I want to put out a question to you, friends – where should my family’s next travels take us? A road trip to Montreal? Perhaps Ottawa? Or maybe a weekend shopping in the States? I’m looking for your best road trip ideas from Toronto – no more than 5-6 hours away.
The reason I ask? The new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which I introduced to y’all a few months ago.
You may have seen the post and thought to yourself, “Well, I don’t need another credit card.” Or perhaps you looked at the write-up and bookmarked it for future use. Or maybe, just maybe, you did me proud by applying for the card online at that very moment.
Whatever your reaction, I’m here to tell you that after using the card for the last 3 months, I can confirm that it’s all that – and a bag of chips. Or perhaps a hotel stay. Or trip to New York.
A refresher course in why the Gold card is awesome:
Not only do you receive 20,000 bonus points when you make your first purchase – you’ll also earn 4x Scotia Rewards points for every $1 you spend at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment. Translation: while I’m out and about spending money on the boring stuff like groceries and gas, I’m actually earning rewards that will bring me that much closer to a much-needed vacation. Four times closer, to be exact.
Next, once I’ve earned all the points I need, I can redeem them for my complete trip – including taxes and surcharges. That means nothing out of pocket, which of course means more money to spend on pre-trip clothes, post-trip souvenirs, and a margarita or two in between :)
Key features of the card:
• 4 POINTS FOR EVERY DOLLAR spent on the card at gas stations, grocery stores and on dining and entertainment, 1 point for all other purchases with the card
• No blackouts, no points expiry, no seat restrictions and no booking fees
• Travel service with access to global concierge specialists
• Ability to redeem points at or after booking for travel including airfare, hotel, car rental, cruise and vacation packages. Points can also be redeemed for merchandise and credits to Scotiabank investment and credit products
• Highly competitive insurance benefits included, such as Travel Emergency Medical (including travelers age 65+) and Rental Car Collision insurance
• $99 ANNUAL FEE. Additional card annual fee is $29 and the interest rates are 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances, balance transfers and Scotia Credit Card cheques
Two things I simply need to shine a spotlight on (or in this case, BOLD within the points above):
The $99 annual fee is among the most competitive fee for a premium travel reward card currently on the market. I hold two other reward credit cards, both with a fee of $150 per year. Since we place everything on credit (don’t worry – I pay off the balances every single month, and always have) the perks always offset the annual fee. With the Scotiabank AmEx, this is particularly true.
And, the fact that I’ve received 4 points for every dollar spent on the card at gas stations has really helped us to rack up the rewards. We fill up the tanks on average once per week for two cars, which roughly translates to almost 500 points per week on gas alone (2,000 points per month). When you consider that with other rewards cards you’d have to spend $2,000 or more to receive the same benefit, the advantages of the Scotiabank AmEx are clear. Hence, when combined with the 20,000 point welcome bonus, it’s no surprise that we already have almost 25,000 Scotia Rewards.
So technically, after using the card for less than four months, I’m already eligible to pick up this awesome Henckels International Pro 13-Piece Knife Block (23,700 points), a Canon Powershot A1300 Digital Camera (17,300 points), a $100 gift card to Birks (13,500 points) or a plethora of items from other merchants (Starbucks, The Home Depot, Cineplex, Disney and many more).
However, since family travel is our thing at the moment, I’m holding on to our rewards to book a hotel for the family getaway I mentioned above (and need your help deciding where we should go!).
But I’m not looking to book just any hotel – with the Scotiabank AmEx, I’ll receive luxury hotel privileges – up to 20% off the Best Available Rates and a complimentary room upgrade (if available) at some of the world’s most incredible properties. Plus, we can enjoy a free amenity, complimentary breakfast and late checkout privileges (if available).
So, if there’s ever a time to truly reward ourselves with travel upgrades, this is it! The Scotiabank AmEx makes it possible – again, for just $99 per year. That’s gold.
This post was sponsored by the new Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card.
The opinions expressed herein as always, are my own.