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Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Review
10 Feb 2019

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card | Credit Card Review

While getting rewarded for shopping with your credit card is great, no one likes to open up the reward catalogue and find that there’s nothing in there that they really want. With the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card, you’ll never have that problem; you’ll be able to turn your rewards into fun nights out at the movie theatre instead.

Take advantage of an excuse to go to the movies by earning points towards free tickets with every transaction you make.

 

General Information

You Are Interested If You need an entry-level credit card and want to make sure you get rewards that you’ll actually use.
Brief Description The Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card is a low-level credit card that allows you to earn points that you can put toward free movies and concessions or discounts on restaurant food.
Main Requirements Requirements for getting this card are very lax; Scotiabank occasionally even accepts people for it with no credit history.

Card Details

Network Visa.
Provider Scotiabank.
Card Type This is a rewards card that restricts itself to movies and restaurant discounts only.

Fees and Interest

Purchase Interest Rate Be prepared to pay 19.99% in interest annually when you usually use this card.
Cash Advance If you use it to take out a cash advance, however, you’ll pay 22.99% per year instead.
Balance Transfer The 22.99% rate also applies to balance transfers.

Eligibility

Income Requirements No income requirements apply to this card; even cash-strapped students can get it.
Household Income Requirements There are no household income requirements to follow either.
Annual Fee This is a free card.

Rewards

Welcome Bonus Right now, you can get 2,000 bonus SCENE points when you charge at least $500 in purchases to your new card in your first 3 months.
How To Earn Points Using this card gets you 1 SCENE point per dollar on all purchases you make normally and 5 SCENE points per dollar for things you buy in Cineplex theatres or at cineplex.com. You can also get bonus points for spending at certain partner restaurants.
Benefits The only standard benefits this card includes aside from purchase protection and extended warranties is a discount of up to 25% on AVIS or Budget car rentals in both Canada and the U.S. It will also grant you an extra 10% discount on already-discounted Tuesday tickets as a periphery benefit from being in the SCENE program.

About Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

Main Features

You can hardly go to a movie in Canada without seeing many advertisements for Cineplex’s SCENE program; the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card lets you funnel your credit card rewards into this program too. You can earn 1 SCENE point per dollar on all purchases with this card unless you’re buying something at a Cineplex theatre or on their online store; then your reward rate jumps to 5 points per dollar. Since this includes anything from movie tickets and concessions to themed merchandise and even digital video purchases, it’s likely that most people will be able to make use of this opportunity at some point, even if it’s just for one or two things.

Aside from that, there are many other opportunities for you to earn bonus points if you really want them. The SCENE program itself often runs promotions that allow you to get extra points for buying certain items or dining at a certain place – it’s very common for them to offer 15 times the points you would normally earn if you order a meal at one of their partner restaurants. Those partners include common and well-known chains as East Side Mario’s, Montana’s, Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s, so it’s not as if you have to go out of your way to get these bonus points. Plus, on top of the boosted rate that applies to Cineplex purchases, buying movie tickets also makes you eligible to receive an extra bundle of points (usually between 100 and 200 depending on the type of ticket you’ve bought). All of this makes it hard to project just how many points a typical consumer can end up with by the end of each month, but suffice it to say that most people will have no trouble earning enough for multiple movie tickets (each one costs just 1,000 points) every year. If you need a way to help keep track of your own points as you earn them, though, you can download the SCENE app on your phone to track your balance and also load the offers that will make you eligible for the promotions above.

The SCENE program is one of the most widely-enjoyed reward systems around. You don’t have to be a film buff to enjoy this type of reward, which is the best thing about it – almost everyone enjoys going to the movies at least once in a while. One problem that people are running into, though, is that it’s getting harder to fit the cost of movies into their strained monthly budgets. When you can easily stream a movie on Netflix instead, it’s hard to justify the cost of going out to see the latest blockbuster, even if you really want to. When it’s free, you don’t have to justify it at all; you can just go and enjoy yourself. It can also be a nice resource for dates or outings with friends that won’t break the bank. It’s a great excuse to go have fun that isn’t present with a cash back card, and that’s one of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card’s greatest strengths.

There are also other things you can do with your points besides just get basic movie tickets if you’re so inclined. Cineplex offers different types of showings (VIP, 3D) that you can also pay for in points, as well as some package deals that let you purchase two tickets and some concessions in a bundle for a slightly discounted rate in points. Seeing movies in luxury theatres or at 3D showings will cost a little extra, but you’ll rarely be in a position where you can’t opt for a basic showing if that’s what you really wanted; the option to upgrade is just there if it happens to be useful to you. If you’d rather have dinner out than go see a film, though, you can also redeem 1,000 points toward a $10 credit at SCENE partner restaurants (the same ones with the bonus offers) or at the concessions stand at the theatre itself. This range of options lets you tailor your points spending to your personal consumption habits.

The one area in which the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card really falls down is its benefits, which include nothing special beyond a discount to be used at Budget or Avis car rental locations. This isn’t something that you are likely to be using a lot in your daily life, and it’s certainly less valuable than some sort of insurance would have been. The thing that is more likely to be of real use to you is the extra 10% discount you can get on half-price Tuesday tickets with your SCENE card, but that is a consequence of being a SCENE member in general and has nothing to do with this card itself. Still, this is meant to be a low-level card, and most cards like it don’t have very much in the way of benefits attached to them either. For that reason, this small flaw can easily be forgiven.

Conclusions

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card delivers on accessibility and wide appeal, even if it leaves something to be desired in its benefits. Its reward rates are fair and can be bumped up much higher with the right kinds of spending, potentially allowing you to earn points rather rapidly even without a large budget at your disposal. The rewards themselves are pleasantly simple and sure to be enjoyed by almost everyone. It’s far from the best card on the market, but for a mere entry-level offering, it has a lot to offer.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one of Canada’s biggest and oldest banks, having grown a lot since it first opened in 1832. In fact, they ranked at number 41 on SNL Financial World’s 100 Biggest Banks list back in 2013. They own close to one trillion dollars in assets, but still make a point of using about $80 million a year for sponsorship and philanthropic efforts to help the communities in which they operate.

What We Think

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card is something of a novelty product, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a basic credit card option meant primarily for people who are just starting out; it serves those purposes well and gives people a fun incentive to spend. It can also be surprisingly generous with its rewards. If you’re at a point in your life where you want to serious payoffs from your credit products, this isn’t the card for you. For everyone taking life at a more leisurely pace, though, this option is sure to be a crowd pleaser.