The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card offers a nice balance of value and rewards. It’s fairly easy to obtain and useful for both domestic and international travel.
Features of the Scotiabank Rewards Visa
Benefits of the Scotiabank Rewards Visa
The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card takes its name from the fact that you earn one Scotia Rewards point for every $2 you spend (with a few exceptions). Cardholders can actually get two reward schemes in one because Scotia Rewards points can be exchanged for SCENE points (and vice versa). You need to set up a SCENE account to make this possible, but this is easy to do.
Cardholders also get discounts on car rentals at participating outlets of AVIS and Budget in the U.S.A as well as Canada. This is, however, standard on most Scotiabank cards rather than unique to the Scotiabank Rewards Visa card.
Drawbacks of the Scotiabank Rewards Visa
Although the Scotiabank Rewards Visa card is geared towards travel, it still charges foreign currency conversion fees. These could also be a nuisance for anyone who regularly shops online at international merchants.
The interest rate is decent but not great. There are certainly cards that charge more, but there are also cards that charge less.
Scotiabank Rewards Visa Compare to Other Popular Credit Cards
The Scotiabank Rewards Visa is a no fee credit card, this means that it’s immediate comparisons are the other Scotiabank no fee credit cards. These are as follows.
If you’re prepared to pay a fairly low annual fee then you could also look at the
The Scotiabank GM Visa Card is unlikely to be of much interest to the average small business because its main benefit is that cardholders can earn credit to the purchase or lease of a qualifying GM vehicle. All the other cards, however, are potentially good options for small businesses.
With the exception of the Scotiabank American Express card, all these cards have a $500 minimum credit limit. The Scotiabank American Express card has a minimum credit limit of $1000. They all charge foreign currency conversion fees of 2.5%.
Let’s see how these cards stack up in general:
Interest rates (purchase/cash advance)
Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa* Card
Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card
No Fee Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card
SCENE®* Visa* Card
Scotiabank American Express® Card
Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card
Scotia Momentum® Visa* Card
In addition to all of the above, all cards offer discounts on car rentals at participating outlets of AVIS and Budget. Discounts are available in the U.S. as well as Canada.
Scotiabank Rewards Visa vs Scotiabank Value Visa cards
The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card and the Scotiabank Value Visa cards are two very different propositions. The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card is likely to be of most benefit to people who regularly pay off their balance in full and who hence don’t have to worry about the interest rate. The Scotiabank Value Visa cards are more likely to benefit people who regularly carry a balance and hence want to pay the lowest possible interest rate on that balance.
Scotiabank Rewards Visa vs Scotiabank Momentum Visa cards
The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card and the Scotiabank Momentum Visa cards are both aimed at people who pay off their balances regularly. The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card gives cardholders points that they can exchange for benefits. The Scotiabank Momentum Visa cards all give cash back that cardholders may spend as they wish.
On the surface, getting cash may seem like the better deal. There is, however, a twist. The Momentum cards only give the maximum cash-back percentage up to a certain spending limit (per year). After that, all eligible purchases earn the lower rate.
With the Scotiabank Rewards Visa, however, you earn points at a consistent rate no matter how much you spend. Overall, therefore, this could make it the better deal.
Scotiabank Rewards Visa vs SCENE® Visa card
The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card and the SCENE®* Visa* card are very similar. The advantage of the Scotiabank Rewards Visa is that you can access both the Scotiabank Rewards program and the SCENE program. That said, if your main interest is the SCENE® rewards, then you might be better just to get a SCENE®* Visa* card.
Scotiabank Rewards Visa vs Scotiabank American Express® card
The Scotiabank Rewards Visa card does have travel-related benefits. There are, however, also plenty of benefits for people who use their cards wholly or mainly in Canada. The Scotiabank American Express® card by contrast is very much focussed on travel.
This may mean that the Scotiabank American Express® card could be your better option if you plan to use your card mainly for travel. This may, however, depend on your travel destinations.
In the U.S., American Express has about the same level of merchant acceptance as Visa and Mastercard. Globally, however, Visa and Mastercard both have higher levels of merchant acceptance than American Express.
Scotiabank Rewards Visa – Benefits for a Small Business
There are three main reasons why the Scotiabank Rewards Visa is a good credit card for a small business.
It’s fairly easy to qualify
With a minimum credit limit of $500 and entry-level rewards, it’s fairly easy to qualify for the Scotiabank Rewards Visa card. The fact that it has no annual fee will be welcome by most people, especially if you’re only using the card occasionally.
There’s a decent range of rewards
Although the Scotiabank Rewards Visa is clearly an entry-level card, it actually offers some very decent rewards. On the surface, it’s geared towards travel and businesses that involve a lot of travel can certainly benefit from it. There are, however, plenty of other options.
The Scotiabank Rewards program itself offers access to merchandise as well as special offers on travel. What’s more, the fact that you can convert your Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points (with a SCENE account) opens up more options, especially for movies and meals. This can help save you money on business entertaining, whether that’s your clients or your employees.
Finally, the discounts on car rental as a nice extra benefit, although not unique to this card. For both consumers and businesses, car clubs and car rental outlets are increasingly taking the place of buying or leasing cars.
There’s no annual fee and reasonable interest
The absence of an annual fee makes the Scotiabank Rewards Visa a bit more affordable. It also makes it easier to justify having a credit card if you only use it occasionally. The interest rate isn’t the best on the market, but it is pretty decent.
Who is the Scotiabank Rewards Visa Best for?
The Scotiabank Rewards Visa is best for newer and/or smaller companies that have good cash flow but are still establishing themselves. If you regularly pay off your balance then the interest rate doesn’t matter, but rewards can. If, however, you’re a small and/or younger business then you’re unlikely to qualify for a card with premium-level reward deals. The Scotiabank Rewards Visa, however, can give you some nice bonuses while you build up your credit record
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.
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