Scotiabank Platinum American Express Review 2023

Scotiabank Platinum American Express

Been there, Scene that, got the Scotiabank Platinum American Express to do even more. All those post-pandemic travel plans got obliterated by the price of gas, and life in general. We travel card die-hards are feeling a little salty about our unused points this year. 

Enter the Scotiabank Platinum American Express to right your travel wrongs. This premium card earns flexible points that make your life better whether you travel or not. It gives you an impressive line-up of 7 different travel insurance benefits you can use abroad and at home. Oh, and did we mention there are no foreign transaction fees?

Globetrotters can book travel anytime, anywhere, through any provider. And the homebodies can live their best life too. When major global events wreck your holiday, Scene+ points can help you rediscover Canada with fresh eyes, or get free stuff, whichever floats your boat.    

Perks & Benefits

  • Up to 70,000 bonus Scene+ points 
  • Up to $2,300 in value in the first 14 months 
  • 2 points/$1 on every eligible card purchase
  • 3 points/$ on eligible Scene+ Travel purchases 
  • Double the points with Scene+ membership number at partner merchants
  • No purchase categories or spending caps 
  • Earn unlimited points
  • Flexible points program
  • Scene+ expanding to popular grocery stores, pharmacies & liquor stores 
  • Redeem points for travel anytime, anywhere, no restrictions 
  • Redeem points for movies, dining, gift cards, and more
  • 9.99% interest rate on purchases & cash advances 
  • No foreign transaction fees 
  • 10 annual complimentary airport lounge passes
  • 4 annual complimentary airport lounge passes for an additional cardholder 
  • Premium Concierge service 
  • 7 travel insurance benefits with higher than average coverage 
  • Mobile Device Insurance 
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty 
  • Exclusive American Express Invites
  • VIP Pass to exclusive global events 
  • Hertz #1 Club Gold Membership
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The  Scotiabank Platinum American Express Welcome Offer

If someone offered you $2,300, would you turn them down? Well, that’s exactly what you could earn with your new Scotiabank Platinum American Express card. Get it before January 31st, 2023, and you could earn up to 70,000 bonus Scene+ points plus other valuable freebies. 

You get the first 50,000 points when you spend at least $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months. Then, you can earn another 20,000 bonus points when you spend at least $10,000 on the card in the first 14 months. That’s about a $700 value right there.

So where does the other $1,600 come from? You also get 10 free airport lounge passes per year for you and 4 free annual passes for an additional cardholder. Plus, you also get a complimentary Priority Pass membership for you and an additional cardholder too. So that’s another $721 in VIP travel perks. 

Then, you can make it rain just by using the card for all your regular purchases. The average Scotiabank Platinum American Express user saves about $141 a year on pesky foreign transaction fees and earns about $742 in travel rewards in the first year. Are you average? Didn’t think so. 

Rates & fees for the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card

Drumroll, please. The interest rate on the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card is a jaw-dropping 9.99% for purchases and cash advances. And no, this is not an introductory offer. It’s the actual rate on the card and it doesn’t expire. A single-digit interest rate on a premium rewards card is basically a unicorn, and definitely something to write home about. 

The annual fee, on the other hand, is quite pricey at $399 a year. Unfortunately, the fee is not waived in the first year, which is a common welcome bonus on many other cards. Having said that, you get about $2,300 worth of welcome bonuses and features in the first year, which still puts you $1,900 ahead of the game. Cha-Ching! 

No foreign transaction fees! 

Scotia is the only big bank in Canada right now to offer a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. You can save money right now when you shop online, and later when you finally get to high-tail it out of Canada on that hot holiday. 

Most credit card companies charge an additional fee anywhere from 2.5% to 3% when you purchase something in a foreign currency. That’s a powerful feature when you’re travelling abroad, but it’s useful at home too if you like to shop online with retailers that aren’t available in Canada.

Earning Scene+ Points with your Scotiabank Platinum American Express card

I have some bummer news, kind of. This card used to earn 4x the points on certain spending categories. But the features changed recently, and now you only earn 2 Scene+ points on all eligible purchases, no matter where you shop.

The good news? Changes to the Scene+ program make up for the downgrade. Now you can earn more points in more places than ever before. 

In August 2022, Scene+ points rolled out in major grocery stores across the country:

  • Sobeys
  • Safeway
  • Foodland
  • Foodland & Participating Co-ops
  • FreshCo
  • Chalo! FreshCo
  • Thrifty Foods
  • Participating IGAs
  • Rachelle Béry
  • Les Marchés Tradition
  • Voilà by Sobeys
  • Voilà by Safeway
  • Voilà par IGA
  • Needs Convenience (can earn points here but not redeem them here)

How about some more good news? Scene+ members will enjoy exclusive prices on select products at participating stores! You can earn Scene+ points at liquor stores and pharmacies too, like:

Liquor & Convenience

  • Sobeys Liquor 
  • Safeway Liquor 
  • Thrifty Foods Liquor
  • Needs

Double dip your Scene+ points

Now that Scene+ has partnered with select grocery stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores, you can beef up your points per $1 at even more places. Not to mention, groceries are essential purchases you have to make regularly because, you know, you need to eat. 

Show your Scene+ membership card and pay with your Scotiabank Platinum American Express card to earn even more points. Remember, you earn 2 Scene+ points per $1 on eligible credit card purchases. Present your Scene+ membership card or number at the following partners to earn additional points: 

Cineplex & Cineplex Store: 1 Scene+ point per $5 spent on movies and eligible entertainment purchases 

Entertainment: 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent at The Rec Room and Playdium

Scene+ Travel, powered by Expedia:  3 Scene+ points per $1 spent on hotels and car rentals 

Scene+ Rakuten: earn up to 20% cash back when you make eligible purchases with select retailers when you shop through the dedicated Scene+Rakuten portal

Restaurants: 1 Scene+ point per $3 spent at Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Bier Markt, and Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse. 

Grocery, Pharmacy, and Liquor stores: TBD! We won’t know how many additional Scene+ points you get until the program goes live in August 2022. 

Build your dream team with additional cards

You can add authorized users to your Scotiabank Platinum American Express account, and each additional card costs $99. The benefit to this is that each supplementary card on your account earns Scene+ points at the same rate you do. Consider adding a partner or close friend to your account to rack up even more points on their purchases. Bonus, additional cardholders also get access to the same travel and purchase insurance coverages. 

Be careful though. You are legally responsible for paying the balance on your account, which includes any purchases they make. Consider the potential impact on your credit score, and make sure you set clear boundaries and expectations. When done correctly with the right people, you can really pump up your points. 

Redeeming Scene+ Points

While the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card itself is great for travel lovers, the Scene+ is a great loyalty program for pretty much everyone. Other travel points reserve the highest redemption value on specific travel purchases, but Scene+ points hold a relatively steady value across several redemption categories. 

You will get the best redemption value on movie tickets at Cineplex theatres, and only a slightly lower redemption value on other Cineplex products, travel, and restaurants. 


The easiest way to redeem points for travel is through the Scene+Travel portal where you can pay directly with points. But you can redeem your points anytime, with any provider, and the redemption value stays the same! 


You can redeem your points at partner restaurants like Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Bier Markt, Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse. Every 500 points knock $5 off your bill. 

Cards & gadgets 

You can redeem points for prepaid cards and gift cards from over 60 popular brands and retailers. You can also redeem points for Apple and Best Buy purchases when you shop on their dedicated portals through your Scene+ member account. 

Credit on your account

You can redeem points for a cash deposit to your Scotiabank account or a statement credit on your Scotiabank credit card. Keep in mind that redeeming your points this way gets you the lowest redemption value. 

First-class travel perks

Ok, ok. Now to the travel perks because the Scotiabank Platinum American Express is a travel card after all! Besides earning and redeeming points on flexible travel from any provider with no restrictions, here’s what else you get: 

  • VIP Airport Lounges: access to over 1,200 VIP airport lounges around the world. You get a complimentary Priority Pass membership plus 10 free lounge passes per year. 
  • Premium Concierge Service: access to a full-service modern-day butler at your beckoning call 24/7 to plan your next trip, find show tickets, book reservations, and more. 
  • Hertz #1 Gold Club: get a complimentary Gold status membership for faster service and less paperwork. 

Travel insurance on your Scotiabank Platinum American Express card

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express packs a punch with 7 different travel insurance benefits. Conditions and restrictions apply, so make sure you read the fine print. 

  • Emergency Medical Insurance: up to $2 million in coverage for emergency medical care.  
  • Travel Accident Insurance: up to $500,000 in coverage for death or dismemberment. 
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: up to $2,500 per person for a cancelled trip, and up to $5,000 per person for an interruption. 
  • Flight Delay Insurance: up to $1,000 per person. 
  • Delayed & Lost Baggage Insurance: up to $1,000 in coverage. 
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance: up to $1,000 in coverage. 
  • Rental Car Collision/Damage Insurance: liability coverage if your rental vehicle is lost or stolen. 

Save money with purchase insurance too! 

When I bought a new laptop, the store tried hard to sell me their extended warranty protection. For an extra $220?! Thank you, next. 

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express offers some of the best purchase protection on the market compared to most cards. You get three types of protection with above-average coverage. 

  • Purchase Security: most items purchased with your card are insured against theft, loss, or damage for up to 120 days from the date of purchase. 
  • Extended Warranty: doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for up to two years on most items purchased with the card.
  • Mobile Device Insurance: purchase a qualified smart device with this card and get up to $1,000 in coverage against accidental damage, loss, theft, or mechanical failure. If you finance the device through a plan, you can still qualify for coverage if you charge every bill payment for that device to your card. 

Exclusive Amex Platinum perks

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express is a prestigious card with luxury perks not available to non-platinum cardholders. Platinum Amex card features give you exclusive access to things like red carpet events, New York Fashion Week, private dinners with celebrity chefs and more. American Express Invites offer something for everyone, like:  

  • The foodies get access to five-star culinary events with world-renowned chefs, private dinners, cooking classes, and even culinary apprenticeships.
  • The wine snobs get access to exclusive tours with top sommeliers, private wine tasting trips, premium reservations, and even sommelier apprenticeships.
  • The fashionistas get to meet the hottest designers for private styling sessions. 
  • The entertainment buffs get exclusive access to things like concerts, festivals, theatre packages, advanced screening tickets, and more. 

If the red-carpet treatment weren’t enough, The Scotiabank Platinum American Express card also gives you access to certain Amex perks too. American Express cardholders get advanced notice and exclusive offers for things like: 

  • Concerts 
  • The theatre
  • Dinning 
  • Fashion 
  • Movies & film 

Travelling abroad not in the cards right now? 

You can still reap all the benefits of travel insurance like trip cancellation/interruption, hotel/motel burglary, lost/stolen/delayed baggage, and more. You won’t need the travel medical insurance if you stay in Canada, but that’s only 1 of 7 other insurances you can benefit from when you travel domestically.

Have you tried planning an amazing staycation like exploring a neighbouring city or another Canadian province? Fogo Island in Newfoundland has an incredible luxury hotel that few people know about. Why not discover Canada’s best-kept secret, sleep under the Northern Lights, and take a helicopter hike? 

What about learning to surf this summer? If you instantly thought of California, you’ll be happy to know Canada has great surfing too. Tofino, in British Columbia, is hands down the premier surfing destination in Canada. You can even surf there year-round, in a thick wet suit obviously. 

Or stay close to home and rediscover your own city in a luxury car rental. Then relax in a local 5-star hotel. The sky’s the limit, even without a plane ticket. 

Who is this card for?

This card is tailor-made for frequent fliers who want red-carpet treatment. But let’s face the facts, inflation just kicked your travel plans to the curb and laughed about it. Sandy beaches take a far backseat to gas, groceries, and interest rate hikes. If you have champagne taste on a boxed-wine budget, you’re probably wondering if a premium travel card is even worth it right now.

Spoiler alert! It is. The  Scotiabank Platinum American Express is perfect for anyone who prefers the finer things in life, including the freedom to live it on their own terms. It’s a powerful luxury travel card that delivers above-average travel insurance coverage, no foreign transaction fees and access to luxury airport lounges, to name just a few perks.  

Travelling might not be fiscally responsible right now, but you can still squeeze incredible value from this card without a boarding pass. Take full advantage of those exclusive American Express Invites, and consider exploring Canada instead of Cancun this year. 

The Scene+ Program is incredibly flexible with great value on the simple joys in life like date night at the movies, dinner with friends, and free stuff from your favourite brands. But that’s not all you get. The Amex Platinum VIP perks are a goldmine too.  

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express card gives you a crazy-low interest rate, a flexible points program with no spending limits, and top-shelf features not available on lower-level cards. Unlimited points that you can redeem however you want, plus access to luxury “insiders only” perks make this card well worth the fee. You can live the high life at cruising altitude and at sea level, whether you globetrot or not. 

Who is eligible for the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card?

Eligibility for this card is a bit of a mixed bag. American Express Cards already have a reputation for being harder to get. A prestigious card like the Scotiabank Platinum American Express ups the ante. There is no minimum annual income requirement, which means you can qualify if you don’t have any income. That’s great news for homemakers or anyone with income that is hard to verify. 

On the downside, you will likely need to have a higher-than-average credit score to qualify for this premium rewards card. We can’t say for sure what credit score you need, but Amex typically likes you to “demonstrate a higher level of creditworthiness,” you will likely need a credit score in the 700s or higher. However, approval is never guaranteed. You will need to consent to a hard credit check and approval is based on your unique financial situation. 

Purchase Interest Rate5/5
Cash advance interest rate5/5
Balance transfern/a
Annual Fee4/5
Cash backn/a
Welcome Offer4/5
Purchase insurance5/5
Extended warranty insurance5/5
Mobile device insurance5/5
Travel insurance5/5
Emergency medical travel insurance5/5
Other Perks5/5
Overall rating4.8/5
Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.