As part of a sponsorship agreement with Scotiabank, the company wanted me to apply for their new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, try it out and report back to them and my readers about my experience.
In month one, I wrote about applying online for the travel card, the process was easy – see my first post to find out more about the many travel benefits I liked and why I decided to try it out as my very first travel rewards credit card. In month two, my Scotiabank post was all about meaningful travel, something Scotiabank believes in, so much so they made it a central part of their advertising campaign. I also wrote about my own meaningful travel experience with my children, taking them to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando and watching the literary world of JK Rowling’s book unfold before their eyes – it was magical.
In my third and last post for Scotiabank, I’ll explore which benefits I valued most and provide an overview of my experience of using the card as my primary travel tool during the past three months.
Try it, you’ll like it, honest. How many times have you heard this phrase, and how often has it turned out to be true? Scotiabank didn’t say these exact words to me, but when they asked me to try out their new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, they seemed pretty confident the card was a winner.
Once I received the card, I put it through a very thorough three-month test in which I did more than my fair share of travelling and shopping. The card started its trial workout when I took it along on my Christmas holidays in Florida, next up was Asia in January, and finally Arkansas in February. At the end of the trial period I have to admit; I do like the card, I like it a lot.
Looking back over the last three months, I’ve identified 5 key benefits that I feel make the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card a competitive contender in the travel rewards credit card space:
1. Rewards you for what you do. Tim Winship, publisher of FrequentFlier.com, advises travellers thinking about acquiring a travel rewards card to ask themselves, “Am I a frequent flyer or frequent buyer?” Frequent fliers benefit most when it comes to airline loyalty cards, if you don’t travel frequently it will take a LONG time before you can access their first tier of rewards. Blackout dates and yearly expiration dates of points are also a big drawback for the average consumer.
If you’re not a frequent traveller or you don’t have a corporate expense account paying your way, you may think you’ll never rack up enough miles to cash in on reward airline tickets. With the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, that’s not so! You don’t have to travel frequently to earn miles with the Scotiabank Gold AmEx Card, you can earn accelerated rewards points on everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, dining and entertainment (with the added bonus of no expiration or blackout dates on points). For example, each week I purchase my groceries from Longos, pay for it on my Scotiabank Gold AmEx card and rack up 4x the rewards points. It’s enough to make me smile when my teenage son and husband raid the fridge at night.
2. Travel Insurance. I travel often and I’ve come to despise purchasing travel insurance. I used to wait until the very last moment before I’d pony up to the computer and fill in the long and necessary fields in my insurance application. No more. With the exceptional insurance coverage provided automatically by my new travel reward card, I save time and money. Other insurance perks that make me a very happy girl includes: trip interruption insurance, hotel burglary insurance and car rental insurance. I’ve looked at other competitive cards and none have the amount of coverage offered by the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.
3. Variety of rewards. This card lets you redeem points for more than just airfare. Cash in and get the iPad you’ve had your eye on or upgrade to one of those fancy digital cameras. Potential members with less interest in holidays far from home will be happy to learn that rewards points can be redeemed on shows or restaurant meals.
4. Access to travel privileges. I love upgrades and discounts when I travel so this perk is something I intend to exploit to the fullest degree. Here are a few of the available travel privileges for the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card:
Luxury Hotel Privileges – Enjoy a free amenity, complimentary breakfast and, where available, late checkout privileges.
Global Hotel Discount – Receive up to 20% off the lowest published offer and enjoy special amenities at over 18,000 hotels worldwide.
Cruise – Enjoy special fares and amenities. This may include shipboard credits; dollars off; upgrades; shore excursions; specialty dining and reduced deposits.
5. Accurate Anti-Fraud Protection. I understand banks need to be vigilant when it comes to credit card fraud. That’s why I’m always careful to notify them before I travel because the last thing I want to deal while away is a suspended debit or credit card. For my trip to Asia, I brought along my Scotiabank Gold AmEx Card and as I usually do, told them about my travel plans before departure. Throughout my travels to Bangkok, my card was working and accessible – I was impressed because this isn’t always the experience I’ve had with other cards. I appreciate when a company takes the time to accurately assess what is and isn’t fraud before hitting the big red ‘suspend’ button on their computer – this card really saved my bacon in Asia.
6. Service when you need it. Another big plus, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card offers a 24-hour customer service line for booking travel. I know, I said a list of five benefits, but I thought I needed to throw this one in, because in this era of ever increasing flight cancellations and delays, having a 24/7 travel agency just a call away is a pretty valuable asset.
I’m keeping the card and will be using it as my primary travel rewards credit card alongside my airline cards. I believe my new credit card will be a valuable tool I can use to maximize my travel budget. Thanks Scotiabank for suggesting I test-drive your new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Scotiabank or American Express.