A Student's Guide to Credit Cards: Can Students Have Credit Cards?

By Remitbee - Oct 1, 2021

Do you want to explore Canada, take in the sights, and meet new people? As a student, however, you might find yourself at the high expense of living in a big city and education costs that have left you no room in an already tight budget. Perhaps, you're considering getting into the credit card game?

Getting your first credit card can be confusing, especially if you are still a student. Where do you begin? What are the best credit cards to get if you're a student in Canada? How to make the most of your credit history?

In this article, we'll walk you through the process of applying for a credit card from the standpoint of a complete beginner, as well as helpful tips for students applying for the first time.

Top 3 Best Student Credit Cards in Canada

A credit card can make life much easier if you're a student who makes occasional purchases. Using your student credit card to pay off your purchases has the added benefit of boosting your credit score to help you achieve financial success after graduation. The key is to pick one of the top student credit cards that fit your spending habits and budget. To make things easier, we've searched the internet for the best credit cards for students, and here are our top three (3) credit cards to apply for in Canada.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

With no annual fee, you can get 2% cashback to maximize your spending on two categories like groceries, bill payments, public transportation, and many more. On everything else, you'll get 0.5% cashback.

Tangerine also has a low balance transfer interest rate of only 1.95 % for the first six months, a buyer guarantee, and an extended warranty. Thus, this is one of Canada's best credit cards.

BMO CashBack Mastercard

The BMO CashBack Mastercard is also one of the best student credit cards with cashback benefits in Canada. With zero annual fees like Tangerine, you can get 3% cashback on groceries (up to $500 per month), 1% cashback on recurring bills, and 0.5 % cashback on all other purchases.

This credit card is among the no-fee cards that offer auto rental savings, extended warranty, and purchase protection. You can move any existing credit card debt to this card and get a balance transfer interest rate of 1.99% for 9 months.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

The SCENE Visa Card for Students is a good starter card that allows you to earn points for free movies or discounts at over half-dozen restaurants and shops in Canada. Like the two credit cards mentioned above, the SCENE Visa Card has no annual fees, and for every $1 spent on everyday transactions, this earns you 1 SCENE point.

Can I apply for a credit card as an International Student in Canada?

Yes, you can! It's a common thing nowadays for working adults to get credit cards. They are important for anyone, especially for people residing abroad. For starters, it can be used to make emergency payments. If you wish to study overseas, you can build a high credit rating with an international student credit card. You may also be eligible for discounts, rewards, and other benefits. So as you get ready to study in Canada, you might wonder how one goes about getting a credit card?

As of 2020, there were 530,540 international students in Canada. To apply for a Canadian credit card as an International Student, you must obtain a Social Insurance Number first. Keep in mind that they'll only give you one if you're allowed to work while you study. Usually, the border officer who hands you your study permission is the one who will inform you whether or not you're eligible to work. In your study permit, you can also see the list of employment conditions.

When you arrive in Canada, grab the opportunity to make an appointment with one of the large banks to open a student checking account. These accounts usually are free, and you can earn up to $100 in bonuses for things like signing up for internet banking or making your first debit card transaction. Our selection of the best student credit cards in Canada, as previously mentioned in this article, will help you grow your credit while also receiving benefits.

How to apply for a student credit card?

An easy no-fee card that offers big rewards and minimal annual fees is perfect for students wanting to build a credit history. Although there are a few eligibility concerns to consider, applying for a student credit card is simple.

You must be of legal age in your province. It's either 18 years old in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan or 19 years old in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon.

Suppose you do not have a source of income. In that case, they may require you to show proof of documentation of financial assistance, such as a scholarship.

Every credit card has its own application process, and some may require you to apply online or in person. Once you've decided the card you'd want to use, make sure you have the following:

  • Name and Address
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Source of Income Documentation

    How long does it take for a student credit card to get approved?

    Your application can be approved sooner than you expected depending on your credit history, income, and whether you already have a relationship with the credit card company granting the card. Your application must be examined and authorized manually. It may take a few days to a week to receive acceptance.

    Helpful Tips for Students Applying for Credit Cards

    It's a good idea to think of options as a new credit card user before applying. You should avoid using several credit cards because each application reduces your credit score— stick to one card! Your credit score is like your finances' report card. The higher your score, the better because it can influence your ability to apply for a loan, a mortgage, or even rent an apartment.

    To learn the ropes and begin improving your credit card gaming skills, continue reading for tips on using your credit card to boost your credit score while minimizing risks and losses.

    Examine your payment deadlines. Credit card billing arrives every month; this does not mean that your payment is required on the first day; it could be any day of the month. Take note of the payment deadline and make sure you pay it on time.

Don't go overboard with your spending. To be clear, a credit card is not a debit card because money from a credit card is borrowed. You must repay the entire amount charged on your card. If you don't or can't, you'll be burdened with interest costs, and your credit score will suffer. Avoid overspending and live within your budget.

Pay attention to your credit limit. Your credit card has a credit limit or the maximum amount of money you can borrow. Going above your credit limit is irresponsible and very risky. It is recommended to use your card only for modest purchases and consider using debit for the majority of your purchases instead.

Keep an eye on your credit. It's helpful to keep track of your progress and know where you stand when building credit as a student. It takes time and effort to have a good credit history. If you use it responsibly, you'll be well on your way to a prosperous financial future once you graduate.

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