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REWARDS CANADA'S TOP FEATURES
The best overview of this card is with two simple words: well rounded. Scotia has done their homework with this card that launched in March 2018 to provide a little bit of everything that most Canadians want out of a travel rewards credit card. Flexible points, insurance, benefits, airport lounge access and the biggie: No Foreign Transaction fees.
Costs & Sign up Features
Limited Time Offer of a 30,000 point sign up bonus worth $300 in travel! See the card grid below for details!
The card earns Scotia Rewards points and earns those points as follows
2 points per eligible dollar spent on grocery, dining, entertainment and daily transit (including buses, subways, taxis, Ubers and more) - This earn rate is only awarded on the first $50,000 spent in these categories annually.
The card also provides an annual bonus of 10,000 points if you spend $40,000 or more on the card per year. The bonus then continues as you will earn 2,000 bonus points for every $10,000 spend after that.
On the redemption side, the points earned with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card can be redeemed for any
travel that is booked with any provider. Simply put, you book the travel
where you want and charge it to your Passport Visa Infinite Card,
then call up Scotia Rewards or go online to redeem your points against that travel
charge. This is the same feature found on quite a few cards in Canada that have their own proprietary rewards program. And with the elimination of the tiered redemption schedule the card provides a straight 2% return on your spending when you redeem for travel. What this means is that you can go to any travel provider, be it an airline, hotel, all inclusive, travel agency, car rental company, you name it, you book your travel with them once the charge shows up you redeem your points at a rate of 100 points to $1 with a minimum redemption of 5,000 points. You can also choose to book via Scotia Rewards and get the same redemption option. The beauty of this is that you have complete control and flexibility to book the travel you want, on the days you want and choose to pay for a portion or all of it with points. What's also cool about cards like this one is you don't need any points at time of booking as you have up to twelve months after the charge posts to redeem points against it. Which means you can actually be travelling and make additional bookings while away from home and redeem points for it at a later date.
This translates to a return of 0.66% to 1.6% depending on whether you earned 1 point or 2 points per dollar and what level of points you redeem at. Not great if you are at the 0.66% level but this is always a good option to have on a card as it provides yet another option for using your points.
A new redemption benefit from Scotia Rewards is the ability to convert Scotia Rewards to SCENE and vice versa. This feature which was brought about in November 2017 is great for added flexibility but Scotia doesn't really provide what that conversion ratio is and leave it open to be constantly changed: "The rate of conversion of Scotia Rewards points to/from SCENE points in each case will be determined by us, Scotiabank for Scotia Rewards points and SCENE LP, for SCENE points, each in our sole discretion. We may modify the rate of conversion at any time in our sole discretion."
Features and Benefits
The number one feature of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that most people will be getting this card for is the No Foreign Transaction fee benefit. Most cards in Canada charge between 2% and 3% on purchases that are made in a foreign currency. This can provide a significant savings if you make a lot of purchases in US$, Euros or any other currency.
On the insurance side of benefits the card has the full slate of coverage that can be expected with a premium travel card like this one.
It has the standard Travel Accident, Flight Delay and Car Rental insurance. On top of that it has Price Protection, Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance as well as a really good out-of-province emergency medical insurance benefit.
What is good about this card
The best thing about the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is the no foreign transaction fee benefit. Whether you travel lots outside Canada, shop online a ton from the U.S. or import goods for you business, being able to save 2 to 3% on each transaction is a huge deal.
The next best feature of this card is the Priority Pass benefit. Scotiabank covers the annual membership fee and giving you 6 free lounge visits. This provides well around C$300 in value but you'll want to be sure you travel at least once or twice per year via an airport that has Priority Pass lounges to make sure you can take advantage of them!
The sign up bonus is another strong point, 25,000 points is worth a minimum of $250 towards travel. With all of the other features and benefits that this card provides Scotiabank didn't have to go with a high sign bonus like this but we'll take it!
What is not so good about this card
Their isn't too much that is bad about this card, probably our biggest gripe is the earn rate on the card. Don't get us wrong, it's not that bad when you take in to account all the benefits and features of this card, like we've said it's a well rounded card but when looking at earn rate only, this card comes up short when you compare it to some other cards. Some examples are Scotia's own Gold American Express card, it earn 4x points at gas stations, grocery stores, dining and entertainment or American Express' Cobalt card that offers 5x points on eats and drinks and then 2x on the same transit category.
Who should get this card
We have been waiting for the day a major Canadian bank decided to launch to a no foreign transaction fee card since 2014. And with the loss of the Chase Visa cards in March of 2018, the launch of this card couldn't come at a better time. Up until the release of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, the few no foreign transaction fee cards that are or were in our market were of the give and take variety. We'll give you no foreign transaction fees but we won't give you much insurance or rewards. This rang true for more of them except for HSBC's offering but then again their application requirements are stricter than most so that is a downfall of that card. So for a major bank to come out with an accessible card that provides excellent benefits, good points earning and no foreign transaction fees is a step in the right direction for our market. We stated back in 2014 that the first major card issuer to come out with a no FX fee card stood to take a big chunk of the market and that was just based on that fee - it didn't include whatever else the card offered and Scotiabank really took the bull by horns here with this card. With the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card you get a well rounded card that curbed the give and take - it gives you almost everything you need in travel rewards credit card.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card on scotiabank.com
Other cards to consider if you are looking at this card:
American Express Cobalt Card
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