Scotiabank GM Visa Review 2021
If you're a fan of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac vehicles, you might be looking for a way to save money on your next lease or purchase. Enter: the Scotiabank GM Visa.
This rewards credit card lets you earn rewards that can help you save money on your next GM vehicle. But how does it compare to other rewards credit cards? Let's take a look at the credit card in greater detail in this Scotiabank GM Visa Card review.
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Scotiabank GM Visa Review 2021
The GM Visa Card is a credit card offered by Scotiabank that allows you to earn points towards the purchase or lease of a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac vehicle every time you use your card.
Cardholders can earn up to 5% in “GM Earnings” on their purchases with no earning caps or redemption limits.
Additionally, this card offers some small perks like purchase security, extended warranty protection, and savings on Budget or Avis car rentals.
There’s no annual fee for the Scotiabank GM Visa Card, and if you’re particularly passionate about one of the GM brands, you can choose from one of five unique designs for your card.
Scotiabank GM Visa Card Features
The Scotiabank GM Visa card provides various features, geared towards purchasing vehicles manufactured by Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac.
Below, you can learn more about this credit card’s features, such as its GM Earnings, car rental advantages, and additional perks.
The most prominent feature of the Scotiabank GM Visa Card is the ability to collect GM Earnings with each purchase.
Every dollar in GM earnings is redeemable for $1 off the purchase of a GM vehicle.
You can earn up to 5% in GM Earnings on the first $5,000 you spend each year and 2% on anything after that.
If you spend an average of $1,000 a month using your Scotiabank Visa card, you’ll earn $390 to put towards your next car purchase.
Fees and Interest
A nice feature of this card is that there is no annual fee. You can add a secondary cardholder for free as well.
The card charges a rate of 19.99% interest on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances in balance transfers.
Note that if you plan on carrying a balance with this card, any interest you play pay will quickly outstrip any rewards you earn.
So, either plan to pay off your balance in full every month or choose an alternative method of borrowing money with a lower interest rate.
The Scotiaank GM Visa card offers up to 25% off car rentals at Avis and Budget car rentals in Canada and the United States when you pay for the entire cost of the rental with the credit card.
Curiously, the Scotiabank GM Visa card doesn’t offer rental car insurance. Many credit cards come with included damage waivers for rental cars, so you don’t have to buy their insurance.
While you’ll save some money on the cost of the rental with your card, you will still have to opt for the rental company’s damage waiver.
Furthermore, this card doesn’t include any other common credit card perks like travel insurance and spending categories that let you earn additional rewards or travel insurance.
For that kind of coverage, you’ll need to look for the Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite card instead.
Scotiabank GM Visa Card Eligibility and Requirements
To qualify for the Scotiabank GM Visa Card, you’ll need to meet a few requirements.
You’ll need to show that you have a high enough income to cover a minimum credit limit of $500, although you’re welcome to apply for any credit limit you wish.
You’ll also need to have a good credit score, 680 or higher to be exact.
Scotiabank also requires applicants to be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. They must also be the age of majority in their province and a minimum personal income of $12,000 per year.
Scotiabank GM Visa Pros & Cons
As with all credit cards, there are some good and some not-so-good aspects of the Scotiabank GM Visa Card. Unfortunately, though, there are more than a few cons to watch out for with this card.
Pros: The Good Stuff
No annual fees
Fairly lenient eligibility requirements
Discounts on Budget and Avis rental cars
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
If you’re looking to save money on the purchase of a new car, you may qualify for other credit cards that will get you a lot closer to your goal (like the Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card)
After the first $5,000 spent, GM Earnings are only paid at 2%
No flexibility in how you use your rewards — only toward the purchase of a GM vehicle (look for a cashback credit card instead if you want more flexibility on what to use your rewards on)
Does not offer rental car insurance
Our Final Thoughts
From what we can tell, the Scotiabank GM Visa Card appears to be more of a gimmick to sell cars than anything else.
While a 5% reward sounds nice on paper, rewards drop dramatically after spending $5,000.
Plus, there’s so much smoke and mirrors involved with buying a new car that we would personally be concerned about whether the dealer, knowing you have reward dollars to put toward your purchase, would build them into the price and you’d end up paying the same amount as you would have if you didn’t have the points.
Finally, even though expectations are lower for a no-fee credit card like this one, the perks are virtually non-existent.
The lack of rental car collision coverage entirely negates the rental car discount offer. And besides purchase protection, you won’t get any other benefits with this card.
Overall, we would recommend you skip the Scotiabank GM Visa Card and instead choose a cashback credit card that gives you more flexibility and better perks and lets you use your rewards for whatever you choose.
If you choose to use your cashback toward the purchase of a GM vehicle, that’s great, or if you want to use it to buy a Ford or a box of cookies at the supermarket, you can do that too.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, there is no annual fee for the Scotiabank GM Visa Card, and you can also add a secondary cardholder for no additional cost.
Besides earning points toward the purchase of a new GM vehicle, the Scotiabank GM Visa Card offers a 25% discount on car rentals from Avis and Budget.
However, car rental insurance isn’t included, nor are any other perks with GM or any other car-related benefits.
The rewards points you earn using this card can only be redeemed for the purchase of a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac vehicle.
If you're not in the market for a car from one of these brands, choose a different credit card.
Even if you do need a new vehicle, we would still suggest that you're likely better off using a cashback credit card instead and putting the cashback toward a down payment on a car.