The Scotiabank American Express Card is Scotiabank’s entry-level travel rewards credit card on the American Express network.
With a flat 1% return on spending and a moderate signup bonus, this card is best-suited to casual travellers who are looking to avoid credit card annual fees, while earning points in a simplified rewards currency to reduce some of the expenses along their travels.
Bonuses & Fees
The Scotiabank American Express Card is offering an all-time-high welcome bonus of up to 10,000 Scene+ points for new applicants, distributed as follows:
- Earn 7,000 Scene+ points upon spending $750 in the first three months
- Earn an additional 5,000 Scene+ points upon spending $5,000 in the first year
The card has no annual fee for the primary or supplementary cardholders.
The Scotiabank American Express Card offers an elevated 2 Scene+ points per dollar spent on dining, groceries, movies, gas, transit, and streaming services – equivalent to a flat 2% return.
As part of a partnership with Empire grocery stores, you can earn 3 Scene+ points per dollar spent on Empire grocery stores such as Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, and FreshCo.
There is an earning rate of 1 Scene+ point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
For a no-fee card, these elevated earning rates are excellent, representing mostly all average daily spending categories. This is definitely a card you want to consider as a daily driver if you are just starting out.
If you’re interested in attaining stronger returns from your spending, consider the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which comes with a stronger 5x earning rate on groceries, dining, and entertainment – all with a reasonable annual fee of $120.
Scene+ is one of the most flexible fixed-value points programs in Canada. Points have a value of 1 cent per point, and can be easily credited towards any travel expense.
This is far superior to fixed-value points programs from Canada’s other major banks, which force you to book your travel through their in-house travel agencies. With those programs, you’re effectively limited to using your points for flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacations.
On the other hand, with Scene+ points, you can apply your points to things like Airbnbs, train tickets, and award taxes and fees. Simply charge the travel expense to your credit card, and then redeem points to “offset” the charge within a 90-day period.
Throw in the fact that you can use the age-old “refundable hotel trick” to turn your Scene+ points into a pure statement credit, and this card is an absolute winner in the realm of fixed points travel cards.
Your points won’t expire for as long as you’re a cardholder. If you cancel the card, you’ll have 60 days to redeem your Scene+ points before they’re gone.
Perks & Benefits
Despite not being issued by American Express, this card still gets many of the perks of being on the American Express payment network.
You’ll be able to register for some Amex Offers including Shop Small, use Amex Front of the Line for presale event tickets, and use American Express Invites for exclusive experiences.
The insurance on the Scotiabank American Express Card is fairly comprehensive for a no-fee product. Coverage includes:
- The essential emergency medical insurance of up to $1 million for you, your spouse, and dependent children on unexpected medical illness or injury when travelling out-of-province, on trips of up to eight days in duration
- Trip interruption insurance of up to $2,500 per person
- Rental car collision or damage insurance, which can help you save on the insurance fees usually charged by car rental companies
On the purchase protection side, you’ll get extended warranty of up to one more year, purchase protection of 90 days against damage, loss, or theft for new items, and even price protection of up to $100 per item if the price drops within 60 days after you’ve made your purchase.