Understanding the Scene+ Rewards Program

by | Published Feb 7, 2022 | Edited Jun 16, 2022


For years, the Scene rewards program was a free-to-join rewards program tied to Cineplex theatres. Members could earn points for spending at Cineplex theatres, including tickets and concession purchases. It was an ok program at best, and nothing to write home about.

In late 2021, the program was transformed into Scene+ Rewards. As a result of this transformation, the Scene program has gone through some changes that cardholders should be aware of.

Let’s review how the program has changed and how you can take advantage of Scene+ Rewards to reduce the cost of your next vacation.

Scotia Rewards is now Scene+ Rewards

Scotiabank Rewards was an in-house rewards program used for all Scotiabank-branded credit cards up until December 2021. With this change, the Scotia rewards program is no more but instead, has a very close relationship to the new Scene+ Rewards loyalty program.

scene rewards logo

As of December 2021, all cards that previously earned Scotia Rewards points now earn Scene+ Rewards points. Upon your credit card statement posting, any earned points will be deposited into your Scene+ account.

Additionally, if you cancel a Scene+ associated card, the points earned by that card are not lost upon cancelling the card. Instead, the points are retained within your Scene+ Rewards account so you can still redeem them after the cancellation of the credit card.

Easiest Way to Earn Scene+ Rewards Points

The main and easiest ways to earn Scene+ Rewards points are through utilizing a Scotiabank Scene+ debit card or through any of the co-branded Scene+ Scotiabank credit cards, such as the Scotiabank Scene Visa.

For those who hold a Scotiabank Scene+ debit card, cardholders will earn 1 scene+ point per $5 spent on all purchases and 5 Scene+ points per $5 spent on all purchases at Cineplex.

On the other hand, the fastest way to earn massive amounts is via Scene+ credit card welcome bonuses. While many cards earn Scene points, there are a few that you should focus on to maximize your rewards per credit card application.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card offers a 40,000 Scene+ Rewards points welcome bonus, coupled with an $160 cash rebate if you sign up through Frugal Flyer, and no first-year annual fee. New applications will earn 20,000 Scene+ points upon spending $1k in the first 3 months, and the remaining 20,000 Scene+ points upon spending $7500 in the first year.

Plus, with an earn rate of 5x Scene+ points at grocery stores, you might be able to find a few ways to take advantage to increase your rewards balance even further.

Scotiabank Gold American Express

The Scotiabank Gold American Express card earns Scene+ rewards on all purchases and is available to individuals in Canada.

This card earns 5x Scene+ points on grocery, restaurant, and entertainment purchases. No foreign exchange fees are charged when using this card for international purchases.

Read our full review here.

BONUS
40,000 Scene+
MINSPEND
$7,500
NET VALUE
$400+
ANNUAL FEE
$120 (FYF)
FOREX FEES
No

While not as strong of an offer, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite credit card offers a 30,000 Scene+ Rewards points welcome bonus, coupled with an $160 cash rebate if you sign up through Frugal Flyer, and no first-year annual fee. New applications will earn 20,000 Scene+ bonus points upon spending $1k in the first 3 months, and the remaining 10,000 Scene+ points upon spending $40k in the first year.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card earns Scene+ rewards on all purchases and is available to individuals in Canada.

This card has no foreign transaction fees and offers 6 annual complimentary lounge access passes to Priority Pass and Plaza Premium lounges.

BONUS
25,000 Scene+
MINSPEND
$1,000
NET VALUE
$111+
ANNUAL FEE
$139
FOREX FEES
No

There are other options as well that could be considered, such as the Scotiabank Scene Visa Card. If you are going to pursue any Scene+ rewards credit cards, we recommend pursuing the Scotiabank Gold American Express card first due to the stronger welcome bonus. If you are looking to maximize your Scene+ Rewards points balance, you might be interested in applying for both. 

If you are feeling adventurous and a bit risky, you might find out that you can hold two of the same card at once while still earning both bonuses 😉

Getting the Best Value from Scene+ Points Redemptions

Scene+ Points can be redeemed for statement credit, travel, movie tickets at Cineplex theatres, shopping, dining, entertainment, and gift cards.

scene points redemption options

As we are always looking at maximizing our points at Frugal Flyer, the best way to get the best redemption value out of your Scene+ points is to use them for eligible travel transactions. 

Particularly, the “Apply Points to Travel” redemption option on Scene+ allows you to redeem points towards travel bookings and expenses up to 12 months after you have incurred those expenses. When utilizing Scene+ points in this way, they are worth 1 cent per point. This means that the Scotia Gold American Express sign-up bonus is worth $400+ in statement credit!

When you access the “Apply Points to Travel” redemption option, you will see a list of your valid travel expense transactions that were made on your Scene+ Rewards credit card. You can filter via time period, up to within the last 12 months.

scotiabank gold amex scene rewards travel redemption

From there, you can click on the “Redeem” check box and finalize the transaction to redeem your Scene+ Rewards. The redemption will show up as statement credit on your credit card within a few business days.

scene points redemption for travel credit

If you don’t have any upcoming travel expenses, it is still possible to turn your points into cash with a simple trick. Utilizing the refundable hotel trick, you can book a hotel through any travel provider. Once it shows up on your statement, you can apply your Scene+ Rewards points against the travel purchase which will show as a statement credit. From there, you can cancel the hotel and receive the refund for the initial purchase, while retaining the statement credit from the points redemption.

As of January 2022, you are only able to redeem Scene+ points against the full cost of a travel purchase. For example, if you had a $200 flight purchase on your card, you would need to have 20k Scene+ Rewards points on your account to redeem online. 

If you want to redeem points for a partial redemption (e.g. redeeming 8k points on a $100 travel purchase), you will need to call the Scene+ Call Centre at 1-866-586-2805 and a customer service representative will be able to complete the transaction on your behalf.

Other Ways to Earn Scene+ Rewards Points

While the best way to earn Scene+ Rewards points is via credit card welcome bonuses, there are some other options that can act as supplemental methods to further increase your points balance.

Other ways to earn Scene+ Rewards points include:

  • 5 Scene+ points per $1 spent at Cineplex theatres and the online Cineplex Store.
  • 3 Scene+ points per $1 spent on hotel and car rentals through the Scene+ travel Expedia portal.
  • 1 Scene+ point per $3 spent on dine-in or take-out at Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Bier Markt, Fionn Macool’s, and Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse.
  • 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent at The Rec Room and Playdium.

None of these partners will result in any significant points earnings, but it is useful to be aware of them if you find yourself needing to spend money at any of these retailers.

Scene+ Rewards members should also review any of the offers that they may have on their account to further their points balance when shopping at any of the above partners.

Scene+ & Rakuten Partnership

As part of the new Scene+ program, there is now a partnership between Rakuten.ca and Scene+. As a cashback portal, Rakuten rewards customers for shopping at any of their partnered retailers via quarterly cashback payouts. Through this partnership, any cashback payments will be paid via Scene+ points directly to your Scene+ account.

Where this becomes lucrative is that you can earn up to 20% more cashback on all purchases made on Rakuten. Consider if you were going to make a big purchase that would earn you $500 in cashback. If you were to opt to receive Scene+ Rewards as your payment method, you would receive 60k in points worth $600. Coupled with the refundable hotel trick mentioned above, this simple linkage earns you an additional $100 in your pocket with no extra work.

scene rewards rakuten partnership

If you are interested in earning up to 20% more cashback on your Rakuten purchases (in the form of Scene+ points), you can link rewards programs here.

Thoughts on the Scene+ Rewards Program

I enjoyed the Scotiabank Rewards, and since it hasn’t changed much for my use, I also really like the Scene+ Rewards program. The points are easy to redeem via the refundable hotel trick, and 1 cent per point is a pretty solid rate for a rewards program.

In late 2021, I was able to extract over $1000+ in statement credit from two credit cards, between the welcome bonus and some creative spending at gas stations. Earning more than $500 from a single credit card is fantastic value, especially when it is as good as cash in my pocket.

Conclusion

The Scene+ Rewards program can be a great tool to reduce any travel expenses you may have coming up. I’ve always found great value in applying for and earning the welcome bonuses on Scotia cards, particularly the Scotia Gold Amex, when I am in-between working on other, more valuable, cards. While the bonus may not be as substantial as other cards, earning $400+ towards travel from one application is nothing to scoff at.

Hugh Campbell

Hugh Campbell

Senior Editor at Frugal Flyer
Hugh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points-earning potential in recent years. In 2019, Hugh stepped things up when he met Reed in addition to a few other miles and points fanatics (err degenerate churners) and has since been able to capitalize on the various expertise that each member brings to the group.

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4 comments on “Understanding the Scene+ Rewards Program

  1. Hi,

    any gas station code as 5x on scotia amex gold? also which prepaid card would work the best for this scenario?

    Reply
    • Hi Viknesh,

      I haven’t found any gas stations that code as 5x on the Scotia Amex gold; I was taking advantage of prepaid card loading at 3x at specific gas stations to meet the MSR quickly. As for what card works best, I can’t give all of our secrets away. Look into prepaids that can be loaded at gas stations and liquidated in other ways.

      Hugh

      Reply