The Scotiabank Gold American Express card is often ranked as the best travel credit card in Canada and it just got better. The card has now introduced no foreign transaction fees! Despite this positive charge, there are a few negative changes. The annual fee is going up, you’ll earn fewer points on gas and the travel insurance is slightly devalued. Despite all of this, the new changes are a win for consumers. Read my Scotiabank Gold Amex review now to find out why it’s one of the best Scotiabank credit cards in Canada.

Scotiabank Gold Amex Review

Scotiabank Gold Amex benefits

  • $120 Annual fee
  • 25,000 Scotia Rewards points ($250 value) when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5,000 Additional Scotia Rewards points when you spend $10,000 in the first 12 months of cardmembership
  • 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 (referral link) now gives 5 Scotia Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases made on grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases and 3 points for every $1 spent on gas, public transportation, rideshares and eligible streaming service purchases. These changes are clearly aimed at the American Express Cobalt card which has a similar earn rate.

Interestingly enough, no foreign transaction fees is now a feature. This benefit is great since it gives more choices when it comes to Canadian credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. 

The card’s annual fee is now $120 (up from $99), but this fee will be offset by the current sign-up bonus promotion that offers 25,000 Scotia Rewards points (worth $250) once you spent $1,000 within the first 3 months. You can earn another 5,000 points when you spend $10,000 in the first year of cardmembership.

The Scotiabank Gold Amex offers a comprehensive travel insurance package that includes travel emergency medical insurance for up to 25 days if you are under 65 years old and, a rare feature, up to 10 days if you are more than 65 years old. It also offers trip cancellation/trip interruption, flight delay, delayed and lost baggage, travel accident, rental car collision loss/damage and hotel/motel burglary insurances. 

I should note that trip cancellation insurance now only covers you up to $1,500 and those over the age of 65 only get 3 days of travel insurance.

How Scotia Rewards work

The best thing about the Scotia Rewards program is how flexible and easy it is to understand. 

1,000 points = $10 in travel

Since you earn 4 points per dollar spent on gas, grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases, you’re effectively getting a 4% return for those categories.

Your travel can be booked online via Scotia’s travel booking portal. Alternatively, one of the best benefits of the Scotiabank Gold Amex card, and one you don’t find on many cards is the Apply Points to Travel option that lets you use your points to offset travel cost you book on your own.

This is valuable when you want to book directly with an airline or a hotel chain as you will earn loyalty points and your status will apply if you book directly with them. This also means you can book with no date or award availability restrictions.

The Apply Points to Travel option also adds flexibility as you can redeem your points for travel spending that you might not be able to book on a travel portal. Trailer parks, campgrounds, passenger railways or bus tickets are all eligible categories for which you can use the Apply Points to Travel option to offset the cost. Note that there is a 5,000 point minimum redemption when using the Apply Points for Travel option

You can also use your Scotia Rewards for a variety of other rewards:

  • 14,400 points = $100 Esso or Amazon gift card
  • 14,000 points = $100 statement credit
  • 62,5000 points = $500 statement credit

The value of the gift card and statement credits are much lower than using them for travel rewards so I would advise avoiding this option.

Final word

My Scotiabank Gold Amex review is positive. Although the card may not offer the most generous signup bonus of all travel credit cards, this card is definitely one of the best travel credit cards in Canada. The Scotiabank Gold American Express card offers solid travel insurance, the best earning rate of all travel cards with the ability to book on your own travel for a decent annual fee of $120. With a sign-up bonus of $150, there is no reason to not test this card at least for one year to see how beneficial this card can be for you.

Apply Now for the Scotiabank Gold American Express card


Minimum application requirements
  • You’re a Canadian citizen or are a permanent resident
  • You have a minimum annual personal gross income of $60,000
  • You haven’t declared bankruptcy in the past 7 years
  • You’re at least the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Your home address matches your credit report home address