It’s common for many Canadians to be paying out of pocket for banking services such as bank drafts, safety deposit boxes, credit cards and overdraft protection.
A premium, all-inclusive banking account such as the Scotiabank Ultimate Package can help with that issue.
For a fixed monthly price, you can stop paying for individual services and save money in the long run by taking advantage of the available perks. And better yet, it’s possible to get all of these features for free if you keep the minimum balance.
Today’s post will go in-depth in this Scotiabank Ultimate Package review, covering its features, charge schedule, and user experience.
We’ll conclude with an in-depth comparison of this account with other premium accounts offered by the big five as well as a final verdict. Let’s get started.
Premium banking package with one of Canada’s big five
A premium, inclusive chequing account with special perks and fee waivers to spend, save, borrow and invest all from one place
- Unlimited transactions and e-Transfers
- Fee-free international money transfers
- Reward points and preferred rates on eligible GICs and mortgages
- Free personal cheques and drafts
- Free premium credit card with no annual fee
- No ATM fees worldwide
- The minimum balance is quite high at $5,000, otherwise $30 per month
- Incoming wire transfers cost $15
What Is The Scotiabank Ultimate Package?
Scotiabank’s Ultimate Package chequing account is one out of the six chequing accounts this bank offers.
As the most high-end, “premium” option of the six, the account allows users to spend, save, invest, and borrow all from one place and is packed with a ton of value.
The account has a monthly cost of $30.95 ($26.95 for seniors 60+), which can be waived if you keep a minimum balance of $5,000 in the account (or a combined balance of $30,000 across your Scotiabank Ultimate Package and Scotiabank Momentum Plus Savings Account.)
Scotiabank, also known as the Bank of Nova Scotia, is a Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) member institution. That means your eligible deposits at Scotiabank are protected.
Account Features: The Scotiabank Ultimate Package
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this account’s features and perks.
Chequing Account Features
Here is what you get with the Scotiabank Ultimate Package when it comes to day-to-day banking and transactions.
- Unlimited debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers
- Unlimited no-fee international money transfers through the Scotia International Money Transfer service
- No overdraft protection service fee
- Free personalized cheques (100 per year) and unlimited, free Canadian and U.S. dollar bank drafts
- No-fee ATM cash withdrawals worldwide
The chequing features of this account are fantastic. With unlimited debits, e-Transfers, ATM withdrawals, and fee-free international money transfers, you never have to worry about unplanned-for fees.
These chequing features are just the beginning when it comes to this account. When you sign up, you’ll get many more perks that are rarely included in a regular chequing account, which can help you save money each year.
These perks include fee-waivers on other Scotiabank premium products as well as preferred rates on investments and loans. I will cover these now.
Perks and Free Stuff
In addition to the regular chequing features, here are some other perks of having this account.
- A free Basic Plus Bank Account (normally $11.95 per month or free with a $3,000 min. balance – save up to $143 per year)
- A free Scotia U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account (normally $1 per month – save up to $12 per year)
- A free premium credit card with no annual fee (normally $120 or $150 per year)
- A free small safety deposit box (normally $60 per year)
- Ten free equity trades at Scotia iTRADE in your first year (normally $100) and five free equity trades every year afterward (normally $50)
- Special, boosted rates on select guaranteed investment certificates (GICs)
- Preferred rate on a fixed or variable rate, closed mortgage for a new purchase, switch, refinance, or renewal on a Scotia Total Equity Plan.
If you take advantage of all of the perks offered through this account, you could be on track to save more than $650 per year.
I think that one of the most attractive features of this account is the fee-free credit card. The eligible free credit cards through the Ultimate Package include
- The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
- Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
- Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Each card comes with great Scene+ or cashback features.
Scene+ Rewards Program
As with many other Scotiabank accounts, you are eligible for the Scene+ program with the Scotiabank Ultimate Package.
Here is how the rewards system works:
- Earn one Scene+ point for each $5 spent on everyday purchases such as shopping, gas or food
- Earn one Scene+ point for each $1 spent at Cineplex institutions
- Redeem your collected points for dining, travel, shopping, entertainment or banking
Your account must be linked to a Scene+ membership in order to be able to take advantage of this program.
Until September 30, 2022, you can get a $300 sign-up bonus if you sign up for the Scotiabank Ultimate Package and complete any two of the below actions. Just make sure to do them within 60 days of opening your account:
- Make a $50 bill payment through online or mobile banking.
- Set up and pay at least two separate, recurring pre-authorized transactions that are $50 or more for at least three consecutive months
- Set up at least one automated and recurring direct deposit (such as payroll or pension) and continue for at least three months
Account Fees: The Scotiabank Ultimate Package
There aren’t many fees associated with this account in addition to the monthly fee.
As I’ve already mentioned above, the monthly fee will be waived each month if you hold a minimum daily closing balance of $5,000 in your Ultimate Package account or $30,000 in this account in conjunction with your Scotiabank Momentum Plus Savings Account.
Here is a fee breakdown of the Scotiabank Ultimate Package:
- Monthly fee: $30.95 per month ($4 discount for seniors 60+) or $0 with the minimum balance
- $2.25 for monthly paper statements (free digital statements included)
- Incoming wire transfers cost $15
And that’s it!
User Experience: The Scotiabank Ultimate Package
As one of Canada’s biggest banks, Scotiabank has vast resources. This means that they can offer their customers a fantastic user experience with great technology, security and customer service.
Here are some things you can expect from your experience with Scotiabank.
- Mobile and online banking
- Mobile cheque deposit
- Free credit score service
- 24/7 customer service
- Visa debit for online debit card transactions
- Apple, Google and Samsung Pay
- Thousands of ATMs and hundreds of branches across the country
- Get quick help through Twitter
Product Alternatives and Competitors
Scotiabank is one of the big five banks in Canada. Let’s compare its most premium account, the Ultimate Package, with the premium accounts offered by some of the other big banks in Canada.
Scotiabank Ultimate Package vs. TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan
The TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan is the most comparable to the Ultimate Package. Here are some of its features:
- $29.95 per month, waived if you hold a daily closing balance of $5,000 each day of the month
- Free and unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers
- No ATM usage fees worldwide
- Free and unlimited draft cheques
- Free small safety deposit box
- Free premium credit card (up to $140 value per year)
- Free personalized premium cheques
If you were to choose between the Scotiabank and TD premium accounts, I’d recommend that you go with Scotiabank’s Ultimate Package.
This is primarily because the Scotiabank account offers fee-free international money transfers, Scene+ points, preferred rates on GIC investments and mortgages, and great perks through the Scotia iTRADE platform.
If you’re keen to know more, you can read more on the TD All-Inclusive Banking plan here or a review of all of TD’s bank accounts here and see which one will fit your needs better.
Scotiabank Ultimate Package vs. RBC VIP Banking
Here are some of the features of the RBC VIP Banking package:
- $24 per month or $18.05 with RBC’s Value Program Rebate (no minimum balance required for discount)
- Up to $120 annual fee rebate on a premium credit card
- No ATM fees worldwide
- Fees waived on two additional “standard” Canadian dollar chequing accounts and one US dollar account
- Get your RBC Direct Investing maintenance fees waived
- Free paper statements
- Free personalized cheques
- 12 free bank drafts per year
- Fee-free overdraft protection
- Earn RBC Reward points
I’m a fan of this RBC account. You get a lot for $24 per month and don’t need a minimum balance to get a rebate on your monthly fee.
Some of the downsides compared to the Scotiabank Ultimate Package are that you can never get your monthly fee fully waived (it’s only a discount through the rebate program) and that you do not get preferred rates on certain GIC or mortgage options.
But then again, this account costs less. Based on your banking habits, I believe that both of these accounts could serve your needs well.
How To Sign up For The Scotiabank Ultimate Package Account
In order to sign up for the Scotiabank Ultimate Package, you must first meet the eligibility requirements. These are:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Be a Canadian resident or hold a Canadian work or study permit
If you meet these criteria, you have three different options for opening an Ultimate Package Account.
- Online, here
- In-person at a branch (you can book an appointment online first)
- By phone at 1-800-472-6842
Our Final Verdict
We think that this account is great. In fact, Chris is an avid user of the account himself.
We recommend that you do your best to meet the minimum balance requirement to save on the monthly fee. Either way, you can save money each year if you are taking advantage of the free perks and services, which is just fantastic.
You can sign up for this Scotiabank Ultimate Package here and get a $300 sign-up bonus for a limited time.
To find out more about the account, you can head here.
Read about the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Travel Card here.