Personal Finance

NEW Scotia American Express cards (20k bonus points upon approval)

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  • Dec 3rd, 2016 11:17 pm
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NEW Scotia American Express cards (20k bonus points upon approval)

Scotiabank has just come out with three new Amex cards.

http://www.scotiabank.com/card/travel/i ... ew-friends


Annual fees are $39 for regular,
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$99 for gold,
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and $399 for platinum.
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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
-price protection

(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
1437 replies
[OP]
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I think these cards (especially the gold version) could act as an alternative to BOTH the MBNA Smart Cash and the Capital One. People could do well consolidating those cards into the gold version.

For me, I could easily replace my Smart Cash, Cap1 Aspire Travel World, Costco True Earnings, and Scene Visa in one fell swoop with the Gold version.
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Apr 18, 2004
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There is also a Platinum version at $399.

As to competition it all depends on where you put your spending and how much you spend. For those who won't reach the $50,000 limit these can be good cards to challenge Cap One as you don't need the full amount of points for redemption but once over that 50K limit the 4% return is eroded quickly as the cards drop to the 1% return.

http://blog.rewardscanada.ca/2012/09/ne ... cards.html
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You can redeem @ 5000 points ($50.00) and then at any point after.
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I added these new cards in my comparison software and they perform very well against Cap one and MBNA
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Oct 7, 2011
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Because of the annual fees, these cards are not very attractive. There were the CIBC premium cards a little while ago where they were waiving the fees. There's still the GCR rebates and you get annual fees waived for the Amex gold cards. There's the Marriott premium visa where the fee is waived and you get 1 free night stay, 15 night credit toward the stay count, and bonus points. The Costco card is also free. So with so many FREE cards, if Scotia doesn't waive the fees for these new cards, it's not going to attract many people.
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Cavegirl wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 10:25 am
Because of the annual fees, these cards are not very attractive. There were the CIBC premium cards a little while ago where they were waiving the fees. There's still the GCR rebates and you get annual fees waived for the Amex gold cards. There's the Marriott premium visa where the fee is waived and you get 1 free night stay, 15 night credit toward the stay count, and bonus points. The Costco card is also free. So with so many FREE cards, if Scotia doesn't waive the fees for these new cards, it's not going to attract many people.
Really? You think even the $39 basic version isn't worth the travel insurances alone? I can't find a cheaper card that offers all the insurances known to man under the sun. Also, those annual fee waive offers are usually one time sign up bonuses only. The gold version is offering 20000 sign up bonus points (=$200 travel spending). Plus the lack of any tiering whatsoever makes these cards a solid alternative to some of the most popular cards here on RFD.
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Jun 9, 2006
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Thornhill
Hmm, am I reading correctly that you can only book travel through Scotiabank? That is a bit of a concern for me.

Also, the fact that it is American Express will make it difficult to earn points as easily as a Mastercard due to the acceptance issue (most grocery stores are Mastercard only, Tim Hortons is Mastercard only, etc).

Otherwise, it seems pretty good on paper.
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Waiwai wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 10:38 am
Hmm, am I reading correctly that you can only book travel through Scotiabank? That is a bit of a concern for me.
No you're not.
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ilove wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 10:30 am
Plus the lack of any tiering whatsoever ...
There is a tier system, you can get giftcards and stuff at $50 per 7,000 points, $100 per 13500 points, or travel which is the highest value tier at $100 per 10,000 points
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yahi wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 10:53 am
There is a tier system, you can get giftcards and stuff at $50 per 7,000 points, $100 per 13500 points, or travel which is the highest value tier at $100 per 10,000 points
I meant

A) no tiers for earning - you get the same number of points per dollar spent regardless of your monthly/annual total spending (up to a maximum $50,000 of course)
B) no tiers for redemption - you can choose to redeem any number of points and still get the same value for every point. You do NOT have to spend your points in increments of 10,000. Of course redeeming your points as gift cards give you less value but that's not what most people mean by "tiers".

Cheers.
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ilove wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 10:30 am
Really? You think even the $39 basic version isn't worth the travel insurances alone? I can't find a cheaper card that offers all the insurances known to man under the sun. Also, those annual fee waive offers are usually one time sign up bonuses only. The gold version is offering 20000 sign up bonus points (=$200 travel spending). Plus the lack of any tiering whatsoever makes these cards a solid alternative to some of the most popular cards here on RFD.
The TD First Class visa card offers travel insurance and gives bonus of 20k points for signing up. There's annual fee but it's waived if you have TD Select account. You can open a select account, get the fee waived for 2 months. So during that time the visa annual fee is waived. After that close or downgrade the Select account. That was discussed a little while ago. So that took slight work, but you get the card free, that comes with travel insurance.

Still comes back to, when there are so many cards that have the fee waived, this card needs to have the first year fee waived too in order to attract customers. The Marriott visa card did not get much signup, until they just came out with a better card and are waiving the annual fee.
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the key for this card is your expense profile and how much of your annual expenses are comprised of gas, groceries, entertainment, and dining.

- for every 5% decline in the percentage of total spending that dining, gas, groceries, ent. make up, your average return on the Scotia $99 card goes down by 0.15%
- the amount you need to spend to justify the $80 fee difference vs CapOne goes up exponentially as the rate of return difference declines

at 50%, its 2.5% vs 2%, and you need to spend 16k/yr to break even
at 45%, its 2.35% vs 2%, and you need to spend 23k/yr to break even
at 40%, its 2.2% vs 2%, and you need to spend 40k/yr to break even
below 35% its not worth while except for huge spenders, but if you are spending 160k+ per year on your card, you probably have access to way better cards anyway

for me the 25 days travel insurance is most interesting. i think CapOne is 22 days. 3 extra days may not seem like a lot, but it allows some extra leeway for longer trips.

another interesting thing is the trip interruption/cancellation insurance works as long as you charge 75% to the card. i believe CapOne requires 100% charged to the card. i suppose this could provide for some interesting scenarios where you charge 75% to this card, and the other 25% to a higher return card.... too complex for me though!

edit: used wrong fee differences vs CapOne (70 instead of 80)
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ilove wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 10:30 am
Really? You think even the $39 basic version isn't worth the travel insurances alone? I can't find a cheaper card that offers all the insurances known to man under the sun. Also, those annual fee waive offers are usually one time sign up bonuses only. The gold version is offering 20000 sign up bonus points (=$200 travel spending). Plus the lack of any tiering whatsoever makes these cards a solid alternative to some of the most popular cards here on RFD.
remember that CapOne Aspire Travel is technically a $20 annual fee card ($120 - $100 worth of pts) for 2% return
the cash back one is 1.5% for no fee.

this $39 card has 2% in certain areas of expenses, and 1% elsewhere
$99 card has 4% in certain areas, 1% elsewhere.

really comes down to expense profile
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Cerenity wrote:
Sep 24th, 2012 11:30 am
really comes down to expense profile
Yes it does. Hence why you can't just look at annual fees when judging which card is best for you.

Nice analysis by the way.
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