Scotia L'Earn Visa Card Review

Annual Fee
Purchase Interest Rate
Cash Advance Interest Rate
Min Personal Income Required
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Caution: Part-time income & income verification required. No annual fee, up to 1% Cash Back Reward program designed for students!

Most students don’t have a substantial credit history to draw upon as they take their first steps toward financial independence. The L’earn Visa card from Scotiabank is an easy-approval credit card that not only helps students build credit with their purchases, but also generates some cash back in the process.

The card is well-designed for on-the-go shoppers, offering fast pay options like Android Pay. That said, it does lack the alluring welcome bonus offered by some of its competitors. Wondering if this is the right card for you? Here’s how the secured L’earn Visa card ranks compared to the competition.

Basic Cash Back Structure

The L’earn Visa credit card for students earns cash back in a tiered structure which increases marginally as you spend. For example, if you spend $500 you’ll earn 0.25% for a total of $1.25. But if you spend $1000, then you’ll earn 0.25% on the first $500 ($1.25), and then 0.5% on the second $500 ($2.50) for a total of $3.75. Here is the annual breakdown:

  • Up to $500, receive .25% back
  • Up to $1,000, receive .5% back
  • Above $1,000, receive 1% back

Cash is automatically applied to your upcoming bill. There are no limits to the amount of cash back you earn and no expiration dates. For those that are comparing the L’Earn with other student credit cards, it’s important to note that the BMO SPC CashBack Student Mastercard offers 1% cash back on all purchases regardless of the amount spent. That’s possibly an even more appealing offer for students who won’t make the $1,000/1% cash back threshold for the L’earn card.

Approval Process

The L’earn Visa card specifically caters to students by allowing them to apply and be approved on their own, even with limited or no credit history. Students can apply with a co-signer for better odds of approval, or with the use of bonds as collateral. One downside to this card’s approval process is that online applications are not accepted—applicants have to go in person to a local branch or call the help centre. This is another advantage that the BMO SPC card has: online applications are permitted.

Scotiabank doesn’t dig deep into a student’s finances in its application process. It does have a few core requirements, however, including proof that the applicant is indeed a student and Canadian citizen.

Interest Rates

The L’earn Visa credit card for students provides a 21-day interest-free grace period for purchases. After that, the interest rate for purchases is 19.99% and 22.99% for cash advances and balance transfers. These are standard rates for cards in the student cash back category.

In general, students are advised to take advantage of the no-interest grace period to avoid having to pay any interest at all and incur serious interest debt. By staying on top of card payments, students can build credit responsibly and earn more benefits with time.

Other Card Perks

Who’s the Card For?

The L’earn Visa card is an accessible credit card for students that can help them build their credit history/score and generate a small amount of cash back for their purchases. Students who don’t spend a lot each month might prefer the BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard. If you want to put major expenses such as tuition, food, books, and other bills on your card though, the L’earn Visa card for students is an excellent option that will earn you some cash back without an annual fee.

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