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Frugal Entertainment Rule: You Must Try Redbox

It seems that everywhere I go these days – the supermarket, the post office, even McDonald’s – there is a redbox [1] vending machine.

Although I already have a subscription to Netflix [2], every now and then I find myself stuck in limbo, waiting for my next movie to be sent but not wanting to spend $5 (or half my monthly subscription) on a rental for one night until my next movie arrives.

Advertising cheap movie rentals and with locations along my daily route, redbox [1] seemed worth checking into.

Program Features

  • Contract: None. There is no membership required. Instead, each rental is secured by your debit or credit card.
  • Initial Cost: Each DVD costs $1 (plus tax) if you return it by 9pm the following night.
  • Late Fees: Each night that you keep it past the first 9pm deadline is an additional $1 (plus tax).

Redbox Details

Easy Returns. A great feature of the redbox [1] program is that you can return your DVD to any of their 12,000 locations nationwide [3] (usually grocery stores or restaurants) – perfect for long flights or car rides!

Find A Movie. The redbox [1] website makes it very easy to find the movie [4] you want at a nearby location so you’re not just stuck with movies that everyone else has passed over.

Reserve Online. You can reserve online ahead of time so you don’t get to the kiosk only to find that the movie you want is already gone.

Free Rentals. If you’re able to plan ahead a bit and skip typical Friday and Saturday night rentals in favor of a weekday, you can avoid the cost altogether by signing up for free coupon codes via e-mail and SMS alerts. I receive a text message every Monday afternoon!

Redbox Overall

Redbox [5] is a pretty great option for a certain type of movie renter. For some, the cost of subscribing to a monthly rental service is worth it because it helps them keep up with regular new releases and pays for itself over the course of the month.

However, for less frequent movie watchers, redbox [5] could be a great way to plan a cheap movie night every once in a while!

The biggest advantage, both price-wise and for convenience, would probably come when you want to rent a few movies to keep for a night or two. This is hard to do with Blockbuster Total Access [6] or Netflix [2] unless you’re on a fairly expensive plan and going to a video rental store is likely to be considerably more expensive.

Redbox [5] allows you to pick up a couple of DVDs for the weekend or to rent different movies for kids and adults without going overboard on cost. (You can save it for the popcorn!)