Do you travel to the U.S. often or frequently make purchases online in U.S. dollars? If you said yes, you may want to consider getting a US dollar card.
The reason you want to get one of these cards is so you pay fewer fees. With most credit cards, you pay a 2.5% foreign transaction fee whenever you make a purchase in a foreign currency. If you’re making a lot of purchases, that could be a fair amount of fees you’re paying. Read my Scotiabank US Dollar Visa review now and find out why the card could be a good fit for your needs.
Scotiabank US Dollar Visa benefits
- $35 annual fee
- No U.S. dollar conversion fees
- Purchase security
- Extended warranty
- 25% off base rates at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada
- Free supplementary cards
As you can see, the Scotiabank US Dollar Visa is a very basic card. The main attraction of this card is the fact that you don’t pay any fees when charging US dollars to your card.
The foreign exchange fee does apply if you’re charging any currency besides USD and CAD, so you may want to consider a credit card without foreign fees if you plan on using this card abroad.
Purchase security is a standard benefit that protects you in the event that your purchases are damaged, lost, or stolen in the first 90 days. Having extended warranty is nice since it doubles your manufacturer’s warranty up to an additional year.
It’s important to note that since this is a US dollar card, you need to have US dollars available to pay it off to avoid fees completely. If you’re converting Canadian dollars to pay the balance of this U.S. dollar-based card, you’re paying fees when you make the conversion.
If you happen to rent cars in Canada, you’ll get 25% off based rates at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada which is a nice perk to have.
How the Scotiabank US Dollar Visa compares to others
The Scotiabank US Dollar Visa doesn’t charge you fees when making purchases in U.S. dollars, but credit cards without foreign exchange fees don’t charge you extra fees at all which is why I favour them slightly.
The Home Trust Preferred Visa is a no fee, no foreign transaction fee credit card that’s great for the casual travellers. The card does have some weird quirks such as not being able to change your PIN and a daily transaction limit of 10, but it’s still a great card for travellers.
There’s also the Rogers World Elite Mastercard. Although you’re still technically paying the foreign exchange fee of 2.5%, you get 4% in cash-back rewards when making purchases in a foreign currency, so you actually come out ahead by 1.5%.
That’s not to say that the Scotiabank US Dollar Visa isn’t any good, I’m just saying there are better options out there. That being said, the Scotiabank US Dollar Visa is good for those who bank with Scotiabank and prefer to keep everything with a single bank.
My Scotiabank US Dollar Visa review is negative. There are better cards with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee, so why pay $35 with the Scotiabank US Dollar Visa when you don’t have to?