Scotia Rewards & How to Get the Most from the Program

May 25, 2020
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Scotia Rewards program is one of the most versatile rewards programs in Canada. It has a plethora of options that may fit your needs and requirements thus, helping you maximize your kind of rewards from the program.

Pretty much anyone can benefit from being a part of the Scotiabank Rewards program. You should definitely join, considering that it’s free to do so, and you only stand to gain. Especially, if you are someone who likes to travel or spend on entertainment such as movies and restaurants. You usally get 1 point every $1 that you spend, which you can redeem for movies, travel and Apple among many other exciting categories.

The Scotia Rewards program has been gaining a lot of attention due to the flexibility of the rewards system and the number of potential ways in which you can use the points. Points can be used for travelling, groceries, electronics, movie tickets, etc.

However, it is necessary to understand how the rewards system works so that you can use it to help you maximize the benefits that you can get from it.

What Is The Scotia Rewards Program?

The Scotia Rewards program is Scotiabank’s loyalty program. The program is designed to encourage Scotiabank customers to apply for and use the different rewards credit cards the bank offers. You basically earn points on purchases made with the cards and then you can redeem those points for different rewards.

Scotiabank was founded in 1832, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Today the bank has more than 3,000 branches with 2.5 million customers in 50 countries. The Scotia Rewards program started in 2012, to reward loyal consumers. The program initially focused on providing discounts on travel and entertainment. Later on, the program also started investing in discounts on eateries and electronics as well.

How to Enjoy Your Scotia Rewards Points

Scotia Rewards is a very flexible loyalty program in terms of redemptions. Here are some of the redemption categories you cant trade your points in:

  • Get discounts for movie tickets
  • Buy discounted Uber rides
  • Discounted or free Apple Products
  • Discounted or free Best Buy Products
  • Get discounts at other transport services
  • Free meals at select restaurants
  • Get travel discounts on hotel bookings & air travel
  • Free travel health insurance
  • Car rental insurance

How to Redeem Your Scotia Rewards Points

Using your points is easy. To redeem your Scotia Rewards points for products from merchants such as Apple or Best Buy all you have to do is:

  • Go to the Scotia Rewards website where you will find their products listed.
  • Click on the product you want to buy
  • Provide your account details.
  • Choose to pay with points

That’s all you need to initiate the process to get discounted or free products.

How To Earn Scotia Rewards Points

You can earn Scotiabank Reward Points by using your card to purchase movie tickets, streaming services such as Netflix, groceries, transport services such as Uber, buses & subways. Scotiabank has several different ways in which you can use the rewards program to earn points. Let’s cover all the possible options available to different types of users. This will enable you to choose the way that best suits your lifestyle and needs.

As you can probably already guessed, the only way to earn points in the Scotia Rewards program is to sign up for a Scotiabank rewards credit card. Here is the full list of credit card options they offer so you can choose the best one for you.

  • Scotiabank Rewards Visa Card
  • Scotiabank American Express Card
  • Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
  • ScotiaGold Passport Visa Card
  • Scotiabank Gold American Express

Now, keep reading to see what you get with each card and if it’s the right one for you:

Scotiabank Rewards Visa Card

The Rewards Visa card is the basic rewards card that you can get and it is totally free. It has no annual fee associated with it.

Basic Features And Benefits

  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards Point for every $2 that you spend
  • Use the travel card to book travel through Scotia Rewards Travel Service – Scotia Bank’s full-service travel agency
  • Redeem points for travel at any time that suits you
  • Access to merchandise and rewards
  • Save up to 25% off base rates on select AVIS & Budget locations in Canada and USA when you use your Scotia Bank Rewards Visa card.
  • $500 Minimum Credit Limit

Scotiabank American Express Card

It has similar features to the Rewards Visa card however, every $1 spent yields you 1 Scotia Reward point. There is also a $1,000 credit limit to this card.

Basic Features And Benefits

  • Earn 5,000 bonus points with the first $500 you spend in the first 3 months.
  • $1 million medical coverage for your spouse and children when you travel
  • Trip Interruption Insurance is applicable when you book 75% of your trip expenses with your American Express card. The insurance covers your spouse and children for a limit of up to $10,000. It is eligible for medical or non-medical reasons which may cause your trip to be cancelled.
  • Collision and damage insurance of rented cars for a value of up to $65,000, if you have rented your vehicle using the Scotia Bank American Express card. The rental period cannot exceed 48 days. Moreover, the insurance also covers the cash value of the vehicle in case it is stolen. However, the maximum limit covered in-case of theft is $65,000

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

The Visa Infinite card has an annual fee of $139 but it has many more perks compared to the Scotiabank American Express and Scotiabank Visa card.

Basic Features And Benefits

  •  Earn 30,000 Scotia Reward points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months which is equivalent to $300 worth in reward points.
  • 6 free airport lounge visits and priority pass membership worth $379
  • Earn 2 Scotia Reward points for every $1 that you spend on grocery, restaurants, entertainment, and transit such as buses, taxis, subways etc
  • Earn 1 Scotia Reward point for every $1 spent on all other types of purchases
  • Save an average of $115 in foreign currency purchases thanks to no foreign transaction fees.
  • $50 waiver on your first supplementary card which is free followed by a $50 fee for each additional card
  • $1,153 of potential savings on travelling related expenditures
  •  Minimum card limit of $5,000

What Do You Need To Qualify For A Visa Infinite Card?

You qualify for the Visa Infinite if you have an annual income of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000 or assets worth $250,000 under your management.

ScotiaGold Passport Visa Card

The ScotiaGold Passport Visa card is ideal for individuals or families that have newly moved to Canada as the card does not require a credit score for its issuance. However, the card does have an annual fee of $110.

Basic Features And Benefits

  • Earn 5,000 points with your first purchase
  • 1 Scotia Reward point for every $1 spent
  • Earn 5% cashback for any travel that you book through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service.
  • Access to special offers
  • $30 for each supplementary card
  • Minimum Credit Limit $5,000
  • Trip Interruption Insurance is applicable when you book 75% of your trip expenses with your American Express Card. The insurance covers your spouse and children for a limit of up to $10,000. It is eligible for medical or non-medical reasons which may cause your trip to be cancelled.
  • Collision and damage insurance of rented cars for a value of up to $65,000. However, it applies only if you have rented your vehicle using the Scotia Bank American Express Card. Similarly, the rental period cannot exceed 48 days. The insurance also covers the cash value of the rented vehicle in case it is stolen. The maximum limit covered for theft is $65,000
  •  Delayed and Lost Baggage insurance worth up to $1,000. The maximum reimbursement cannot be more than $1,250 in combination with the compensation provided with the carrier.

I personally feel that the benefits of the Gold Passport card are very similar to the Scotiabank’s American Express card. However, it has a couple of added benefits such as 5% cashback for travel and baggage insurance on travelling and the minimum limit of $5,000. Moreover, this card also has an annual fee of $110. It is a great card if you travel a lot and rent cars as it provides you with a much-needed rental car and travel insurance.

Scotiabank Gold American Express

As a millennial, this is perhaps my favourite rewards card because of the fact that it incentivizes leisurely activities. For instance, you can eat out, watch movies, use streaming services and use transit services to travel around the city earning you a great return on those categories. The card has an annual fee of $120.

Basic Features And Benefits

  • 5 Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eating at select restaurants, movies, theatres, and ticket agencies. Some influential partnerships in this regard include, Hello Fresh, chefs plate, SKIP THE DISHES, truLOCAL and CINEPLEX
  • 3 Scotia Reward points for every $1 spent on eligible gas outlets, rideshare, buses, taxi services and subway
  • 3x Scotia Reward points for every $1 spent on streaming services such as Netflix and CINEPLEX STORE
  • 1 Scotia Reward point for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • $29 fee for each subsequent supplementary card

Which Scotia Rewards Card Is Right For You?

The first question that comes to mind when looking at different cards is that one wonders which one would suit her need the best and this is what I aim to answer below depending on your needs.

A Student Who Loves Travelling And Hanging Out With Friends

If your definition of a good time is hanging out with friends in the evenings, eating at different restaurants, and watching a movie then the Scotia American Express card is best for you. It allows you to redeem points for travel and offers you free travel insurance and rental car insurance when you travel. Moreover, one of the main benefits lies in the fact that the first $500 you spend in the first 3 months will give you 5,000 additional bonus points. This is equivalent to $50. The Scotiabank American Express card also yields twice as many points as the Rewards Visa card. This can be useful for you as it yields 1 Scotiabank Reward point per $1 compared to 1 point per $2 on the Visa card. Similarly, it has a minimum limit of $1,000, which is better than the $500 limit on the Rewards Visa card. You can also convert your reward points into SCENE reward points. This is excellent for you if you want discounts on Cineplex tickets, making it an excellent solution for your daily needs.

Someone Who Does A Lot Of Air Travel Due To Their Job Or Personal Interests

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card may be the ideal choice for you because the first $1,000 you spend will yield you 30,000 points, which is not difficult to spend if you are a regular air traveller. This is $300 worth of points for the first few flights or travel that you may do. Moreover, this card yields you 2x reward points for using public transport to travel. Similarly, there are 6 free airport lounge visits and priority memberships worth $379. This maybe of significant value to you if you constantly travel. It is something that enables you to travel in peace and unwind in the lounge and take a break. Another perk is that the 2.5% transaction fee is waived off for international transactions. This is a good opportunity for anyone travelling internationally because most banks do not provide this service. The estimated value in savings for a regular traveller can be up to $1,153.

Someone Who Likes To Eat Out And Loves The Latest Shows and Movies

The ScotiaGold American Express is ideal for you as you get 5x the reward points for every $1 that you spend on restaurants, movies, and theatres. Similarly, the card gives you 3x the points for every gas refill, bus, taxi, or subway ride that you take. This card is the ideal card for you if you are a millennial who has a steady job as it can help you gain the most return out of your daily activities and the minimum limit of $5,000 is a decent one.

How to Maximize The Value Of Your Scotia Rewards Points

Knowing how to get the most value for your Scotia Rewards points can really help you in maximizing the value you get from the rewards program. In the table below I will elicit the value for each point that you get

PurchaseApproximate Cents Per Point Value (CPP)Example UsagePoints Required
Uber & Public Transport1$101,000
Travel1$10010,000
Groceries1$101,000
Gift Card0.7$253,500
Statement Card0.67$253,800
Apple & Best Buy0.69$10014,500
Conversion to Scene Points0.81$101,230

As you can probably deduce from the table above that the maximum value you can receive is from redeeming your points for travel, transport, or groceries to yield maximum value. However, while it may not seem to make much financial sense to redeem points for Apple products or gift cards, you could always purchase these products using your card and redeem the points for other activities such as travelling and transport.

A word of Caution

As young individuals we often end up spending without being mindful of the debt that we may accrue and a caveat with all the reward cards I have mentioned is that they have an interest rate of 19.99% on all purchases and a 22.99% interest rate on all cash advances. There is always a chance that we may end up spending more than our propensity to spend. Hence, this is the reason that I have not recommended any cards with significant membership fees or minimum limit for students because as students we often have limited opportunities to earn and pay off debt. Hence, I urge all of you to always be mindful of the amounts you spend on your credit cards.

Summary Of The Scotia Rewards Program & Final Verdict

So now that you have probably gone through the article and seen the cards that you may benefit the most from, I would just like to summarise some of my findings and thoughts. I think the Scotiabank Rewards program incentives travel a lot with benefits such as redeeming points for travel, free food, Apple products, Best buy products, or uber rides. The cards they offer have something for everyone. For instance, with cards such as the VISA Passport Infinity card and the ScotiaGold American Express, you can maximize your long-distance air travels. Furthermore, with the Gold American Express, you can maximize your intra-city adventures while watching movies, eating out, and using public transport or ride-sharing services.

However, I think a couple of cards such as the Visa Infinite card and Gold American Express are slightly similar in terms of their offerings. For instance, both cards have a minimum limit of $5,000 but the Visa Infinite card has extra stipulations attached to it in terms of the minimum annual income that a cardholder must have to obtain the card. Similarly, the Scotiabank Rewards Visa card or the Scotiabank American Express card both are free and have slightly similar offerings but the American Express card has much more opportunity to earn rewards and a minimum limit of $1,000 compared to the limit of $500 for the Rewards Visa card. Similarly, the value of points on the American Express is also twice that of the Rewards Visa card which in my opinion makes it sort of a redundant option.

I feel the program is designed in a way that it caters to people with different kinds of tastes and needs. In this sense, Scotiabank has a tailored card for you whether you’re a student, traveller, or someone who just likes to move around in the city.

However, my personal favourite is the ScotiaGold American Express as I really feel that this card resonates with the lifestyle of most millennials like me. It is a comprehensive solution for your travel, eatery and transport needs as you earn the maximum amount of points in these purchase categories.