Are You “Richer Than You Think?”

We all know the phrase; it’s catchy and makes everyone who hears it wonder if they are richer than they think. The slogan was put out to support a few accounts that Scotia offers which gives you extra benefits, let’s take a look at the debit accounts Scotia offers.

The main account which theoretically supports this slogan “You’re Richer Than You Think” is the “MoneyBack” debit account that entails you get the 1% money back plan, unlimited self-service transactions, two free interact withdrawals from non-Scotia AMBs in Canada, Scotia Info Alerts, and no charge for paper billing. Sounds nice except that the bonus only being 1% is 4% less than the mandatory GST you pay on every purchase in order to get the 1% back. Except the monthly account fees of $14.95. Except the fact that the 1% money back guarantee is only up to $300 a year, which when you add up the annual banking fees and subtract that from the amount of money you could get leaves you with a realistic gain of $120.60.If you add the $6/month you could potentially save if you utilized the two free AMB transactions per month and if you added what some banks charge to continue paper billing, about $2/month to the whole amount of money you are “saving” and getting back your total would only be $216.60.

Now even if you invested that $216.60 in Scotia’s TFSA account at the whopping growth rate of 2.00% over a year you would profit $54.14. Do that for 10 years and you’ve got yourself $2707.50. If you have the time to commit to investing that $2707.50 for another 10 years in a 6% interest return account you would have $4926.02, at 8% interest return you could have 6009.68; now that is a sum of money that could impact your year! As long as the cost of living stays consistent and inflation doesn’t rise then yes, because of your MoneyBack Scotia bank account you WILL be richer than you think…in 20 years.

Another product that Scotia offers is their Scotia One account which gives you unlimited debit transactions, access to the Scene Rewards program, no charge for Scotia Info Alerts, overdraft protection (subject to credit approval), and gives you eligibility to have CDIC (Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation) coverage, all for only $11.95/month. But wait! You’re richer than you think because if you hold a daily bank account balance of $3,000 or more your monthly fee is waived! That means as long as you don’t spend all your money, everyday, all year, you could save an outstanding $143.40 per year. Given that there there is no interest paid on this account since it’s a chequing account and not a savings account, I am not sure how it makes YOU richer however it is a great way for Scotia to ensure that people keep a decent amount of money with and “in” their bank, meaning the BANK is actually “richer than you think”!

The program which Scotia seems most proud of and possibly most known for is their Scene Rewards program which as stated above you can have some access to with a  few others, or you can really commit to the program as a consumer with Scotia’s Scene member, debit, and credit accounts. With the Scene Scotia debit card you would get 2,000, 4,000, or 6,000 points, enough to by 2, 4 or 6 movie tickets (their website info page is a little confused on how many points they are willing to give new members upon sign up), 10% off concession costs at participating Cineplex Odeon Theaters, and be able to earn 1 Scene points for every $5 you spend via your Scene debit card. Meaning that for every $5,000 you spend you earn ONE movie pass (worth 1,000 points). Nice. You also earn 100 points every time you actually pay to see a movie at a Cineplex Theater and you earn 5 Scene points for every $1 you spend at the theater. The Scene Visa card is an even better deal because it earns you 1 point for every $1 you spend, thus you only have to spend $1,000 on your credit (which has an interest rate of 19.99%) in order to get a $12.99 or $15.99 (if you’re movie is in 3D or in the UltraAVX theater) ticket for FREE. Unfortunately on Scotia’s website it doesn’t tell you if you get other features aside from accumulating movie going points with the Scene debit card such as unlimited transactions so it is hard to determine just how much money you could be saving by not having to pay for movie tickets. It also doesn’t tell you what the monthly fee is for this account.

The Scene Scotia account is meant for a specific demographic since in 2011 it was reported that 33% of the USA/Canadian population did not go to a movie at all that year! And 10% out of the 67% of people that did go to a movie only went to one that entire year. 47% identified that they go to a movie less than once a month, and the remaining 10% of North American people went to a movie “frequently” (at the rate of one per month). Since going to the movies is the cheapest past time when compared to attending professional sports games or going to amusement parks it is no wonder that despite the 1/3 of North American’s who don’t go, there are still many people going. It’s no secret that there is money to be made in the industry, and while there are threats like downloading, streaming, and the very affordable Netflix there was still an increase of 2 million people ages 25-39 in 2011 from 2010, a profitable comparison to the decrease by 1 million in the demographic age group of 18-24 year old. The Scotia Scene card has the potential to be a great money saving tool for the average sized family or single parent with children at home (which was 3 in 2001) who enjoy going to the movies and spend at least $3,000 per month on their credit card or $15,000 on their debit card per month.  If you fall under that criteria then congratulations, with the money you will save on 3 movie movie tickets a month, you just might be “Richer Than You Think”!