Friday, August 9, 2013

This post is based on a New York City theater, in Manhattan to be more specific. However, the article may apply to you in your area.  

The three biggest movie theater chains in New York City are AMC, Regal and Clearview.  Prices between the three are relatively similar for a regular afternoon or evening screening whether it is 2D, 3D or IMAX.  However when you factor in discounts and AMC's matinee prices, AMC has always been my go to movie theater chain.  So for purposes of this article, I will show you how to save money on movies armed with an AMC Stubs card and Visa Signature credit card.

It's not commonly known, but most Visa credit cards are Visa Signature credit cards.  If you take out your Visa credit card, just look on the card, and it should say Signature on the card somewhere.  With the card, you can have access to two special deals on Fandango here.  The first deal is on Fridays, for any movies, you get buy 2 tickets get 1 free offer.  Now naturally, this requires you have to 3 people to go with you which is a bit limiting.  Often the case if you have an unused ticket though you can get a rain check for another movie.  I've never personally tried this but my friends had.  The second deal which is more flexible is you can buy $25 Fandango gift cards with a 20% discount.  Now it would be nice if you could combine the deals but unfortunately, the former require payments with a Visa Signature credit card.  I have not tried if you pay portions with a gift card and the remainder with a Visa Signature credit card if that would work.

With regards to AMC Stubs, I've discussed the merits of owning their membership before here.  The importance of it here is that on Fandango when you purchase tickets there is usually a surcharge from Fandango.  It is waived for AMC Stubs members when purchasing tickets for a movie at an AMC theater.

As I mentioned before, AMC theaters in Manhattan offers Matinee pricing for shows starting before noon.  So this requires a bit of flexibility in your schedule to catch a movie in the morning.  The best prices though, would be on a Friday morning.  If Friday's are not doable for you but you can still catch a matinee, then buy the gift card at 20% off and used that to buy a matinee ticket on Fandango.

As you may have noticed I did not include the discount vouchers, AMC's Gold Experience and Silver Experience.  The reason is that unless you belong to some corporate program like Working Advantage, you're required to buy the tickets in bulk (minimum of 50).  In addition, the tickets are only for 2D screenings with numerous surcharges if you watch IMAX, 3D, or even in Manhattan.  Those vouchers are well worth it compared to their regular prices especially if you attend an evening show.  But compared to the deals I mentioned above they are not as competitive if you're able to attend a matinee show.

Most people are not fortunate enough to catch as many free screenings as I do.  But if you can use the information above to save yourself a ton of money over a year's time, than awesome!

If you have any additional information on how to save on a night (or morning) out to the movies, please comment below.

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