UPDATE 8/23/2018: You know what they say… “Too much of a good thing…”. And that’s exactly what happened to Moviepass. Their subscription service has changed since I wrote this post. Now, for $9.95 per month you can see 3 movies per month. (The subscription used to allow you to see one new movie per day). If you live in a metropolitan area where movie tickets are expensive, this is still a great deal. For me, it would be the equivalent of buy one ticket, get two free. Read on for my original post. The screenshots have not changed. Visit Moviepass for updated details on their plans.
$10.25… that’s the price of a movie ticket at my local Regal Cinemas. Multiply that by 2, because you’re probably not going to the movies alone, and you’re over $20 just to get in the door of the theater. Now add popcorn and a soda and you’re pushing $30. So maybe you just want to wait until that movie comes out at Redbox, huh? What if you could see that movie for free? With a magic little red MoviePass debit card, you can! (Essentially). Wait… hold the phone… what?! Yup, you read that right. For a very low flat monthly fee, you can see one movie per day in theaters. Too good to be true? How exactly does this magic MoviePass card work, and is it really worth it? My MoviePass review, from an actual subscriber (that’s me!), breaks it all down for you.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote products that I use and trust. Read more here.
What is Moviepass?
MoviePass is a subscription-based movie theater ticketing service, allowing you to see movies (even new releases) in over 4000 theaters nationwide. For a flat rate of $9.95 per month, you can see one movie per day in movie theaters. No joke!
Does My Local Theater Accept Moviepass?
According to their website, MoviePass is accepted at over 91% of theaters nationwide. So chances are, yes, your local theater accepts it. For a list of supported theaters near you, click here and scroll down to the map. Input your zip code for a list your local theaters that accept MoviePass.
There have been rumors that AMC will stop accepting MoviePass as it rolls out its own subscription service (which will be double the price of MoviePass), but right now all of my local AMC theaters are showing up on my app and available for ticket purchases.
Plus, since the theater is getting paid for the FULL price of the ticket when a MoviePass member uses their card, I see no reason why the theaters would not accept MoviePass.
How Does it Work?
Step 1: Sign up today, and get your MoviePass debit card in the mail in about 2 weeks. Click this banner to sign up:
Step 2: Download the MoviePass app and activate your card by following the prompts and taking a photo of the front of your card. Don’t worry, it’s super simple to do. Some users may have their card auto-activated in which case you don’t have to do anything but move on to the next step. *Note – You must have a supported iPhone or Android with data service to use the MoviePass app.
Step 3: Once your card is active, you’re ready to see movies! Open the MoviePass app, and the first screen you see will look something like this:
Notice the 3 icons on the bottom of the screen. If you would prefer to search for movies by theater, tap the “Theaters” icon and you will see a screen like this with a list of all available theaters near you, in order of distance:
Click on the theater that you want, and you will get a screen that looks like this with all of the available movies and showtimes at that theater:
*Note – MoviePass says that sometimes the app receives a “bad showtime feed”, so if you try to check-in and notice that the showtime that you wanted is missing, you can scroll to the bottom of this screen and there is a button that says “Unlisted Showtime”. You can click that to see your movie.
Step 4: Once you find the movie that you want to see, check in on the MoviePass app.
To check in to a movie, you must be within 100 yards of the theater, and once you check in you will have 3o minutes to swipe your card at the ticketing counter.
So what happens when you check-in on the app?
Essentially, MoviePass automatically transfers the FULL amount for the price of your ticket to your MoviePass card (basically a debit card), so that you are ready for Step 5…
Step 5: Go to the ticketing counter and tell them the name of the movie and the showtime that you just checked in for on your app. The ticketing agent will tell you the total amount due, just like if you were purchasing a regular ticket. Then, give your MoviePass card (which is preloaded with the amount due for the ticket) to the cashier to pay.
Step 6: Enjoy your movie!
Wait… All this for how much?!
There are two monthly plans currently available. But the best value by far is their unlimited $9.95 monthly plan. The second plan is $7.95 per month for 3 movies, which is still an AMAZING deal, but for just $2.00 more per month you can see way more movies.
What are the Limitations?
No repeat showings. That means you can’t see the same movie more than once. And you can’t use your card for 3D or IMAX showings. Plus, you can’t purchase advanced tickets. Only same day ticket purchases are allowed. Other than that, you’re not limited to the movies you can see.
As a MoviePass subscriber, I did recently receive an email about new upgrades to the $9.95 monthly plan that are currently being tested. Supposedly, MoviePass subscribers will soon be able to use their cards to see a 3D or IMAX movie for “an additional upgrade fee”. Plus, in order to keep their monthly subscription price low and not have to limit available showtimes, MoviePass is testing a “Peak Pricing” system that would apply to certain dates or films with high levels of demand. Then, to use your MoviePass for those high demand showtimes, you would have to pay “a small additional fee”. However, MoviePass says that you could avoid that fee altogether by just choosing a different film or time.
Once again, these premium upgrades have not been rolled out yet, so I can’t speak to how they actually work.
But, if you ask me $9.95 per month is still a great deal for what you get.
So, how does MoviePass make money?
Well, from everything that I’ve read, they don’t. Right now. In fact, they are losing money. Think about it. The price of one ticket in most markets is more than the cost of a full month of movies with MoviePass. Since the price of one ticket at my local theater is $10.25, if I seen only one movie per month, MoviePass loses money.
Sorry, MoviePass, but I see about two per week.
You may have heard rumors that they sell your information to third parties, but according to the CEO (Co-founder of Netflix Mitch Lowe), they don’t. According to Wired, they do, however, gather information on what types of movies you see and when, and they are using that info to partner with movie studios to purchase rights to smaller, independent-type films.
And they’ve already done it… MoviePass acquired the movie “American Animals”, the true story of a crazy art heist, and they have been using their subscriber base to promote it like crazy. You see, MoviePass is great for independent films. Of course big blockbusters are going to make big money at the box office. (Say that 5 times fast!). And with MoviePass, independent films are making more also, because the tickets are (basically) free. As a subscriber, you’re much more likely to see a smaller film in theaters than waiting for the DVD release, because your MoviePass subscription is already paid for. So, it’s actually cheaper to see the movie in theaters than pay $1.75 at Redbox to rent the DVD.
Also, since so many movie goers are now MoviePass subscribers (and that number is growing everyday), MoviePass is beginning to have more leverage with theaters. Leverage that they can use to, say, get a cut of concession sales. Something that they plan to bargain for in the future, according to Wired.
So, what sucks about MoviePass?
A quick online search of MoviePass reviews will tell you that their customer service department is seriously lacking. And I experienced that first hand when I sent my parents a gift subscription to the service.
I ordered two different gifts, one for my dad and one for my mom. My Dad’s gift email to redeem the MoviePass gift subscription came just fine, and he had no problems redeeming it for his MoviePass card. However, my mom never got her email and, therefore, was not able to redeem her gift and get her MoviePass card. I emailed customer service 8 times over the period of two months and never received a response. I tried to call, but could not find their phone number anywhere. Not even floating out there on the internet where you’re supposed to be able to find everything.
Finally, I was on the phone with my bank to reverse the charge for the gift subscription and the bank agent says, “I have a phone number listed for them. Would you like it?”. I had searched and searched and it was my bank’s charge reversal department that ended up being the answer!
**Note – MoviePass has since set up a dedicated customer service phone number and it’s easy to find… the MoviePass phone number is 1-877-646-2892.
Of course I said “yes” (and held off on reversing the charge!).
I called and, to my surprise, they answered on the third ring. An actual person! And she was SUPER NICE! And she sent out another email to my mom immediately! Problem resolved!
Moral of the story – Do not expect to receive a response if you email them for help.
**Note – Their customer service department may now be better equipped to handle the growing subscriber base. I think that they were just SO busy for a while when they announced the cheaper $9.95 plan, that they couldn’t keep up with all of the inquiries.
And, that was the only problem that I have ever had with the service. So, considering the incredible value that I’m getting, I’m willing to overlook it. Plus, once I did finally get in touch with an actual person, she was so SUPER friendly and helpful! Way to redeem yourself MoviePass!
And why it’s a Game Changer?
Well, it’s a Game Changer for your budget, for sure! Talk about cheap entertainment! My husband and I both have a MoviePass card and we see about 2 movies per week. For only $19.90 per month for both of us. And we LOVE it!
Plus, you can also use your theater’s loyalty card in combination with your MoviePass. So we are still earning a TON of Regal Crown Club points on our free movies. Score!
And MoviePass is literally changing the way we see movies.
Before my husband and I signed up for MoviePass, we saw about two movies per year in theaters. As in, we pretty much never went to the movies. We would always just wait for movies that we wanted to see to come out at Redbox, rather than forking over $20+ to see one movie in theaters. But now, we go to the movies a lot! Fortunately, he gets home from work at lunch time so we have plenty of time to head to the theater while our kids are still in school (so no babysitter expense!).
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So, are you ready to try it out for yourself.
While there are some horror stories out there related to customer service and getting problems resolved, I can only speak to my personal experiences for my MoviePass review. And I LOVE it! If you love to watch movies, then MoviePass is for you. The app is super simple to use, and the value in the monthly plan is undeniably great. So, if you’re ready to sign up, just click on the link below. And share my MoviePass review with a friend! Happy Movie-Going!