NEW Scotia American Express cards (20k bonus points upon approval)
http://www.scotiabank.com/card/travel/i ... ew-friends
Annual fees are $39 for regular,
$99 for gold,
and $399 for platinum.
The $39 card gives you 2 points per dollar (2%), the $99 card gives you 4 points per dollar (4%) on gas, groceries, dining and entertainment. All other purchase give you 1 point/$1 spent.
Edit: A lot of people seem to be interested in exactly what merchants constitute gas, groceries, dining and entertainment. Scotiabank officially has a list of top popular merchants that may qualify for 4% cash back:
You will earn 4 points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases made annually at American Express merchants classified in the American Express network as: Gas Service Stations and Automated Fuel Dispensers; Grocery Stores and Supermarkets; Eating Places and Restaurants, Drinking Places, Fast Food Restaurants; and Entertainment including Motion Picture Theaters, Theatrical Producers, Ticket Agencies, Bands, Orchestras and Miscellaneous Entertainers.
http://www.scotiabank.com/ca/common/pdf ... gories.pdf
All cards come with insurance galore, including:
-travel medical insurance
-trip interruption/cancellation insurance
-flight delay insurance
-baggage delay/loss insurance
-common carrier travel accident insurance
-rental car collision/damage insurance
-hotel/motel burglary insurance
-purchase security & extended warranty insurance
(basically every insurance under the sun)
Q: What can you redeem your points for?
You can redeem for travel, merchandise, or statement credit. Try not to redeem for merchandise, as it will net you the worst return for your points. You can opt for a statement/investment credit voucher if you don't want to redeem your points for travel. Scotiabank will mail you a voucher at $100 = 12,500 points, which you can then take to a Scotiabank branch and deposit into your credit card or investment account. So you can think of the Gold card as a 3.2% cash back card with the option to redeem for travel at 4%.
Q: Is there a minimum number of points per redemption, or tiering of points when redeeming?
No tiered redemptions, just minimum 5000 points ($50) per redemption. Partial redemptions are also possible (eg. for a $600 air ticket, you can purchase by combining 40000 points + $200). However once you redeem a travel transaction (whether in full or in part) you cannot apply points to the same transaction again. You will have 12 months between the time you book your travel and applying for points redemptions.
Q: Is there an annual cap for earning points?
The points are earned non-tiered up to $50k annual spending, after which you get 1 point per dollar for all purchases. There is no maximum for earning points.
Q: Where can I book my travel?
Much like Capital One Aspire Travel, you can use points to book travel any way you choose (personally confirmed for Priceline), and then ask Scotiabank to credit you for the travel spending. You can also book through Scotia Rewards. Hotness of deals that can be found there can vary. Exercise your own due diligence when searching for deals!
So will these cards provide serious competition to Capital One Aspire Travel and/or Costco True Earnings Amex?
A valid way to compare whether this card is worth the $99 annual fee: Take the Costco Amex for example. It gives you 3% cashback for restaurant purchases, while the Scotia Amex gold gives you 4% in Scotia Rewards points. The DIFFERENCE between the rates of return should be worth at least $99 to you over the course of a year. Also keep in mind that the 4% return isn't CASH, it's "travel spending".
Now with 20k points bonus upon approval and $500 spending within the first 3 months + RFD cashback
And professional students can get annual fee waived: http://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/0,,628,00.html