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Updated: December 27, 2023

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.

Quick overview

The Scotia Momentum Mastercard is for those who appreciate earning rewards without having to pay an annual fee. Essentially, it offers the ability to earn money for free. Sounds like a win-win, right? Let’s dig in a little deeper.

Its cash back program is the main attraction here, offering 1% cash back on everyday essentials such as gas, groceries and drugstore purchases, as well as on recurring bill payments (including phone, cable, utilities, insurance and subscriptions). This is complemented by a 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases, making it a solid card for everyday spending. 

Additionally, new card holders get an attractive low introductory interest rate of 7.99% on purchases for the first six months, which can be particularly beneficial for those planning significant spending soon after getting the card.

The card does have its limitations, though. The foreign transaction fee of 2.5% can be a deterrent for those who travel frequently or shop online from international retailers. Additionally, the cash back rewards are only paid out annually, which isn’t as flexible as other cards that allow you to redeem rewards more frequently. The card also lacks extensive insurance coverage or travel benefits that come with some premium credit cards, which might be a drawback for those seeking more comprehensive perks.

Over all, the Scotia Momentum Mastercard is a solid choice for individuals who want a simple, no-fee cash back card for everyday use. It's particularly well-suited for those who are likely to pay off their balance each month and can take advantage of the introductory purchase rate. However, the card likely falls short for those who travel often or are looking for more luxurious benefits. 

Who is this card for?

The Scotia Momentum Mastercard is designed for the budget-conscious spender who values simplicity and efficiency in a credit card. You'll benefit most from this card if you're looking to earn cash back on your daily purchases without paying an annual fee. It's ideal if you spend regularly on gas, groceries and recurring bills, as these categories earn you a steady 1% cash back. If you're the type of person who prefers to avoid the complexity of tiered rewards programs and instead enjoys straightforward, tangible cash rewards, this card will fit your style.

If you're also planning a significant purchase in the near future, the introductory low interest rate for the first six months can provide you with some financial breathing room. However, if you travel abroad often or make frequent purchases in foreign currencies, you might want to consider the impact of the foreign transaction fees on your overall costs.

Scotia Momentum Mastercard pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Earn up to 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases

  • Enjoy a low Introductory interest rate on purchases

  • A simple and straightforward rewards structure makes earning rewards easy on daily spending.

Cons

Cons

  • Rigid redemption process as cash-back rewards are awarded annually only in November

  • Low base rewards rate

  • The card charges a 2.5% fee on foreign transactions.

  • Limited insurance coverage

  • No advanced perks like airport lounge access or higher rate cash back categories

Welcome bonus

  • The welcome bonus includes an introductory 7.99% interest rate on purchases for the first six months.
  • To unlock the welcome bonus, the account must be opened by October 31, 2024, and the promotional rate applies from the date of account opening.
  • After the promotional period, the purchase balance at the promotional rate will increase to the preferred interest rate for purchases (currently 20.99%).
  • The offer may be changed, canceled, or extended at any time without notice.

How to earn points

  • 1% cash back on net purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores as classified by Mastercard as well as recurring bills.
  • 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases made with the card.
  • Cash back is not earned on cash advances, balance transfers, Scotia Credit Card Cheques, returns, refunds, or other similar credits, fees, interest charges, or service/transaction charges.

Key benefits

  • No annual fee for both primary and additional cards.
  • Introductory low purchase interest rate of 7.99% for the first six months.
  • Cash back rewards on everyday purchases.
  • Zero Liability protection for unauthorized card use.

Insurance coverage

  • Zero Liability: Protection in the event of unauthorized use of the card.
  • Account balance protection (optional): For $0.99 per $100 of coverage, you can have your balance paid off in case of an unfortunate life event (such as hospitalization, disability, unemployment), Scotia will pay 5% of your outstanding credit card balance. The cost of this insurance adds up; and considering it covers only 5% of your balance, you’re likely better off buying term life insurance and short term disability for a similar cost, but a much better payout. 

Extras

  • Save 25% off base rates at Avis and Budget rental car locations.
  • Accepted at Costco.
  • Get access to Mastercard experiences in cities around the world.

How this card compares

Scotia Momentum Mastercard vs. Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card

The Scotia Momentum Mastercard and the Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card cater to different segments of the credit card market in Canada, each with its unique set of features and benefits. The Scotia Momentum Mastercard is a no-fee card that appeals to budget-conscious consumers looking for cash back on everyday purchases without the burden of an annual fee. It offers cash back on gas, groceries and recurring bill payments, making it a practical choice for everyday use. On the other hand, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card is tailored toward travel enthusiasts willing to pay a premium for a suite of travel benefits. With a significant annual fee of $399, it provides a high earn rate of Scene+ points on all purchases (two points for every dollar purchased), extensive travel insurance coverage and valuable travel perks such as complimentary airport lounge access and no foreign transaction fees.

Comparing the two is really an apples to oranges situation. The Scotia Momentum Mastercard is more accessible with its no-fee structure and simple rewards program, making it suitable for those who prefer straightforward cash back on daily expenses. In contrast, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card, with its comprehensive travel benefits and higher rewards rate, is ideal for frequent travelers who can justify the annual fee through their spending and utilization of the card's perks. 

The choice between the two would depend on the cardholder's spending habits, lifestyle and preference between earning cash back or travel rewards. The Platinum American Express Card's lower interest rates on purchases and cash advances (9.99% for both) could also be a deciding factor for those who tend to carry a balance. 

Scotia Momentum Mastercard s. MBNA True Line Mastercard

The Scotia Momentum Mastercard and the MBNA True Line Mastercard offer different benefits that cater to different spenders. We’ve covered the Scotia Momentum card already, so you know it’s a no frills, simple way to earn cash back with a no fee card. On the other hand, the MBNA True Line Mastercard is a balance transfer card that stands out for its 0% annual interest rate on balance transfers for the first 12 months, provided the transfer is completed within 90 days of opening the account. With no annual fee and a low regular interest rate of 12.99% after the promotional period, it's an attractive option for those looking to consolidate and pay down credit card debt.

While the Scotia Momentum Mastercard is advantageous for individuals who pay off their balance each month and want to earn cash back, the MBNA True Line Mastercard is ideal for those with existing credit card debt seeking to minimize interest payments. The MBNA card's lack of rewards and benefits is offset by its potential for significant interest savings, making it a strategic choice for debt management. The decision between the two cards should be based on whether the immediate goal is to earn rewards or to reduce debt.

Scotia Momentum Mastercard vs. KOHO Prepaid Mastercard (Essential Plan)

If you're considering the Scotia Momentum Mastercard credit card versus the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard (Essential Plan), you'll find that each has its own appeal depending on your financial habits and goals. With the Scotia Momentum Mastercard, you benefit from a no-fee card that offers cash back on everyday purchases such as gas, groceries, and recurring bill payments. It's a straightforward choice if you prefer to earn rewards without paying an annual fee. On the other hand, the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard (Essential Plan) requires a $4 monthly fee, which translates to $48 annually, but it offers 1% cash back on groceries, eating and drinking, and transportation, with the added benefit of earning up to 5% interest on your entire balance. This could be a better fit if you're looking to earn interest on your funds and are comfortable with a small monthly fee.

You should also consider the flexibility of the rewards and the potential for additional savings. The Scotia Momentum Mastercard rewards are straightforward and the card is easy to manage with no monthly fee, making it a hassle-free option for cash back. However, the KOHO card's monthly fee is offset by the potential to earn significant interest on your balance, which is an unusual feature for a prepaid card. Additionally, the KOHO card offers a 30% discount on its Credit Building program, which could be advantageous if you're working on improving your credit score. Ultimately, your choice depends on whether you prioritize higher interest earnings and credit building over a no-fee card with simple cash back rewards.

Is this card worth it?

If you're someone who values simplicity and savings, the Scotia Momentum Mastercard credit card could be worth your consideration. With no annual fee, you keep extra money in your pocket while still reaping rewards on everyday purchases. You earn 1% cash back on eligible gas station, grocery store, drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases. The introductory low interest rate on purchases for the first six months is also beneficial if you plan on making a large purchase that you can't pay off immediately. After the promotional period, the purchase interest rate reverts to a more standard rate, which is something to keep in mind if you occasionally carry a balance. The card also offers a measure of security with zero liability protection, ensuring that you're not responsible for unauthorized transactions. If these features align with your spending habits and credit card usage, then the Scotia Momentum Mastercard could very well be a smart addition to your wallet.

FAQs

  • What are the cash back benefits of the Scotia Momentum Mastercard?

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    With the Scotia Momentum Mastercard, you earn cash back on everyday purchases. You'll receive 1% cash back on eligible transactions at gas stations, grocery stores, and drug stores, as well as on recurring bill payments. For all other eligible purchases, you'll earn 0.5% cash back. It's a simple and effective way to earn rewards on the types of spending you do most often.

  • Is there an annual fee for the Scotia Momentum Mastercard?

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    No, there is no annual fee for the Scotia Momentum Mastercard. This makes it an attractive option if you're looking for a cost-effective credit card that allows you to earn rewards without having to pay an annual fee.

  • How does the introductory interest rate work on the Scotia Momentum Mastercard?

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    The Scotia Momentum Mastercard offers a promotional low interest rate of 7.99% on purchases for the first six months after you open your account. This can be particularly advantageous if you're planning to make a large purchase and wish to pay it off over a few months. After the introductory period ends, the interest rate for purchases will revert to the card's standard rate. Note that this promotional rate doesn’t apply to cash advances, balance transfers, or Scotia Credit Card Cheques.

  • What is the foreign exchange fee for the Scotia Momentum Mastercard?

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    The Scotia Momentum Mastercard charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on purchases made in a currency other than Canadian dollars. This fee is applied to the converted transaction amount. If you frequently travel abroad or make purchases in foreign currencies, this is an important cost to consider as it can add up with each transaction made outside of Canada or online with foreign merchants.

  • What credit score do I need to qualify for the Scotia Momentum Mastercard?

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    To increase your chances of approval for the Scotia Momentum Mastercard, you’ll want a good credit score. This usually means having a credit score of 660 or higher. However, Scotiabank will also consider other factors beyond your credit score when evaluating your application, such as your income and debt-to-income ratio. If you're unsure about your credit score, it's a good idea to check your credit score for free before applying to assess your likelihood of being approved.

About our author

Justin da Rosa
Justin da Rosa, Freelance Writer

Justin is a writer and editor who has been covering personal finance for over 10 years. He's written for companies such as KOHO, Ratehub, BMO, Zoocasa, and Questrade, among others. Justin also created a course in Content Creation, which he taught at York University for four years. When not writing, Justin can be found at a live concert, on the golf course, riding a motorcycle, or sailing.

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