Scotiabank Debit Card Review
The Scotiabank Debit Card offers a combination of benefits to enrich your banking experience. These include card features such as online payments, zero-liability protection and a return on points with some debit cards. You'll automatically be registered for a Scotiabank Debit Card when you sign up for a chequing or savings account, and you can start spending money online as soon as you pick up your card at a branch or get it in the mail.
- Think about this card if you're looking to earn rewards or you'd like to be able to make payments online without a credit card.
- Choose something else if you want access to direct credit or you would rather shop with a Debit Mastercard (some vendors, such as Costco, don't accept Visa).
The Scotiabank Debit Card is an everyday debit card that lets you enjoy a number of unique credit card features from Visa. While it’s not a credit card, you can use this card to shop online. It will also let you earn points wherever you shop if you register for a SCENE or Scotiabank Passport Debit Card. You’ll be signed up for a Scotiabank Debit Card automatically when you open most Scotiabank chequing or savings accounts.
Types of Scotiabank debit cards
There are three main types of Scotiabank debit cards to choose from, depending on what types of rewards you want to collect.
- The ScotiaCard with Visa Debit. It seems that the ScotiaCard with Visa Debit is the only debit card that doesn’t offer a return on rewards. This is likely the default card that gets issued unless you specifically request a SCENE or Passport Debit Card.
- The SCENE ScotiaCard with Visa Debit. Earn 1 SCENE point for every $5 you spend on debit purchases. These points can be redeemed for movies and other rewards with participating Cineplex theatres.
- The Passport ScotiaCard with Visa Debit. Earn 1 SCENE point for every $5 you spend on debit purchases. These points can then be redeemed for merchandise, travel and other rewards at scotiarewards.com.
If you’re in the market for a debit card that lets you earn points and shop online, you may want to sign up for a Scotiabank Debit Card.
- Tap payments. Pay for purchases on the go when you tap your card at Interac Flash-enabled terminals.
- Shop internationally. Use your Scotiabank Debit Card to make purchases online or in-person when you shop or travel in the USA or internationally.
- Pay for recurring bills. Sign up for recurring bill payments for your Internet, phone, streaming services and more using your Scotiabank Debit Card.
- Free Scotiabank ATM withdrawals. Use your Scotiabank Debit Card to withdraw cash at Scotiabank ATMs for free (or pay a fee at non-Scotiabank and international ATMs).
- Earn rewards. Earn points that you can put towards travel and entertainment for making everyday purchases with your Scotiabank SCENE or Scotiabank Passport Debit Card.
Where can I use my Scotiabank Debit Card online?
Visa Debit allows you to pay for purchases online directly from your bank account. You can also use your Scotiabank Debit Card overseas to shop with millions of merchants in over 200 countries almost everywhere that Visa is accepted. This sets Scotiabank Debit Visa Cards apart from Debit Mastercards, which are limited to a short list of online Canadian providers by comparison.
Read our review on the BMO Debit Mastercard.
- Fee-free transactions. You won’t pay fees on your Scotiabank Debit Card long as you avoid exceeding the transaction limits of your banking plan.
- Easy mobile banking. Manage your money on the go with Scotiabank’s simple online and mobile banking platform.
- Overdraft protection available. Protect yourself from having to pay fees for non-sufficient funds (NSF) with overdraft protection on your Scotiabank Debit Card.
- Zero-liability coverage. Rest easy knowing you’re protected against fraudulent charges on your Scotiabank Debit Card with zero-liability coverage.
- Can be linked to mobile wallet. Link your Scotiabank Debit Card to your mobile phone using Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.
What to watch out for
- Transaction limits. You may be required to adhere to daily spending limits.
- Foreign transaction fees. You’ll pay an additional fee of 2.5% in foreign transaction fees on any amount of money you spend overseas.
- No access to credit. This card is strictly a debit card and won’t give you access to any balance that you don’t already have in your bank account.
- No return on points for some cards. You won’t earn points on your Scotiabank Debit Card unless you sign up for the Scotiabank SCENE or the Scotiabank Passport Debit Card.
What should I know before I apply?
You won’t need to apply for a Scotiabank Debit Card because you’ll get one automatically if you meet the following criteria:
- You’re a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or temporary resident of Canada.
- You’re applying for a Scotiabank chequing or savings account that qualifies for this card.
Required documents and information
To sign up for an eligible Scotiabank account, you’ll need to provide:
- Your name, residential status and contact information
- Your Social Insurance Number and date of birth
- Your email address and phone number
How to apply
- Visit Scotiabank’s main page to apply for the chequing or savings account of your choice.
- Complete the application, which includes providing your name, email address, Social Insurance Number and birth date.
- Review and submit your application.
- Your Scotiabank Debit Visa should come automatically included with your account once you sign up, though you may need to specify if you want a regular ScotiaCard, Scotiabank SCENE Card or a Scotiabank Passport Debit Card.
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