15 Tips to Save BIG at the Movies
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[Updated: April 2019]
If you love going to the movies as much as I do but dread the expensive admission prices and concession costs, here are fifteen “HIP” tips to help you save BIG on movie entertainment…
1.) Save $2-$4 Per Ticket at Warehouse Clubs
If you have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership, you can save a few dollars per movie ticket when you buy the bundles in-store or online. Costco sells a 4-pack of Cinemark Theatres Platinum Supersaver Movie E-Tickets (valid for ANY movie at ANY time) for $33.99 delivered – just $8.50 per ticket!
Considering that you can use these tickets to see an Adult Evening movie which costs around $10-$12/each at the Cinemark box office (will vary by region), you’re saving an average of $2-$4 per ticket and the E-Tickets have no expiration date!
2.) Go on Discount Days or for Early Showings
If your movie theater offers a discount for purchasing tickets on a particular day, grab the family and head to the movies! As an idea, AMC offers $5 Ticket Tuesdays where tickets are just $5 every Tuesday with your AMC Stubs membership. Plus, on Tuesdays, get a cameo fountain drink & popcorn for $5!
Also, Cinemark offers various Discount Days (will vary by location), as well as other discounts for military, seniors, students, early bird options and more. And, Regal Cinemas offers Value Days where you can enjoy discounted movie ticket prices (excludes holidays and opening days for new movies).
3.) Sign Up for Loyalty Programs
If you like saving money on movie tickets and/or concessions, it’s definitely worth signing up for your theater’s loyalty program! Here are a few loyalty programs for popular theaters across the country:
Whenever you sign up for the free Regal Crown Club, you’ll be able to earn points towards free movie tickets or concessions. Plus, members can get 25% off candy on Mondays and 50% off popcorn on Tuesdays with paid admission (scroll down to the bottom of the page for more details).
Or, become a member of AMC Stubs Insiders Rewards program (it’s free!) and you’ll be able to take advantage of $5 Ticket Tuesdays, a free large popcorn on your birthday, a free refill with large popcorn purchase, a $5 reward every time you reach 5,000 points, exclusive offers and more.
If you’d rather, you can get AMC Premiere perks like free size upgrades on popcorn and fountain drinks and earn points 5x faster than Insiders (100 points per $1 spent) – all for just $15 a year.
Prefer Cinemark? Sign up for Cinemark Connections and you’ll get exclusive savings at the concession stand, early access to advance tickets, be able to enter contests and sweepstakes plus more!
4.) Scout out the Daily Deal sites
A few times a year, Groupon offers discounted vouchers for Fandango movie tickets. The discount is usually a percentage off the ticket price or a flat rate price for two tickets to a specific movie. Just keep in mind that convenience fees still often apply, but the voucher often can be applied towards this fee.
5.) Find a Discount or Dollar Movie Theater
Instead of seeing movies when they are first released, consider finding a Discount or Dollar Movie Theater in your area (such as Starplex Cinemas) where you’ll be able to score deeply discounted movie tickets. You may also be able to score inexpensive concessions.
6.) Watch for Fandango Promotions
Fandango often offers discounts whenever you pay with VISA Checkout and use an applicable promo code (such as this recent Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotion, this $14 off 3 movie tickets promotion, and this $10 off 2 movie tickets promotion). Although Fandango tacks on a convenience fee, you can still save a few bucks when purchasing tickets during a promotion.
7.) Sign up for Mobile or Email Coupons
Sign up for Cinemark’s Weekly Email, and enjoy free Weekly Concession coupons along with Featured Films, Events, Contests and Special Offers. Then just redeem on your smart phone or by printing your coupon. You can also download the FREE Cinemark Theatres app for iPhone and Android that allows you to purchase movie tickets, find showtimes, and use CineMode to earn rewards for being courteous during the show.
Also, be sure to follow your favorite movie theater via Facebook or Twitter as you can occasionally find coupons for Concessions or possibly other special offers!
8.) Save with MoviePass
If you see 2-3 movies per week, consider signing up for a subscription to MoviePass, a monthly service that provides unlimited access to movie screenings in your area with no blackout dates – and is available for all major movies and all major theaters (with over 3,700 theaters and more than 33,000 screens)! The cost is just $30-$35 per month based on your location.
There are a few catches to the service, such as you can’t see more than a movie a day, you can’t see the same movie twice, and you can’t see any 3D movies. However, if you see a couple of movies every week, you’re bringing the cost down to under $5 per movie, which is an awesome price! If you’re on the fence about MoviePass, you can sign up for a FREE two-week trial to see if it works for you.
9.) Purchase Discounted Gift Cards
Raise.com sells discounted gift cards to hundreds of businesses, including all of the major movie theaters. Also, eBay.com, Newegg.com, Groupon, or Amazon occasionally offer up discounted movie theater gift card deals. Also, select grocery store chains (such as Kroger or Safeway) offer gift card discounts whenever you purchase the gift cards at their store or load eCoupons to your loyalty card.
10.) Redeem credit card perks
Call your credit card company to see what promotions are available. As an idea, Chase Freedom and Citibank Rewards offer Regal gift cards available for purchase with your rewards points. Also, certain credit cards offer bonus points for purchases at “entertainment” vendors, which often includes movie theaters.
11.) Watch for Free Movie Ticket Offers on Products
You can often find FREE movie ticket promotions advertised on products all over your local grocery store – on select movies, food products, and more…so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these promotions whenever you shop.
Also, Costco, Best Buy (in-stores and online), Walmart, Amazon, and Target often have promotions or peelie offers that advertise FREE Fandango or Movie Cash whenever you purchase those specially marked or advertised movies!
12.) Buy Your Tickets in Bulk
Purchase your tickets one or two at a time and you’ll pay full price. Purchase them 25 or more at a time, and you’ll pay a lot less. Get the details on bulk ordering for AMC, Cinemark, or Regal on their websites.
13.) Cash in Your Rewards Points
Disney Movie Rewards, Pampers Gifts to Grow, and MyCokeRewards are just a few of the programs that allow you to cash in your rewards points for free movie tickets or concessions. Check through the rewards catalog of every rewards program you belong to, and you should find opportunities to earn free movie tickets.
14.) Get Free Advance Screening Tickets
Gofobo (go here for a recent promotion) and Universal Screenings (go here for a previous example) often offer up FREE advanced movie screening passes for select cities – no purchase required. You may be asked to create an account or log in with your existing account in order to reserve your passes. Also, keep in mind that these passes are claimed quickly and are on a first come, first serve basis. You may also be able to check out Advance Screenings for other offers in your area.
15.) Enter Various Sweepstakes
Feeling lucky? Be sure to enter all of the great instant win games and sweepstakes that are posted on a regular basis on Hip2Save. For example, in this recent roundup, you could enter a couple sweepstakes for a chance to win Fandango gift cards, Hollywood Movie Money Certificates, and more.