Scotia Momentum Cash Back Visa Review

As I have done a good few credit card reviews in the past, I’ve received several emails regarding the Scotia Momentum cash back Visa. Usually when so many readers ask about the same product, there has to be something of value there. So off I went to dig up some information to see how it compares to my other favorite cash back cards.

The Rewards

  • 2% cash back on gas, groceries, drug stores and recurring bill payments (cable, phone, internet etc.) up to $25,000 in spending per year then 1% afterward.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases up to $100,000 (including the $25,000 max on the 2%).
  • Earn 7.5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases)  – effective from March 1st 2021.

Insurance Coverage

  • Purchase Protection – 90 days insurance in case of theft or damage (up to $10,000).
  • Extended Warranty – Doubles warranty up to 1 yr.

The Downside

As the rewards seem tempting, the biggest downside of this card is the annual fee of $39/year.  However, the annual fee may be worth it if the rewards consistently pay you more (after fees) than a typical free 1% cash back credit card.  So really, it depends on your spending habits – in particular how much you routinely spend on groceries, gasoline, and recurring bills.

The Competition

The thought that may come to mind is, how does it compare to the MBNA Smart Cash credit card?  With very similar features, I would say that the MBNA card out performs the Scotia momentum in terms of rewards and insurance.  In addition, the MBNA card has no annual fee which resonates with me.  However,  there is a dark side to the MBNA Smart Cash Card.

Another direct competitor would be the Capital One 1.5% cash back card (no annual fee).  The Capital One card offers 1.5% cash back with no spending limits.  As well, they have a comprehensive insurance package that includes car rental insurance and baggage delay insurance in addition to what the Scotia card offers.

Final Thoughts

Overall though, I would say that the Scotia Momentum Cash Back Visa has a lot of competition.  If MBNA could get their act together with the Smart Cash credit card, it would blow this Scotia Visa out of the water.  However, the benefits offered by Scotia are enticing, especially the 2% on recurring payments.  I can see this card being of benefit to heavy spenders.

What do you think?  Is the annual fee worth the rewards offered?

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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11 years ago

With our spending habits, it has taken us about 6 years to earn 1 ticket overseas from Vancouver with BMO’s free Airmiles card flying at peak periods. It does not include taxes and fuel surcharges!! The card is not worth it unless you are a heavy spender in my view. I looked through all our credit card transactions for a year and was going to go with the Scotia Momentum card but didn’t like the $54 annual fee (39 + 15 for spouse). Just before pulling the trigger, a mbna letter arrived for the Smart Cash Platinum Card. I usually junk this stuff but “free” and the 5% for 6 months cash back caught my eye. So I’ve read the fine print and, the catch is during the bonus months, you can only earn a maximum of $30 @ 5% (on first $600) then its 1% for the rest of the month. But, after the 6 months bonus, it’s 3% for gas and groceries and 1% for everything else with no restrictions. Unless, of course they are not telling me everything. I figure the Scotia card would pay for the above mentioned ticket including taxes etc in little over half the time with AirMiles and now even less with the no fee mbna card. I’m into “free” so I’m not interested in buying up to a faster collector card by paying a fee.

11 years ago

How and when is the cash-back paid with this card?


K. Depoe
11 years ago

Dear Fellow Canadians…looks like some of you have been a little too exposed to U.S. writing / publications. FAVOURITE and FAVOUR are the correct Canadian spellings…favorite and favor are not. At least we are still spelling ‘cheque’ correctly. Thanks (Yes, it IS important)

11 years ago

Jean I disagree. It is quite easy to spend $3900 in one year. It is especially good if you can use a credit card for all of your monthly bills. Even just using it for gas & groceries adds up to a lot.

used tires
11 years ago

I don’t think it is worth it… you would have to spend alot to get get any value out of this card in a year’s time … and considering all the risk that you would be taking on by getting this card.. I just don’t see how it can be worth it.

Till then,


11 years ago

Thanks for this credit card review. I currently have the TD cash back card, but it only gets me 1% cash back. I will have to look over my spending habits to see if the $39 fee can be offset by the extra percent of cash back. At the time I thought I had done sufficient research to find the best cash back card for me.

11 years ago

Elbyron no that was my first post. But the ATB Financial Platinum Cashback card is good for people who would be doing a home renovation or for conractors who buy alot from Hardware stores Like Home Depot or Rona. If you spent $50,000 a year i would consider you a big spender. If the average personal income is $50k monysense says its less then your spending 100% of your income. I know people that spend 200k on there Aerogold Visa but not many people are like that.

Canada Deals
11 years ago

Okay so what *is* the best credit card then? Is this it or is there a site that lists them all?

11 years ago

Blacklabel, are you the same user as “Shayne” on CanadianMoneyForum? It’s funny you should mention that card because I had not heard of it until just yesterday when somebody mentioned on the forum. As I said in my response there, this ATB card would be even better than the MBNA Smart Cash card for those who spend over $13200 per year on gas, groceries, drugs, and hardware stores. But in order to beat the Capital One 2% cashback card (for spending up to $50000) you would have to be spending $21000 per year at those kinds of stores – that’s 42% of your expenses!
I’m not sure what your definition of “big spenders” is, but anyone spending over $86,000/year is always going to be better off with the Capital One card no matter how much gas & groceries they buy. That’s because the ATB card maxes out at $1500 reward.

11 years ago

Elbyron have you considered the ATB Financial Platinum Cashback card. You earn 3% cash rebate for all purchases made at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, and home improvement stores. 1% cash rebate for all other purchases not included in the everyday category above.

Annual Fee $120.00 maximum rebate of $1500.00

This is the best credit card for big spenders