Leaked – Mega Changes Are Coming to the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Huge Changes for Scotia Gold Amex Card

Sites like Reddit had leaked about new updates coming to the Scotiabank Gold American Credit card starting August 1, 2019. If this leaked news is true, Scotia Gold Amex will be in direct competition with the American Express Cobalt credit card.

Today, I will briefly l discuss these changes (assuming the leaked information is true) and will provide my insights on the new (after changes) Scotia Gold Amex card.

Annual Fee

Annual will go up to $120 from $99. Additional card annual fee will not change and remains at $29.

Rewards Structure

Now: 4x Gas, Grocery, Dining, Entertainment | 1X Everything Else

Aug 1 Onward: 5X Grocery, Dining, Entertainment | 3X Gas, Daily Transit, Select Streaming |1X Everything else

Foreign Transaction Fees

Now: 2.5%

Aug 1 Onward: 0%

Travel Insurance Changes

Travel Emergency Medical: 65> age will lower from 10 days to 3 days.

Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption: Amount will lower from $2,500 each to $1,500 each

Price Protection

This insurance will no longer be offered after August 1, 2019.

Everything else not mentioned above is not changing. As you can see, with these changes Scotia is trying to capture a significant chunk of the Canadian credit card market and they are expecting to grab a lot of Amex Cobalt customers.

One difference in points compared to Amex Cobalt is that Scotia Points are not convertible to Marriott Bonvoy (and then to 44 frequent-flyer program airline miles such as Aeroplan, Avios).

However, the Amex Cobalt Card does not provide as many benefits as the Scotiabank Gold Amex does. For example, Amex Cobalt does not offer concierge service, trip cancellation insurance, zero foreign currency fee, and many more.

In the past, the Amex Cobalt card was the only card in Canada that provided 5X rewards on some categories. Now that we have Scotia Gold Amex competing, plus it’s giving a lot more than Cobalt, consumers will have to take a hard look to decide which card to keep.

I do have an Amex Cobalt Card, but I haven’t decided yet whether to keep it or cancel it after August 1 and replace with Scotia Gold Amex.

I have a video on what I discussed above and you can watch it here: Changes Are Coming to the Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Cards Another credit card which is changing also is the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite. I will talk and video about this shortly.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Credit Card Adding More Benefits

New CIBC Aventura Credit Card Benefits

As travel credit card competition is heating up, CIBC has refreshed its Aventura proprietary travel rewards points credit cards. These new benefits will kick in starting Oct 15, 2018. Although most of these benefits apply to both CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite and CIBC Aventura Visa Gold credit cards, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is the better one as Aventura Gold is missing some insurance benefits. Both have a $120 annual fee.

New benefits that will apply:

- Priority Pass lounge membership with 4 free passes per year

- NEXUS application fee rebate every 5 years

- Enhanced trip cancellation insurance, hotel burglary insurance

- Mobile Device Insurance

I haven’t seen a feature like the NEXUS border entry application fee rebate in Canada before. You will get free lounge entrances with many other Canadian travel credit cards, but not for only a $120 annual fee. CIBC Aventura premium credit cards are definitely miles ahead, giving more benefits for only a $120 annual fee.

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Credit Card could have been a perfect travel credit card, but it has its shortcomings. It does not offer zero foreign currency transaction fee (it charges 2.5% on foreign currency transactions) and its rewards structure is very poor.

The earn rate is proprietary 1.5 points at gas, grocery, and pharmacy and 1 point at everything else. So basically you are earning 1 to 1.5 percent, which is a very low earn rate.

CIBC Aventura Visa Credit Cards should not be your primary credit cards for everyday spending, but they’re definitely worth adding to your credit card portfolio for the features and benefits they’re offering.

I talk more about CIBC Aventura credit cards in the following video.

Refreshed CIBC Aventura Credit Card Benefits Dwarf Other Travel Credit Cards

Why Aren’t American Express Cards Accepted Everywhere?

Photo Courtesy: American Express Canada

Photo Courtesy: American Express Canada

Leaving Home With Only American Express Is Not A Good Idea

First Published: April 29, 2013 A Dawn Journal

We often hear that there are so many places that won’t accept American Express (Amex) cards. If Amex is such a big name then why they are not universally accepted like VISA and MasterCard?

There are a myriad number of reasons why some merchants won’t use Amex. However, if we dig down to its basics, there are a few I came up with.

American Express offers both conventional credit cards where you can carry your balances and charge cards where you are required to pay in full every month. Unlike other major credit card companies who rely on high volumes to make money, American Express relies on higher margins to make profit by targeting affluent customers. Its affluent customers are spending a lot more money in lower volumes as opposed to higher volumes with smaller transactions.

Retailers pay much higher fees to provide American Express services than other credit cards. Also, other credit cards use a 3rd party to facilitate their services (like an issuing bank, trust company, etc.), but American Express does it all by itself and keeps all charges for itself for higher profits. For some retailers, it will not make sense to pay higher fees to American Express as they may not be able to make money on fewer transactions. However, merchants who have businesses where they can make a lot more money with fewer transactions (as affluent consumers will spend lot more than average consumers) will be glad to offer American Express.

There are other reasons for merchants not to accept Amex, but what I have discussed above are the most common deciding factors on accepting American Express.

Canada’s Best Top Favourite Credit Cards

Canada’s Top Favourite Credit Cards

Canada’s top favourite credit card is not issued by TD or CIBC. According to a report published by J.D. Power, President’s Choice Financial credit cards by Loblaw Company ranks Number 1 for customer satisfaction and is the most favoured credit card in Canada.

This is no surprise, as the general population is looking for credit cards that are easy to understand and easy to accumulate and redeem rewards points.

The top credit card rankings out of 1000 are:  

PC Financial 788
American Express 780
Canadian Tire 774
Capital One 764

The least favourite credit cards are:

CIBC 741
MBNA 741
TD 739

The J.D. Power report is based on 6,000+ responses and looked at customers’ satisfaction based on rewards, benefits, communication, terms, customer interaction, key moments, and so on. The report also revealed that 48 percent of Canadians switched their primary credit cards last year for better perks.

Remember, a card being on the top favourite or best credit card lists does not mean it’s best for you as well. You should always pick your best or favourite credit cards based on your own lifestyle, needs, and spending habits. You can access information provided on my website or YouTube Channel to research and find your own best credit cards by visiting the links below:

www.ahmeddawn.com

www.youtube.com/adawn

The Type of Credit Card Revolution Brim Financial Wants Us to Join

Brim World Elite MasterCard

I just received my Brim World Elite MasterCard after a long wait and a lot of anticipation. I applied for this card 5 months ago in February and so much has happened in between.

Some people thought Brim was a scam collecting applicants’ information, some thought they would never be able to issue any credit cards, some were even asked by Brim to provide identity verification by a doctor or a lawyer – which I have never heard before.

And then we heard Brim was blocking some of the applicants on social media for asking about the status of their applications. It is hard to believe that a credit card company would block people asking legitimate questions.

A few other things raised questions about what type of revolution Brim wants us to join. Some of them are:

- Increasing annual fee from $120 to $199 for the World Elite even before issuing credit cards.

- Unlimited & Uncapped rewards have a cap at $25,000, after which earn rates get lower.

- Using its own foreign exchange rate for foreign transactions, instead of MasterCard’s published exchange rate.

- 0% interest install plan seems to exceed usual credit card 20% interest rate when you factor in Brim’s 7% admin fee + $4.75 monthly fee per $1000 of installment financing.

After looking at all these factors, I am going to have to say: thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want to join Brim’s twisted credit card revolution. I am not going to pay a $199 annual fee for my card beyond its 1st year.

I would rather pay an annual fee for cards that offer me value year after year, such as free lounge passes, free hotel night, or anything else offsetting the annual fee.

I have a full Brim Credit Card Unboxing and Review on my YouTube channel and I hope write a review on Ahmed Dawn Dot Com as well in the future.