Free $100 Gift Card Promo Is Back!

Scotiabank offers two of the richest rewards credit cards on the market and right now, for a limited time, the cards just got even richer. That’s because when you sign up and are approved for either the Scotia Momentum Infinite Visa card or the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card you’ll also get a free $100 gift card. Here’s how it works:

RCC100giftcard

Cash back

Scotia’s Momentum Visa Infinite card is the cash back rewards king in Canada that pays 4% cash back on grocery and gas purchases, plus 2% cash back on drug store spending and on your recurring bill payments. As an added bonus, the $99 annual fee is waived in the first year.

This is my go-to rewards card for any of the above-mentioned spending and it helped me cash in on $350 of the $1,555 in rewards that I earned last year.

Click here to get this offer now.

Travel rewards

If you prefer collecting travel rewards then consider the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, which pays 4x points on groceries, gas, dining, and entertainment spending. The $99 annual fee is also waived in the first year.

I signed up for this card last year on a similar promotion and earned $232 between bonuses and spending.

Scotia Rewards are easy to redeem – just book a flight, hotel, or rental car using your card, wait for the purchase to appear on your online statement, then apply your points to travel (minimum 5,000 points, or $50).

Click here to get this offer now.

$100 gift card

For the $100 gift card you can choose between Amazon, Starbucks, Future Shop, or the Ultimate Dining card – which includes Swiss Chalet, Montana’s, Kelsey’s, Harvey’s or Milestones restaurants.

This $100 gift card promotion doesn’t come around often, so if you’re in the market for a new rewards card – cash back or travel rewards – you should take advantage of this offer today.

How to get top value from your rewards program

I’ve tried to optimize my rewards so that I can extract the most value out of the programs I use every day. Each card in my wallet serves a specific purpose, whether it’s to help save money on my grocery and gas spending, or to build up travel rewards to fund my next vacation.

Rewards cards and loyalty programs make it easy for you to spend money and earn points – but what the brochure says you can earn and what you actually redeem can be miles apart. Let’s look at three examples:

The Shoppers Optimum Program is one of the top loyalty programs in Canada but its tiered redemption structure can make it difficult to maximize the value.

Since Shoppers Optimum points are redeemed on a sliding scale, the more points you accumulate, the greater the value.

  • 8,000 points = $10 off next purchase (1.25% rebate)
  • 22,000 points = $30 off next purchase (1.36% rebate)
  • 38,000 points = $60 off next purchase (1.58% rebate)
  • 50,000 points = $85 off next purchase (1.70% rebate)
  • 95,000 points = $170 off next purchase (1.79% rebate)

Research into consumer behaviour suggests that it’s nearly impossible to turn down an instant reward, so once a Shoppers Optimum member reaches the 8,000 point threshold, chances are good that he or she will cash in right away. That turns a potentially lucrative rewards program into just an okay rewards program.

I’ve written before about the Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard and its tiered redemption structure. It takes careful planning to get full value from this program, especially when redeeming for less than 60,000 points – or $600 in equivalent travel.

Miles Needed For Travel That Costs…
15,000 Up to $150
35,000 $150.01 – $350
60,000 $350.01 – $600
100x cost $600+

That’s because the travel you purchase must total exactly $150, or $350, or $600+ in order to get the full 2% return with the Aspire Travel Card. It’s not difficult to do – just ask the merchant to split your charges in two so that one equals the required amount – but it’s something you must always keep in mind with this program.

One of my favourite rewards cards is the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite – the top cash back card in Canada. It pays 4% cash back on your grocery and gas purchases. But hold on – how do you know which stores qualify for the higher cash back rebate?

Scotiabank published a chart listing popular retailers according to merchant code. Note that Wal-Mart does not qualify for the 4% cash back rebate.

A closer look at my statement last month revealed something odd with my gas purchases. A nearby Esso location qualified for 4% cash back when I paid at the pump with my Visa, but when a problem at the pump forced me to pay inside at the Mac’s Convenience Store the purchase showed up with just the standard 1% back.  Sneaky!

Final thoughts

It pays to examine the details of your rewards programs to make sure that you’re getting top value when it comes to earning and redeeming points.

Related: How I cashed in on credit card rewards this year

Pay careful attention to your statement and to how certain purchases get categorized. Resist the urge to claim an instant reward – particularly if there’s a more generous offer waiting down the road.