Scotiabank unveiled a host of changes to its Gold American Express credit card on Thursday, complete with a pretty sweet deal for new cardholders.
Starting Aug. 1, you can earn up to $300 in bonus rewards points when you sign up for the Scotiabank Gold American Express card. That’s the equivalent of 30,000 points — up from 15,000 points previously.
This is definitely a competitive introductory offer that you’re not likely to see with a lot of other cards. But, it’s important to note that the offer comes with other changes as well. We break them down below.
Higher fee, but better rewards
The annual fee for the Scotiabank Gold American Express card will be increasing from $99 to $120, also effective Aug. 1. The fee for additional cards will stay at the current $29.
We wrote back in May that annual fees on credit cards are worth it — even expensive ones — if the points are good enough. Luckily, the card’s earn rates in this case will be improving. Whereas cardholders could previously earn four points for every dollar spent on groceries, gas and dining and entertainment, they can now earn five points for groceries and dining and entertainment.
Cardholders can now also earn three points for every dollar spent on gas, public transit, taxis, rideshares and specific streaming services. There are two new rewards categories here: daily transit and select streaming services (we assume this will include Netflix, but we’re waiting on more details). Meanwhile, for everything else outside these categories, cardholders will earn one point for every dollar spent.
Foreign currency conversion fee gone
Another new perk? Cardholders will no longer be charged foreign currency conversion fees. Currently, the fee stands at 2.5%.
That’s a big deal for anyone travelling, as most cards charge you extra for making purchases in other currencies. The Scotiabank Gold American Express joins a small group of travel cards that do away with the fee entirely.
Final verdict? Thumbs up from us
So, is the increased fee worth it? We’ve seen a lot of credit card companies downgrade their cards in the past year — but this is definitely an upgrade. You get a sweet introductory offer, better rewards and perhaps most importantly for travellers — this is now a card without forex charges when you spend internationally.
Our verdict? This is one of the best credit card upgrades we’ve seen in a while.