Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card Review

When the Visa Infinite cards were introduced initially, Scotia Bank did not release a version of the card like the other big banks. Visa Infinite cards are Visa’s highest prestige cards with premier rewards and insurances but with an annual fee to match.

As some of you already know, my philosophy on credit cards is that they should be free (or almost free), they should offer a good return on spending, and the balance should be paid off every month.  Here are my picks for the top cash back credit cards in Canada, and the credit cards that are in my wallet today.

Just recently, Scotia Bank joined the Infinite club with the release of the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card and I am taking a peek since a number of readers have emailed me for my opinion and how it compares to the original Scotia Momentum Visa.

The original card had a small annual fee of $39 but offered 2% cash back on gas, groceries, drug stores and recurring payments and 1% cash back on everything else.  This Infinite card ups the ante with a $99 fee ($30 for additional card) but with a huge 4% cash back on gas/groceries, 2% on drug stores and recurring payments, and 1% cash back on everything else.

Here are more details:

The Rewards

  • 4% cash back on gas and groceries up to $25,000 in spending per year (1% cash back afterward).
  • 2% cash back on drug stores and recurring bill payments (cable, phone, internet etc.) up to $25,000 in spending per year (1% cash back afterward).
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases (no apparent limit).
  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel) –  End date: July 1, 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.
  • Rental Car Collision Insurance.
  • Travel Medical Insurance.
  • Trip Interruption.
  • Flight Delay.
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage.

The Downside

As the rewards seem tempting, the biggest downside of this card is the annual fee of $99/year (plus $30 for additional cards).  For us, in order to take advantage of the 4% cash back, we would require a secondary card bringing the annual fee to $129. 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.

Update July 2015 – Scotia has waived the annual fee for the first year which makes this card very attractive to big grocery/gas spenders!  This offer is available for a limited time.  See more details here.

Another gripe is that for an Infinite card, this one really lacks the comprehensive insurances their peers offer.   Other cards offer the travel insurances like trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage lost/delay in addition to the coverage included here.

The Competition

The thought that may come to mind is, how does it compare to my personal favorite, the MBNA Smart Cash credit card?  First, it may not be a fair comparison as one has a fee and the other does not.   In terms of insurance, the Scotia card wins.  In terms of return, it gets a little trickier to analyze as everyone has different spending patterns.

For the sake of argument lets do a common example. Assume that the average user spends $400/month in gas/groceries which maxes out the Smart Cash 2% return.  This equates to $96/year cash back with the Smart Cash but $63/year with the Scotia Infinite card after subtracting the $129 annual fee.

However, the Scotia Infinite card starts to take over when gas/grocery spending increases. At what point does it break even?  The Infinite card would require $470/month in gas/grocery spending to break even with the Smart Cash card after the annual fee ($129).  This is not counting the 2% cash back for recurring bill payments.

Final Thoughts

Overall though, I would say that the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is a very attractive card for the big gas/grocery spenders (greater than $470/month).  Need more info? You can find more info the about the card on the Scotia site here.

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

Update July 2015 – Scotia has waived the annual fee for the first year which makes this card very attractive to big grocery/gas spenders!  This offer is available for a limited time.  See more details here.

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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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Father of Five
5 years ago

Awesome, just finished my first full year using the Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite card and earned $1206 in cash back – makes spending money almost fun, almost. With five kids my grocery bill is enormous and this card sure helps.

5 years ago

I just started using this card and I really like it. It’s great for my family expenditures, especially with the 4% on groceries and gas, and 2% on recurring bills for TV cable, internet, and cellular bills etc.

6 years ago

Scotia is offering US credit card for $35 annual fee. You can pay for the card purchases online using your US$ account. If you do not have one, it is prudent to open one. Unlike other banks where online transaction is a limitation, this one is refreshing. Annual fee is the fly in the ointment. But if you have a AMEX gold card, annual fee is waived. But then, it is six of one half a dozen of the other. Amex card costs annually. So, take your pick.

I do not like paying annual fees for credit card. It should be free. But, this is how banks operate and there is nothing one can do about it. There is no other alternative for Canadians.

King in Calgary
6 years ago

Oh nice! thanks Rob, I think its time I logged in, eh? haha
thanks again!

6 years ago

@King in Calgary;
When you log in to online banking it gives you a breakdown of how much cash-back you’re earning, even broken down by the 1%, 2% and 4% cash-back amounts. Pretty handy.

King in Calgary
6 years ago

I got my Scotiabank Infinite 2 weeks ago and its been pretty good so far – what else can I say. Maybe you know, but I’ll probably find out after I get my first statement, does it show how much cash back accumulates from month to month? I just bought a macbook pro on it and even the Apple employee knew that this card doubled the warranty which was pretty cool, but of course I had to go through scotiabank first. Nonetheless, I feel a lot better shopping for groceries and even going to shoppers drugmart because I know I’m getting money back unlike before. I hope to get a huge return like Schmidt!

A Crock of Schmidt
6 years ago

We just passed our 1 year anniversary with our Scotiabank Infinite cash back card and we just love it. Our cash back sum for the year was $1203.30! We don’t travel a whole lot so that aspect of the cards doesn’t affect us much. The fees are significant as we too require 2 cards, but that is more than made up by the higher return on gas and groceries. I wrote about our experience in more depth on my own blog.

Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet
6 years ago

@Rob I have the scotiabank momentum visa infinite card and I use pre authorized payments. I had to send them a void cheque so the amounts come out each month. I believe there’s a form for this. If not the local scotia branch should be able to help you out

6 years ago

Just got my card in the mail last week. I just spent about 30min googling how to sign up for pre-authorized payments from my bank account to pay off this visa each month. I cannot find this info anywhere! Does anyone know if Scotiabank allows this? I have this all setup with my MBNA Smart World and Costco Amex (soon to be discontinued). I find it hard to believe that Scotiabank can’t do this…unless they just don’t want people to pay their bills on time…

6 years ago

I got this card myself, and starting july 1st they added extensive travel insurance as well. So now i benefit from 4% cash back and travel insurance!!! So pleased with the card!!!