10 Reasons to Apply for the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card

The Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card has emerged as the best travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees in the Canadian market. 

As its rewards program, Scene+, continues to take hold in the loyalty landscape, it’s easier than ever before to maximize this card.

With heightened category multipliers and a time-sensitive elevated welcome bonus, let’s look at 10 reasons why the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card should be in your wallet.


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1. Up to 40,000 Scene+ Points

If you apply for the card before July 1, 2024, you’re eligible to receive a total welcome bonus of up to 40,000 Scene+ points, split into two chunks:

  • Earn 30,000 Scene+ points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
  • Earn another 10,000 Scene+ points upon spending at least $40,000 in your first year

The first batch of points is very easy to earn, with a low spending requirement. 30,000 Scene+ points is equivalent to $300 towards travel expenses, and it’s hard to pass up such an attractive offer.

Meanwhile, earning the additional 10,000 Scene+ points requires significant spending, which may be less compelling or out of reach for many.

However, this bonus is available every year, and it will reward loyal cardholders who maximize ongoing everyday spending on their Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card .

2. First Year Annual Fee Waiver

Normally, the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card charges a reasonable annual fee of $150. However, if you apply before July 1, 2024, the annual fee is waived for the first year.

We’ve recently seen comparable mid-tier travel credit cards increase their annual fees from $120 to $139. As many credit cards raise their fees, it’s nice to be able to try out this one with a first-year fee waiver.

Furthermore, many historical welcome offers have not come with an annual fee waiver, making this another reason why you should consider applying this round before July 1, 2024.

Note that if you have an Ultimate Package banking bundle with Scotiabank, you’ll enjoy continued annual fee waivers every year on this card.

3. 2x Points on Groceries & Dining + 3x Points at Sobeys

The Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card has always offered 2 Scene+ points per dollar spent at grocery stores and on dining purchases, including restaurants, bars, cafés, and take-out.

Since kicking off the close partnership between Scene+ and Sobeys nearly two years ago, the card has boosted its rewards to 3 points per dollar spent at all Sobeys-affiliated grocery stores.

Brands that are eligible for the 3x earning rate include Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry, and Co-Op.

Since Scene+ points can easily be redeemed at 1 cent per point against travel purchases, this means that you’ll essentially receive a healthy 3% back on all purchases at eligible Sobeys-affiliated locations.

Earn 3x points at Sobeys-affiliated grocery stores

The increase to a 3x multiplier is exceptionally strong amongst Canadian Visa cards. It even nominally surpasses the vaunted Aeroplan Visa Infinite cards, which offer 1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on the same grocery purchases.

Indeed, a 50% increase in rewards at Sobeys versus other grocery stores is a significant margin, enough to potentially influence where you choose to shop.

4. 2x Points on Entertainment

In addition to the elevated category bonuses on groceries, food, and dining, you’ll also earn 2x Scene+ points on select entertainment expenses with the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card .

Earn 2x Scene+ points at movie theatres with the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card

Eligible entertainment expenses for bonus Scene+ points include theatres, ticket agencies, and, of course, movies.

This is a strong multiplier among Canadian credit cards. While many cards that target millennials tend to feature other lifestyle categories such as dining, most exclude entertainment from their bonus multipliers.

5. 2x Points on Transit

Continuing with the category bonus dominance, the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card further offers 2x Scene+ points on transit expenses.

Eligible transportation expenses include gas, rideshare services, buses, taxis, subways, and anything else that has a Merchant Category Code of “transit”.

Earn 2x Scene+ points per dollar on transportation with the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card

2x points represents a nice 2% return on transit – not necessarily an industry-leading rate, but no slouch either.

For an all-in-one solution towards many of life’s common expenses, the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card packs quite a punch.

6. No Foreign Transaction Fees

Almost all Canadian credit cards impose a hefty 2.5% foreign transaction fee on purchases made in currencies other than the Canadian dollar. You won’t encounter this cash grab with the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card .

In fact, Scotiabank is the only bank out of Canada’s Big 5 to offer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. If you often travel outside of Canada, or if you make many purchases in other currencies, this perk can translate into huge savings.

As a nice bonus, the card earns 2x Scene+ points on its bonus categories even in foreign currencies. This sets it apart from the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which also has no foreign transaction fee but uniformly earns 1x Scene+ points on such transactions.

Along with widespread worldwide Visa acceptance, those factors could count for this card if you expect to primarily use it for foreign spending.

7. Airport Lounge Access

Any traveller looking for a seamless airport experience will come to appreciate the value of lounge access, which can be easily obtained with the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card.

Cardholders receive a complimentary membership to the Visa Airport Companion program, which is partnered with DragonPass. Through these programs, you’ll have access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide, including Plaza Premium lounges which have a large footprint at Canadian airports.

Enjoy a relaxing pre-flight beverage at the Plaza Premium Lounge Toronto (Terminal 1 Domestic)

Each year, you’ll receive six free lounge visits included in your membership. You can use these vouchers for yourself or any travelling companion, and you can always buy additional visits for $32 (USD).

The Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card has long been a leader on the Canadian credit card scene when it comes to lounge access.

In particular, all Visa Infinite Privilege cards offer a membership with six annual visits, but this card is the only Visa Infinite card to provide the same allowance as its more premium alternatives – which come at a more premium price point.

8. Versatility of Scene+ Points

Scene+ points are some of the most flexible travel rewards points when compared to other Big 5 banks’ loyalty programs. You can redeem them at 1 cent per point for any travel expense charged to yourScotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card.

The most attractive aspect of Scene+ points is the ease of redeeming them for travel purchases.

After paying with your Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card , you simply apply your Scene+ points at 1 cent per point against travel expenses once they’ve posted to your account. Other rewards programs require you to redeem points through dedicated portals, which are often clunky and cumbersome.

Use Scene+ points to cover stays at independent hotels, such as the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

If you don’t have enough Scene+ points to cover the whole travel expense right away, don’t fret, as you can still use points you earn in the future. You’ll have up to one year from the date of purchase to redeem points for an eligible travel expense.

The flexibility of Scene+ points makes the program a great option for minimizing out-of-pocket expenses on cruises, independent hotels, or any other travel purchases that can’t be otherwise booked with points.

9. Savings on Car Rentals

Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* cardholders receive a complimentary Avis Preferred Plus membership.

Avis Preferred Plus members receive complimentary upgrades whenever available, a members-only customer support phone line, and 5–25% discounts in Canada and the United States.

It’s often hard to use points to offset your costs on car rentals, much harder than it is with flights, hotels, or other travel arrangements.

As the prices of car rentals have been steadily increasing in recent years, it’s becoming more and more compelling to look for savings like those offered via the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card.

10. Strong Insurance Coverage

As you’d expect for a travel credit card, Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card comes with a strong suite of travel insurance.

By charging expenses to the card, you’ll be eligible for the following types of insurance coverage:

While the above inclusions are more or less standard these days, the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card ups the ante by offering a generous 25 days for emergency medical insurance for eligible persons under the age of 65.

Most emergency medical insurance offered on similar credit card products is capped at 15 or 21 days. Having an extra period of coverage can come in handy if you tend to travel for more than two or three weeks at a time.

Travel insurance of up to $2,000,000 per person is available for cardholders, their spouse, and dependent children. As with all types of emergency medical insurance on travel credit cards, the insurance applies even if the card wasn’t used to book any portion of the trip.

Conclusion

The Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card is an excellent credit card with some of the best features available in Canada.

With a flexible rewards program, complimentary airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees, and competitive travel insurance, it’s a highly compelling all-around solution, and arguably a must-have for Canadian travellers.

As Scene+ continues to emerge as a major player in the Canadian loyalty landscape, you’ll definitely want to pick up this card and start earning flexible Scene+ points before its current welcome bonus ends on July 1, 2024.

† Terms and conditions apply. Refer to the card issuer’s website for complete, up-to-date information.