Winner of the 2019 RateHub Best Travel Perks Card and the 2020 MoneySense Best Travel Points Card for No Foreign Transaction Fees, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is marketed at travellers but has a lot to offer domestic users.

Features of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee $139/year 
  • Supplementary cards 1st card free, subsequent cards $50/year
  • Interest rates 19.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances)
  • Foreign currency conversion 0%
  • Minimum credit limit $5,000
  • Visa payWave™, Apple Pay and Android Pay

Benefits of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

The headline benefit of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is that it doesn’t charge foreign currency conversion fees. There are, however, plenty of other benefits to go along with that.


The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is included in the Scotiabank Rewards Program. With this particular Scotiabank Visa card, cardholders earn 2 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 spent in grocery stores (including supermarkets) on dining and entertainment and on daily transit. They earn 1 Scotia Rewards point on every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Additional benefits of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite include the following:

  • 6 Complimentary Airport Lounge Passes
  • Access to the Scotia Rewards Travel Service with its Best Price Guarantee on airfare.
  • Discounts at participating AVIS and Budget car rentals in Canada and the U.S.A.
  • Visa Infinite Concierge Service
  • Visa Infinite Hotel Collection
  • Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country program
  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance
  • Rental Car Collision Loss/Damage Insurance
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection
  • Price Protection Service

Drawbacks of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

The annual fee is on the higher side. The interest rates are about average, but there are definitely better deals out there. If you regularly carry a balance, then a card that charges less interest might well be a better option, even if it does charge currency conversion fees.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite – How It Compares to Other Popular Credit Cards

At present, Scotiabank only has one other credit card with no foreign currency conversion fees. That is the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card. It does, however, also have the ScotiaGold Passport® Visa* Card which offers cash back on travel booked through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service. There is also the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card which offers cashback together with a range of benefits, mainly focussed on travel.

Let’s see how these cards stack up: 

Card

Features

Benefits

Scotiabank Gold American Express

  • Annual fee $120/year
  • Supplementary cards $29/year
  • Interest rates 19.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances)
  • Foreign currency conversion 0%
  • Minimum credit limit $5000
  • 5 Scotia Rewards points for each $1 spent on eat in & eat out and watch & cheer purchases.  This includes purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets.
  • 3 Scotia Rewards points for each $1 spent on for each $1 spent on ride & drive and listen & stream
  • 1 Scotia Rewards point for each $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Amex Offers
  • Amex Front Of the Line
  • American Express Invites
  • Access to the Scotia Rewards Travel Service with its Best Price Guarantee on airfare.
  • 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

ScotiaGold Passport Visa

  • Annual fee $110/year
  • Supplementary cards $30/year
  • Interest rates 19.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances)
  • Foreign currency conversion 2.5%
  • Minimum credit limit $5000
  • 1 Scotia Reward point for every $1 spent
  • 5% cash back on travel booked through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service
  • Discounts on car rentals at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S.

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
  • 2% cashback on gas and daily transit
  • 1% cashback on everything else
  • Available on up to $25,00 of purchases, then 1% cashback on all purchases
  • 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
  • Discounts at participating AVIS and Budget car rentals in Canada and the U.S.A.

All cards feature Apple Pay and Android Pay, all Visa cards support Visa payWave™

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite vs Scotiabank Gold American Express

As can be seen from the table above, the American Express card offers a very similar deal. Depending on your usage, the rewards may be attractive. This card does, however, have a potential sting in its tail which might not be immediately obvious.


American Express has lower merchant acceptance than both Visa and Mastercard. The exact difference varies by country. In the U.S. for example, it’s negligible. In other countries, however, the gap is much wider. Even if you’re not planning on global travel, if you want to make online purchases at international merchants, then Visa is your safer option.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite vs ScotiaGold Passport Visa

At first glance, the ScotiaGold Passport Visa doesn’t appear to have anything like as much to offer as the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. It is, however, important to look at the details. If your travel is mainly within Canada and you’re not particularly bothered about international online shopping then the 5% cashback on travel booked through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service could be a tasty saving.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite vs Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is another huge competitor to the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. In fact, the choice between them is probably going to come down to whether or not you’re going to use the card more internationally (including online shopping) or in Canada.


If you’re mainly going to use the card for international travel and international online shopping, then saving 2.5% on currency conversion fees will probably work out a better deal than earning up to 2% cashback. If, however, you’re mainly going to use the card domestically then the cashback could work out the much better option.


What’s more, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite also comes with a range of additional benefits, many of which are geared towards travel. This means that it arguably qualifies as a “travel and lifestyle” card as well as a cashback card.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite vs Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card

This is a “no-frills” card, although cardholders do still get access to discounts at participating AVIS and Budget car rentals in Canada and the U.S.A. If, however, you regularly carry a balance, especially a higher one, then the interest rate of 12.99% on both purchases and cash advances could benefit you much more than rewards. What’s more, the annual fee is only $29.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite - Benefits for a Small Business 

It’s obtainable

With a minimum credit limit of $5,000, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is likely to be within the reach of even newer small businesses i.e. ones that don’t yet have a great credit score. This limit is, however, enough for business travellers to feel secure that they have funds available to them, especially if the key “big-ticket” purchases are booked up-front and paid off.

It bundles a lot of practical benefits

A small business is highly unlikely to have a dedicated department to handle business travel. The chances are that it’s going to be organized by someone who has all kinds of other things to do. This means that having a straightforward way to book everything plus all insurance organized is probably going to make life a lot easier for them (and hence for whoever’s doing the travelling).

It benefits from Visa acceptance

As previously mentioned, Visa and Mastercard currently both have wider acceptance than American Express. This means that your employees should never be in a position where they have to use their personal cards to pay because their business card is not accepted. This is better for them and makes processing expenses easier for your business.

Who is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite best for?

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is best for people who want a credit card mainly for convenient payment when travelling or shopping online. If you’re able to pay off your balance in full each month (or at least most months) then the interest rate is irrelevant. The saving on currency conversion fees outweighs the loss of cashback and the extra rewards are a nice bonus


About the author 

Maurice

Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe's background and how he can help your business.

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