Review: Scotiabank SCENE VISA® Card

REVIEW_ Scotiabank SCENE VISA® card(1)

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Are Hollywood blockbusters your passion? Spend more time at your local Cineplex than you do at home? Scotiabank definitely gets you – the SCENE VISA® card was designed with the movie lover in mind. This credit card has great reward value when used for purchases at Cineplex Theatres – either in person and online – and it also doubles as a pretty solid card for students.

The Scotiabank SCENE VISA® card is easy to use and has no annual fee.  It’s tied to the SCENE rewards membership program, meaning you will earn points for all of your purchases, which can be redeemed using your SCENE rewards card at Cineplex, Sport Chek, and any Cara-owned restaurant such as Swiss Chalet. Milestones or East Side Mario’s.

Card Details

visa scene

scene card details

Earning Rate:

  • 1 point for every $1.00 spent on purchases made with the card online, at restaurants, brick and mortar retailers and movie theatres. Note that you don’t earn any points for paying your VISA or any other bill.

When using both the SCENE VISA and SCENE points card:

  • Cineplex theatres: 5 points for every $1.00 spent
  • Sport Chek: 2 points for every $1.00 spent
  • Cara Restaurants: 1 point for every $1 you spend on your SCENE VISA, plus 1 point for every $3.00 on your SCENE points card. For example, you spend $30, pay with your VISA to earn 30 points and show your SCENE points card to earn an additional 10 points.

Value of One SCENE Reward Point:

  • $0.01 for any purchases made with the card

When using both the SCENE VISA and SCENE points:

  • $0.05 for any purchases made at participating Cineplex theatres
  • $0.02 for any purchases at Sport Chek
  • $0.013 at participating Cara restaurants

Earning Potential: Average

How does this card stack up to other rewards options? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much you could earn over a two-year period.

Assuming $1,119.58 is spent on the card monthly in the following categories:

Best of Finance Rewards Credit Card Methodology

If the “other” category is partially devoted to Cineplex purchases (let’s say 50%), this would earn you 2,640 points after 2 years of using the card for every single purchase. That’s a dollar value of $26.40 in free stuff.

Now, let’s say you spend $50 for a movie date; that’s $23 on two general admission tickets, and $27 on concessions. You earn points for your movie ticket and concession purchases which equate to 50 points. You then earn 100 points per SCENE member card. So in one date, a total of 250 points has been earned. One person has earned 150 SCENE points, while the other has earned 100 SCENE points.

If you go to the movies twice per month, the SCENE VISA cardholder earns 300 points and the other earns 200 points. In one year, one person will earn 3,600 points, and the other person will earn 2,400. This is based on spending a grand total of $1,200 a year on movie dates twice a month (that’s if you don’t redeem your points).

Remember, you can increase those earnings by using your SCENE card in conjunction with your SCENE VISA at Sport Chek or Cara restaurants. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to promotional offers to maximize on point earning. For example, Cineplex often runs promotions for new movies or during certain time periods when you can earn an additional 300 SCENE points. Sport Chek has also previously had offers such as spend $100 and earn 500 SCENE points.

Depending on how you spend, it could take a long time before you can take the entire family to the movies. However, cardholders are allowed to redeem rewards once they’ve earned 1,000 points – the equivalent of one general admission ticket – so you could still treat yourself to a show in less than a year’s time, according to our calculations.

Note that maximum points per transaction top out at 300 and cardholders are not allowed to accrue more than 600 points per day.

Sign Up Bonus: Average

For accounts opened before October 31, 2017, the cardholder will start with 2,000 bonus SCENE points as long as they make $500 in everyday purchases within the first three months. It’s 1,000 points for one movie ticket, so that equates to two free movies for you – or a movie date with your significant other. You could also choose to redeem those sign-up points towards concessions, or at Sport Chek or Cara restaurants.

Point Redemption: Average

As mentioned earlier, this is primarily a card for movie lovers. You can redeem points toward tickets and concessions at any Cineplex theatres. You can also redeem 1000 points at a time for a $10 credit on purchases at Sport Chek and restaurants including Swiss Chalet, Harveys, Montana’s, Milestones, Bier Markt, East Side Mario’s, Kelsey’s, Fionn MacCools and D’Arcy McGee’s.

This card does not offer travel rewards or cash back. Moreover, the addition of the SCENE points card can be confusing. In some cases, you can earn additional points using both cards, but in others you can’t.

Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Features: Below Average

This card includes a 22.99% balance transfer and cash advance rate – something that’s pretty much the norm in comparison to other Canadian credit cards. For balance transfers, fees are 1% of the total amount for each transfer over $100.00, and cash advances cost $4.00 each. If you’re late making the minimum monthly payment account twice or more within a 12-month period, the rate for both features rises to 27.99%. That’s a really high interest rate if you’re using this card to pay off debt.

Additional Benefits: Average

The Scotiabank SCENE VISA® card also has a few other features. This includes:

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Avis rental car discount up to 20% at participating locations
  • Eligible for My Mobile Wallet as well as Apple Pay

Our Final Word

This card is a solid addition to your wallet if you are an avid movie goer, shop at Sport Chek or often dine at Cara restaurants. Not only does it reward you for your passion, but it also helps to build your credit score and you don’t have to pay an annual fee. However, rewards choices are limited and it can take a while to build up points. It won’t help you save toward flights on your dream vacation. You also don’t want to rack up any debt on this card due to high interest charged on regular purchases and balance transfers.

So it’s a great starter credit card – provided you keep your spending in check!

Are you carrying the best credit card for your spending habits? Check out the Credit Card Rewards Calculator and find out!

How to Qualify for the Card

  • You are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant
  • You must be the age of majority in your province or territory of residence
  • You have not declared bankruptcy in the past seven years
  • You have a minimum gross monthly income of $1,000, unless you’re applying for a student card

Related Topics

Credit Card News / Credit Card Reviews / Credit Cards / Credit Cards 101 / Growing Your Money / Lifestyle / Lifestyle News / Personal Finance / RSM News / Using Your Credit Card

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