Scotiabank Scene Visa Review (2020): Turn Your Spending into Fun Treats!

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

  • Annual fee: None
  • Supplementary cards: Free
  • Interest rates: 19.99% (purchases)/22.99% (cash advances)
  • Foreign currency conversion: 2.5%
  • Minimum credit limit $500
  • Visa payWave™, Apple Pay and Android Pay

Benefits of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa 

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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 

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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:

  • Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa* Card
  • No Fee Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card
  • Scotiabank Rewards® Visa* Card
  • Scotiabank® GM®* Visa* Card
  • Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card
  • Scotiabank American Express® Card

There is also the Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card. This has an annual fee of just $29

  • Except for the American Express card, all of these cards have a minimum credit limit of $500. The American Express card has a minimum limit of $1000.
  • All cards have foreign currency conversion fees of 2.5%
  • All cards entitle the cardholders to discounts on car rentals at participating outlets of AVIS and Budget in Canada and the U.S.

Let’s see how these cards stack up.

Card

Interest rates (purchase/cash advance)

Benefits

 

Scotiabank SCENE Visa

  • 19.99%/22.99%
  • Earn SCENE points with purchases and redeem them for movies and meals.

 

Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa* Card

  • 19.99%/22.99%
  • Earn 1% cash back at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores and on recurring bill payments.  Earn 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

 

No Fee Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card

  • 16.99%/16.99%

 

Scotiabank Rewards® Visa* Card

  • 19.99%/22.99%
  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $2 you spend.  Convert Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points and vice versa.  Redeem your Rewards points for flights and benefit from a Best Price Guarantee on airfares.

 

Scotiabank® GM®* Visa* Card

  • 19.99%/22.99%
  • Earn 5% in GM Earnings up to $5,000 per year, and 2% thereafter.  Use your GM Earnings towards the purchase or lease of any eligible new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac

 

Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card

  • 19.99%/22.99%
  • Earn 1% cash back at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores and on recurring bill payments.  Earn 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

 

Scotiabank American Express® Card

  • 19.99%/22.99%
  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 on eligible purchases.  Convert Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points and vice versa.  
  • Redeem your Rewards points for flights and benefit from a Best Price Guarantee on airfares.
  • Benefit from special Offers with Scotia Rewards Travel Advantage
  • Exchange points on merchandise and gifts at Scotia Rewards
  • Enjoy Special Offers, Access and Experiences with American Express Invites®
  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Rental Car Collision Loss/Damage Insurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance

 

Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card

  • 19.99%/22.99%

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.


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