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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 to build a healthy credit score and check it regularly, to achieve certain goals like buying a house or a car. So, here is the best credit card for students in Canada that will help you build credit and be rewarded:

The Best Credit Card For Students In Canada

  • Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card – For The Independent Student
  • Neo Credit – For The Students Who Loves Exclusive Discounts & Offers
  • Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard – For The Mature Student
  • KOHO Mastercard – For The Student On A Budget
  • Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card – For The Movie Enthusiast
  • CIBC Aventura® Visa*  – For The Student With Wanderlust
  • President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® – For The Student Who Likes To Cook
  • CIBC Dividend® Visa* – For The Student Who Moved Out
Best Credit Card For Students In CanadaAnnual FeeMinimum Income Requirement
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card$0$12,000 
Neo Credit$0No income requirement
Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard$79No income requirement
KOHO Mastercard$0No income requirement
Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card$0$12,000
CIBC Aventura® Visa* $0No income requirement
President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®$0No income requirement
CIBC Dividend® Visa*$0No income requirement
Note: Want to cancel your credit card for a new one? Make sure you know the consequences click here.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Snapshot

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card – For The Independent Student

If you’re a student who has an income and does most of your own shopping, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is one of the best credit card for students in Canada. You can choose to receive 2% cash back on purchases from two categories of your choice. Unlock a third category if you open a Tangerine savings account.  Moreover, with the .05% cashback on all other everyday purchases, you’ll be raking in points like frequently. Better yet, there is no limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn on your everyday purchases.

Special Offer

Apply for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by January 31, 2024. If you’re approved, you’ll earn an extra 10% back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases made within your first 2 months.*

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Features

Annual fee: $0

Purchase rate: 19.95%

Cash advance rate: 19.95%

Income requirements: Gross annual income of 12,000 or more.

Earn rate

  • Get 2% cash back in any two categories.
  • 0.5% on all other everyday purchases.

Extra features:

  • Unlimited cash back.
  • Get a 3rd cash back category when you deposit your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account.
  • Mastercard Zero Liability.
  • Automatic earnings.

Neo Credit

Neo Credit – For The Students Who Loves Exclusive Discounts & Offers

If you’re looking for a no-fee credit card with a high cash back rate, then Neo Credit is the card for you. Neo Credit is a credit card that offers unlimited cash back and exclusive offers at thousands of participating stores. With it, you can earn an average of 5%1+ cash back and up to 15% on first-time purchases. 

$25 Welcome Bonus

Neo is offering new customers a $25 welcome bonus, sign up by clicking the button below and receive your $25.

Neo Credit Features

Annual fee: $0

Purchase rate: 19.99% – 26.99% (QC: 19.99% – 24.99%)

Cash Advance rate: 22.99% – 28.99% (QC: 22.99% – 25.99%)

Income requirements: no income requirements. You simply need to be a resident of Canada and be the age of majority in your province. 

Earn rate: Earn an average of 5%1+ cash back. 

Extra features:

  • For a fee of $1.99 a month, you can add the Neo Credit card plus Food & Drink perks. With it, you’ll get 1.25x more cashback at restaurants, cafes and bars.
  • Users who travel regularly can add the Neo Travel perks which costs $4.99 a month. With it, you’ll get higher cash back on travel purchases plus airport lounge access.

Cap One Card

Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard – For The Mature Student

If you’re a mature student who’s returning to school to either finish or pursue higher education, you may not be eligible for a regular student credit card. This is especially true if this isn’t your first credit card or you’ve misused your student credit cards in the past.

The Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard can be a good choice because it can help you build credit. Moreover, it comes with a low interest rate of 14.90%, so carrying balances forward will be cheaper than most other credit cards. 

Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard Features

Annual fee: $79

Purchase rate: 14.90%

Cash advance rate: 21.90%

Income requirements: none 

Earn rate: none

Extra features:

  • Get automatically approved for a secured credit card if you don’t qualify for the Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard.
  • This card includes travel benefits such as Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance, car rental insurance, and baggage delay insurance. 
  • Purchase assurance and extended warranty.
  • Save money with Capital One’s Price Protection Service. 


KOHO Prepaid Mastercard – For The Student On A Budget

If you’re on a budget and aren’t interested in a traditional credit card, a KOHO prepaid Mastercard is a great way to create a budget and stick to it. 

KOHO offers 4 tiers of full-service accounts that come with a reloadable prepaid Mastercard. Of the 4 accounts, the Easy KOHO account may be the best choice for a student on a budget, as it has no monthly fees. With this Mastercard, you won’t be able to use more than you have as it’s a prepaid card. Moreover, you’ll earn cash back on your purchases (groceries and transportation) and earn interest on your account balance. 

If you have $4 to spare each month, it may be worth upgrading to the Essential KOHO plan. With it, you’ll not only earn 1% cash back on groceries and transportation but restaurants too. All other purchases will earn you 0.25% cash back. Plus you’ll earn 4.5% interest on your first $500 and then 2% on anything after that. 

KOHO Mastercard – Easy Account Features 

Annual fee: No monthly fees 

Purchase rate: none

Cash advance rate: none

Income requirements: none

Earn rate: Get 1% cash back on groceries and transportation expenses.

Extra features:

  • Earn 0.5% savings interest on your entire account balance.
  • Free e-transfers.
  • Optional credit building feature for a fee.
  • Upgrade to the KOHO Essential, Extra, or Everything plan (for a fee) to access extra perks including higher cash back rates and higher savings interest. 

Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa Card Snapshot

Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card – For The Movie Enthusiast

If you love to cook dinner at home and then head to a movie on a Friday night with friends or a date,  the Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card this is the card for you. You’ll earn 2 Scene+ points for every dollar you spend at participating grocery stores and 2 Scene+ points for every dollar you spend at Cineplex. 

There is also no annual fee which makes it a great option for students who rather spend their money at the movie than on expensive credit card fees.

Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card Features

Annual fee: $0

Purchase rate: 20.99%

Cash advance rate: 22.99%

Income requirements: Must have a personal income of at least 12,000 annually.

Earn rate:

  • Earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 you spend at participating groceries stores (IGA, Sobey’s, Safeway, etc.).
  • Earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 you spend at participating Home Hardware brand stores.
  • Earn 2 Scene+pPoints for every $1 you spend at Cineplex theatres or at
  • Eearn 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent on all other eligible everyday purchases.

Extra features:

  • Save up to 25% off at participating AVIS and Budget car rental locations.

CIBC Aventura® Visa Card for Students

CIBC Aventura Visa for Students – For The Student With Wanderlust

If you have a thirst for adventure and travel, this card may be your best offer. Earn Aventura points on your everyday purchases. Aventura points never expire and can be used to book flights with any airline. Moreover, with these points, you can also cover taxes and fees. So if you earn enough Aventura points, you won’t have to spend a dime! 

Plus, there’s nothing better than earning points by doing the things you love: travelling. When you make a travel purchase through the CIBC rewards centre, you’ll earn points. This card also comes with a free SPC membership card, so you can save money on your trips and at home when you shop. Lastly, it has what every student looks for in a credit card: no annual fee and no income requirements.

CIBC Aventura Visa Features

Annual fee: $0

Purchase rate:20.99%

Cash advance rate:22.99% (21.99% for QC residents)

Income requirements: No minimum annual income requirement.

Earn rate:

  • 1 point for every $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and drugstores.
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre.
  • 1 point for every $2 spent on all other purchases.

Extra features:

  • Get a free SPC+ membership and save up to 30% on select brands online and in-store.
  • Purchase security insurance.
  • Car rental insurance.
  • Common carrier accident insurance.

President’s Choice Financial Mastercard

President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® – For The Student Who Likes To Cook 

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 PC Optimum points = $10 dollars.

President’s Choice Financial Mastercard Features

Annual fee: $0

Purchase rate: 21.99%

Cash advance rate:22.97% (21.97% for QC residents)

Income requirements: Subject to credit approval and other eligibility criteria.

Earn rate:

  • Earn 25 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent at participating grocery stores such as Provigo, Wholesale Club and Maxi.
  • Earn 30 cents per litre when you buy gas at Esso or Mobil stations.
  • Earn 20 points per $1 spent on PC Travel.
  • Earn 10 points per $1 everywhere else.

Extra features:

  • Add up to 4 additional cards for free.
  • Mastercard Global Service.

CIBC Dividend® Visa Card (1)

CIBC Dividend® Visa* Card for Students – For The Student Who Moved Out

A great points card that’s designed with students in mind is the CIBC Dividend Visa Card for Students. This card is perfect for students who have just moved and started living on their own because of its balanced points system. 

Upon making your very first purchase with this card, you’ll receive $50 cash back. Following that, you can earn 2% cash back on groceries, 1% cash back on dining, gas and transportation, and 0.5% cash back on everything else. There’s no limit on your total cash back earning potential

As a CIBC Dividend Visa Card for Students cardholder, you’ll receive a free SPC membership, which provides exclusive access to discounts and experiences. Shop deals at over 450 partner retailers with your SPC membership.

CIBC Dividend® Visa* Features

Annual fee: $0

Purchase rate: 20.99%

Cash advance rate: 22.99% (QC: 21.99%) 

Income requirements: No minimum income requirement.

Earn rate:

  • Earn 2% cash back on eligible groceries.
  • Earn 1% cash back on eligible dining, transportation, gas, bill payments.
  • Earn 0.5 % cash back on everything else.

Extra features:

  • Unlimited cash back .
  • make your first purchase within the first 4 months and get $50 cash back. 
  • Purchase Security Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance.
  • Free SPC+ membership.
  • Save on gas purchases at participating locations.

Looking for the best credit card options?

Why Apply For A Student Credit Card?

A student credit card can be an excellent way to start building healthy credit. After all, the only way to establish credit is to prove to the credit bureaus that you are responsible with your money and are able to make your bill payments on time every month. By the time you finish school, you should be able to have established some level of credit just by using a credit card for your purchases and paying them off every billing period. 

Plus, credit cards are often the only way to make certain purchases, such as online purchases and travel reservations. Without a credit card, you might be limited in what you can and can’t buy. 

Credit cards can be difficult to get approved for, as they often have a minimum income requirement that is way out of reach for most students. Thankfully, student credit cards are much easier to qualify for, and some don’t have any minimum income requirement at all. 

What To Look For The Best Credit Card For Students In Canada?

The best credit card for students in Canada depends on how well the card is geared toward students. Here are some important factors to consider before settling on one for you:

Annual Fee

Obviously, the lower the fee you need to pay every year, the better. The only time an annual fee may be worth it is if you spend enough to earn enough points to break even. 

Minimum Income

Students typically earn a very modest income, if any at all. As such, look for a card that you can qualify for without requiring a sizable income. 


Why not make your money work for you? Many student-based credit cards offer the opportunity to collect and redeem points. If you’re interested in a card like this, look for one that is geared toward your particular lifestyle. For instance, if you’re a cinema fanatic, then collecting points that can be redeemed for free movies make sense; likewise for cards that offer points to be redeemed for travel if you love vacationing. 

Extra Perks

There may be other perks that you might find attractive or even necessary. For instance, if you travel a lot, you may want to look for a card that also comes with some type of travel insurance so you don’t have to purchase a separate policy.

Bottom Line On The Best Credit Card For Students In Canada

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. 

Best Credit Card For Students In Canada FAQs

Should I get a credit card as a student?

There’s no real right or wrong answer to getting a credit card while you’re a student. It truly depends on your ability to responsibly use it. If used responsibly, a credit card can teach you about the importance of tracking your spending, making on-time payments and budgeting. Owning a credit card is also a gateway to building your credit and being able to access other credit products like mortgages and car loans. Lastly, you’ll be able to enjoy the perks of credit cards like earning points and accessing nifty discounts. On the other hand, if you are not careful, credit cards can lead to a lot of debt, which in turn will negatively impact your credit score.

How do I get the best student credit card in Canada?

With all the student credit cards available, finding one that best meets your needs can be difficult. However, when choosing you should typically look for no annual fee, low minimum requirements, sign-up bonuses and a points system that works with your lifestyle or purchasing habits.

Will I be charged interest if I only pay the minimum payment on my credit card?

Yes, if you only pay the minimum amount, you will be charged interest. If you continue to only pay the minimum amount, the interest will compound, making it even harder to pay off your balance.
Priyanka Correia avatar on Loans Canada
Priyanka Correia

Priyanka Correia is a Marketing Coordinator and personal finance expert at Loans Canada. Priyanka completed her Bachelor's degree in Marketing at Concordia University and has published work that has been mentioned in various news media. She is passionate about money management and educating Canadian consumers about how to take control of their financial lives.

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