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.
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.