances.

    Cash advance fee

    Your student credit card may give you the ability to withdraw cash from an ATM. In addition to paying an ATM fee, you’ll also have to pay a cash advance fee that’s a percentage of the amount of the withdrawal. Some student credit cards will also charge a fee for cash equivalent transactions, which include purchasing a money order or using your credit card for a wire transfer.

    Foreign transaction fee

    Using your credit card to make purchases in a foreign currency or with a company that uses a foreign credit card processor will often result in a foreign transaction fee. You might be charged this fee if you use your credit card while traveling internationally or you place an online order with a company that’s not located in Canada. The foreign transaction fee is often 2.5% of the amount of the transaction.

    Over-the-limit fee

    Similar to an overdraft fee on a debit card, some student credit cards may charge a fee when your balance exceeds the credit limit. For credit card issuers to charge this fee, you must have first opted into having over-the-limit transactions processed. If your credit card issuer charges an over-the-limit fee, you can avoid it by opting out of over-the-limit transactions. You can also avoid the fee by checking your credit card balance frequently to be sure new purchases won’t put you over the limit.

    4 tips to help you use your student credit card responsibly

    Using a student credit card the right way can help you build a good credit score and avoid getting into the cycle of credit card debt. Here are some tips on how you should use a student credit card. Remember, the credit card habits you establish now will make a difference in your credit for years to come.

    1. Charge only a small amount to your credit card each month. Your student credit card will have a credit limit, which is the maximum amount your credit card issuer allows you to charge on the credit card. You should never charge the full credit limit no matter how large it is. That’s because your credit score benefits you when you only use a small amount of the credit available to you. This proves to lenders that you handle your spending limits responsibly. Charging a small amount also protects you from getting into debt.
    2. Pay your balance on time and in full each month. Your credit card issuer will charge a late fee if you don’t make at least the minimum payment on your credit card by the due date. Paying your balance in full isn’t required on a student credit card, but it’s a good habit to stay out of debt and build a good credit score. Forcing yourself to pay in full will help you keep your credit card purchases at a level that you can afford.
    3. Avoid loaning your card to friends. Loaning your credit card to someone isn’t like loaning them $20 cash. Your credit card holds far more purchasing power and there’s always the chance that your friend will spend more on your credit card than you agreed to. You’re ultimately responsible for purchases made on your credit card.
    4. Understand fees. Before missing a payment or making a cash withdrawal, understand the extra costs. You’ll be able to make better decisions if you know how much it will cost you.

    Mistakes to avoid with student credit cards

    When you’re starting out with credit cards, you want to set yourself up for success. That means avoiding critical mistakes when you’re using a student credit card.

    • Getting too many cards. After you’re approved for the first student credit card, you may be tempted to apply for additional credit cards to raise your purchasing power. However, the more credit cards you have, the greater potential to get into debt. Multiple credit cards means multiple monthly credit card payments to manage. To start, getting just one student credit card is the best option for most young adults.
    • Applying without a reliable source of income. You can’t expect to be able to make your monthly payment without a regular source of income, e.g. money you earn from a job. Without the funds to pay your credit card balances, you risk falling behind on your payments and hurting your credit score.

    Worried making a mistake with your student credit card will ruin your credit score? Don’t be. Chances are your credit card company can fix small mistakes for you. Call your bank and ask them to waive the annual fee. If you missed your payment this month, show your bank you can pay it off now and ask them to remove any interest charges. If your bank hasn’t increased your credit limit in the last year and you always make full payments, ask them to increase your limit. This will improve your credit score and help you increase your borrowing limits over time.

    5 tips for earning reward points with your student credit card

    1. Pay an annual fee. You’ll typically get a much higher return on your rewards points if you pay an annual fee. A mid-range fee is around $40 to $99 per year.
    2. Search for a signup bonus. Some cards offer a signup bonus when you apply for the card, which entitles you to bonus points or a higher rate of cash back. You’ll usually need to spend over a certain amount in your first few months to receive the signup bonus.
    3. Take advantage of referral programs. You might be able to lock in extra rewards by pointing other students towards your credit card.
    4. Look for accelerated rewards. Earn more points or cash back when you sign up for a card that offers you a higher return on certain categories of purchases (like gas, groceries, dining or entertainment).
    5. Pay your tuition on your credit card. If you’re one of the lucky ones and your institution allows it, you can earn extra points by paying your tuition on your card. Just be sure to pay the balance off immediately with savings or your student loan.

    Compare credit cards you can apply for as a student

    Students looking for a solid way to earn rewards and build up their credit history are most likely to benefit from student credit cards. Alternatively, if you just need a convenient way to pay with plastic, you can consider getting a prepaid card. In the tables below you can browse through your credit card and prepaid card options. Once you’ve decided on the right card for you, click the green button to get started.

    1 - 5 of 5
    Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
    OFFER
    Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
    15% cash back
    Up to 2% cash back
    19.95%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 600
    Earn 15% cash back (up to $150) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months Until November 18, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
    BMO Rewards Mastercard
    10,000 points
    Up to 1 points per $1 spent
    20.99%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 725
    Get a bonus of 10,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
    Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
    7,500 points
    Up to 2 points per $1 spent
    19.99%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 660
    Earn 5,000 bonus Scene+ points when you spend $750 in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 2,500 Scene+ bonus points when you spend at least $5,000 in your first year. Apply by October 31, 2022.
    BMO AIR MILES Mastercard For Students
    800 Miles
    Up to 3x Air Miles for every $25 spent
    20.99%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 660
    Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
    BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students
    5% cash back
    Up to 3% cash back
    20.99%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 660
    Get up to 5% cash back in the first three months (up to max. spend of $2,500).
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    1 - 3 of 3
    Name Product Monthly Fee Cost per transaction Foreign transaction fee Rewards Feature
    OFFER
    KOHO Premium Prepaid Card
    $9/month or $84 annually
    $0
    0%
    Up to 2% cash back
    Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.
    Earn 2% cash back on transportation, grocery and restaurant purchases. Plus, get a 30 day free trial. KOHO offer credit-building through their prepaid card for an extra monthly fee.
    CIBC AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card
    $0
    $0
    0%
    1% cash back
    Load up to 10 different currencies with 1 card, earn 1% cash back on all spend and avoid fees. Plus, have a chance to win 1 of 2 prizes when you load $500 or more CAD equivalent. Offer runs Sept 15th to Nov. 15th 2022 and is not available in QC.
    OFFER
    KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
    $0
    $0
    1.5%
    0.5% cash back
    Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.
    Earn 0.5% cash back on every eligible purchase. KOHO offer credit-building through their prepaid card for an extra monthly fee.
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    How to take control of your student credit card debt

    Stressed woman looking at her billsPost-secondary student credit card debt is fairly common. In fact, according to the 2018 Canadian University Survey Consortium Graduating Student Survey, university students have an average of $2,771 in credit card debt and 21% of students with a credit card don’t pay off their balance each month.

    Clearing your balance may seem overwhelming, especially when you need to focus on academics. But by following these 3 simple steps you can take control of your student credit card debt:

    Step 1: Evaluate your credit card debt

    Visually map out your debt. List the following in a spreadsheet or on paper:

    • Name the credit card provider or providers your debt is with.
    • Put down how much money you owe on each card.
    • Put down the interest rate charged for each card.
    • Approximate the minimum monthly payment (from your payment history) and due date for each payment for each card.

    Now that you know exactly how much you owe and when your payments are due, you can start figuring out how to tackle your debt.

    Step 2: Decide on a strategy to eliminate your debt

    There are several strategies to clearing debt, and the right one will depend on factors like your level of debt and how fast you want to pay off your balance. Click through the tabs below to find a few tried-and-true strategies.

    Snowball method
    With the snowball method, you’ll pay off your credit cards beginning with the smallest amount of debt first. After that, pay off the card with the next-smallest debt, and so on until all debts are cleared. The idea behind this strategy is the physiological satisfaction you get from quicker “wins” – you’ll become more motivated to tackle your debt each time you completely pay off a card. By paying off the smallest debit first, you get that reward quicker. It’s not the method to use if you want to pay the lowest possible interest over time, but it can be helpful if you need the psychological boost.
    Debt avalanche method
    With this method, you pay off the credit card with the highest interest rate first. The goal of this method is to prevent you from paying more accumulated interest over time than you need to. For example, if you have one credit card with a 17% interest rate and another with a 22% interest rate you pay off the latter card first regardless of the balance amounts on the cards. While you might not get the same quick “wins” as you would with the snowball method, you will pay less interest over the long run.
    Balance transfer credit card
    You could transfer your debt to a balance transfer credit card, then pay off your entire balance before your intro APR rate expires. A balance transfer card comes with a low intro APR period on balance transfers. This strategy is typically a better choice if you have a relatively small amount of debt. Keep in mind that, for every transfer you make, there will likely be a balance transfer fee. If you have multiple balances, you also might need a higher credit card limit than if you were just transferring just one balance.

    Step 3: Calculate monthly payments to clear your debt

    Now that you see the big picture about your debt, figure out how much you should pay toward your balance each month. To do so, you’ll want to calculate the following:

    • Your minimum interest payment. The annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the amount of interest you’ll pay over an entire year. To determine this amount, divide your APR by the number of days in a year, then multiply the result by your balance. Take this figure and multiply it by the number of days in your current billing cycle. This is your monthly interest payment.
    • How many months it’ll take to pay off your balance making interest-only payments. Divide your balance by the monthly interest payment you calculated above to find out how many months it’ll take to pay off your credit card.
    • How many months it’ll take to pay off your balance making interest + principal payments. This is where you can test different debt repayment schemes to find one that fits your goals. Decide how much you’re willing to pay beyond your the minimum payment amount and recalculate how many months it’ll take to bring the balance to zero. Alternatively, decide when you want the balance paid off and calculate backwards to the monthly payment you’d have to make in order to meet this deadline.

    Student credit card FAQs

      [faq_question title=”Will I pay interest on my card balance?”]

      Most student credit cards charge the standard APR of 19.99% to 22.99%. That said, there are some low rate student credit cards on the market – but you’ll still need to pay interest on your outstanding balance even if it is at a lower rate of 8.00& to 12.99%.

      If you pay the balance in full by the due date on your statement each month, you won’t have to pay any interest charges on purchases.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”What kind of credit history do I need to get a student credit card?”]

      You need good to excellent credit to be approved for a student credit card. The more perks the credit card offers – for example, generous rewards or promotional interest rate – the better your credit needs to be to qualify. Some student credit cards will even approve your application if you haven’t established your credit yet or if you have little credit history. Unfortunately, if you have bad credit, you may have a hard time getting approved for a student credit card.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”Do you need to be a student to get a student credit card?”]

      Yes, you typically need to be a college or university student to get a student credit card. Some student credit card issuers may ask that you provide proof of enrolment to be approved for the student credit card. There may be rare exceptions to this rule. If you’re considering a student credit card, read the terms of the card to find out what you need to do to qualify for the card.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”Are there age requirements for a student credit card?”]

      You generally need to be at least the age of the majority in your province or territory (18 or 19 years old) to get approved for a student credit card. If you’re under this age, the credit card issuer may require you to become an authorized user on someone else’s account instead.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”When would I need a cosigner to get a student credit card?”]

      If you’re do not have your own source of income or you do not meet the credit qualifications, the card issuer may require you to have a cosigner. The cosigner will need to be over the age of 18, have a source of income, and meet the minimum credit score requirements for the credit card. The cosigner will have equal access to the credit card and will be equally responsible for repaying the balance on the credit card.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”Can I get more than one student credit card?”]

      You can get as many credit cards as credit card issuers will approve you for. However, sticking to just one credit card is usually best, especially when you’re just starting out. Having more than one credit card creates the potential to get into credit card trouble. As you get more experience with your credit card and are able to afford another credit card, you can consider getting an additional credit card. For most students, one credit card is best until after graduation.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”What’s the best way to build my credit with a student credit card?”]

      Making your payments on time each month is one of the key ingredients to a great credit score. The second best thing you can do to build your credit is to keep your balance low. Charging only what you can afford and building strong payment habits will improve your credit score and help you qualify for better credit cards in the future.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”Why should I care about building a credit history?”]

      When you’re finished school, you may want to apply for a car loan, a mortgage or even a better credit card. For these types of loans or credit, providers will typically do a credit check to figure out how likely you are to repay the money you borrow.

      One of the common factors in credit scores is the length of time you’ve had various lines of credit, so using a student credit card responsibly can help you build up the credit you need to qualify for larger loans in the future. In addition, paying off your balances on time and actually using your credit lines can help you build up your credit history.

      [/faq_question][faq_question title=”What happens if I can’t make my credit card payments?”]

      When you miss a payment, your credit card issuer will charge a late fee to your account. After a few days, you’ll begin receiving phone calls reminding you to make the payment. If you catch up before your next due date comes, your credit is safe. However, if you don’t make the payment, the consequences become more severe. Your next required credit card payment will include the previously missed payment, the late fee, and the current month’s minimum payment.

      After your payment is 30 days past due, a notice goes on your credit report and your credit score may be impacted. Your interest rate will also increase to the penalty rate and your finance charges will likely increase. Your credit card issuer may suspend your spending privileges. You’ll continue to be charged a late fee each month you’re late and your minimum payment to catch up will increase.

      After your payments are 180 days, or 6 months, past due, your account balance is charged-off, your account is closed, and the account balance may be pursued by a third-party collection agency.

      If you’re having trouble making your credit card payments, contact your credit card issuer right away to work out a payment arrangement. Working with your creditor can save your account and your credit history.

      [/faq_question]

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