The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is an excellent card in terms of both the current signup bonus on offer, as well as for every day spending. You’ll earn 6 points per dollar spent at select grocery stores and 5 points per dollar spent on all other grocery, food and drinks, and entertainment venues.
Bonuses & Fees
The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is offering up to 40,000 Scene+ points for new cardholders:
- 20,000 points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
- 20,000 points upon spending $7,500 in the first year
This is a good offer, among the better ones we’ve seen for this card. The second spending threshold is well within reach, as the card’s strong everyday earning rates will encourage many cardholders to use it frequently.
There is an annual fee of $120, which is waived for the first year at the moment, something we don’t usually see on this card.
This card is a great choice for everyday spending. You’ll earn 5 Scene+ points per dollar spent at grocery stores, food and drink, and entertainment venues. That’s pretty much equivalent to 5% cash back on these categories, which is a fantastic proposition.
You can buy gift cards for other retailers at gas stations and grocery stores, meaning that you could potentially earn 5% back on the majority of your purchases if you leverage the power of gift cards.
In addition to the strong 5x earning rate, as part of a partnership with Empire grocery stores, you can earn 6 Scene+ points per dollar spent on Empire grocery stores such as Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, and FreshCo. This is a very impressive earning amount, and is on par for the highest everyday earning rate on a specific merchant category.
The only credit card in Canada that would give these bonus categories a run for their money would be the American Express Cobalt Card, whose 5x multiplier applies to groceries and dining only, excluding gas and entertainment.
Meanwhile, you’ll earn 3 Scene+ points per dollar spent on gas, daily transit, and streaming services, which is a highly competitive earning rate for some spending categories that otherwise don’t get much coverage.
On all other spending, you’ll earn 1 Scene+ points per dollar spent. This means that if you’d like to use the Scotia Gold Amex on your daily spending, it’s best to combine it with another high-powered card like the American Express Business Platinum Card, and to use either card when it’s more advantageous to do so (i.e., depending on whether you’re spending in the bonus categories or not).
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
This card has no foreign transaction fees, an area where Scotiabank leads the Big 5 by a wide margin.
However, you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar spent on purchases made in foreign currencies, and Amex isn’t accepted quite as widely around the world as other cards.
Despite not being issued by American Express the lender, 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 Gold American Express Card is as strong as you’d expect for a premium travel credit card. 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
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance of up to $2,500 per person
Flight delay insurance for delays of more than four hours, up to $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 a 90-day protection period against damage, loss, or theft for most new items. Super useful!
Hey Ricky, I appreciate your insights and content.
In this case, however, I feel let down because the sign-up bonus and annual fee waiver you discuss in this article do not apply to existing Scotiabank credit cardholders.
Unfortunately, I only found out about this after receiving the card. No biggie, but I feel that you have a duty to discuss the offer eligibility in more detail (the fine print) to better inform your readership.
What was your experience upon meeting the spend? Most existing Scotiabank credit cardholders have still been getting the full bonuses.
Hey Ricky, I am reporting back (happily) that I received the full bonus upon meeting the min spend. Cheers!
I’ll report in a month or so! Thanks for following up. 👍🏼
Just applied and instantly got approved for this card (player ‘2’ wife); and thanks for the reminder in your recent email to get this great offer (no annual fee and a free $500 hotel usage / travel redemption offer; GREAT DEAL). I have to say knowing how scotiabank operates that they do have nice offers like this from time to time that we like to take advantage of however points redemption always does require a phone call in (no big deal) as their scotiarewards points site on the web has been down quite some time.
You’ll be able to register for some Amex Offers including Shop Small – i called amex and asked they said no!
I don’t believe it’s publicly advertised, but it’s possible by going to the manual registration link for each Amex Offer.