Personal Finance

I Need My First Ever Credit Card - Student

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  • Jul 29th, 2013 3:43 pm
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lhsonic wrote:
Jul 24th, 2013 6:59 pm
2) MBNA Smart Cash - 1% back on everything
Up to $1250/month spend
except gas and groceries which give you 2%
Up to $400/ month spend
no income requirement for students
Actually, Smartcash for students, for whatever reason, is more difficult to obtain. Some students were told the reason they were rejected was due to income. They were instead accepted for the MBNA Student Rewards MC I linked to. In the end, I would prefer the Student Rewards MC to Smartcash, if only because, with improved income or spending (presumably after graduation), you're already on the MBNA card line that is upgradable all the way to MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard (the best no-annual fee cash back credit card in Canada). And Smartcash World (the path from Smartcash) is vastly inferior by comparison. Also, you don't have to wait around for cheques. Lastly, Rewards MC is not capped unlike Smartcash.

Strictly speaking though, if you don't spend more than $1250 per month, Smart Cash is the better card (if you're not looking at the upgrade path).
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lhsonic wrote:
Jul 24th, 2013 6:59 pm
Now very technically speaking, utilization does play a significant role in determining your credit worthiness, however, when I got my first card with $1000 (which really is very little and $500 would have been impossible for me because I had that occasional large purchase to make) from a bank I had never used before, I sometimes had utilizations as high as 80-90%! This will balance out over time as you get more cards and limit increases. More credit is always nice as it lowers your utilization, so ask for that increase after a year even if you don't need it.

Now, cards I'd recommend and why:

1) BMO SPC - 0.5% cash back but the main reason is for free SPC membership every year and purchase protection (extended warranty + purchase protection). If this is your first card, the rewards don't really matter that much, especially since you say it's ONLY for online purchases.
2) MBNA Smart Cash - 1% back on everything except gas and groceries which give you 2%. Purchase protection and extended warranty included. Great starter card, no income requirement for students.
3) SCENE Visa - Big movie guy? 5 scene pts for every Cineplex purchase, 1pt everywhere else. Nice to watch a free $20 IMAX/AVX movie each time you've spent over $1000. No purchase protections or other benefits but it's a Visa for when MasterCard isn't accepted!



Doesn't matter who you go to, maybe a tiny bit more lenient if you have an account with them but not worth it because their offerings may be worse. I had income at the time when I applied for my first cards but my friends didn't and there's only a very remote chance you'll get denied for an explicit student card where the banks expect you to have little to no credit history, you'll just be given a low limit (such as $500), which you can always increase later.

+1 bmo spc was my first ever card (gave me student discounts in certain stores) and paired with my free bmo chequing account it was perfect at the time for me.

Smartcash gives better perks though imo.
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So going by the responses it's
MBNA Smart Cash
MBNA Student Rwards
BMO SPC
Local Bank Credit Card

?
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dankup wrote:
Jul 24th, 2013 11:05 pm
So going by the responses it's
MBNA Smart Cash
MBNA Student Rwards
BMO SPC
Local Bank Credit Card

?
Yup. You shouldn't have a problem getting the smart cash card though.
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You might look into chase amazon visa. 1% cash back and no forex. If you use it for online purchase, most of them are gonna be in USD.
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Feb 28, 2013
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When I was a student I got rewards cards with no annual fees and no income. Income requirements are typically waived for students. It was the same bank I had an account with since I was 5 so, maybe that's why. They randomly sent me a preapproval before I even thought about applying for a card and I filled it out just on a whim.

I did have a room mate who was declined by CIBC for a student card though and she banked with them since she was too young. I found it odd because I never worked and had a card easy and she worked all year and declined. She had student loans though. I had a free ride and a monthly allowance directly deposited into my account (showing the bank I had parents of means to fall back on?) She was mad. Tried to let me use the card for her online purchases too but, that's stupid so she got even more upset.

Just ask your bank for a rewards card. A credit card without rewards is useless may as well use a visa debit.
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Make sure to get in on the sign-up promos if available to you (e.g. $100 GC for MBNA credit card). Sign-up bonuses/promos always sweeten the deal.
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I'll be calling my local bank today to see if there are any rewards cards, and then MBNA.
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Typhoonz wrote:
Jul 24th, 2013 11:20 pm
You shouldn't have a problem getting the smart cash card though.
I know three working university students with no prior credit history and no loans that were all rejected for SC last year. SC is normally a 35K required income card for non-students. ymmv

SC is capped. Rewards isn't. SC provides a path to Smartcash World (which sucks). Rewards provides a path to Rewards Travel Platinum Plus MC and Rewards World Elite MC, both of which are vastly superior no annual fee cards (the best no-annual fee cash back cards available in Canada).
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Webslinger wrote:
Jul 25th, 2013 10:59 am
I know three working university students with no prior credit history and no loans that were all rejected for SC last year. SC is normally a 35K required income card for non-students. ymmv

SC is capped. Rewards isn't. SC provides a path to Smartcash World (which sucks). Rewards provides a path to Rewards Travel Platinum Plus MC and Rewards World Elite MC, both of which are vastly superior no annual fee cards (the best no-annual fee cash back cards available in Canada).
What do you mean SC is capped? You mean I can't spend more than $x / month on the card?
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dankup wrote:
Jul 25th, 2013 11:56 am
What do you mean SC is capped? You mean I can't spend more than $x / month on the card?
No, you can spend up to your credit limit as per usual.

Cash back earnings, however, are capped with SC.

-2% cash back on up to $400/month spending on gas and groceries (5% promo for first 6 months on $400/month gas and groceries)

- 1% cash back on up to $1250/month spending on everything else

Smartcash World only removes the $1250/month cap.

If you get a good paying job or have more disposable income, the $400 cap on gas and grocery spending, in particular, sucks, which is why many of us on RFD have ditched the SC card lineup completely and are now instead with Rewards Travel Platinum Plus MC (RTP) or Rewards World Elite MC (RWE). I have RWE. 2% cash back on everything, no tiers, no caps, and no annual fee. But, as a student, you won't be able to get these cards (and even if you're not a student RTP and RWE are not easy to obtain).
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Webslinger wrote:
Jul 25th, 2013 12:05 pm
No, you can spend up to your credit limit as per usual.

Cash back earnings, however, are capped with SC.

-2% cash back on up to $400/month spending on gas and groceries (5% promo for first 6 months on $400/month gas and groceries)

- 1% cash back on up to $1250/month spending on everything else

Smartcash World only removes the $1250/month cap.

If you get a good paying job or have more disposable income, the $400 cap on gas and grocery spending, in particular, sucks, which is why many of us on RFD have ditched the SC card lineup completely and are now instead with Rewards Travel Platinum Plus MC (RTP) or Rewards World Elite MC (RWE). I have RWE. 2% cash back on everything, no tiers, no caps, and no annual fee. But, as a student, you won't be able to get these cards (and even if you're not a student RTP and RWE are not easy to obtain).
I see what you're saying but by no means do I spend that much money a month, so a cap is fine, for now.
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Did a little digging. MBNA is clearly better, then comes Scotia, then comes garbage, lol.
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dankup wrote:
Jul 25th, 2013 12:28 pm
I see what you're saying but by no means do I spend that much money a month, so a cap is fine, for now.
Yeah, one of the points I'm also making is that, if you're a future planner, starting off in the SC card lineup is not the best idea. But if you can't get SC anyway, this conversation is moot. Anyway, good luck!
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Webslinger wrote:
Jul 25th, 2013 1:23 pm
Yeah, one of the points I'm also making is that, if you're a future planner, starting off in the SC card lineup is not the best idea. But if you can't get SC anyway, this conversation is moot. Anyway, good luck!
Future planner? Why wouldn't the SC card be a good option?
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