how to save money on movie tickets

The new movie you’ve been waiting for finally came out in theaters. So when you get some free time, you head out to go see it. You get to the ticket counter and the cashier tells you the price of the ticket and you do a double check to make sure you heard him correctly. After you buy your ticket you stop at the concession stand to get a small popcorn, only to find out it costs about twice as much as the ticket. Bummer!

The costs of going out to see a movie has gone up considerably over the past 10+ years. It’s to the point where most people are opting to just stay home and watch something on Netflix, or even watch bootleg movies on their computer. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Believe it or not, there are some pretty simple and little known tricks you can do save on the cost of going to the movies.

Here’s how to save money on movie tickets!

Use Discounts From Other Stores

If you’re one of the many people who have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership, they have some different options to help you save money on movie tickets. To redeem them, go to the consumer service desk and ask about movie ticket discounts. While this will shave off a couple bucks, over time you can save hundreds of dollars. If you have kids that love to go to the movies, the savings will rack up in no time.

Even if you’re not part of a Sam’s Club or Costco, your local gas station or grocery store may possibly have cheaper ticket discounts available. Don’t forget about your cash back credit card either, they typically offer nice discounts on movies tickets as well.

Go During Low Traffic Hours (Afternoon)

People almost always go to the movies at night. Because of this, the cost of tickets go up in the evenings. During the afternoon, theaters don’t require as much maintenance and attention because of the lower attendance level. Skip the late night movies and see the matinee. Depending on the theater, you can usually get your tickets for at least 25% less than the regular price.

Try Out a “Late-Run” Movie theater

You might be surprised to discover that there is a late-run movie theater in your area. Late-run movie theaters are a little bit different than large chains like AMC or Regal. They run newer releases at a later date. This means they get to go for a much cheaper price as well. No need to rush to the big box office on the day of the release. You probably have a million other things to do anyways. Wait until the movie is released at the late-run theater and enjoy it for a discounted price.

Eat Before Going to the Movies

The thing we all love and hate about movies theaters has to be the food. It’s usually quite tasty, but who wants to spend $10+ on a big bucket of popcorn? Plus you’ll probably end up finishing the entire bucket during the previews. Eating before you head to the theaters is a quick and easy way to save about 50% of the costs.

Worst case scenario, you can bring in your own snacks. Just be aware that a lot of theaters don’t allow outside food so do it at your own risk!

See if Your theater Offers Deals

A lot of people are used to going online and ordering tickets from a third-party website. This may help save you some time and it’s really convenient, but it doesn’t really mean you are getting the best possible deal. Often times there is an additional $1-$2 fee for the transaction when buying tickets online. It’s also a known fact that many theaters themselves will give you the best deals and coupons. Not only that, but you can also get notifications on upcoming discounts, as well as some food coupons.

Are There Specialty Discounts?

More often than not, you’ll be able to get a discount on your movie ticket by simply being a senior citizen, military member or a school student. Just provide the information needed, which is usually just your ID, and you’ll get the discount right on the spot.

Realize That IMAX & 3D is Just Extra

While 3D movies are all the craze these days, it costs extra money. Not to mention, wearing those 3D glasses can be a drag anyways. Skip the 3D and watch it in 2D, it’s not that much of a difference anyway. We’ve gone decades without 3D movies, so it’s definitely not a necessity.

Check if Your Credit Card has Deals

Credit cards, and especially cash back credit cards, have many awesome deals and offers for their users to benefit from. Typically, you’ll be able to get some movie theater discounts. You’ll be able to get as much as a 5% cash back as well when it comes to the Discover More and Chase Freedom credit cards. Every credit card carrier is different, so make sure to check ahead of time to figure out what kinds of deals they offer.

Be a Loyal Customer

It’s very common for theaters like the AMC and Regal Cinemas to offer their loyal customers programs to help you accumulate points and gain rewards. Anything you buy at the theater will help give you points, and you’ll be able to use these for ticket and food discounts once you’ve gained enough.

Going to the movies is one of our absolute favorite past times. Hopefully these simple tips can help you get started to save more money, one movie ticket at a time. Even if you didn’t like to go to the movies that much before, this might be an incentive to start going more.