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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

Are you someone who enjoys shopping in the good ol’ US of A? Of course you do – because everything seems to be cheaper south of the border. If that sounds like you, the Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card is a solid credit card choice because it allows you to avoid currency conversion fees when shopping in the states both in person and online. The card's extended warranty and purchase protection are great perks, though its lack of rewards might be a turn off for some. The annual fee is low, and its fee-free U.S. spending make it an attractive option for those who spend a lot of money at American retailers.

Who is this card for?

The Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card is for those who spend in U.S. dollars. Simple, right? Whether you're a regular shopper at U.S. online retailers, a traveler who often visits the United States, a snowbird who splits their time between Canada and America, or a professional who earns income in USD, this card might be the secret weapon your wallet didn’t even know it needed. 

Its key feature is that it does away with currency conversion fees, which can add up if you often spend in U.S. dollars. Additionally, if you're someone who manages expenses for family members or business associates, the free supplementary cards are a cost-effective perk. However, if your dealings in U.S. dollars are infrequent, or if you prioritize earning rewards and cash back, this card probably isn’t for you. 

Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • No U.S. dollar conversion fee: Ideal for purchases in U.S. dollars, saving you money on currency conversion.

  • Free supplementary cards with all the same benefits at no additional cost

  • Conveniently pay your Visa statement with U.S. dollars directly from your Scotia U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account.

  • Easy access to cash advances at over 1 million ABMs worldwide and online banking options.

Cons

Cons

  • There's a $35 annual fee, which might be a downside for some users.

  • High-interest rates compared to low-rate cards on the market

  • Unlike many credit cards, this one doesn’t offer points cash back rewards.

  • Limited insurance benefits

  • The card does not have a welcome bonus, a common feature in many other credit cards.

Welcome bonus

  • Unfortunately, there isn’t a welcome bonus with this card.

How to earn points

  • This card doesn’t offer a points earning system for purchases.

Key benefits

  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection: Adds an extra layer of protection for your purchases.
  • Car rental discounts: Up to 25% off base rates at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S.

Insurance coverage

  • Purchase security: For the first 90 days past the date of purchase, should it be lost, stolen, or damaged, you can claim up to $60,000 lifetime for purchases. 
  • Extended warranty: Double the manufacturer’s warranty up to one year from date of purchase. 
  • Credit card balance protection (optional): If an unfortunate event prevents you from paying off your bill (e.g. death, critical illness, job loss), you can buy comprehensive protection at a premium rate of $1.09 per $100 per month. Those fees add up quickly, though. You might be better off with a term life insurance policy, critical illness policy, or an emergency fund. 

Extras

  • Save on car rentals: You can save up to 25% base rates at Avid and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S. 

How this card compares

Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card Vs. BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard

The Scotiabank card stands out for its lack of U.S. currency conversion fees, making it an excellent choice for those who frequently make purchases in U.S. dollars. This feature can lead to significant savings for regular shoppers in the U.S. or online shoppers who buy from U.S.-based retailers. Additionally, the Scotiabank card offers free supplementary cards, which is great for families or businesses needing multiple cardholders.

The BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard is similar to the Scotiabank card. It has the same annual fee of $35, but the fee is waived if you spend $1,000 U.S. in the first year. This card also provides extended warranty coverage and purchase protection, similar to the Scotiabank card, and it’s accepted at over 30 million locations worldwide.

Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card Vs. CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura Gold Visa Card

The CIBC card, like the Scotiabank card, charges a $35 annual fee, but its rewards program might make it more enticing. The CIBC card allows you to earn one point for every dollar spent at the CIBC Rewards Centre and one point for every $2 spent on all other purchases.

Additionally, it offers a bonus of 2,500 points for completing certain activities with CIBC, such as adding an authorized user to the card and signing up for eStatements. This rewards system could be more appealing to those who value earning points on their spending. It also offers up to three supplementary cards for free and first year annual fee rebate.

While we don’t like to make outright recommendations, the CIBC card appears to do everything the Scotiabank card does – just a little better.

Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card Vs. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

When comparing the Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, the latter emerges as a more feature-rich option, albeit with a higher annual fee of $150.

The Passport Visa Infinite card is one of the few Canadian credit cards offering no foreign transaction fees on purchases made in any non-Canadian currency, not just U.S. dollars. It also provides a comprehensive rewards program, earning three Scene+ points per dollar spent on eligible grocery stores and two points on eligible restaurant, entertainment and transportation purchases.

Additionally, it includes Visa Airport Companion membership with six free visits per year to lounges worldwide and travel insurance. This card is more suited for those who travel frequently and make diverse international transactions, while the Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card is more focused on U.S. dollar transactions specifically. If you don’t mind the cost of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, it comes with a ton of features for the frequent traveller.

Is this card worth it?

If you're someone who frequently espends in U.S. dollars, the Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card could be for you. Its standout feature is the elimination of currency conversion fees, which is particularly beneficial if you regularly shop at U.S. retailers or travel to the United States. This feature alone can save you the typical 2.5% fee most Canadian credit cards charge for converting CAD to USD, potentially leading to significant savings over time. Additionally, you'll appreciate the convenience of free supplementary cards, ideal if you need additional cards for family members or business associates. The card also offers purchase security and extended warranty protections, adding an extra layer of security for your significant purchases.

However, you should be aware of the card's drawbacks. The $35 annual fee might be a concern, especially if your U.S. dollar transactions are infrequent. Its lack of a rewards program could also be a downside if you value earning points or cash back on your spending. Moreover, with interest rates of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances, carrying a balance could become costly.

FAQs

  • Can I use my Scotiabank credit card in the U.S.?

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    Yes, you can use your Scotiabank credit card in the U.S. It's accepted at locations worldwide that take Visa. Just be mindful of potential foreign transaction fees, unless you have a U.S. Dollar card.

  • Does Scotiabank have a U.S. credit card?

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    Scotiabank offers the Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card, specifically designed for transactions in U.S. dollars. It's ideal for those who frequently shop in the U.S. or online at U.S. retailers, helping to avoid currency conversion fees.

  • Does Scotiabank have a no-fee US credit card?

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    Scotiabank does not offer a no-fee U.S. Dollar credit card. The Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card has an annual fee of $35. However, it offers the advantage of no currency conversion fees for U.S. dollar transactions.

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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