19 must-have apps for expats and students in Canada

12 Mar 2024
7 mins read
Written by Riona lye

In this tech-dominated era, it’s practically second nature to turn to apps for problem-solving, right? And when you’ve made the leap to places like Canada, these apps become your trusty sidekicks for settling down.


Now that you’ve touched down, it’s time to cozy up and maximize your Canadian adventure with some must-have apps. Whether you’re here to soak in breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, or chase new opportunities, these apps are like your magic wand, making the transition smoother than maple syrup sliding off a pancake. So, grab your double-double, get comfy, and let’s explore the apps that’ll have you thriving in the Great White North, eh?


Uber / Lyft

Need a trusty companion for city adventures? Enter ride-hailing champs Uber and Lyft! Whether it’s a quick ride or city exploration, these apps got you covered. No cash hassle – seamless in-app payments make your journey as smooth as butter. Pro tip: Compare prices by downloading both apps for budget-friendly rides!

App links:
Uber – Android | iOS
Lyft – Android | iOS

Beck Taxi

Sure, tech’s fancy for booking rides, but there’s something about the good ol’ traditional taxi.


Beck Taxi gets it! Just 2 clicks and you’re set. Track your ride in real-time, save your go-to spots, and easily revisit past trips within the last 30 days. Whether you’re at the airport, out exploring, or just need a lift home, Beck Taxi has your back


App links:
Android | iOS


When you’re stuck between a place too far for a walk and too closed for a cab, here’s the sweet spot: E-scooters!


In Canada, they’re green and brought to you by Lime, the micromobility champs. Just fire up the Lime app, spot a nearby e-scooter, scan the QR code, and off you go on your mini adventure. Perfect for quick rides, Lime e-scooters are wallet-friendly, eco-conscious, and a fun twist on regular transport. Who needs to walk when you can scoot your way to wherever you’re headed, right?


App links:
Android | iOS


Say goodbye to the days of waiting at the station, fingers crossed for on-time buses or trains. Now, transit apps have your back, making commuting a breeze.


In Canada, look no further than Transit – your go-to for tracking trains and buses. This nifty app gives you easy access to departure times, ensuring you catch your ride every time. But wait, there’s more – Transit helps you plan your entire journey hassle-free.


The cherry on top? Transit recently teamed up with transit agencies, offering GRTC riders Transit Royale for FREE! Dive into cool features like personalized themes and emojis, plus unlimited access to transit schedules. Commuting just got an upgrade!


App links:
Android | iOS

Food Delivery

Uber Eats / SkipTheDishes / DoorDash

We all have those days when cooking feels like too much, especially with the Canadian weather adding to the challenge. Why stress over meals or brave the cold when Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes, and DoorDash are here for you?


With a few taps, enjoy delicious meals delivered to your doorstep! These apps open up a world of local restaurants, ensuring you’re never hungry again. Sit back, relax, and let the food come to you. Track your order in real-time and catch sweet coupon deals to save a few bucks. Who doesn’t love a discount, right?


If you’ve got a bit to spare, subscribe to Uber One for $9.99 a month and enjoy $0 Delivery Fee and up to 30% off on eligible orders. Treat yourself without breaking the bank!


App links:

Uber Eats – Android | iOS

SkipTheDishes – Android | iOS

DoorDash – Android | iOS



Moving abroad is like a never-ending cash drain, right? So, whenever we can save a dime, count us in! But who wants to go on a wild goose chase for deals in a new city?


Meet Flipp – your trusty deal-hunting buddy! This cool app does the work for you, using your location to fetch the latest discounts from nearby stores. Groceries, pharmacy stuff, electronics, pet supplies – Flipp’s got the hookup with a variety of deals just for you.


No more endless searching – say hi to savings at your fingertips with Flipp!


App links:

Flipp – Android | iOS

Kijiji / Etsy / eBay / Depop

While you’re Marie Kondo-ing your life, why not give your old stuff a fresh start or discover some one-of-a-kind gems?


Good news! Kijiji, Etsy, eBay, and Depop got your back – no need for a garage sale when you can declutter from the coziness of your couch. Dive into these online markets to buy, sell, or trade anything your heart desires. Whether you’re after preloved treasures or ready to part with your knick-knacks, these platforms have you covered!


App links:
Kijiji – Android | iOS
Etsy – Android | iOS
eBay – Android | iOS
Depop – Android | iOS

Walmart: Shopping & savings

Time to tackle your shopping list and go for a grocery run and Walmart is your one-stop shop for everything under the sun!


From groceries and household essentials to the latest electronics and beyond, Walmart has got you covered. And the best part? You’ve got options! Whether you prefer to pick it up in-store, have it delivered straight to your doorstep, or opt for convenient shipping, Walmart has just the solution for it!


App links:
Android | iOS

Costco Wholesale / Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire

Getting pumped about wholesale shopping is a whole mood these days! Not only does it save you bucks, but the options are endless. And guess what? Even in the far north of Canada, you’ve got some cool options.


Check out Costco Wholesale and Temu – your go-to spots for everything under the sun! Think of them like the Taobao of the North, offering a jackpot of goodies from home essentials to the latest gadgets and more.


Costco Wholesale opens up its massive warehouse for killer deals on bulk items. Meanwhile, Temu lets you browse a diverse range of products, all from the comfort of your home.


No more store-hopping – embrace the ease of finding everything you need in one place!


App links:
Costco Wholesale – Android | iOS
Temu – Android | iOS


These days, it’s all about making your money do the hustle for you. Enter Triangle Rewards, designed to bring the thrill of earning and redeeming Canadian Tire Money to both newbies and loyal fans – because who doesn’t fantasize about more Canadian Tire Money, right? But hold on, there’s an extra dose of excitement!


Picture this: personalized offers flooding your phone every week. Just a tap, and boom, watch your CT Money stash grow like magic.


Oh, and here’s the cool part – Offer Swap. Not digging the given offers? Swap ’em for a community offer from someone else. It’s like trading cards, but for deals.


Wait, wait – one more thing! Managing your credit card is a breeze with features like e-statements, transaction history, and bill payment scheduling. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t love some good ol’ convenience?


App links:
Android | iOS

Klarna / Afterpay

The world of “buy now, pay later” is pretty tempting, right? We get it – it’s not about pushing you into interest fees for small stuff, but sometimes, it just makes financial sense.


Enter Klarna and Afterpay, making it a breeze! Just open the apps, shop to your heart’s content, and then, well, think about it. Split your purchases into four interest-free payments – easy peasy.


Whether you’re vibing with Klarna or Afterpay, dive into stores, brands, products, and discounts across fashion, beauty, home, toys, tech, travel, and more!


Worried about missing payments? Not on our watch! Stay on top of your finance game by activating push notification reminders on these apps. Happy shopping and paying!


App links:
Klarna – Android | iOS
Afterpay – Android | iOS

One last app before you end off… Instarem.

Being an expat has its challenges, but mastering your new city’s navigation is a win! Now, sending money back home? That’s where the real challenge begins with those hefty fees from traditional banks.


But hey, worry not – Instarem to the rescue! This financial app has your back. No sneaky fees, just quick and secure overseas money transfers with near mid-market rates and way lower FX fees compared to the banks.


send money


*rates are for display purposes only.


Try Instarem for your next transfer by downloading the app or sign up here.


Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.

About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.