Winner of the 2020 CreditcardGenius People’s Choice Credit Card award, the Scotiabank SCENE Visa card is the card that can turn your business spending into fun treats. What’s more, it’s available to people with no credit history.
Features of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa
Benefits of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa
The headline benefit of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa is the opportunity to earn SCENE points with every purchase. You can then redeem these for discounts on movies, meals and more. As a bonus, the Scotiabank SCENE Visa has no annual fee and a decent interest rate.
Cardholders also get discounts at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S. This benefit is, however, not specific to the Scotiabank SCENE Visa. It’s available on most Scotiabank cards.
Another potential benefit is that the Scotiabank SCENE Visa is available to people with no credit history. The fact that the minimum credit limit is only $500 means that it might be feasible to get one even if you’ve had a bit of a checkered history with credit.
What is the SCENE Program?
With the Scotiabank SCENE Visa, you earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 you spend on your regular purchases and 5 SCENE points for every $1 you spend at Cineplex theatres or at cineplex.com. You can earn a maximum of 300 SCENE points per transaction and 600 SCENE points per day.
Please note, your Scotiabank SCENE Visa needs to be linked to a SCENE membership account for the points to be registered. This is very easy to do.
Drawbacks of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa
The Scotiabank SCENE Visa doesn’t really have any drawbacks as such. The only point to note is that the SCENE points scheme is very much focussed on movies and meals. Although the SCENE website classes rewards into movies, dining and more, the “more” section is largely gift cards for movies and dining.
This means that unless you’re into movies and dining, there’s no real benefit to having a Scotiabank SCENE Visa card. You could potentially get a much better deal out of one of the other six no-annual-fee cards offered by Scotiabank. In fact, you might even want to look at the Scotiabank Value® Visa card. This does have an annual fee but it’s only $29.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa vs Other Popular Credit Cards
Scotiabank has six other credit cards without an annual fee. They are:
There is also the Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card. This has an annual fee of just $29
Let’s see how these cards stack up.
Interest rates (purchase/cash advance)
Scotiabank SCENE Visa
Benefit of low interest rates
If you regularly carry a balance, then you may find that a low-interest rate is actually more important than rewards. This makes the No Fee Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card the clear winner out of the no-fee cards. That said, the more you use your revolving-credit facility, the more you might want to consider paying the $29 per year for the super-low interest rates of the regular Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card.
Looking at cash back cards
If you regularly pay off your balance in full, then a rewards card could make a lot of sense. You do, however, need to think about what rewards system would meet your needs. Both the Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa* Card and the Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card earn you cash back that you can then spend however you choose.
Choosing the right rewards for you
Alternatively, the Scotiabank Rewards® Visa* Card and the Scotiabank American Express® Card offer a much wider range of rewards. The American Express option, however, may be out of the reach of newer businesses as its minimum credit limit is twice that of the other options.
That said, a lot of the benefits of these cards are geared to travel, especially air travel. If you’re not a regular traveller, then you might find yourself converting your Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points anyway. If you do, then you might find that you’d actually get a better deal out of the official Scotiabank SCENE Visa.
If you want a straightforward way to help reduce the cost of either entertaining clients or treating your own employees, then the Scotiabank SCENE Visa could be just what you need.
The rewards process is very straightforward and there are participating merchants all over Canada, so you’re never going to be left out because you live in the wrong province or the wrong part of the province. What’s more, options cover everything from casual meals to fine dining so you should always be able to find a choice to suit your taste and your budget.
Why the Scotiabank SCENE Visa is a Good Credit Card for a Small Business
There are three key reasons why the Scotiabank SCENE Visa is a good credit card for a small business.
It’s available to people with no credit history
Breaking through the “no credit history” barrier can be as challenging for businesses as it is for people. The secret is often to start small and work your way up from there. With a minimum credit limit of $500, the Scotiabank SCENE Visa card is a feasible, entry-level option for new businesses.
No annual fee
Annual fees may not be a huge issue in the general scheme of life and business. They are, however, still an expense and as such most businesses (and most people) would probably prefer to avoid them if they could.
It’s great for business entertaining
Even small businesses often have to entertain clients, so it’s nice to be able to get a bit of a discount on movies and meals. Alternatively, spend your points on your team and help keep your staff happy and engaged with your business.
Who is the Scotiabank SCENE Visa best for?
The Scotiabank SCENE Visa is best for people who generally pay off their balances in full and who enjoy movies and meals. If you regularly carry a balance, then do your sums carefully. You may find it much more economical to get a card with a lower interest rate. If you do regularly pay off your balance but aren’t into movies and meals, then look at the other cards with different rewards.
Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe’s background and how he can help your business.