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Scotiabank Gold American Express Review
1 Nov 2018

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card | Credit Card Review

Usually, you have to choose between a credit card that you can easily get your hands on or one that actually offers a worthwhile reward system. Sometimes, though, you don’t have to make such a compromise. Keep reading our Scotiabank Gold American Express card review to hear more about this card that combines the best of both worlds.

Enjoy a surprisingly accessible rewards card with 4x the reward points on many common purchases you make every day.


General Information

You Are Interested If You want a credit card with excellent reward rates and a multitude of redemption options that will suit just about anyone.
Brief Description The Scotiabank Gold American Express card is a premium-level credit card that will help you build up massive amounts of reward points just by purchasing things you already have incorporated in your budget.
Main Requirements As long as you have good credit and make at least $1,000 a month, you may be considered for this card.

Card Details

Network American Express.
Provider Scotiabank.
Card Type This is technically a travel card, but it can serve a few different purposes depending on cardholder preference.

Fees and Interest

Purchase Interest Rate This card doesn’t give you a reduced interest rate – you’ll be paying the full typical 19.99% on any regular balances you eventually carry.
Cash Advance Cash advances can be obtained with this card, but you’ll pay 22.99% interest for the privilege.
Balance Transfer Balance transfers also incur that standard 22.99% interest charge.


Income Requirements As we’ll explain further in this Scotiabank Gold American Express card review, this card is surprisingly easy to get – just $12,000 in income per year may be enough to get it.
Household Income Requirements The individual requirements for this card are assumed to be low enough to allow virtually all applicants to be accepted, so household incomes are not considered separately.
Annual Fee This card charges a $99 annual fee, although there is also a free version available with fewer perks and reward bonuses.


Welcome Bonus 15,000 bonus points are available to new customers who charge at least $1,000 in everyday purchases to their card in the first 3 months.
How To Earn Points You can get an incredible 4 reward points for every dollar you spend on groceries, gas, entertainment or dining, as well as a single point for every dollar spent on anything else.
Benefits This card comes with a robust array of extras, including 7 types of travel insurance, use of Scotiabank’s concierge and travel services, use of VIP airport lounges all over the world, membership in the American Express Invites program, and much more.

About Scotiabank Gold American Express

Main Features

As usual, we’ll begin our Scotiabank Gold American Express card review by going over some of the key features of this card. It’s a pretty typical card in terms of interest rates, charging the usual interest rates of around 20% in all three charge categories. We all know that’s not what we’re here for, though – the amazing reward system is what truly sets this card apart. All purchases made with this card will grant you at least 1 reward point, but any groceries, restaurant food, gas, or entertainment expenses will get you no less then 4 points for each dollar you’ve spent. Not only is it unusual for a card to offer so many bonus points at all (a double or perhaps triple bonus reward rate is much more common), but it’s even rarer for the eligible bonus categories to be so wide-ranging and easy to fit into any lifestyle. Food and transportation alone make up a very large portion of the average Canadian’s budget, and entertainment is such a flexible category that it covers a lot of what disposable income is typically spent on. In theory, a person could charge most of their usual purchases to this card and get 4 points for nearly every dollar of their budget not tied to accommodation; that represents some incredible reward potential.

Now it’s time for the part of our Scotiabank Gold American Express card review where we tell you about how many points a Canadian on a given budget might expect to be able to accrue. Because the bonus categories cover so much ground in terms of what most Canadians will be purchasing, it’s well worth your while to use this card as liberally as possible. If you spend $400 a month on food (both groceries and eating out will count for the same amount, so there’s no need to separate the two) and $200 in gas for your car, you will already be earning a whopping 2400 points each month. Most people will spend a little for entertainment on top of that, so let’s throw in another very conservative $50 charge that will produce another 200 in points. That’s 2600 all together, and even a single person can easily spend more than this in a month. If you have a significant other or a family, you will usually spend much more. Many people will easily be able to top 30,000 reward points a year through bonus-eligible purchases alone, and many more will surpass that by several additional thousands. Add in the 15,000 points you’ll get in the welcome bonus and you can count on at least 45,000 points (an estimated $450 in value) in your first year with this card.

That number of points may not pay for an entire trip, but it can defray a good chunk of the cost. You can use your points anywhere you can book travel and accommodation services, not just at Scotiabank’s internal travel service. If you’re not feeling a call to travel at this time, though, you can still use your points on things like electronics, gift cards, and tickets to local attractions like the zoo. You can even convert them to Scene points (points used by one of Scotiabank’s other rewards programs) that you can use to go to movies for free or get discounts on concessions there. No matter what you’d like to get with your points, you probably have the option to do it with this system.

Another thing we’d like to point out in this Scotiabank Gold American Express card review is how easy it is to meet the minimum requirements laid out for this card. Unlike many gold card options with premium reward systems like this, the Scotiabank Gold American Express card is available to virtually any applicants who do not have an extremely low income or extensive credit troubles. While simply meeting the income requirements is no guarantee that you will be accepted, having a chance at all is something exceptional in and of itself.

Another key thing to mention in a Scotiabank Gold American Express card review is that this card also comes with plenty of extra benefits to sweeten the deal. If you do use your rewards to go travelling, you’ll probably appreciate the set of 7 types of complimentary travel insurance that you receive as a cardholder, as well as the airport lounge access and discounts on car rentals that you can also tap into. If you’re planning to stay home, you might enjoy some of the exclusive concerts and events that you may get the chance to attend through the American Express Invites program. All of these things are free and already bundled with your card.

It may sound like this is too good to be true, or like we might be exaggerating a little when it comes to this product. We’re not the only Scotiabank Gold American Express card review to rate it very highly; there are many other reviewers and institutions that rank it among the best credit cards in Canada, and Scotiabank proudly advertises that it was ranked ‘Best Rewards Credit Card of 2017.’ The only thing that may be a turn-off to some lower-income people is the $99 annual fee, but you don’t have to try very hard to accrue enough points to offset that cost entirely. The only people who might not manage to do that are students who are being very conservative with their credit purchases out of caution; since few people in this demographic are likely to have enough of a credit history to qualify for this card anyway, that’s essentially a non-issue. This is a significant upgrade over the free standard Scotiabank American Express card, but that one is still an option if you prefer to go fee-free. Otherwise, you can consider the fee to be money well spent.


Now that we’re getting to the end of our Scotiabank Gold American Express card review, it’s time to make a few general pronouncements about this card overall. The reward system it offers is every bit as good as it looks at first glance – maybe even better, considering how flexible it is. As previously noted, the annual fee is insignificant compared to the overall value the card offers. Even the interest rates it charges are exactly in line with those of competitors, so you’ll never end up paying egregious amounts of money to have this card even in a worst-case scenario. There are very few downsides to this card, but a whole lot to recommend it. Like most American Express cards, this is primarily a travel card, but the Scotia Rewards system is so open-ended that you can use it as a regular reward card or even a movie card if you so choose. That flexibility, combined with the incredibly generous bonus rates and categories, makes this card an excellent choice no matter what you’re looking for in your credit card.

About Scotiabank

Most Canadians have heard of Scotiabank, and with good reason – it’s one of the country’s oldest and largest banks and is still going strong today. When it was founded by the provincial government of Nova Scotia in 1832, it was mostly intended to make it easier to conduct trading across the Atlantic ocean. Today, it not only provides banking services to millions around the world, but also help many more customers with mortgages, investments, wealth management and trading. With nearly 200 years of history behind it, you can bet that it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

What We Think

We’re happy to be able to end this Scotiabank Gold American Express card review with a glowing recommendation for almost all our readers. This is a stellar credit card that more than deserves all the praise it gets. You’ll find it hard to beat in terms of reward rates, and all those points you earn can be put towards almost anything you can think of. The fact that you can get it with just over $12,000 a year in income is nothing short of remarkable. This card sets a new standard for reward cards in Canada that other credit card companies will hopefully continue to try to match over time.

The only caveat we feel we have to point out is that you should only opt for this card (or any card like it, for that matter) if you are in a stable financial situation with little history of outstanding credit card charges. If you know you would benefit from having a low-interest card, the prudent decision is to take one of those over a rewards option. That said, if you know you’ll be able to avoid interest charges most of the time, there is no harm in going for the more fun and exciting rewards options or this card in particular.

The single most important thing we want to emphasize in this Scotiabank Gold American Express card review is that this is one of Canada’s best reward card options. The only thing it lacks is a convenient cash back option, but if that’s what you want, you can get that from any number of other cards on the market. For anything else, this should be one of the go-to options for almost any Canadian consumer.