Ten ways to save money at the cinema
A trip to the cinema is pretty expensive these days. If you enjoy the experience of watching a movie on the big screen, you don’t have to pay full price. Here’s a list of the top ten ways to save money at the cinema:
(Disclaimer: The information below was correct at the time of last update – early November 2023 – but please do check the terms of each offer carefully).
1. Club Lloyds
Club Lloyds current account holders can select a ‘Lifestyle benefit” of six free cinema tickets per year, and use these any day of the week. Select from either Vue or Odeon cinemas when you choose this lifestyle option (you can’t use the free tickets at both). Note that the Club Lloyds current account has a £3 monthly fee. The fee is waived if you credit £2000 or more to the account each calendar month.
2. Tesco Clubcard Deals
Tesco Clubcard vouchers are worth double their face value when you trade them in for vouchers to use at Cineworld or Picturehouse cinemas. These can then be used on any day of the week. A 50p Tesco voucher is worth £1 in cinema vouchers. You can only redeem the cinema vouchers online and a 70p booking fee applies to each ticket booked.
3. MyVodafone, Three+, Sky Cinema O2 Priority and Virgin Media Broadband customers
Vodafone mobile customers can get up to 30% off cinema tickets via Kids Pass. Download and sign in to the MyVodafone app and look for the deal in the VeryMe section. This offer can be claimed once every 24hrs and you can book multiple tickets in the same transaction.
Customers of Three mobile get a code for a £3 Cineworld ticket every week to use on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Search for Cineworld in the Three+ app and then click “get code.” Online bookings attract a 75p booking fee – show the code in person at the box office to avoid this.
Sky Cinema subscribers can get two free Vue tickets every month via the MySky app. These are valid for any screening Monday to Thursday at Vue, and can be used at the cinema or online with no booking fee. This offer isn’t available if you’re on a trial or are subscribed via Virgin Media or NowTV.
Customers of O2 and Virgin Media Broadband can get two Vue cinema tickets for £9 plus 20% off treats bought at the cinema via the O2 Priority app. Claim a discount e-code in the app and use it by 23:59 on Sunday. You can use the e-code online or at the Vue box office.
4. Meerkat Movies
Buy an insurance product through Compare The Market, and you will get a year of Meerkat Movies for free. You will then be able to claim a “buy one, get one free” code on cinema tickets. Use the code once per week on a Tuesday or Wednesday at most UK cinemas. Tip: A one day UK travel insurance policy (which usually costs just over £1) will qualify for this deal.
5. Lidl Plus
Users of the Lidl Plus app can register with The Cinema Society to get up to 40% off vouchers for cinema tickets. The vouchers can be used at Vue, Odeon, Empire, Showcase and Empire cinemas, plus a few others too. You can buy up to 10 vouchers per day and share these with friend. Depending on the cinema, you can either exchange the vouchers for cinema tickets online or at the cinema. Note that the discounts are based on peak ticket prices, so check discounts carefully before buying.
6. Odeon deals
Sign up to MyOdeon for free, and you can get cheaper tickets all day on Mondays, and on selected screenings from Tuesday to Sunday. You can book online or at the cinema, but online will always be cheaper. MyOdeon also gives £5 anytime tickets for any standard 2D screening at 24 participating locations.
Odeon’s MyLimitless membership is £14.99 per month and includes unlimited 2D movies each month. Pay £17.99 per month for MyLimitless Plus to use at Odeon’s Luxe cinemas, and to include premium seat and screen upgrades. The monthly membership has a minimum of three months, and you can save by paying annually at £149 for MyLimitless (£this works out at £12.42/month) or £179 for MyLimitless Plus (which works out at £14.92 per month).
Odeon’s Screen Unseen offers £6 online tickets for mystery movie preview screenings for MyOdeon members – but you won’t know what the film is until it starts!
Over 60’s can enjoy free hot drinks and biscuits with Odeon Silvers selected screenings for just £3.50, provided that you are a free MyOdeon member and book online. If you book at the cinema, tickets cost £4.50. Add 50p to both prices if you don’t have a free MyOdeon membership.
7. Cineworld deals
If you have a local Cineworld cinema, and are a regular cinema goer, check out their Cineworld Unlimited membership plan. This costs between £10.99 and £21.90 per month (depending on the location) and allows you to see as many movies as you wish. The card also gives 10% off cinema snacks (increasing to 25% after 12 months) plus 25% off your total bill at Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas restaurants. Cineworld Unlimited has a three-month minimum membership.
Cineworld also offer £4.50 tickets for over 60’s on a selected screening every Wednesday – with free hot drinks and biscuits – but only at 10 cinemas. Check out the locations and find out more at CineSeniors.
8. Showcase deals
Sign up to Showcase’s Insider membership to get £7.50 tickets from 7pm on Sunday and all day Monday and Tuesday, saving around £5. Use at the box office, or book online (a £1 fee applies online). At Bluewater, the tickets cost £9.50.
Over 60s can get £5 tickets at Showcase screenings starting at 4pm or earlier for £5 as part of Showcase’s Silver Screenings offer.
9. Kids’ Screenings
Several major cinema chains offer discounted tickets for kids’ screenings on Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays. Mini-Mornings tickets from Vue cost £2.49 per person for both child (aged 2-12) and accompanying adult tickets, and you can book online or via the Vue app. Odeon Kids screenings (at weekends and in school holidays) allow accompanying adults to pay kids prices, and you can book online via MyOdeon. Pay just £2.50 with Cineworld Movies for Juniors tickets for a child (aged up to 14) with an accompanying adult, or £5.50 for premium films. Note that a 99p fee applies if you book online. Empire cinemas also offer Jnr tickets at weekends for £2 per person, valid for children (up to 14 years) with accompanying adults, but an extra 70p booking fee applies if you book online.
10. Groupon and ShowFilmFirst
Groupon often has offers for discounted cinema tickets, but these vary from time to time. Offers for five Vue tickets for £22 (or ten for £40) which can be used on any day are recent highlights. Always check the expiry date of tickets when buying multiples in this way, and be sure you can use them all before they expire!
ShowFilmFirst often have free tickets to preview screenings of films at various cinemas around the UK. If you’re lucky you can get see a new release movie for free, in advance of its official release date. Keep a close eye on your emails, as tickets often go quickly when ShowFilmFirst send an email alert.
A final note on snacks and drinks
These are hideously expensive in the cinema! Most venues allow you to take your own snacks and drinks in with you. Make a habit of doing this and you will save a fortune.
What do you think of our ten ways to save money at the cinema? Do you know any others? Leave a comment below!