Scotiabank Gold American Express Card Review

Ratehub.ca
by Ratehub.ca March 13, 2019 / No Comments

Are you always making travel plans but never seem to have enough credit card points to convert your dreams to reality?

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card can turn your plans into a real itinerary.

One of three American Express credit cards available through Scotiabank, this card lets you quickly rack up points on your normal, everyday spending – with a rich rewards rate of 4 points per dollar on gas, groceries, restaurants, and entertainment.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card also comes with a sign-up bonus that can help fasttrack your travel plans and a flexible points program that lets you book flights on your schedule with no black dates or airline restrictions.

For a closer at what this card offers, read our full review of the Scotiabank Gold American Express below.

Scotiabank Gold American Express – At a glance

  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per dollar on gas, groceries, entertainment, and restaurants; earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Get $100 gift card to Amazon, Indigo or Cineplex when you apply through Ratehub
  • Until June 30, 2019: Earn 15,000 bonus points (value: $150) when you make $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months
  • Discounted membership to Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide

Rewards

Bonus categories and point values

As highlighted above, this card lets you earn quadruple the points on what are arguably the four most common spending categories with most Canadians: groceries, gas, restaurants, and entertainment. For all other purchases, you’ll get 1 point.

Since 1 Scotia Rewards point equals to $0.01 when redeemed for travel, that equals the equivalent of 4% back per dollar spent on bonus categories and 1% back on everything else. Plus, since Scotia Rewards point values are fixed, your points won’t change in value based on where and when you fly.

Few credit cards in comparison deliver so much value for as many bonus categories, which is why the Scotiabank Gold American Express consistently ranks among the best travel credit cards in Canada.

The one minor drawback of the Scotiabank Gold American Express is that it doesn’t offer bonus points on travel, so you’ll earn the standard 1 point on every dollar you spend on flight tickets and hotels. However, since it offers so many points in multiple other categories, this does little to ding the value this credit card delivers.

Sign-up bonus

Many travel credit cards come with sign-up bonuses that provide new cardholders a way to quickly stockpile points; and luckily, the Scotiabank Gold American Express is no exception.

If you’re approved for this card by June 30, 2019, you can earn 15,000 bonus points (a value of $150) provided you spend $1,000 on the card in your first three months. As an added plus, you can also get a $100 gift card to either Amazon, Indigo, or Cineplex Cinemas when you apply for this credit card through Ratehub.ca.

Flexible redemption options

When it comes to redeeming points for travel, few loyalty programs offer as much flexibly as Scotia Rewards. Using this program, you can book your travel with any airline or hotel either online or over the phone through the Scotia Rewards full-service travel agency.

If you’ve racked up enough points, you can redeem them for the cost of your whole trip, including taxes and fees. If you don’t have enough points, you can pay for your travel with a combination of points and a charge to your card. You also don’t have to use the Scotia Rewards travel agency to redeem your rewards, as Scotia Points can be applied retroactively to purchases made up to 12 months ago from a third-party airline or travel agency.

In another noteworthy benefit about the Scotia Rewards program, you can start redeeming for rewards as soon as you’ve accrued just 5,000 points ($50), so you won’t have to wait long to put your rewards into effect.

Fees, interest rates and income requirements

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has a $99 annual fee and a $29 supplementary card fee, which is lower than the standard $120 annual fee and $50 fee for supplementary cards found on most competing travel credit cards on the market.

While there’s currently no first-year annual fee waiver offer, this card does come with a 15,000 point welcome bonus (valued at $150) that more than offsets its fee for the first year.

In terms of income requirements, you’ll need to earn minimum of $12,000 as opposed to the standard $60,000 required by most other premium credit cards in Canada. With that being said, your income combined with your credit score will factor in your approval process.

Lastly, the card has a 19.99% APR and 22.99% annual interest rate on both balance transfers and cash advances.

Additional perks (insurance benefits and travel perks)

Travel insurance

As Scotiabank’s premier travel credit card, not only can the Scotiabank Gold American Express send you to your dream destination but it also provides you with some of the most robust travel insurance coverage for a credit card.

This card’s comprehensive benefits includes $1,000,000 in out of province emergency medical insurance for up to 25 consecutive days for those under 65 years old. For seniors 65 or older, this card also offers complementary coverage for up to 10 days – which is a great plus since most credit card insurance for seniors usually comes at an additional cost.

Other standout features includes $500,000 in travel accident insurance, $1,000 in lost and/or delayed baggage coverage that comes into effect after four hours as well as $1,000 in hotel burglary insurance.

To learn more about the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card travel insurance benefits, check out the table below:

Travel medical emergency $1,000,000 | 25 days (under 65) or 10 days (over 65)
Travel accident $500,000
Car rental insurance $65,000
Trip cancellation $2,500 per person | $10,000 per trip
Trip interruption and delay $2,500 per person | $10,000 per trip
Flight delay $500 per person (4+ hour delay)
Lost baggage $1,000 per trip
Delayed baggage $1,000 per person (4+ hour delay)
Hotel/motel burglary $1,000 per person

Travel perks

When tapping into Scotia Rewards full-service travel agency, you won’t only be able to redeem points for free flights but can also take advantage of additional travel benefits including:

  • Hotel discounts – Get up to 20% off the lowest published offer at more than 18,000 hotels around the world
  • Low price airfare alerts – Buy your ticket through the Scotia Rewards program and the price will be monitored to see if a lower price becomes available
  • Cruise deals – Special offers and benefits, such as shipboard credits, upgrades, and shore excursions (if available)
  • Car rental discounts – Get up to 25% off with more than AVIS car rental agencies

Lastly, this credit card also entitles you to a 30% discount to the regular price off an annual membership to Priority Pass airport lounges.

Considerations

This credit card is issued by American Express, and while AMEX is accepted is accept by over 70,000 retailers and restaurants in Canada, there’s no denying the fact it’s not as universally accepted as MasterCard or Visa.

With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure the places where you shop frequently also accept American Express before applying so you can maximize your rewards points.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card – Quick review

The Pros

  • This card’s current welcome offer includes a 15,000 point bonus ($150 value) after $1,000 is spent on the card and a $100 gift card if your approved application was submitted through Ratehub.ca
  • You can earn 4 Scotia Points per dollar (a return of 4%) in four different bonus categories, including groceries, gas, restaurants and entertainment. Few credit cards in Canada offer such rich rewards in as many categories
  • The Scotia Rewards program is flexible, allowing you to redeem points for flights from any airline. You can also take advantage of the Scotia Rewards full-service travel agency to earn special discounts on hotel stays, cruises, rental cars, and more
  • You can redeem points retroactively for any flights you purchased up to 12 months ago
  • At $99, this card’s annual fee is lower than the standard $120 annual fee charged by most other premium travel credit cards
  • The Scotiabank Gold American Express offers robust travel insurance benefits, including $1.000,000 in travel medical emergency insurance, coverage for seniors, hotel burglary insurance, and more

The Cons

  • Since travel spending is not a bonus category, you’ll earn the standard 1 point per dollar (a return of 1%) on flight tickets and hotel stays
  • As an American Express card, the Scotia Gold is not as universally accepted at restaurants, groceries or stores as MasterCard or Visa