Scotiabank’s Scene+ Visa card is one of a kind in Canada – it is one of a few credit cards that allows you to earn Scene+ points you can redeem for free movies at Cineplex Entertainment theatres. If you love going to the movies, this may be the card for you.
In addition to earning Scene+ points that you can redeem for movies, you can redeem your rewards for food and drink at Cineplex theatres or restaurants, including Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Kelsey’s, and Montana’s.
Scene+ points can also be redeemed at select grocery stores and for shopping, banking, travel, and other rewards.
The Scene+ Visa Card does not have an annual fee.
This review of the Scotiabank SCENE card shows where it shines and why it is great as a starter credit card for students, new immigrants, and moviegoers.
Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card Benefits
1. No Annual Fee: There is no annual fee for using this card, either as the primary cardholder or as a supplementary user.
2. Earn SCENE+ Rewards: Users of Scotiabank’s Scene+ Visa card earn rewards under the Scene+ program, which is the loyalty program for Cineplex theatres. You earn:
- 1 Scene+ point for every $1 you spend on everyday purchases
- 2 Scene+ points for every $1 you spend at Cineplex theatres or online at Cineplex.com
- 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent at Safeway, Sobeys, FreshCo, Foodland, and other grocery stores
- 5,000 bonus points on your first $750 spend in the first 3 months of opening your account. This is equivalent to four free general admission or 3D movie tickets.
- 5,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $5,000 in your first year (for a total of up to 10,000 points).
Your accumulated Scene+ points can be redeemed for movies and concessions at Cineplex theatres, food at Recipe Unlimited Corporation-owned restaurants, groceries at participating retailers, and more. More on the SCENE+ rewards program later in this review.
3. Save on Car Rentals: As a Scene+ Visa cardholder, you can save up to 25% on car rentals at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S.
4. Optional Features: As a cardholder, you can apply for additional protection/insurance against disability, critical illness, or loss of life for a monthly fee. This feature is entirely optional.
What is the Scene+ Points Rewards Program?
Scene+ is the loyalty rewards program for Scotiabank, and it is offered in partnership with Cineplex and many other brands.
When you own a Scene+ Visa card, you earn points whenever you watch a movie at Cineplex theatres, buy concessions, buy groceries, or dine at Recipe Unlimited Corporation-owned restaurants, including Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, Milestones, Kelsey’s, East Side Mario’s, and Montana’s.
You earn points for your everyday purchases at specific grocery stores and everywhere else.
You do not need to be a Scene+ Visa cardholder in order to earn Scene+ points. If all you do is simply enroll in a loyalty program’s general membership, your options for earning points are limited to:
- For every $1 spent on purchases at Cineplex theatres and the Cineplex Store: 5 points
- For every $3 you spend at participating restaurants: 1 point
- For every $1 spent on hotel and car rentals with Scene+ Travel: 3 points
- For every $1 spent at the Rec Room and Playdium: 3 points
- Earn points at participating grocery stores and pharmacies based on weekly offers
- Earn cash back when shopping online with Scene+ Rakuten
The rewards points you earn when you have the Scene+ Visa card are in addition to the general rewards listed above. Therefore, Scene+ members who have the Scene+ Visa Card get to accumulate rewards points faster.
For more tips on how to earn Scene+ points quickly, check out my article on 9 Ways To Maximize Your SCENE Points and Watch Free Movies.
How To Redeem Your Scene+ Points
Scene+ points can be easily redeemed for movie tickets, food, travel, shopping, entertainment, dining, banking, and more.
Some of the more popular redemption options and rates are:
- General admission and 3D movie ticket: 1,250 points
- Enhanced adult movie ticket: 2,000 points
- VIP Cinemas movie ticket: 2,500 points
- Groceries at participating retailers: 1,000 points = $10 off
- Movie rentals or Cineplex Store purchases: 100 points = $1 off
- Food and drinks at the movies and participating restaurants: 500 points = $5 off
- Scene+ Travel bookings: 100 points = $1 off
- The Rec Room and Playdium: 500 points = $5 off
In general, 1,000 SCENE points is equivalent to $10 for food, so 1 point is worth around 1 cent. Depending on the cost of the movie ticket you are buying for each category (general, adult enhanced, VIP), your rewards rate will vary.
Is the Scene+ Visa Card For You?
The Scene+ Visa card has a couple of things going for it, including no annual fees, a low salary requirement per year ($12,000), and no credit history requirement. These options make it attractive to students and new immigrants to Canada who are just starting out.
Frequent movie-goers may also find the credit card attractive, as its rewards payout rate is as high as 5% when you consider movie-related spending.
The initial 5,000 points bonus is equivalent to four free general admission or 3D movie tickets. And you could get extra free movies if you meet the spending requirements for the first year.
There are some downsides to the card.
This credit card does not come with free insurance, such as an extended warranty or travel insurance. These are common perks associated with a majority of credit cards these days.
Secondly, there is a maximum limit on the points you can earn, at a maximum of 300 points per transaction and 600 points daily. And you should take note of the 19.99% purchase and 22.99% cash advance interest rates.
If you are not into this card because of the Scene+ points, an alternative no-annual-fee card is the 2% Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, which offers 2% unlimited cash back on up to 3 categories of spending.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.
Welcome offer: Get an extra 15% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($150 value).
Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.
Annual fee: $0
Alternatively, you can earn a 1.25% flat-rate cash back on all purchases using the SimplyCash Card from American Express.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
Rewards and benefits: Earn up to 2% cash back on gas and groceries; 1.25% cash back on all other purchases; travel accident insurance.
Welcome offer: Earn a $10 statement credit each month you spend $300 in purchases on your Card in the first 10 months (up to $100 value).
Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances.
Annual fee: $0
Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Credit Card Review
Features and Benefits
Scotiabank’s Scene+ Visa card is unique – it allows you to earn Scene+ points that can be redeemed for free movies at the Cineplex chain of theatres, and travel, shopping, entertainment, dining, banking, and more. If you love going to the movies, you should check out this card.
- Excellent credit card for students
- No annual fee
- Save on car rentals
- Lacks insurance coverage
- There are entry-level cards with more rewards