SPC Card: 8 Reasons Every Student Needs One

April 2, 2020
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The SPC Card is a must have for students. It’s like a friend with awesome benefits that can get you more savings for every dollar spent. This annual fee based students loyalty program boasts over 450 different brands and stores accross Canada and gets students discounts that go from 10% to over 50% in some cases. All that for only $10 a year, and you won’t even have to pay that much if you join SPC by getting a BMO Student Credit Card or a CIBC Dividend Visa for students, since both bring complimentary SPC membership.

Join SPC now and start making your way to saving an average $200 per year in school.

Who doesn’t love discounts? Everyone does because it gives you better purchasing power for your money. Especially for students, each and every dollar saved is a victory where a student’s budget is concerned and with the SPC Card, extending your purchasing and savings capabilities is possible.

Discounts help extend the limits of a Student's budget. The SPC card gives you access to hundreds of discounts.

The Student Price Card, commonly referred to as the SPC Card, is a loyalty card designed especially for students to help them save money. The card offers discounts and deals in Canada for items such as food, fashion, shoes, tech and more!

Students who have this card stand to gain student discounts at hundreds of retail stores and restaurants throughout Canada. This card can be used on brick and mortar stores as well as online stores. While it was originally focused on post-secondary level students, the SPC Card now includes elementary students as well. At present, there are about 1,100, 000 members and over 120 participating retail outlets and chains. The card is a fee-based annual loyalty program that begins from August 1 to July 31 the following year.

How Does The SPC Card Work?

The first step is to sign up and get your card (read below to find out how). The system works by granting discounts and special offers to its members. Once you have your card, getting discounts is pretty clear cut. Any student with their Student Price Card in hand or using the app can receive instant savings whenever they shop at partner locations or at their online stores. These discounts vary according to the location and retail outlet, but generally, you can expect to get discounts of at least 10%.

Show Your SPC Card To Use It

Yes, it’s as simple as that, no strings attached. All you have to do to get your students’ discounts at participating stores is to show your SPC card or your app to the cashier. It works the same way for online purchases at checkout.

Where Can I Use My SPC Card In Canada?

There are hundreds of national brands in Canada that participate in the SPC loyalty program but not all stores take in the discounts, which is why knowing which stores are in which location will help with your spending. To make it easy for you to find out if your favourite retailer is already a part of the SPC program and is giving students discounts, we show you the list of all of SPC’s partners in the following section, along with the respective discount you can expect to get. You can get more info on the SPC site, and perusing through their FAQ section can also be very helpful.

How Much Can I Save As A Student With An SPC Card?

Just like with any other loyalty program, the key to making the best of the program and to getting as much value out of your money as possible is knowing what you’re entitled to.

If you’re in any way familiar with loyalty programs, you probably know that most of them offer returns that go from 1% or less to 4%. You can get better returns in some cases, but only on very specific purchase categories, and, sometimes, there is even a cap on how much you can earn. On the other hand, with an SPC card, you can expect to get discounts that range from 10% all the way up to 60%.

Those are amazing discounts by any standard!

Of course, it’s key to check whether your favourite retailers are already giving students discounts through SPC, so you can fully optimize your card and ensure that you get the discounts you deserve–especially at the places you love to shop!

If you want to check whether your favourite retailer is a part of the program, you’ll find the complete list of the more than 450 SPC partners divided into 9 different purchase categories here. These categories include:

  • Accessories (12 partners)
  • Activity (38 partners)
  • Beauty (72 partners)
  • Students’ Essentials (62 partners)
  • Fashion (95 partners)
  • Fitness (28 partners)
  • Food (an impressive 233 partners)
  • Tech (27 partners)
  • Travel (16 partners)

How Do I Get An SPC Card?

If you are a student, you’re just one step away from getting in on the discount roll! Getting your hands on an SPC card to qualify for these discounts is easy. First, you need to buy an SPC card and to get this, you can order it directly from the SPC website by clicking below. The membership card will cost you only $10 per year, and after only a couple of uses, it will pay for itself several times over.

The above link is for the online purchase of a virtual SPC card. SPC encourages all its members to choose the virtual card in order to reduce plastic usage. However, you might be one of those many people who prefer having a physical card instead, so SPC still offers that possibility by purchasing your card instore at one of 16 authorized retailers.

Save more  with SPC

Another great way to get your SPC membership is by applying for a BMO SPC Mastercard, or for a CIBC Dividend Visa for students, as both cards come with a complimentary SPC card, but we’ll get to that further down the post.

While the discounts are a huge reason why so many students sign up for the SPC card, there are plenty of other good reasons to purchase the card. Here are some of our favourites.

8 Reasons Why Every Student Needs An SPC Card

#1 There’s No Shortage Of Stores With Discounts

As we already mentioned, there are hundreds of restaurants and retail stores on board this loyalty program. At present, SPC boasts over 450 locations, both online and in-store, and students can look forward to getting discounts on dining, healthcare, shopping, cell phone plans, and even auto repair. Here are just some of the places where students can find awesome discounts: 

Discount Stores Discount Stores Discount Stores
American EagleJack Astor’sPizza Hut
ArdeneJoe FreshPizza Pizza
Banana RepublicKFCRoots
BluenotesLa SenzaRW & Co.
Booster JuiceManchu WokShopping
Boston PizzaMontana’sSubway
Burger KingNew York FriesTaco Bell
Calvin KleinOld NavyWest 49
Foot LockerOrange JuliusYogen Fruz

#2 Connect Using Their App

As most students are tech-savvy and prefer accessing information via mobile, using the SPC app has become the most convenient way to use the card. Instead of carrying the card around, you can download the SPC app on your phone (available on both iPhone and Android app stores). Once you’ve downloaded the app, just make sure to register your card and you’re all set to shop. To use, just present the app to the cashier who will scan the app and apply your discount. 

SPC app

If you set it to receive notifications, you will also receive a heads up on limited-time offers and special discounts so you can save even more. 

#3 You’ll Save An Average Of $200 Every Year 

Brands on the loyalty program are always having repeat discounts, exclusive offers as well as cool contests that students can participate in. According to the SPC website, on average, a student is set to save at least $200 every year just by using the SPC card.

You might think it’s overly optimistic, but it’s not. In fact, it’s actually very easy to save $200 and even more.

Look at it this way. Most retail partners in the SPC program offer students a 10% discount and, in many cases, even more. That means that by purchasing only $2,100 worth of products or services per year at partner brands, you’ll get a minimum discount of $210, so you’re already saving at least $200 (after accounting for the $10 annual fee).

That works out to average spending of only $175 per month. When you consider that affiliated brands span anything from food&drink, entertainment, clothes, tech and even college supplies, you’ll quickly realize how easy it is to reach that number. Therefore, saving $200 per year is actually a very conservative figure and it’s perfectly doable.

#4 CIBC Is Now A Partner!

SPC has now teamed up with CIBC, giving students access to more exclusive benefits. If you are an account holder with CIBC, the SPC membership is free each year as a student, which also provides you with the same exclusive offers SPC has.

CIBC Partnership with SPC

Apart from opening an account, you can also get the free SPC membership from CIBC by applying for the CIBC Dividend Visa for students. It’s a great student credit card that’s loaded with benefits. It’ll help you on your way to building a solid credit score.  Read more below.

#5 BMO Also Gets You A Free Card

Yes, it’s not only CIBC but if you are a BMO bank account holder, you can get the SPC card free of charge too. All you need to do is open a BMO chequing account.

You can also sign up for the BMO SPC credit card. This no-fee cashback credit card also doubles as an SPC card. This makes it even more convenient for you to get your students discounts.  It’s not the best cashback card, but when you couple it with the student discounts, it turns into a great option.

#6 There Are Always Updated Deals

You can save money on plenty of items from the most basic, like buying a pizza to getting essentials such as school supplies, clothes, and makeup to even getting discounts on oil changes, hotels and plane tickets. The deals are endless and every year, there are new ones available. The SPC website frequently updates their site with available deals and you can find what you need by checking out the categories. To give you a breakdown, here is a rough guide  on the discounts available: 

#7 Get Discounts On Books And Education Too

Books can be expensive, as you probably know. This is why certain campus bookstores, especially those located in Alberta and Ontario, offer SPC discounts on supplies and certain books. For example, you can get a 30% discount on Alpha Textbooks’ in-store products and school supplies. Some partners even offer discounts on tutoring sessions. For instance, 3Sixty Education in Ontario offers a 10% discount on one-to-one tutoring sessions. They also offer a 10% discount on every third credit course. Micoli Learning Academy in Ontario also offers a 15% discount on selected tutoring services.

So, you see, SPC is not just about saving money on any purchase for being a student, it’s also about helping students succeed at school.

#8 Discounts on Travel and Transport

Travel can sometimes eat up a huge chunk of your budget as a student. But thanks to the collaboration between Air Canada and StudentUniverse, there are student discounts on airfare too. Air Canada also offers a Student Pass, which is a four or six one-way prepaid flight credits package. With this pass, you can fly just about anywhere in Canada or between Canada and the US, with ticket prices starting at $134.

SPC Credit Cards

As we mentioned above, there are two credit cards you can apply for that come with and SPC membership, free of charge.

The BMO SPC Credit Card

BMO offers students two types of credit cards: the BMO SPC AIR MILES Mastercard and the BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard. Both cards give you double student benefits that can be used for daily purchases. But the kicker is that they also give you a free SPC Card membership.

A very important feature, especially for students on a low budget, is that both are no-annual-fee cards. For students who want cashback on their card, then the BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard is perfect. It offers a flat 1.0% cashback rate on all of your card purchases. However, if you’re studying far away from home and you find yourself travelling frequently, you may prefer a student-focused AIR MILES card. If that is the case, the BMO SPC AIR MILES Mastercard is for you. You get to earn 1 AIR MILES rewards mile for every $20 in all card purchases and double that if you shop at an AIR MILES sponsor.

Related: The best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada.

The CIBC Dividend Visa For Students

The CIBC Dividend Visa is all about cashback. There is no limit on the total cashback you can earn. If you find yourself purchasing more groceries in a month compared to any other purchase, this is the perfect choice for you. That is because this card gives you 2% cashback on eligible grocery store purchases. At the same time, it still gives you up to 1% cashback on other eligible purchases. But the cherry on top is that this card comes with a free SPC membership AND there is no Annual Fee or minimum income requirement. If you put two and two together, you get free SPC membership, no strings attached.

This is a much better choice for a student cashback card than the BMO SPC Cashback since it gives you the same basic 1% cashback rate on all purchases, but it doubles your savings on groceries

Are There Any Drawbacks To The SPC Card?

The potential amount of savings is hard to ignore with the SPC card. You have nothing to lose by signing up with the $10 fee to get this card. There are really no drawbacks when it comes to the SPC card. This card is pretty straightforward- sign up, use it at partner retailers and get good bargains and discounts.

For instance, if you buy a pair of $200 jeans from Levi’s (a partner retailer), you get a 10% discount. This means you get $20 off. With this single purchase, you basically covered the cost of the card and even came out winning an extra $10. So, by showing your card for more than $100 in purchases a year, you won’t be risking a single cent. This is especially true if you sign up to either BMO or CIBC for a student account and/or credit card. If that’s the case, you won’t risk anything any time, since you get the SPC card for free.

Bottom Line

Getting the SPC card and using it as often as you can is a sane financial choice. It helps you reap the benefits of being a student and extending your budget. A word of advice would be to always check the full list of SPC partners to see what discounts are available near you. That way, you can optimize your card’s benefits and use it to its full potential.

With average savings that surpass $200 every year, there’s no doubt that joining the SPC program is a great idea. If you frequently buy from any of the many SPC partners, getting your SPC card will be one of the best financial decisions you’ll make as a student.

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