The Bank of Nova Scotia which operates under the name Scotiabank, is the third largest bank in Canada with $1.09 trillion in total assets under management. Their retail banking platform is comprehensive and easy to use, which earned them the title of The Best Consumer Digital Bank in Canada. Although Scotiabank’s fees are not the lowest in the industry, customers can save by bundling several products. Additionally, all chequing accounts are entitled to either the SCENE or Scotia Rewards program which allows you to earn points for purchases made through your debit card.
Scotiabank Advantages and Disadvantages
Before proceeding with a Scotiabank account, let’s take a look at the different pros and cons to assess whether it is right for you:
- Rewards program for chequing accounts which is rare, choose from SCENE rewards for entertainment or Scotia Rewards for travel
- Industry leading online interface that is intuitive and easy to use
- Multi-product savings and waived fees for meeting minimum balance thresholds
- Financial products that are available to those who are new to Canada and have no credit history
- Monthly fees are not the cheapest in the industry
- Customer service can feel impersonal due to the size of the bank
Scotiabank Financial Product Overview
A list of the most popular personal finance products offered by Scotiabank can be found below. For further details or to start the registration process, simply click on the link.
Scotiabank Bank Accounts
- Chequing Accounts. There are three types of chequing accounts available: Basic Plus ($10.95/month), Preferred Package ($15.95/month) and Ultimate Package ($30.95/month). The monthly fees are waived when meeting the minimum balance thresholds for each account or by bundling multiple Scotia products. The Ultimate and Preferred Packages have unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers, whereas the Basic Plus is limited to 25 transactions and 10 Interac e-Transfers. For all accounts, customers can earn 1 SCENE or Scotia Rewards point for every $5 spent on debit purchases.
- Savings Accounts. Available savings accounts include the Money Master Savings Account which is ideal for everyday savings, the Savings Accelerator Account featuring tiered interest rates based on account balance, the Momentum Savings Account that offers higher interest rates when you commit to saving longer, the Scotia U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account for USD savings, and the Scotia Euro Daily Interest Savings Account for EUR savings. There are no monthly fees for the savings accounts denominated in Canadian currency and are minimal for both the USD, 1 USD/month, and EUR, 1 EUR/month, savings accounts.
Scotiabank Credit Cards
- Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card. This credit card is best suited for those who like to travel, as they can earn up to 2 Scotia Rewards points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. New members can also earn an additional 30,000 bonus points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months. The annual fee is $139 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card. For the first three months, cardholders will earn 10% cash back on purchases up to $2,000 and up to 4% on eligible purchases afterwards. Additionally, the annual fee of $120 is waived for the first year. The interest rates are 20.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotiabank Gold American Express Card. As a welcome bonus, this credit card offers 20,000 points upon spending $1,000 within the first three months. After that, members can earn up to 5x Scotia Rewards points when using the card for eligible purchases. Foreign transaction fees are also waived, allowing cardholders to shop and travel with ease. The annual fee is $120 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- SCENE Visa Card. New members will earn 2,500 bonus SCENE points upon spending $500 within the first three months and the earn rate after that is 1 point per dollar spent. There is no annual fee and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotia Momentum Mastercard Credit Card. A no-fee option that also offers a cash back program, this credit card from Mastercard offers 1% cash back on all eligible purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies and for recurring bill payments. The earn rate is 0.5% cash back for all other purchases. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card. Another no-fee option that also offers a cash back program, this credit card from Visa offers 1% back on all eligible purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies and for recurring bill payments (0.5% for all other purchases). The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotia Momentum Visa Card. For a low annual fee of $39, cardholders can earn up to 2% cash back for purchases made at eligible retailers and for recurring bill payments. The earn rate is 1% cash back on all other purchases. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotiabank American Express Card. An American Express card with no annual fee, members will earn 1 Scotia Reward for every dollar charged to their card. As a welcome bonus, new applicants are eligible to receive 5,000 extra points upon spending $500 within the first three months. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card. For those who love to travel, this card offers premium perks and benefits including concierge services and exclusive access to sold out events. The earn rate for the rewards program is 4 points per dollar spent at eligible retailers and establishments, and 1 point per dollar elsewhere. Annual fees are $399 per year and the interest rate is 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- ScotiaGold Passport Visa Card. This card offers a flexible rewards program where members can earn points on everyday purchases as well as cash back when booking their travel through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service. The annual fee is $110 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotiabank Rewards Visa Card. A travel rewards card with no annual fee, this card may be suitable for those who are looking to build their credit as applicants with no credit history can still be approved. Members will earn 1 point for every $2 spent on eligible purchases. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- No Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card. For those looking to transfer a balance to save on interest fees, this card offers an introductory interest rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for the first six months. There is no annual fee and the interest rate for both purchases and cash advances is 16.99%.
- Scotiabank Value Visa Card. Another option for those looking to transfer an existing balance, this card offers a very low introductory interest rate of 0.99% for the first six months. The annual fee is still very affordable at $29 per year and the interest rate for both purchases and cash advances is only 12.99%.
- Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card. This card allows members to earn up to 5% in GM Earnings, which can be used to discount the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac. The annual fee of $79 is waived for the first year and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotiabank GM Visa Card. There is no annual fee for this GM-partnered credit card and members will earn up to 5% in GM Earnings for the first $5,000 spent per year and 2% thereafter. Interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- L’earn Visa Card. Students can earn up to 1% cash back on purchases with this credit card and pay no annual fees. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- SCENE Student Visa Card. Another no-fee option for students, this card offers 1 SCENE point per dollar spent on everyday purchases and 5 SCENE points per dollar spent at Cineplex. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
- Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card. For those that frequently transact in U.S. dollars, this credit card offers peace of mind with no currency conversion fees. The annual fee is $35 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
With Scotiabank’s eHOME platform, customers can complete the entire mortgage application process online. Scotia offers multiple mortgage solutions for customers who are either looking for the flexibility that open term mortgages provide or for the protection against rate increases with closed term mortgages. The posted variable rate for a five year open term mortgage is 5.75% which is based on Scotia’s prime rate of 2.45% and 2.65% for a five year closed term mortgage. The fixed rate for a five year closed term mortgage is 4.94%.
Scotiabank Lines of Credit & Loans
- Line of Credit (Secured and Unsecured). Lines of credit secured against your home may be approved for up to 65% of the value of your property. For unsecured lines of credit, limits are available from $5,000 and no collateral is required. Lines of Credit offered by Scotiabank are a great option for those seeking high credit limits with competitive interest rates. A student line of credit is also available for those pursuing post-secondary education with a one year grace period after graduation for principal repayment.
- Personal Loan. Both fixed and variable rate personal loans are available for those looking to borrow for terms ranging from one to five years. Borrowers are given the flexibility of customizing a payment plan to best suit their needs. There is even the option to postpone one payment each year over the life of the loan.
- RSP Loan and Line of Credit. Scotia’s Catch-Up Line of Credit and RSP Plan Loans are a great option for those looking to make regular contributions to their Retirement Savings Plan. The Line of Credit allows borrowers to pay no interest until they use the funds. The loan also allows for flexible amortization periods and can be paid off at any time without penalty.
- Auto Loans and the StartRight Auto Finance Program. Scotiabank financing is available at over 4,000 dealerships across Canada and can be applied towards new or used vehicles up to seven years old. Payment options are flexible and customers have the choice of selecting either a fixed or variable rate for a term of up to eight years. Those who are new to the country and do not have an established Canadian credit history may qualify for the StartRight Auto Finance Program which offers loan terms of up to five years for new or used vehicles up to four years old.
Whether you are an experienced investor or someone looking to grow their savings with professional help, Scotiabank has a variety of products and accounts for you:
- The Scotia Aria Retirement Program. This program manages risk while generating income on your savings based on an approach that is tailored to your stage in life. The minimum investment to get started is only $500 and your portfolio will be managed by a professional money manager.
- Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). A TFSA is a registered account where any investment income is sheltered from taxes. A wide range of financial products are eligible to be held in a TFSA such as stocks, bonds, GICs, mutual funds, portfolio solutions and savings deposits.
- Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). GICs are secure investments that guarantee the entirety of the original investment and provide interest at a fixed or variable rate, or based on a specific formula. Scotia’s market linked GIC’s provide a minimum guaranteed return while allowing for the investor to capitalize from some of the movement of the underlying index. Choose from: Scotiabank Canadian Top 60, Scotiabank U.S. Top 500, Scotiabank Canadian Low Volatility Index and Scotiabank Canadian Utilities.
- Scotia iTrade. Scotia iTrade is Scotiabank’s powerful self-directed investing platform. Those looking to manage their own portfolio will be happy to learn of the comprehensive analytical features of the platform as well as the competitive commission structures.