Quick overview of the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®

The Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* is a popular choice for students looking to build their credit history and earn rewards on their everyday purchases. 

With no annual fee and a competitive cash back rate on various categories, it’s a cost-effective way for students who want to explore the land of credit cards. While the BMO student cash back card regularly makes the list of best student credit cards, to get direct deposits, you’ll need a BMO chequing, savings or InvestorLine account.

Who is the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* best suited for?

This card is ideal for students who are new to credit cards and want to build their credit score. It’s a great card if you prefer simplicity and value, with a straightforward cash back program and no annual fee. 

The higher earn rate cash back categories target students’ needs with 3% on groceries and 1% on your internet, Netflix and cell phone bills. If you’d prefer travel rewards, check out the BMO AIR MILES credit card for students

Pros and cons of Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*



  • No annual fee: this makes it cost-effective for students looking to build credit without incurring additional expenses.

  • Earn cash back on everyday purchases, including up to 5% cash back on every purchase in your first three months.

  • Credit building: If you’re responsible, you can build a positive credit history, which helps you get better credit cards and more



  • Higher interest rates: If you can’t pay off your balance in full, opt for a low interest credit card

  • Limited additional benefits: While there are some benefits, it’s not the full suite of perks, but then again, there’s no annual fee.

Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard® welcome offer

  • Cash back bonus: Earn up to 5% cash back on every purchase for the first three months. On a qualified spend of up to $2,500, you can earn a maximum $125 cash back. 

Earn rewards with the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®

  • Earn 3% cash back on groceries from any store so long as they sell everything from fruit and vegetables to ice cream (your local corner store probably doesn’t qualify). 
  • Earn 1% on recurring bill payments such as mobile phones, streaming services and other subscriptions. 
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on everything else.

Key benefits

  • Earn cash back on all purchases, but top student categories like groceries and recurring bills. 
  • No annual fee. 
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection insurance. 

Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard® insurance coverage

  • Purchase protection: Hard goods (laptops, cameras, etc.) purchases you make with the card that are lost, damaged are stolen within 90 days of purchase 
  • Extended warranty: Get an automatic manufacturer’s warranty extension when you buy an item with your card. 


  • Save up to 20% on National Car Rental®†† and Alamo Rent A Car®†† and up to 5% on Enterprise Rent-A-Car®†† at locations worldwide using the Car Rental Booking tool partners.rentalcar.com/bmo.3
  • Add another cardholder for free.
  • Strong security features and alerts that warn  you about fraudulent activities.
  • BMO PaySmart™ Installment Plans allows you to make a major purchase and pay it off in instalments.

What people say

I had a Student BMO Mastercard and loved it. The cash back is good, no fees, and very good purchase protection. I put every possible thing on it (groceries, restaurants, online purchases, travel/transit, basically anything that would accept credit).


As Reddit user BurnOutBrighter6 puts it, having cash back rewards on a student credit card is a great perk as it can help you save money on your daily spending throughout the semester. Groceries can be costly, and having 3% cash back on daily grocery purchases through the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* can be a great way to maximize your dollar value and save money for more fun experiences and school expenses.

How the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* compares

Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* vs. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* and the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card both stand out as attractive options if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee credit card with cash back rewards. 

The big difference between them is that Tangerine allows you to choose your spending categories so you can earn 2% cash back on recurring purchases (better), but only 2% cash back on groceries (worse). However, if you’re living at home and commuting, maybe it’s better to have your cash back category set as transportation or dining out. 

If you get a Tangerine Savings account (where you can earn 1% on your savings), you can pick a third 2% category for more cash back on your credit card. BMO has a no-fee savings account where you can earn 2% on your savings, so we start to split hairs here.

Ultimately, they’re both great ways to earn cash back and build your credit. Pick the card that better matches your spending habits. 

Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* and the CIBC Aventura Student Visa Card

Both great student cards, just tailored for different interests. Specifically, cash back vs. travel. 

The no-annual fee CIBC Aventura Student Visa for students allows you to earn Aventura points on every purchase, which can be redeemed for flights, merchandise and more. 

You earn one Aventura point for every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, and on travel through the CIBC Rewards Centre, and one point for every $2 spent anywhere else. 

Specifically for travel, BMO Rewards points are worth about 0.67 cents whereas one CIBC Rewards point is worth 1 cent (these can fluctuate depending on distance travelled). 

If travel is your goal, CIBC also gives you rental car insurance and accident insurance while travelling (and the purchase security and extended warranty insurance the BMO offers). The CIBC Aventura for Students welcome bonus gives you 2,500 points, which is worth about $31.25 in travel, so not quite the same value as the BMO Rewards offer. 

As for bundles, you can get the CIBC bank account and pay no monthly fees with its CIBC Smart™ Start account, but there’s no advantage to bundling this account with the Aventura. However, you do get $50 for every student friend you refer to the account (up to $500). It's odd to say, but as Canadians, we tend to stick with our banks for a long time. Carefully consider which program you like, and your goals from a credit card and choose the one that, for now, suits you best. That said, you might also try the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Card for Students if you like Aeroplan points.

Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* vs. American Express Green Card

If you’re looking for travel and a bit of luxury, the Amex Green Card is a great start. A welcome bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points after you charge $1,000 in purchases to your card in the first three months (that’s $100 towards groceries or concert tickets). You earn one MR point for every $1 spent and an additional point for purchases from Amex Travel online (think hotel, rental cars, flights). 

Amex MR points are incredible in that they transfer 1:1 to other loyalty programs like Aeroplan and Avios. While this Amex won’t get you into airport lounges, it does give you advanced access to concert tickets and Amex lounges at concert venues like Budweiser Stage in Toronto. Your points never expire, so when you graduate and your income gives you the opportunity to unlock a better card with more rewards, it’s easy to carry the points over. While neither card charges an annual fee, Amex gives you more perks and privileges and their welcome bonus is better. While Amex isn’t accepted everywhere, its list of merchants is expanding all the time. Consider where you’ll spend your money and get the card you can make the most use of. 

Is Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* worth it?

Considering its no annual fee, cash back rewards program, and credit-building potential, the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard® is a solid option for students. 

However, carefully weigh the options of other cards, and its associated banking accounts, on the market to know which is best for you. Do you want cash back or travel? Do you need a brick and mortar branch to walk into? Is there a grocery store you should shop with to maximise your earning potential?

Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* eligibility

To qualify for the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* you must be enrolled into a school, college or university. No income is required.


  • What is the interest rate on the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*?


    The interest rate is 20.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.

  • Can I earn cash back on all purchases with the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*?


    Yes, you can earn 0.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, with higher rates in specific categories — 3% cash back for groceries and 1% cash back for recurring bill payments.

  • Is there an annual fee for the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*?


    No, the Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* does not have an annual fee, making it a cost-effective option for students.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information

*Terms and conditions apply

†Based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on cash back credit cards with no annual fee as of January 4, 2023.

Tyler Wade Content strategist & writer

Tyler Wade has worked in personal finance for over 5 years writing for brands like Ratehub, Forbes, KOHO, and now Money.ca.


The content provided on Money.ca is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.