A veteran in the Scotiabank portfolio, Scotiabank Gold American Express is a premium travel card with low annual fee. With a welcome bonus of 15,000 Scotia points (~$150 in value) and 4X earning on gas, groceries, dining and entertainment, this card kept it simple – Earn quick and burn as you want, when you want.
However, several changes have been announced to the card recently, mostly positive but some devaluations as well. This post is to take a closer look at the changes coming to the card, effective August 1, 2019.
Changes to Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card
Highlights of the changes coming to the card, Starting August 1, 2019
- Annual Fee goes up to $120
- Earn 5X Scotia points on Grocery, Dining and Entertainment
- Earn 3X Scotia points on Gas, Daily Transit and Select Streaming Services
- Card will no longer charge Foreign currency conversion fee
- Card will no longer offer Price Protection Service
- Travel Emergency and Medical Insurance Coverage down to 3 days, for persons over 65 years of age
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage down to $1500 per person
Comparison Chart: Changes to Scotiabank Gold American Express card
|Until July 31, 2019||Effective August 1, 2019|
|Annual Fee: $99||Annual Fee: $120|
4X on Gas, Grocery, Dining and Entertainment
1X on all other purchases
5X on Grocery, Dining and Entertainment (Canada only)
3X Gas, Daily Transit, Select Streaming Services (Canada only)
1X on all other purchases
|Foreign Currency Conversion Fee: 2.5%||Foreign Currency Conversion Fee: 0%|
|Price Protection Service on eligible items charged to the card||Price Protection Service no longer offered|
|Travel Emergency Medical Insurance (65 and over): Coverage of 10 days||Travel Emergency Medical Insurance (65 and over): Coverage of 3 days|
|Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance: Coverage of $2,500 per person for eligible expenses (max $10,000 per trip)||Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance: Coverage of $1,500 per person for eligible expenses (max $10,000 per trip)|
Here is the link to the Official Notice about Changes to Scotiabank Gold® American Express®* Accounts – Effective August 1, 2019
The new 5X earning rate on Grocery, Dining and Entertainment ($50k limit) is a great addition to the card. However, that seems to have come at the expense of devaluing the earn rate on Gas, down from 4X to 3X. The no foreign currency conversion fee (FX) is good but that the 5x and 3x earning rates are for Canadian transactions only, dilutes the no FX feature. Unfortunately the changes in Travel and Medical insurance features does mean that the card may not appeal to a certain demographic anymore, at least not as their primary card.
I continue to carry this card in my wallet, because it offers quick earn rates on my primary expenses and the ease of redeeming cannot be over looked. If you are in the market for a true flexible travel card that helps you get to your next vacation quicker, its hard to look past the Scotiabank Gold American Express card in Canada.
The changes to the card are largely positive as far as my spend habits are concerned, so I will continue to recommend this card to all travellers.
**Special Cashback Offer for blog Readers**
I am offering $100 CAD cashback for using my link to get the Scotiabank Gold American Express card. This offer will be available for new cards approved by May 26th, 2019.
- Apply for the card using ‘Apply Now’ link in this blog post
- Take screenshot of the final approval page with confirmation number.
- Share screenshot with me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- I confirm the card approval at my end and send you an e-transfer of $100 CAD (~week from application approval)
Hope this helps if you were considering the card anyways. The cashback is enough to cover the current annual fee ($99) of the card, essentially making it first year free, with a 15,000 welcome bonus (with $1,000 spend).