SCENE®* VISA* Card Review

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Are Hollywood blockbusters your passion?  Do you need to be first in line at the premiere screening of each Marvel movie? Or maybe you’re just an Amy Schumer nut (since she seems to be every rom-com as of recent). Then you’ll definitely be interested in Scotiabank’s SCENE®* VISA* Card since it earns SCENE rewards points, which means free movies for you!   

The card has no annual fee and you’re not restricted to using your points just at the movies. You can also use your points at any CARA-affiliated restaurant such as Kelseys, Swiss Chalet, Milestones, or East Side Mario’s. That’s dinner and a show all on points!  

Sign Up Bonus: Average 

With the SCENE®* VISA* Card you get 2,000 SCENE bonus points if you spend $500 in everyday purchases within first three months of cardmembership. That’s enough for two free movies. That may not sound like a huge incentive, but this is a no-fee card so it’s not bad. As mentioned earlier, this type of incentive may appeal greatly to those who frequent the movies, or even students looking for a Friday hang out! 

Earning Rate: Good 

The SCENE®* VISA* Card earns five SCENE points for every dollar you spend at participating Cineplex Entertainment theatres or online at cineplex.com. There is no other credit card on the market that offers that many points when you go to the movies. Aside, you also earn one SCENE point per dollar on all other purchases. 

And if you dine at CARA restaurants, you’ll also earn one additional SCENE point per $3 spent. However, note that with the exception of Swiss Chalet and East Side Mario’s, SCENE points are only earned when you dine-in, and not on orders placed online or through the call centre for delivery.   

Some other things to note – this card does not offer travel rewards or cash back. And you can only earn up to 300 SCENE points per transaction, and up to 600 points per day. Moreover, having the general free SCENE points card can sometimes be an added benefit. In some cases, you can earn additional points by using both cards, but in others you can’t. 

Earning Potential: Average 

So, how does this card stack up to other grocery rewards options? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much you could earn over a 24-month period.  

Assuming $1,119 is spent on the card monthly, in the following categories:  

  • Pharmacy: $54.16   
  • Food: $665   
  • Gas**: $152.42   
  • Travel: $148   
  • Other***: $100   

Rewards earned over a 24-month period: 2,640 SCENE points 

Total: $26.40 to use towards free Cineplex movies or food at a CARA restaurant 

*Source: Statistics Canada   

**Based on $1.00/litre gas prices   

***50% of the “Other” category is being spent on Cineplex purchases 

Balance Transfer Features: Below Average 

This card features a 22.99 per cent balance transfer option. Considering many low-interest balance transfer credit cards offer zero per cent to 1.99 per cent interest in the first six months, and then 8.99 per cent to 11.99 per cent when the promotional period ends, the SCENE®* VISA* Card should not be used specifically for balance transfers. However, Scotiabank does offer cards that better serve this purpose.

For balance transfers, fees are one per cent of the total amount for each transfer over $100, and cash advances cost $4 each. And, if you’re late on making the minimum monthly payment twice or more within a 12-month period, the rate for both features rises to 27.99 per cent.  

Point Redemption: Average  

As mentioned earlier, this is primarily a card for movie lovers. SCENE points can only be redeemed at Cineplex theatres for movie tickets and concessions, or at CARA restaurants. You can redeem as little as 500-point increments to receive $5 off, but depending on what kind of movie ticket you’re looking to claim, it’ll cost you a different amount of points:  

  • 1,000 SCENE points = General admission ticket 
  • 1,500 SCENE points = Premium movie ticket 
  • 2,000 SCENE points = VIP movie ticket 
  • 500 SCENE points = $5 off concessions 
  • 1,000 SCENE points = $10 off at CARA restaurants 

CARA restaurants include Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Montana’s, Milestones, Bier Markt, East Side Mario’s, Kelsey’s, Fionn MacCools and D’Arcy McGee’s, so you have a lot of options. And every 1,000 points gets you $10 off your bill! 

Additional Benefits: Average 

The SCENE®* VISA* Card also comes with a few other features, including: 

  • As a SCENE member, you get 10 per cent more off the already discounted movie tickets on Tuesdays at Cineplex  
  • Purchase protection 
  • Extended warranty 
  • Avis rental car discount up to 25 per cent at participating locations 
  • Eligible for My Mobile Wallet and Apple Pay

This post has been updated.

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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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