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No foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada are few and far between…

Scotiabank already stepped up last year by launching the with 0% foreign transaction fees.

Unfortunately, it left us wanting more in the rewards department by only offering about a 1.3% return on spending. That catapulted to 3.8% on purchases made in a foreign currency, but for everyday spending at home, there are plenty of better options.

Thankfully, Scotiabank is determined to scratch our no FX fee credit card itch…

Scotiabank Gold American Express with no foreign transaction fees

The now has 0% FX transaction fees on top of its earn rate increase – wow.

Related: How Foreign Currency Exchange Works When Returning Your Purchases

The best part? All these upgrades apply to all new and existing cardholders alike.

It also got a bit of a facelift when it came to the card art, now matching the new Scotiabank branding.

In addition to getting a huge upgrade in rewards that puts it in the running for the #1 credit card in Canada, it also offers a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 points.

Get 25,000 points for making at least $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months, with an additional 5,000 if you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases in the first year.

Now, that’s a huge improvement – these changes make the increased $120 annual fee worth it.

The good and the bad of the changes to Scotia Gold Amex

Overall, unless you’re a big gas spender, these are positive changes.

Based on a typical $2,000 per month spend, you’d actually see an increase in rewards of around $35, not factoring in any FX savings.

You’re also picking up 2 brand new spending categories with the 3x bonus earnings on both transit and streaming services.

Just note that the category multipliers are only valid on purchases made in Canadian dollars.

Earn rates before changes:

  • 4 points per $1 spent on groceries, gas, restaurants, and entertainment, and
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Earn rates

  • 5 points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants and entertainment,
  • 3 points per $1 spent on gas, transit, and select streaming services, and
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Easy rewards

Points redemption continues to be easy-peasy via the very flexible Scotia Rewards. You’ll get the same great point value when you redeem through any travel provider as you would if you instead opted to redeem through Scotia Rewards directly.

There’s also plenty of merch options, transfer to Cineplex SCENE, and more.

And, let’s not forget about its up to 30,000 welcome bonus points ‒ and the fact that while it might not be our best insurance card in Canada anymore, it still stands strong in that area.

The not so good

However, there are some not-so-positive changes as well.

First, the annual fee has increased from $99 to $120, but this is offset by the increased earnings of the card.

The second big change is insurance coverage:

  • no longer offers price protection,
  • trip cancellation and trip interruption amounts were reduced from $2,500 to $1,500, and
  • coverage for emergency medical for those over 65 was reduced from 10 days to 3 days.

If you value the card for the insurance, these changes are not great, but likely worth the rewards and no foreign transaction fee trade-off for many.

What are your thoughts?

It’s great to see Scotiabank adding another no foreign exchange fee card to their lineup, especially since they’re the only big bank in Canada to offer no foreign exchange fee cards in Canada.

If you already have this card, do you like the new changes?

If you don’t have it already, is this card more appealing to you with these changes? Would you consider getting it now?

Let us know in the comments section below!