4 Ways to See Movies at a Theater for Free

Photo (cc) by Sam Howzit

Summertime, and the viewing is busy: From superhero to the supernatural, Hollywood has been delivering new “summer” product since early May.

Unfortunately, keeping up with a steady stream of blockbusters can put a serious strain on your wallet.

It may be tempting to wait until the summer flicks become available via Redbox or Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Yet some movies — especially those that involve superheroes or disasters — are just made for the big screen.

Fortunately, it’s possible to go out to the movies without paying. Here are four tips for cutting your moviegoing costs to zero:

1. Join a rewards program

Join the rewards program at your theater of choice. Show the loyalty card every time you see a movie, and you’ll eventually build up enough points to get a free ticket.

Theater chains that offer rewards include:

You may also get such extras as concessions coupons, movie contests and member-only advance screenings.

My favorites are the AMC theater rewards:

  • One movie ticket and a free soft drink (485 points)
  • Two tickets and two soft drinks (940 points)
  • Two tickets, two drinks and a popcorn (1,100 points)

Other businesses also have rewards programs that offer free movie tickets.

For example, Coke offers My Coke Rewards. Codes from Coca-Cola products (including Minute Maid juices and flavored Dasani waters) turn into points you can trade for merchandise, gift cards and other premiums.

Sites like MyPoints and Swagbucks let you earn points that can be cashed in for gift cards to Regal Cinemas and Fandango.

Some rewards credit cards also offer movie theater freebies and discounts.

2. See it before anyone else!

Some websites clue you in about free film previews in U.S. and Canadian cities. They include:

Film previews are often intentionally overbooked, so don’t wait until the last minute to head for the theater.

Another potential way to get free previews is to listen to radio stations that partner with movie studios to promote upcoming films. Station managers love giving things to loyal listeners.

You may not even have to listen to win. When I lived in Seattle, I’d regularly see ads for such previews in the two local independent newspapers.

3. Use Twitter

Sign up to follow entities such as Free Movie Screening (@screeningticket) and Advance Screenings (@screenings). A post on the Geekenstein blog suggests opting for mobile notifications.

“Some passes go so quick that if you wait for the refresh, you could miss out,” writes Craig Kandiko.

4. Repurpose an unused gift card

Did a well-meaning relative give you — a vegan — a gift card to Outback Steakhouse? Or maybe your boss gave $25 Target cards to everyone in the office, but the nearest store is two bus rides away.

The solution: Sell your unused plastic scrip to a gift card reseller, then use the cash to buy movie gift cards (also at a discount).

The aggregator site Gift Card Granny tells you how much those unwanted cards are worth, as well as the biggest available discounts for the movie gift cards you want to buy.

Got any other tips on how to score free or cheap movie tickets? Share them in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime
These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime

These top-notch perks of an Amazon Prime membership won’t cost you a dime extra.

Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products

Here’s how to organize every corner of your home using only items from a dollar store.

7 Secret Departments of Amazon You Should Know About
7 Secret Departments of Amazon You Should Know About

These little-known sections of Amazon are hidden gems for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

Half of All Retirees Say They Fear This
Half of All Retirees Say They Fear This

Chances are good that you share this fear. Here’s a way to overcome it.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them
15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security
Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security

Growing numbers of seniors are paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, but you might be able to avoid this fate.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.