Scene+ was launched towards the end of 2021 as a revitalized merger between the existing Scene points program and Scotia Rewards. Then, with the induction of grocery powerhouse the Empire Company as co-owner in 2022, Scene+ has rapidly evolved as one of the top rewards programs in Canada.
With several everyday spending opportunities, Scene+ is one of the easiest points currencies to collect in Canada these days. They’re easy and flexible to redeem too; you use them at a fixed value towards not only travel purchases but also groceries, dining, entertainment, and gift cards.
But let’s be clear – these aren’t necessarily the points that will fly you in business class or First Class. However, you’ll find how they’re quite useful when redeemed to offset other travel purchases and minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
Earning Points via Signup Bonuses
While it’s possible to earn Scene+ points in a variety of ways outside of credit card spending, it’s noticeably easier to earn sizable amounts as credit card signup bonuses.
- The Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card is a flagship premium credit card, with the most perks and benefits. You can find the largest signup bonus on this card.
- The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is a mid-range American Express card, with frequent First Year Free promotions and a strong, consistent signup bonus.
- The Scotiabank American Express Card is an entry-level no-fee American Express card, with a small welcome bonus, usually of between 5,000–10,000 Scene+ points.
- The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is a mid-tier Visa card with no foreign transaction fees and complimentary lounge access
- The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business Card is the business version of the Passport Visa Infinite Card and offers similar bonuses and benefits
|40,000 Scene+ points
|40,000 Scene+ Rewards points
|40,000 Scene+ points
|60,000 Scene+ points
|7,000 Scene+ points
Earning Points via Daily Spending
In addition to welcome offers, you can earn Scene+ points through daily spending on the above credit cards. The earning rates are as follows:
- Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card:
- 2 Scene+ points per dollar spent on all purchases
- Scotiabank Gold American Express Card:
- 6 Scene+ points per dollar spent at Empire-affiliated grocery stores (Safeway, Sobeys, IGA, Thrifty Foods, etc).
- 5 Scene+ points per dollar spent on groceries, dining, and entertainment
- 3 Scene+ points per dollar spent on gas, transit, and streaming services
- 1 Scene+ point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Scotiabank American Express Card:
- 2 Scene+ points per dollar spent on dining, grocery, movie theatres, gas, transit and streaming services purchases
- 1 Scene+ point per dollar spent on all purchases
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card:
- 2 Scene+ points per dollar spent on transit, groceries, dining, and entertainment
- 1 Scene+ point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business Card:
- 1.5 Scene+ points per dollar spent on all purchases
From this list, we can see the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has some of the highest earning rates around, with the Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card comes out strong with a relatively high base earning rate on all purchases.
Aside from credit card spending, as a multifaceted rewards program, you can also earn Scene+ points on the following by mostly using your membership card alone:
- 1 Scene+ point per $5 spent on all purchases using a Scotiabank debit card
- 1 Scene+ point per $3 spent on dine-in or takeout at Recipe Unlimited restaurants (Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Bier Markt, and Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse)
- Personalized and weekly offers/bonuses found on the Scene+ app
- 5 Scene+ points per dollar spent on Cineplex movie tickets, and food and drink
- 5 Scene+ points per dollar spent on Cineplex Store rentals and purchases
- 1 Scene+ point per dollar spent at The Rec Room and Playdium
Groceries & Pharmacy
- 2 Scene+ points per dollar spent on entire amount of prescriptions at Empire Company pharmacies (Sobeys, Safeway, Lawton Drugs, etc.) – applicable to Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan only
- 1 Scene+ point per $2 spent at Needs Convenience
- Personalized and weekly offers/bonuses found on flyers and apps of Empire Company grocery stores (Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, IGA, etc.), grocery delivery services (Voila), and pharmacies (Lawton Drugs)
- 50 Scene+ points per $50 spent at Home Hardware
- Up to 20% more Scene+ points back with a cash back portal powered by Rakuten
- Exclusive higher Scene+ rebate offers for members
- 3 Scene+ points per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals when booked with Scene+ Travel powered by Expedia
Redeeming Scene+ Points
The revamped Scene+ rewards program offers countless redemption possibilities, with some being more valuable than others.
The highest redemption value for Scene+ points comes by redeeming them on travel purchases, either through the dedicated redemption portal powered by Expedia or by offsetting any travel purchase charged to your card. By redeeming points this way, you’ll get a fixed value of 1 cent per point (cpp).
Scene+ Travel powered by Expedia is essentially the same platform as the regular Expedia, except you log in through the Scene+ portal first to enable you to earn and redeem points.
But again, with the flexibility of Scene+ points, you’re not limited to booking directly with Scene+, and it’s almost always recommended to book any flights, hotels, or other travel directly then just offsetting your purchases with points.
This avoids common problems with online travel agencies such as higher rates, lack of loyalty program benefits, and poor customer service when it comes to irregular operations.
After making your travel purchase and waiting a few days for the transaction to post, and head to the “Apply Points for Travel” page. You have up until 12 months after you’ve travelled to do this, so it’s not time sensitive by any means.
Simply find the transaction and offset it with your points. It’s that easy!
Scene+ points are particularly useful for booking travel that is otherwise difficult to book using points. Common applications can include independent hotels, cruises, car rentals, or any other travel purchase you encounter along the way.
While it would take a large sum to book a free flight in business class, Scene+ points are useful to reduce the other expenses that tend to add up during a trip. When used in conjunction with other points currencies, they can be a great way to bring down the overall cost of a trip.
General Statement Credits
As an alterative to travel statement credits, you may opt to use your Scene+ points for a general credit towards your bill. But compared to the travel statement credits above, this option gives you less value for your Scene+ points.
Whether you redeem $20 or $500 in statement credits, you’re only getting approximately 0.7 cent per point, which again, is poor value versus using your points to offset travel purchases.
But since it could also be applied as a credit towards your linked Scotiabank debit card, you can, technically-speaking, convert your Scene+ points to cash that you can withdraw.
Grocery, Entertainment, and Dining
If you don’t currently have travel plans or would rather charge your travel expenses on other credit cards, Scene+ flexibly allows redemptions for grocery, entertainment, and dining as an instant credit to your bill.
At Empire Company grocery stores (Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, IGA, etc.) nationwide, you can redeem blocks of 1,000 points to get $10 off your bill directly.
Then, at Cineplex entertainment venues, including The Rec Room and Playdium, you can redeem blocks of 500 points to get $5 off your bill directly.
Lastly, at Recipe Unlimited restaurants (Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Bier Markt, and Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse), you can redeem blocks of 500 points to get $5 off your bill directly.
On all the redemptions above, you’re also getting a value of 1 cent per point, making these instant redemptions a great alternative to travel statement credits.
Note that you’d only need your Scene+ membership card or number when redeeming at outlets/stores, and you don’t necessarily have to charge the rest of your bill with your Scene+ co-branded credit card.
The most recent addition to the roster of Scene+ partners is Home Hardware and its associated brands, namely Home Building Centre, Home Hardware Building Centre, and Home Furniture.
Through 1,100+ dealer-owned locations, as well as online at homehardware.ca, you can redeem your Scene+ points instantly at a rate of 1,000 points = $10. Like other Scene+ redemption opportunities, you’re getting a value of 1 cent per point.
Another flexible redemption for your Scene+ points is gift cards. You can redeem gift cards for a variety of categories, including groceries, gas, beauty, and electronics.
Most gift cards, including Shell and Home Hardware, yield the optimal redemption value of 1 cent per point, but others give you less. For instance, you can get a $10 Best Buy or Sephora gift card for 1,400 points, making the redemption value 0.7 cent per point.
You can order gift cards in electronic form delivered within 24 hours or as physical cards shipped within two weeks.
Scene+ offers a selection of merchandise for redemption through its own Apple storefront and its Best Buy catalogue.
As an authorized reseller, Scene+ offers the complete range of Apple products that you would find in an Apple Store. However, these redemptions aren’t necessarily a good use of your Scene+ points.
For example, an iPhone Pro Max 128GB costs 223,745 Scene+ points, which are worth $2,237.45 (CAD) at the ideal 1 cent per point redemption value. Currently, the same model sells for $1,549 (CAD) at the Apple Store, so even with taxes and recycling fees, you’re still losing substantial value by directly redeeming your Scene+ points for Apple products.
The Best Buy catalogue, on the other hand, offers a huge variety of merchandise that you’d otherwise find at the retailer’s brick-and-mortar and online stores. But again, you’re not getting good value in redeeming through it either.
Taking the Apple Airpods 3rd generation as an example, the Best Buy catalogue requires 30,332 Scene+ points, which are worth $303.32 (CAD) at 1 cent per point. You’ll end up losing value on your Scene+ points when the Best Buy online store itself sells them for $209.99 (CAD).
As you can see, in some cases, you can get maximum value out of Scene+ points by redeeming them for things aside from travel; however, you can also get much worse value.
Scene+ is a flexible rewards currency that you should definitely look into including in your points arsenal. While it may not necessarily fly you in business class or First Class, its flexibility and simplicity to be applied as a statement credit will lower your out-of-pocket costs on travel purchases otherwise not redeemable by miles or other point currencies.
But if you’re not looking to travel anytime soon, you’re also afforded the option to instantly redeem your points on groceries, dining, entertainment, and even gift cards – all at a great redemption value.