Scotiabank (or Scotia for short) is one of Canada’s big six banks and the country’s third-largest by assets. It’s also a leading financial services provider in Latin America, the Caribbean, Central America and Asia, offering a long list of credit card products to fulfill customer needs.
Below, we offer a breakdown of the best Scotiabank credit card – by card type.
The best Scotiabank credit card in Canada – by category
- Best Scotia credit card for travellers: Scotiabank Gold American Express, Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite
- Best Scotia credit card for cash back: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
- Best Scotia no fee travel card: Scotiabank American Express Card
- Best Scotia no fee cash back card: Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa card
- Best Scotia low interest card: Scotiabank Value Visa
- Best Scotia student card: Scotiabank Scene Card
Best Scotia credit card for travellers
The Scotiabank Gold American Express is a top contender among travel rewards credit cards in Canada. There are several features that set this card above its competition, including a lucrative welcome bonus of 15,000 Scotia Rewards points (valued at $150) when you sign up and spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Another exceptional benefit you receive with this card is the ability to rapidly earn points. You can earn four Scotia Rewards points per dollar in a total of four different spending categories (gas, groceries, restaurants and entertainment) and one point per dollar on all other purchases. These points are flexible and can be used towards travel expenses including flight tickets on any airline. Not to mention, points can be applied to flight ticket purchases retroactively (so you can buy your tickets first and redeem your points at a late date) and used to cover the cost of all taxes, fees and fuel surcharges.
In addition to a suite of travel insurance perks (including travel emergency coverage, trip cancellation, flight delay, lost baggage and more) this card also offers a 30% discount on a Priority Pass membership to airport lounges. Lastly, you are eligible to receive discounts and other special offers on hotels, airfare, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages.
While the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite doesn’t boast the highest rewards earn rate, it does make it on this list for one key reason: it’s among the few no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada. In fact, it’s the only credit card from one of Canada’s big six banks to completely waive this fee (which adds 2.5% to all purchases made in a foreign currency).
This card translates into instant savings for frequent travellers, who would otherwise have to pay foreign transaction fees on every purchase made in non-Canadian currencies. Based on our calculations, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite can save the average family of four an estimated $71.25 in foreign transaction fees during a single vacation. If you travel abroad once a year, frequently make purchases on websites that don’t offer products in Canadian dollars or regularly head south of the border for shopping sprees, you could be set up to save exponentially more.
In addition to charging no foreign transaction fees, this card is also noteworthy for its lucrative welcome bonus. New accountholders are eligible to receive 25,000 Scotia Rewards points ($250 value) after spending $1,000 within the first three months of receiving the card. In terms of earning rewards, the Scotia Passport Visa infinite offers 2 points per $1 on eligible grocery, restaurant, entertainment and transit-related purchases (including taxis and public transit) and 1 point per $1 on everything else.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite also offers a roster of travel perks ranging from travel emergency and medical insurance, trip cancellation coverage, baggage loss and rental car coverage.
Best Scotia credit card for cash back
This card offers 4% cash back (up to $1,000 per year) on eligible grocery store and gas purchases, 2% cash back on drug store purchases and recurring bills (up to $1,000 per year) and 1% cash back on everything else.
While the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite does have a $99 annual fee, you can avoid the annual fee for your first year. Plus, with 4% cash back on groceries alone, the average family who spends $500 every month restocking their fridge would earn $240 annually, which more than recoups the cost of the annual fee. Factor in gas, bills and all other purchases and it’s easy to see how the math can quickly work in your favour.
The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite also features a roster of travel insurance benefits, which means you’ll be covered anytime you’re on vacation. This card includes emergency medical and accident insurance, car rental insurance, baggage loss coverage and more.
Last but not least, as a Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite cardholder, you’ll be granted access to the Visa Infinite Concierge Service. From booking dinner reservations to building vacation itineraries, this concierge service can handle a number of your requests at no extra cost.
Best Scotia no fee travel credit card
While the majority of the best travel credit cards in Canada have an accompanying annual fee, the Scotiabank American Express Card is an exception to the rule. For every $1 in purchases you make through this no fee card, you earn 1 Scotia Reward point – which can be redeemed for a variety of travel-related rewards from flight tickets and hotel rooms to car rentals and vacation packages. Plus, points can also be applied to flight ticket purchases retroactively (so you can buy travel tickets first and redeem your points at a late date), a benefit that several annual fee travel cards fail to offer.
Arguably one of the biggest selling points of this card, aside from the fact that it has no annual fees, is its welcome bonus. Anyone who signs up is eligible to receive 5,000 bonus points ($50) after spending $500 in the first three months, which is a lucrative offer for a card that’s for all intense and purposes costs absolutely nothing to own.
Despite being a no-fee card, the Scotiabank American Express doesn’t skimp on insurance coverage. Cardholders are eligible to receive up to $1 million in travel emergency insurance for eight days of consecutive travel, travel accidence insurance, trip interruption insurance up to $2,500 per person and rental car insurance.
Best Scotia no fee cash back credit card
The aptly named Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa is a straight-forward, no-fee cash back credit card that offers 1% cash back per dollar on eligible gas, grocery, pharmacy and pre-authorized payments and 0.5% back on everything else.
The card also offers an introductory rate of 7.99% on purchases made in the first six months for new cardholders. That means you can save a considerable amount of money on interest in case you’re in a situation where you won’t be able pay off your monthly statement in full. As a side perk, cardholders can also receive 25% off car rentals at participating Avis locations.
One unique feature of this card is that it’s available in both Visa and MasterCard variations, which can come in handy if your local neighbourhood grocery or retailer only accept one credit card company over the other (such as Cosco, which only accepts MasterCard).
Best Scotia low interest card
If you’re looking to eliminate credit card debt, the Scotiabank Value Visa does double duty as one of the best low interest credit cards and best balance transfer credit cards Scotiabank has to offer.
To help consolidate your debt and fast-track your debt repayment plan, this card features an introductory rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for the first six months. Plus, if you can’t pull off paying your transferred amount during the six-month promotional period, you’ll still only be subject to a 12.99% interest rate, which is close to half of what many cards typically charge for balance transfers.
As a Scotiabank Value Visa cardholder, you also only have to pay 12.99% on both purchases and cash advances instead of the typical 19.9% or 22% interest rate charged on most cards. That means you’ll spend less on interest charges on any unpaid balances. While this card does have an annual fee, it comes in at a nominal $29. Not to mention, with this card in your wallet, you’re entitled to up to 25% off car rentals at eligible AVIS locations.
Best Scotia student card
If you’re a student shopping for your first credit card who also happens to be a movie buff, the Scotiabank Scene Card kills two birds with one stone.
For one, this card has no annual fee, meaning it offers a low-commitment way for students and first-time credit cardholders to build their credit history.
Secondly, the card gives points on every purchase, which can be redeemed for free movies at Cineplex Cinemas and discounts at a handful of restaurants and retailers including Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Montana’s, milestones, Sports Check and more. The Scotiabank Scene Card offers 5 points for every $1 spent at Cineplex Cinemas and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.
Another reason the Scotiabank Scene Card ranks as one of best student credit cards in Canada is its lucrative welcome bonus. Anyone who signs up for this card will earn 2,000 bonus Scene points on their first purchase (that’s enough points for two free movie tickets). Not to mention, cardholders are also eligible to receive 25% off car rentals at eligible Avis locations.
Even if you’re not a student or already have another credit card but love watching movies on the big screen, you’ll want to consider picking up the Scotiabank Scene card as a companion card. With no annual fees and the ability to redeem points for free movie tickets, it can offer considerable value at no direct cost.