Since most students are just coming into the independent portion of their lives and want to start handling their own finances more, many of them decide that it’s the perfect time to get a credit card. Doing this is a good way to build credit and also helps provide some potential backup funds should an emergency arise; given the typically low and inconsistent income of students, this is always a good idea.
The nice thing about the best student credit cards Canada is that unlike top-tier cards for the general market, they are all easy to get. Because of this, you can take your pick of any of the options on the market that you feel drawn to. Still not sure how to determine this? We’ll go over what kind of cards you can get, what they can get you if you choose them, and why you might prefer certain ones over others in the article below.
What Student Credit Cards Canada Are Available?
Most of the student credit cards Canada has available are not specifically marked as student cards, even if they serve that purpose regardless. Instead, it’s much more common for students to use basic entry-level credit cards that don’t ask for too much in terms of credit history or salary. There are dozens of these on the market, including plenty from major providers and smaller ones too. They span all types of rewards and arguably have the most variety of any card type in Canada.
If you have a preferred provider (for instance, a financial institution with whom you already have an account), there is probably a suitable card that you could get from them. That search criteria won’t necessarily get you one of the best cards, though. While they are all fairly equal in terms of what they get you, the best student card for you is the one that matches your preferences best. To that end, you’ll have to narrow down the options a bit more.
Decide Between Rewards and Cash Back
The big thing that will decide what cards are the best student credit cards Canada for you is the type of rewards you would like to get. There are two major types to choose from: standard rewards or cash back. Most students will generally prefer the latter due to how much easier it is to use cash in a way that truly benefits you. You can put the money toward a treat, your savings, your groceries, your tuition – whatever you like, you can pay for it with cash back reward. You also don’t necessarily need to save up for months or years to get any use out of these rewards since they are generally redeemable in much smaller amounts.
However, this typical cash back preference is not a universal rule. Some students find that they have plenty of use for rewards points and even enjoy the fact that they can’t usually be used for anything but fun extras. That restriction limits the pressure they might otherwise feel to put that resource to practical use, even if it wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. Instead, rewards can go toward things like gifts or concerts that are just for fun. Many students also enjoy travelling with their reward points, especially if they are living far from home while they earn their degree.
You should also consider that there are many specialized reward systems that students might find fun to play around with just for the novelty; if anything like that appeals to you, now is the best time to try that sort of thing out. For instance, the Scotiabank Scene Visa and the CIBC Tim Hortons Double Double Visa are both specialized rewards cards that let you get free movies and free coffee or food respectively. Both of these things are very commonly enjoyed by students, but they aren’t necessities and may be some of the first things to be cut out of a budget if money gets tight. If you’re getting these goodies with credit card rewards, though, there’s no reason to even consider cutting yourself off. They’re also things that you might not be as enamoured with later on in your life as you are while you’re still in school, and since you’re unlikely to qualify for the high-tier options that are much harder to turn down, there’s no reason not to indulge yourself a little right now.
Some Benefits For You Too (Maybe)
If you’re lucky, you can also score some useful benefits on your card in addition to the rewards. This is less likely than it might have been at one time, as many card providers have continually cut benefits from their lower-level offerings to the point where many now come with nothing. This problem is only getting worse as time goes on. BMO just discontinued their line of SPC Mastercards meant specifically for students, which used to provide the excellent benefit of a free SPC card for you to use to score discounts on some of your shopping.
Fortunately, there are still a few basic cards from different providers that offer some sort of benefits for you to try out. Most of the time, that will be something simple like some rental car insurance or a discount on your rental fees. Many people will find these additions to be all but useless since they never rent cars anyway, but students are perhaps more likely than most to enjoy these features – they are often too poor to keep their own cars, so if they want to take an extended trip or just go exploring, a rental car will be needed. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll appreciate getting the chance to pay a little less for your rental, and you’ll certainly be happy to be insured if you run into any trouble while you’re driving around. There are also some other types of benefits that might be within reach – for instance, Desjardins offers mobile device insurance on all of their cards, a perk which device-obsessed students will almost always enjoy.
Apply For the Best Student Credit Cards Canada Straight Away
The best student credit cards Canada could be just a few minutes away if you apply for them online through Bonsai Finance. Using our comprehensive search engine lets you pick through all of the basic cards that our partner lenders might be willing to give you, then apply for one right there through a near-instantaneous process. You can compare all the relevant details and make sure your information is correct before you make your decision, and once you’ve sent off your application, there’s nothing left for you to do but relax. It’s so easy that there’s no need to stress about how you’ve never done this before; leave it to the experts to help you on your way.