The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card offers an impressive 4% cash back rate on groceries, recurring bills, and subscription purchases. While there are a number of lucrative Canadian credit cards for groceries, the high rate for recurring payments is unique, and a major boon for anyone who can set pricey insurance premiums or utilities as pre-authorized payments to their card.

We recommend that anyone who meets the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card’s credit score and income requirements give it a trial run, because:

  1. 1.

    Its annual fee is waived in its first year¹, making it relatively risk free to test out, and;

  2. 2.

    The amount of cash back you can save via recurring bills varies substantially depending on where you live and who your insurers are, and it’s difficult to determine just how much you can save with this card unless you experiment.

Pros

Pros

  • Competitive welcome bonus

  • Very high cash back rates for groceries and recurring bills

  • You can get the annual fee waived by bundling the card with certain Scotia chequing accounts (conditions apply)

  • You can get the annual fee waived by bundling the card with certain Scotia chequing accounts (conditions apply)

Cons

Cons

  • Not all Canadians can use credit cards to pay for major recurring bills, like utilities or insurance premiums

  • So-so cash back rate for gas and transit

  • Average flat cash back rate for all other purchases

  • Annoying once-a-year policy for redeeming cash back

Welcome bonus

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card currently has a very strong promotion: Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases).¹ No annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards.¹ Offer valid November 1, 2023 - October 31, 2024.

So those who reach the $2,000 purchase cap and who add an authorized user to the card get a combined value of $370, which is quite good for a cash back card.

Related: Best balance transfer credit cards

Earning cash back

After the welcome period ends the card earns 4% cash back on groceries, recurring bills, and subscription purchases; 2% back on gas and daily transit (i.e. taxis, Uber, buses, trains, etc.); and 1% back on all other purchases. The 4% and 2% rates apply to the first $25,000 spent annually on groceries/recurring bills and gas/transit respectively, caps which the vast majority of cardholders won’t pass.

While virtually everyone will benefit from a high cash back rate on groceries, the real wild card here is the special rate for recurring payments. This category includes some obvious monthly or annual expenses, like streaming services, gym membership, paid apps, and software. But it can potentially apply to far bigger bills as well, including:

  • Electricity, gas, and water
  • Phone, internet, and cable
  • Home, auto, health, and life insurance premiums

Some Canadian utility providers and insurers accept pre-authorized credit card payments without charging any fee; some accept credit card payments for a small fee, like 2.5%; and others don’t accept credit card payments at all. Your options will vary depending on your insurance providers and city/province of residence, but you’ll likely be able to schedule at least a few of those big-ticket items as pre-authorized credit card payments, which is what makes this card so appealing.

Redeeming cash back

One strike against the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card is that the cash back it earns is only applied to your card statement once annually every November. This is less flexible than some competing cards (see ‘How Does It Compare to the Competition?’ below), which may allow you to redeem your cash back whenever you want.

Insurance

Most credit cards with great travel insurance are, not surprisingly, travel rewards cards, which earn reward points rather than cash back. But the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card comes with a really respectable purchase and travel insurance package for a cash back card, so it’s a good fit for those who travel regularly but prefer the ease of cash credit over the headache of redeeming reward points. Its insurance coverage is summarized in the table below:

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card: What's Covered?
Travel Emergency Medical: up to first 15 days of consecutive coverage for cardholders and their spouses/children under age 65. Max $1,000,000 payout.
Delayed and Lost Baggage: up to $500 per trip for lost or stolen luggage. Up to $500 for baggage delays of over four hours.
Trip Cancellation: up to $1,500 per person for non-refundable costs associated with cancelled trips. Max $10,000 payout per cancelled trip.
Trip Interruption: up to $2,000 per person for non-refundable costs associated with interrupted trips. Max $10,000 payout per interrupted trip.
Flight Delay: up to $500 per person per trip for necessary expenses (hotels, meals, etc.) after flight delays of more than four hours.
Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage: up to 48 days of consecutive coverage when you charge the full amount of your rental car to your card. Limited to vehicles up to $65,000 in value.
Hotel/Motel Burglary: N/A
Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance: up to $500,000 per insured person (max $1M per occurrence).
Purchase Protection: covers theft of or damage to items within 90 days of purchase with the card.
Extended Warranty: extends a purchased item's original manufacturer's warranty by up to one year.
Mobile Device Insurance: new mobile devices purchased with your card are covered up to $1,000 in the event of loss, theft, accidental damage, or mechanical failure.

A standout of this coverage is the mobile device insurance, which is still a relatively uncommon feature among Canadian credit cards, and typically costs over $100 if purchased separately. Nonetheless, there are coverage gaps, like the lack of hotel/motel burglary insurance, so it’s not quite as comprehensive as the insurance you get from some top travel rewards cards, like the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card.

Other notable perks

  • Save up to 25% off base rates at participating AVIS locations and at participating Budget locations in Canada and the U.S. when you pay with your card.
  • Visa Infinite* benefits (Hotel Collection, Concierge Service, Dining and Wine Country program)
  • Make purchases via installment payments with Scotia SelectPayTM

Related: Credit Card Concierge Services: Which Cards Do It Right?

Interest rates and rees

  • Annual Fee: $120 for primary card; $50 per supplementary card
  • Purchase Interest Rate: 20.99%
  • Cash Advance Rate: 22.99%
  • Balance Transfer Rate: 22.99%
  • Foreign Transaction: 2.50% charge per foreign transaction

Note that you can waive the annual fee every year if you choose to bundle your credit card. Conditions apply.

Related: Best Scotiabank chequing accounts

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for the card you’ll need at least an Excellent credit score, and you must meet one of the below income requirements:

  • Make at least $60,000 in annual income personally
  • Have at least $100,000 in combined annual household income
  • Have at least $250,000 in assets under management (total market value of your investments held by financial institutions)

Income requirements aside, you must also be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the age of majority in the province or territory where you live. Those who have declared bankruptcy in the past seven years are ineligible.

How does it compare to the competition?

Annual Fee
$120
$120
$99
Welcome Offer
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases).¹ No annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards.¹ 
10% cash back for three months (max $260 cash back) + annual fee rebate for primary cardholder*
10% cash back for four months (max $400 cash back)
Cash Back Rate(s)
4% groceries, recurring bills, and subscription purchases; 2% gas and transit; 1% everything else
5% groceries; 4% ground transit; 3% gas/electric vehicle charging; 2% recurring bills; 1% everything else*
2% on each eligible purchase
Cash Back Redemption Policy
Once annually each November
Any time (minimum $1 cash back)
Any time (minimum $1 cash back)

If your eligible recurring bill payments are scanty and you’re more drawn to the possibility of raking in cash back at the grocery store, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card is hardly the only game in town. The BMO CashBack® World® Elite Mastercard technically edges out the Scotia card with its 5% rate on groceries. But keep in mind that the BMO card’s 5% rate is capped at $500 in grocery purchases each month; after you pass that it will only earn 1% on groceries until a new month starts*. That’s still a lucrative option for singles, but it’s less realistic for families, who will easily pass the $500 monthly threshold and should instead go with the Scotia card.

Don’t have clear purchase categories that dominate your expenditures? It might be better to go with a card that offers a high ‘flat’ cash back rate, i.e., cash back on every purchase you make. The SimplyCashTM Preferred Card from American Express has the highest flat cash back rate in Canada, and is probably the best option for those with diverse budgets. Just keep in mind that as an Amex it’s not as widely accepted by merchants as Visa or Mastercard are, so you’ll want to keep a backup Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card around for smaller retailers. You can check to see if your favourite retailers are on our list of Canadian merchants that accept Amex.

*Terms and conditions apply

Should you apply for the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card?

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card is the perfect fit if you answer in the affirmative to two of the below:

  • Do you spend more than $500 each month on groceries?
  • Are at least a couple of your big utility bills or insurance premiums payable via pre-authorized credit card charge?
  • Are you game to sign up for a bank account?
  • Do you plan to buy an expensive mobile device in the near future (e.g., an iPhone)?

If you answered yes to none or only one of the above, there’s no shortage of competitive cash back card alternatives that you could consider instead, starting with the two we highlighted earlier. But remember, Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* cardholders (those who aren’t currently cardholders) have their fee waived¹ in the first year regardless, making it quite inexpensive to give the card a try for at least a year.

Related articles:

¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card to learn more.

About our author

Money.ca
Money.ca, Money.ca Editorial Team

The Money.ca Editorial Team is a group of passionate financial experts, seasoned journalists, and content creators who are deeply committed to providing unbiased, relevant, and accurate financial information. With years of combined industry experience, our team is dedicated to maintaining the highest journalistic standards and delivering informative and engaging content. From personal finance and investing to retirement planning and business finance, we cover a broad range of topics to suit the financial needs of our diverse readership. You can trust the Money.ca Editorial Team to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make wise financial decisions.

These articles do not include bylines, as they are intended to provide information about the company or have been written by an internal team at Money.ca, rather than stories by individual writers or contributors. Bylines are used for all other articles.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Money.ca is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.