Oct 11 2017

Review: Scotiabank American Express Card

Many rewards cards charge an annual fee for better earning power and perks, but the Scotiabank American Express Card walks the line between affordable and advantageous. This card has no annual fee, and every dollar spent on the card earns you Scotia Rewards points redeemable for travel (flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals, and vacation packages), merchandise (including Apple and Best Buy catalogues), gift cards, or as a credit on your monthly card statement.

With this card, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries, entertainment, and restaurants. All other spending gives you 1 point per dollar. For new accounts opened by Oct. 31, 2017, you’ll get 5,000 bonus points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.

Scotiabank American Express Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries, entertainment, and restaurants
  • Earn 1 points per dollar on everything else
  • Redeem points for travel, merchandise, gift cards, or statement credit

As with most rewards credit cards, redeeming for travel gives you the best value for your points. The Scotia Rewards program is very flexible, letting you book through any travel provider (with no blackout dates) and apply points to the balance afterward, or book through Scotia Rewards’ full-service travel agency. Cardholders will also receive discounts and special offers on hotels, airfare, cruises and vacation packages, plus up to 25% off qualifying car rentals.

For a no fee card, the Scotiabank Amex includes a strong suite of travel insurance:

  • Travel emergency medical. Up to $1 million in coverage for up to eight consecutive days of travel
  • Travel interruption insurance. Automatic coverage when you charge at least 75% of trip costs to your card
  • Travel accident insurance. Automatic coverage when you charge at least 75% of trip costs to your card
  • Car rental collision/loss damage. Up to 48 consecutive days of coverage for vehicles costing less than $65,000

Overall, this is a good entry-level rewards card that makes it easy to earn and redeem points — especially for travel — without having to fork over an annual fee for certain extras or privileges. You’ll get the most out of this card if you spend a lot on groceries, restaurants, entertainment (tickets to movies, concerts, and plays, plus music and video games), and gas — even if you don’t have a car, this includes purchases made at gas stations.

It also makes a valuable secondary card if you’re already a Scotia Rewards points collector. Frequent travellers can pair this card with the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which has a $99 annual fee but earns you 4 points per dollar on groceries, restaurants, entertainment and restaurants, and includes complimentary concierge service and access to Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide.

To find the best credit card for your particular spending profile, compare multiple cards side-by-side using our credit cards rewards calculator.

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