Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Cash Back

Long before I started travelling and collecting travel rewards, I used a cash back credit card for my everyday spending. I loved to collect cold-hard cash back on every purchase and then use the rewards to fund a short-term goal, like a family vacation or a weekend away with my wife.

My go-to card for cash back was the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card. Simply put, it had the highest earn rate in the categories where I spent the most money on daily living. It truly was Canada’s king of cash back rewards.

As a self-professed rewards credit card junkie, I’ve tried all types of cash back and travel rewards cards to find one that best fit our lifestyle at the time. This year, I’ve come full circle and returned to my beloved Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card.

Here’s why:

Still the Cash Back King

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card still reigns as Canada’s cash back king, earning accolades from the Globe and Mail, MoneySense, Red Flag Deals, and our own friends and partners at Credit Card Genius as Canada’s top cash back credit card.

  • Customers earn 4% cash back for every dollar spent on groceries, recurring bill payments, and subscriptions.
  • Customers earn 1% cash back on all other purchases – with no cash back limit.
  • Customers earn 2% cash back on daily transit (buses, taxis, trains, rideshare – like Uber – and more) and on gas purchases.

Scotiabank added some additional perks to the card, making the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite one of the most robust cash back credit cards for insurance protection.

The card offers insurance for your mobile devices, upcoming trips, car rentals and purchase security/ extended warranty protection on most items.

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card summary of features
Annual fee $120 (first year waived)
Groceries 4%
Recurring bills & subscription purchases 4%
Gas 2%
Public transit / Ride sharing 2%
Pharmacies 1%
All other purchases 1%
Mobile device insurance $1,000
Trip cancellation insurance $1,500 per person
Annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases 20.99%

Note that to be eligible for the card, you must have a minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000, or minimum assets under management of $250,000.

10% Cash Back Sweetener

What sealed the deal for me to sign up for the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card was the incredible bonus offer of 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months (up to $2,000 in total purchases) for new cardholders.

It doesn’t take a math wizard to see the potential to earn $200 in cash back on $2,000 in spending (within the first three months).

The annual fee is also waived in the first year for new sign-ups, so there’s another huge incentive to try out this cash back credit card and earn big rewards on your everyday spend.

I also love the enhanced insurance benefits on the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card because it’s rare for a cash back credit card to have this robust of insurance protection. Trip cancellation insurance alone is a coveted feature as many would-be travellers have found out this year.

How I Plan to Maximize My Cash Back

I wasn’t just drawn to this card because of the 10% cash back bonus period, or the first-year annual fee waiver, or the additional suite of insurance protection. I also look for a credit card that can help maximize the rewards on my daily spending long after any promotional periods have expired. The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card definitely fits the bill as my preferred spending card for the foreseeable future.

Here’s my plan for maximizing cash back rewards this year:

Like many of you, our travel plans were put on hold this year. We had to cancel our trip to Italy that was schedule for April, as well as a trip to the UK in July. What a disappointment!

That’s why I’ve pivoted to using a cash back credit card for my everyday spending. Every dollar counts in these trying times, and so I liked the idea of earning 10% cash back for three months while we get through this crisis.

In our daily life, we order groceries online at Save-On-Foods two or three times per month and I switched the credit card on file to the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card to help me maximize the 10% bonus period offer. We continue to use the card and take advantage of the 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bills & subscriptions. More recently, we subscribed to an online grocery delivery service from Calgary called Spud.ca.

Scotia Momentum spending categories

*This is a good time to note that this card comes with a high spending cap of $25,000 on each of the 4% and 2% spending categories, which for me means I can continue to earn a high cash back rate all year without worrying about reaching the limit.

We do have some recurring bill payments, such as our ENMAX energy bill, our TELUS cable and internet bill, our monthly gym membership, our Netflix subscription, and a Globe and Mail subscription. I’ve switched over those recurring charges to the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card to take advantage of the 4% cash back.

Customers will receive their cash back once per year, in November, so by then I hope to have earned $500 in cash back on my spending. Indeed, I’ve already earned more than $250 in cash back rewards, and that’s in addition to the $200 earned during the 10% cash back bonus period.

Scotia Momentum Cash Back

Check out Scotiabank’s cash back calculator to see how much cash back you could potentially earn with the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card.

Additional Perks and Protection

Mobile Device Insurance – My wife is looking to upgrade her iPhone this year and, if she does, we’ll definitely take advantage of mobile device protection insurance. This covers new cell phones, smartphones, or tablets purchased on or after August 1, 2019, when you charge the full cost of your new mobile device to your card, or charge all of your wireless bill payments for such device to your Card when you fund such purchase through a plan.

With mobile device insurance you may be covered for up to $1,000 in the event your cell phone, smartphone, or tablet is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged, or experiences mechanical failure.

Car Rental Discounts – Customers can save up to 25% off base rates at participating AVIS locations and at participating Budget locations in Canada and the U.S. when you pay with your Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card. This will come in handy when we (hopefully) are able to travel again in the near future.

Visa Infinite Concierge Service – I love the idea of luxury travel and what could be more luxurious than having your own complimentary concierge available 24/7 to help plan a trip, book restaurant reservations, or score VIP tickets to a show? I’ve never tried the concierge service before, but we plan to take advantage once the crisis is behind us and we’re able to travel again.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been really pleased to return to my cash back roots and come back to the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card this year. I plan to maximize my cash back rewards, take advantage of the new insurance add-ons, and try out some of the Visa Infinite perks. I plan to keep the card and continue using it as my go-to card for everyday spending.

Want to join me? You can sign up for the card by February 28, 2021 and be eligible for a bonus offer of 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months (up to $2,000 in total purchases). The annual fee will also be waived in the first year.

What are you waiting for?

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19 Comments

  1. John on November 27, 2020 at 11:23 am

    How long after you have cancelled are you considered a “new sign-up” in order to receive the free 1st year and 10% bonus?

    • Robb Engen on November 27, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Hi John, according to the legal footnotes it’s two years:

      “Individuals who are currently or were previously primary or secondary cardholders of a Scotiabank retail credit card in the past 2 years, including those that switch from an existing Scotiabank retail credit card, are not eligible for the Offer.”

  2. Betty Therriault on November 27, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    I do have Scotia Visa Momentum and like you I am most pleased with it. I am not sure how to set up recurring payments. Who do you contact -the merchant or Visa ?
    Appreciate your reply.

    • Robb Engen on November 27, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Betty, you’d set it up directly with the retailer. I’ve done this with Enmax (energy) and Telus.

      • Ron Sigal on November 28, 2020 at 10:52 pm

        Robb, for some reason Enmax does not code as a recurring bill payment, and therefore you receive 1% cash back rather than 4%.

  3. John on November 28, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    I recall a few years ago, one of my pet peeves about this credit card was the fact that you couldn’t set up a pre-authorized payment unless you had a bank account at Scotia Bank. Do you happen to know if that has changed? I like the convenience of having my full balance paid off each month.

    • Robb Engen on November 30, 2020 at 8:36 pm

      Hi John, I always recommend automating everything to do with your finances (including your credit card bills) but for some reason I don’t follow my own advice and prefer to do everything manually. So, unfortunately I don’t know the answer to your question.

  4. Bob Wen on November 30, 2020 at 7:12 am

    I signed up for the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card a few months ago as my calculations showed that it would indeed give us the biggest cash back, even after the annual fee of $200 ($150 primary + $50 for a second card). We soon discovered that groceries from Walmart Supercentres are not classified as groceries (in Manitoba at least) so we only get 1% cash back!

    MasterCard considers all purchases from Walmart Supercentres as groceries, and fortunately I’d also signed up for the Tangerine and Rogers no-fee MasterCards. Tangerine gives us 2% cash back on our Walmart groceries (and everything else from Walmart e.g. our new TV), and 2% cash back on home renovation purchases e.g. Home Depot, Rona etc, and also Canadian Tire as Tangerine classifies them as home renovations! For all purchases where none of our other cards give us a decent cash back, we use the Rogers card, which gives a flat 1.5% cash back on everything e.g. our new camera lens. Tangerine also gives us 2% cash back on reoccurring charges and gas. Note: one of the eligibility criteria for the Rogers card is a $15K annual spend. We also have a PC Financial World Elite card, which we use at Shoppers Drug Mart for a 4.5% effective cash back.

    So, where does this leave us with the Scotia card? I’m doubtful that we’ll get enough cash back to even cover the fee. I’ll hold on to it for now as there are a few purchases on which we do get the 4%, and hopefully they will change how they categorize Walmart Supercentre purchases before the annual fee becomes due.

    • Bob Wen on November 30, 2020 at 7:21 am

      Correction: The Scotia card annual fee is $170 ($120 + $50).

    • shelmarcel on November 30, 2020 at 11:28 am

      My experience has been the same wrt Walmart purchases. M/Card categorizes Walmart in-store purchases as `groceries’, whereas Visa does not. Trick is to find a M/Card w/ a high introductory return for groceries… I recently signed up for the amazon.ca (free) M/Card which pays 5% back on groceries for the first 6-months, up to a $3k spend (vs 1.5% back on the Rogers card, which I also have & use frequently). An added wrinkle: walmart.ca online purchases do not appear to be categorized as a grocery spend…

    • Robb Engen on November 30, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Bob, that is unfortunate. We do our grocery shopping at Save On Foods and Safeway, both of which accept Visa and qualify for the 4% cash back grocery category.

      Here’s a link to a list of merchants that fall into each of the categories: https://www.scotiabank.com/images/en/filespersonal/26664.pdf

      Perhaps you’ll find another store to at least help you earn more cash back this year.

  5. David Schroeder on November 30, 2020 at 9:03 am

    Hi Robb, I think I probably charge more than $25,000 grand a year to credit cards. What do the percentages change to after the $25,000 has been spent? Also, would that be 25K spent between January and December, or Day 1 would be the day you register the card, and the year would turn over on day 365?
    Thanks,
    David

    • Robb Engen on November 30, 2020 at 8:55 pm

      Hi David, each of the 4% and 2% categories have a $25k annual cap, after which the earn rate drops to 1%.

      As for timing, the clock starts in the first month you have the card.

  6. Jan L on November 30, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Robb. Can you cancel before the renewal annual fee? If I sign up next month, get my cash back in November then cancel before it renews, is there any consequence? I personally don’t like to carry too many credit cards.

    Thanks,
    Jan

    • Robb Engen on November 30, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Jan, yes you can do that – sign up now, receive your cash back in November (I just got mine) and then cancel the card before the fee is due. That said, you may find that you continue to get value from the card with the 4% cash back category to keep it as your primary card even with the annual fee.

  7. Jeff on November 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Hey Robb, thanks for the insight! Super interesting post and great content overall. Was just wondering, right now I’m with TD, are there any repercussions if I apply for a Scotia Bank credit card? Cheers! Keep up the great work!

    • DSB on December 27, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      It doesn’t matter if you bank with TD. You can get a credit card with any bank as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for the card you’re interested in. You can get as many credit cards as you can qualify for and benefit from the welcome bonuses that some of these cards offer.

  8. Vincent on December 24, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Hey Robb, Do you know if Instacart transactions made on the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card count as grocery purchases? Do you know what the Visa classified MCC code for Instacart is?

  9. DSB on December 27, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    For groceries, restaurants and drinks I strongly recommend American Express Cobalt card, which provides 5% Cashback on these categories. However, when you carry an Amex you always have to have a visa or MC with you since Amex isn’t widely accepted. Scotia momentum is great now with FYF, 10% Cashback on first $2K. I would direct your readers to apply via Great Canadian Rebates, which is offering $100 Cashback boost until December 31st.

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