Over the years, many credit cards have introduced no foreign transaction fees as a standard benefit, but the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite was one of the first out of the gate. What’s interesting is that even though this credit card was introduced a few years ago, it’s still one of the best travel credit cards in Canada.
What really makes this card stand out is the six free annual lounge passes that you get. Again, this was one of the first cards to introduce no forex fees and lounge access, yet no other credit card has similar benefits in my opinion. When you look at all of the features the card has to offer, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best Scotiabank cards in Canada. So what exactly do you get? Read my Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card review now and find out.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card benefits
- $139 annual fee – First year free
- No foreign transaction fees
- 30,000 Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Priority Pass Standard Membership + 6 free visits per year
- 5X Scotia Rewards points on travel for the first 3 months (up to $2,500 in total travel purchases)
- 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 a minimum of $40K per year
- Included travel emergency medical, delayed and lost baggage, and trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance
- Rental car collision / Loss damage insurance included
- Hotel / Motel Burglary insurance included
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card (referral link) comes with quite a few benefits and it 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 free 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. It should be no surprise that the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is on my list of the best credit cards with lounge access.
That said, Plaza Premium lounges recently left the Priority Pass network. Unfortunately, most of the Canadian airport lounges are operated by Plaza Premium (especially in Toronto and Vancouver). That means your lounge passes won’t go very far when you’re flying out of Canada.
The signup bonus of 30,000 Scotia Rewards points is worth $300 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 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.
I like how this card gives you a decent earn rate at 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases. All other purchases earn you 1 point per dollar spent. Admittedly, the earn rate isn’t the highest out there, but it’s pretty good and ideal for people who only want to have a single credit card.
Some people will complain about the $139 that the card comes with since it’s not waived for the first year, but my Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite review is still positive since I think you get more than enough value every year for that fee.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card travel insurance
- Travel medical – $2,000,000 for 25 days / 3 days if you’re 65 or older
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption – up to $1,500 per person / $10,000 total
- Flight/trip delay – up to $500 / 4 hours
- Delayed and lost baggage – up to $1,000 / 4 hours
- Common carrier travel accident – $500,000
- Auto rental collision / loss damage – 48 consecutive days / $65,000
- Hotel/motel burglary – $1,000
As of July 1, 2021, the insurance on this card changed. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is on my list of the best credit cards with travel insurance since you’re covered for quite a few things. Your travel medical covers you for trips of 25 days or less if you’re under the age of 65. This is significant since many other travel insurance credit cards out there only offer 15 days of coverage. If you’re 65 or older, you only get 3 days which is disappointing.
What’s also nice is that your flight/trip delay kicks in after 4 hours so you’re entitled to compensation earlier. Delayed and lost baggage also has that 4 hours window, but you get up to $1,000 to claim so this is a pretty good deal.
You then have common carrier travel accident, auto rental collision / loss damage and hotel/motel burglary insurance which offer you a standard payout if you need to make a claim.
There’s one final thing I want to note about the travel insurance that comes with your Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, you only need to charge 75% of your trip costs to your card for your travel insurance to be valid. That means if your flight is $1,000, you’d have to charge at least $750 to your card for your insurance to be valid.
How the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card compares to others
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 5 points per $1 spent on eats and entertainment. 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. 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. If travel insurance is important to you, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has slightly better trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.
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.
If you’re considering this card just because it’s one of the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, then you’re on the right track. This card is highly competitive. That said, if you’re looking for a credit card with no forex fees and no annual fee, you may want to consider the STACK Mastercard, Rogers World Elite Mastercard or the Home Trust Preferred Visa.
My Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card review is positive. Although the earn rate is not the highest compared to other travel rewards credit cards, I do feel that the included benefits and the fact that there are no foreign transaction fees makes this a worthy 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