Now that Scene+ has completely replaced AIR MILES at Sobeys, Safeway and other store across Canada you may be asking yourself why should I bother with a movie rewards program. Well you should, as Scene+ is not just about movies or even dining anymore. The actual revamped Scene+ program launched late in 2021 and was the joining of Cineplex and Scotia’s separate reward programs into one.
Thus you have a movie+dining program in Cineplex SCENE combining with a travel rewards, cash back, merchandise and more program from Scotia Rewards to create Scene+. A program that covers all the reward point earning and redemption options of what the two separate programs had been before. And now with the addition of the Empire Company Ltd. group of stores it also includes groceries.
In this post we’ll give you general overview of all that the new Scene+ program has to offer so that you can see for yourself that it’s not just for movies anymore.
Prior to becoming Scene+, when it was simply Cineplex SCENE, the program had a partnership with Scotia and offered the Scene Visa co-branded credit card. Once Scotia and Cineplex joined forces to create Scene+ by amalgamating Scotia Rewards and SCENE, the former program’s credit cards became Scene+ credit cards along with the original Scene Visa Card. Thus the program all of a sudden grew from one credit card to six.
Those six cards are the:
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card
- Scotia Gold American Express Card
- Scotia SCENE Visa Card
- Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® Card
- Scotiabank American Express Card
- ScotiaGold Passport® VISA* card
You have a good choice of cards to earn points with along with a variety of features and benefits depending on which card you get. For example, the Scotia Gold American Express Card is a “points earning machine” (as we like to call several cards in Canada) that earns up to 6 points per dollar spent and has no foreign transaction fees. Those 6 points are earned at Empire Stores and represents a 6% return on your spending. That’s the highest rate of return on grocery purchases in Canada without taking convertible points programs into account.
Then you have the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card which is one the most well rounded travel rewards cards in Canada with mid-level points earning, no foreign transaction fees, a great airport lounge access benefit and very strong travel insurance.
Truth be told, the Scotia Scene+ cards are some the best in Canada. Five of the Scene+ cards actually rank very high in Canada’s Top Travel Rewards Credit Card Rankings:
- Scotia Gold American Express Card – #1 Travel Points Card with an annual fee
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card – #3 Travel Points Card with an annual fee
- Scotiabank American Express Card – #2 No Fee Travel Rewards Card
- Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card – #4 No Fee Travel Rewards Card
- Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card – #5 Ultra Premium Credit Card
The old SCENE program was born out of movies. Cineplex launched the loyalty program for movie goers and that part of the program still plays a big part in the new Scene+ program.
There have been numerous changes to the earning and redemption rates for the movie side of things over the years with the most recent just taking place this past August for the redemption side of things.
The current rate for earning points with Cineplex (in theatre or online) is 5 points per dollar spent. This is earned on movies, concessions, online rentals and purchases etc.
To better match the other reward options in the program. Scene+ went away from set amount of points for a movie to 100 points towards $1. This 100 to $1 ratio is the same rate for travel, groceries and dining.
The move to this new redemption model was both a good and bad. Good in that members no longer have to wait to have enough points to being able to redeem for a movie, instead you can make your movies and concessions cheaper by paying part with points and part with cash.
However in some cases it will now cost more points for a movie than before. For example previously you could redeem 1,250 for a general admission ticket however which may have had a cash value $13.99 (just throwing out a number here). Thus with the new redemption model you have to redeem 1,400 points for the same ticket.
Dining & Entertainment
The dining portion of Scene+ hasn’t changed from what we saw in the old Cineplex SCENE+ program. Here members have the ability to earn and redeem points for dining at Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Bier Markt, and Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse. The earn rates are 3 points for every $1 spent while redemption is 500 points for $5.
Playdium and The Rec Room continue the fulfill the entertainment part of the program with earn rates at these locations being 1 point per $1 spent. Redemption matches the dining option of 500 points for $5.
Thanks to the old Scotia Rewards program, Scene+ gained travel rewards. The travel rewards that were offered by Scotia before were pretty amazing and those continue on in the new program. The great thing about it is you don’t have to have one of the Scene+ credit cards to enjoy the program’s travel rewards. Although if travel is going to be your main goal with Scene+ having one of their cards will provide more value and greater flexibility when booking travel.
If you only have a Scene+ loyalty card and not a Scene+ credit card you can earn points for booking hotels and car rentals via Scene+ Travel, powered by Expedia. You can also redeem your points towards any travel booked via Scene+ Travel at a rate of 100 points to $1. So if you have 10,000 points you can use that to save $100 on your Scene+ Travel purchase and then pay the remainder with any credit card you like.
If you have a Scene+ credit card you get the same earning and redeeming option as outlined above when you book via Scene+ Travel, powered by Expedia. However by having a Scene+ credit card you don’t have to book your travel with Scene+ Travel. For credit card holders they have kept one of the most popular and important redemption option that was seen in the old Scotia Rewards program. And that is the ability to book any travel with any travel provider and then redeem points against that charge once it shows on your statement. This means you can go buy a ticket on aircanada.com, a hotel stay on bestwestern.com or a vacation package from Red Tag Vacations and use your points to pay for part or all of it.
Even if you don’t book ahead – say you are driving from Winnipeg to Calgary and decide you can’t do it in one day so you stop in Moose Jaw and pick a random hotel, as long as you pay for it with your Scene+ credit card you can redeem your points for it afterwards. In fact you have up to 12 months after the charge posts to redeem. That’s what we call flexibility.
Grocery / Pharmacy / Liquor Store Earning and redeeming
Over the past year there we have had lots of coverage of the big shift in loyalty programs for grocery stores as Sobeys, Safeway and other affiliated grocery, pharmacy and convenience stores moved from AIR MILES to Scene+. This culminated with the last regions and stores launching Scene+ on March 23, 2023.
In terms of earning and redeeming Scene+ points at these grocery stores here is what you can expect:
As detailed last year, the primary difference between earning AIR MILES and Scene+ points at Sobeys and all their other grocery stores is that there is not a base earn rate*. You’ll only earn Scene+ points when you buy select items, receive bonus offers for spending a certain amount (you’ll usually find these offers in the flyer) and also via personalized offers.
* There is an exception to this as purchases at pharmacies and Needs Convenience stores do have a base earn rate.
Individual item bonus points
As AIR MILES members were accustomed to at Sobeys and PC Optimum members with Loblaw stores, you can earn bonus points each for buying specific items. You’ll find these bonuses printed in each weekly flyer and most likely will have some sort of bonus points tag in store as well:
One of our long time contributors Joshua C. told us he likes how easy it is to calculate your return or the value of the bonus points. As most redemptions in the Scene+ program are 100 points to $1 you simply need to shift the decimal point two spots to the left on the bonus to know your value. If you get 400 bonus points for buying Lays potato chips, that’s a $4.00 return. It was a little tougher to calculate AIR MILES value due to the variable rates of redemption unless you were set for 100% Cash Mile in which case it is 10.5 cents per mile which still required more calculation to figure out value in comparison to Scene+
Additional bonus points offers
On top of the individual product offers there are or will be additional bonus offers available for Scene+ members. For example, during their Atlantic Canada launch week members could earn 200 points for spending $20 (That’s a low threshold!) or 1,500 points for spending $100 or more.
Just as Sobeys and other affiliated stores have/had personalized AIR MILES offers at getmyoffers.ca, the Scene+ Sobeys partnership also has these offers. They can be found at https://www.mygroceryoffers.ca/
Grocery / Pharmacy / Liquor Store Redemption Rate
With AIR MILES many members enjoyed using their Cash Miles for groceries and Scene+ offers the same redemption option. When you are paying for your purchases at participating grocery, pharmacy and liquor stores you’ll be able to redeem points to bring the price down. The redemption rate at these stores is 1,000 points for $10. Or if you are cents per point person, that is 1 cpp.
Accelerated Scene+ Credit Card earn rates at these stores
Most Scene+ credit cards have received accelerated earn rates when you use them for purchases at Sobeys and affiliated stores. The earn rates are quite amazing and provide up to a 6% return! Here are those rates:
- Scotia Gold American Express Card 6X Scene+ points for each $1 CAD charged to your account on all eligible purchases1at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card 3X Scene+ points for each dollar charged to your account on all eligible purchases1 at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés TradItIon, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op
- Scotia SCENE Visa Card 2X Scene+ points for each dollar charged to your account on all eligible purchases1
at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.
- Scotiabank American Express Card 3X Scene+ points for each dollar charged to your account on all eligible purchases1 at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.
When the Scene+ program launched they announced a new partnership with the online cash back shoppinh portal Rakuten.ca. This partnership allows Scene+ members to earn up to 20% more Cash Back in points with Scene+ Rakuten for their online shopping at hundreds of retailers.
Merchandise & gift cards
Scene+ members can redeem points directly when shopping online with Apple and Best Buy. For both of these retailers you can pay with as little as 20% of the item’s value plus taxes in points, and charge the remaining 80% to any payment product of your choice. The redemption value of points for Apple and Best Buy are lower than what you would get using them for travel, groceries, movies or dining.
Members can also choose to redeem for gift cards from over 60 different retailers. The best value in gift cards are for those retailers who are Scene+ partners like Sobeys, Safeway, Ultimate Dining etc. as you redeem at the equivalent value of 100 points to $1. Other cards will cost more points (ie American Eagle $25 card is 3,400 points) so you do lose some potential value when compared to other redemptions but it is still good to have these options available.
The final redemption option that is part of the Scene+ program is only available to Scotiabank debit and credit card holders and that is the ability to use your points for a statement credit. Scene+ calls this Points for Credit and it allows you to redeem points towards a non-travel purchase or purchases on your account at the following rates:
- 3,000 points = $20
- 4,500 points = $30
- 7,500 points = $50
- 11,000 points = $75
- 14,500 points = $100
- 21,000 points = $150
- 43,000 points = $300
- 71,500 points = $500
Wrapping it up
Scene+ completed its expansion last week by launching at Empire stores in Quebec and New Brunswick plus Thrifty stores in B.C.. Now with nationwide grocery store coverage and Home Hardware to a launch soon, this is a program that should not be dismissed. It not just a movie program anymore. It has become a mini-coalition program in the likes of AIR MILES, PC Optimum, More Rewards and several others. You have multiple avenues to earning points and have an exciting array of reward options to choose from.
Click here to check out the Scene+ program
- The new Scene+ program is now live, find all the details here!
- Scene+ scores big at the expense of AIR MILES – watch for grocery earning and redeeming to come soon to the program!
- The first step in the Scene+ Sobeys partnership is here – awesome new earn rates for Scotiabank credit cards
- Scene+ redemption rate for groceries will be a great 1,000 points for $10
- Scene+ Grocery points earning will emulate the PC Optimum program
- Scene+ officially launches at Sobeys and other grocery stores in Atlantic Canada today
- Scene+ will launch at Sobeys, Safeway and other stores in Western Canada & Western Ontario on September 22