Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Review 2021
What is better than going out to the movies? How about going out to see free movies? While this may not seem like a possibility right now (unless you sneak in past the podium, which we at Wealth Rocket do not condone), it is a superpower that you can unlock simply by acquiring a Scotiabank SCENE Visa.
The Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card is somewhat famous across Canada for being the “movie card.” We are here to show you, though, that there are other benefits that this card carries with it. That said, it does wear its “movie card” distinction loud and proud.
Although this card’s ideal candidate probably does have a love of movies, it could still be a good card for you even if you do not frequently visit Cineplex movie theatres.
Let’s get into the details in this all-encompassing Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card review.
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Scotiabank SCENE Visa Review 2021
In this review of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa, we’ll take a look at what exactly this credit card is and how it works, while casting a spotlight on features, requirements, and much more.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa: Overview
To best explain the Scotiabank SCENE Visa, let’s first give a brief description of what the SCENE points program is.
Scotiabank offers both a debit card and a credit card within the SCENE program (this Visa is the credit iteration).
The SCENE program is a kind of loyalty program for Cineplex. Cineplex is the largest movie theatre chain in Canada, with nearly 200 locations from coast to coast. It is uniquely offered through Scotiabank and has been around since 2007.
This movie ticket redemption program, unique within Canada, makes the card a popular choice for both students and film aficionados of all ages.
However, the card has other advantages as well, such as low qualifying requirements and car rental discounts.
Anyone can join the SCENE program online for free. They will receive a black SCENE card that they can use to redeem points even if they are not a Scotiabank customer.
However, the reward rates would not be as favourable as what the Visa credit card or even the debit card would offer. The Scotiabank SCENE Visa is by far the most advantageous way to earn SCENE points.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa: Rewards Program and Perks
So, what can you do with these SCENE points exactly? Aside from the obvious option of exchanging them for movie tickets (VIP, 3D, or standard), SCENE points are also redeemable at participating restaurant chains, as well as in exchange for gift cards.
In the true fashion of the Scotiabank retail credit card, redeeming the points that you have accumulated is easy. SCENE Visa cardholders can easily redeem their points online at cineplex.ca.
New cardholders are eligible for the offer of 2,500 bonus SCENE points when they spend $500 within their first three months of use — a generous offer indeed.
The Scotiabank SCENE Visa acts as a regular rewards card would, with cardholders earning points with every purchase they make. Cardholders earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 they spend on regular everyday purchases and 5 points when they spend online at cineplex.com. The SCENE Reward levels are as follows:
- 1,250 points for a general admission movie ticket
- 2,000 points for an enhanced movie ticket
- 2,500 points for a VIP movie ticket
Also, 500 points will get you $5 off at the concession stand, and 1,000 points will get you $10 off at participating restaurants. Eligible restaurants are any members of the Recipe Unlimited Corporation, which includes:
- Swiss Chalet
- East Side Mario’s
- New York Fries
- St. Hubert
- The Keg
- Pickle Barrel
As of late 2020, SCENE members can now redeem their points for gift cards as well as movie tickets, concessions, and restaurant meals.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa: Promotions
Scotiabank currently runs a promotion where new cardholders will earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 is spent on eligible purchases within the first three months.
Once the cardholder has passed the $500 threshold, the bonus SCENE points will be awarded to their account within 2 to 3 business days.
Accounts will be eligible for the offer if they are open and in good standing at the time of payout, i.e., not delinquent on payments or over their credit limit. This promotion cannot be combined with any other offers.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa: Membership
As stated above, you don’t need to have this Visa to have a SCENE membership account.
Scotiabank offers several credit (and debit) card options that are associated with its SCENE rewards program, although, again, the rate that earners benefit from will not be as favorable as with the credit card.
The SCENE credit card is by far the fastest way to earn SCENE points. Earners are maxed out at 300 points per transaction and 600 points per day.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa: Optional Features
In a somewhat unexpected (but still useful) addition, the Scotiabank SCENE Visa also offers its cardholders the option of adding on balance protection that will pay off your outstanding account balance or monthly payments should an unexpected life event occur.
This insurance is available in two packages: “basic” which covers death, critical illness, and hospitalization, or “comprehensive” which covers death, critical illness, hospitalization, disability, job loss, or strikes.
While this may not be the first benefit on folks’ wish lists, it can bring peace of mind to those of us who like to think of every possible scenario.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Pros & Cons
As you can see from the below list, the pros of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card vastly outweigh the cons. However, that depends on what you are personally looking for.
Pros: The Good Stuff
No annual fee and no fee for supplemental cardholders
Low annual required income ($12,000)
Does not require credit history for eligibility
Earn an average of 1% back on every purchase made — a fair percentage for a card with no annual fee
Low redemption threshold
Generous bonus of 2,500 points (equivalent to two adult movie tickets) for $500 spent in the first three months of card usage
25% off Avis and Budget car rentals
SCENE points don’t expire
Optional comprehensive protection including disability and job loss benefits
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Redemption options are limited to Cineplex and select restaurant chains
Limited options for restaurant redemptions
Average (if not a little high) interest rates of 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances, balance transfers, and credit card cheques
Our Final Thoughts
SCENE is one of Canada’s most famous reward programs for a reason. Not only does it have a fairly low redemption threshold but it is also unparalleled in its ability to bring free movies to the people.
If you are looking for a rewards card that will deliver beyond a movie ticket, it might make the most sense to look toward a cashback or travel rewards option.
While there are other redemption options that come along with this card, the restaurant choices are quite limited and will likely not be enticing enough to the majority of people.
Overall, the aforementioned low redemption rate alone may make this card favorable to you.
Many rewards credit cards are unrealistic to those with unpredictable or lower incomes as they require upwards of $20,000 in spending every year to deliver any sizable benefit.
The Scotiabank SCENE Visa allows users to redeem at a very low level. Plus, the card is unique and good at what it does — what more can we ask for from a credit card?
Frequently Asked Questions
There is often a connection made between the Scotiabank SCENE Visa and students, and it’s not because students historically like going to the movies (although we suppose they do).
It also represents a redemption program where participation is not dependent on spending tens of thousands of dollars on purchases each year, a common condition of rewards cards that is hard for low or sporadic earners.
The Scotiabank SCENE Visa is not a travel credit card. While many travel credit cards out there will offer robust insurance packages with trip cancellation insurance, emergency medical insurance, and more, the Scotiabank SCENE Visa does not offer any of that.
However, there is one surprise travel perk offered by this card in the form of 25% off select Avis and Budget car rentals. This can help a lot if you rent a car a few times a year.
There is not currently an annual fee for the Scotiabank SCENE Visa card, which is one of the things that makes it such a solid rewards card.
In fact, there is even the option of adding additional cards at no extra cost. One important thing to note about these additional cards, though, is that any bonus points earned will always be awarded to the primary cardholder, even if they are accumulated by the secondary cardholder.