The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is an excellent card in terms of the current welcome bonus, as well as for everyday spending. You’ll earn 6 points per dollar spent at select grocery stores and 5 points per dollar spent on all other groceries, food and drinks, and entertainment venues.
This card is suitable for a wide swath of people with its generous earning rates and no foreign transaction fees.
Bonuses & Fees
The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is offering up to 40,000 Scene+ points for new cardholders, structured as follows:
- 20,000 Scene+ points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
- 20,000 Scene+ 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 should encourage many cardholders to use it frequently.
There’s an annual fee of $120, and supplementary cards cost $29 apiece.
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.
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 rate, and is on par with the highest everyday earning rate in a specific merchant category.
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+ point per dollar spent.
It’s important to note that the accelerated earning rates are capped at $50,000 per calendar year. After reaching that threshold, you’ll earn 1 Scene+ point per dollar spent.
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 the following 12 months.
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 for up to 25 days (3 days for age 65 and up)
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance of up to $1,500 per person
Flight delay insurance for delays of more than four hours, up to $500 per person
- Delayed and lost baggage insurance of up to $1,000
Rental car collision or damage insurance, which can help you save on the insurance fees usually charged by car rental companies for vehicles with a MSRP of $65,000
Plus, on the purchase protection side, you’ll get a 90-day protection period against damage, loss, or theft for most new items. In addition, you also get extended warranty of up to one year.