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In the Ring: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card vs. BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

July 20, 2021
12 mins
A man and a woman sit together with a laptop and a credit card

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card and the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* go head-to-head in a clash of Canada’s top cash back cards. Offering up to 10% cash back for the first three months and an exceptional rate for everyday purchases, it will be tough to choose just one winner.

We put them “in the ring” to battle it out, comparing all the must-know details. Click on the categories, like “Earn rates” or “Interest rates,” to skip to a specific round.

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Annual fee

$120

$120

Welcome bonus

  • Earn up to 10% cash back in the first three months. Plus, Scotiabank will waive the annual fee for the first year, including on additional cards. This offer expires on August 31, 2021.
  • Bonus: Get a $150 e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA upon approval until July 31, 2021.
  • Get up to 10% cash back in the first three months. Plus, BMO will waive the annual fee for the first year. This offer expires on October 31, 2021.

Earn rates

  • Earn 4% cash back on groceries, recurring bill payments, and subscription purchases.
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and daily transit.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% cash back on groceries.
  • Earn 4% cash back on ground transportation.
  • Earn 3% cash back on automobile and vehicle fuel purchases.
  • Earn 2% cash back on recurring bill payments.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Reward redemption

Cash back is awarded annually.

Redeem cash back at any time for as little as $1.

Perks

  • Visa Infinite Benefits
  • Concierge services
  • Airport perks
  • Concierge services
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance coverage

Get 10 types of travel insurance and shopping coverage.

Get 11 types of travel insurance and shopping coverage.

Recommended credit score

740+

740+

Interest rates

Purchases: 20.99%

Cash advances: 22.99%

Balance transfers: 22.99%

Purchases: 20.99%

Cash advances: 22.99%

Balance transfers: 22.99%

Income requirements

Personal: $60,000

Household: $100,000

Personal: $80,000

Household: $150,000

First-year value*

$867

$745

*The RATESDOTCA Best of Finance methodology assumes the cardholder spends an average of $2,000 a month on their card to determine the first-year value. The calculation includes all welcome bonuses and promotional offers at the time of publishing.

Annual fee

Winner: Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Annual fee

$120

$120

Annual fee for additional cardholders

$50

$50                 

While this category looks like a draw, one card does come out on top. The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card squeezes by the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* and takes the lead for the duration of its welcome bonus. Scotiabank waives the annual fee for the primary cardholder and additional cardholders for the first year, saving anyone with an authorized user at least an extra $50 depending on the number of supplementary cards.

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Welcome bonus

Winner: Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Welcome bonus

  • Earn 10% cash back for the first three months on up to $2,000 in total purchases. Scotiabank will also waive the annual fee for the primary and additional cardholders for the first year. This offer expires on August 31, 2021.
  • Plus, get a $150 e-Gift card from RATESDOTCA upon approval until July 31, 2021.
  • Earn 10% cash back in the first three months on up to $2,600 in total purchases and adhering to the spend cap in each category. Plus, BMO will waive the annual fee for the first year. This offer expires on October 31, 2021.

At first glance, the welcome bonus for these cards seems equally matched. Earn up to 10% cash back for the first three months. However, with the addition of a $150 e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA and some fine print, one card steals the show.

While the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* offers up to $260 cash back, it’s not as simple to reach the spending requirements for this welcome bonus. Applications received between May 3, 2021, and October 31, 2021, can earn 10% cash back for the first three months on up to $2,600 in total purchases, up to the qualified spend caps in each category.

Earn 10% cash back up to the following amounts in each category for the first three months:

  • $500 in grocery purchases
  • $300 in transit
  • $300 in gas and electric vehicle charging
  • $500 in recurring bill payments
  • $1,000 in other purchases

Considering these spending brackets, someone who doesn’t have a car or take transit, for example, may earn less.

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card is more straightforward. New customers can earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months, up to $2,000 in total purchases. While this bonus is $60 less than the BMO card, it may be more achievable. Not only that, the Scotiabank card provides an annual fee waiver for supplementary cards for the first year, and that’s not all. Get a $150 e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA upon approval until July 31, 2021.

Needless to say, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card is the winner here.

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Earn rates

Winner: BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Earn rates (rewards)

  • Earn 4% cash back on grocery purchases and recurring bill payments, up to $25,000 spent annually.
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and daily transit purchases, up to $25,000 spent annually.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% cash back on your first $500 in grocery purchases monthly.
  • Earn 4% cash back on your first $300 in ground transportation monthly.
  • Earn 3% cash back on your first $300 in automobile and vehicle fuel purchases monthly.
  • Earn 2% cash back on your first $500 in recurring bill payments monthly.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Here is where it gets more complicated. While the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* offers far more accelerated earn categories than its competitor, it has monthly spending caps. Some good news: if they suit your budget, the return can be generous.

Earn 5% cash back on your first $500 in grocery purchases monthly, one of the best cash back rates for this category. This card also features a new and unique offering. Get 3% cash back on your first $300 in automobile and vehicle fuel purchases each month, including electric vehicle charging — an eco-friendly equivalent to the typical gas card.

On the other hand, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card offers annual spending caps far more significant than those of the BMO card, which can benefit those who spend more in these areas.

However, according to the RATESDOTCA Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would not exceed the monthly caps set by the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*. Therefore, it wins this round.

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Reward redemption

Winner: BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Reward redemption

Cash back rewards are awarded annually.

Redeem cash back at any time for as little as $1.

The BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* is an instant winner here. Redeem your cash back at any time for as little as $1 — no waiting around for an annual payout. Cardholders also have the option to deposit their rewards into a BMO chequing, savings or InvestorLine account automatically starting at $25.

Many cash back cards, including the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card, credit cash back annually, which comes with one major drawback: the risk of losing out on rewards if you choose to close the account in the future. The alternative is to play the waiting game and time your account closure after your rewards are awarded.

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Perks

Winner: BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Perks

  • Visa Infinite Benefits
  • Concierge services
  • Airport perks
  • Concierge services
  • Roadside assistance

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card includes Visa Infinite Benefits from concierge service to exclusive experiences. The Visa Infinite* Dining and Wine Country program offers culinary benefits at home and across the country. Get discounts from select wineries in Ontario, British Columbia, and Sonoma Valley, among other luxury perks.

While the Visa Infinite Benefits are fabulous, the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* offers a few more convenient services, particularly for travellers. Stay connected with Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard and access over 1,000 hotspots worldwide. Get complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey and access lounges (for a fee) and offers worldwide. This card also features roadside assistance for flat tires and towing.

Related read: What Are the Benefits of Joining a Roadside Assistance Program?

For this reason, the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* wins this round.

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Insurance coverage

Winner: BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Insurance coverage*

  • Purchase protection: 90 days
  • Extended warranty: 1 year
  • Travel accident: $500,000
  • Emergency medical term: 15 days
  • Trip cancellation: $1,500
  • Trip interruption: $2,000
  • Baggage delay: $500
  • Lost or stolen baggage: $500
  • Rental car theft and damage
  • Mobile device: $1,000
  • Purchase protection: 180 days
  • Extended warranty: 2 year
  • Travel accident: $500,000
  • Emergency medical term: 8 days
  • Trip interruption: $2,000
  • Flight delay: $200
  • Baggage delay: $750
  • Lost or stolen baggage: $500
  • Hotel burglary: $500
  • Rental car theft
  • Rental car accident: $200,000

*Insurance coverage is subject to change. Refer to your insurance certificate or contact your credit card issuer for full terms and conditions.

The BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* offers double the shopping coverage found on most credit cards. Get 180 days of purchase protection for lost, damaged, or stolen goods and get two years of extended warranty. This card also offers a comprehensive list of travel insurance — 11 types of coverage in total. The one downside is that the emergency medical term is only eight days.

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card also provides travel insurance and shopping coverage, although not to the same monetary value or duration. However, it does have mobile device insurance to safeguard new smartphones.

While the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card offers a great everyday value in terms of insurance, the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* offers more for travellers.

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Recommended credit score

It’s a draw!

Both cards require an excellent credit score to be eligible, which is the case for many top rewards credit cards. One exception is the American Express CobaltTM Credit Card, which only requires a fair credit score.

In this case, the category is a draw.

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Interest rates

It’s a draw!

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Interest rates

Purchases: 20.99%

Cash advances: 22.99%

Balance transfers: 22.99%

Purchases: 20.99%

Cash advances: 22.99%

Balance transfers: 22.99%

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card and the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* have slightly higher interest rates for purchases than, say, a standard no-fee card with a 19.99% interest rate. However, one card is no better than the other, making this round a draw.

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Income requirements

Winner: Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

Cards

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Income requirements

Personal: $60,000

Household: $100,000

Personal: $80,000

Household: $150,000

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card wins this round for its more accessible nature. While it still requires a minimum personal income of $60,000, the $100,000 household income requirement is more reasonable than the $150,000 mark for the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*.

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First-year value

Winner: Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

*Based on the RATESDOTCA Best of Finance methodology.

Suppose a person spends an average of $2,000 a month on their credit card, across several categories like groceries, drugstore purchases and transit. In the first year, their rewards would look something like this:

Spending categories

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

Groceries

$500 x 4%

$500 x 5%

Gas

$250 x 2%

$250 x 3%

Drugstore

$150 x 1%

$150 x 1%

Travel

$200 x 1%

$200 x 1%

Restaurants

$250 x 1%

$250 x 1%

Entertainment

$150 x 1%

$150 x 1%

Recurring bills

$300 x 4%

$300 x 2%

Retail store

$100 x 1%

$100 x 1%

Local transit

$50 x 2%

$50 x 4%

Other

$50 x 1%

$50 x 1%

Rewards earned monthly:

$47.00

$49.50

First-year value (rewards + welcome bonus - annual fee):

$867

$745

Annual rewards (rewards - annual fee):

$444

$474

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn $867 in the first year using the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card. This calculation includes the welcome bonus and additional e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA.

However, the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* offers a higher annual rewards value — though only slightly ($30). This value does not include the welcome bonus or any promotional offer. Essentially, it is the estimated number of rewards earned each year following the first.

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Which credit card should you choose?

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card and the BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* are two great contenders. Both cards feature a $120 annual fee and require an excellent credit score for approval. Similarly, they offer up to 10% cash back for the first three months and many of the same accelerated earning categories.

However, digging deeper into the details, we find our winner. The BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard* allows cardholders to redeem their rewards how and when they want. It offers an excellent cash back rate for everyday purchases, including 5% back on the first $500 in groceries each month. It also has many of the insurance coverages and perks travellers expect from a leading rewards card.

First Year Value is the estimated dollar amount of benefits you will accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
Welcome bonus
$150
Annual rewards
$594
Annual fee (First Year Waived)
0
Total first year value
$744
BMO CashBack World Elite* Mastercard*

card image
Welcome bonus
$150
BMO Cash Back Rewards
Annual rewards
$594
BMO Cash Back Rewards
Annual fee
$120
First Year Waived

Strong cash back reward rates in a variety of catagories 
Rare travel perks for a cashback card - includes lounge access and travel insurance
Details at a glance Collapse details
First Year Value is the estimated dollar amount of benefits you will accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
Welcome bonus
$150
Annual rewards
$594
annualFee (First Year Waived)
0
Total first year value
$744
Welcome bonus
$150
Annual rewards
$594
Strong cash back reward rates in a variety of catagories 
Rare travel perks for a cashback card - includes lounge access and travel insurance
Details at a glance Collapse details

On a slightly more accessible note, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card has lower income requirements and a straightforward cash back model. Spend up to $25,000 annually in the first two accelerated earning tiers and 1% unlimited cash back for every $1 spent on everything else. This card also features travel insurance and mobile device insurance.

First Year Value is the estimated dollar amount of benefits you will accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
Gift card
$150
Welcome bonus
$153
Annual rewards
$564
Annual fee (First Year Waived)
0
Total first year value
$867
Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

card image
Welcome bonus
$153
Scotia Cash Back Rewards
Annual rewards
$564
Scotia Cash Back Rewards
Annual fee
$120
First Year Waived

RATESDOTCA Bonus: $150 Amazon e-Gift card on approval
Winner – Best Overall Cash Back Credit Card
Includes comprehensive travel insurance and rare mobile device insurance
Details at a glance Collapse details
First Year Value is the estimated dollar amount of benefits you will accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
giftCard
gift_card_amount
Welcome bonus
$153
Annual rewards
$564
annualFee (First Year Waived)
0
Total first year value
$867
Welcome bonus
$153
Annual rewards
$564
RATESDOTCA Bonus: $150 Amazon e-Gift card on approval
Winner – Best Overall Cash Back Credit Card
Includes comprehensive travel insurance and rare mobile device insurance
Details at a glance Collapse details

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In the Ring past winners

Rates, product information and reward estimates are subject to change at any time and do not constitute financial advice. This post was not sponsored. RATESDOTCA may receive a referral fee from our partners or affiliate links featured on the site; however, our editorial choices are objective and free from bias. The opinions expressed in this article are purely those of RATESDOTCA; thus, the credit card issuers and partners are not responsible for any editorials or reviews that may appear. Please visit the associated website for complete and current terms and conditions on any product or service mentioned. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of this posting, July 20, 2021. Read our full disclaimer.

Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

Find Hayley Vesh on LinkedIn.

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