Scotia Rewards is one of the most popular credit card rewards programs in Canada. What makes it appealing is that it’s easy to earn points, your points are flexible and Scotiabank has some great credit cards. When compared to other bank travel rewards programs, many people believe Scotia Rewards is the best. The best might be a stretch, but there’s no denying that it’s an excellent program.

Like any rewards program, it’s important to understand how it works so you can get the most out of your points. Scotia Rewards doesn’t offer any hacks, but there are some redemptions that are better than others. You’ll also want to make sure you have the right credit card so you can earn Scotia Rewards quicker. Here’s everything you need to know about Scotia Rewards including what the value of Scotia Rewards is.

Scotia Rewards

How to earn Scotia Rewards

You can earn Scotia Rewards points from Scotiabank by making purchases with one of their credit cards. The easiest way to earn Scotiabank Rewards is from sign up bonuses and your everyday spending. There is currently a total of 6 credit cards that allow you to earn Scotia Rewards points, but two cards stand out and are worth applying for if you plan on collecting Scotia Rewards.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 25,000 Scotia Rewards points ($250 value) when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Priority Pass Standard Membership + 6 free visits per year
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases
  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is one of the best travel credit cards in Canada since comes with a sign up bonus worth $250 and 6 free airport lounge passes. What many people love about this card is how it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees so it’s an ideal all-in-one card for travellers. If you want to learn more about the card, you can read my full review here.


Scotiabank Gold Amex

  • $120 Annual fee
  • 20,000 Scotia Rewards points ($200 value) when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on gas, public transportation, rideshares and eligible streaming service purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Comprehensive travel insurance included
  • Concierge services and specially targeted offers

The Scotiabank Gold Amex has quickly become one of the most popular credit cards in Canada due to the high earn rate. You’ll get 5 points per $1 spent on grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases; 3 points per $1 spent on gas, public transportation, rideshares and eligible streaming service purchases; and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. For those who spend a lot on a regular basis, this card could really benefit them. The current sign up bonus has a value of $200 and the card has no foreign transaction fees. In my Scotiabank Gold Amex review, I go over all the details of the card.


Scotia Rewards points value

The Scotia Rewards Points value varies depending on what you redeem. Here’s a list of all the redemptions you can make and how much 10,000 points would be worth:

  • Booking travel through the Scotia Rewards travel portal – $100
  • Booking travel on your own – $100
  • Gift cards – $50 (for 7,000 points)
  • Statement credit – $50 (for 7,500 points)
  • Merchandise – varies depending on the item, usually not a good value
  • Apple and Best Buy online stores – Value varies but 10,000pts would be worth approximately $75-$80
  • SCENE points – 10,000 Scotia Rewards = 7,700 SCENE points

As you can see, the Scotia Rewards points value is best used for travel purchases. Using your Scotia Rewards points for anything else devalues your points so it’s best to avoid that whenever you can. If you don’t like to travel, then you shouldn’t collect these points since your Scotia Rewards points value will be quite low for other redemptions. You would be better off getting one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.

How to redeem Scotia Rewards

Redeeming Scotia Rewards is easy, but since you have so many different ways to use your points, you need to understand how to actually use them. Note that Scotia Rewards don’t expire as long as your account is in good standing, but they’ll expire after 60 days if you close your account.

Scotia Rewards travel portal

The Scotia Rewards travel portal is easy to use since you can book vacation packages, flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises. You can either use just points (100 points = $1), cash, or a combination of both for your travel redemption. There are no blackout dates and you pay the market price for all redemptions so the prices you find on the travel portal should be about the same as any other travel website. Finding flights is easy but the hotel selection can be tricky since there is no map and not many filters. It may be easier to do your hotel search on a different site before using the Scotia Rewards travel portal. Car rentals are limited to a few companies and you need to call for cruises.

The value of Scotia Rewards is 1 cent per point when redeeming for travel rewards. You can also use your Scotia Rewards to pay for any fees and taxes.

Apply Points to Travel

The ability to apply your points to any travel purchase is without a doubt the best feature and the most valuable way to redeem your Scotia Rewards points. Just charge your travel purchases to your Scotiabank credit card and apply your points to the purchase later. This means there are no blackout dates and you get more options since you’re not restricted to the choices available on the travel portal. Booking directly also allows you to earn points and elite qualifying activities for airlines, hotels and/or travel agencies loyalty programs. For example, if you book a Marriott hotel via Marriot.com, your Marriott Bonvoy status would apply. However, if you booked the same hotel via the Scotiabank Travel portal, you would not be able to use your status benefits. 

To redeem using Apply Points to Travel, there is a minimum of 5,000 points ($50) per transaction, but you can use points at a ratio of 100 points = $1 for any expense, including taxes and fees. Your travel purchase must fall into one of the following categories:

  • airlines & air carriers, airports, flying fields, and airport terminals
  • lodgings, hotels, motels and resorts
  • trailer parks and campgrounds
  • passenger railways, bus lines
  • steamship and cruise lines
  • travel agencies and tour operators
  • automobile rental agency
  • motor home and recreational vehicle rentals
  • include related taxes, booking fees, airport fees and travel insurance premiums

There is one downside to booking travel on your own and then applying points. You must have enough Scotia Rewards points to cover the entire cost if you want to make a redemption. There is no partial redemption for Scotia Rewards when using the book your own travel option.

Merchandise and gift cards

Similar to almost all other loyalty programs, Scotia Rewards has a merchandise catalogue from which you can order electronics, travel related items, kitchen accessories, and even experiences such as aquarium tickets.

If you want a gift card, the points required are based on a scale. The more points you use, the better the value.

  • 3,500 Scotia Rewards points = $25
  • 7,000 Scotia Rewards points = $50
  • 14,000 Scotia Rewards points = $100
  • 28,000 Scotia Rewards points = $200
  • 35,000 Scotia Rewards points = $250
  • 70,000 Scotia Rewards points = $500

You can even use your Scotiabank points when making online purchases at Apple and Best Buy. It’ll cost you 145 points per $1.

Converting Scotia Rewards points into SCENE points

Scotiabank has a close partnership with Cineplex and its loyalty program SCENE. You can convert Scotia Rewards points into SCENE points at 1,000:770 rate. This conversion rate actually isn’t bad, but why earn Scotia Rewards if you’re just going to convert those points to SCENE? You’d almost be better off getting the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card since it has no annual fee.

How to redeem Scotia Rewards points for a statement credit

Finally, you can also redeem your points for a statement credit. How much credit you get depends on how many points you redeem.

  • 3,000 Scotia Rewards points = $20
  • 4,500 Scotia Rewards points = $30
  • 7,500 Scotia Rewards points = $50
  • 11,000 Scotia Rewards points = $75
  • 14,500 Scotia Rewards points = $100
  • 21,500 Scotia Rewards points = $150
  • 43,000 Scotia Rewards points = $300
  • 71,500 Scotia Rewards points = $500

As you can see, the more Scotia Rewards you redeem, the better value you get for your points. At the lowest value, your Scotia Rewards are worth .67 cents per point and .80 cents per point on the high end. That said, a statement credit is still a lower value compared to using your points for travel. Using your Scotia Rewards points for a statement credit would only be useful if you’re having cash flow issues.

How Scotia Rewards compares to others

Scotia Rewards program is one of the most flexible and easiest programs to use in Canada. Unlike American Express Membership Rewards, CIBC Rewards and RBC Rewards, Scotia Rewards doesn’t have a fixed points flight program from which you can get more value than $0.01 per point.

Scotia Rewards points value is topped at $0.01 per point, but this is easily compensated by the fact that you can earn 2 points per dollar spent on several categories with the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite card and up to 5 points per dollar spent with the Scotiabank Gold American Express card.

To get the best value out of your Scotia Rewards points, use the Apply Points to Travel option since it allows you to book your travel on your own directly and then you can claim your points later to offset your costs.

Final thoughts

My Scotia Rewards review is positive. The points are easy to accumulate with some of the best Scotiabank credit cards which have high earn rates. The fact that you can use the points at full value to book your own travel is what makes the Scotia Rewards program stand out as one of the best in Canada.

Scotia Rewards | How to get the most out of your points

20 Comments

  1. Mike on March 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Awesome article Barry. Gets right at answering my remaining questions about the workings of Scotia Rewards. I’ve now submitted my application, and been approved, for a Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card. Looking forward to soon avoiding forex transaction fees and getting a predictable and decent value for the points we earn on our spending.

    • Barry Choi on March 1, 2019 at 11:06 AM

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for the feedback. I had this post in mind but your comments gave me that extra push. Hopefully you signed for the Scotiabank Passport card today because they just increased the sign up offer to 30K points.

  2. Karl Foehner on March 24, 2019 at 8:33 PM

    OK all looks good, but I am really interested in the rental car insurance coverage. Scotia’s fine print does not mention what happens if you need the car for more than 48 days. Other cards that offer car insurance coverage state that you can start a new 48 day cycle AFTER ONE FULL DAY. Do I need to call them to see why Scotia does not mention this in the fine print?

    • Barry Choi on March 25, 2019 at 8:02 AM

      Karl,

      I don’t know the answer to your question. I advise calling Scotiabank’s insurance provider.

  3. Tom Graham on April 30, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    RE. Travel Ins. I believe If u are over 65 yrs. credit cards wont cover u, is this correct.

    • Barry Choi on April 30, 2019 at 10:29 AM

      Tom,

      It depends on the card. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card gives you 10 days of coverage per trip if you’re over the age of 65. You need to read the certificate of insurance for each card to see what you get.

  4. jeremy hawkins on July 9, 2019 at 6:09 PM

    Thanks for all the details and break down! Just got my passport and know I know the best way to redeem the points. do you know if there a certain time limit from when you can redeem on purchases, say you purchased a flight in May, can you redeem in August?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Barry Choi on July 9, 2019 at 8:38 PM

      Jeremy,

      You can claim your points right away.

  5. KEMILA on October 3, 2019 at 1:18 AM

    I have this card for 6 months now. Today when I was trying to redeem my 50,000 for a flight, no matter how I change my dates, and destinations, all I ever got was Sorry, we could not find any results. Please try expanding your search”. There’s no other way I knew how to “expand my search”. Very frustrating.

    • Barry Choi on October 3, 2019 at 7:48 AM

      KEMLIA,

      Note that with Scotia Rewards you can book any travel on your own and then claim points after. You don’t need to go through the Scotia portal.

  6. Harry on October 25, 2019 at 9:58 AM

    What would be the most economical. I have around 70000 points accumulated, and I am looking to buy a new Apple Watch Series 5.
    Option 1: Redeem my Scotia Rewards for the watch
    Option 2: Redeem Scotia Rewards for Cash by applying to past travel expenses and the use the same Amex Card to buy the Apple Watch

    • Barry Choi on October 25, 2019 at 5:13 PM

      Harry,

      Always redeem your points for travel as that gives you the best value. So option 2 is the best value.

  7. Greg on November 6, 2019 at 4:24 PM

    Great read!!! Now, if I could only find a list of the places “eligible grocery stores and dinning purchases” for the 2 for 1 points!

    • Barry Choi on November 6, 2019 at 9:44 PM

      Greg,

      Good luck, that’s like a closely guarded secret

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  10. John on April 6, 2020 at 4:36 PM

    Hi Barry,
    Great article and great website. I have 2 questions for you:
    1. Have you compared the scotia debit card options for collecting scene points vs scotia reward points? Do you have a recommendation? There also seems to be an option to have a scotia iTrade debit card but not sure if that collects any points.
    2. I believe that when you use the scotia passport visa or american express Gold above for foreign currency transactions that although you don’t pay an exchange fee, your point collection is only at 1% back even if it is on the categories that are supposed to have 5Xthe points like restaurants. Is that your experience too?
    Thanks,
    John

    • Barry Choi on April 6, 2020 at 5:15 PM

      Hey John,

      I haven’t done a deep dive into Scotia Debit cards, but I know Scotia Rewards transfers to SCENE at a fair value. Not sure what the earn ratios are for their debit cards.

      As for foreign purchases on their credit cards, it does seem to be common now for most credit cards to offer only the base earn rate regardless of what category they fall under.

  11. Philippe on June 28, 2020 at 2:22 PM

    Hi! Thanks for all the useful information!
    I’d add two points related to applying the points to past travel expenses:
    – you have up to one year, so there’s plenty of time to accumulate enough points
    – Uber trips and hotel restaurants are showing up in the list of elligible expenses, which is convenient if you don’t have that many points (since you need enough points to cover the full expense)

  12. Vera Smit on July 27, 2020 at 7:36 PM

    Great article. I have one complaint though, I consistently find better pricing for hotels on other sites and the scotia rewards travel service does not honour those rates. It also does not let you benefit from the discounts offered by BC hotels right now to vacation locally. They want to charge $50 to cancel a booking I did minutes before I saw the better rates (was quite a bit cheaper even with free parking and $50 dinning credit) and contacted them to ask if they could match that price… Not impressed and not inclined to rely on scotia rewards to book travel!

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