Scotiabank’s premium credit card is the Platinum American Express Card. I say premium because it offers the most benefits but also has the highest annual fee. Currently, there is a promotion that gives a higher than normal sign up bonus. Below are the highlights of the card:
- $399 annual fee
- $99 for supplementary cardholders
- Earn 30,000 bonus points with your first card purchase that needs to be completed within the first 2 months (apply before
October 31, 2014)
- Earn 4 points for every $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and entertainment (on the first $100,000 in purchases)
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on purchases made after $100,000
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Complimentary annual membership to Priority Pass Airport Lounges Worldwide
- Complimentary Hertz #1 Club Gold Membership
- Flexible point redemption
First of all, the $399 annual fee is quite steep and the 30,000 bonus points promotion doesn’t even cover the annual fee, because 30,000 points nets you $300 in rewards. This is already my deal breaker. Now the question is whether there is a way to get value out of the credit card to justify for the annual fee.
That being said, the 4 points per $1 can be very lucrative because it covers a vast amount of categories, including: gas stations, automated fuel dispensers; grocery stores, supermarkets; eating places, restaurants, drinking places, fast food restaurants, Motion Picture theaters, theatrical producers, ticket agencies, bands, orchestras and miscellaneous entertainers.
The maximum you can earn in one year is:
- $100,000 x 4 points = 400,000 points ($4,000 in value)
Basically, the more you spend on the above listed categories, the easier it will be to justify the $399 annual fee. You just need to do your own calculations. Keep in mind though that this is an American Express, so it will not be accepted everywhere that you go.
You will need to use your points on travel related expenses, which include: airlines, air carriers, airports, flying fields, airport terminals, lodgings, hotels, motels, resorts, trailer parks, campgrounds, passenger railways, bus lines, steamship, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, automobile rental agency, motor home and recreational vehicle rentals. The points that you redeem can also cover included taxes, booking fees, airport fees and travel insurance premiums.
When you credit your account, you cannot exceed the amount of the cost of the travel transactions submitted. That is quite an extensive list of items that you can redeem your points for.
Another valuable benefit is the Priority Pass membership for airport lounge access. So long as you have the credit card, you will have a Priority Pass membership. You will receive 10 free lounge visits as the primary cardholder and 4 free visits as the secondary cardmember from the date of enrolment into the program (i.e. when you receive the credit card). Thereafter, it will cost $27 USD per visit, which is still cheaper than the regular price.
If you tend to rent cars, you will receive the Hertz Club Gold Membership for increase perks with Hertz.
Conclusion: I think it’s possible to make the $399 worth it if you can advantage of the lounge access often enough, as well has being a high spender in the 4x category. This is definitely a great credit card for frequent travellers.