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Best Student-Friendly Credit Cards 2020

Best Student-Friendly Credit Cards 2020

If you are a student over eighteen, you may have heard of the word “adulting”; an informal term that is used to describe individuals doing adult-like tasks like paying bills and running errands. Some people succeed at this while others seem to struggle with it. One way you can triumph over this is by managing your finances. A great way to start is by building your credit. As you grow older, you’ll need good credit to achieve certain goals like buying a house or a car. So, here are five of the best student-friendly credit cards you can find on the market right now that will help you build credit and be rewarded:

  • Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card – For the independent student
  • Scotiabank Scene Visa Card  – For the movie addict 
  • BMO CashBack Mastercard – For the student looking to make some extra cash
  • CIBC Aventura Visa for Students – For the student with wanderlust
  • PC Financial Mastercard – For the student who’s a foodie

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card – For the Independent Student

Annual FeesNo annual fee
Interest Rate19.95% on purchases
Rewards Get 2% cashback in any 2 categories of your choice, and 0.5% on all other everyday purchases
Sign-up BonusApply by January 31, 2020, and get 4% money back for 3 months for any 3 categories. 
Income Requirements <12,000/annually

If you’re a student who has an income and does most of their own shopping, this is a great card for you. You’ll have a 2% cash-back on purchases among two categories of your choice with the ability to unlock a third category if you open a Tangerine’s savings account.  Moreover, with the .05% cashback on all other everyday purchases, you’ll be raking in points like crazy. With Christmas and the new year closing in, take advantage of the sign-up bonus which rewards you double the points for three whole months. There’s also no limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn on your everyday purchases, so feel free to go nuts. 

Scotiabank Scene Visa Card  – For the Movie enthusiast student 

Annual FeesNo annual fee
Interest Rates19.99% on purchases 
RewardsEarn 5 SCENE points for every $1 you spend on credit card purchases at Cineplex. Every dollar you spend on everyday credit card purchases, earn 1 SCENE point. 
Sign-up BonusEarn 2,500 bonus SCENE points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months.
Income Requirements<12,000/annually 

Dinner and a movie is one of the most classic and ideal ways to spend a Friday night with friends or a date. If this sounds good, then this is the card for you. Besides earning one SCENE point for every dollar spent on everyday purchases, you can also earn five SCENE points per dollar spent on watching movies at the Cineplex. These points can later be redeemed to buy movie tickets and snacks at any Cineplex. If you’re feeling hungry after that, you can hit up any participating restaurants like Swiss Chalet and East Side Mario’s for dinner. 

This card also has a sign-up bonus; spend $500 within the first three months and get 2500 SCENE points. That’s equivalent to redeeming two free movie tickets or one ticket and 10$ off Swiss Chalet. One free movie ticket is worth 1250 points and with 1000 points you can redeem $10 off at participating restaurants.

BMO CashBack Mastercard – For students who want to make money

Annual FeesNo annual fee
Interest Rates19.99% on purchases 
RewardsGet a 1% cashback on all card purchases
Sign-up Bonus5% cashback in your first 3 months up to 2000 points (=100$)
Income Requirements No income required

If you want something simple and straightforward, the BMO CashBack Mastercard may be the best offer for you. With no annual fee and no income requirements, it’s easy to get and easy to understand. You will earn a 1% cashback on all purchases you make on your card which is great since you don’t have to figure which purchases give you cashback. You can then redeem your cashback directly into your chequing or savings account, or use it to pay off your BMO credit card. If you join before March 31, 2020, you can take advantage of the 5% cashback sign-up bonus as well. 

Additional Benefits: Get purchase protection and extended warranty on most items bought with your card. 

CIBC Aventura Visa for Students – For The Student with Wanderlust

Annual FeesNo annual fee
Interest Rates19.99% on purchases 
Rewards1 point for every dollar spent on gas, groceries and at the drugstore.1 point for every $2 spent elsewhere. Get a free SPC membership for full-time students.
Sign-up BonusGet a welcome bonus of 2,500 Aventura Points when you make your first purchase. Get an additional 2,500 Aventura Points when you spend $500 or more during the first 4 monthly statement periods.†
Income Requirements No income required.

If you have a thirst for adventure and travel, this card may be your best offer. Earn points that will never expire on your everyday purchases. Earn one point for every dollar spent on gas, groceries, and the drugstore and one point for every $2 spent elsewhere. Plus, there’s nothing better than earning points by doing the things you love: travelling, which is achieved by purchasing through the CIBC rewards centre. Save money on your trips and at home when you shop with the free SPC membership card. Lastly, it has what every student looks for in a credit card: no annual fee and no requirements, which makes it easy in securing this card to your wallet.

PC Financial Mastercard- For the Student Who’s a Foodie 

Annual FeesNo annual fee
Interest Rates19.97% on purchases 
Rewards25 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart10 points per $1 spent at Superstore20 points per $1 spent on PC Travel3 cents per litre when you buy gas at Esso or Mobil stations10 points per $1 spent elsewhere 
Sign-up BonusNone
Income Requirements No income required. Subject to credit approval. 

If you love to cook or do a lot of grocery shopping, you’ll love this card. With 25 points earned per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 points per dollar spent at the Real Canadian Superstore, you’re sure to earn loads of points while shopping for your meals. This card is beneficial to people who shop for food more than anything. Why go for a 1% flat cashback rate if you can earn more on the things you buy. You’re able to redeem your points starting at the value of 10,000 points = $10 dollars.

Overview  

  • Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card – For the independent student
  • Scotiabank Scene Visa Card  – For the movie addict 
  • BMO CashBack Mastercard – For the student looking to make some extra cash
  • CIBC Aventura Visa for Students – For the student with wanderlust
  • PC Financial Mastercard – For the student who’s a foodie

Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardScotiabank Scene Visa Card BMO CashBack MastercardCIBC Aventura Visa for StudentsPC Financial Mastercard
Annual FeeNoNoNoNoNo
Purchase Interest Rate19.95%19.99%19.99%19.99%19.97%
Rewards2% cashback in 2 categories. .05% on all other purchases. 1 SCENE point per dollar spent and 5 SCENE points per dollar spent in Cineplex1% cash-back on all purchases1 point for every dollar spent on gas, groceries and at the drugstore.1 point for every $2 spent elsewhere.Earn up to 25 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart10 points per $1 spent at Superstore10 points per $1 spent elsewhere 
Bonus4% for 3 months for 3 categoriesEarn 2,500 bonus SCENE points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months.5% cashback in your first 3 months up to $20002500 point s after first purchase + 2500 points when you spend $500 or more during the first 4 monthly statement periods.†None
Requirements12,000 min income12,000 min incomeNoneNoneSubject to  credit approval

Bottom Line

All these cards offer no annual fee, have little to no eligibility requirements and have reward benefits. Always do your research and choose a credit card based on your needs and not a freebie. Once you have a credit card that matches your lifestyle, keep track of your spending and pay off your balance in full. If you do that, you’ll build the credit you need and be that much closer to being a successful adult.  


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Priyanka is a marketing major who graduated from John Molson School of Business in 2018. She has experience in media outreach and SEO from working at a marketing agency in 2017. She is passionate about marketing and enjoys being creative. Currently, she is working toward completing a certificate in Graphic design and page layout....

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