Breakdown: The Best Credit Card Perks for Travellers

by Barry Choi May 15, 2019 / No Comments

This post is sponsored by Scotiabank

For many of us, using a credit card is a matter of earning rewards points, but the convenience and side perks that come with your credit card can make a huge difference when you’re travelling. When you use a credit card abroad, you don’t need to worry about the inconveniences or dangers of carrying around large wads of cash, you can rest assured your purchases are secure, and with the right credit card, you can even save on otherwise costly expenses like insurance and currency exchange rates.

Below, we breakdown the top six benefits of using credit cards that every frequent traveler should know about, using one of Canada’s best credit cards for travel perks – the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite – as an example.

No foreign transaction fees

By relying solely on cash while abroad, you could end up paying a high cost just to get the local currency. Some banks and currency exchange offices charge upwards of 10% in fees – especially if they’re located in prime tourist areas – with many offering uncompetitive rates. Even in the case of most credit cards, you’ll still be on the hook to pay 2.5% in foreign transaction fees for every purchase you make in an international currency.

One of the most cost-effective ways to foot the bill while abroad is to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. Not only will you be guaranteed the lowest rate that’s set by Visa, but you’ll also avoid ancillary charges that are tacked on to other payment options.

What’s interesting is that some merchants (like ride-sharing services) are now going cashless as they find it easier to only deal with credit cards, so you’ll always want to ensure you’re travelling with a credit card regardless.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

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  • Annual fee: $139
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Welcome Offer: Get 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) with your first $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months
  • Includes Priority Pass airport lounge membership with 6 free visits per year
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and transit purchases
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases

Security

One of the biggest advantages of using a credit card abroad is that if you ever lose your card or it’s stolen, you haven’t physically lost any money – which wouldn’t have been the case if you were relying solely on cash.

Yes, you’ll need to get a replacement card, but without your PIN number, thieves won’t be able to use your card. Even if they were able to obtain your PIN, your Visa zero liability protection would kick in to cover you from fraudulent transactions.

Airport lounge access

Travellers love airports since they typically signify the start of a journey, but they can also be a real hassle due to the lineups, long layovers, and limited food options. However, airport lounges can completely change your outlook since they offer amenities such as comfortable seating, food, drinks, and even showers in certain locations.

A handful of premium credit cards come with complimentary airport lounge access at no extra cost, including the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, which offers Priority Pass membership and six free annual airport lounge passes. It doesn’t matter if you’re about to fly across the Atlantic or if you’ve got a 10-hour layover, a Priority Pass membership will give you access to over 1,200 lounges in more than 140 countries.

Credit card travel insurance

What many Canadians don’t realize is that their provincial health insurance doesn’t follow them when they leave the country. That means you’ll have to pay out of pocket if you need to visit a doctor while abroad. That visit could easily cost you over a hundred dollars and if you require more serious medical attention, such as a hospital stay, you could be looking at a bill in the thousands. However, if you charge your travel expenses to a credit card with out-of-province coverage, you’ll automatically get credit card travel insurance during your trip for a set period of time.

In the case of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, you can take advantage of a comprehensive travel insurance package that lasts for up to 25 days and includes travel medical, trip interruption/cancellation, lost/delayed luggage, hotel/motel burglary, rental car collision/loss damage and travel accident insurance. If you were to buy a similar insurance package out of pocket, it alone would likely cost more than the entire $139 annual fee of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite.

Sign up bonus

One of the easiest ways to fast track your travel plans is to apply for a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus.

If you sign up for the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card by October 31, 2019, you’ll get 25,000 Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1,000 from the time your account is approved – that’s $300 in free travel rewards. You can even earn an additional 10,000 points when you spend a minimum of $40,000 on the card in the first year.

Visa Infinite Concierge services

Another pain point for travellers is planning. Some people hate the idea of researching their destinations and then figuring out the logistics of their trip. Well, with Visa Infinite Concierge service you can have a dedicated service representative help you build your itinerary, book your flights and hotels, reserve you seats at a restaurant that overlooks the water and more. This service comes free with your Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card so use it to your advantage.

As you can see, having the right credit card perks can make travelling easier and save you a lot of money in the process. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite credit card has got you covered for your next big adventure.