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When looking at Scotiabank credit cards, many people tend to lean towards the Scotiabank Gold Amex or the Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa. Those are two excellent cards that offer fantastic rewards, but they both have an annual fee and require a higher personal or household income to qualify.

If you’re looking for something without an annual fee or you don’t meet the income requirements, you could consider the Scotiabank American Express card instead. It still comes with respectable benefits including basic travel insurance and more. Read my Scotiabank American Express Review now for my full thoughts on the card.

Scotiabank american express review

Scotiabank American Express Benefits

  • No annual fee
  • 5,000 Scotia Rewards points bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months
  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Save up to 25% off at participating AVIS locations
  • Travel medical, accident, trip interruption, and rental car collision loss/damage insurance
  • Access to American Express Invites

The Scotiabank American Express comes packed with benefits when you consider that this is a no fee card.

The signup bonus of 5,000 Scotia Rewards points when you spend $500 in the first three months has a value of $50.

You get no bonus multipliers for any categories when spending, but the included travel insurance may make up for it.

The travel emergency medical insurance covers you up to $1,000,000 but it only lasts for 8 days if you’re under the age of 65 and 3 days if you’re 65 or over. Optional extended travel medical insurance can be purchased.

Other travel insurance included with the card are travel accident, trip interruption, and rental car collision loss/damage insurance.

If you plan on renting a car, make sure to check Avis first since you get up to 25% off base rates at participating locations.

How Scotia Rewards works

Scotia Rewards is a very straightforward program.

1,000 Scotia Rewards points = $10 in travel rewards

That means with the Scotiabank American Express, you’re earning 1% back in travel rewards.

The nice thing about Scotia Rewards is that you don’t have to book through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service to make a redemption. Just charge your travel purchases to your Scotiabank American Express and then use the “Apply Points to Travel” feature in your online account for a statement credit.

There are no restrictions or blackout dates when booking travel and claiming your Scotia Rewards points.

You can also transfer your Scotiabank Rewards points to Scene points at a 1,000 to 770 ratio. Alternatively, you can use your points to claim merchandise. In both cases, using your points for movies or merchandise is of low value, so you’re better off sticking to claiming travel rewards.

How this card compares to others

Although the Scotiabank American Express is marketed as a travel rewards card, I personally view it as a cash-back card since you earn 1% in points on all purchases.

The Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa gives you 2% cash-back in up to three chosen categories and 0.5% cash-back on all other categories. This gives you a higher rewards return, but the Tangerine card doesn’t come with any additional insurance or a signup bonus.

There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa that gives you 2.5% cash-back on purchases for the first 6 months (up to $150) and 1.25% in cash-back after the promotional period ends.

Final thoughts

My Scotiabank American Express review is neutral. It’s not a bad card, but it also doesn’t excite me. That being said, it’s a sort of hybrid travel/cash-back card with no annual fee and a low minimum income requirement to qualify so the card may appeal to you. For reference, check out the Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa to see what other credit cards are available.

Scotiabank American Express Review

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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