The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has emerged as an appealing credit card in the Canadian market.
As its rewards program, Scene+, continues to take hold in the loyalty landscape, it’s easier than ever before to maximize this card.
With heightened category multipliers and a time-sensitive elevated welcome bonus, let’s look at 10 reasons why the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card should be in your wallet.
- Earn 30,000 Scene+ points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
- Earn an additional 10,000 Scene+ points upon spending $40,000 in the first year
1x2x Scene+ points on groceries, dining, entertainment, and transit
- Plus, earn 3x Scene+ points on grocery purchases at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, and FreshCo
- Visa Airport Companion membership with six free lounge visits per year
- Redeem points for statement credit for any travel expense
- Minimum income: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household
- Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $150
1. Up to 40,000 Scene+ Points Welcome Bonus
If you apply for the card before April 30, 2023, you’re eligible to receive a total welcome bonus of up to 40,000 Scene+ points, split into two chunks:
- Earn 30,000 Scene+ points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
- Earn another 10,000 Scene+ points upon spending at least $40,000 in your first year
The first batch of points is very easy to earn, with a low spending requirement. 30,000 Scene+ points is equivalent to $300 towards travel expenses, and it’s hard to pass up such low-hanging fruit.
Meanwhile, earning the additional 10,000 Scene+ points requires significant spending, which may be less compelling or out of reach for many. However, this bonus is available every year, and it will reward loyal cardholders who maximize ongoing everyday spending on their Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.
2. First Year Free
Normally, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card charges a reasonable annual fee of $150. However, if you apply before April 30, 2023, the annual fee is waived for the first year.
We’ve recently seen comparable mid-tier travel credit cards increase their annual fees from $120 to $139, with the Passport Visa Infinite itself recently upping its fee from $139 to $150. As many credit cards raise their fees, it’s nice to be able to try out this one with a first-year fee waiver.
Furthermore, many historical welcome offers have not come with an annual fee waiver, making this another reason why you should consider applying this round before April 30, 2023.
Note that if you have an Ultimate Package banking bundle with Scotiabank, you’ll enjoy continued annual fee waivers every year on this card.
3. 2x Points on Groceries & Dining + 3x Points at Sobeys
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has always offered 2 points per dollar spent at grocery stores and on dining purchases, including restaurants, bars, cafés, and take-out.
Since kicking off the close partnership between Scene+ and Sobeys, the card has boosted its rewards to 3 points per dollar spent at all Sobeys-affiliated grocery stores.
Brands that are eligible for the 3x earning rate include Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry, and Co-Op.
Although these are all grocery stores, it’s not just fruits and vegetables that will earn 3x Scene+ points. In fact, anything bought at these stores, including gift cards, will trigger the higher category bonus, too.
Since Scene+ points can easily be redeemed at 1 cent per point against travel purchases, this means that you’ll essentially receive a healthy 3% back on all purchases at eligible Sobeys-affiliated locations.
The increase to a 3x multiplier is exceptionally strong amongst Canadian Visa cards. It even nominally surpasses the vaunted Aeroplan Visa Infinite cards, which offer 1.5 Aeroplan points on the same grocery purchases.
Indeed, a 50% increase in rewards at Sobeys versus other grocery stores is a significant margin, enough to potentially influence where you choose to shop.
4. 2x Points on Entertainment
In addition to the elevated category bonuses on groceries, food, and dining, you’ll also earn 2x Scene+ points on select entertainment expenses with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.
Eligible entertainment expenses for bonus Scene+ points include theatres, ticket agencies, and, of course, movies.
This is a strong multiplier among Canadian credit cards. While many cards that target millennials tend to feature other lifestyle categories such as dining, most exclude entertainment from their bonus multipliers.
5. 2x Points on Transit
Continuing with the category bonus dominance, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card further offers 2x Scene+ points on transit expenses.
Eligible transportation expenses include gas, rideshare services, buses, taxis, subways, and anything else that has a Merchant Category Code of “transit”.
2x points represents a nice 2% return on transit – not necessarily an industry-leading rate, but no slouch either. For an all-in-one solution towards many of life’s common expenses, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card packs quite a punch.
6. No Foreign Transaction Fees
Almost all Canadian credit cards impose a hefty 2.5% foreign transaction fee on purchases made in currencies other than the Canadian dollar. You won’t encounter this cash grab with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.
In fact, Scotiabank is the only bank out of Canada’s Big 5 to offer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. If you often travel outside of Canada, or if you make many purchases in other currencies, this perk can translate into huge savings.
As a nice bonus, the card earns 2x Scene+ points on its bonus categories even in foreign currencies. This sets it apart from the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which also has no foreign transaction fee but uniformly earns 1x Scene+ points on such transactions.
Along with widespread worldwide Visa acceptance, those factors could count for this card if you expect to primarily use it for foreign spending.
7. Airport Lounge Access
Any traveller looking for a seamless airport experience will come to appreciate the value of lounge access, which can be easily obtained with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.
Cardholders receive a complimentary membership to the Visa Airport Companion program, which is partnered with DragonPass. Through these programs, you’ll have access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide, including Plaza Premium lounges which have a large footprint at Canadian airports.
Each year, you’ll receive six free lounge visits included in your membership. You can use these vouchers for yourself or any travelling companion, and you can always buy additional visits for $32 (USD).
The Passport Visa Infinite has long been a leader on the Canadian credit card scene when it comes to lounge access. In particular, all Visa Infinite Privilege cards offer a membership with six annual visits, but this card is the only Visa Infinite card to provide the same allowance as its more premium alternatives – which come at a more premium price point.
8. Versatility of Scene+ Points
Scene+ points are some of the most flexible travel rewards points when compared to other Big 5 banks’ loyalty programs. You can redeem them at 1 cent per point for any travel expense charged to your Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.
The Scotia Rewards and SCENE loyalty programs merged in December 2021 and became Scene+. The merger has resulted in largely positive changes, and since then, Scene+ has established itself as a program worth your attention in Canada.
Compared to the old Scotia Rewards program, one unique perk of Scene+ is that if you were to cancel your Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, you won’t lose your Scene+ points or face a shortened window to spend them. Instead, they’ll remain safe in your Scene+ account independently of your credit card.
The most attractive aspect of Scene+ points, though, is the ease of redeeming points for travel purchases.
After paying with your Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, you simply apply your Scene+ points at 1 cent per point against travel expenses once they’ve posted to your account. Other rewards programs require you to redeem points through dedicated portals, which are often clunky and cumbersome.
If you don’t have enough Scene+ points to cover the whole travel expense right away, don’t fret, as you can still use points you earn in the future. You’ll have up to one year from the date of purchase to redeem points for an eligible travel expense.
The flexibility of Scene+ points makes the program a great option for minimizing out-of-pocket expenses on cruises, independent hotels, or any other travel purchases that can’t be otherwise booked with points.
9. Savings on Car Rentals
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite cardholders receive a complimentary Avis Preferred Plus membership.
Avis Preferred Plus members receive complimentary upgrades whenever available, a members-only customer support phone line, and 5–25% discounts in Canada and the United States.
It’s often hard to use points to offset your costs on car rentals, much harder than it is with flights, hotels, or other travel arrangements. As the prices of car rentals have been steadily increasing in recent years, it’s becoming more and more compelling to look for savings like those offered via the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.
10. Strong Insurance Coverage
As you’d expect for a travel credit card, Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card comes with a strong suite of travel insurance.
By charging expenses to your Scotiabank Gold Amex Card, you’ll be eligible for the following types of insurance coverage:
While the above inclusions are more or less standard these days, the Scotiabank Gold Amex Card ups the ante by offering a generous 25 days for emergency medical insurance for eligible persons under the age of 65.
Most emergency medical insurance offered on similar credit card products is capped at 15 or 21 days. Having an extra period of coverage can come in handy if you tend to travel for more than two or three weeks at a time.
Travel insurance of up to $2,000,000 per person is available for cardholders, their spouse, and dependent children. As with all types of emergency medical insurance on travel credit cards, the insurance applies even if the card wasn’t used to book any portion of the trip.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is an excellent credit card with some of the best features available in Canada.
With a flexible rewards program, complimentary airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees, and competitive travel insurance, it’s a highly compelling all-around solution, and arguably a must-have for Canadian travellers.
As Scene+ continues to emerge as a major player in the Canadian loyalty landscape, you’ll definitely want to pick up this card and start earning flexible Scene+ points before its current welcome bonus ends on April 30, 2023.