For all you frequent flyers, Scotiabank currently features a roster of some of the best travel credit cards in Canada, each with their own perks and benefits. But the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* in particular can easily get you to your next destination and provide you with extensive luxury travel benefits and insurance.
Within three months, the card already reaps benefits, as their bonus point offer alone qualifies for a flight worth $250. In addition, its earning potential and flexible redemption process makes the card a decent everyday option.
This card carries a $139 annual fee, and cardholders must have a good credit score to qualify, as well as a personal annual income of at least $60,000 or a total household annual income of at least $100,000.
Check out our breakdown of what’s great – and not so great – about this travel rewards card, and whether it’s a good fit for your wallet.
Sign Up Bonus: Great
The 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points you’ll receive shortly after getting your Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card is worth $250 and can be redeemed for flights, accommodations, gift cards, merchandise from Apple, Best Buy or other brand names, a donation to charity, or even credit towards your account so your balance is reduced.
But in order to qualify for the bonus Scotia Rewards points offer, you must have at least $1,000 in net purchases (purchases less returns, refunds or other similar credits) posted to your Scotiabank credit card account in the first three months from the date the account was opened.
Earning Potential: Average
The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* earns 2 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 you spend on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis and more). You also earn 1 Scotia Rewards point on every $1 you spend on all other eligible purchases.
Moreover, you can earn Scotia Rewards points on purchases charged to your account by supplementary cardmembers. As an added bonus, the first supplementary card is free, so you and your partner, spouse, etc. can work towards your next trip.
You also have the chance to earn an additional 10,000 points – on top of the points you regularly earn – if you make at least $40,000 in purchases annually on the card, though this is likely not the most plausible situation for the average family. Following that, for every additional $10,000 in purchases you charge in that same year to your account, you will earn 2,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points.
For example, if you charge $60,000 in annual purchases to your Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* account, you will earn a total of 14,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points (10,000 Scotia Rewards points for the first $40,000 in annual purchases and an additional 4,000 Scotia Rewards points for the additional $20,000 in annual purchases).
So how does this card stack up to other travel rewards options? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much you could earn over a 24-month period.
Assuming $1,119.58 is spent on the card monthly at eligible vendors in the following categories*:
- Pharmacy: $54.16
- Food: $665
- Gas**: $152.42
- Travel: $148
- Other: $100
Reward points earned over a 24-month period: 71,382 Scotia Rewards points
Monetary worth: Up to $713.82 in Scotia Rewards
Total (subtracting annual fee): $435.82
*Source: Statistics Canada
**Based on $1.00/litre gas prices
Balance Transfer Feature: Average
This card features an average of 22.99% rate on balance transfers. But note that balance transfers do not count as an eligible transaction that counts towards the new card-membership bonus. As mentioned before, in order to receive the 25,000 points, cardholders must make at least $1,000 in new purchases in the first three months of card membership.
Point Redemption: Good
Cardholders aren’t limited to black-out periods or booking with specific airlines when using this card. Bookings can be made through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service, which also comes with the benefit of the Best Price Guarantee on airfare. If you book a flight on the Scotia Rewards Travel Service site or with a Scotiabank Travel Rewards Representative and, within 24 hours, find a price for the exact same itinerary that’s at least $10 less, Scotia Rewards Travel Service will offer you a points credit equal to the price difference, per passenger.
Alternatively, you have the option to book your travel online or through a travel agency and redeem Scotia Rewards points to cover the cost of your trip.
The only downside is that you need to redeem a minimum of 5,000 points if you are looking to redeem points for a travel purchase. But if you receive the 25,000 bonus points, this may not even be a problem.
In addition, the Scotia Rewards Program also allows you to redeem your points for gift cards, merchandise from Apple, Best Buy or other brand names, a donation to charity, or even credit towards your account so your balance is reduced.
In terms of perks, the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* comes with a lot of competitive travel benefits and rewards on everyday purchases.
For instance, you can enjoy no foreign exchange fees on your international purchases, which is a rarity for credit cards in the Canadian market as of late.
In addition, you get a complimentary airport lounge access (Priority Pass™ membership), with six passes per year from the date of enrolment. This is impressive since not many Canadian credit cards offer more than four lounge visits per year.
You’ll also get a complimentary Avis® Preferred Plus membership as well as Visa Infinite Benefits, including access to the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection and Infinite Concierge. With the Luxury Hotel Collection, you’re guaranteed the best available rate, upgrades, complimentary meals and VIP treatment when you book with certain premium hotels like Peninsula, Park Hyatt, and Shangri-La. Infinite Concierge offers 24/7 complimentary personal assistance in planning your trip, accommodations, and reservations.
Travel Insurance: Great
The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* comes with quite an extensive travel insurance package to cover you and provide support in case you run into an emergency while on vacation. Coverage includes:
- Out of province / out of country emergency medical insurance up to $1-million for first 25 consecutive days for those under 65; or the first 10 days for eligible persons over 65
- Travel accident insurance
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Flight delay insurance
- Delayed and lost baggage insurance
- Rental vehicle collision loss/damage insurance
- Hotel / Motel Burglary
Remember, coverage can be voided due to pre-existing conditions, and certain conditions and requirements apply.