In this edition of Head-to-Head, let’s compare the two best no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada: the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card and the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.
If you’re a frequent flyer looking to minimize fees when travelling abroad, which one is right for you? We’ll compare the cards using a range of criteria, including the welcome bonus, earning rates, benefits & perks, and insurance, to help you decide which suits you best.
Let’s kick things off by looking at some of the essentials when considering a credit card: welcome bonuses, annual fees, and earning rates.
1. Welcome Bonus
First and foremost, let’s look at the welcome bonuses, which is one of the most compelling factors when deciding between two credit cards.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card and the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card both earn Scene+ points.
Until January 3, 2024, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has a welcome bonus of 25,000 Scene+ points upon spending $1,000 (all figures in CAD) in the first three months. This part of the welcome bonus is worth $250 when redeemed for travel.
The card also rewards an additional 10,000 Scene+ points each year upon spending $40,000; however, this higher-volume spend is quite substantial, and your efforts may be better allocated elsewhere.
In the past, we’ve seen welcome offers of up to 35,000 Scene+ points with an annual fee rebate in the first year, so the current offer is a bit lower than the all-time high.
On the other hand, until July 1, 2024, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has a welcome offer of up to 40,000 Scene+ points, structured as follows:
- 20,000 Scene+ points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
- 20,000 Scene+ points upon spending $7,500 in the first year
We’ve seen the welcome bonus go as high as 45,000–50,000 Scene+ points in the past; however, it’s worth noting that the current offer is quite competitive, especially with a reasonable minimum spending requirement over the course of the first year.
Verdict: The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite has a higher welcome bonus upon spending $1,000 in the first three months, but the Scotiabank Gold…