Best Movie Rewards Programs for 2020

Movie Ticket

We rank the best movie rewards programs, and provide you with the top choices to earn discounts and freebies at the movies!

Movie Theatres in the United States offer loyalty and membership programs to their customers to reward them for returning to their specific theatre chain regularly. The types of programs and their benefits have evolved over time so that even smaller theatre chains can offer a simple plan where you earn points for ticket and concession purchases, and larger chains with more screens can entice customers with multiple tiers and expanded benefits.

Quick links to see the winners for each category:

Let’s get right to the winners! But, don’t forget, we also offer full reviews of all the movie chain rewards programs!

Best Overall Movie Theater Rewards Program

AMC Stubs Premiere and Fandango VIP tie for first because you can actually use both programs at the same time! The paid AMC Stubs Premiere program waives fees for purchases on Fandango.com. By purchasing on Fandango, you can earn free movies twice as fast! Even though there is a $15 annual fee for Stubs Premiere, it balances itself out between the birthday freebies and the waived online ordering fees.

fandango vip

Winner: Fandango VIP

  • Works in conjunction with other top movie rewards programs
  • Earn $5 for every 4 tickets purchased
  • Bonus point promotions throughout the year
  • Rewards can be used on movie ticket purchases as well as FandangoNOW streaming

These days with more theatres designed with assigned seating, buying tickets in advance is more and more necessary. Fandango VIP works in conjunction with rewards programs from most large theatre chains.

Worst part: The $5 reward expires 21 days after you earn it.

AMC Stubs Premiere

Winner: AMC Stubs Premiere

  • High points ratio for ticket and concession purchases
  • Free large popcorn and fountain drink on your birthday
  • Online ticketing fees waived
  • Points don’t expire for 2 years after last activity

Despite the $15 annual fee, we believe this is the strongest rewards option due to the combination of its benefits as well as the number of AMC theatres in the U.S.

Worst part: $15 annual fee.

Read our review of all the AMC Stubs tiers

Best Small-Chain or Regional Rewards Program

Winner: Showcase Starpass

  • Only $100 spend to earn a free ticket
  • Free popcorn on your birthday
  • $2 off tickets on Tuesdays

Worst part: Points expire only 9 months after earning.

See the benefits of Showcase Starpass

Runner-up: Flagship Film Fanatic Club

This is, actually, hands-down the best movie rewards program out there. A free ticket is earned with only $75 worth of purchases. Not only that, if you have an annual Premium Popcorn Pail, your 75-points ticket comes with a free pail refill! What kept it from taking the top spot is that there are no other rewards with membership, and the concession value is a bit lower than many others.

We provide all the details of Flagship Film Fanatic

Best if you See 20+ Movies a Year

If you’re going to see more than 20 movies a year, you’re really better off joining one of the monthly-fee programs that allow you to see several movies each month. But if you don’t want to add that expense, here are your best options. While Regal ranks in the middle of all the loyalty programs, it really shines if you’re an avid movie fan.

Winner: Regal Crown Club

Best perk: The more movies you see, the more points you earn per visit. After 20 movies, you get a whopping 1,000 extra points per visit. At that rate, movies 21+ will earn you movies faster than any other program out there. Regal also offers new deals almost weekly!

Worst part: Points expire after 1 year.

See our entire review of Regal Crown Club

Runner-up: Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo’s program really isn’t anything special other than you get a free ticket on your birthday. But if you’re going to more than 20 movies a year, then you are clearly a movie fan. And as a movie fan, you would appreciate the quality that comes with Alamo Drafthouse. Pair that with the free popcorn and soda you get on your birthday at this level, the free snack, and a few buy-1-get-1 free deals, and invites to advance screenings, and you are in for a great year of moviegoing!

Read more about Alamo Victory

Best for Concession Perks

Winner: Marcus and Movie Tavern Magical Movie Rewards

  • Free refills on fountain drinks
  • Free popcorn and $5 tickets on Tuesdays
  • Monthly discount deals on concessions or food & beverages

Worst part: Points expire after only 6 months of inactivity.

See more details about Magical Movie Rewards

Runner-up: B&B Theatres Backstage Pass

  • Free concession combo on your birthday
  • Free extra small popcorn (discount on larger sizes) and $5 tickets on Tuesdays
  • Free refills on large popcorn and sodas
  • Unlike most programs, points may be earned on gift card and alcohol purchases

Worst part: The ratio value of their points redemption is terrible.

Look at more perks of B&B Backstage Pass

Best Movie Rewards Club for Free Tickets

Winner: Bow Tie Cinemas Criterion Club Gold

  • Free ticket on your birthday
  • Free tickets to Movies & Mimosas
  • Free tickets to Insomnia Theatre Screenings

Worst part: $20 annual fee.

See more about Bow Tie Criterion Club

Runner-up: Alamo Drafthouse

  • Free ticket on your birthday
  • At least 2 free screening invites every year

Worst part: No points program to earn additional free tickets.

Best if you Always get Popcorn at the Movies

Winner: Harkins My Rewards with Popcorn Perks

This program really isn’t that great, but if you must have popcorn whenever you see a movie, then the $30 annual fee for the My Rewards program is worth it because you get a free medium popcorn every time you go to the movies. Keep in mind this really only pays for itself if you see 6+ movies per year.

See more details about My Harkins Rewards

Runner-up: Annual refillable popcorn buckets

Many theatre chains offer a popcorn bucket for $20-25 which you can refill at a discounted rate of about $5 whenever you bring it to the theatre to see a movie. Of course, if you only need a small or medium popcorn, then this probably wouldn’t be a money-saver for you.

Best Theatre Loyalty Program with the Most Free Stuff

Winner: Goodrich Quality Rewards

  • 2 free popcorns each year
  • Free admission for 6 people to a morning movie series film
  • 15% off concessions all the time, and 30% off between 4-6pm
  • Best value of all chains for converting points for concessions

Read our page about GQT Rewards

Runner-up: Marcus and Movie Tavern Magical Rewards

  • Free refills on drinks
  • Free popcorn on $5 Tuesdays
  • Online ticketing fees waived

Worst part: Points expire after only 6 months of inactivity.

Worst Movie Reward Loyalty Program

Loser: AMC Stubs Insider

Stubs Insider is barely even worth joining even though it’s free! The only real perk is the free popcorn on your birthday. You’ll need to spend $500 at AMC just to earn a free ticket! However, this makes sense, as AMC likely only offers this free tier as a way to up-sell members on Stubs Premiere.

Runners-up: Premiere Cinemas Rewards, Harkins My Rewards, and Studio Movie Grill Access

Premiere doesn’t even allow you to get tickets with points – only concessions. And at a terrible rate. And with no other perks. Harkins just has terrible ratios, and no other perks except a $5 reward on your birthday. And their points expire after 6 months. SMG Access is similar to AMC Stubs in that the free tier has terrible earning-to-conversion rates simply to encourage people to upgrade to the paid membership.

See all the terrible perks of Studio Movie Grill Access

Notes on how our comparisons were calculated

In our attempt to make the best apple-to-apple comparisons, we assumed that a ticket prices for any theater/movie was $10, and that a free concession item was $6. Many of the loyalty programs provide other perks such as special screenings, advanced ticket purchases, and various other discounts. Because these were so common across all, we did not factor these into the assessment.

So there are all the winners we came up with. You’ll notice there are a few chains whose movie loyalty programs didn’t make the list at all. We made pages for them anyway, so check them out if they are your favorites, and see what their rewards programs offer.

Cinemark Movie Rewards

AMStar and The Grand Reel Rewards

Regency Rewards

 

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