Don’t pay over the odds to see a movie. You can pay less than full price for cinema tickets every single day of the week!
If I can, I always try to see films at the cinema. The big screen, surround sound and darkened room make all the difference (though I’m not so fond of people chatting or checking their phones). Still, this is an expensive hobby so I do everything I can to get my tickets for less.
And I do pretty well at it too. It’s very rare for me to pay more than £5 or £6 – even in central London where prices are usually well over a tenner. In fact, out of the last 24 films I’ve seen at the cinema I’ve managed to get the bulk of my tickets for free. It was just two tickets when I took my niece where I needed to shell out a few quid.
These aren’t the only ways to save (I’ve listed all the tricks and deals in my huge cinema savings deals page) but these tricks show whatever day you want to see a movie, there’s a way to pay less – and even nothing at all.
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Midweek cinema deals
The cheapest days to go are always Monday to Thursday. Most cinemas have lower prices on these days, and cheaper still before 5pm. So it’s worth looking to see what your local cinema offers. However, there are ways to save even more so your ticket should cost less than £5.
Tuesday & Wednesday – 2 for 1 tickets with Meerkat Movies
This is a fantastic saving at most cinemas. You need to buy an insurance policy via Compare the Meerkat (there’s a trick so this costs just £1), and you’ll then get access to Meerkat Movies for 12 months.
This gives a code so you can buy one ticket and get one free. The promotion is valid on Tuesday and Wednesday, though you can only take advantage of the offer once a week.
Everyman: 2-4-1 on Wednesdays via Times+
If you subscribe to the Times you’ll get access to Times+ offers, including a rare two-for-one ticket to Everyman cinemas. You can claim one code a week and it can only be used on Wednesdays.
There’s often a free or cheap trial available for the Times so you can try it out or just get it for a one-off visit.
Weekend only cinema deals
Cinemas charge a fair bit more from Friday to Sunday, and there are less deals that will save you money at the weekend. Personally I’d save any tickets that can be used any day of the week for the weekend (more of these in the next section).
Friday to Sunday – £3 ticket for Cineworld or Picturehouse via Three
Similar to the O2 Priority deal mentioned above, the Three+ loyalty app has a cinema deal. It’s not free but at £3 a ticket it is still a decent saving for Cineworld and Picturehouse.
You can show the code at the box office to get your ticket, but if you book online there’s a 75p fee on top. You’ll also be able to claim three months free Telegraph, getting you access to the free monthly Vue tickets on top.
And, also like O2, you can get the Three+ app even if you’re with a different network thanks to a trick where you top up a Three Pay-as-you-go SIM every 90 days. If you’re going on a weekly basis that could be worth it, even once a month could save you cash – depending on the full price of a ticket at your local.
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All week cinema deals
These are all good deals, but I’d use these for more expensive weekend showings when you get the best value for the discount.
Odeon free tickets via O2 & Virgin Media
You can get a free ticket to Odeon every week via O2 Priority. The codes are released Wednesday at 2pm and you have until Sunday to book your ticket. They used to by just for Monday screenings but you can now use them any day of the week.
However one consequence of this is they go really fast – so set your alarm for 1.59pm! Even then you might lose out. I’ve not been able to grab one for the last month as the full allocation is gone in seconds. It also looks like this offer might end in March 2023.
This loyalty app isn’t just for O2 customers. Since their merger with O2, anyone with Virgin Media can also get the app. And it’s possible for everyone else to get access too, thanks to this trick (expect to pay £10 every six months).
Three or four Vue tickets via the Telegraph for free
Take out a trial for the digital version of the Telegraph and you’ll also get access to Telegraph Extras. This loyalty scheme provides a free Vue ticket every month, usually at 2pm on the first Friday of the month. You can also get a free Chili movie rental at the same time. Once more you need to be fast as there are limited numbers available.
The latest offering is three months free, though sometimes it’s one month free and the next three months at £1 a month. So if you sign up near the start of the month when tickets are available to claim, and then get them for the rest of your trial membership, you could get three, if not four, tickets in total. You’d get the last one in the last few days of your subscription (make sure you cancel before you are charged full price).
Six free tickets for Vue or Odeon via Lloyds
If you open up a Lloyds Club current account you’ll be given six free cinema tickets every year. You can choose between Vue or Cineworld, though you can’t mix and match.
There is a fee of £3 a month for this account, but it’s not charged if you pay in £2,000 a month. This might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t need to stay in your account. You can transfer the money in when you get paid, then straight back out again.
12 free Vue tickets via Halifax
A similar offer runs with Halifax’s Reward current account, though you do have to jump through a few more hoops to get the 12 free tickets. You’ll get one each month and they’ll be valid for a year.
Once you have the account you must pay in £1,500 each month to avoid the £3 fee and keep the balance above zero.
Then you need to choose whether you will either spend £500 each month on your debit card or keep £5,000 in the account all month. This selection remains the same for a year, as does your choice of offer.
If you don’t have a Vue nearby you could instead receive a £5 reward, 2 movie rentals or three digital magazines each month.
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Up to 40% off with other memberships
There are a number of schemes and memberships that give discounts at most big cinema chains and many independent ones too. Though the schemes look similar, prices might be different so it can be worth looking at one for two.
Often these are available via your employer’s “work perks” scheme, but you can also access them for free via the Lidl Plus app.
Some are paid for, though look for free trials. Tastecard is another good one that also gives restaurant discounts (here are the best deals), while Kids Pass gives additional savings for children’s attractions.
However, these don’t always work out cheaper, so check the prices at your local cinema before buying tickets via these schemes, but you can get cheap trials of both to give them a go.
Two Vue tickets for £7 via Vodafone
Yet another mobile SIM loyalty programme offering discounted tickets. This time for Vue, and you get get two tickets for £7 every week, with new codes available each Monday.
Again you can get this if you’re on another network and I’ve written about this trick in detail, so read here for all the information. In brief, if you have a Vodafone SIM you can access this deal every week. And you don’t need a contract – as long as you top up by £10 every six weeks you can get the deal.
Get a membership
If you go on a weekly basis then memberships can work out cheaper. I’ve written here about the different schemes which run at Odeon, Cineworld, Curzon and Everyman.
Extra cinema discounts
There are always other special offers running that could get you cheap or free tickets. I’ve listed special offers, flash sales and other tricks to save at all the major and independent chains in my ultimate cinema savings page. Have a look to see what the latest offers are.
3 thoughts on “How to save at the cinema every day of the week”
Can’t believe that a simple visit to the cinema can be so complicated. I’m a complete techna phobe. Born before brains were wired for technology .
Managed to find my local cinema , checked films showing on specific days times etc checked prices , discount before 5pm individual prices for children, adults , OAP’s etc Off I set to meet a friend excited that film was still showing .
Going to the cashier I was directed to a wall mounted machine, wrong I had cash (sorry to swear) wall machines don’t take cash, Asked for two OAP TICKETS , shock £10.50 each ?
Queried as £5 quoted on line for entry before 5pm, it was 6.30pm so expected to pay quoted £6.95 not available to be purchased at cinema? Why ? How has such a simple activity suddenly become a mine field of complex , time, day and film category choices .I feel I have been victimised because I choose to use currency albeit English currency .Penalised because I choose not to use technology , and victimised a second time because I am elderly and don’t understand technology . When the numbers attending the cinemas is declining why rule out a generation for the sake of having one till cash only .
Being charged £3.55 over the price I expected to pay and likewise my companion it totally spoilt the outing which we had been looking forward to . Yes we could have refused to pay
but we had already invested . What else do you buy that has so many price tags ?
Yes, and sadly this technology penalty isn’t just at the cinema.
I like to go late at night to see movies. I live within walking distance of a Odeon cinema. I went today to see West Side Story tonight which tells the story of two fictional gangs in America and their families. If you can bring your own food and drink. The entire movie in question was good and bad.
My top bit of advice is to check out the website in order first to find out about the current student deals and important details about the shown films. Get a printed out membership card. Or you can ask the man or woman working about that type of thing.