Best student credit cards in Canada for 2018

If you’re a student, the age of majority, and have been into your local bank recently, you have probably been offered a student credit card. As a student, now is the perfect time to start building your credit and practicing responsible spending – but why just settle for any card? With one of the top student credit cards available in Canada, you’ll get more rewards as well as purchase and travel insurance at no additional cost – so why not shop around?

Credit Cards 101

Getting your first credit card is a big deal. Not to mention stressful.

Think of it a powerful tool that needs to be handled responsibly. Welcome to adulting.

Straight talk here: credit cards are not a source of unlimited income. It’s borrowed money - and must be paid in full. Every. Single. Month.

If you don’t? Those hefty interest rates take full effect. And you can be hooked paying off your credit card balance plus interest for years.

Now that we got that out of the way…let’s talk pros.

One of the best times to get a credit card is when you’re a student. Because students are pretty much guaranteed to be approved, it’s a good time to start working on your credit history.

And then there are these added benefits…

  • Rewards - Earn cash back, travel, or even movie tickets
  • Discounts - Get discounts and save money. For example, Scotiabank Student cards give you discounts on rental cars, making it easier to travel on spring break.
  • Insurance - Free coverage for shopping and travel. Check out our full list of included insurance coverage on each credit card (check the Insurance Coverage tab after clicking Learn More on a card below).

Whatever your goal is, there is a student credit card out there for you.

Still have some credit card questions you would like to have answered before "taking the plunge", be sure to check out our Credit Card FAQ.

Best Student Credit Card for Earning Cash Back and Saving Money

BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard

As a Canadian student, chances are you’ve heard of SPC, you may even have the SPC card in your wallet right now, because, let’s face it…

Getting a 10-20% discount at over 250 locations across Canada is pretty awesome.

So, why not combine that money-saving discount with a credit card that gives you 1% cash back on ALL your purchases? Sounds like a no-brainer right? Especially because this is a credit card with no annual fee.

If you use your card for $500 worth of spending a month, you’ll have $60 at the end of the year! $1,000 spent = $120 cash back!

Best Student Credit Card for the Traveling Student

RBC Visa Platinum Avion

Did you decide to go to a college or university on the other side of the country? Or do you see reading breaks as an excuse to hit the slopes or a nice warm beach?

Either way, the RBC Visa Platinum Avion (despite being a student credit card) is a premium travel card with premium perks. While it does come with a $120 annual fee, it gives cardholders a big sign up bonus, 10 types of travel and purchase insurance, and flexible rewards that can be used on any airline, for any flight, at any time – great for your spring break planning!

Something to keep in mind: This card only makes sense if you’re going to use your card enough to make up for the $120 annual fee. So, be sure to put your spending breakdown in our spending calculator to make sure it’s worth it. Here’s what it looks like if you spend $500 per month:

Best Student Credit Card to Test the Waters


Or if you just want a simple card to help you get your credit card, adulting feet wet, the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is a no fee, cash back card that could do the trick. This card will give you:

  • 1 mile per $20 spent,
  • 2x miles at participating AIR MILES partners, and
  • a free SPC membership.

(Bonus: Find out why we think every student needs an SPC card.)

This basic card could be a great way to start building your credit and earn yourself a little extra AIR MILES along the way.

Compare Student Credit Cards

The creditcardGenius algorithm calculates an estimated dollar value for all rewards and bonuses by using a typical point value a person can realistically achieve by redeeming their rewards in a reasonably optimized way. The "Welcome Bonus" is the dollar value obtained by combining of all one-time bonuses available to new cardholders within the first year. To qualify for the full bonus you may need to make purchases, meet minimum spending requirements, or complete special actions. Terms and conditions apply.

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