Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Review (2020): Best Cashback Card on the Market?

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Review

In 2019, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card picked up a total of 11 awards and recognitions from  8 of Canada’s major credit card comparison websites.  This included the prestigious MoneySense award for Best Cashback Card (with a Fee). 

Although the cashback element may be the headline attraction of this Scotia credit card, there’s a lot more to like about it.

Features of the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee $120/year (free for first year)
  • Supplementary cards $50/year (free for first year)
  • Interest rates 20.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances)
  • Foreign currency conversion 2.5%
  • Minimum credit limit $5,000
  • Visa payWave™, Apple Pay and Android Pay

Benefits of the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

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The headline benefit of the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is the generous cashback.  There is however, a wide range of additional benefits and special offers on insurance.

Cashback

  • 4% groceries and recurring payments
  • 2% gas and daily transit
  • 1% everything else

Except for recurring payments, the cashback element is determined by the merchant’s classification in the Visa network.  

This works as follows.

Groceries

Merchants classed as Grocery Stores & Supermarkets (Merchant Code 5411)

Gas

Merchants classed as Service Stations [with or without Ancillary services], and Automated Fuel Dispensers & Electric Vehicle Charging) (Merchant Codes 5541, 5542, 5552)

Daily Transit

Merchants classed as  Ferries, Passenger Railways, Taxicabs and Limousines, Bus Lines, Transportation Services [Not Elsewhere Classified]). (Merchant Codes 4111, 4112, 4121, 4131, 4789.)

Recurring payments are a specific type of payment.  They can be made on any merchant code.  

These cashback limits apply up to the first $25,000 of spending.  After that, all purchases receive cashback of 1%.

Other Benefits

The benefits specific to the Visa Infinite program are as follows:

  • Visa Infinite* Concierge Service
  • Visa Infinite* Hotel Collection
  • Visa Infinite* Dining and Wine Country program

Additionally, cardholders can qualify for discounts of up to 25% off base rate at participating AVIS and Budget car hire outlets in Canada and the U.S.  This benefit is, however, also available on other Scotia cards.

Insurance

The benefits specific to the Visa Infinite program are as follows:

  • Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Rental Car Collision Loss/Damage Insurance
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance
  • Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection
  • New Mobile Device Insurance

Please note that the New Mobile Device Insurance only applies to new cell phones, smartphones, or tablets purchased using your Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite.

Drawbacks of the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

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The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite has three definite drawbacks and a couple of potential drawbacks.

The three definite drawbacks are as follows:

  1. It’s relatively difficult to qualify for it.  You need a minimum personal annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 or a minimum of $250,000 worth of assets under management. 
  2. There’s an annual fee of $120 (plus $50 for each supplementary card)
  3. Currency conversion fees are charged at 2.5%.

The two potential drawbacks are as follows:

  1. It may not be clear to people how cashback is applied.  For example, a cardholder may buy what they consider to be groceries, but they will only get the cashback if the merchant is set up on the right merchant code.
  2. Similarly, merchants can bill a card regularly without actually setting up the arrangement as a recurring payment.

Last, but definitely not least, if you carry a balance then the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite charges a high rate of interest.

Comparison with Other Popular Credit Cards

Scotiabank has a wide range of credit cards.  They divide them into four main categories: travel and lifestyle, cashback, no annual fee, low interest.  The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite comes into the cashback category.  That means its nearest competitors are: 

  • Scotia Momentum® Visa Card
  • Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa Card
  • Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card
  • L’earn™ Visa Card

The L’earn Visa card is aimed at students, so that leaves the other three options.  Here are their main features:

Card

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

Scotia Momentum® Visa Card

Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa Card

Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card

Cell

Annual fee

$120/year (free for first year)

$39

0

0

Supplementary cards

$50/year (free for first year)

$15

0

0

Interest rates

20.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances)

19.99% (purchases)/ 22.99% (cash advances)

19.99% (purchases)/ 22.99% (cash advances)

19.99% (purchases)/ 22.99% (cash advances)

Minimum credit limit

$5,000

$500

$500

$500

Cashback

  • 4% groceries and recurring payments
  • 2% gas and daily transit
  • 1% everything else

Available on up to $25,00 of purchases, then 1% on all purchases.

  • 2% at gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores and recurring payments.
  • 1% on everything else. 

Available on up to $25,00 of purchases, then 1% on all purchases.

  • 1% at gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores and recurring payments.
  • 0.5% on everything else. 

Available on all annual spend.

  • 1% at gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores and recurring payments.
  • 0.5% on everything else.

Available on all annual spend.

Additional benefits

  • Visa Infinite* Concierge Service
  • Visa Infinite* Hotel Collection
  • Visa Infinite* Dining and Wine Country program
  • Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Rental Car Collision Loss/Damage Insurance
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance
  • Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection
  • New Mobile Device Insurance

Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection


All cards charge 2.5% currency conversion fees and support Visa payWave™/Mastercard Tap & Go, Apple Pay and Android Pay.  They all offer discounts of up to 25% off base rate at participating AVIS and Budget car hire outlets in Canada and the U.S.

Scotia also has a range of travel and lifestyle cards.  These include:

  • Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card
  • Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
  • Scotiabank American Express® Card
  • Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card
  • ScotiaGold Passport® Visa* Card
  • Scotiabank Rewards® Visa* Card

All of these cards provide a range of benefits.  These are however based on earning points.  You then spend these points either directly with Scotia or with their partner organizations.  This may get you a good deal, but it is not exactly the same as receiving cash back that you can use as you wish.

On the other hand, some of these cards waive currency conversion fees.  Depending on your lifestyle, this could be a significant saving.  

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card charges the same annual fee as the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite.  It therefore makes a useful point of comparison:

Card

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

Scotiabank Gold American Express

Interest Rate

20.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances)

19.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances).

Cashback

  • 4% groceries and recurring payments
  • 2% gas and daily transit
  • 1% everything else

Available on up to $25,00 of purchases, then 1% on all purchases.

N/A

Currency conversion fees

2.5%

None

Supplementary Cards

$50

$29

Reward points

N/A

  • Earn reward points for every CA$1 you spend.
  • 5*reward points on “eat in & eat out” and “watch & cheer”
  • Eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments
  • Eligible entertainment purchases. Includes movies, theatre, and ticket agencies.
  • 5*reward points on “ride & drive” and “listen & stream”
  • Eligible gas and daily transit. Includes rideshare, buses, taxis, subway, and more.
  • Eligible select streaming services
  • 1*reward points on all other purchases

Multipliers apply up to $50,000 per year. Then 1 point per $1 applies to all purchases.

Benefits

  • Visa Infinite* Concierge Service
  • Visa Infinite* Hotel Collection
  • Visa Infinite* Dining and Wine Country program

Discounts of up to 25% off base rate at participating AVIS and Budget car hire outlets in Canada and the U.S

  • Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Rental Car Collision Loss/Damage Insurance
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance
  • Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection
  • New Mobile Device Insurance
  • Amex Offers
  • Amex Front Of the Line
  • American Express Invites
  • Book and redeem easily
  • Complimentary concierge services
  • Airport lounge access
  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Rental Car Collision Loss/Damage Insurance
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
  • Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection

Who is the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Best For?

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is best for people who are confident that they can pay off their balance in full each month, at least most of the time.  Although the cashback offer is generous, an interest rate of 20.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances) can quickly outweigh its advantages if you regularly use your Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite as a line of credit rather than just as a means to pay.

It’s a great option for people who travel a lot within Canada.  This allows you to make use of all the travel-related perks without activating the currency conversion fees.  It’s also a decent option for international travel.  The currency conversion fees are disappointing in a card with so many travel-related benefits.  That said, if you try to pay for your flights and hotels in Canadian dollars, you can reduce their impact.


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