The 7 Best Student Credit Cards in Canada of February 2023

By Nick Robert

As a student, selecting the best student credit card is vital to building your credit history and learning how to use credit responsibly. The best part is you get paid to learn while earning cash-back rewards and increasing your credit score.

Most students are looking for a credit card that has the following:

  • No annual fee

  • no income requirement

  • Earn rewards & cash-back

  • low-interest rates on your credit card balance,

On the flip side, many student credit cards will have lower credit limits and rewards than cards with fees or higher income requirements. Over time, as you build your credit score and income, you will qualify for other credit cards. Here is a list of all of the best credit cards in Canada.

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Best student credit cards in Canada

Below is a summary of my top 5 picks for the best student credit cards in Canada:

Student BMO CashBack Mastercard – Best overall student credit card


  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 3% on grocery purchases, 1% on recurring bill payments, 0.5% on all other purchases
  • Interest rate: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances
  • Welcome bonus: 5% cash back on every purchase in your first three months.
Best student credit card

My take:

The student BMO cashback Mastercard is an excellent choice for students because it has no annual fee and an excellent reward structure. This credit card is earning you 3% rewards on groceries (up to $500) and 1% rewards on recurring bill payments (up to $500) on things like Netflix, cell phones or internet bills. Everything else you purchase earns you 0.5% back. Additionally, this card offers 5% back for the first three months.


  • No annual fees

  • 5% cash back for the first three months

  • 3% cash back on groceries, 2%

  • Easy to redeem cash or statement credit

  • Set up recurring redemptions


  • 0.5% cash back on all other purchases isn’t the highest in this list

  • There are monthly spending limits of $500 on groceries and recurring payments

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card – Best cash-back student credit card


  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 2% on 3 categories of your choice
  • Interest rate: 19.95%
  • Welcome bonus: 15% back up to $150 per month, 1.95% interest rate on credit card transfers for the first 6 months
Tangerine Mastercard

My take:

The Tangerine Money-back credit card is great if you spend money primarily in three categories: groceries, dining & transportation. Additionally, no other credit card with a $0 fee offers a 15% cash-back reward on the first $1,000 spent ($150 reward per month). With no annual fees, this is an excellent student credit card.


  • 15% back on the first $1,000 spent

  • No annual fee

  • 2% cash back on 3 categories of your choice

  • Very low-interest rate on credit card balances.


  • Only having 3 credit card categories to earn cash back reduces the cards usefulness

PC financial Mastercard – Best student credit card for groceries


  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 3% on gas, 2.5% at Shoppers drug mart, 1% at Loblaw family of grocery stores
  • Interest rate: 20.97% on everyday purchases, 22.97% on cash advances
  • Welcome bonus: 20,000 points ($20)
Best credit card for Groceries

My take:

The PC Financial Mastercard is an excellent student credit card for students who shop at Loblaws-related stores such as Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills & Esso. Additionally, Shoppers and Loblaws often have offers to earn extra rewards on eligible purchases that help you earn points faster.

On the flip side, you can only redeem points at Loblaws-related stores. If you are not a frequent shopper at Loblaws, then there are better student credit cards available.


  • No annual fee!

  • 3% rewards on gas, 2.5% at Shoppers drug mart, 1% at Loblaws related grocery stores

  • 20,000 points welcome offer

  • Low annual income requirement of $12,000

  • 21 days with no interest on your credit card bill


  • High interest rate charges

  • Points are only redeemable at PC related stores

Scotiabank Scene Visa Card for Students – Best Visa card for students


  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 2x points at Cineplex, Sobeys, Safeways, Foodland and more. 1x point on eligible everyday purchases
  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome bonus: 1,250 bonus points on your first purchases
Scotiabank Scene Visa Card

My take:

The Scotiabank scene visa card is a great choice for a student credit card if you are a frequent visitor of Cineplex and Sobeys related grocery stores. It offers decent bonus points right after your first purchase. This card also boasts no annual fee, and has lots of ways to redeem points for movies, dining, travel, banking and more.

This credit card does not offer the highest rewards, many other cards in this list have higher rewards than 1%. Some other choices also have higher rewards for groceries and gas, which many students spend a lot on.


  • No annual fee

  • 2x points at grocery stores

  • 2x points at Sobeys family of storeslots of ways to redeem your points


  • Many other credit cards in this list have higher rewards structures with no annual fee.

  • Low credit limit for students

SimplyCash card from American Express – Best flat rate student credit card


  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 2% on gas, 2% on grocery, 1.25% on everything else
  • Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome bonus: $10 in statement credits each month that you spend $300 in purchases for up to 10 months ($100 value)
Best student American Express credit card

My take

The SimplyCash card from American Express is one of the few no annual fee credit cards from American Express. This credit card boasts a great rewards rate of 2% on gas and groceries and 1.25% on everything else, making it one of the highest rewards rate cards available to students.

American express also has travel insurance, shopping coverage, fraud protection and many other benefits that are not as common in student credit cards.


  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate of 2% on gas and grocery purchases

  • 1.25% rewards on everything else

  • $100 worth of credits on your statements over 10 months if you spend $300 per month

  • Lots of additional benefits for travel, shopping and fraud protection


  • American Express is not accepted at as many retailers as Visa and Mastercard

TD rewards visa card – Best travel rewards card for students


  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 4 points per dollar on Expedia, 3 on grocery, 2 on recurring bills & 1 on all others
  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome bonus: $50 in rewards to use at Amazon after 90 days, 9.99% interest on purchases for the first six months
TD student credit card

My take

The TD rewards visa card is a great card for students as it has no annual fee and a high rewards rate on travel booked through Expedia, and good returns on groceries. For students that do a lot of travelling, this card is perfect for you.

The downside is when you redeem points for Expedia purchases, it’s at a rewards rate of 1=0.5 cents. This cuts your rewards rate in half. This card also does not have travel insurance which is a big miss for a travel-based credit card.


  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate of 4 points per dollar on Expedia travel and 3 points on groceries

  • $50 in rewards for signing up
  • Visa is widely accepted across Canada


  • Redemption rate of 2 points per $1
  • No travel insurance on a travel-based rewards card

Neo Financial Mastercard – Best Cash-back at Neo Partnered retailers


  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 3-15% at Neo Partners, 5% on average
  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome bonus: 15% cash-back on first day of activation
Neo Mastercard

My take

The Neo financial credit card is an excellent cash-back rewards card for students with no monthly or annual fees. By partnering directly with retailers like Canadian Tire, Wal-mart, SportChek and more, Neo is able to offer instant cash-back rewards that you can track and use instantly. The sign-up application can be completed in minutes online, and you can access a virtual card through google pay and apple pay.

For a more detailed review of the product offerings from Neo Financial, read my full Neo Financial review.


  • Unlimited cash-back rewards

  • 3-15% cash-back at Neo Partners

  • 5% cash-back on average
  • Cash advances available at 22.99%-28.99%
  • interest rate of 19.99%-26.99% on purchases


  • No purchase protection or extended warranty
  • No cash-back rewards at non-Neo Partners

How to build your credit history with a student credit card

Credit history is one of the largest components in calculating your credit score, making up 15% of your total credit score. For this reason, it is advantageous to get a credit card at as young of an age as possible to start building a solid credit history.

By building up your credit score you can qualify for mortgages at lower rates when you go to buy a home or purchase or lease a car. Just make sure that you always pay your credit card balance in full by the due date. Credit card companies will report any late payments to credit bureaus, and those late payments will stay on your records for up to 6 years.

In Canada, a good credit score is a score of 660 or higher. If you open a credit card at a young age and always pay it in full, you will be on your way to building your credit. Click here to learn how to increase your credit score.

Using student bank accounts

Many of the banks that offer student credit cards also offer student chequing accounts. Combining these credit cards with a student bank account can be a great way to help you qualify for these cards and get additional benefits. Be sure to check out the listing of the best student bank accounts to complete your banking needs & the best chequing accounts in Canada.


Getting a student credit card will help you become more financially responsible and build better spending habits. Just be sure to use your student credit card responsibly. If you are reading this post, then you are already ahead of other students. I suggest you learn as much about personal finance at a young age to help you get even further ahead.

Links to other helpful Finance topics for students:

Nick Robert

About the Author

Nick Robert is the founder and creator of I created this website to educate Canadians about everything related to personal finance. As a Chartered Professional Accountant & Chartered Accountant, I have worked with many Canadians to achieve their personal finance goals.

To contact me, you can visit my contact page to email me directly, or you can visit and participate in my subreddit. Let me know about any topics you would like me to cover. If you are interested in guest posting on this website, message me through the contact page.

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