3 Best BMO Student Credit Cards In Canada (Dec 2022)

October 30, 2022
Blog

There are quite a few good BMO credit cards for students in Canada, but some stand out above the rest for their low annual fees and generous perks. I constantly keep up with the latest promotions and changes in the credit card landscape and make recommendations based on years of personal experience.

I recommend the BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students as the #1 credit card for students in Canada due to its high promotional cash back rate for the first 3 months, no annual fee, and flexibility for redeeming rewards. With this card, you can access discounts at participating car rental stores, plus the option to upgrade to a premium BMO card when you've built up your credit enough.

What Is A BMO Student Credit Card?

BMO student credit cards are a type of BMO credit card that are available only to Canadian students between the ages of 18-24. These cards usually have low-to-no credit history requirements. BMO student credit cards are a great stepping stone into the world of credit cards and credit score building and most of these cards have little-to-no annual fees. and offer generous perks and benefits.

BMO student credit cards can be a great way to earn cash back or travel points while you study. To apply for a BMO student credit card you will need to declare a source of income (from a part-time job, allowance, or a scholarship) and provide proof that you’re studying. Most large banks in Canada offer these types of cards plus the option to upgrade to one of their premium credit cards after you’ve built up your credit to an acceptable level.

Without further ado, here are the best BMO student credit cards Canada has to offer:

The Best BMO Student Credit Cards

  1. BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students: Best for promotional cash back rate
  2. BMO CashBack MasterCard: Best for cashback rewards with no annual fee
  3. BMO AIR MILES MasterCard: Best for earning AIR MILES

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students

Great for high cash back rates, no annual fees, and credit building
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    N/A
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 5% cash back as a welcome bonus in your first 3 months
    • Redeem cash back instantly
    • Discounts on eligible car rentals
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for high cash back rates, no annual fees, and credit building

    Pros

    • Earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months
    • 3% cash back on groceries
    • No annual fee
    • Start earning cash back on all purchases (from 0.5% to 3% on select categories)
    • 25% off at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations
    • Extended warranty and protection on all purchases

    Cons

    • Limited insurance that includes only purchase protection and extended warranty
    • Needs a good credit score (660+)
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The BMO CashBack Mastercard for Students comes with a promotional cash back rate of 5% on all purchases for the first three months. It doesn’t charge any kind of fee, but it does have a cap on how much cash back you can earn – the maximum you can spend is $2,500, so you can earn up to $125 cash back from the promotional rate.

    This card is great for students with no credit card history or a low credit score – it will report all your payments to Equifax and TransUnion so you can start building your credit.

    Rewards

    This card has very good earn rates, considering it doesn’t charge annual fees. Eventually, you might want to move on to the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard, but until you do, you can take advantage of the BMO CashBack Mastercard for Students:

    • 3% cash back on groceries
    • 1% on subscriptions like streaming services and mobile phone bills
    • 0.5% on all other purchases
    • 25% off car rentals at partner National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car locations worldwide

    Keep in mind that to apply for this card, you need to be a student between the ages of 18- 24, and you will need to provide proof you’re studying in a recognized post-secondary school. You will also need to declare an annual income – this is to make sure you can pay off any balance. This annual income can come from an allowance, scholarship, or employment.

    Redeeming Your Cash Back

    You can redeem your cash back whenever you want – there are no minimums or time restrictions. Here are the options you have:

    • Set up deposits directly into a BMO account (Savings, Chequing, or InvestorLine)
    • Get a credit on your monthly statement
    • Set up recurrent payments when you accumulate a certain amount of cash back
    • Get a one-time lump sum payment

BMO CashBack MasterCard

Great for high earn rate on groceries and very low balance transfer fees
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    $25
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • $125 in cash back as a welcome bonus after spending $2,500 within your first 3 months
    • Get a 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, 1% fee applies to balance amounts transferred
    • Redeem your cash back as a direct deposit, credit on your statement, or a deposit to your BMO InvestorLine account
    • Extended Warranty and purchase protection
    • Discount on car rentals
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for high earn rate on groceries and very low balance transfer fees

    Pros

    • Earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months
    • 3% cash back on groceries
    • Very low introductory interest rate (1.99%) for the first 9 months
    • Redeem any amount of cash back instantly & set up automatic deposits
    • Extended warranty and protection on all purchases
    • 25% off at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations

    Cons

    • Cash back capped at $500/month
    • Low base earn rate
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The BMO CashBack Mastercard is a no-fee credit card that offers very competitive cash back rates, even compared to some premium credit cards. New cardholders can enjoy a 5% cash back on all purchases for the first three months. If you’re looking to transfer your balance, this is also a great option; the BMO CashBack Mastercard charges just 1% in transfer fees and has a fixed 1.99% rate for the first 9 months.

    Rewards

    The BMO CashBack Mastercard offers cash back on all purchases and bonuses in certain categories. Here’s the breakdown:

    • 3% cash back on groceries 
    • 1% on subscriptions like streaming services and utilities
    • 0.5% on all other purchases

    Perks and Benefits

    Redeeming Your Cash Back

    After accumulating $25 in cash back, you can redeem it at any time. Here are the options you have:

    • Set up deposits directly into a BMO account (Savings, Chequing, or InvestorLine)
    • Get a credit on your monthly statement
    • Set up recurrent payments when you accumulate a certain amount of cash back
    • Get a one-time lump sum payment

    Keep in mind your cash back rewards won’t expire as long as your account is in good standing.

BMO AIR MILES MasterCard

Great for travel perks, bonus points on partner stores, and travel insurance
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    1,500 pts
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 1,500 AIR Miles bonus miles as a welcome bonus
    • No Annual fee
    • Discount on car rentals in Canada and abroad
    • Extended Warranty and purchase protection
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for travel perks, bonus points on partner stores, and travel insurance

    Pros

    • 1,500 bonus welcome points
    • Earn 3 BMO AIR MILES for every $25 spent at AIR MILES partner stores
    • Show your AIR MILES Card at participating partners and earn twice the amoung of AIR MILES
    • Add additional cardholders and get free AIR MILES
    • Comprehensive travel insurance
    • 25% off at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations

    Cons

    • Needs a good credit score (660+)
    • Low earn rate when not shopping at partner stores (1 point per $25 spent)
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees 

    The BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is a no-fee low-interest travel card. It comes with a generous welcome bonus and is a great option if you want to transfer your card balance: there is a 1% fee on transfers and an introductory interest rate of just 1.99% for the first 9 months. 

    Rewards

    You can earn AIR MILES in two ways. Rates are:

    • 3 miles per $25 spent at participating AIR MILES partners
    • 2 miles per $25 spent on groceries

    Additionally, you can get double the miles by showing your AIR MILES card at participating shops and retailers.

    Perks and Benefits 

    • 25% off at partner rentals National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations
    • Bonus miles when you add an authorized users
    • Warranty and purchase protection

    Insurance 

    The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard has comprehensive medical and travel insurance, including car rental, flight delay, and baggage insurance.

How Do BMO Student Credit Cards Work?

BMO student credit cards work exactly like regular credit cards. You can use them to make purchases and pay your balance when your statement is due. Additionally, most BMO student credit cards will report all your payments to Equifax and TransUnion so you can start building your credit early on.

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BMO student credit cards usually offer lower cash back rates, lower point yields, and more limited features compared to regular credit cards. Still, they also tend to have lower credit score minimums and little-to-no annual income requirements. After you've built up your credit it's worth checking the best credit cards in Canada.

Pros & Cons Of A Student Cards

Pros: Why A BMO Student Credit Card May Be Worth It

  • You don't need a credit card history
  • Great for building your credit score  
  • You can declare income from a scholarship or an allowance to get your card approved
  • Little-to-no annual fees

Cons: Why A BMO Student Credit Card May Not Be Worth It

  • If you have a good credit score, it might more beneficial to go for a premium credit card
  • Limited perks and benefits
  • You are close to the upper age limit (24 years) and won't be able to use it for an extended period

How To Choose A BMO Student Credit Card In Canada

Low Or No Annual Fees

If you’re a student looking for a credit card, you probably don’t have a lot of cash on you to spend on annual fees – or the best setup to maximize the perks of premium credit cards. You should go for credit cards that have no annual fees and that allow you to declare your allowance or scholarship as income; this will make it more likely you will get approved.

Credit Building

One of the main reasons for getting a BMO student credit card is to start building your credit early on. Make sure your card provider reports to the three major credit card bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This will save you a lot of money over time and open up financing opportunities.

Benefits

Based on your spending habits and the type of credit card you’re looking for, it’s key that you make sure the benefits from the credit card match your goals. It’s usually a good idea to go for a credit card with cash back on purchases or a travel card with miles and travel perks.

Welcome Bonus And Promotional Rates

Most credit cards in Canada come with a welcome bonus or promotional rates – BMO student credit cards are no exception. Welcome bonuses are one-time rewards for new cardholders; they can come in the form of bonus cash back or rewards points.

How To Apply For A Student Card In Canada

Keep in mind that to apply for this card, you need to be a student between the ages of 18- 24, and you will need to provide proof you’re studying in a recognized post-secondary school. You will also need to declare an annual income to make sure you can pay off any balance. This annual income can come from an allowance, scholarship, or employment.

Age

To apply for a BMO student credit card in Canada, you need to be a student between the ages of 18-24. For reference, the age of the majority in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan is 18 years old. In all other provinces, the age of the majority is 19.

Residency Status

Canadian credit cards are available to residents and non-permanent residents. You don't even need a credit history for other card types like a prepaid, store, and secured credit cards. At the end of the day, residency requirements will depend on the specific credit card issuer.

Credit Score

Most BMO student credit cards in Canada have very low credit score minimums, as they target young adults with little to no credit history. Still, the higher your credit score, the more likely your application is going to be accepted.

BMO Student Credit Cards FAQs

What Is The Best Free BMO Student Credit Card In Canada?

The best free Student card in Canada is the Student BMO CashBack Mastercard. It offers 3% cash back on groceries, 1% cash back on subscriptions, and recurring bill payments like streaming services and mobile phones.

Is It Easier To Get A Credit Card As A Student?

Yes, credit card companies make it very easy for students to get a credit card. Still, there are alternatives if you’re not a student; secured credit cards and prepaid credit cards are available to almost everybody, no matter their credit history.

How Do You Apply For A BMO Student Credit Card?

To obtain a BMO student credit card, you must be considered eligible by the credit card provider. Eligibility requirements differ by credit card, but they often include the following:

  • You must be a student between the ages of 18 and 24 at a recognized post-secondary school
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or an international student
  • You must have attained the age of majority in your province of residence
  • You must earn annual income from employment, scholarship/grant, student loan, or family allowance

Are BMO Student Credit Cards Worth It?

Yes, BMO student credit cards are worth it. They don't charge an annual fee, are relatively easy for, and are great for building a credit history.

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