Finding the right credit card isn’t always about points and perks. If you can’t quite pay your balance in full every month or have debt on an old card that’s weighing you down, a low interest credit card with a balance transfer promotion can deliver the one-two punch you need to get a better handle on interest charges.
The Scotiabank Value Visa Card is one of the best low interest and balance transfer cards issued from a big bank, and might be right for you if you’re looking to save on interest. Let’s take a look at some of what this card has to offer.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card – At a glance
- The card’s promotional balance transfer rate is just 0.99%, among the lowest offers from one of Canada’s big banks.
- Unlike many other balance transfer cards, the Scotiabank Value Visa doesn’t charge an upfront balance transfer fee. Typically, you’d have to pay a 1-3% transfer fee.
- Once the promotional rate ends after six months, the balance transfer rate will climb to a manageable 12.99%.
- The card’s standard interest rate is just 12.99% on both purchases as well as cash advances.
- It has an annual fee of $29. A handful of other low interest credit cards (namely, theMBNA True Line Mastercard) have no annual fees.
- The Scotiabank Value Visa Card’s balance transfer period lasts for the standard 6 months – not 9 or 10 months like on some othertop balance transfer cards.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card – Detailed review
The Scotiabank Value Visa Card has a lot of good traits.
First, its promotional balance transfer rate of 0.99% for the first six months is among the lowest available from one of Canada’s big banks for new cardholders. That means you can consolidate debt from an older card onto the Scotiabank Value Visa and pay barely any interest for half a year. If you can’t completely pay off the transferred balance within six months, the interest rate will revert to just 12.99% – not 19.99% like with most rewards credit cards.
Second, there’s no upfront transfer fee like with other balance transfer cards. For instance, the MBNA True Line Mastercard charges an upfront fee of 3% on balance transfers. On a $2,000 transfer, that’s an extra $60.
Third, the standard interest rate on any new purchases paid for with the Scotiabank Value Visa is just 12.99%. This is great if you carry a balance from month-to-month, and keeps you from having to pay the nearly 20% in interest you would owe on a typical credit card. The interest rate on cash advances is also 12.99%, which is helpful if you’re in a pinch, need cash for an emergency, and don’t have or don’t want to set up a personal line of credit.
So how much can the Scotiabank Value Visa Card’s low 12.99% rate save you? Well, if you carry a balance of $2,000 and make payments of $100 a month, it’ll take you 23 months to pay off the entire balance. You’ll also pay $266 in interest during that time. But if you carried the same balance and make the same monthly payment on a typical card with an interest rate of 19.99%, it would take you 25 months to pay off the balance and you would also pay $452 in interest. That’s roughly two-thirds more in interest.
Fourth, it’s a card from a major bank. If you already have a chequing or savings account from Scotiabank – or any other Scotia products – that can make things easier if you prefer to have all of your accounts with one financial institution and want to deal with fewer banking apps on your phone.
As a low interest card, the Scotiabank Value Visa isn’t designed to offer perks and frills but save you on interest. That said, the card does offer as much as 25% off base rates at participating Avis and Budget locations in both Canada and the United States as long as you pay with your Scotiabank Value Visa Card. You can also add an authorized user at no extra cost.
The Scotiabank Value Visa does have an annual fee of $29. While it’s low, the MBNA True Line Mastercard has no annual fee, carries the same regular interest rate of 12.99% on purchases, and has a more competitive promotional interest rate of 0% on balance transfers (though, the MBNA True Line does have a higher balance transfer fee and cash advance rate).
- Also read:MBNA True Line Mastercard review
The Scotiabank Value Visa Card’s balance transfer period also lasts for six months, which is pretty much the standard for balance transfer cards. However, there are cards that do have longer promotional periods. Namely, the promotional rate on the MBNA True Line Mastercard lasts for ten months.
The bottom line
While the Scotiabank Value Visa might fall short in a few ways when pitted against its biggest competitor in the low interest and balance transfer arena – the MBNA True Line Mastercard – Scotia’s card at least doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee. Depending on the size of the balance you’re transferring over, that can make all the difference.
The Scotiabank Value Visa is also your best bet if you want a balance transfer card with an incredibly low promotional rate but want to stick with using one of Canada’s biggest banks.