Is This The Best Travel Credit Card In Canada?

Finding the best travel credit card in Canada can be tricky. There are so many options to choose from and they all have their own perks and downsides.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, which is a premium travel rewards card from one of Canada’s premier banks. Through our detailed analysis of this card, we’ll tell you which demographic can best benefit from this card’s perks.

The Best Travel Card In Canada: Understanding The Basics

First, let’s tackle the key figures associated with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.

Sign-Up Bonuses

First, let’s tackle the essential figures you need to keep in mind with this credit card. Let’s tackle perks first.

Within your first year of using the card, you can earn up to 35,000 in bonus Scotia Rewards points, That equates to $350 in travel rewards. If you get the card before March 1, 2020, you will also receive 25,000 bonus points upon spending $1,000 with the card. Altogether, these bonus points can equate to an additional $600 in travel rewards during your first year.

This makes it perhaps the best travel credit card for points if you fall into the qualifying demographic.

Regular Perks

Regular perks of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card include two reward points for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases. These purchase categories are fairly broad, including:

  • groceries
  • dining
  • public transit
  • entertainment

If you’re looking for the best travel points credit card, it’s hard to compete with this one since it’s very easy to rack up points. If you spend more than $40,000 with the card annually, you will also receive a bonus of 10,000 points.

Beyond points, you also receive complimentary access to premium airport lounges, which is certainly advantageous if you travel frequently and like to relax pre-flight.

The card additionally comes with complimentary Avis Preferred Plus membership. Patrons receive complimentary upgrades and discounts on car rentals. These discounts can range between 5% and 25% off for rentals.

Fees

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card charges a very reasonable fee of $139 per year. Per Scotiabank’s current offer on this card, your first year’s bonus points will more than cover this annual fee. After that initial year, whether or not this remains the best travel credit card rewards-wise all depends on how often you travel and whether you spend enough to amass a meaningful amount of points.

Given the card’s primary target market (middle-class citizens 30 and older) and its minimum limit ($5,000), this should not be an issue for most qualifying patrons.

You are allowed one supplementary card. Each subsequent card will cost you $50.

Interest Rates

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card comes with an annual interest rate of 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances. Both of these rates reside at the lower end of the range within Canada, where rates can be as high as 29%.

Why Is This The Best Travel Credit Card For Points?

We already highlighted one point concerning why the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is the best travel points credit card; the ease with which you can collect reward points.

There’s another notable reason, however: the value of those points that you collect. When you factor in the card’s annual fee, it offers a very competitive point-to-fiat conversion of one cent. Some cards can offer conversion rates as low as $0.006 per point, so this is quite advantageous.

What Makes It The Best Travel Credit Card For International Vacationers?

If you’re familiar with our business model at Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange, you’ll know that banks and credit card companies typically mark their currency exchange rates up, costing you significantly.

This is why you end up with less money at the end of a currency exchange transaction than you may have expected based on data from Google.

One of the primary perks of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is that it does not charge additional fees on foreign exchanges. That means you can use your card to book your hotel, pay for meals, and more in your destination country’s currency without getting dinged.

Depending on how much money you spend per trip, this perk alone (never mind one of the best travel credit card rewards packages on the market right now) may justify the annual fee of this credit card.

Minimum Requirements For This Card

To qualify for the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, you do need to meet some basic income and asset requirements. You must have one of the following:

  • a personal income amounting to $60,000 or more per annum
  • a household income amounting to $100,000 or more per annum
  • total assets under management totaling $250,000 or more

In the latter case, that means you must have funds invested with a financial management firm like Scotiabank totaling $250,000 or more as opposed to merely owning a primary residence worth that much or more.

These requirements allow the Passport Visa Infinite Card to be one of the best travel credit cards benefits-wise for middle-class earners in their 30s who travel frequently.

If you do not fulfill these requirements, it is unlikely this would be the best travel credit card benefits-wise for you anyway. You may wish to look at other offerings from Scotiabank that you may qualify for. These may also offer lower annual fees that make it more likely you will reap adequate rewards at your income level.

Conclusion

To recap, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is one of the best travel cards for international vacationers or business travelers. It offers a very reasonable rate and a generous array of purchases that qualify for points as well as a decent points-to-dollars conversion rate.

Another primary perk is the card’s lack of markup on currency exchanges. As such, you can use it comfortably for all international purchases when you travel.

Between points and this perk, this card should more than pay for itself.

By Victor | January 23, 2020 | Guides | 0 comments

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