Quick overview of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

Scotiabank seems to delight in producing cards that offer a melange of perks, but don’t seem terribly focused. But with a name like “Passport,” the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is definitely targeting travellers right? Right?

Well, the answer, like so many other Scotia cards, is “kinda.” Its major defining characteristic that might appeal to those who spend ample time abroad is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite doesn’t charge foreign exchange (FX) fees. And with HSBC’s absorption by RBC, its claim to be the only major bank in Canada offering this deal might actually be true, finally.

Other than that, it’s a pretty straight forward Scene+ points card, good for collecting on daily purchases, not awe-inspiring for travel redemption. It does come with six complimentary airport lounge passes annually, which includes Plaza Premium Lounges. But the best part of this card for the real point freaks (you know who you are) is of course the first year free incentive.

Who’s Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite for?

Broadly speaking, it’s aimed at travellers with its no FX fees and annual lounge passes. But it also wants to be your primary daily spender card, offering decent point multipliers on groceries, dining in and out, and of course, going to the movies (and other shows). I’d say Scotiabank is casting a wide net with the perks, but the branding is definitely for travel fans.

Pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • No FX fees means the card saves you significant expenses on foreign transaction fees

  • Earn up to 3x Scene+ points per $1 spent on eligible purchases

  • Flexible and straightforward redemption program

  • Visa acceptance globally compared to American Express, especially outside major cities.

  • Enjoy six annual visits to airport lounges

  • Robust insurance offerings, including extended travel emergency medical coverage

  • Access to Visa Infinite Program benefits, with added advantages like a free supplementary card

Cons

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Limited rewards categories for earning reward max rate on purchases

  • Primarily best for travel within Canada

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite welcome bonus

It is hard it is for the average card user to earn the bonus Scotiabank says can be earned here. It claims a value of $1,100+ in the first year (that would exceed the Amex Platinum's self-stated value), but if you click to see “offer details” it merely explains how you earn up to that many bonus points.

To see how they come to that figure, there’s a tiny little footnote in “offer details” that directs you to the “terms and conditions below." Do they link directly to them? Nah. Instead, you have to scroll down all the way to the footer of the webpage, click the tiny link at the very bottom (called “legal footnotes” instead of terms and conditions) where it breaks down the $1,100 it expects you’ll earn through wonderfully specific conditions.

In other words, it makes up a fantasy customer who does incredibly specific things, and could (in theory) earn up to the stated amount. Then it buries that naked lie in the legal footnotes and let its marketing shine top of the fold. It gives me the heebie-jeebies. 

Here's what you get for a welcome bonus:

Earn up to $1,100* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, as a Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite cardholder, you are eligible to earn an annual 10,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $40,000 in everyday net eligible purchases annually.

Once you qualify, we’ll credit your account in 2 instalments:

1. 25,000 bonus Scene+ points will be credited to the applicable Scene+ account within approximately 2-3 business days following the qualifying $1,000 in net purchases being posted to your Scene+ membership Account in your first 3 months.

2. Annual 10,000 bonus Scene+ points will be credited to your Scene+ membership account within approximately 2-3 business days after you have met the $40,000 annual spend threshold.

Individuals who are currently or were previously primary or secondary cardholders of a Scotiabank personal credit card in the past 2 years, including those that switch from an existing Scotiabank personal credit card, as well as employees of Scotiabank, are not eligible for the 25,000 bonus points offer. All cardholders remain eligible to earn an annual 10,000 Scene+ point bonus with an annual spend of at least $40,000.

See terms and conditions below¹ for full details.

How to earn Scene+ point on the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

Outside of the welcome bonus, the best way to earn Scene+ points is to spend in its dedicated categories. Three times the points for groceries (at participating partners like Sobeys and Foodland), two times for dining in and out, movies/shows, and rides, including public transit, which is nice. Outside of those categories, you earn one point on every dollar you spend.

How to redeem Scene+ points on the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

Scene+ points are easily redeemable through the slick and user friendly Scene Plus website. They’re great for everything from gift cards to movie tickets and just about everything else, including paying off your credit card. And yes, they can be used for travel, either paying down eligible travel purchases made on the card, or used directly through Scotia’s travel partner Expedia, which is a bit more point-efficient, but does limit your options somewhat.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite key benefits

  • First year free
  • No FX fees 
  • Lots of opportunities to earn on daily spending categories
  • Great travel insurance coverage

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite insurance coverage

  • Travel emergency medical insurance: $2 million of coverage for 25 consecutive days, for card holders under 65 plus their spouses and dependents, while travelling outside their home province. Three days of coverage for card holders over 65.
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: Card holders and their immediate family are eligible to $1,500 each for travel expenses (up to $10,000) when at least 75% of trip expenses were put on the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card.
  • Flight delay insurance: Charge 75% of your trip expenses to this card and you’ll be covered up to $500 for hotels, meals and emergency items in the event your flight is delayed.
  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance: If you pay the full cost of your travel ticket, you’re covered up to $1,000 in the event your luggage is lost or delayed.
  • Travel accident insurance: If three quarters of your trip was bought on the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, you and your immediate family are insured against accidental loss of life up to $500,000 (or $1,000,000 total, per occurrence). 
  • Rental car collision loss/damage insurance: Rent a car fully on your Visa Infinite and you’re fully covered (unless the vehicle you rented is valued at more than $65,000). Just make sure to waive the dealer’s insurance offering.
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance: Use this card to book a hotel or motel and you’ll have up to $1,000 in coverage in case your room is broken into and your stuff is stolen.
  • Purchase security and extended warranty protection: Most items purchased on this card receive 90 days of coverage up to $60,000 from the date of purchase, and they also double the manufacturer's warranty for up to a year.

Extra benefits

  • Six airport lounge visits a year through the Visa Airport Companion Program
  • Discounted car rentals through Avis
  • Other Visa Infinite perks including concierge service and Dining and Wine Country program

Expert Experience with Scotia Passport Visa Infinite

As an avid traveler, the peace of mind and convenience is unmatched—no foreign transaction fees, comprehensive trip insurance, and 6 complimentary lounge access passes (great for me and my partner). Whether it's dining in Paris or shopping in New York, the global acceptance and the perks, from SCENE points for movies and statement credits, cater to every preference. It’s not just a credit card; it’s my travel companion, ensuring each journey is as seamless and rewarding as the destination itself.

- Lubna Umar, Personal Finance Writer, Money.ca

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite advertises on Money.ca

What people have to say about this card

“I have it, it’s great. The 6 priority pass lounge entries basically pay for the yearly fee”

/u/brotherdalmation23

Right, maybe it is a travel card after all! Because as /u/brotherdalmation23 notes, if you’re consistently using your lounge access, you're basically paying for the card. And if you’re flying places three to six times a year, that’s going to be no small savings in FX fees too. Add on the decent earning in daily spending, and I can see why you’d say “it’s great.”

How Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite compares

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite vs. RBC Avion Visa Infinite

Two Visa Infinite’s head to head! The RBC Avion has a slightly lower annual fee at $120, but notably doesn’t waive it for the first year (sorry churners). Still, its 55,000 point welcome bonus (which you can earn in six months) is extremely tempting, and I definitely think it tops the 40,000 Scene+ points offered by Scotiabank. 

The RBC Avion card is more focused on travel, and will definitely redeem better for it than the Scotiabank card. But the Scotia Visa Infinite also is better for earning in daily spending categories. I’d say for purist travellers go Avion, and for people who want to earn points the old fashioned way and redeem them a few different ways, lean Scotia.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite vs. Scotiabank Platinum American Express

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express definitely feels like the big brother of the Visa Infinite. It’s got a big ‘ole annual fee of $399, but that comes with a bunch of perks including 10 lounge stays, Amex perks, and a decent welcome bonus of 60,000 Scene+ points in the first year. But, given it’s twice as expensive as the Visa Infinite does the Scotiabank Amex Platinum offer twice as much value? I don’t think so – 20,000 more points, four more lounge access, and 2x points on all eligible purchases doesn’t quite justify its price tag for me. Oh, and no first year free!

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite vs. American Express Cobalt

Features Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite American Express Cobalt
Annual fee $150 (first year free) $155.88 ($12.99 per month)
Welcome offer 40,000 Scene+ points 15,000 bonus membership reward points
Insurance Amazing travel coverage Decent coverage
Benefits Lounge access, no FX fees, Visa perks Big earning on dining and streaming, Amex perks

Is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite worth it?

I am of the mindset that absolutely any card with its first year free is worth it. Try it out, see if you like it, nail the welcome bonus, and then if it's not your speed, simply cancel it before you pay a fee. Fall in love with it? Well that $150 can be pretty easily justified with its lounge access and other perks. I’d say yes, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is worth it.

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

*See Card Provider's website and Card Application for complete card details, terms and current offers. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accuracy of information.

FAQs

  • Does the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card include travel insurance?

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    Yes it does, very good travel insurance in fact, with coverage for emergency medical, accidents, rental cars, hotel burglary, lost luggage and more.

  • Does the Scotia Passport have airport lounge access?

    +

    Yes, it does! You get six lounge passes annually through the Visa Airport Companion Program.

  • Is the first year annual fee waived with the Scotiabank Passport?

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    No, it is not waived.

Cameron Smonk Freelance Writer

Cam is a content marketer with a passion for saving, financial independence, and pulling off elaborate credit card point schemes. He has worked in Fintech and Finserve (specifically Group Retirement) and loves researching and writing about finance.

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