Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card Review 2021
If you’re a Canadian consumer, you know that having an American Express is not just for our neighbors down south. In fact, having an Amex has become so popular on this side of the border that we wonder if we could petition them to accept a name change to Canadian Express.
While the answer to this is likely to be “...no…”, that doesn’t mean we can’t still reap the benefits that the average American Express credit card has to offer.
In this Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card review, we will point out the traits of this particular card that make it popular so that you can determine whether or not it will be your newest piece of plastic.
Table of Contents
Scotiabank Platinum American Express: Overview
The Bank of Nova Scotia, more colloquially known as Scotiabank, is one of Canada’s “Big Five” banking institutions.
With its head offices in Toronto, it offers banking services across the country and around the world with a concentration in the Caribbean and Latin America. This wide coverage has given the bank the reputation of Canada’s “most international” financial institution.
Scotiabank offers its customers a wide range of credit card options, and the Platinum American Express Card is one of three of its American Express selections (the others are the Scotiabank Gold American Express and the standard Scotiabank American Express).
The Scotiabank Platinum American Express is a rewards credit card that offers the ability to earn Scotia Rewards points in different tiers.
Its benefits seep beyond the cashback realm to offer travel insurance coverage and a slew of other perks.
Scotiabank Platinum American Express Features: Rewards and Cashback
As a rewards card, the most important features of the Scotiabank Platinum American Express are its earning tiers, which range from one Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible everyday purchases to an impressive four points per dollar spent on purchases of gas, groceries, dining, and entertainment.
This earning potential is unmatched by most other credit cards, allowing cardholders to earn up to five times as many points for their spending in select categories.
If you are a household that spends a great deal of your discretionary income on dining and entertainment, you will be hard-pressed to find another card that will offer you a reward earning rate of this magnitude.
Exceptions of this rewards system include cash advances and other quasi-purchases.
On the rewards front, new applicants can benefit from an impressive bonus offer of 30,000 Scotia Rewards points, which means that it won’t take long until you accumulate enough rewards to make a difference.
Reward recipients will find that the redemption categories are quite fair and flexible, encompassing things like travel, gift cards, and the purchase of select merchandise.
Scotiabank Platinum American Express: Perks, Rewards, and Benefits
As mentioned earlier, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express also comes with a wide array of insurance benefits, including some of the most comprehensive trip cancellation and health insurance benefits out there.
The card offers its holders a total of seven different types of travel insurance for medical emergencies, rental cars, lost baggage, trip cancellations, hotel robberies, travel accidents, and flight delays.
Also on the travel front, cardholders have access to a full-service travel agency (Scotia Rewards Travel Service) as well as the Scotia Rewards Travel Advantage which offers the best price guarantee to consumers.
Scotiabank Platinum American Express bearers also benefit from lounge access (14 free visits yearly) as well as access to the acclaimed American Express Invites program which offers first grabs of select tickets and event passes.
The travel perks don’t end here either as cardholders can also enjoy car rental company Hertz’ Club Gold as well as access to a 24/7 concierge service.
Scotiabank Platinum American Express Eligibility: Requirements
You may have read all of the above and are wondering what the catch is, and while there isn’t one per se, there are two reasons why this card can offer such awe-inspiring perks.
Firstly, the card’s stringent minimum requirements will, unfortunately, disqualify a large number of applicants.
While the $12,000 minimum income is not prohibitive, the card does require an excellent credit score of 760 or above. Considering that the average credit score in Canada is around 650 marks, this high requirement will make the card inaccessible to many people.
The other reason is the card’s high annual fee of $399. Although it is not necessarily surprising to see a yearly fee this high (generally, the higher the fee, the more abundant the perks), this is still a high annual fee indeed.
A high volume of spending is required for the rewards to outweigh the fee of this credit card.
Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card Pros & Cons
Pros: The Good Stuff
Earn four times the Scotia Rewards points on eligible gas station and grocery stores purchases as well as dining and entertainment; earn one point for all other eligible purchases
Enticing signup offer of 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you make your first purchase
Some of — if not the — most comprehensive travel insurance on the market that includes seven types of coverage
Travel perks go above and beyond, including concierge services, airport lounge access, and Hertz car rental memberships
Flexible reward redemption, including the option to convert Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Standard interest rates of 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, and 22.99% on balance transfers
Very high annual fee of $399 (and supplemental cards cost $99)
High qualifying credit score of 760+
American Express is not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard
Our Final Thoughts
So, all things considered, what’s the verdict? In short, we declare the Scotiabank Platinum American Express to be an excellent luxury credit card that offers its holders a rewards system that is easy to understand and earn from.
It also offers astonishingly thorough travel insurance — cardholders who book their travels using this card will never have to worry about anything on the insurance front.
However, this isn’t the card for everyone. For one thing, its hefty $399 annual fee means that it only pays for itself if you are spending at least $25,000 a year.
In addition, the high minimum qualifying requirements also mean that many individuals won’t get to reap the benefits of the card in the first place.
Overall, if you have the means, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express is a great card that will reward you as you treat yourself through everyday spending. If your lifestyle includes a large amount of spending and has you on the move a lot, this is definitely a card to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Scotiabank Platinum American Express offers unmatched spending rewards and travel perks, which makes it a great credit card in general.
However, it is a particularly great credit card for anyone with a high income and high credit score as this card has high qualifying requirements.
With a high annual fee of $399, the card’s ideal recipient is a big spender who will not struggle to spend enough to earn more in rewards than the annual fee of the card.
The Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card comes with qualifications and requirements in the same way that any other credit card does.
While the card does not have a high minimum income requirement — it states only $12,000 as the minimum income — it will demand an excellent credit score of 760 or above.
Applicants must also be at least 18 years old and a permanent resident of Canada.
The ideal applicant of the Scotiabank Platinum American Express will have a credit score of between 760 and 900. If this strikes you as high, you’re not alone — the average Canadian credit score is somewhere around 650.
In the world of credit scores, the mid to high 600s is considered fair to good, while 750 and above is considered good to excellent.
It is said that the chances of having a credit score higher than 800 are so low that it only describes one in six people.