The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite 4% Cash Back Credit Card

Last updated: November 2, 2018

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite 4% Cash Back Credit Card

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite has been a favorite among cash back loving Canadians for a while now, but there were two big things stopping many of us, including myself, from applying for one.

  • There are categories for earning cash back, as opposed to a flat rate across all spending.
  • No sign up bonus for applying, so why switch?

However, with the recent MBNA de-valuations, now might be the perfect time for the switch.

Best of all, Scotiabank will waive the annual fee for the first year, allowing you to try out the card for free. And if you don’t think it’s for you, you can cancel it without paying an annual fee. Easy.

Plus, you’ll earn 10% cash back on all your purchases, for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 spent), giving you some extra cash back for signing up.

Why It’s The Best Cash Back Card In Canada

It’s all in the numbers.

This card from Scotia will give you:

  • 4% cash back on gas and groceries,
  • 2% cash back on drug store purchases and recurring bills, and
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases with no spending caps or limits on that 1% at all.

There are no tiers or other nonsense to deal with either.

This card is one of the few cards that I know of to offer any sort of bonus for recurring bill payments like:

  • phone bills,
  • utility bills,
  • insurance,
  • gym membership,
  • subscriptions, etc.

...essentially anything that is charged to your card on a monthly basis.

This is a huge perk that not many other cards can compete with.

The two downsides

The only minor downside to the card is that there is a very reasonable spending cap of $25,000 on both the 4% and 2% bonus categories for a combined total of $50,000 in spending across those two categories.

I don’t know many people who spend $25,000 on gas and groceries and another $25,000 on drug store and recurring bill payments. If you do, you’re definitely not an average Canadian!

You may also be required to have a personal income of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000 to qualify for this card.

Get a credit card with top travel insurance.
Plus a travel bonus worth another $150.
Quantities are limited.

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite vs. MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard

To understand what this card could give you, we’ll look at a competitor that offers a gas and grocery bonus, a lower annual fee, and a sign up bonus.

The MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard offers:

  • 5% bonus on gas and groceries for 6 months (up to $500 spent in each category),
  • 2% cash back on gas and groceries after that (up to a combined monthly spend of $500), and
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

However, the big drawback with MBNA is that there is now a $500 per month spending cap on the gas and groceries bonus equating to only $6,000 in spending that qualifies for the 2% bonus per year, which is pretty low.

Plus, it has the same high income requirement as the above Scotia card.

Not only do you earn twice as much with the Momentum Visa at 4%, you can earn the full 4% on up to $25,000 in spending instead of $600 – quite a difference.

Even without the $99 annual fee being waived for the first year, it still could make more sense for most people to choose the Momentum over the Smart Cash.

* This offer is not available to Residents of Quebec. For Residents of Quebec, please click here.

Example Of The Cash Back Potential

When I do credit card comparisons, I like to run examples that involve $25,000 in annual spending applied to the card.

The reason I choose this number is because I feel that it is a number that most middle income families in Canada can easily achieve if they funnel all their purchases and expenses through the card. It isn’t that hard when you use one primary credit card for everything you buy.

The other parameters I usually apply are 30% of the annual spending allocated to the gas and grocery bonus category and, for this card, I’m going to say that 20% of the spending would go towards recurring bills and drug store purchases. Those percentages could in reality be even higher, but I think they are fair enough estimates to give a decent picture of cash back earning potential.

To account the first year bonuses – sign up bonuses and the waiving of the annual fee – we will do a year one and year two table.

Year 1

Spending Category Annual Spending Scotia Momentum Visa Cash Back MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard Cash Back
Gas & Groceries $7,500 $300 $225
Drugstore & Recurring Bills $5,000 $100 $50
Other Purchases $12,500 $125 $125
Annual Fee   ($0) ($39)
Welcome Bonus   $158 $683
Total $25,000 $525 $361

Year 2

Spending Category Annual Spending Scotia Momentum Visa Cash Back MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard Cash Back
Gas & Groceries $7,500 $300 $135
Drugstore & Recurring Bills $5,000 $100 $50
Other Purchases $12,500 $125 $125
Annual Fee   ($99) ($39)
Total $25,000 $426 $271
Combined Year 1 & 2 $50,000 $1,109 $632

So you can see the Momentum is the clear winner with $477 more cash back earned over the first two years.

The welcome bonus for the MBNA only works out to $90 of bonus rewards when you maximize the 5% earnings – that's less than getting the annual fee of the Scotia card waived.

Also, $7,500 isn’t actually that much in terms of gas and groceries. It equates to about $310 per month if it is split evenly across both gas and groceries. Many families would spend much more than that in both categories, so the cash back numbers get significantly better for the Momentum Visa if that is the case.

A Strategy to Consider

As we have seen this card has great value. To add even more cash back to your wallet, consider adding the best no fee cash back card – the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard. This card will give you another 2% cash back, in the two categories of your choice, such as:

  • furniture stores
  • restaurants,
  • hotels,
  • home improvement stores,
  • entertainment, and
  • public transportation and parking.

Note: This card does offer gas, grocery, bills and drug store multipliers, but you won’t need those if you're pairing with the Scotia card.

Bonus: If you deposit your cash back earnings into a Tangerine savings or chequing account you’ll get access to a third category, giving you the potential to have seven categories where you are earning lots of bonus cash back.

What If I Don’t Meet the Minimum Income Requirements?

Some people see the minimum income requirements of an Infinite card and are turned off from applying because of that.

These requirements are more guidelines than hard lines in the sand, from my experience. In previous years, I’ve actually applied and been approved for several cards where I didn’t meet the minimum income requirements.

They look at more than your income when determining if they will approve you and as long as your credit rating is good and you have a decent income, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Be sure to include any and all income from all sources when you fill out the income field. You usually are encouraged to specify your entire household income, not just your personal income as well.

Final Word

As we have seen, the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite this card clearly has a lot of value for the average Canadian family.

With high earnings on typical spending items like gas, groceries and bill payments, you’ll be able to rack up the cash back in no time.

Pair it with a card like the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard, and you’ll realize even greater earnings.

...And who doesn’t like earning lots of rewards?

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links. We're letting you know because it's the right thing to do. Here’s a more detailed disclosure on how HTS makes money.

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Jennifer's picture
To sweeten this deal even more, download the Snap Saves digital coupon app and get $50 from them when you are approved for the Scotiabank card.
May 22, 2014 @ 8:28 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Actually, if you use Snap Saves or any 3rd party website or app other than RateSupermarket in conjunction with this promotion, you will invalidate your ability to get the $100 gift card so I would highly recommend NOT doing that. These types of 3rd party promotions never stack when it comes to credit cards and you'll just end up frustrating yourself because you missed out on the better deal.
May 22, 2014 @ 9:12 am
John's picture
Just a couple of quick questions: 1) Does Scotiabank/Visa mail you a cheque when you reach a certain threshold or annually? Do they mail a cheque or apply it against your balance? 2) If my wife signs up for a secondary card, will we both have to pay $99 after year 1? Would we both be eligible for the $100 gift card? Thanks in advance. I'm sure I could find the answers myself, but I thought you seem quite knowledgeable on the matter :)
May 22, 2014 @ 11:04 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Although I don't have the card myself, from my understanding and reading these are the answers to your questions: 1) The cash back is applied as a statement credit once per year in November. 2) It looks like that both the $99 annual fee and the $30 annual fee for a secondary card holder are waived for the first year after reading the terms. However, only the primary card holder will be eligible for the $100 gift card. So for year 2, you would pay $99 for yourself and $30 for her. Secondary card holders really have no bearing or responsibility for the account. It isn't a true "joint account" like you would with a chequing account. You are just authorizing another person to use your card essentially by giving them their own card linked to your account.
† The introductory annual fee waiver only applies to the initial annual fee for the primary and additional cards. The Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card's regular interest rate is 19.99% for purchases. For cash advances, balance transfers and Scotia Credit Card Cheques the interest rate is 21.99%. The regular annual fee is $99 per year for the first card issued on the account; additional cards are charged an annual fee of $30 per year per card when issued, regardless of card activation and will be billed to your first statement and once a year thereafter. Offer applies to new accounts opened by June 30, 2014. Any additional cards must be issued by June 30, 2014, to qualify for the offer. Rates and fees are as of September 1, 2013 and are subject to change without notice
So if you want the free $30 secondary card for the first year, make sure you request it immediately because it looks like if you apply for an additional card later, the $30 fee will apply at that time.
May 22, 2014 @ 11:57 am
John's picture
Thanks for the quick reply.
May 22, 2014 @ 1:10 pm
Peter's picture
Can I cancel the card after the first year, so as to avoid the annual fee in year #2?
May 22, 2014 @ 2:12 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Yes, you can certainly do that if you don't think you are getting enough value from it to justify keeping it for the second year while paying the annual fee.
May 22, 2014 @ 4:32 pm
Peter's picture
I guess my question is more ... how hard is it to cancel? Is there a cancellation fee? Do I have to do it with 30 day advance? And also, when do you get your cash-back exactly? is the cash-back given back to you as a credit each month? Or do they send you a cheque? Or do they only wait till after a year before giving you back the cash-back bonus (ie: like the TD gold elite).
May 22, 2014 @ 5:35 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
I'm not aware of any credit cards that have a cancellation fee. You are fine to cancel any time within the first year and you will not be charged. They award cash back once per year on your November statement. If you do cancel before November I imagine they will credit you whatever you've earned up to that point somehow. I can't imagine they could get away with not paying a large cash reward the customer is due. I will try and call them to confirm at some point though. A credit balance is usually paid by cheque on a closed account.
May 22, 2014 @ 8:52 pm
Dave's picture
It seems that utility companies, telephone and insurance companies are not going to accept a credit card for pre-authorized payment. To the contrary it is stated above that they do. The text should be corrected.
May 22, 2014 @ 2:59 pm
Peter's picture
I currently pay my cell phone and my Rogers bundle package via my credit card through pre-authorized payment. But I think you are right about utilities, as Enbridge Gas won't let me pay by credit card.
May 22, 2014 @ 3:14 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
It depends on the company - some do and some don't. If you can get them to accept credit card as payment, then it should qualify. Thanks for pointing that out though.
May 22, 2014 @ 4:31 pm
Samatha's picture
Actually if one cancels the scotia momentum CC before year 2 kicks in, fine print states that the customer forfeits all cash rewards! READ THE FINE PRINT.
May 23, 2014 @ 8:08 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Wow, I typically do read the fine print, but I didn't get to that part on this card. That's pretty harsh on their part! I guess this is only really good for those who want to keep it for the longer term then. Still worth it for sure. One thing they probably will do for you is prorate the annual fee if you want to keep the card until you receive your cash payment and then cancel part way into the first year with the $99 annual fee. They don't make the full terms and conditions easily visible on the site either. I had to Google to find them. Did you see a link to the PDF anywhere on the application page? Here's the relevant section.
Cash back will not be posted on Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite accounts that are not in good standing when card purchases are made or when a monthly statement is issued. Cash back will not be awarded for a Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite account that is not in good standing, or is not open, when the November statement is issued. If a Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite account is closed at any time prior to the November statement, for any reason, all cash back earned to that time will be forfeited. Each year on the billing period closing date that occurs in November, we will review the status of your account. Your account will not be considered in good standing to qualify for cash back if (i) you have a minimum payment that remains unpaid for two (2) or more billing periods or (ii) your account is suspended, cancelled or closed. Cash back is based on the Canadian dollar amount of Net Purchases and will be calculated and credited in Canadian dollars. A fraction of a cent will be rounded up to the nearest cent.
May 23, 2014 @ 9:38 am
daun0's picture
Stephen, Would recurring bills include bills that are paid monthly that aren't utilities? For example...We have seasons tickets (10k/annum) and pay over 10 months per year (not 12) with our Capitol....any guesses? That might be the tipping point for us...also do you have a referral link I can use, might as well share with you!
May 25, 2014 @ 2:11 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Everything I'm reading in the terms and conditions indicates the answer to your question is probably yes but I can't say for 100%. This is the relevant section from the fine print:
Recurring payments are typically telecommunication, insurance, membership, subscriptions etc. purchases. Not all merchants offer recurring payments. (Please check with your merchant to see if they offer recurring payments on VISA cards.)
I do have a partnership with RateSupermarket so using the links above will help support the site. I try only to write posts like this one when very good deals come along and this is the best one ever for this card so I thought it deserved an article seeing as I've been meaning to write about the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite for years now. EDIT: Reading around in some forum threads it looks like the recurring payments can be hit an miss. The vendor has to use a special recurring payment code for it to qualify. Many of them do use the proper code, but some also unfortunately don't. There would be no way for me to tell if your specific vendor bills using the proper code without testing it out directly. Calling them could help, but finding someone who knows the answer to that might be difficult.
May 26, 2014 @ 11:12 am
Dave's picture
Is the $100 gift card deal still active
August 15, 2014 @ 7:27 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Yes, it is still active actually. I thought it would be over by now but it is still ongoing.
August 16, 2014 @ 3:01 am
Douglas's picture
I wanted to get the card with 2 percent cash back its almost the same but i don't know if i can purchase online with it and Scotia bank doesn't have an faq can someone please amswer my question thanks in advance
August 27, 2014 @ 2:32 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
You can purchase online with just about any credit card so I wouldn't worry about that.
August 28, 2014 @ 10:17 am
Owen's picture
Hey Stephen, I signed up in August but didn't receive the card till recently, can you help me with the GC.
September 12, 2014 @ 5:13 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
I sent a response to you by email Owen. We'll get it sorted out!
September 12, 2014 @ 8:17 pm
Guillaume's picture
Can someone confirm that, if I cancel my card after redeeming my cash back on my November 2014 statement, I won't have to pay the 99$ annual fee? I have this card since March 2014. Thanks
September 23, 2014 @ 3:23 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
The first year is free, so no you wont have to pay.
September 23, 2014 @ 10:28 pm
colin's picture
just signed up using the link. didn't say whether the $100 gift card was expired or not. should i be receiving it?
September 26, 2014 @ 12:44 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Unfortunately, no. The deal expired at the end of August so I changed the link to point directly the application for the card.You'll still get your first year's annual fee waived though and it's still a great choice for a credit card. You'll earn $100+ in cash back in no time.
September 26, 2014 @ 2:06 pm
Nicko Sistnai
Nicko Sistnai's picture

My problem is that I do a lot of grocery shopping at Costco, and even get my gas from Costco. Costco in Canada currently only accepts MasterCard. I so wish this was a MasterCard rather than a Visa.

November 24, 2015 @ 3:39 pm
MK's picture

As a (displeased)Costco Capital One MC holder,I've been looking at an alternative card to earn cash back Thanks to Stehpen W's site,I now have the Momentum Infinite card. Also,I like the travel medical(15 day coverage),and car rental insurance benefit. My feedback's about trying to maximize a cash rebate from my M.C.and Visa ,I will stick to the M.C.'s highest return:gas(Costco), and restaurants. Everthing else,including non Costco gas at 4% return will be via the Infinite.This includes buying Costco cash cards to buy stuff that doesn't need an extended warranty,or purchase protection since it's only a 1% cash back anyways for items outside the higher return category for both cards.I can use the Momentum to purchase Canada Costco cash card to use in the U.S.where the (2.5%)echange fee's waived. Still getting my 1% ,without losing to that exchange fee,just cureency if I used the Momentum directly stateside at Costco. Big ticket items,I'll use the Momentum at Costco U.S.warehouses,where our weak dollar doesn't negatively impact where better pricing applies. Example,buying a SUHDTV while stateside,and still saving ~$400 post exchange, and related fees!

March 15, 2016 @ 3:36 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

So glad you've found the Momentum Visa a good card for your needs. Sounds like you are going a long way to maximize it along with your other card. Good job figuring out how to save the exchange fee at Costco stores and take advantage of better pricing cross border that is still advantageous with the terrible Canadian Dollar.

March 18, 2016 @ 3:32 pm
JB's picture

From the Promo Page "The Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite Card is a premium credit card. This means it can impose higher card acceptance costs on merchants."

I don't mind if it's Walmart I'd be using it at (and you can bet they bargained the fee down) but if it's my own local small business I don't want to see leaving the neighbourhood because credit cards are taking half the profits, count me out. If you're getting 4% the merchant has to pay 8%. I am not in business, only a retired guy previously self-employed.

Every time I sign in to Scotia itrade I learn I am "preapproved" for this card but I will continue to use Petropoints Mastercard for $$ off gas and PC Mastercard for $$ off groceries, both no fee.

March 25, 2016 @ 6:10 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

My understanding is that fees never go much higher than 3%. I believe there are several terminals you can get that get fees closer to 2% even for premium cards. I don't have all the facts here, but I'm 99.9% sure that fees will never get anywhere close to 8%.

Here is some sample pricing for you to look at:

March 25, 2016 @ 11:39 pm
Carol's picture

is the 4% cashback on grocery purchases on the total amount of your grocery bill? In other words, if I purchase a $50 Tim Horton's card at my grocery store, will this amount also qualify for cashback? If so, then it is worth buying gift cards at your grocery store. Thanks.

March 28, 2016 @ 10:51 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, that's a commonly used trick to get 4% cash back for purchases at lots of different stores Carol. Enjoy :)

March 28, 2016 @ 10:27 pm
D.'s picture

Any suggestions for a better credit card with good returns for gas for someone who does not have the required high salary needed to apply for example for the Scotia card? Am retired with very limited funds so need to try and get the most value and perks I can. Thanks for your time and any suggestions you have

May 13, 2016 @ 8:56 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Sure D., I wrote an article about that very subject here:

If you ever need to fly across the country, then the American Express Gold Rewards will give you a great return on your spending and has a 2x bonus on gas, grocery, drugstore, and travel purchases.

If you're looking for cash back, then check out my no fee cash back credit card rankings here:

May 16, 2016 @ 11:09 am
Daniel's picture

I have this card now, past the first year so I am paying the annual fee, and I am going to cancel it in Nov once I get my cash back. Biggest issues: $29 annually for an extra card; redemption limited to once a year; spend categories seem quite random (though this comes from Visa), some grocery stores are not grocery stores and vice versa. I am moving to AX Cobalt.

September 11, 2018 @ 3:05 pm
melanie's picture

Try giving them a call. I have had this card for many years and I call them up stating that that I am always in good standing when I see the Annual Fee and they always remove the main fee. All I pay is the 29$ for the extra card.

September 11, 2018 @ 3:24 pm
Shel's picture

Hi Stephen,
I took advantage of your advice and picked up an MBNA card back when you had highly recommended it. I received an $1100 credit towards my bill which was great! Now with its unfortunate degradation I’m considering a no-fee cashback card, the Tangerine looks to be the best out there to suit my spending. I called them today as it was rumoured they had a $50 sign up bonus last month and I wanted to see if that was still available. It’s not, however I did learn that if an existing card holder refers a new client both parties receive a $50 credit! Anyone out there care to refer me?

I’d also appreciate any further thoughts you might have on the best current no fee cash back cards.

THX and keep up the good work.

September 13, 2018 @ 11:54 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi Shel,

The Tangerine Mastercard is definitely one of the top no fee credit cards on the market now Shel, especially if you want flexible cash redemption options don't have an income higher than 80K.

For a brief period after they devalued it, it was no longer the top no fee cash back credit card, but it has risen to take that spot again recently. The Rogers World Elite is another great card, but the cash is very restrictive and it's harder to qualify for with an 80K minimum income.

The $50+ in bonuses is still available but it is only for their Chequing and Savings account, not the credit card. They never offer referral bonuses for that.

This article hasn't been updated recently, but it does have a current Orange Key you can use to get the $50 bonus:

September 14, 2018 @ 12:05 pm

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