The Ultimate Review of Scotiabank’s Ultimate Package

Posted on April 27, 2021

A chequing account that sounds too good to be true but that's actually real? It might be one way to describe Scotiabank's Ultimate Package chequing account. It's an account with lots of perks and features including unlimited free transactions and ABM withdrawals plus a $300 welcome bonus when you sign up for the account. And that's just the beginning.

It's no surprise that MoneySense rated it as one of the best premium bank accounts for bundling in 2020. The account also offers up to $650 in benefits and/or savings.

Most traditional chequing accounts usually don't earn interest and those that do, have a lower interest rate than savings accounts. They also typically charge a monthly fee. However, the Scotiabank Ultimate Package is a premium account that offers excellent benefits and perks making it an account you should seriously consider.

If you've been looking for a chequing account that offers more, read the Scotiabank Ultimate Package review below to learn more about this all-inclusive package with first-rate features.

Scotiabank Ultimate Package Features

The Scotiabank Ultimate Package received its award-winning premium bank account title based on several factors including the fee waivers offered with the account, rewards earning potential, other free features, and so much more. Here's a detailed look at what the package offers.

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Savings Potential

Most bank customers often use chequing accounts as an avenue to access money easily for daily spending. Chequing accounts are not usually seen as a great savings mechanism. However, Scotia's ultimate package does increase your savings potential.

Interest - If you have a Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account you can earn up to 1.80% interest. As an Ultimate Package account holder, you'll receive a boost to the Regular Interest Rate. The annual rate will be calculated daily on the closing balance of your MomentumPLUS Savings Account(s) in the form of a monthly payment.

Investment Certificates - A guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) offers a rate of return (determined by your bank) over a fixed length of time. Special interest rates on select GICs are one of the many benefits of the Ultimate Package. These include Long-Term Non-Redeemable GICs with one to ten-year terms. Interest accrues daily from the issue date up to, but not inclusive of the maturity date of your GIC.

Trade Commissions - If you have a Scotia iTRADE account, your account can qualify for commission credits on the first 10 equity trades in the first year (approximately a $100 value). You'll receive five free equity trades for every year after the first year, as long as you have the Scotiabank Ultimate Package.

Usage

Ultimate Package usage benefits include:

Unlimited Perks - Ultimate Package account holders can enjoy unlimited:

  • Debit transactions, however fees are incurred for cross-border debit transactions and ABM services
  • No-fee Scotia International Money Transfers but foreign currency exchange rates, as well as the Terms and Conditions in your Scotiabank International Money Transfer Agreement, still apply
  • Interac e-Transfer transactions
Scotiabank Overdraft Info Image

Overdraft Protection - If you choose to add Overdraft Protection to your account, there will be a $5 fee waiver if your account is ever overdrawn. However, the monthly interest charge of 21% per annum, calculated daily on overdrawn balances, will still apply.

A positive balance on the account at least once every 30 days is required. A $5 handling fee charge will apply to each item paid while the account is overdrawn over the authorized limit.

Fee Waivers

Fee waivers and other benefits associated with the Ultimate Package include:

Free Cheques and Drafts - Accounts in good standing receive one book of 100 free personalized cheques every year. You also qualify for unlimited US and Canadian dollar bank drafts. 

Unlimited ABM Withdrawals - These include non-Scotiabank Interac cash withdrawals in Canada and cash withdrawals done at non-Scotiabank Visa or PLUS ABMs both within and outside of Canada. Although Scotiabank provides these transactions at no cost, the ABM operator or the other banks may still charge a convenience fee. 

Credit Card Fee Waiver - Ultimate Package account holders with at least one eligible Scotiabank Credit Card account can have up to $139 of ongoing annual credit card fees waived. 

No Monthly Fee - The Scotiabank Ultimate Package costs $30.95 per month. However, one of the major perks of the package is that account holders don't have to pay this fee once they maintain a minimum daily closing balance of $5,000. The fee is also waived if you also have a MomentumPLUS Savings Account and maintain a combined balance of $30,000 across both accounts.

How to Waive the Monthly Fee

You might be wondering what you have to do to ensure you benefit from the monthly fee waiver. The fee is initially charged to your Ultimate Package account. You'll receive a rebate of the fee amount within the first 10 business days of the following month.

Your Ultimate Account will, of course, need to have a $5,000 balance as well as sufficient funds to cover the monthly fee and any other fees. If you have both an Ultimate Package and a MomentumPLUS Savings Account with the balance amounts required, the fee waiver only applies to the Ultimate Package account.

Rewards and Additional Perks

In addition to the features above, there are also rewards and perks associated with Scotiabank's Ultimate Package. Here are a few of them.

Welcome Reward

Scotiabank is offering a $300 welcome bonus to anyone who opens a new Ultimate Package account by July 29, 2021. To qualify, new account holders must complete two of the following at least 60 days after opening the account.

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  • Use online or mobile banking services to make an eligible bill payment of $50
  • Set up two eligible and separate recurring pre-authorized transactions of $50 or more. These two transactions must clear and recur every month for at least three consecutive months
  • Set up at least one eligible automated and recurring deposit. This could be a transaction associated with your salary or pension. To qualify it must clear and recur every month for at least three consecutive months

Once you satisfy the criteria the cash bonus of $300 will be directly deposited into your Ultimate Package account within six months from the day you opened your account. This only applies if you meet all the offer conditions as outlined above. 

Reward Points

You can choose whether you wish to earn SCENE™ or Scotia Rewards® points. Both allow you to earn points on purchases.

You earn points for entertainment rewards with SCENE® Rewards. You can use SCENE® points towards movies at Cineplex Theatres, their concession, as well as at cineplex.com. You can also redeem points at participating SCENE® dining partners which include East Side Mario's, Swiss Chalet, Montana's BBQ and Bar, Harvey's, and others.

Scotiabank Scene Points Image

With Scotia Rewards® you can redeem your points toward gift cards, travel, tech items, and more. The program is flexible, easy to access, and allows you to choose from a variety of rewards including:

  • Merchandise and technology from Apple and Best Buy
  • Brand name merchandise including jewelry, accessories, and household items
  • A selection of prepaid and gift cards
  • Credit on your Scotia Rewards® Program Card Account 
  • Easy travel booking through the Scotia Rewards® Travel Service

You also have the option to book your own travel but you can still use your points towards your trip expenses.

Perks on Additional Accounts

If you're an Ultimate Package account holder and also have a Scotia® U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account or a Basic Plus Bank Account you won't have to pay the monthly account fee. This adds up to savings of $143 annually if you have a Basic Plus Bank Account.

The fee waiver is only applied if the primary account holder of the Ultimate Package account is either the primary account holder or joint account holder on either of the additional accounts mentioned above.

Safety Deposit Box

You will get a small safety deposit box upon activation of your Ultimate Package account and a fee waiver of $60. All accounts in good standing will have the waiver applied annually. The waiver will only apply to one Ultimate Package account. 

Account Downsides

Unfortunately, there no perfect chequing account exists. But you must do the research, and weigh the pros and cons of the offerings available from each banking institution.

You will have to base your choice on advantages offered that far outweigh the disadvantages of the account. It's about choosing the account that's right for you and that best suits your lifestyle.

Here are a few of the downsides to the Ultimate Package account:

High Monthly Fee

Eight chequing accounts made it to MoneySense's best chequing accounts in Canada for 2021. The list only included three banks with a monthly fee. However, the fee of $34.95 for Scotiabank's Ultimate package was by far the highest compared to $3.95 and $4.00 for the other two banks charging monthly fees.

Scotiabank Disadvantage Info Image

Minimum Balance Requirement

Besides being hard to maintain, when you look at the opportunity cost of holding $5,000 in an account that you won't be earning interest on, you may think twice about opening an Ultimate Package account.

If you do the calculations, despite saving $371 in bank fees, annually, you would probably make even more if you invested your $5,000 in an interest-bearing savings account or put it towards an individual retirement account (IRA).

Account Stipulations

All the benefits and perks associated with the Ultimate Package account have a potential annual value of $650. These include the following annual savings:

  • Unlimited debit transactions, International Money Transfers, and Interac e-transfer transactions - $203.40 (monthly fee waiver of $16.95)
  • Savings on one overdraft protection per year - $5.00
  • Savings on one draft per year - $9.50
  • Waiver of a Basic Plus Account fee - $143.40 (monthly fee waiver of $11.95)
  • Waiver of annual fee on select credit cards - $120.00
  • Savings on a US Daily Interest Savings Account - $12.00 (monthly fee waiver of $1.00)
  • Savings on 100 free personalized cheques - $65.00
  • Savings for using six domestic, one US, and one international non-Scotiabank ABM per year - $17.00
  • Waiver of safety deposit box fee - $60.00
  • Fee savings for five free equity trade with iTRADE - $50.00 (five free equity trades per year at $9.99 per trade)

Once you do the math, you'll realize the savings potential of getting an Ultimate package account. But what also stands out is that all the savings are all "potential" and may not necessarily be actual.

You'll realize when going over the above list, that there are some perks you may never use. As great as it looks on paper, the reality is, the savings are only beneficial if you actually use them.  

Is Scotiabank Ultimate Package Worth It?

Many potential, as well as current banking clients, continue to feel disenchanted when doing business with banks. This is because the benefits they provide are often minimal, at best. You will want to bank with an institution that considers your needs and provides you with solutions as well as benefits.

Scotiabank has been ranked as one of the top 30 safest banks in the world. Their customers can choose from a variety of services including savings and chequing accounts with competitive features.  

Customers opting to sign up for the Scotiabank Ultimate Package can benefit from many of its features including unlimited debit transactions, rewards, the potential to grow their money, and free personalized cheques. Most importantly they won't have to pay the monthly account fee if they maintain a minimum balance of $5,000.

If you're still uncertain about the best account for you, Insurdinary can help you compare the best chequing accounts available in Canada. Check out our website for a comprehensive side-by-side comparison that will help make your decision easier.

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