The Momentum Infinite by Scotiabank
Whether or not you go for the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite credit card very much depends on where you spend your money. If you drive a ton and love to eat (or feed), then this card might very well be for you. The alternative card would be the MBNA Rewards World Elite, which has a similar fee but offers 2% across the board. Which card you run with requires a bit of calculation on your part.
One big plus for the Scotiabank compared to the competition is a more complete travel insurance package; unlike with the MBNA Rewards, the Scotiabank has comprehensive enough insurance to make it usable for ticket purchase; however, this benefit is undercut by the fact that travel fits into the 1% “everything else” cashback category.
So a complex card with lots of benefits, but also some important flaws.
Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee
The card has an annual fee of $99, which is fine considering the insurance benefits included. New customers will appreciate a flat 5% cashback on all purchases in all categories for the first three months – an incredibly rich offering. However, potential customers will most likely go for the Scotiabank card based on their annual gas and groceries spend due to the enhanced 4% cash back offered. So the 5% is great – but of minimal value in the already high cashback categories.
On the road again – and hungry
As we have mentioned elsewhere , the average Canadian is likely to spend approximately $8,500 annually on gas and groceries, good for $340 cashback annually. If you spend more than that, wow, this card could be a firecracker – just be aware that there is a $25,000 limit on the 4% earn rate.
Drugs and bills, bills and drugs
The 2% category of spend could also be quite substantial. The pharmacy 2% is important for many Canadians, and recurring bills – which can include all your electricity, cable, internet, phone, subscriptions, etc. – anything that has a automated recurring payment, should be significant for most customers.
Scotiabank offers a number of benefits that make the card more usable. Many large ticket items – like flights, car rentals, etc. should be used in coordination with a card that offers insurance coverage. Additionally, Scotiabank offers Travel Medical, quite a valuable benefit for a card with a low $99 annual fee. Scotiabank is perhaps the only straight cash back card that offers enough flight benefits to use for ticket purchases and rental insurance.
Please see below the insurance coverage offered by Scotiabank.
|Trip Interruption||Need to cut your trip short due to events back at home? If you have charged the ticket with Scotia, they will cover your non refundables and the cost of the new return flights.|
|Flight Delay||Charge your ticket with Scotiabank and get reimbursed for hotel, food, and other expenses related to a flight delay of 4+ hours|
|Lost baggage||Charge your ticket with Scotiabank and you are monetarily covered if luggage is delayed or lost|
|Rental Collision and Theft||Use the Scotiabank card and you are covered on damage / theft to your rental vehicle|
|Travel Medical||No purchase required, automatically covered|
So basically, you can comfortably charge your flights to Scotia, and you get coverage consummate with that offered by travel cards – and you get 1% cashback as well.
Scotiabank also offers purchase protection, which covers the full cost of items lost or stolen within 90 days of purchase. It is missing price assurance and extended warranty, which is offered by some of the competition, and of course all items that would be covered fall into the 1% category.
So, amongst cashback cards, Scotiabank is superior for travel use, but falls a bit short of others on the price protection side.
Ease of redemption
Cashback is earned and credited monthly, and the payment of cashback is paid after 12 months as either a credit against your statement or a deposit into your chequing account. So while it does take a bit of patience, the entire amount, down to the penny, will be yours to keep.
Additional Bits and Bobs
We should note that there is a special 1.99% balance transfer rate for the first six months, though if you need debt relief, this is not the card to be looking at.
There are some nice additional perks offered as a courtesy to Visa Infinite Momentum customers – you can use their concierge service for reservations, theatre tickets, etc, and guaranteed best rates at luxury hotel. There are a number of excellent “experiences” on offer as well – private dining with top-name chefs, VIP entry to concerts, complimentary wine tastings and tours at vineyards to name a few.
Depending on your particular spending distribution, the Momentum Visa Infinite could be one of the top cash back credit cards in Canada in terms of effective return on spend. Additionally, you can use the card for flights and car rentals and enjoy good insurance benefits – which makes the card usable in those categories, unlike many other straight cash back cards.
If you are willing to fork out an annual fee on your cashback card, Scotiabank deserves consideration.