Shopping is never better than when you get some money coming back to you at the end of it. The Scotia Momentum Visa allows you to do this, and despite its relatively humble nature, its reward rates are a step above what you might expect to get from most cash back cards at its level. It’s very consumer-friendly and makes it easy for just about anyone to earn plenty of reward money, but it does have one notable drawback that we’ll discuss below.
Extra Cash For Controlled Spenders
The Scotia Momentum Visa is a cash back credit card that offers two different possible rates for earning the money it can provide. Using it will get you 2% cash back on groceries, gas, drug store purchases, and recurring bill payments and 1% cash back on whatever other purchases you might make. It’s very easy to get even with a low income or merely fair credit, which means that it’s not just high earners and the credit elite who can take advantage of this opportunity to earn. That’s especially important because the bonus categories are perfectly synchronized with the purchases that are most often made by the average Canadian family.
Gas alone can cost many Canadians hundreds of dollars each month – especially when, like most families have now, there are two vehicles being constantly used and one is a larger model like a jeep, SUV or minivan. Getting 2% cash back on that expense goes a long way. Then there are the grocery bills that everyone needs to pay in order stay alive. While you can minimize the amount you spend on food, you can’t eliminate that cost entirely, so getting money back on that spending can make a big difference when it comes to stretching a budget. The same goes for recurring bill payments (utilities, internet, and cell phone bills and even things like a Netflix subscription all fall into this category), and anyone who takes prescription drugs regularly or has any kind of minor health problems (think allergies) will appreciate the inclusion of drug store purchases. Nothing that’s included here is a rare purchase or something that the average family might cut out, so you can count on this card to continue to produce value for you even if you eventually have to tighten your belt a bit.
This card’s monetary incentives don’t end there, though. As an added bonus for new customers, this card also offers you a chance to pay only 2.99% in interest for 6 months when you choose to transfer a balance from another card during your application. You have to do this when you’re first getting the card and not later on, but if you do take advantage of this opportunity, it will yield even further savings. Since a penny saved is a penny earned, that puts more cash back into your pocket as well. Be sure to pay down that debt as much as you can before it reverts back to its original interest rate, however, or you’ll have wasted the opportunity to wipe your financial slate clean again.
What About the Annual Fee?
With all this reward cash up for grabs, you might be thinking that this card is too good to be true. It’s still a great deal, but one thing that makes it a little less unmitigatedly amazing is that there is an annual fee attached. It’s relatively low, though – just $39 for the whole year, as opposed to other cards that often charge closer to $80. While no one ever wants to end up paying for something when they were hoping to get it for free, that’s not a terrible price to pay. It also helps that what that fee gets you (better reward rates as compared to other cards) helps to directly counteract the financial toll that the fee itself takes. Think about it: it would take just $3,900 in regular spending or $1,900 in spending that is eligible for the accelerated rate to make up the difference, and all of the rest is just icing on the cake. You actually shouldn’t even notice the slight loss if you’re doing things right. As long as you use this card regularly, you shouldn’t be worried about the expense of it and should feel confident that you’ll get plenty of cash rewards to make up that modest annual fee.
Beware the Lack of Benefits
The one thing that this card could really stand to improve on is its associated benefits. While most cards with an annual fee will include some sort of insurance or membership freebie in order to add value and sweeten the deal, this one only comes with a small discount of up to 25% off car rentals at Budget or Avis car rental locations. While that’s not nothing and some users will undoubtedly be very appreciative of the savings it can get them, most people will not use this perk very often and it requires you to spend money to even make use of it in the first place. This stands in stark contrast to the quite impressive packages that come with many other mid-level cards that charge fees. In this card’s defense, however, it must be noted that those fees are often nearly double what this one charges, so perhaps the loss is understandable from that point of view. As we’ve stated above, you’re sure to make up the fee in your rewards anyway.
The Scotia Momentum Visa: Yes or No?
The Scotia Momentum Visa excels at being a middle grade option for people who want something just a bit better than a free card but can’t get anything intended for elite consumers (or just don’t want to pay the high associated fees). It’s close to being a basic card, but its reward rates are noticeably improved and the welcome bonus is appealing. It’s more than worth the $39 fee from that point of view, although if you’re hoping to score some benefits for your money you won’t find them here. It’s a card that promises a fair amount of extra cash in return for what it charges you. It delivers on that front and that’s all it really needs to do.