Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Credit Card Review

Posted April 5, 2018 by cccadmin in

Frequent flyers were disappointed with the announcement of Chase Canada axing its popular no foreign exchange fee credit cards. If you do a lot of international travel and you’re looking for a no foreign exchange fee credit card, the number of options out there is quite limited.

With Chase getting rid of both the Visa and Marriott Visa credit cards, there was a glaring hole in the market for a no foreign exchange fee credit card. Scotiabank pounced on the opportunity with perfect timing – and thankfully they did!

Introducing the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

Scotiabank is now accepting applications for its newest credit card. With the introduction of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, Scotiabank became the first major Canadian financial institution to offer a no foreign exchange fee credit card.

Here are some of the great travel perks this credit card offers:

  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside Canada.
  • A complimentary airport lounge membership with six free visits each year. Use the visits for yourself or a travel companion. (No other Canadian credit card with an annual fee under $150 offers more than four lounge visits a year.)
  • Redeem your points for travel anywhere, anytime, with no travel restrictions.
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurances, including Travel Emergency Medical, Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption.

Who is this card ideal for?

The Visa Infinite program is largely targeted towards more affluent and established professionals. At its core, the exclusive benefits and rewards are all about the travel perks.

If you’re looking for the utmost in flexibility and you’re sick and tired of jumping through hoops to redeem your points with other travel rewards program like Air Miles and Aeroplan, then this card is a good match, too.

Those who travel frequently will benefit from the complementary airport lounge access and comprehensive travel insurance benefits, too.

Plus if you’re already a member of the Scotia Total Equity Plan, you can get this card for a discounted rate.

No Foreign Transaction Fee

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Credit ups the game if you do a lot of spending in foreign currencies. With no foreign exchange fees, this card outshines competing cards by a large margin. Well about 2.5% to be exact – as that is the average rate for foreign exchange fees charged by other cards. Ouch! The sign up bonus is very good, but the biggest selling feature of this credit card is definitely the elimination of FX fees.

If you do a lot of international travel, the cost savings in foreign transaction fees can substantial. If you do a lot of online shopping outside Canada or import goods, you can save yourself a decent chunk of change, too.

Earning Reward Points

Here’s a breakdown of the rewards you can earn with this credit card:

  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points on every dollar spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment, purchases, and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis, Ubers and more) and $1 spent on everything else.
  • A flexible points redemption program. Book your flight, submit your travel receipts and get reimbursed (up to a year after booking your flight). It’s that easy!
  • Your points never expire and there is no limit to the number of points you can earn (good for big spenders).
  • There are no booking fees, blackout dates or seat restrictions. You can redeem your points for any flight on any airline.
  • Earn an annual bonus of 10,000 points if you spend at least $40K per year.
  • Convert your SCENE points to Scotia Rewards points or vice versa.

Some downsides to be aware of

Earning 2 percent in rewards on eligible purchases and 1 percent on other purchases is decent, but it’s a little on the low side compared to other credit cards in this space. We’re not discounting the fact that this credit card offers no foreign transaction fee, but it would have been nice to see 3x or 4x points on groceries, transportation, and other popular spending categories like most other comparable travel reward credit cards (although it’s nice to see that you earn bonus rewards for public transit and Uber instead of gas, catering to millennials who don’t tend to own cars).

The card comes with a hefty annual fee of $139. This is a little on the high side compared to most other Visa infinite credit cards, although you’ll earn a handsome sign up bonus of 25,000 bonus points (worth $250) when you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months. You can also get one extra card free, which is a good deal compared with other cards.

The Bottom Line

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is a well-rounded credit card for the affluent traveller. If you spend a lot of money in foreign currencies and you’re desperately looking for a replacement credit card after Chase axed its credit cards, this credit card is worth serious consideration.