The Ultimate Movie Theater Discount Hacking Guide

Updated on 04/12/2018

There are a lot of different ways to save money in life, but it usually boils down to one of three different ways to reduce costs. The first two involve either cutting out the expense completely or replacing it with an alternative. These can be extremely effective, but come with the sometimes difficult decision of weighing how much you value the item/service/experience versus the money that must be spent to have it. On the other hand, the third option is finding ways to have the exact same item/service/experience for less money out of your pocket. While the first two are important for establishing a healthy level of spending, the third one removes the philosophical decisions on value versus cost and becomes a straightforward game of find the best deal.

One such cost cutting opportunity I’ve been thinking about lately is movies. Becky and I are huge movie fans, we even have multiroom av and watch a ton of them over the course of any given month. For the most part, our cost is extremely small for the amount of hours of entertainment it provides because most are watched via streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. On the other hand, we do enjoy the movie theater experience and end up going to a movie or so per month. The most effective way to reduce your movie viewing expenses, hands down, is to stick to streaming services or stop watching them completely. If you’re like us though and end up visiting the theater on any kind of regular basis, there are a lot of opportunities to cut down on the cost of tickets. Below, I’ve assembled a list of all the tips and tricks I know about to save money on movie tickets and they range from simply buying at a discount from the right places, subscription services, and all the way to seeing brand new movies completely free, sometimes before they are even released to the public! Let’s dive right in.

Image by Forsaken Fotos


The ability to save money on movie tickets is primarily going to boil down to what city and state you watch the majority of your movies in. This will essentially determine the average price of a movie ticket in your area, what movie theater chains are available, and whether or not special events are held in the area. Big cities tend to have higher movie ticket prices, but will also have the largest selection of different theaters and free movie screenings. Smaller cities on the other hand will probably have lower ticket prices, but might suffer from a lack of options. Depending on which applies to you will determine which of the below tricks will be most effective.

If you like attending movies more than once per month, a subscription service is probably going to save you the most money. If you attend the movies less than that, discount tickets or discounted gift cards will probably be your best bet.

Everyone has the potential to benefit from Loyalty programs, but Movie Screenings might only apply to those in larger than average cities. Overall, there should be something for everybody.


Loyalty Programs

Let’s get the simplest and probably most obvious tip out of the way, movie theater loyalty programs. If you frequent either Regal Cinemas or AMC, joining is a no-brainer because it’s completely free. AMC also offers a premium paid membership that may be valuable if you watch a lot of movies. Let’s take a quick look at two of the largest movie theater chain’s loyalty programs, but don’t forget to check if any smaller chains near you offer something similar.


Regal Crown Club

If you ever watch movies at Regal Cinemas theaters, signing up for their Crown Club loyalty program is a must. There is absolutely no cost to join or maintain your membership and it’s possible to earn completely free movie tickets along with other rewards.

  • Crown Club is a revenue based program that rewards you for money spent on tickets and concessions
  • 100 credits are earned per dollar spent at the box office or on concessions (no limit)
  • A Free Movie Ticket costs 15,000 credits (or $150 in spend)
  • Depending on the number of movies you attend each year, you can also earn status that gives you additional credits for each visit.
    • Emerald status (6+ visits per year) rewards an extra 250 credits per visit
    • Ruby status (10+ visits per year) rewards an extra 500 credits per visit
    • Diamond status (20+ visits per year) rewards an extra 1000 credits per visit

Basically, you get a free movie ticket for every $150 you spend (minus status bonuses) on other movie tickets and/or concessions. If you attend 10 movies per year at a ticket cost of $10 each, that works out to exactly 15,000 points ($100 in spend = 10,000 + 10 x 500 Ruby status bonus) for a free movie ticket and an effective return of 10% on your spend. Not bad for a free program.

You can also redeem the points for free concessions, concession upgrades, or various movie “swag”, but I like to focus on the movie tickets. The “best” value will depend on the prices of concessions and tickets at your local theater.

I use the Regal app on my phone and can present that at the time of purchase instead of carrying around a loyalty card with me.

Keep in mind, it is possible to take advantage of the loyalty program when using gift cards, discount tickets, or some movie subscription services!



AMC Stubs

Unlike Regal Crown Club, AMC Stubs has their loyalty program split into two tiers. The free tier (Stubs Insider), and a higher tier (Stubs Premiere) that costs $15 per year to be a member of. Which tier makes the most sense for you will depend on how much you spend at AMC on a yearly basis, but there’s no downside to at least signing up for the free tier.

  • Insider members receive 20 points per dollar spent while Premiere members receive 100 points per dollar spent
  • 5,000 points can be redeemed for $5 towards concessions for both tiers, but the Premiere tier can also use the $5 credits on tickets or membership renewals
  • Members get discounts on movie tickets on Tuesdays ($2 discount for Insider, $5 for Premiere)
  • Premiere members also receive free concession upgrades (example, pay for a medium but get a large) and get all online ticket purchase fees waived. Insider members only get online ticket fees waived if they are buying at least 4 at once.
  • All members get a free large popcorn on their birthday, while premiere members also get a large soda

As mentioned, there is no downside to signing up for the free tier, but you are effectively only getting 2% back on your movie theater spend in the form of concession gift cards. The other benefits may be marginally beneficial, but aren’t anything to get too excited about. The premiere membership on the other hand offers a decent 10% back on purchases that can be used for movie tickets, but only makes sense IF you are spending more than $187.50 per year at AMC to offset the annual fee of $15.

The free birthday gift, concession upgrades, and Tuesday ticket discounts can also help offset the annual fee if you would normally purchase those things.


Movie Theater Subscription Services

The latest movie going craze is movie subscription services, the biggest being MoviePass. These services allow you to see multiple brand new movies, in theaters, for a fixed monthly price. If you are going to the theater at least once per month, these programs can offer significant savings off of the regular ticket price.

My wife and I have both been using MoviePass for a while and it’s worked great. The only hassle is visiting the theater early in the day to pick our seats if we suspect it will be a busy showing (such as opening weekend for big movies). Otherwise, we just show up right before the movie starts, buy our ticket, and sit down to enjoy the movie.

Sinemia may be better for you if you prefer premium screenings (3D, IMAX, etc.) and value being able to purchase tickets in advance and/or online. There is a premium in price for Sinemia over MoviePass in most cases, so you will have to weigh the different benefits yourself.

Let’s break down each program in more detail.


As far as I know, MoviePass has been around the longest out of the theater subscription services, but it only recently went mainstream. Originally, MoviePass was charging $30-50 per month which only made sense for very frequent movie goers. Now, at a flat $9.95 per month rate, it makes sense for almost anyone that visits the movies at least once per month.

Purchasing the movie tickets is done at the theater with a debit card that is provided after signing up. You first have to “Check-In” to the theater, movie, and showtime you want to see within the provided app, then can swipe the debit card to purchase just like you would your own debit/credit card.

The theater doesn’t even have to know that you’re using MoviePass, so the above mentioned loyalty programs will continue working as if you were paying with your own money!

Important details for MoviePass:

  • $9.95 per month, no commitment
  • Can see 1 movie per day
  • Works at almost any theater in the nation (see website for exact list)
  • Regular 2D movies only (no 3D, IMAX, or other special screens)
  • Can only purchase a ticket the day of the showing
  • Must be physically at the theater to purchase a ticket

Link to the MoviePass website with more information

Note: MoviePass has also run promotions in the past that offered an annual membership for a reduced rate.


Sinemia has a different value offering from MoviePass in that it replaces “unlimited” movies with a fixed 2-3 per month, but removes some of the hassle and limitations on which movies you can see. Sinemia also works at pretty much every theater in the nation, but you can see any showing of a movie including 3D, IMAX, and more. Sinemia also allows you to purchase tickets in advance and online from anywhere.

The pricing depends on how many movies you select per month (2 or 3) and whether or not you pay the entire year up front or stick to a monthly, no commitment plan. They also offer “Sinemia for 2” which allows two people to use the same subscription for a slightly lower monthly rate than two individual plans would offer.

Sinemia pricing as of 4/12/2018. Current pricing may vary, visit Sinemia’s website for up to date pricing details.

Sinemia will send a debit card after signing up that will be used to purchase the movie tickets. After checking into a theater, movie, and showtime via the provided app, you can purchase the tickets the same way you usually would. This includes buying the online, within an app, at the box office, or using a kiosk.

The theater doesn’t even have to know that you’re using Sinemia, so the above mentioned loyalty programs will continue working as if you were paying with your own money!

Important details for Sinemia:

  • $8.99-18.99 per month (both monthly and annual plans available)
  • Can see 2-3 movies per month (depends on subscription level)
  • Works at almost any theater in the nation (see website for exact list)
  • Any movie (3D, IMAX, and other special screens allowed)
  • Can purchase tickets in advance
  • Can purchase tickets via any means (online, at the theater, etc.)

Link to the Sinemia website for more information


Movie Theater Gift Cards

If you’ve read some of my other articles, you know I’m big on gift cards. In addition to reselling them as a small side-business, I also use them on as many everyday purchases as possible to reduce expenses. Movie theaters are no exception and gift cards can often be found with a 10-20% discount from gift card marketplaces such as SaveYa, Gift Card Zen, and Raise. Using a tool like Gift Card Wiki is my preferred way to see which marketplace offers the best deal on any given brand.

In addition to searching for the specific theater’s gift card you are looking for, don’t forget to check movie ticket websites like Fandango as well. Keep in mind buying tickets online often comes with additional fees that going directly to the box office won’t have.


Bulk Ticket Sales

The three biggest movie theater chains each have a way to buy tickets in bulk for a fairly large discount. These bulk discounts are primarily meant for businesses, but there are no restrictions on taking advantage of them as an individual. The only limiting factor is the minimum ticket order of 50 tickets.

If you go to a lot of movies, have a larger family, or can split the set of tickets with friends, taking advantage of these bulk rates will probably make a lot of sense. They all never expire, so even if it takes a couple years to go through them, the savings might still make pre-paying all of your tickets worth it. After paying for shipping, the cost per ticket will range from $8-9.50 depending on the chain selected. That can cut the price per ticket in half compared to buying at the box office in a high cost of living location!

While these bulk tickets generally work for any regular movie (even opening weekend), be sure to read the restrictions that apply. They might not work in certain states or for certain movies depending on which chain you purchase them for. Unfortunately, it is not possible to purchase these bulk tickets with gift cards.



Regal Cinemas Bulk Ticket Sales

Regal’s bulk sales are the most straightforward with consistent pricing and restrictions across the US. The actual tickets are physical Premiere Movie Tickets that you redeem at the box office for the movie of your choice.

  • Cost per ticket: $8.50
  • Minimum Shipping Cost: $8 (bumps the price of 50 tickets to $8.66 each)
  • Minimum order: 50 tickets
  • Valid for all films and showtimes
  • Surcharges apply to IMAX/3D and other premium tickets (typically just the difference in price from a regular 2D ticket)
  • Tickets must be redeemed at theater box office (can’t be used online)
  • Tickets never expire

Link to Purchase Regal Movie Tickets in Bulk



AMC Theatres Bulk Ticket Sales

AMC bulk tickets come with a few important restrictions and are more expensive than Regal’s. The most important restriction is that they are not valid on movies distributed by Disney such as Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and of course Disney movies. The tickets themselves are physical AMC Yellow Tickets that can be redeemed at the box office for the movie of your choice. If you live in CA, NJ, or NY, be sure to select the Black tickets which work out to be a bit more expensive, but still much cheaper than buying at the box office directly.

  • Cost per ticket: $8.50
  • Minimum Shipping Cost: $9.95 (bumps the price of 50 tickets to $8.70 each)
  • Minimum order: 50 tickets
  • Valid for all films and showtimes
  • Surcharges apply to IMAX/3D and other premium tickets (typically just the difference in price from a regular 2D ticket)
  • Tickets must be redeemed at theater box office (can’t be used online)
  • Tickets never expire

Link to Purchase AMC Bulk Tickets



Cinemark Bulk Ticket Sales

Cinemark also offers bulk tickets with very little restrictions, but the price will depend on what state you are ordering from. The tickets themselves are physical Platinum Supersaver tickets that can be redeemed at the box office for the movie of your choice.

  • Cost per ticket: $7-8.50 (majority of states are $8, while Utah is $7 and California is $8.50 per ticket)
  • Minimum Shipping Cost: $10 (bumps the price of 50 tickets to $7.20-8.70 each)
  • Minimum order: 50 tickets
  • Valid for all films and showtimes
  • Surcharges apply to IMAX/3D and other premium tickets (typically just the difference in price from a regular 2D ticket)
  • Tickets must be redeemed at theater box office (can’t be used online)
  • Tickets never expire

Cinemark offers the cheapest bulk tickets with the fewest restrictions, so if they have a chain in your area if might be your best choice for bulk purchases. I’m not sure if the state selected when purchasing the tickets is enforced to match the address they are shipped to, but if you’re willing to take a try you might be able to save $1/ticket.

Link to Purchase Cinemark Bulk Tickets


Non-Bulk Discount Tickets

While buying in bulk will often result in the lowest cost per ticket, there are also some other avenues to get the same sort of prepaid tickets for much less than paying directly at the box office.




Costco offers both Regal and Cinemark movie tickets at a discount from the regular price (depending on what a typical ticket costs in your area). Both 4 and 10 packs are available online, but it might be possible to buy different quantities (possible at different prices) directly from the brick and mortar location. You can purchase the tickets online without a Costco Membership, but there will be an additional surcharge. This surcharge can be avoided if you have Costco Cash cards (gift cards). Keep in mind, even buying them with the surcharge is likely cheaper than buying tickets without a discount from the box office.

The print at home tickets are a better deal because you don’t have to pay for shipping.

The price of the Regal tickets varies depending on what state you are ordering from. The price will increase by about $1 per ticket for shipping to CA, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, or DC.


Sam’s Club

Much like Costco, Sam’s Club also offers discount movie tickets online. It might be worth checking your local brick and mortar store for better deals if you have a membership. Once again, you can purchase these tickets online without a Sam’s Club membership, but there will be a 10% surcharge added to the cost. This surcharge can be avoided by registering your guest account with a CA address (you don’t have to ship them to California!). Once again, even buying them with the surcharge is probably a better deal than just going to the box office.

The tickets sold by Sam’s Club are physical tickets, but they offer Free Shipping.


Advance Movie Screenings

How does seeing a movie for $0 sound? What if you were able to see that movie weeks before it was officially released? Both of these are possible with Movie Screenings, but there is a couple catches to be aware of. First is that the availability and frequency of these screenings is heavily dependent on where you live. Second is that getting tickets can be rather difficult if you don’t act quickly. Third is that you’ll have to arrive to the theater fairly early to make sure you get a seat because they overbook the showings.

Despite all of that, I highly recommend taking advantage of them when you can. In the past week, Becky and I saw both Daddy’s Home and The Big Short which don’t come out for another week or so. We also have passes to see Concussion in a couple days which doesn’t come out until Christmas. The timings won’t always line up with your schedule and quality of movie will vary, but it’s hard to beat free movie tickets, especially if you put any value on being one of the first to see it!


Living in a big city will most likely mean there are a lot more movie screenings available, but that is not always the case. For example, I saw several screenings in the small town of West Lafayette during college, but that was probably due to them looking for a college audience. Regardless of where you live, it doesn’t hurt to check.

Finding Out About Screenings

Screenings are typically announced in different places depending on who the distributor of the movie is, what movie it is, and where the movie will be playing. Staying on top of all the screenings yourself would be next to impossible, but there is a great website I recommend called Advance Screenings. They aggregate all of the movie screenings they find out about and how to get tickets to them on their website. The best part is being able to sign up for notifications when a new screening is announced in your area. This gives you the best chance to grab passes before they run out. Even though they overbook the theater to ensure they meet capacity, the number of passes given out is still limited.

Arrive Early!

Deciding when to arrive can be rather difficult, but it is important if you want to actually get into the theater as they let most people with passes in on a first-come first-serve basis. In order to ensure the theater is at capacity, many more passes will be given out than there are actual seats in the theater.

For the more popular movies (you’ll have to use your best judgement), it’s possible for the line to get in to fill up over an hour before the movie screening is scheduled to start! On the other hand, a less popular movie might not fill up at all. Becky and I usually shoot for showing up about an hour before for most movies so we get a good seat, but will often add another half-hour to 45 minutes on top of that if we expect the screening to be popular.




Overall, I covered Movie Theater Loyalty Programs, Subscription Services, Gift Cards, Bulk Ticket Discounts, Non-Bulk Ticket Discounts, and Movie Screenings. A lot of information to take in at once, but hopefully offered up a tip or two you didn’t know about saving money on movie tickets.

If you’re going to the movies more than once per month, one of the subscription services (MoviePass or Sinemia) will most likely offer the most savings. Which of those two is best will depend on how many movies you want to see, what type, and how you prefer to purchase your tickets.

If you attend 1 or less movies per month and are typically spending $12 or more per ticket in your area, I highly recommend looking into the Discount tickets. Buying in bulk is the cheapest (Except for AMC!), but if you don’t want to commit to that many movies, using Costco or Sam’s Club can save you a lot of money on smaller quantities.

If the typical price of a movie ticket is in the $8-12 range, you might be able to save the most money by buying Discount Gift Cards and simply using them at the box office or online.

Regardless of how much you are typically spending on movie tickets, check if there are loyalty programs at your favorite theaters and look out for free movie screenings in your area.

Thanks for reading, leave a comment below if I missed any other great ways to save money on movie tickets!

38 thoughts to “The Ultimate Movie Theater Discount Hacking Guide”

  1. Carmike Cinemas is not mentioned. You can purchase Dealbucks (Dealflicks) through Rush 49 which can be them used for movies at Carmike Cinemas. $16 will get you $30 in Dealbucks. $10.50 in Dealbucks will get you movie and a popcorn for about $6.

    1. I tired to focus on the three biggest theater chains in the US and I think Carmike happens to come in at #4. They do have a loyalty program similar to Regal, but the rewards require a little more spend. I also don’t know of any consistent way to get great discounts on their tickets, but would love someone to point me in the right direction if they exist.

      I hadn’t heard of Dealflicks before, but it looks like a good deal if they happen to work with theaters in your area. From what I can tell, they don’t have any specific partnership with Carmike as the one I’m familiar with isn’t participating. The discount on Dealflicks gift cards (Dealbucks) seems like a limited time offer, but would stack with the discounted tickets for a great deal as you mentioned. Overall, it looks like an amazing deal if the availability lines up with your local theaters.

      Thanks for the info!

  2. Until the end of the year, this is the deal I plan on using for a number of my AMEX cards: my Regal is offering a $10 bonus certificate (which does have an expiration date on it) with each purchase of $50 in gift cards (you can split the $50 in different denominations–great for gifts!). You must be a Regal member (free) as the $10 certificate will be sent to you via email. On top of that, I’ll use my AMEX card to get the AMEX Offer (you’ll need to check each AMEX card to see if you have the offer, but I think it was widely available–I had it on 3 of 4 cards) for a $10 credit for a minimum $30 purchase–at theaters only (no online). So, net spend of $40 for $60 of GCs. In my city, pretty much buy 4 tickets, get free.

    1. Combining the Regal Amex Offer with their current gift card deal is a great idea, that one was available on Twitter when it come out so a lot of people probably have it loaded already.

      If Regal lets you split the transaction across two cards and buy $60 instead of $50, you could actually get $70 worth of gift cards for the same $40 because you’ll get to use the Amex Offer twice! Either way is a great deal, thanks for the tip!

  3. Just as Jan mentioned earlier, taking advantage of various AMEX offers is another great way to get really cheap movie tickets. Several months ago, AMEX had the $20 off $20 at Sam’s Club. I used that to aquire 12 movie tickets for $22.

    Smart & Final deal was $25 off $50 (50% discount). Recently there’s the $15 off $60 Amazon deal (25% discount) and $20 off $100 Staples. There’s also Home Depot, Toys R Us, Walmart, and several other offers where you can use to get cheap movie tickets or gift cards.

    Also the Visa Signature offer at Fandango is 20% discount, up to 4x$25 gift cards per month per card.

    Now if you’re really good at this, you can stack AMEX offers with discount gift cards with loyalty rewards program for double, triple, and even quadruple dipping. ?

    1. Amex Offers are a great way to save money on ALL kinds of gift cards, but I’d be hesitant to use some of the better ones on movie gift cards. The Sam’s Club deal you linked is the best of both worlds because you’re buying discount tickets AND using an Amex Offer, but I definitely wouldn’t use the Amazon or Staples offers on movie gift cards.

      Saving ~25% on Amazon purchases is WAY more valuable than saving 25% on movie gift cards because it’s often possible to get close amount of savings by buying discount cards or tickets directly. Same thing for most of the others you listed because it’s easy to pick up more valuable gift cards instead in most cases.

      The 20% off Fandango is pretty sweet though if you prefer buying your tickets online, thanks for the tip!

      1. I had to buy some Fandango gift cards on Raise yesterday in order to book Star Wars tickets in advance!
        I have many movie passes on hand (bought at a huge discount) but they are useless as Star Wars tickets for the next few days are mostly sold out already. Two x 3D tickets in my area (SF Bay Area) were $33!! Ouch. I’ve never paid that much for movie tickets before. I’m used to paying less than $5 per ticket!

        1. If you didn’t already know, you can take the movie passes to the box office and get tickets for days in advance. Any ticket available on Fandango will also be available at the box office without any of their extra fees.

          This does require a trip to the box office though, so may or may not be worth your time depending on the savings you get.

  4. Two other ideas you might mention are purchasing gift cards on the spot via United’s MileagePlus X app (AMC and Regal both get 5 miles per dollar, plus any air travel bonus that might be associated with MPX) and entertainment book coupons. Regal was especially generous with something like 8 $2 off per person coupons in last year’s entertainment book – they only offered two coupons this year but it’s worth clipping if you have one!

    1. I’d much rather save 10%+ cash by buying discount gift cards than getting them through the MPX app at 5x United miles. Having said that, it certainly beats paying directly with cash/credit.

      The Entertainment book is one that I originally was going to put in the post, but determined that the savings won’t make sense compared to the discount tickets available at Sam’s/Costco. Plus, the actual coupons in the book vary pretty heavily by what city you are in, I don’t think there were any Regal/AMC coupons in the physical Seattle book this year. They do sell discount tickets directly online that can be printed out for Regal and AMC, but the prices are pretty much the same as buying at the places listed above.

      Thanks for the ideas!

  5. R/C Cinemas in PA has $5 movie tickets on Tuesdays. Do most theatres still do matinees or special pricing on a day of the week?

    1. I’m not very familiar with R/C Cinemas, but I can report that most theaters I’ve visited do still have matinee pricing for movies starting before 4pm or so which can save a couple bucks per ticket. I believe Regal’s loyalty program also does free popcorn on Tuesdays, but I don’t know of any special day of the week pricing other than that.

    1. Second paragraph:
      “One such cost cutting opportunity I’ve been thinking about lately is movies. Becky and I are huge movie fans and watch a ton of them over the course of any given month. For the most part, our cost is extremely small for the amount of hours of entertainment it provides because the majority of movies watched are via streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. On the other hand, we do enjoy the movie theater experience and end up going to a movie or so per month when there is a new one we really want to see. The most effective way to reduce your movie viewing expenses, hands down, is to stick to streaming services or stop watching them completely.”

      I agree streaming/downloading movies is by far the best way to save money and still watch movies, but ourselves and others still like to visit the movie theater from time to time. This post is for people like us.

    1. I know for Regal, they must be redeemed at the box office in person. For the other two, the terms state they also must be redeemed in person (no online tickets), but I’ve never actually used them in practice.

  6. Do not purchase Premiere Tickets!!! Buy gift cards. Premiere Tickets cannot be used online, and if you purchase tickets online either for purposes of convenience or necessity due to reserved seating, the Regal and AMC tickets are a waste of money. They cannot even be turned in for credit. Buy the gift cards.

    1. We use Premiere tickets and they work just fine for us. That said, it is important to understand the limitations of them such as no online purchases.

      Everyone has to make their own value judgment as to whether that limitation is worth the potential savings.

      1. Many theaters have gone to assigned seating, which requires people to book in advance or you’ll be sitting in the first row, which I’m not doing. The Premiere Tickets are prohibited online (which is stupid in the 21st Century with all this advanced technology) and are merely a price markdown . Thus, I have to go to the venue to give in the tickets, pay the marked-down price and return at a later date/time to see the film.

        Let’s do the math. The total of 2 separate round-trip subway rides is $11.50 for one person plus the markdown price of the Premiere Tickets, which added with the subway rides comes to about $16 to $18. As a result, I’m not saving anything and it puts me at an inconvenience of having to travel. It just makes more sense to buy gift cards. It makes even more sense for AMC and Regal to issue a new line of tickets acceptable for online use, especially as those chains are forcing many people to purchase online. Or better yet, close the theaters and put everything on Netflix. I used to love the theaters, buts its getting more expensive and inconvenient.

        1. As I said, it’s up to each person to determine if the savings justify the inconvenience. It appears that they do not in your case.

          For us, we’re rarely going on opening night so we can show up 30 minutes before showtime, use our premiere tickets, and still get great seats.

          If gift cards work best for you, that’s great! Everyone has a different situation, so I listed out many options that might help save money.

          1. Your situation is different… for now. The way the theaters are going, all chains will have assigned seating and any big release will be backlogged full of requests to the point where the only time you’ll be able to see Star Wars in a decent seat is at 3:00 AM. Enjoy your situation while it lasts.

  7. You missed the BIGGEST way to save for movie tickets. GO TO THE MATINEE. That price is typically less than any of the techniques you mentioned. On Tuesday, most theaters discount even more.

    1. Hi Jeanette,

      The price of matinee versus regular tickets varies heavily by region. In Seattle for example, even the matinee is over $10 after tax which means the bulk tickets and other techniques can save a lot of money.

      Even if the discount tickets don’t make sense for your area, discount gift cards can be used for any showtime! That means it’s possible to save an additional 15-20% on your already low priced matinee tickets.

      1. I’m not sure I understand what you mean about using discount gift cards to save an additional 15-20%. In our region (raleigh/Durham NC), seniors MATINEE is $7.00-$7.50/ok. Plus tax. With the exception of MoviePass, I’ve never seen a way to reduce that cost by more than about 2% (Costco when it’s on sale for $65.)

        We go to the MATINEE about 2/week. Never at night.

        (PS MoviePass is offering a $6.95/month deal that requires one year, non refundable payment up front. The business plan for this company is so deeply flawed that even at the higher price, it can’t make money. Between the notable hassle of using the pass and AMC already refusing to accept it for certain tickets, I’m betting this deal goes up in flames.)

        1. If the movie theater you are referring to is a national chain such as Regal or AMC, then you can buy discount gift cards for that brand online. Gift Card Wiki aggregates websites that sell them. As of today, Regal gift cards are 16% off and AMC are 24% off respectively:

          By purchasing these gift cards at a discount and then using them to purchase your tickets, you save an additional 16-24% off of your already low $7-7.50 price point.

  8. A lot of movie theater offer discount nights like on a Monday or Tuesday at different theaters.
    Another way to save is to get a senior ticket and put it under the full price ticket and hand both tickets to the usher, they never look. 🙂

  9. Great Guide. I read your post completely and found this proves to beneficial for everyone. So I urge to keep writing such kind of informative posts further also.

  10. For a year and a half after college I rented a room in a five bedroom house. I paid $310 per month to live on a sun porch in an amazing part of D.C. I was only 21 but many of my housemates were in their early 30s and saved a ridiculous amount of money living this way. We had so many people in the house that the breakers would often trip and I’d be left out in the cold. Waking up to freezing cold temperatures and banging on the door to our downstairs neighbors to get the electricity turned back on. I wouldn’t want to live that way now, but that cheap rent allowed me to pay off my car in a matter of months and with the money I saved for the down payment on a house of my own. It’s definitely easier to do this when you are young and/or without kids and some single folks I know prefer it to living alone. I think living in a duplex is a great idea. I definitely would have been interested in this option when I started out after college.

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