Scotiabank SCENE Visa: Our 2020 Review

May 27, 2020
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Are you looking for a credit card that rewards movie lovers? The Scotiabank SCENE Visa might be the answer. This no annual fee card comes with an accelerated earn rate of 5 SCENE points per dollar spent at Cineplex theatres. You’ll also get 1 SCENE point per dollar spent on all other purchases. In addition, you can save 25% on car rentals with Avis and Budget.

It’s not one of the best cards out there, but if you’re an avid cinephile, the Scotiabank SCENE Visa could be a good choice for you.

Welcome Bonus 1
Rewards Program 8
Earning Rates 7
Travel Benefits 0
Annual Benefits vs. Annual Fee 0
Referral Program 0
Travel Insurance 0
Purchase Coverage 0
Foreign Transaction Fees 4
Customer Service & Online Experience 5
Total 25
We recommend the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card: for movie lovers. You can earn 5x SCENE points with Cineplex purchases and 1x SCENE point for everything else.


We don’t recommend the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Card: to travel lovers or good insurance coverage seekers. If you are seeking for that instead, look into the Scotia Gold Amex or the Amex Platinum card. This would be a better option for travel benefits and security coverage.

Features & Benefits of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

Welcome Bonus Points2,500 SCENE points
Earn Rate on Cineplex / 5 SCENE points/$1
Earn Rate on any other purchases1 SCENE point/$1
Foreign Transaction Fee2.5%
Annual Fee$0

#1 Welcome Bonus

As a new Scotiabank SCENE Visa cardholder, you will receive 2,500 bonus SCENE points. To receive the welcome bonus, you would need to spend $500 on everyday purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. Once you have achieved the required purchase amount, your SCENE points will be added to your account within 2-3 business days. 2,500 SCENE points would be equivalent to 2x general admission tickets in Cineplex or 1x VIP Cinemas™ ticket.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Welcome Bonus Score: 1/10

#2 Rewards Program

As its name suggests, this card is part of the SCENE program which is a loyalty program for Cineplex theatres. The great news is the points never expire. You can use SCENE points anytime you wish for redemption as long as you have the required points. 

To add on, you have the option to transfer your SCENE points to Scotia Rewards points. The catch is you will need to convert 1,000 points per conversion and you can only perform this conversion 4 times within a 24 hour period. 

Is it valuable to convert your SCENE points to Scotia Rewards points?

The conversion ratio is 1,000:950. As such, it would require a minimum of 1,000 SCENE points for a conversion. This conversion would result in 950 Scotia Rewards points only. Scotia Rewards points are mainly used for travel and merchandise redemptions. It would require 10,000 SR points for the equivalent of $100 in travel value. It might just be better to stick to using your SCENE points to enjoy a good movie outing for yourself and your loved ones.

However, the fact that you can transfer your points to another more flexible loyalty rewards program, makes the Scotia SCENE Visa score high as far as loyalty programs go.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Rewards Program Score: 8/10

#3 Earn Rates Of The Scotiabank Scene Visa

Spending CategoryPoints Earned Per Dollar Spent
Travel1 SCENE point
Food and Drinks1 SCENE point
Gas and Groceries1 SCENE point
Other3 SCENE points

The earn rates for Scotiabank SCENE Visa card are 5 SCENE points/$1 at Cineplex theatres or and 1 SCENE point/$1 for any other purchases. Tha works out to a rounded average of 3 points per $1 on purchases other than travel, food, drink, gas and groceries. This is a great perk for movie lovers who enjoy the old fashioned way of watching films at theatres. You get to accumulate SCENE points to earn yourself free tickets. 

The following table shows the earn rates and the points needed for different types of Cineplex redemption tickets:

General Admission or 3D Movie Ticket (adult) 125 1,250
Enhanced Movie Ticket (Where available: UltraAVX, IMAX, D-Box) (adult) 200 2,000
VIP Cinemas Movie Ticket 250 2,500

What would it require to earn the basic general admission ticket with the normal earn rate on everyday spending?

Purchase Type Cost  ($) SCENE Points Points
General 175 175
Groceries 90 90
Essential Bills – Utility, Mobile 75 75
Travel – Commute, gas 75 75
Restaurants 50 50
Store 45 45
Total $500 500 SCENE Points

This card’s minimum credit limit is $500. As such with basic expenses, you can earn 500 SCENE points average per month. In less than 2.5 months, you can earn a free adult ticket with just the basic earn rate of 1 SCENE point/$1.

However, if you go to a Cineplex theatre just four times in a month, or once with a partner and a couple of friends, you’ll reach the minimum in just one month:

Purchase Type Cost  ($) SCENE Points
General 175 175
Groceries 90 90
Essential Bills – Utility, Mobile 75 75
Travel – Commute, gas 75 75
Restaurants 50 50
Store 45 45
General Admission ticket @ Cineplex (125 points each) 14×4= 56 500
Food & Drinks @ Cineplex (5X points) 12×4= 48 240
Total $6141,250 SCENE points

In just 1 month, you can already redeem a free general admission or a 3D movie ticket for one pax. That is pretty decent if you are a frequent theatre visitor.  

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Earn Rates Score: 7/10

#4 Travel Benefits Of The Scotiabank SCENE Visa

Scotiabank SCENE Visa card has no travel benefits. This is due to the card’s primary focus on being an entertainment-based credit card for movie lovers.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Travel Benefits Score: 0/10

#5 Annual Benefits vs. Annual Fee

The annual fee for this card is $0 card. However, the annual benefits are focused on entertainment-related experiences, particularly for the Cineplex SCENE program.

Savings On Car Rentals

Save on car rentals on Avis and Budget with a Scotiabank SCENE Visa

Additionally, you can receive up to 25% off  Avis base rates (time and mileage charges of the rental) and 25% off Budget base rates in the US and Canada. There will be terms and conditions that apply which is not entirely flexible but worth looking into if you require car rental services. 

In the first year, you would receive a one time welcome bonus of 2,500 SCENE points, all for a $0 annual fee.

Other than that, this credit card doesn’t offer any real long term benefits other than the welcome bonus, and you only get that once.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Annual Benefits vs. Annual Fee Score: 0/10

#6 Referral Program

Scotiabank SCENE Visa does not have a referral program that allows you to earn SCENE points by referring friends or family.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Referral Program Score: 0/10

#7 Travel Insurance

Scotiabank SCENE Visa card doesn’t include a complimentary travel insurance plan.

However, there is an optional coverage plan by Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada at a monthly premium rate of $1.09 per $100 of the daily balance of your card. The coverage comprises of Disability, Job Loss, Strike or Lockout, Critical Illness or loss of Life only.

Still, since it is optional and doesn’t come with the card, then this card also gets the lowest mark in travel insurance coverage.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Travel Insurance Score: 0/10

#8 Purchase Coverage

There is no inclusive or optional purchase coverage available with the Scotiabank SCENE Visa card. 

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Purchase Coverage Score: 0/10

#9 Foreign Transaction Fees

Scotiabank SCENE Visa comes with an average, market-rate foreign transaction fee.

The foreign transaction fee is 2.5% and the foreign cash advance fee is $5 which is pretty much industry standard. The fact is that it’s not a card geared toward international purchases and it is, therefore, best used domestically in Canadian dollars.

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Foreign Transaction Fees Score: 4/10

#10 Customer Service & Online Experience

Scotiabank SCENE Visa card is tied to the SCENE Rewards loyalty program for points earning and redemption. However, you will be tied to the Scotiabank customer service team for card transactions and account purposes. 

You must have a SCENE membership and have it linked to your card to ensure your SCENE points are accumulated accordingly for your respective redemptions at Cineplex. Otherwise, it may result in back and forth calls with the customer service team which has not been the best experience for users, on average. 

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Customer Service & Online Experience Score: 5/10

Alternatives To The Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa card is not meant for the avid traveller or security-conscious user. If you are looking for good travel benefits or security coverage, the Scotia Gold Amex or the Amex Platinum may be a better option.

Alternative Card #1: The Scotia Gold Amex

The Scotiabank Gold Amex, a good alternative to the Scotiabank SCENE Visa for Scotiabank account holders

The Scotia Gold Amex is a $120 annual fee card with travel benefits like concierge service, airport lounge access, travel insurance and purchase coverage. It is a card specifically tailored by Scotiabank for their frequent flying customers.

For further info, do read our Scotia Gold Amex review.

Alternative Card #2: The American Express Platinum

The American Express Platinum card is a travel card with an excellent Amex rewards system and travel benefits that will blow your mind. For starters, it gives you one of the best comprehensive travel insurance packages of any credit card in Canda. It also gives you complimentary Priority Pass lounge access, concierge service, hotel elite status upgrades and more. It’s hands down one of the best credit cards you can get your hands on, and it’s also a stepping stone towards the invitation-only Amex Centurion “Black” card.

For further info, do read our Amex Platinum review.

Alternative Card #3 (Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card-Student)

If you are a student who enjoys the weekly movie visit in between school/college and you don’t meet the income requirements for the Scotiabank SCENE Visa, you could opt for the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card-Student. The card comes with similar perks and only one minimal difference – the welcome bonus is 1,250 SCENE points instead of 2,500 SCENE points. That’s a decent trade-off considering you would be eligible to hold a credit card that allows you to earn SCENE points without having an annual income.

Who Should Get The Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card?

The card is an outright target for movie lovers.

If you need added security perks and travel benefits, this is surely not the card for you. Instead, you may want to look into Scotia Gold Amex or Amex Platinum as we said before. 

What’s great about this card is the leniency in earning SCENE points for movie lovers. Additionally, and best of all, you don’t have an annual fee to worry about every year. 

If watching movies at the theatres is still an activity you enjoy and actively pursue, it would be worthwhile to apply for the Scotiabank SCENE Visa card. 

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