Scotiabank Preferred Package Review (Is It WORTH The Bank Fees?)

I’ve been using the Scotiabank Preferred Package for a few years now. We have the Scotiabank Preferred Package as one of our joint accounts.  We like it because it has access to a great high interest savings joint account, the Momentum Plus Chequing account.  Here’s my Scotiabank Preferred Package Review.

Scotiabank Preferred Package Review

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Last updated: May 2023

Scotiabank Preferred Package Review

The Scotiabank Preferred Package used to be called The Scotia One  account and they rebranded it and added some additional perks in October 2019.

In March 2021, they increased the Scotiabank preferred package monthly fee to $16.95 per month.  Even though it is more expensive there are more value added services along with the price increase.

Some of the changes include unlimited Interac e-Transfer transactions, a free USD savings account, and a 1st year free premium credit card.

It’s not just basic banking with Scotiabank.  They’ve made it more of a premium banking package.

The Scotiabank preferred package is their most popular cheuqing account.

In this Scotiabank Preferred Package review, I’ll go over:

  • Scotiabank Preferred Package monthly fee
  • Features of the Preferred Package
  • How you can access the MomentumPLUS savings account
  • Some pros and cons of the Scotiabank Preferred Package
  • How you can get the $350 Scotiabank welcome offer bonus

Scotiabank Preferred Package Monthly Fee

As mentioned, the Scotiabank Preferred Package monthly fee is $16.95 per month.

This monthly fee is waived if you keep a minimum daily closing balance of $4,000 throughout the month.

Also, if you are over 60 years old, you get a $4.00 discount on the monthly fee.

You can also get the Preferred Account free for the first year if you sign up for the Scotiabank StartRight Program (if you are a new immigrant to Canada or an International Student, you can get free International Money Transfers)

Some people balk at keeping a minimum balance to avoid the fees, but we personally don’t mind it at all since we are keeping cash handy anyway and appreciate the perks you can get with a premium banking package.

Here are some of the features of the Scotiabank Preferred Package– a premium Scotiabank chequing account.

Scotiabank Preferred Package Features

Unlimited debit transactions and unlimited Interac e-Transfers

First year annual fee waiver (up to $150) on certain Scotiabank premium credit cards, and these are:

You can choose between SCENE Rewards (movies and movie popcorn, or digital downloads) or Scotia Rewards (travel and gift cards)

A non-Scotiabank ATM withdrawal fee is waived once a month (within Canada)  –> For example, you can withdraw your cash using your Scotiabank debit card at an RBC ATM and you won’t get dinged

$1.99 International Money Transfers

Free US dollar bank account.  The fee (normally $1/month or free if you maintain a minimum balance of $200 USD) is waived on the Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account.  

Of course, Scotiabank is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), so deposits up to $100,000 are covered in case of insolvency (though highly unlikely with a big Canadian bank)

Related: What does CIPF and CDIC cover?

SCENE Rewards vs Scotia Rewards

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Access to Momentum Plus Savings Account

Probably the best thing about this bank account is access to the MomentumPLUS Savings Account.

The MomentumPLUS Savings Account a high interest savings account disguised in big bank’s clothing.  Which is great, because that means you get the best of both worlds- big bank feeling of security and confidence, and a bank with a high interest rate.  I think it’s one of the best high interest savings accounts available in Canada.

This is how the MomentumPLUS Savings Account works- the interest is earned in a tiered fashion.  You get your regular interest, and then, after a certain period of time elapses, you get additional interest, called “Premium Period Interest”.

The premium periods for the MomentumPLUS Savings Account are:

  • 90 days
  • 180 days
  • 270 days
  • 360 days

If you sign up for the Ultimate Package (it’s one step above the Scotiabank Preferred Package) you get an additional 0.05%.

Earn up to 4.95% interest for a limited time on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account² with the Preferred Package.

Earn up to 5.00% interest for a limited time on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account² with the Ultimate Package (for the first five months)

The great thing about the MomentumPLUS Savings Account is that with the intervals of time, your money is not “locked in” like they would be for a GIC (Guaranteed Income Certificate).

You can take money out but that just means you’ll reset your ‘period’ and go back to earning for the 90 days period if you were at 180 days and took money out.  You’ll still earn at least SOME interest (not 180 days, but 90 days interest rate).  The interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.

Related: High Interest Savings Account vs GIC: Where Should You Park Your Cash?

Here’s an example of the long term ‘period’ of 360 days and the rate being earned.  It also gives you a counter as to how many days left until you earn your full interest.

As you can see, one of them is closer to 360 than the other (there are two because we have different ‘gift money’ accounts for our kids, but we should probably just amalgamate the two of them!).

Momentum Plus Savings Kids Birthday Money

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Scotiabank Preferred Package (previously known as the The Scotia One account) that I have identified from using it for the past few years:

Pros of Scotiabank Preferred Package

  • The $350 Scotiabank bank bonus!  Unfortunately when we signed up for this account, there wasn’t a bonus available, but there’s a promotion right now for $350 cash from Scotiabank when you open up an account.
  • I love the mobile cheque deposit.  There is never any issue reading or depositing my cheques (unlike some other banking apps that have more archaic deposit cheques technology).  I still love using personal cheques so this is helpful for me.  Here’s how to write a cheque in Canada if you’re unsure how.
  • Savings Trackers.  I just call it that, I”m not sure what they are called officially.  As mentioned, I’m a big fan of the MomentumPLUS Savings account and the ‘savings’ trackers available and the multiple ‘savings’ pots that you can open.
  • Higher interest rates than Children’s savings accounts.  In these sub-savings accounts, we put our kids’ gift money and birthday money in it, so it can earn higher interest than the typical children’s savings accounts in Canada.
  • Can be a joint account.  The Scotiabank Preferred Package can be opened up as a joint account.  The Motive Savvy Savings account can also be opened up as a joint account, but I prefer having more brick and mortar banks to visit if needed for a main chequing account.  Not all banks with higher interest rates are able to be joint accounts.
  • Cheaper than The Ultimate Package but you still get a lot included.  The Preferred Package is more economical than the Ultimate Package which costs $30.95 a month, or $0 if you maintain a minimum balance of $5000.  You get a safety deposit box waiver, free personalized cheques and bank drafts, unlimited global withdrawal from non-Scotiabank ATMs.
  • The dashboard is clear and easy to navigate.

Related:  Best High Interest Savings Joint Bank Accounts in Canada

Cons of Scotiabank Preferred Package

  • Monthly Fee.  The $16.95 is pretty steep, that’s over $200 a year in bank fees.
  • High minimum balance to waive the fee.  The Scotiabank Preferred Package minimum balance of $4000 a month may deter a lot of people.  I personally would rather keep $4000 and get free banking than pay $16.95 a month.  I also like being able to access my money from an ATM easily for a chequing account.  I like view it as part of the “emergency fund” so I don’t mind it at all.
  • Only first year free for premium credit cards.  Although the first year free premium credit card is good, it would be nice to have an annual waiver on premium cards.  The Scotiabank Ultimate Package has this feature.
  • Make sure you pay your bills from CHEQUING and not SAVINGS.  One thing is to make sure you pay your bills from chequing and not savings.  Otherwise your ‘savings counter’ goes back to square one, or ‘day zero’.

Scotiabank Preferred Package Dashboard

Scotiabank New Account Bonus

If you’re interested, you can sign up here to get your $350 Scotiabank bonus.  Park $4000 for three+ months, and get a $350 return.

Here are the terms and conditions and criteria for the $350 welcome bonus from Scotiabank:

Open a new Ultimate Package or new Preferred Package (each an “Eligible Account”) by 

Complete two (2) of the following three (3) activities in your Eligible Account within 60 days of Eligible Account opening:

Make at least one (1) eligible online bill payment of at least $50 through the Scotiabank Mobile App or through Scotia OnLine, or

Set up a minimum of two (2) separate eligible recurring pre-authorized transactions† with a minimum value of at least $50 per transaction which will each recur monthly for a minimum of three (3) consecutive months, or

Set up an eligible recurring direct deposit† which will recur monthly for a minimum of three (3) consecutive months.

That’s my Scotiabank preferred package review.

What about if you compared the Scotiabank Ultimate Package vs Preferred?  I would prefer the Scotiabank Ultimate, personally.

All in all, I like it mainly because you can link it to the MomentumPLUS account, I like the debit card you get and the functionality of the bank account.  If you don’t have to pay for it and you don’t mind having a minimum balance to waive the fee, it’s a good banking package.  Hope you enjoyed this Scotiabank Preferred Package Review.  I can see why it’s a popular banking package at Scotiabank.

I would say it is one of the better no fee chequing accounts in Canada (if you don’t mind keeping a minimum balance that is).

If you’re interested in signing up for a new account bonus (such as $400 cash when you invest $100,000) for an online brokerage like Scotia iTrade, you can check out the new online brokerage promotions in Canada.

You may also be interested in:

Do you have the Scotiabank Preferred Package? 

What is your Scotiabank Preferred Package review?

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9 thoughts on “Scotiabank Preferred Package Review (Is It WORTH The Bank Fees?)”

  1. I’m wondering as well, besides the promotional Interest rate what are the advantages over using Tangerine with no fee? The fees (or ridiculous minimum balance requirements) just kill me on these accounts. I try and keep my necessary balance for bill payments in a free chequing account and then just move everything else to a higher interest savings account. The $300 offers are enticing but not with the required minimum balances unfotunately.

    Reply
    • @Family Money Saver- The promotional interest rate has been in place for I think a few years at least… which is better than the 5 month rate that Tangerine gives you. I like having access to premium credit cards for free, and Tangerine doesn’t give you that. Free coffee in some branches (pre COVID era) and also when the financial advisors try to schmooze you over, that’s nice to have too (haha jk).

      Reply
  2. I have been banking with Scotia for many years. I really love their Momentum Business VISA (they also have a personal one) the cash back is a very good incentive.

    Reply
  3. idk- a video hit FB talking about shabby treatment of an Indigenous woman with LOTS of money , in her account and Scotia wouldn’t let her have access. She worked and squirreled the money away for years along with settlement monies, and she got treated like that? not sure I’d go near a Scotia bank myself.

    Reply
    • @Gin- That’s not good at all. Sorry to read about this. I remember reading something in the news along those lines a few years ago (I think) but I couldn’t remember that it was Scotiabank. Tried looking it up on Google just now but couldn’t find anything. Discrimination like that is unacceptable especially with the recent events that have transpired which has highlighted this discrimination in Canada and the US.

      Reply
  4. I’ll stick with Tangerine and EQ, thanks. Also thanks to those paying the $15.95 so I can get my dividend! 😉

    Reply

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