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Scotiabank Gold American Express Review 2023

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While it may come with a name that makes it sound like it is exclusive to our friends to the south of the border, the Scotiabank Gold American Express is a credit card with plenty of perks for Canadians.

Scotiabank Gold AMEX

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Rated 4.6/5 stars.

Our Review

  • Welcome Offer Up to 45,000 SCENE points
  • Annual Fee $120 (first year waived)
  • Regular APR/Interest rates Purchases: 20.99%, Cash Advances: 22.99%
  • Recommended Credit 660-724

From unique travel benefits to an enticing rewards program to the ability to save on foreign transaction fees, the Scotiabank Gold American Express makes a name for itself on the Canadian credit card market. But how does this card stack up against its counterparts?

Finding the right credit card for your needs and lifestyle is tricky. We hope that this Scotiabank Gold American Express Card review will bring some clarity to the selection process for your new piece of plastic. After all, your next credit card has the honor of gracing your wallet!

Scotiabank Gold American Express Review: Overview

While American Express has nothing short of an omnipresence among our American neighbors, for the most part, it is less frequent on Canadian soil.

That was true, at least, before the implementation of the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, which has been quickly gaining the reputation of being a standout choice among credit cards in Canada.

This recommendation mostly comes as a result of the card’s versatile rewards system and international flexibility.

Unlike many rewards credit cards, where the rewards are often in the form of cashback and calculated on a percentage basis, the Scotiabank Gold American Express offers its users a points system that varies based on the spending category.

For example, Scotiabank has partnered with 13 grocery stores and will reward 6 Scotia rewards points for every dollar spent at the stores. These popular grocers include Sobeys, FreshCo, and Foodland.

For grocery purchases at non-participating locations, Cardholders will still earn 5 points for every dollar spent. 5 Scotia rewards points will also be earned for certain food purchases and delivery services.

Cardholders who use it for gas and other household purchases will earn 3 Scotia reward points. All other purchases will earn 1 point per dollar spent.

The Scotiabank Gold Amex card also offers its users a relatively simple process for redeeming their rewards, with popular choices including gift cards, electronics, statement credits, travel expenses, and of course, Scotiabank’s very own SCENE points program.

Sign-Up Process and Sign-Up Requirements

The Scotia Gold Amex comes with a long laundry list of customer benefits. That said, it will probably come as no surprise to most that it has some pretty strict qualifying requirements.

Firstly, applicants will have to boast not a good nor a great but an excellent credit score of at least 760.

However, the minimum personal income required is $12,000, making it much more accessible than many cashback credit cards that require a $60,000 income to qualify.

You can apply for a Scotiabank Gold American Express online through Scotiabank’s website.

Once there, you will need to accept the terms and conditions and submit a series of personal details, including your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

For a limited time, all new Scotiabank Gold American Express cardholders will earn 25,000 bonus Scotia rewards at the time of account opening. If you want to know whether or not to pull the trigger and apply, now might be the time.

Key Card Features

We explained a bit about this card’s points system a bit earlier on, but allow us to harp on it a little further.

Unmatched Rewards SystemThe Scotiabank Rewards program’s rewards system structure works like this:

  • 6 points for every dollar spent on Scotiabank partners, including Sobeys, Foodland, and more
  • 5 points for every dollar spent on food (groceries and restaurants) and entertainment
  • 3 points for every dollar spent on transportation costs, streaming services, and gas
  • 1 point for every dollar spent on anything else

There is no expiry on Scotia Rewards points. However, if an account holder is no longer in good standing, the customer will no longer have access to their points.

Points also cannot be earned on balance transfers, returns, refunds, interest payments, cash advances, and more.

Flexible Travel Rewards

While there are several categories where a cardholder can redeem their reward points, customers can redeem them for travel-related activities.

Included under this umbrella is access to airport lounges, hotel upgrades and bookings, vacation packages, cruises, or car rentals. While this is not explicitly a travel credit card, the diversity of these redeemable options is nothing to ignore.

In addition to the card’s basic features, it also includes 24/7 concierge services and comprehensive trip insurance.

Save on Foreign Exchange Fees

Due to its roots in the United States, this Amex card does not charge its users any foreign transaction fees. This feature is a major advantage for those who often travel, be it for business or pleasure, and make many purchases in a currency foreign to their own.

Access to American Express Invites and Scotia Rewards Travel Advantage

The Scotiabank Gold American card offers its customers access to American Express Invites, an exclusive service that allows access to ticket presales and reserved seating for certain events.

The Scotia Rewards Travel Advantage offers its members a price guarantee on air travel, as well as certain discounts on cruises, hotels, and car rentals.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Pros & Cons


  • Three categories (entertainment, restaurants, and groceries) earn the highest number of points per dollar spent (5)
  • Low personal income requirement ($12,000)
  • A generous bonus of 25,000 points after signing up (provided you charge at least $1,000 to the card within the first three months of using it)
  • Access to special perks for Amex holders
  • Comprehensive travel insurance options


  • You may find that your American Express credit card is not an acceptable method of payment at fewer places in Canada than in the United States
  • Annual fee of $120
  • Less enticing for those who do not travel internationally often
  • Requires a high credit score to qualify

Our Final Thoughts

All things considered, this card has unique options and is quite underrated in the potential benefits that it can offer a good number of Canadians. This sentiment is especially true for those who find themselves making frequent purchases on the other side of the border.

If you’re considering the addition of the Scotiabank Gold American Express to your credit card family, then this is likely a suitable option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions