Scotiabank Gold American Express Card Review: Great Rewards Credit Card For Canadians
One of the most popular and best overall travel rewards credit cards in Canada is the Scotiabank Gold American Express. The welcome bonus ($150 value), spiked earning rates, flexible redemption and travel insurance make it an extremely valuable card to keep in your wallet.
While the the $99 annual fee might concern some, the Scotiabank Gold is a great credit card for Canadian travel hackers or as an everyday card to cover all your normal spending habits.
It’s loaded with value and benefits for Canadians. Check out the review below to see what the Scotiabank Gold American Express offers.
Key Benefits Of The Scotiabank Gold AMEX
- 15,000 Scotia Reward points ($150) after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 4x points on every $1 spent on groceries, gas, dining and entertainment
- Earn 1x points on every other $1 spent
- Flexible redemption options on your Scotia Rewards points
- Extensive travel insurance and coverage
- Access to Scotia Rewards Travel Service and a 24/7 Concierge
- Discounted Priority Pass membership to gain lounge access at 600+ airports
- Special offers through American Express Invites and Scotia Rewards Travel Advantage
The 15,000 point welcome bonus and 4x earning rate will allow you to easily offset that $99 annual fee. Plus if you and your significant other want to earn rewards faster you can also add a supplementary card to the account for $29.
Earning Travel Points With The Scotiabank Gold Card
Earning Scotia Rewards points on your Gold card is straightforward (and easy to stack up). The card offers one of the best overall return rates on the market with the 4x rewards categories.
So how can you earn Scotia Rewards with the Gold AMEX?
- Earn 4x points on every $1 spent at eligible grocery stores
- Earn 4x points on every $1 spent at eligible gas stations
- Earn 4x points on every $1 spent at eligible restaurants and bars
- Earn 4x points on every $1 spent at eligible entertainment options
- Earn 1x points on every other $1 spent
For example, let’s assume you spend the following each month of your Gold card: $500 groceries, $200 gas, $150 restaurants, $100 entertainment and $200 on other costs.
In terms of points, that would be 500 x 4, 200 x 4, 150 x 4, 100 x 4 and 200 x 1. That totals to 4,000 points per month or 48,000 points annually. Throw in the 15,000 sign-up bonus and you have 63,000 points or $630 in value.
That $630 easily offsets the $99 annual fee.
How Can You Earn More Scotia Rewards Points?
Some tips to earn additional points include purchasing gift cards at eligible grocery stores or gas stations for places you frequent to get the 4x earning rate. For example, if you shop at LCBO or Amazon often, you would normally just earn the 1x rate when using your Scotiabank Gold AMEX on purchases in-person or online.
However, if you buy gift cards for LCBO or Amazon at Sobeys, Longos, Metro, etc., you will earn 4x on those as they’re categorized as a grocery store purchase. The same can be said for other gift cards like Best Buy, Indigo, iTunes, etc. that are available at most grocery stores.
Plus as mentioned above, for $29 you can also get an additional supplementary card for your significant other to use and expedite your earning.
Redeeming Your Scotia Travel Rewards
Understanding the value of your Scotia Rewards points pretty much equates to 1,000 points equals $10 with the Scotiabank Gold American Express. With the 4x earning categories noted above, those points can accumulate fast and the redemption options will have you garnering value from your Gold card quickly.
Similar to other cards you can redeem for gift cards or travel credits, but let’s focus on the travel redemption options with Scotia Rewards.
Scotia Rewards Portal
The Scotia Rewards online portal is easy to navigate and makes the redemption process smooth as you look to take advantage of the points you’ve stacked. The portal operates similar to anyone online travel booking website and allows you to redeem your points on flights, hotels, vacation packages and more.
If you ever need help you can phone the Scotia Rewards Travel Service and a 24/7 Concierge at anytime to get support with your booking. Another benefit of using the Scotia Rewards portal is the discounted rates they offer on partner hotels, airlines, vacation packages and car rentals.
Whether you have enough points to cover the full cost or only a portion to offset partial charges of your trip, it’s no problem. You can start redeeming for rewards as soon as you’ve collected 5,000 points ($50).
Apply Points To Travel Directly
One of the benefits that sets the Gold card apart from others is the ability to apply points directly to travel purchased outside the Scotia Rewards portal. If you find a better deal from another provider, use an online booking service or pay for other travel related costs, you can just cover the expense with points.
This is one of the features that really helps make the Scotia Gold flexible and unique. Apply Points To Travel opens up a new world of possibilities for your Scotia Rewards points.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Insurance
Similar to other premium rewards credit cards, the Scotiabank Gold AMEX includes a comprehensive insurance package to cover you as you enjoy the benefits of your travel rewards points. The extensive package once again helps solidify the overall value that the Scotia Gold delivers.
So what kind of insurance coverage is provided with the card?
- Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
- Trip Interruption & Cancellation Insurance
- Delayed & Lost Luggage Insurance
- Flight Delay
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
- Rental Car Loss, Collision & Damage Insurance
- Hotel Burglary Insurance
Plus the Gold card includes extended warranty and price protection on goods or services you purchase on the card.
Pros And Cons Of The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Pros of the Scotiabank Gold AMEX
- 4x earn rate on groceries, gas, dining and entertainment is one of the best in Canada
- Flexible redemption through the Scotia Rewards portal or credit statements
- Extensive travel insurance package
- Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage
- Special offers through American Express Invites and Scotia Rewards Travel Advantage to concerts, movies, events and more
Cons of the Scotiabank Gold AMEX
- 15,000 welcome bonus could be bigger
- Perceived lack of acceptance of American Express at select merchants
See the section below on changes coming to the Scotia Gold card that will help deliver even more value to Canadian cardholders (5x earning rates and no foreign transaction fees).
Changes Coming To The Scotiabank Gold Amex
The value of your Scotiabank Gold American Express card is going to increase even further with some exciting new changes rolling out August 1, 2019.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you do any shopping online or travel in the US/overseas, foreign transaction fees of 2.5% can really cripple your budgets. Thankfully the Scotiabank Gold American Express will now offer no fees on purchases made on the card starting August 1.
This continues to help solidify the Gold card as one of the best travel rewards cards on the market and one of the few true rewards cards to offer no foreign fees.
Scotia Rewards Earning Rates
The earning rates on the card are also going to shift to the below:
- 5x points on every $1 spent on groceries, restaurants and entertainment
- 3x points on every $1 spent on gas, transit and streaming services
- 1x points on every $1 spent on everything else
Given most family budgets skew heavier in grocery, restaurant and entertainment expenses, the average cardholder should come out well ahead with the new 5x earning rate changes.
The addition of streaming services (Netflix, Spotify, etc.) and transit to the 3x earning rate only help deliver you even more rewards.
Other Changes To The Scotiabank Gold AMEX
However, there will also be some changes that should make you want to apply now before the annual fee increases from $99 to $120. There will also be two insurance changes with the card losing the price protection benefit and trip cancellation is being reduced to $1,500.
So why not apply today and get your card locked in at $99 and then enjoy the increased earning rates and no foreign transaction fees once August 1 comes around?
Who Can Apply For The Scotiabank Gold American Express?
The requirements to apply for the Scotiabank Gold AMEX are limited and consistent to other credit cards in the same range. The major difference is the much lower minimum annual income required in order to qualify.
The criteria you need to meet to qualify for the Scotiabank Gold AMEX are:
- You’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- You hold a minimum annual income of $12,000
- You’re the age of majority in your province
- You pass the credit check
Conclusion: Scotiabank Gold American Express Review
Based on the above, it’s safe to say the Scotiabank Gold AMEX is one of the best all-around travel rewards cards for Canadians. The welcome bonus, increased earning rates and flexible travel redemption help deliver value to any cardholder.
Plus the upcoming changes of 5x earning rates and no foreign transaction fees will only increase the benefits this card offers.
If you’re looking to start stacking Scotia Rewards points, the best time to apply is now to get the $99 annual fee offer before it increased to $120 on August 1, 2019.
Sign Up For The Scotiabank Gold American Express
Register for the Scotiabank Gold AMEX now and start earning Scotia Rewards!
SIGN UP FOR THE SCOTIABANK GOLD TODAY
What Other Great Scotiabank Cards Are Available?
There are awesome credit cards available to Canadians looking to save money on travel by earning rewards. One of those great cards from Scotiabank in a similar tier as the Gold is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite.
The Gold and Passport differ in their benefits and details so here’s a quick headline on what the Passport Visa Infinite offers.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite
- $139 annual fee
- 30,000 Scotia Rewards welcome bonus points (must spend $1,000 in first 3 months)
- 2x points on every $1 spent at grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment and daily transit
- 1x points on every $1 spent elsewhere
- No foreign transaction fees
- Free Priority Pass membership (with 6 free lounge passes)
- Free supplementary card
- Flexible travel redemption on the Scotia Rewards portal or Apply Points To Travel Directly
- Extensive insurance coverage
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCOTIABANK PASSPORT VISA INFINITE
Check out a full Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card review to get all the detail on this great rewards card.
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