In January of 2020 Scotiabank revealed they were going to change the points requirements for some of their non-travel redemption options. You can read our original post about the changes here. However it didn’t take long for Scotia to reverse course because of the Coronavirus pandemic causing a shift in how Canadians were using their points. Only about a week after most of the country went into lockdown they announced that they were postponing the redemption option changes due to the uncertain times ahead. As travel was curtailed and financial woes hit I’m sure cardholders were happy to redeem Points for Credit without the planned devaluation. Fast forward to now and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it appears Scotia will now go ahead with their changes as of April 1st.
The redemption options that are changing are Points for Credit (aka Cash Back) and the Apple and Best Buy catalog. There is no note of changes to gift card redemption options as was seen in the changes from last year so it is possible they aren’t changing those. If you live in Quebec these changes do not apply to you!
As you can see on the lower level, that is up to 11,000 points there are
no changes. But it gets worse from there on in. The $100 redemption Pay
with Points level is going up by about 3.57%, $150 level is up about
2.38% but now the best levels of $300 and $500 are going up by a
whopping 14.66% and 14.4% respectively! Those are some big jumps! This changes the effective top end
cash back rate for one Scotia Rewards points from 0.8 cents to just
under 0.7 cents. You may say well point one of a cent isn’t much but in
reality but reaching that $500 level now takes anywhere from $1,800 to
$18,000 in more spending depending on which Scotia credit card you have.
If we look at the top earning Scotia Rewards Card, the Scotiabank Gold
American Express Card which earns as much as 5x points per dollar its
top end cash back return moves from 4% to just under 3.5%. In the big
picture this is still a really good cash back rate and it is essentially
equivalent to the American Express Cobalt Card and makes for a good use
of your points if the majority of them were earned at the 5x rate. Still
it is a hard pill to swallow to lose that half a percent.
If you want to redeem points for Scotia’s Apple or Best Buy catalogues
you are going to see those redemption rates increase by 14% from 127
points for $1 to 145 for $1.
At least if you have one or more of these redemptions on your radar you do have some time to redeem at the old rates. (ie rack up more points to get to those $100 to $500 levels before April)
These changes affect the following Scotiabank credit cards:
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
- Scotia Gold American Express Card
- Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card
- Scotiabank American Express Card
- ScotiaGold Passport VISA card
- Scotiabank Rewards Visa* Card
Image via Scotiabank