Scotiabank Gold American Express

Last updated on: July 27, 2020
  • 20,000 Scotia Rewards points
  • $120 Annual fee
Best offer is available publicly
Signup bonus:
20,000 Scotia Rewards points upon meeting minimum spending
Minimum spending:
$1,000 in the first three months
Annual fee:
$120
Earning rate:
5 Scotia Rewards points per dollar spent on groceries, dining, and entertainment
3 Scotia Rewards points per dollar spent on gas, transit, and streaming services
1 Scotia Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Insurance:
Strong

The Bonuses

The Scotia Gold Amex is offering 20,000 Scotia Rewards points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months.

The annual fee of $120 is not waived; however, there are occasionally some cash-back offers floating around out there that could offset your out-of-pocket expense.

In addition, there have historically been offers of higher bonuses on this card, as well as first-year fee waivers, that have come and gone.

For example, in late 2017, you could earn 35,000 Scotia Rewards points on this card while enjoying a first-year fee waiver! If you’re interested in this card, I’d recommend waiting a little bit to see if there are any better offers than the current 20,000-point offer coming up around the corner.

Earning Rewards

The Scotia Gold Amex has historically been a great choice for everyday spending. That’s because you’ll earn 5 Scotia Rewards 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.

Remember that 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.

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 Scotia Rewards 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 Scotia Rewards 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).

Using Scotia Rewards Points

In my opinion, Scotia Rewards points are one of the best fixed-value points programs in Canada. 100 Scotia Rewards points are worth $1 towards the cost of travel, so your signup bonus of 30,000 points equates to an instant $300 credit towards any travel expense.

What makes Scotia’s program stand out? The answer lies in how easy and flexible it is to use their points. Many other fixed value points programs, like BMO Rewards or CIBC Aventura, force you to book your travel through their in-house travel agencies if you want to use them to offset the cost of travel. This means that you’re effectively limited to using your points for flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacations.

Things like taxes and fees on award tickets, Airbnbs, and train tickets are therefore off the table. And sometimes the cost of booking travel through the banks’ in-house agencies is significantly higher than if you just booked on Expedia or something.

Not so with Scotiabank. You simply charge any travel expense to your card, whether in-person or online, and you can then use your points to offset that expense up to 12 months after the date of the transaction. It’s really the gold standard for how a fixed points program should work, which is unfortunately an area in which many of Canada’s other big banks drop the ball.

This also means that you can comfortably pay for travel expenses as soon as you receive the card, take your time to meet the spending requirement (if you haven’t already), wait for the points to post, and then apply the points to your original travel outlay.

Throw in the fact that you can use the age-old “refundable hotel trick” to turn your Scotia Rewards points into a pure statement credit, and this card is an absolute winner in the realm of fixed points travel cards.

Insurance Coverage

The insurance on the Scotiabank Gold American Express 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!

Is This an American Express Card?

There is often confusion as to whether or not this card is an American Express card, and that confusion stems from the fact that unlike Visa or MasterCard, American Express is both a card network and a card issuer.

Amex issues its own credit cards and charge cards around the world – like the Platinum Card or Cobalt Card here in Canada – and all of these cards run on the American Express card network.

But other financial institutions can also choose to issue cards on the Amex network, and that’s exactly what’s happening with this card. It’s issued by Scotiabank, but you’ll still use it as an American Express card, meaning that the dreaded words of “Visa or MasterCard only” will sadly continue to rankle.

Apply Now

Follow the link below to apply for the Scotiabank Gold American Express via our affiliate link, which helps support the Prince of Travel website. You need a minimum annual income of $12,000 to be eligible for this card.

Alternatively, you may websites like Great Canadian Rebates to see if any of their cash-back offers might pique your interest.

Ricky

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