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…

Related: Credit Card Faceoff: Amex Cobalt Vs Scotia Gold Amex

Scotiabank Gold American Express with no foreign exchange fees?

We just learned that the already much-loved (our current #1 travel insurance card) is going 0% FX transaction fees on August 1st.

That’s in addition to getting a huge upgrade in rewards that will put it in the running for the #1 credit card in Canada.

This is fantastic news for anyone who already got this card as part of our $100 gift card promotion – it’s like an extra treat you weren’t even expecting.

The best part? All these upgrades will be given to all new and existing cardholders alike.

Beat the annual fee hike

That means you don’t even have to wait until August 1st (the official launch date) to get your hands on this card. You’ll even benefit from the lower $99 annual fee of today vs. the increased $120 annual fee coming into effect in August. If you want to beat the annual fee hike, click here to apply.

It isn’t all good news though, so we’ll walk you through the changes and let you be the judge if this card is right for you.

Rate Your Wallet and find your perfect match.

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

While exciting in its own right, there are a few more changes coming to this card on August 1, 2019 as well.

For starters, the earn rates will be slightly different.

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 after changes:

  • 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.

Overall, unless you’re a big gas spender, these are positive changes. Based on a typical $2,000 per month spend, you would 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 on both transit and streaming services.

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

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 towards travel purchased 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 15,000 welcome bonus points ‒ and the fact that it’s our top-rated insurance card. That may change with the slight devaluation coming to its insurance, but it will remain strong in that area.

The not so good

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

First, the annual fee is going to increase 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 will be reduced, from $2,500 to $1,500, and
  • coverage for emergency medical for those over 65 will be 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.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming updates posted at RedFlagDeals:

Details on Scotia Gold Amex changes

Apply now or later?

Is this card still worth it? Without a doubt, the answer is yes.

While it’s losing benefits in some areas, the extra rewards earnings coupled with no foreign exchange fees makes this a card worth considering (or keeping, if you already have it).

The real question is if you are looking for a great no FX travel rewards card, should you apply before or after August 1st?

If you’re thinking about getting this card, now is a good time to do it – you’ll pay a lower annual fee of $99 instead of $120 (coming soon), saving yourself $21.

However, if you don’t like what you see, our rate your wallet tool can help you find something different.

What are your thoughts?

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

If you already have this card, do you like what you see? Or are you going to consider changing to something else?

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