List of Best Credit Card for International Students in Canada

Best Credit Card

Are you an international student in Canada seeking a way to build credit history and get rewards or you are a freshman who needs a student credit card but doesn’t know which student credit card to use?

There are lots of student credit card issuers out there with different rates, rewards, and likes. Since those things help to realize that there are differences in the manner in which all the issuers, we have decided to help you understand how to get the best student credit cards.

So, below we provide the factors to consider in choosing the best student credit cards and enumerate the list of best credit cards for international students in Canada.

List of Best Credit Card

What are Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards are specifically designed for those in college or university and are at least 18 years of age. Student credit cards work just like other credit cards just that it comes with a low credit limit, and interest rate.

International students need a valid Study Permit, a government-issued ID (passport or Canadian driver’s license), an Enrolment letter or student ID or course schedule, and a SIN number to apply for the student credit cards in Canada. But the requirements might be varied depending on the bank or issuer.

Reasons Why You Need Student Credit Card in Canada

Student credit cards allow you to have assessed to funds to buy things needed and pay later with little interest, and if you can use it responsibly it allows you to build a credit score to have access to a loan in the future. Below are some of the benefits of student credit cards.

  1. Building Credit Score: Most credit cards don’t require you to have a credit history before you will be issued a card, so if you can be able to use the credit card responsibly, it will help you build a credit score. This will be after graduation when you want to apply for a loan or mortgage as you need a credit score to be qualified.
  2. Cash Flow: There is no certainty that you will always be with funds or money whenever you want to purchase something as a student. However, if you have a credit card, there is no need to disturb yourself about having money or not, the student credit gives you the room of buying things anytime, and any day while you can pay later.
  3. Rewards: Most credit cards with sumptuous rewards like cash-back and other perks. For instance, you can get %5 cash-back on every purchase made at a particular store with a credit card. Also, some points can be earned using student credit cards that are redeemable at any time. This simply means student credit card allows you to earn more.

How to Choose the Best Student Credit Card

We said earlier that there are hundreds of credit cards available. To choose the best one you will be shopping with depends on some factors. These factors form the basis for our list of best credit cards for international students in Canada. The factors to consider in choosing the best student credit cards in Canada are enumerated below

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR): This is a credit cards term for interest rate, meaning that APR is the amount to be paid after borrowing. When you used the student credit card, you are to pay off monthly, while some issuers don’t add charges if you fail to pay off for a particular month, others do usually around 3% of the money left to be paid. So, you can choose to compare the rate based on this. Also, the general rate differs, it is very important to go for the one with the lowest APR.
  • Introductory Interest Rates (Intro Rates): Some issuers let you start off paying a low rate of interest or none at all for a particular time usually between 3, 6, or 12 months. This is what is called the Intro rate. So, when choosing the best credit card, compare the length of the Intro rate.
  •  Rewards: Using student credit cards come with rewards such as cash-back, perks, and lots. The amount of rewards you will receive depends on the amount you spend to buy or in a particular shop. Also, another form of reward called cash-back gives you some percentage for using the card to buy a certain good for a particular time. This was created to invite you to use the card more, but if you can be responsible for using the card, the rewards should be considered in choosing the best issuer.
  • International Transaction Fee: When you use a credit card while traveling or out of Canada, some banks attached certain charges while some charge nothing. This is a very important factor to consider as an international student.

List of Best Credit Card for International Students in Canada

We have just examined the factors to consider to choose the best credit card for international students in Canada, based on these factors, here is the list of best credit cards for international students in Canada.

1. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 19.95%

Intro Rate: 15% cashback on every $1,000 spent for 2 months.

International Transaction Fee: —

The Tangerine Money-Back Card is top of our list of best credit cards for international students in Canada. It has 19.95% interest rates and allows you to be in control of your rewards. You’ll get to choose what categories you want to earn 2% cashback in, with the ability to change your categories if your spending patterns change. There is also 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. The Tangerine Money-Back Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and for a limited time, new cardholders earn an extra 15% cashback on up to $1,000 spent in the first 2 months.

2. American Express SimplyCash card

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 14.49% – 21.49%

Intro Rate: 0% for 15 months

International Transaction Fee: Not Available

This credit card is worth considering for international students in Canada as it is a non-annual fee card and has a relatively low-interest rate of 14.49% – 21.49%. This card also has 0% intro rates for the first 15 months. It allows you to earn cash-back as high as 4% for 6 months under a welcome offer, and 1.25% after that. Also, there is 1 point earned on everyday purchases, to mention but few.

3. BMO CashBack Mastercard

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 19.99%

Intro Rate: 1.99% for 9 months

International Transaction Fee: $0

The BMO CashBack Mastercard is the best fit for students and those who spend more on groceries. It is a no-annual-fee card and offers 3% cashback on grocery purchases, 1% cashback on recurring bill payments, and 0.5% cashback on all other purchases. The 1% and 3% cash back categories are subject to maximum spending of $500 per month

Spending on the card goes for a 19.99% interest rate, but higher if it is being used in Quebec. It has a 1.99% balance transfer or intro rate for 9 months. It can be used anywhere since it is a MasterCard, meaning that it charges no international transaction fee.

4. Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 19.99%

Intro Rate: Not Specified

International Transaction Fee: $0

When you are seeking one of the most generous credit cards that fit students in Canada, that’s the SCENE, Visa Card. It offers a no-annual-fee, and zero transaction fee. Its interest rate is 19.99% which is within the competitive rates. By using this card, you stand the chance of earning an average of 1% cash-back on every purchase made. You can also earn points for $500 spent for the first three months which can be enough to watch movies Cineplex theatres or

Also Read: USA Student Visa Application

5. Brim Financial MasterCard

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 19.99%

Intro Rate: Not Available

International Transaction Fee: $0

Brim Financial MasterCard is a no-annual-fee credit card for international students. It has a relative interest rate of 19.99 with no foreign transaction fee. It allows you to earn up to $200 in first-time reward bonuses at participating retailers,​​ and 30 points per dollar on retail partners in the eShop. There is also a 1 point per dollar bonus on everyday purchases.

 6. PC Financial Mastercard

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 19.97%

Intro Rate: 0.97% for 6 months.

International Transaction Fee: $0

This is another credit card that fits international students as it comes with a no-annual fee and a relatively low interest rate of 19.97%. This card gives 0.97 promotional transfer rates for the first 6 months. Regarding the rewards and perks that with the usage of the PC Financial Mastercard, you will earn 25 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, 10 points per $1 spent at Superstore, and 20 points per $1 spent on PC Travel. There are also 10 points per $1 spent elsewhere.

7. CIBC Dividend

Annual Fee: $99 (free for the first year)

APR: 19.99%

Intro Rate: 0.97% for 6 months.

International Transaction Fee: 2.5%

CIBC Dividend stands out for its generous bonus and easy registration, that’s why it is best to fit for international students. For using this card, you will get 2% cash back on groceries, 1% on various expenses including recurring bills, dining, gas, and transport, and everything else gets you 0.5%. The interest rate which is 19.99 is not high. This card charges an annual fee of $99 (free for the first year) as well as a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.

8. BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 19.99%

Intro Rate: 1.99% for 9 months.

International Transaction Fee: $1.99

BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is being issued by BMO Bank of Montreal. It is great for international students which offers a $0 annual fee and $0 income requirement. You will get 1 reward mile per $20 spent, and you can also double the miles at participating retailers. Its interest is 19.99%, and it offers 1.99% intro rates for 9 months. There is a transaction fee of $1.99.


It is easy to qualify for student credit cards in Canada no matter your studentship status. What seems daunting is selecting the right credit card. The process to pick the best student credit card for international students in Canada has been explained and also, we have looked at the list of best credit cards for international students in Canada. We hope this information helps in deciding the bright credit card to use as an international student in Canada.

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