Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card Review

Finally, there’s a travel rewards credit card from a major bank in Canada that comes with no foreign transaction fees. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is now accepting applicants and is clearly aimed at travellers who are looking to earn travel rewards and don’t want to pay those foreign transaction fees that are associated with most credit cards.

To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for a card like this to come out, but I guess since Chase has pulled out of Canada, the major banks – well, at least Scotiabank – now see an opportunity to offer a product that will get Canadians excited. The signup bonus is great at 25,000 Scotia Rewards points ($250 value), and the additional benefits are what you would expect from a premium travel rewards card. Keep reading my Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card review now for the full details and my thoughts.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card benefits

  • 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
  • Annual bonus of 10,000 points ($100 value) if you spend minimum $40K per year
  • Included travel emergency medical, trip cancellation, and trip interruption insurance
  • Rental car collision / Loss damage insurance included
  • Hotel / Motel Burglary insurance included
  • $139 annual fee

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card comes with quite a few benefits and seems like it was clearly built with the modern traveller in mind. What caught my eye right away is the fact that this card comes with six annual airport lounge access passes with Priority Pass. No other Canadian credit card with an annual fee of less than $150 currently offers more than four lounge visits per year. Having no foreign transaction fees is also a huge bonus since there have been limited options for Canadians looking for that feature as of late.

The signup bonus of 25,000 Scotia Rewards points is worth $250 and requires a spend of just $1,000 in the first 3 months. The annual bonus of 10,000 points when you spend $40K is a nice, but it’s not a huge incentive to put all your spending on this card since you’d be better off just signing up for other credit cards for the signup bonus. The included comprehensive travel insurance package stacks up to other similar cards, but of particular note is the fact that the travel emergency medical covers those aged 64 and under for 25 days while those 65 and older are insured for 10 days which is a touch better than other plans. These benefits easily offset the $139 annual fee that comes with the card.

Be sure to read my post about credit cards with no foreign transaction fees so you know what else is out there. You may also be interested in my American Express Platinum Card review where you earn 60,000 points as your signup bonus.

How it compares to other cards

The best travel rewards credit card space is crowded and I would say the most comparable card to the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card. Both cards earn you Scotia Rewards points but the Amex card gives you 4 points per $1 spent on grocery, dining, entertainment, and gas purchases. At face value, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has a much lower earn rate, but what may appeal to people is the fact that it’s a Visa card instead of American Express. Plus you need to consider the additional travel benefits

Scotiabank also made some recent changes to the signup bonus for the Gold American Express Card which is now lower and the annual fee is no longer waived for the first year. You would really need to look at where you spend your money and if those retailers accept American Express before you decide which card to get. Don’t forget, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has no foreign transaction fees and the 6 airport lounge access passes which may appeal to you.

The nice thing about Scotia Rewards points is that they’re easy to understand. 100 Scotia Rewards points = $1 in redeemable travel. There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions. In addition, you can use your points to pay for taxes and fees, so this gives you plenty of flexibility when booking your travel.

Final word

My Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card review is positive. Although the earn rate is not the highest compared to other travel rewards credit card, I do feel that the included benefits and the fact that there are no foreign transaction fees makes this a worthy card.

By | 2018-03-18T09:35:09+00:00 March 12th, 2018|Credit cards, Personal Finance, Travel, Travel news|


  1. Steve Bowen March 12, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

    The first additional card is also free. Thank you

  2. Dana March 12, 2018 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I’ve been looking for a Visa or MasterCrad to supplement my primary card, an Amex, and this just might fit the bill (unless you have other suggestions?). I already have the Scotia Amex Gold, so this can help me earn more Scotia Rewards points for merchants where Amex is not accepted.

    • Barry Choi March 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm - Reply


      It depends on the primary use of the card. The Scotia Amex Gold has better multipliers, but as you’ve noted, it’s not a Visa or Mastercard. If you still spend a significant amount at stores where Amex isn’t accepted or you value the lounge access passes, then this card is likely worth it. Now if you just want a card with no foreign transaction fees, you may want to check out this post

      • Dana March 12, 2018 at 6:33 pm - Reply

        I wouldn’t say a significant amount and I do have lounge access through another Amex, though will close that card before the annual fee is up. Might be prudent to wait for a first-year-free promo for this card then. My search for a decent Visa or MC for when Amex is not accepted continues. (If only my carshares and local transit accepted Amex!)

        • Barry Choi March 12, 2018 at 6:39 pm - Reply


          Transit is a multiplier for the Scotiabank card so that’s something to consider if you do plan on cancelling your Amex. I personally also favour Amex cards for travel rewards.

  3. brad March 13, 2018 at 11:48 am - Reply

    How does Scotiabank expect someone to spend $40,000 on their credit card to earn the additional 10,000 points ?

    • Barry Choi March 13, 2018 at 11:52 am - Reply


      yeah seriously, If I’m spending that much, I’m signing up for multiple credit cards to get the signup bonus.

      • Tony March 14, 2018 at 10:40 am - Reply

        Stupid question, but would the $40000 include both spending from the original card and the supplement card?

        • Barry Choi March 14, 2018 at 10:45 am - Reply

          Tony, I’m not 100% sure on that, you’d have to ask Scotiabank.

  4. Cynical March 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    There is no statement about what FX rate will be applied to transactions. You can waive the fee but then claw it back with the spread on the currencies.

  5. Adman March 21, 2018 at 12:06 am - Reply

    I’ve had the Marriott Rewards VISA card through Chase for years and earned almost a million MR points for hotel stays, airplane tickets, etc. Then, effective March 15 Chase killed the card — so Marriott replaces it with an Starwood Amex card that can’t be used for parking, convenience stores, etc…and it charges the 2.5% currency transaction fees. The sign up Bonus for the Starwood card is 75,000 MR points…but if you have the SPG card already, you can’t get the bonus points. Bad move Marriott. Looks like Scotiabank will get my business.

    • Barry Choi March 21, 2018 at 7:00 am - Reply


      Note that this is temporary solution. It was Chase that decided to pull out of Canada. Credit cards likely take 2 years from concept to market so I wouldn’t be surprised if Marriott comes out with a new card in late 2018 or 2019. That being said, it’s likely the next card from Marriott will also be from American Express.

  6. Mark March 21, 2018 at 4:48 am - Reply

    This card is an excellent addition if you have the Scotia Amex Platinum. That card gives you the same reward benefit as the Gold, however comes with 12 lounge passes. So if you are looking for 6 more, and a second card that will earn you decent points that can combine with their Amex, this is the card for you. That way you are covered for all merchants, and you’ll have a total of 18 lounge passes. Not to mention Scotia told me if I get a supplemental user on my Visa, they too can get a Priority Pass membership with 6 visits. This is obvious to me. I currently also hold an RBC Visa Infinite Privilege Visa, and I can’t see why it’s work the $399 any longer compared to this new Visa card from Scotia.

  7. Mark March 21, 2018 at 4:51 am - Reply

    Sorry I forgot to mention, you can combine all your Scotia Rewards points from your Visa and Amex and use them towards travel purchases that you’ve made on either card. Much better than having to use the travel agency that is linked to the card like RBC’s or BMO’s. This way if I have a membership to an organization that gets me special discounts on hotels, I can use it because it’s not travel agent friendly and I can save even more money.

    • Barry Choi March 21, 2018 at 7:03 am - Reply


      Yes, I agree that this card with the lounge access can be really beneficial for those people who already collect Scotia Rewards. I also like how you’re not forced to use their own booking service. One thing to note, the Scotia Amex Platinum offers higher multipliers on certain categories so you need to be strategic about which card you use.

      • Mark March 21, 2018 at 7:50 am - Reply

        Hi Barry,
        Thanks for the reply. With the Amex I do get higher multipliers for the categories that I use often like dining and gas. I just got the Visa card yesterday as an upgrade from their white 1 point for every $2.00 spent card. Thier Amex is my first choice. I use to be an Amex Platinum card holder, but their rewards earning sucks. 1.25 points per dollar across the board. Also their travel insurance is very poor compared to these cards or RBC Infojite Privilege.

        • Barry Choi March 21, 2018 at 9:43 am - Reply


          The Amex Platinum card is my main travel card. I agree that the multipliers suck, that being said, for me, it’s about the referrals and transfer options. I can often max out my referrals every year. I then take those points and transfer them to SPG / Marriott. I like hotels so that’s an incredible value for me. Way more useful than those Aeroplan points I’m still sitting on.

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