Fandango.com Discounts, Deals and Coupon Codes

Cutting Costs at the Movie Theater

We dig into the best ways to save money at the movie theaters, so you don't get stuck overpaying for more than just the sodas and popcorn.

People watching a movie with 3D glasses.
Going to the movies these days can be a big burden on your wallet, especially if you’re bringing the whole family. Add on a few snacks and drinks to your ticket costs, and you might be rethinking your desire to see the latest blockbuster.

However, watching the year’s best films doesn’t have to drain your bank account. There are loyalty programs, reward cards and other cost-saving methods you can use to make sure you don’t have to skip your favorite pastime.

Movie Theater Loyalty Programs

Movie theaters know they’re charging you big bucks to see films. Loyalty programs are designed to provide your wallet with a little relief. Here are some theaters that offer loyalty programs, as well as info on how the savings stack up.

  • AMC Stubs – Eligible at AMC theaters, Loews Cineplex, Magic Johnson theaters and Stars theaters. You receive a $10 AMC Stubs reward for every $100 you spend at a participating theater, and you can get upgraded concessions (buy a small popcorn and get a free upgrade to medium, for example). The membership fee is $12 per year. Online ticket fees are waived on Fandango.com and amctheatres.com, meaning no waiting in line for your ticket once you get to the theater. The savings from no-fee online ticket purchases can make up for your membership fee fairly quickly if you go to the movies frequently.
  • Carmike Cinemas Rewards – Eligible at Carmike Cinemas. You receive one point for every $1 spent at concession stands and the box office. Points accumulate and translate into rewards, such as free snacks and tickets. There is a 20-point maximum during a three-hour period and the program is open to all customers age 13 and older.
  • Cobb Theaters – Eligible at any Cobb Theater. Through this program, you'll earn two points for every movie ticket purchased (with an eight-point maximum per day). Points translate into rewards, such as free snacks and tickets. There is no fee for joining the program and you get a free small popcorn when you sign up.
  • Regal Crown Club – Eligible at Regal theaters. This program is free to join, and allows you to earn credits toward concessions and tickets. You receive one credit for every one dollar spent at the box office and four credits for any transaction at the concession stand.

Credit Card Loyalty Rewards

Credit card providers know their customers like to spend on entertainment, and the movie theater is a popular place for swiping. Here are some prominent credit card dealers who have established rewards for customers who specifically want cash for entertainment purposes.

  • Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – This card will give you two ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining out or entertainment. Points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards from cash to electronics.
  • Visa Signature – With the Visa Signature card, you may be eligible for deals that include free movie tickets and Fandango gift cards, depending on your location and availability. As of June 2015, you can receive one free ticket on Fridays when purchasing two or more tickets. The deal applies to tickets purchased on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday for a Friday movie showing through August 21, 2015. When using your Signature card at an AMC theater, you can put this money toward your AMC Stubs membership so you receive credit for all tickets. The expense will be accounted for in the $10 reward for every $100 spent portion of the loyalty program. By using the Visa Signature 2-for-1 deal, you'd only end up spending $50 to get to the $100 reward threshold, if we assume the average ticket price is $10.
  • Discover It Card – This card will give you 1 percent cash back on purchases made at movie theaters (and other vendors), which you can redeem at any time.

Bonus Savings

Of course, there are additional ways you can extend your savings beyond loyalty programs and credit cards. For instance, you can choose to buy your tickets at the box office, rather than online. This will help you avoid the service fees that can add on a few extra dollars to your final total. However, you might get stuck with crappy seats or no seats at all if you show up too close to the start time.

Vendors, such as Costco, may also be a good resource for movie ticket savings. At Costco, you can purchase AMC Gold tickets in packages of four, six or 10 tickets. Your tickets are emailed to you within the hour and ready to be printed out, fee-free. The price per ticket comes out to about $8.50, which is a few dollars cheaper than buying at the theater (though your mileage may vary).

Opting for a matinee instead of an evening movie lets you catch the latest film without emptying your wallet. For instance, an adult matinee ticket in June 2015 at the AMC Theater in Downtown Boston is $10.79. In the evening, this amount jumps to $12.79. For a family of four, the two extra dollars per ticket can quickly add up.

Finally, see what you can do without at the next flick. Is popcorn an absolute necessity? Do you have to see the next film in 3-D or IMAX, or both? By skipping out on some of these conveniences, you can save an ample amount of cash.

How Slickdealers Are Saving Money at the Movie Theaters

Images courtesy of©iStock.com/poba

Slickdeals content may contain references to products from one or more of our affiliate partners. If you make a purchase on their site through a link on Slickdeals, we receive a small commission. This in no way affects our opinions on products or services mentioned in our content.



Add a Comment
About the Author
Krystle Vermes Contributor

Krystle Vermes is a professional writer, blogger and podcaster with a background in both online and print journalism. Her passions include everything tech, sports, and the paranormal. When she isn’t freelance reporting, she’s breaking news on her blog, GetSpooked.net, and podcasting. Maureen is a graduate of Suffolk University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism.


13 Comments

1
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2014
New User
1 Posts
10 Reputation
#2
Thanks! Always end up spending too much
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Apr 2009
L99: Dealin' with it.
946 Posts
317 Reputation
#3
Allow me to be the first (of many who thought) to add that one can always smuggle in their own candy!
Reply Helpful Comment? 2 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2012
L5: Journeyman
911 Posts
128 Reputation
#4
Yeah I tried to tell people how to save money by getting free screenings but, as usual, the site is loaded with ungrateful people.
Reply Helpful Comment? 2 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jan 2004
Searcher
782 Posts
257 Reputation
#5
we go to the drive-in theatre, one carload price regardless how many are in the car.
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Apr 2010
L1: Learner
14 Posts
10 Reputation
#6
I buy discounted gift cards from cardpool or raise for AMC
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined May 2009
L3: Novice
103 Posts
22 Reputation
#7
sad when you can rent a movie, buy a pizza, (2) 2ltrs of soda,about 5 brown grocery bags of popcorn(you have to pop it) and bags of candy ( and as many people your livingroom can hold) hella cheaper than 1 person can go to the movie, really $16 for a bag popcorm wth. $8 for a cup of coke of, 12.00 for a ticket. thank god for redboxx
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jul 2015
Permanently Banned
23 Posts
10 Reputation
#8
I REALLY prefer to watching movie at home. Although some of them need to pay, it still feel nice.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2013
L3: Novice
190 Posts
412 Reputation
#9
Once I tried to sneak in a piping hot cafe latte in my pants to the movies. Long story short, I ended up with 3rd degree burns and free cafe lattes for life. Way too hot, and no warning on the cup!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 1
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2015
Permanently Banned
22 Posts
10 Reputation
#10
Quote from pmperry
:
Yeah I tried to tell people how to save money by getting free screenings but, as usual, the site is loaded with ungrateful people.
I know what you mean about ungrateful people fam. Imagine you got a hookup for tickets for a REAL low price, and you sell it for under what everyone else is, and people STILL complain cause they know how much you paid. Like get away from me broke boy.

INB4 someone says scalping/face value BS
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jun 2014
New User
2 Posts
10 Reputation
#11
going to a matinee is a great way to save on movie prices also. should definitely be in the article.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2012
L6: Expert
1,902 Posts
125 Reputation
#12
Demand coupons for Popcorn and Soda!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2012
L5: Journeyman
911 Posts
128 Reputation
#13
Well you see, I tried to tell everyone how to get the tickets for free but this ass hat community started flagging it as self promotion and all this other bullshit so I deleted the thread!

Shit, man I just saw Spectre for free two days ago!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2013
New User
2 Posts
10 Reputation
#14
Matinee before 12pm is your best bet around $7 in NJ area. See if your job has a Corporate Perks program. I can buy tix online at a cheaper price also. PS. I have gotten many free screening tix's at GOFOBO.COM.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by just1in March 5, 2016 at 04:12 PM. Reason: add advice
Page 1 of 1
1
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2018. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard