News: Changes to the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

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Scotiabank will be updating earning rates and benefits for the Gold American Express card on August 1, 2019.

The card will now come with an annual fee of $120, up from the current $99. This higher fee will get you better earning rates in certain categories, and the current 2.5% foreign exchange fee will be no more.

A Safeway grocery store, where you will now be able to earn 5x points per dollar on your first $50,000 of groceries each year.

A Safeway grocery store, where you will now be able to earn 5x points per dollar on your first $50,000 of groceries each year.

There will be two new bonus categories introduced: “daily transit” which includes taxis and ride-sharing and “select streaming services”. These categories will earn 3x points per $ spent, along with purchases at gas stations (down from the old 4x category). Groceries, dining, and entertainment will now earn 5x points per $ spent which is up from the old 4x category. All other purchases which don’t fall within these categories will earn 1x point per $ spent. These bonus categories will be capped at a generous $50,000 per calendar year, and all purchases beyond that cap will earn 1x point per $ spent. For those of you familiar with the Cobalt Card from American Express, it’s obvious that these changes are meant to directly compete with that card.

As mentioned earlier, the current foreign exchange fee of 2.5% will no longer be in effect as of August 1, 2019. This is a welcomed change and we are seeing several Canadian credit cards offering this benefit now. All purchases made in a foreign currency will earn 1x point per CAD equivalent spent.

With the August 1, 2019 date just around the corner, there are rumours going around that the card will offer a higher signup bonus for a limited time to encourage new applications. The card currently has a signup bonus of 15,000 Scotia Rewards points, which is worth $150 when used for travel. Rumours claim that the card will be offering an increased signup bonus of 30,000 Scotia Rewards points, worth $300 when used for travel. The card may also offer the first year free, which would be a further $120 in value for new applications.

If you’re looking to apply for the card with the current $99 annual fee, you will have to do so before August 1st, and Great Canadian Rebates is currently offering $80 cash back for first-time applicants. It’s currently unclear whether this cash back offer will be renewed after the upcoming changes take effect, as it expires on the GCR website on July 31, 2019.

GCR $80 Cash Back Offer

GCR $80 Cash Back Offer

There may also be a new card design, with this image of a potential design floating around:

Potential New Scotiabank Gold American Express Card Design

Potential New Scotiabank Gold American Express Card Design

In my opinion, this is far more visually appealing than the current gold coloured version. What do you guys think? Will you be applying for the card using GCR before the changes come into effect, or will you gamble and wait for a potential higher signup bonus and first year free?

Let us know in the comments down below!

ijaaz-premji

Ijaaz Premji
Ijaaz has been fascinated by air travel since he was a child, and his goal is to become an airline pilot. Ijaaz’s family enjoys travel and takes a trip at least every couple years. His first trip to Asia was for a family wedding in 2015, when they visited Thailand and Hong Kong. Ijaaz was hooked at this point, and has since returned to Hong Kong at least a dozen times. He applied for his first credit card right after his 19th birthday, and has been in the points game ever since. His travels have taken him to over 30 countries all over the globe, and he is known to book flights last minute to new and interesting destinations.