Scotiabank Review: Elite Chequing, Banking, and Credit Card Package

   (Editor Rating)

Scotiabank Reivew
  • Chequing Account
  • Savings Account
  • Free Premium Credit Card
  • Banking Convenience
  • Asset Safety
  • Fees
  • Promotion
4.5

Scotiabank Review Summary:

Our Scotiabank bank accounts review looks at personal finance the way most Canadians actually experience it – as a complete chequing account, plus savings account, plus credit card package.

While all of the big Canadian banks offer some version of an “elite, all-in-one” page, the Scotiabank chequing account, plus premium savings account, plus #1 credit card combination simply can’t be topped in terms of overall perks and points values in exchange for a monthly fee.

Limited time offer:Until January 28th 2021, all new Scotiabank clients can enjoy a free $300 new account promotion. Read below for all the exact terms and conditions

Pros

  • Best HISA of all big banks
  • Free premium credit cards
  • Great perks and rewards
  • Amazing welcome bonus – $300 free!

Cons

  • Monthly fee unless you keep a 30K balance
  • Better sign up for multiple services to get max value

The ease of using Canada’s most international big bank is unparalleled.  It has all the brick-and-mortar corner location convenience, coupled with an excellent online platform.  You can easily shuffle money between chequing and savings accounts – and the Free premium credit card – two of Canada’s top options – what puts this package over the top!

While the savings account interest rate is not as good as EQ Bank (our #1 high interest savings account) it is by far the best deal amongst RBC, TD, BMO and CIBC.  

While there are a few personal finance geeks among us who would open a savings account at EQ Bank, a chequing account at a second bank, and then churn credit cards every year to get the absolute most in credit card rewards, this simply isn’t a reality for most Canadians. 

Let’s face it, Canadians want a safe and trusted bank that they can get the most out of – but not at the cost of convenience.  If you want to optimize to the fullest, we’re for you as fellow money geeks – but if you’re more the “keep it simple” type, then the Scotiabank chequing and savings account combination offers pretty fantastic value.

What is Scotiabank?

Scotiabank, which is officially the Bank of Nova Scotia, is one of Canada’s Big Five banks. Founded in Halifax in 1832, Scotiabank is now considered to be Canada’s most international bank with more than 25 million customers from around the world.

Scotiabank is one of Canada’s oldest and most trusted banks with a variety of products for everyone. In this Scotiabank review, I’m going to highlight the Ultimate Package and the Preferred Package based on what offers customers the most value.

Scotiabank Account Types

As one of Canada’s Big Five banks, Scotiabank has no shortage of account types to choose from including the following:

  • Scotiabank chequing accounts
  • Scotiabank savings accounts including high interest savings accounts
  • Scotiabank seniors accounts (which includes senior’s discounts)
  • Scotiabank student accounts (which include $0 monthly student account fees)
  • Scotiabank US accounts
  • And, of course, products like Scotiabank TFSA, RRSP etc. 

Under these different account categories there are further options depending on your banking needs. These range from basic packages to more upscale packages with unlimited withdrawals and additional perks – and it’s here that you find the value over a top free option in Canada.

Scotiabank has recently changed up their package options for chequing accounts. While the Scotiabank basic account option is still available, other accounts including the Scotiaone chequing account, powerchequing account, and Scotiabank momentum chequing account have been replaced by two new Scotiabank products: The Scotiabank Ultimate Package and the Scotiabank Preferred Package.

Scotiabank Ultimate Package

For those who are really looking to get everything they can out of an all-in-one banking package, then the Scotiabank Ultimate Package is what you are looking for.  There are many all-in-one bank packages that give you unlimited this or that, but the perks in the Scotiabank Ultimate Package are simply second to none.

The Details

With the Scotiabank Ultimate Package, you will receive: 

  • An unlimited amount of free transactions and e-transfers.
  • Any withdrawals from non-affiliated and global ATMs will also be free. 
  • Account holders will also have the fee waived for the Basic Plus Bank Account and the Scotia US Dollar Daily Interest account (if you have or want them). 
  • Plus, if you have a Momentum Plus Savings Account, you will receive an additional 0.10% interest. 
  • Account holders will love that they can also earn points for one of Scotiabank’s reward programs: Scotia Rewards or SCENE Points, on every transaction (1 reward for $5 spent – nothing else like it amongst Canadian chequing accounts).
  • Special select GIC rates.
  • Unlimited FREE international money transfers.
  • FREE monthly overdraft protection.
  • FREE cheques and bank drafts.
  • FREE safety deposit box.

PLUS – perhaps the top perk in Canadian chequing account deals today – Ultimate Package will have the annual $140 fee waived for either of the top credit cards in Canada today: the Scotiabank Gold American Express or the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite.

Getting Paid Twice on a Scotiabank High Interest Savings Account

The Scotiabank Ultimate Package comes in at $30.95 per month – BUT – there is an easy way to avoid that pesky fee (which is pretty reasonable considering the value you’re getting in return).  

If you use your Momentum Savings Account (already the best interest rate amongst big Canadian banks) to park your cash savings (emergency fund?) – and you carry a combined balance of $30,000 across your Scotiabank chequing and savings account – you get the entire Scotiabank Ultimate Package for the grand total of $0.


Plus, until January 28th, 2021, there is a Scotiabank account promotion for $300 when you open this account and complete the required steps. So, even if you can’t maintain the account minimum balance to waive the monthly fee, your first year only ends up costing you $71.40 or $5.95 per month which is a steal for all these benefits.

How to Get the $300 Scotiabank New Account Promotion / Welcome Bonus

In order to receive the $300 welcome bonus, you must complete two of the three following steps within 60 days of opening your account:

1)    Make and eligible bill payment of $50 through online or mobile banking

2)    Set up at least 2 eligible recurring pre-authorized transactions (minimum $50 each). These transactions need to recur monthly for a minimum of 3 consecutive months. All transactions must clear.

3)    Set up an eligible recurring direct deposit. This must recur for a minimum of 3 consecutive months and the transactions must clear. 

Remember, this promotion is only valid until January 28, 2021.

Quantifying the Value of the Scotia Ultimate Package

With high interest savings accounts earning such low rates of return these days, I think you can simply look at the waiving of the $31 monthly fee… as an investment return!

Hear me out: Your $30,000 emergency fund is going to waive $372 worth of fees – that’s an investment return of 1.2% – PLUS the momentum savings rate!

Here’s the value you get as part of that package:

  • Free premium credit card ($140 value)
  • Free withdrawals from non-Scotia ATMs around the world – (Average $20 per year value to me)
  • Free Safety Deposit Box ($50 value)
  • Free Overdraft Protection ($60 value)
  • Extra .10% interest ($30 value on $30,000 savings)
  • Free Cheques ($25 value)
  • Free International Money Transfers (Average value $0 – $200)
  • Rewards points on chequing account spending (Value – depends on your spending, but at least a few free movie tickets per year = $50)
  • The full slate of available Scotia accounts (At least $180 with any major Canadian bank).

Grand Total: $555!  (And that’s assuming $0 in value for international monetary transfers.)

Scotiabank Preferred Package

If the Scotiabank Ultimate Package seems like you’re paying for a few options that you might not use, you can also consider the Scotiabank Preferred Package. This package actually used to be the Momentum Chequing account although there are a few new changes.

The Scotiabank Preferred Package isn’t quite as all-encompassing as the Ultimate package, but it still offers some great perks and discounts for Scotiabank products. As such, the Scotiabank account fees for this product are significantly lower.  In fact, as long as you maintain a minimum daily closing balance of $4,000 in your account – the monthly fees will be waived.

  • An unlimited amount of debit transactions and e-transfers.
  • Account holders will also have the fee waived for the Basic Plus Bank Account and the Scotia US Dollar Daily Interest account (if you have or want them). 
  • Plus, if you have a Momentum Plus Savings Account, you will receive an additional 0.05% interest. 
  • Account holders will love that they can also earn points for one of Scotiabank’s reward programs: Scotia Rewards or SCENE Points, on every transaction (1 reward for $5 spent – nothing else like it amongst Canadian chequing accounts).
  • PLUS – perhaps the top perk in Canadian chequing account deals today – the Preferred Package will have the annual $140 fee waived for either of the top credit cards in Canada today: the Scotiabank Gold American Express or the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite. 

The monthly fee for the Scotiabank Preferred Package is $15.95. However, keep in mind that if you sign up before January 28, 2021 you are eligible for the $300 Scotiabank promotion which negates the fees for the year and leaves you with money left over. 

Is Scotiabank Online Banking/ Scotiabank Mobile App Safe?

Many wonder if Scotiabank is a good bank for online safety. 

The quick answer? Yes. 

Their platforms are safe as online banking and mobile apps can be. 

Scotiabank takes a number of steps to ensure that your account and information is kept safe and secure. This is done through methods including 128-bit SSL, firewalls and monitoring, timeouts, time stamps, masked numbers, security software, and more. 

Scotiabank also has a security guarantee. As per their website: “We will fully reimburse you in the unlikely event that you suffer direct financial losses due to unauthorized activity1 in your accounts through Scotia OnLine Financial Services2 or through Mobile Banking, provided you have met your security responsibilities.”

Generally speaking, according to the Scotia online reviews of the app, customers are happy with Scotiabank and their safety precautions. However, remember that keeping your personal and financial information for online banking is also partially up to you in terms of creating a secure password and being responsible with where you log in and what devices you use. 

Of course, like all major Canadian chequing accounts, your Scotiabank accounts are covered my Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance coverage (CDIC) on your first $100,000 per account.

How to Open a New Scotiabank Account

If this Scotiabank Review has you convinced that one of these packages is for you, then you can easily sign up to open an account online. Opening an account online can be done in about five minutes. 

To open an account, you do need to meet the following requirements:

–       You must be at least 16 years old

–       You must be a Canadian resident or in Canada to work or study

–       You must be opening the account in your own name

–       You must be ok with paperless document delivery

To start, visit the Scotiabank web page of the package you are interested in and click the button to get that specific package.

You will then be asked if you have any other services with Scotiabank. If you do, this makes life a lot easier as they can link your profile and get your information. So go ahead and sign into Scotia OnLine banking through the designated link.

If not, you can get started by choosing which rewards you want to collect: SCENE or Scotia Rewards.

You will then be asked what you plan on using the account for. For most people, it will be daily banking. The next step will require you to fill in your personal information. You do need your SIN so make sure you have that on hand.

Again, this process should only take about five minutes. However, if you decide to apply on the app, you can speed up the process by using your driver’s license as Photo ID verification.  

Our Thoughts – Scotiabank Review Summary

I’ll admit it: as someone who doesn’t mind reading for a few hours to get that absolute highest interest rate – or finding the perfect credit card for my spending patterns – I don’t love the idea of having to pay a monthly fee for a banking account. 

But when you actually add up the value like we did above, the $31 price tag – or even better – the $30,000 high interest savings account deposit, there is no question that the Scotiabank Ultimate Package is an excellent option for Canadians who want to simplify their banking life, and have all of their financial products under a super-trusted roof that has been around for nearly 200 years.

Kyle Prevost

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