Scotiabank Travel & Lifestyle Credit Cards | Review 2021

Posted on February 16, 2021

When you’re working on building your credit and getting the most out of your credit cards, you have a lot of options to choose from. You want to get the most bang for your buck, and different cards have different incentives, benefits, and rewards.

How do you choose the right one for you? 

Scotiabank has several great options to choose from that can suit any spender. Their travel and lifestyle credit cards can make spending a totally worthwhile experience and help you work towards goals while you’re buying gas and groceries. 

Not sure which one to choose? No problem, we’re here to offer you some advice through a helpful comparison. Keep reading to learn all about Scotiabank’s various credit cards so you can make an informed decision. 

Scotiabank Passport™Visa Infinite Card

The first card on our list is the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite Card. This card came about in 2018 and was originally popular due to the fact that it waived foreign transaction fees. It’s one of the most popular travel cards in Canada, but why is that?

Here’s our pros and cons breakdown for the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite Card.

Pros

As we mentioned, there are no foreign transaction fees when you use this card. This is a huge benefit for anyone that does a lot of international travel. Those hidden fees and expenses add up, so this extra incentive makes a difference.

This card provides access to 1200 airport lounges across the world. You get six free annual passes per year so why not spend your time waiting for your flight in comfort? 

To further help with travel, the card comes with various types of travel insurance, such as lost luggage and travel emergency medical coverage. You can redeem your points on any airline, and each point is worth 1% off of a travel purchase. 

Furthermore, you gain two times the number of points for groceries, entertainment, transit, and dining.

In short, this card is a traveller’s dream. 

Cons

Unfortunately, this card does have a high annual fee of $139, making it one of the pricier options. You need to make at least $60,000 per year as an individual to qualify, so this might be out of reach for many travellers. 

The travel insurance is limited to those under the age of 65, making this a less accessible option for many Canadians, especially snowbirds.

You may also get more rewards and points from normal daily purchases then other cards. 

Other than that, this card is solid, if simple. 

Scotiagold Passport® Visa Card

The next card on our list is the Scotiagold Passport® Visa Card. This card is similar to the Passport™ Visa Infinite Card, but it has fewer bells and whistles. That said, it’s also more accessible and it’s still good for travellers.

This card has plenty of benefits, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. Make sure you know what you’re getting into and what limitations apply before making your decision. Let’s talk about it. 

Pros

This card has a reward system that’s easy to understand. You get one point for every purchase that you make. It’s as simple as that. You also get 5% off of your travel as long as you book through the Scotia Rewards® Travel Service. 

When you use this service, it’s easy to book your next trip and you know that you’re going to get the best deal. There are also no travel restrictions or hidden limitations. You can go anywhere, anytime. 

Your points can also go towards various forms of merchandise and travel rewards. 

You get great travel insurance with this card for a lower-than-average annual fee of $110. As a bonus, you can get up to a 25% discount on car rentals.

From the time you book your ticket to the journey home, this card makes a great addition to any traveller’s wallet. 

Cons

So what’s not to love about this handy little card? 

While the travel insurance options are great, travel emergency medical insurance is limited to people under the age of 65. This is unlike the other travel card options. 

The insurance is also limited to the first 31 days of your trip. Insurance options may be limited if you have a pre-existing condition as well. 

While the annual cost of the card is comparatively low, people on budgets may want something with an even lower fee. This is often the case for younger travellers. 

This is a great card for someone who wants most of the perks of the Infinite card but for a slightly lower fee. If you’re over the age of 65, though, consider choosing a different card if emergency travel medical insurance is important to you. 

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

Now we’ve reached the American Express options. What makes them different? The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card may not seem like a travel and lifestyle card on the surface, but it packs an impressive punch for any habitual travellers. 

Is this the right credit card for you? Read on for some of the pros and cons to find out. 

Pros

Let’s talk about a massive pro to this card. When you sign on, you can get 25,000 points at the time of this article. That’s going to go a long way towards your next travel purchase.

While this wasn’t the case in the past, the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card no longer charges foreign transaction fees. As we mentioned previously, this is a gamechanger for people who engage in a lot of international travel. The fees add up. 

Bonus: This also applies to online purchases. Does your website of choice not offer Canadian dollars as an option? No problem. Shop with ease and know that you’re not paying more than you have to on international purchases. 

While many purchases get you the standard one point per dollar, this one also has options for more points potential. You get three points for every dollar that you spend on gas, transit, and select streaming services. 

You get five points for every dollar that you spend on dining, entertainment, and groceries. This is one of the highest point values for these purchases out of all of the Canadian credit cards. 

You receive a 25% discount on rental cars, as well as a discounted priority pass membership to make your airport time a little more enjoyable. 

As with the other cards, you get a good amount of travel insurance as well as complimentary concierge service.

The minimum income requirement is $12,000, making this a very accessible card.

Cons

So with so many pros, what are the cons to having this card? 

To get those 25,000 initial points, you need to spend $1,000 in the first three months. While this might be simple for most spenders, because of the lower income requirements, not everyone may spend that much on average. 

While this card does offer generous travel insurance, the emergency medical insurance leaves something to be desired in comparison to the other cards depending on who you are.

It offers only 25 consecutive days of coverage in comparison to the Visa’s 31. That said, it does offer coverage to those aged 65 and older, but only for 3 consecutive days. 

Coverage for trip cancellation or delay is covered, but only up to $1,500 per person which may be limiting for some travellers, and that’s only when 75% or more of the costs were paid through the card. 

This used to be one of the more affordable card options at only $99 per year, but the price has gone up. It now sits at the average of $120 per year. While the lack of foreign transaction fees more than make up for this additional cost for frequent travelers, the upfront cost may put off more frugal ones. 

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card

We’re on to our last card: the Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card. What makes this one different from the other American Express card we’ve already discussed? Who is this card for, and what kinds of benefits can it offer you? 

Read on to learn all about it.

Pros

This card, as of right now, offers a hefty sign-on bonus. You can receive 30,000 points for the first eligible purchase, making this the most tempting sign-on offer yet. You can convert some of these points (or any of the points that you earn with this card) to SCENE movie points if you aren’t in a position to travel at the moment. 

After the initial points, you earn one point for every dollar you spend on most purchases. For groceries, entertainment, dining, and gas, you earn four times that, or four points per dollar. Those points add up fast!

When it comes to using those travel points, there are no blackout dates. You can use these points anytime, anyplace. You also get 10 complimentary visits to over 600 airport lounges around the world. Sit back and relax at the airport for your next trip.

You receive all of the standard benefits of the Scotia Rewards® Travel Service, and you enjoy complimentary concierge service on top of that. You’re a valued member of the club. 

You will also receive purchase insurance as well as price protection insurance. This means that if the price of your purchase drops in price within 60 days of purchase, your card can reimburse you by up to $100 per item (with a limit of $500 per year). 

You get all of the travel insurance benefits of the other Scotia Rewards cards, including hotel burglary insurance, lost baggage insurance, emergency medical insurance,  and more. 

If you have any trouble, you get 24/7 access to a help center so there’s always someone available to answer your call. 

Cons 

So what’s not to love about this comprehensive little card? You save a ton of money on travel, points are easy to accrue, and you can use them for so many things.

That travel insurance is tempting and that initial bonus is to die for. 

Well, the annual fee can be a problem for some people. It’s $399 per year for this card, making it one of the most expensive options in Canada. This is a huge upfront cost that many people will shy away from before they even look at the benefits. It isn’t accessible.

The minimum credit limit is $10,000 which is also inaccessible for more frugal spenders. 

While this card is awesome for frequent travelers who spend a lot of money on their work trips, vacations, and overall travel needs, it isn’t accepted everywhere, so you need to check ahead of time so that you don’t end up in an uncomfortable situation with your card. 

Summary

These cards are all very similar, so it really comes down to your lifestyle. 

All cards offer you travel insurance and an appealing rewards program. The American Express cards offer you great point values for every purchase, making them good options for people who make a lot of qualifying purchases. 

The American Express cards and the Visa cards both offer good insurance options, but the American Express cards are more limited. If you’re over the age of 65, only the American Express cards offer you emergency medical coverage. 

While most of these cards are great for travellers at all income levels, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card has a high annual fee that’s more than triple the next most expensive option ( the Passport Visa Infinite). 

All of these cards are good and the benefits are similar enough to make this decision fairly safe. Consider your credit, your income level, and how frequently you travel when you’re making your decision. 

Which Travel and Lifestyle Credit Cards Are Right for You?

There are so many travel and lifestyle credit cards to choose from. Which one is the best for your travelling needs? 

Are you looking for assistance with finding the best ways to save money on insurance and more? We’re here to help Canadians make the right decisions and find the best options for them.

Contact us or get a quote today to get started. 

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