The launch of the Scène+ card is worrying several Quebec IGA customers

IGA’s decision to abandon Air Miles in favor of the Scène+ program worries Quebec consumers.

A variety of customers have reached out to me to express their concerns about this mid-June announcement, which lacks transparency.

Empire, IGA’s parent company, acquired a third of the Scene loyalty program (other co-owners are Scotiabank and Cineplex). In Quebec, the grocer plans to eject Air Miles early next year.

The announcement has caused dissatisfaction, given that Air Miles notably allows customers to shop directly at groceries or save on gas, advantages that interest millions of consumers.

Ontario restaurants

However, with the exception of Harvey’s, the Scène+ card only allows you to eat at Ontario-focused restaurant chains.

On the other hand, the Scène+ card is honored at the Cineplex, but since the Quebec cinema industry is dominated by independents and Guzzo, Cineplex is absent in many cities.

“This change primarily confirms that the Air Miles program is less generous at 1 mile per $20 purchase. You have to earn a lot of miles to take full advantage of them. With Scene+, 1 point equals 1 cent; 10,000 points equals $100,” explains Jean Maximilien Voisine, President of Milesopedia, a reference site for loyalty programs and credit cards.

loss of altitude

Air Miles has recently lost key customers: RONA, Bureau en Gros and the LCBO, the Ontario equivalent of the SAQ. Air Miles is still offered by Shell, but in Quebec this network belongs to … Empire.

Note that Esso chose Optimum, a more popular program than Air Miles, according to R3 Marketing and Léger PC.

The omission of airline miles makes sense for retailers who now want tighter control over information about their customers’ purchasing behavior. Conversely, Scotiabank and Cineplex wanted to improve Scene+ by acquiring a grocer that is very close to the consumer.

In late June, Sobey’s President Michael Medline said in a statement that “soon” it will be possible to use Scene+ for grocery shopping. Why not officially announce it in stores?


  • We’ve said it many times: bonus points aren’t RRSPs, don’t rack up tens of thousands of them. Even though it’s forbidden, the managers of these programs have some tricks to reduce the value of the points over time.
  • Best advice? Redeem all your airline miles before the holidays, especially at Jean Coutu.
  • In my eyes, the most appropriate rewards programs, especially in inflation, are those that allow for in-store purchases or cashback.
  • Jean Maximilien Voisine suggests purchasing one of the seven Scotia credit cards associated with the Scene+ program, expanding this rewards program.
  • At the time of going to press, vouchers with miles could still be purchased at Sobeys or IGA. Your miles keep their value.

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