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Scotiabank American Express Card: Pros, Cons, Fees, and More


Fact Checked

One of the best no-annual-fee credit cards in Canada, the Scotiabank American Express Card is great for earning and redeeming Scene+ points.

If you spend a lot of money on groceries, dining, entertainment, and transit, you can easily rack up the points and redeem them on many different purchases.

But is this card for you? This Scotiabank American Express Card review covers its benefits, the Scene+ rewards program, a few downsides and alternatives to this credit card, and how to apply.

Scotiabank American Express Card At a Glance

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 for each supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest rate on purchases
  • 22.99% interest rate on cash advances
  • Minimum credit limit of $1,000
  • Earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent on grocery, dining, entertainment, transit, gas, and select streaming services
  • Earn 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Redeem your points towards Scene+ Travel
  • Mobile device insurance coverage

Scotiabank American Express Card Benefits

New cardholders can earn up to 12,000 Scene+ points within the first year of using the card.

This includes 7,000 points that can be redeemed for $70 towards travel if you spend at least $750 within the first 3 months of opening your account, and an extra 5,000 points when you spend at least $5,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first year.

A few other Scotiabank American Express benefits include the following:

Earn and Redeem Scene+ Points

With the Scotiabank American Express Card, you earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent on purchases within grocery, dining, gas, transit, entertainment, and eligible streaming subscription categories, until you reach $5,000 annually. After that, earn just 1 Scene+ point for every purchase.

You get 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

You can redeem your Scene+ points on travel, hotel, and car rental bookings, shopping, entertainment, and dining. These points can also be redeemed for an account credit.

Scene+ Travel

Powered by Expedia, Scene+ Travel allows you to earn 3 points for every $1 spent on hotel and car rentals, and you can earn points on eligible travel purchases.

You can redeem 100 points for every $1 on flight, car rental, and hotel bookings with Expedia. There’s also the option to pay for vacations with points, any payment card, or a mix of both.

Mobile Device Insurance Benefits

When you charge the full purchase or all wireless bill payments of a new cell phone, smartphone, or tablet to your Scotiabank American Express Card, you can be covered for up to $500 if your mobile device is stolen, lost, accidentally damaged, or experiences mechanical failure.

Downsides of the Scotiabank American Express Card

This Scotiabank American Express credit card does not include any travel insurance; only mobile device insurance. If you travel frequently, you may want to look for another credit card with more insurance options.

Another downside is that the highest reward potential is only 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent on certain categories. Once you reach the limit of $5,000, you’ll only earn 1 point for every $1 spent.

Scotiabank American Express Card review-img

How To Apply for the Scotiabank American Express Card

If you are a new customer, you can start your application here.

Those new to Canada within the past three years must visit a branch to apply.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Have a minimum personal income of $12,000 yearly
  • Have not declared bankruptcy within the last 7 years

How To Redeem Scene+ Points

Redeem your Scene+ points by logging into your account at sceneplus.ca. Go to Your Rewards and select Redeem Now. Then, select how you want to use your points.

You can redeem your points on the following:

  • Movies at Cineplex
  • Travel rewards using Scene+ Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Purchases at the Scene+ Apple and Best Buy online stores
  • Purchases at the Rec Room, Playdium, and select restaurants
  • Account credit

Alternatives to the Scotiabank American Express Card

Looking for another credit card or want to compare? Below are a few alternative Canadian rewards credit cards.

Scotiabank American Express Card vs Scotiabank Momentum No-Fee Visa Card

With the Scotiabank Momentum No-Fee Visa Card, get up to 1% cash back on eligible purchases on gas, groceries, drug stores, and recurring payments. Get 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

The interest rate is 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances, and there is no annual fee.

Scotiabank American Express Card vs Scotiabank Momentum Visa Card

The Scotiabank Momentum Visa Card allows you to get 2% cash back on eligible gas, grocery, and drug store purchases, as well as recurring payments. Get 1% cash back on all other purchases.

There is a $39 annual fee and an interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Scotiabank American Express Card vs Tangerine World Mastercard

The Tangerine World Mastercard is a no-fee cash-back credit card with a 19.95% interest rate.

You earn 2% Money-Back rewards in two 2% categories of your choice and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.

Insurance benefits include rental collision/loss damage insurance, mobile device insurance, and extended warranty and purchase protection.

This card also gives you access to exclusive airport lounges and Boingo wi-fi for Mastercard, among other rewards.

Scotiabank American Express Card vs Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

The Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card has an annual fee of $120, with an interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

You earn:

  • 5x Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, grocery, and entertainment purchases
  • 3x Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible transit, gas, and streaming subscription services
  • 1x Scene+ point on all other purchases

You also pay 2.5% less on all foreign transaction fees.

Is the Scotiabank American Express Card For You?

The Scotiabank American Express Card is great for those who don’t travel too often but want a no-fee credit card to earn and redeem points.

If you tend to spend a lot of money on categories such as dining, entertainment, groceries, gas, and travel, you can earn 2x the Scene+ points, which can add up quickly.

However, if you do travel often, this card probably isn’t for you.

It does not include any travel insurance benefits or many travel perks, and you may want to consider getting another American Express Canada travel credit card like the Scotiabank American Express Platinum Card. It has an annual fee but includes more perks and travel insurance.


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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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