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The holiday season is here and with it comes lots of blockbuster movies.
If there’s a new release you’re looking forward to seeing, I have some tips to help you save on those pricey tickets, drinks, and snacks at the theater.
Here are ways you can make your trip to the movies cheaper.
Movie Theater Reward Programs
Many movie theaters offer rewards for frequent visits. Here’s a quick look at the rewards programs for the 2 largest movie chains:
- AMC Stubs – $12 per year to join. $10 in rewards when you spend $100. Free upgrades on fountain drinks and popcorn (small to medium or medium to large) and online ticketing fee waived.
- Regal Crown Club – Enroll for free to earn 1 credit per $1 spent on tickets (up to 20 credits per day) and 4 credits for your 1st concessions transaction or 6 credits if you have Star Status. You can redeem credits for free drinks, snacks, and tickets.
There’s a membership fee of $12 per year to join AMC Stubs, but it may be worth it if you’re a frequent moviegoer. Do the math to see what makes sense for you.
These are just 2 examples, so check with other local movie theaters to find out if they have their own reward program.
Earn Miles, Points, or Cash Back With Your Credit Card
Along with earning rewards towards movie tickets and concessions, you can also earn rewards for Big Travel! Here are 4 ways you can earn bonus points or cash back.
1. Use the Right Card at the Theater
You can redeem Citi ThankYou points for 1.6 cents per point for American Airlines or partner flights (if you have the Citi Prestige card) booked through the Citi Travel Center through July 23, 2017.
With other airlines you’ll get 1.33 cents per point, if you have the Citi Prestige through July 23, 2017. Or 1.25 cents per point with the Citi ThankYou Premier.
2. Buy Movie Theater Gift Cards at Grocery Stores
Supermarkets often sell gift cards to a variety of retailers, including movie theaters. And by paying with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you can earn 6% cash back!
Or earn points for travel with a card like the AMEX Everyday Preferred, which earns up to 4.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points at grocery stores.
AMEX Membership Rewards points are worth 1 cent per point towards airfare and hotels booked using Pay With Points. But you’ll get much more value when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners to fly to places like India and Europe.
A 1-way Business Class flight to Greece from the US or Canada would otherwise cost you ~$2,635. That’s ~5 cents per point (~$2,635 cost of flight / 52,500 Aeroplan miles or 57,500 Aeroplan miles after December 15, 2015)!
3. Buy Movie Theater Gift Cards at Office Supply Stores
Staples sells AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas gift cards both online and in-store. And you’ll get bonus points or cash back for your purchase when you pay with cards like the AMEX SimplyCash, which earns 5% cash back at US office supply stores.
And don’t forget to click through a shopping portal when you purchase your movie theater gift cards online. I like to check evreward to find the best shopping portal deals.
So with this deal you’ll triple dip by:
- Clicking through the shopping portal for bonus miles, points, or cash back
- Buying the gift cards at Staples with your AMEX SimplyCash to earn 5% cash back
- Earning movie theater reward points at the theater when you purchase your ticket
4. Buy Movie Theater Gift Cards at Amazon
The Discover it card is currently offering 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending at Amazon through December 31, 2015. And Amazon carries gift cards to lots of other retailers including movie theaters like:
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas
- AMC Theaters
- Marcus Theaters
- Regal Cinemas
A night at the movies isn’t cheap. But you don’t have to pay full price!
You can earn bonus miles and points by paying for movie tickets with cards like the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier, which earn 2X Citi ThankYou points per $1 on entertainment. Or earn bonus cash back by paying for theater gift cards with credit cards that earn bonus points at supermarkets, Amazon, and office supply stores.
And you can combine these deals with movie theater rewards and shopping portal bonuses.