There are a lot of credit cards to choose from as a Canadian but as it stands right now there isn’t a stand out travel card that has all the perks most are looking for and also helps prevent you leaking money with every swipe of the card when you’re out of the country. What I’m talking about are those pesky foreign exchange rate markups and yes they do add up. There’s an exciting new card in the market now and it’s called the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. It’s packed with benefits and you’ll quickly learn why you probably want to sign up really soon.
Foreign Exchange Fees…what?
Okay first it might make sense to go over this first. Every time you swipe your credit card internationally, you naturally have to pay in the converted Canadian Dollar equivalent. That’s straight forward right? But what most people don’t realize is that the rate that they use for conversion is actually kind of bad because they tack on another 2.5% to the rate.
It’s completely hidden and embedded in the transaction so you never get to see it and because of how fluid the exchange rates are, it’s really hard to track.
That 2.5% adds up pretty quickly as you rack up the transactions. Every trip you could be needlessly spending an extra $50-$100 in these fees alone.
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Introducing the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite
This is a pretty new product launched by Scotiabank in a world where a bunch of credit cards were being shut down including the beloved Amazon Visa and Marriott Visa which both had 0% FX mark-up. Since then, they’ve left a hole in the market that didn’t have a lot of better options.
First and foremost this is definitely a travel card but what I like about it is that it’s truly versatile. You get all the travel perks but it’s just a solid regular card for Visa spend throughout the year when you’re at home.
Why this card is worth getting
Boiling it down, here are my top 5 reasons why you should be getting the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite credit card.
- It’s a Visa – Yes I love my American Express but especially in Canada there just aren’t as many places that accept it. This being a Visa solves all of that.
- No foreign exchange mark up – That 2.5% goes to 0% when you travel just like that.
- Bonus points to start – All you have to do is spend $1000 in the first 3 months and you get 25,000 Scotia points which is good for $250 in travel redemption.
- 6 passes a year to Priority Pass lounges – For most, 6 is more than enough in a year.
- Extra bonus – From now until July 31, 2018, there’s another $100 e-gift card (or Interac e-Transfer) on the line when you sign up through our friends at RateSupermarket.ca and your card gets approved – which makes the value of this card even higher.
What about travel insurance?
As a premium credit card, you get access to great travel insurance features which include:
- Out of province / out of country emergency medical insurance up to $1-million for first 25 consecutive days for those under 65; or the first 10 days for eligible persons over 65
- Travel accident insurance
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Flight delay insurance
- Delayed and lost baggage insurance
- Rental vehicle collision loss/damage insurance
- Hotel / Motel Burglary
This is great coverage for a credit card that is on-par, if not better than the competition.
Okay so how much does this cost?
So one of the main questions I get about this card is how much will it cost to sign up. Well unfortunately it’s not free but it is only $139 a year. There’s complimentary first year at the moment but what you can jump on now, only until July 31st, is a promo run by RateSupermarket.ca where they are giving a $100 e-gift card or Interac e-Transfer upon approval!
So if you do the math here…
$139 + $100 (e-gift card or Interac e-Transfer) + $250 (bonus points value) + $36 (value of each lounge pass) x 6 = $427. That means just based on the first year, you’re “making” $402 which is pretty sweet. That’s not even including any FX markup fees saved for using the card.
If this card sounds like it could work well with your lifestyle and you can take advantage of the travel benefits, jump on the offer to get that extra $100 as it ends July 31, 2018.
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