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What is the best Scotiabank credit card – for every category

Scotiabank (or Scotia for short) is one of Canada’s big five banks and, according to S&P Global, the 42nd largest bank on the planet. 

Headquartered in Toronto, Scotia has a portfolio of eighteen credit cards that offer everything from travel points and cash back to low interest, and more. Scotia is also currently the only major bank in the country to have a partnership with American Express or issue credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

Below, we breakdown the best Scotiabank credit cards in Canada – by category.


Scotia’s best travel credit card

Winner: Scotiabank Gold American Express

Card details

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Earn 5 points per $1 on groceries, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on gas, public transit, and streaming services
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 40,000 bonus points
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Income required: $12,000

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Scotia’s best card for travel perks

Winner: Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

Card details

  • Annual fee: $139
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and transit purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 30,000 bonus points
  • Includes Priority Pass airport lounge membership with 6 free visits per year
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Income required: $60,000

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Scotia’s best cash back credit card

Winner: Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite

Card details

  • Annual fee: $120 (waived for first year)
  • Earn 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bills
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and daily transit
  • Get 1% cash back on everything else
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Income required: $60,000

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Scotia’s best no fee travel credit card

Winner: Scotiabank American Express Card

Card details

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 on all purchases
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points with your first $500 in purchases in first 3 months
  • Redeem for travel, merchandise, gift cards, or statement credit
  • Income required: No specific amount

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Scotia’s best no fee cash back card

Winner: Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa

Card details

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back on gas, groceries, pharmacy purchases, and bills
  • 0.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • Income required: No specific amount

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Scotia’s best card for low interest and balance transfers

Winner: Scotiabank Value Visa

Card details

  • Annual fee: $29
  • Low 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers
  • Special introductory 0.99% interest rate on balance transfers within the first six months

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Scotia’s best student credit card

Winner: Scotiabank Scene Visa

Card details

  • No annual fee
  • Get 2,500 bonus points (2 free movies) with your first $500 in everyday purchases over the first 3 months
  • Earn 5 Scene points for every $1 spent at Cineplex Theatres
  • Earn 1 Scene point for every $1 spent on all other purhcases

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

How Scotiabank’s rewards programs work

Depending on which Scotiabank rewards card you use, you’ll earn either one of the following:

Scotia Rewards

Cards include: Scotiabank Gold American Express, Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, Scotiabank American Express.

  • Scotia Rewards is the bank’s branded points program. When redeemed for travel, 5,000 Scotia Rewards points = $50 – which works out to $0.01 per point. In a way, it’s helpful to think of 1 Scotia point as 1% cash back on any travel purchase. Points must be redeemed in increments of at least 5,000.
  • Scotia points can be used to cover the cost of virtually any travel expense, including flights from any airline with no black-out dates as well as any associated travel fees and taxes.
  • Scotia points can be redeemed in one of two ways, either: 1. Online or over the phone using the Scotia Rewards Travel Agency, or 2. By using the “Apply Points to Travel” option, which lets you book your trip from another travel provider or website and apply your points against the purchase up to 12 months later.
  • Scotia Rewards points can also be used for non-travel redemptions (like cash to pay off your card statement or gift cards), but these options offer less value for your points. If you want to use rewards to help you save on purchases other than travel, we recommend picking up one of Scotiabank’s cash back cards instead.
  • Scotia Rewards is one of the most flexible and easy-to-understand travel points programs in Canada.

Cash back

Cards include: Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite, Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa.

  • With a Scotiabank cash back card, your rewards will be reimbursed once a year in November as a credit on your monthly statement.
  • Scotia’s cash back system is slightly less flexible when compared to some cash back programs from other banks (like Tangerine, TD, or BMO) that either reimburse your cash back monthly or allow you to redeem your rewards at anytime.

Scene Points

Cards include: Scotiabank Scene Visa.

Scene is the loyalty program of Cineplex, Canada’s largest movie theatre chain with over 160 locations across the country.

  • Scene points can be redeemed for virtually any purchase from Cineplex (in-theatre or online), including movie tickets and snacks at the concession stand.
  • Here’s how many points you would need to get a free movie ticket:
    • 1,250 points for 1 general admission or 3D ticket.
    • 2,000 points for 1 Ultra AVX or IMAX ticket.
    • 2,500 points for 1 VIP ticket.

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