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
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:
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:
Scotiabank Gold American Express
ScotiaGold Passport Visa
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
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
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
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.