Scotiabank American Express Gold Card Review

The Scene+ Points program is fast becoming one of my favourite points programs, namely because of the flexibility and that they added one of my favourite redemption options- travel. I had this card many years ago. There’s a great welcome bonus offer recently for the Scotiabank American Express Gold Card. Here’s my Scotiabank American Express Gold card review.

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Scotiabank American Express Gold Card Review

This card “earning power” is very good. 6 Scene+ Points per $1 spent at Sobeys, Safeway, and Frescho is an excellent earn rate. This is on top of the promotions that might be in place already at the selected grocery stores (for example, earn 10,000 Scene+ Points when you spend $100).

Here’s how to earn Scene+ Rewards points:

  • 6 Scene+ Points for every $1 spent at grocery stores such as Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, and Thrifty Foods.
  • 5 Scene+ Points for every $1 spent on take out and restaurants.
  • 5 Scene+ Points for every $1 spent on entertainment.
  • 3 Scene+ Points for every $1 spent on streaming services
  • 3 Scene+ Points for every $1 spent on gas and transit
  • 3 Scene+ Points for every $1 spent on hotel and car rental bookings
  • 1 Scene+ Point for every $1 spent on everything else

Scotia American Express Gold Card Benefits

Fantastic welcome bonus (sign up before July 1, 2024). The current welcome bonus for the Soctiabank American Express Gold Card is that you can get 20,000 bonus Scene+ points if you make $1000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months.

Also, if you spend at least $7500 in your first year you will get another 20,000 Scene+ Points.

This welcome bonus offer for this credit card ends July 1, 2024.

The great thing about the Scotiabank American Express Gold Card is that one you make the qualifying purchases, you’ll get your welcome bonus points put onto your Scene+ account within 2-3 business days. This is great if you aren’t planning your trip months to years in advance- earning points fast is always advantageous, you don’t have to wait 3-4 months out like some other welcome bonuses from other credit cards.

In addition, you can redeem your Scene+ Points towards travel up to 12 months after your travel (as long as it is charged on your credit card).

No foreign transaction fees. In case you weren’t aware there is usually at 2.5% foreign transaction fee on any foreign currency purchases. Scotiabank is one of the major banks in Canada to have a number of credit cards that do not have foreign transaction fees. When you make a foreign currency purchase online or when traveling abroad, you would only pay the exchange rate.

Discounted lounge access. Scotiabank American Express Gold is affiliated with Priority Pass and you can get a discount on the membership to access over 1200 VIP lounges around the world. This is not as good as getting free lounge access but it’s still better than nothing!

Amex Gold Card Insurance Benefits

Travel credit cards usually do not disappoint when it comes to travel insurance benefits. Here are the American Express gold card insurance benefits.

  • Travel Medical Insurance which is 25 days for card members under age 65, and 3 days for card members over age 65, up to $1,000,000 per insured person per trip
  • Trip cancellation insurance up to $10,000 per trip
  • Trip interruption insurance up to $10,000 per trip
  • Flight delay insurance up to $500 per insured person per trip
  • Lost or Delayed Luggage up to $1000 per trip
  • Hotel or Motel Burglary Insurance up to $1000 per occurrence
  • Rental Car Collision for 48 days, up to $65,000 in value of vehicles rented
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty
  • Mobile Device Insurance up to $1000 (this is if you purchase your mobile device using this credit card)

The insurance benefits are the same as the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite with the exception of Mobile Device Insurance for the Gold card. The Travel Medical Insurance is not as high as the Passport Visa Infinite card.

REDEEMING SCENE+ REWARDS POINTS

The best part of this credit card is the ease in redeeming the Scene+ Rewards points. There was a recent overhaul in the past few years and you don’t have to ONLY redeem your Scene+ points for Cineplex movies anymore.

You can book your Scene+ Travel rewards and it is powered by Expedia. Points can be redeemed fully or partially for flights, car rentals, and hotels.

Just like with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card you can pay for your travel purchase OUTSIDE of the Scene+ Travel Expedia portal and then “Apply Points to Travel” using your Scene+ Points up to 12 months after the date of travel purchase.

This works only if you have a Scotiabank branded card that has Scene+ points collection capabilities.

This way you have the flexibility to book your own travel AND you have to flexibility to book earlier and collect your points later to offset your travel cost!

In addition you can redeem your Scene+ points for shopping online, dining out at restaurant partners, watching movies at Cineplex, or even using the Points for Credit option to get a statement credit.

Redemption is equivalent of 1 Scene+ Point= $1 off your travel, dining out, movies etc.

Scotiabank Amex GOld Card Annual Fee

The annual fee is $120 per year.

If you have the Scotiabank Ultimate Account, this fee can be waived. For us, we chose the Scotiabank American Express Gold card as our premium credit card, so our annual fee is waived every year.

Annual Income Requirements

The annual income requirements are $12,000 in personal income. This is lower than most premium cards available.

Genymoney.ca’s Verdict

Although this card does not have the free lounge passes like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, the “earn” rate of the Scotiabank American Express Gold card is more powerful and the welcome bonus of equivalent of $200 in Scene points this is a ‘no brainer’ great card to have in your wallet.

The 6x earn rate at Safeway Freshco Sobeys is the highest earn rate I have seen for grocery spending.

The main downside like all American Expresses in Canada at least, is that they are not accepted everywhere, especially at smaller retailers and the like.

As you know I am a huge fan of travel hacking with credit cards and this is a great card to have in your travel hacking arsenal to lower your trip cost.

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2 thoughts on “Scotiabank American Express Gold Card Review”

  1. Awesome review GYM! I’m also interested in this card as its benefits/return is higher than most out there today except for maybe the Amex Cobolt for Aeroplan accumulation (which I’m currently using!). Question, when you said, “This works only if you have a Scotiabank branded card that has Scene+ points collection capabilities.” Does this mean that you need to have a Scotia bank account in order to take advantage of claiming “travel” expenses using Scene+ points?

    Thanks,
    Joe

    Reply
    • @Joe- thanks for visiting! Nope you don’t need a Scotia bank account just something like the Scotia Gold Amex card or the passport visa and a scene account login. If you have a scene account you can login and then you’ll see the linked credit cards in the portal when you redeem your points for travel.

      Reply

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