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Updated: January 04, 2024

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

If you’re looking for a no-fee, no-frills credit card that’ll let you earn points as you spend on essentials, the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card might be right for you. 

This card aims to help you earn points on the things you regularly spend on, such as gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments. With a 1% cash back rate on these categories, it caters to everyday shoppers looking to earn rewards on their routine expenditures. Additionally, the welcome bonus is decent, offering 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in purchases within the first three months. The card also includes a promotional balance transfer of 0% on transfers made within the first six months (though it does come with a 2% transfer fee). Offer valid November 1, 2023 - October 31, 2024.

It’s not a perfect card, though – and, really, there’s no such thing. The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card has some limitations that might turn you off. The reward structure for non-essential spending is just 0.5%. The redemption process is also quite rigid; cash back is accumulated monthly but can only be redeemed once a year in November, which may not suit those who prefer more frequent or flexible redemption options. The card also lacks comprehensive insurance coverage, a common perk among credit cards, although optional insurance can be purchased. Lastly, the foreign transaction fee of 2.5% could be a drawback for those who travel or make purchases in foreign currencies.

Still, take a look at the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card if you’re budget-conscious and want to earn cash back on your daily spending without worrying about an annual fee. 

Who is this card for?

If you're someone who appreciates the value of every dollar and seeks a credit card that aligns with a practical budget, the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card might be what you need. It's especially beneficial for you if your regular expenses include a significant amount on groceries, gas and recurring bills, as it offers cash back on these purchases without the sting of an annual fee. 

You'll find this card particularly advantageous if you're starting out with credit cards and want a simple tool to build credit and accumulate rewards. It's also a smart choice if you're looking to transfer and pay down existing debt, thanks to its promotional balance transfer offer. However, if you're a frequent traveler or you're after extensive insurance benefits and flexible reward redemption, you might want to look elsewhere for a card that’ll satisfy those needs.

The Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa* Card is also a great option for students in search of a cash-back card that doesn't charge an annual fee and offers a low introductory rate on balance transfers.

Pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • Earn up to 7,000 welcome bonus rewards points.

  • Earn up to three Scene+ points on everyday spending.

  • Earn points across five different categories, including food, travel, entertainment and streaming.

  • No annual fee.

Cons

Cons

  • The welcome bonus is lower compared to other rewards cards.

  • American Express isn’t accepted everywhere.

  • Limited insurance coverage.

Welcome bonus

  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
  • The welcome bonus is credited in two installments, provided the account is in good standing.
  • The bonus cash back is credited within seven months from the account open date.
  • Regular cash back earned during the promotional period is credited as per the regular schedule.

How to earn points

  • Earn cash back on eligible purchases at the regular cash back rate after the promotional period.
  • 1% cash back on eligible everyday purchases in categories like groceries and recurring payments.
  • 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • The cash back earned is credited according to the regular payment schedule.

Key benefits

  • No annual fee for both primary and additional cards.
  • Welcome bonus of 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in eligible purchases.
  • Competitive cash back rate on everyday purchases.
  • No additional cost for supplementary cards.

Insurance coverage

There is no insurance included with the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa card. However, you can purchase optional insurance in two packages.

  • Basic protection includes a life benefit, a critical illness benefit, and a hospitalization benefit. 
  • Comprehensive protection includes everything in the basic protection pack and a disability benefit, job loss benefit, and a strike or lockout benefit. 

Scotiabank credit card insurance is charged at a monthly rate of $1.09 per $100 on your account. For example, if you carry a balance of $3,000, your monthly cost is $32.70 for a maximum payout of $50,000. 

So, if you carry a balance, while it’s nice to know your credit card balance will be paid off if you die or fall critically ill, your money is more valuable in a term life insurance policy. 

Extras

  • Scotia SelectPay helps you pay off large purchases over a period of time with no interest for a low fee. 

How this card compares

Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card vs. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card and the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card are both strong contenders in the no-annual-fee cash back credit card market in Canada, but they cater to slightly different users. The Scotia card offers a flat 1% cash back on gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments, which might appeal to you if your spending in these categories is consistent and significant. It also provides a welcome bonus of 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in purchases within the first three months, and a promotional 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months, which is great if you're planning a large purchase or looking to transfer a balance.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, on the other hand, allows you to earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice, with the option to add a third category by depositing your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account. It also lets you earn 0.5% on all other eligible spending. This could be more beneficial if you prefer to tailor your rewards to your personal spending patterns. The Tangerine card also offers an introductory 10% cash back on your first $1,000 spend.

Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card Vs. BMO CashBack Mastercard

The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card and the BMO CashBack Mastercard both offer attractive cash back rewards without an annual fee, but they cater to different spenders. The Scotia card provides a flat 1% cash back on gas, groceries, drugstore purchases, and recurring bill payments, with a welcome bonus of 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in purchases within the first three months. This card is ideal if you want to earn rewards on everyday purchases. 

In comparison, the BMO CashBack Mastercard offers a tiered cash back system with 3% cash back on groceries (up to $500 monthly), 1% on recurring bill payments (up to $500 per month), and 0.5% on all other purchases with no monthly maximum. This could be more advantageous if your spending is heavily skewed towards groceries and recurring payments. The BMO card also boasts a flexible redemption option, allowing you to redeem cash back at any time and in any amount, which contrasts with the Scotia card's once-a-year redemption policy. Additionally, the BMO card includes a welcome offer of up to 5% cash back in the first three months. If you value flexibility in redemption and spend a lot on groceries, the BMO card might be the better fit for you.

Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card Vs. Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card and the Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card both reward everyday spending, but they do so in different ways. The Scotia card offers a consistent 1% cash back on gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments. It also provides a welcome bonus of 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in purchases within the first three months, and a 0% promotional interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months, making it a strong candidate if you're planning a balance transfer or a large purchase soon.

The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card, meanwhile, offers a more lucrative cash back rate of up to 4% on restaurant, bar, and coffee shop purchases, up to $5,000 per year, and 1.5% on gas, groceries, drugstores, and pre-authorized payments, up to $15,000 per year. This card might be more appealing if you dine out frequently or have a higher spend in these categories. Additionally, the Simplii card offers an attractive welcome bonus of 10% cash back on eligible gas, groceries, drugstore purchases, and pre-authorized payments (up to $500 spend) during the first four months. Both of these cards only allow you to redeem your cash back once per year, making them less flexible than other cards.

Is the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card worth it?

It’s a practical choice for individuals who spend on everyday essentials such as groceries, gas and recurring payments, and who are drawn to simplicity and savings. With no annual fee, it's a cost-effective option. The card's welcome bonus and the introductory balance transfer rate add short-term value, making it particularly appealing if you're planning significant spending soon after acquiring the card or if you're considering consolidating and paying down existing debt.

However, the card's benefits are most rewarding for those who consistently spend in the specific categories that earn cash back. If your spending is varied or if you're a frequent traveler, the card's limited reward categories and lack of travel perks may not align with your lifestyle.

FAQs

  • What are the cash back rewards I can earn with the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card?

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    With the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card, you can earn 1% cash back on eligible gas station, grocery store, drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments. There's a welcome bonus that offers 5% cash back on the first $2,000 of eligible purchases within the first three months. After reaching a certain spending cap, the cash back rate drops to 0.5%. It's important to note that cash back is accumulated throughout the year and is only paid out once annually in November.

  • Does the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card have any fees for additional cards?

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    No, there are no fees for additional cards on the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card account. You can add supplementary cardholders to your account without incurring extra annual fees, allowing family members to contribute to the cash back earnings.

  • Is the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card a good choice for balance transfers?

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    The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card offers a promotional 0% annual interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months, which can be a great option if you're looking to transfer balances from higher-interest cards. However, there is a balance transfer fee of 2% of the amount transferred.

  • Is the Scotia momentum no-fee visa good for foreign transactions?

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    The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card may not be the best option for foreign transactions. It charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on purchases made in a currency other than Canadian dollars. This fee is fairly standard across many credit cards; however, it can add up if you frequently travel abroad or make online purchases from international retailers.

  • Is there a Scotiabank student credit card?

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    Yes, the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card is an ideal choice for students, thank to its no annual fee and cash back features. As well, this card particularly attractive for students just starting out with credit cards.

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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