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Our Attempt To Save Money On Movie Tickets Backfired

In an attempt to save money on movie tickets, I purchased a bunch of AMC tickets through a perk my employer provides. My employer gave me access to, a website that offers entertainment and shopping discounts.

Most of the discounts it provides are unimpressive and can be beaten with simple coupon searches on Google, but AMC Gold Experience tickets provide a great value.

A movie at the AMC closest to us is $14.00. That is insane, so we look for any way to lower that price. And with that site, the price came down to $8.60 per ticket, which is good for any movie. With the AMC Silver Experience ticket (which I was able to find for $7.10), you have to wait a week or two after the movie is released to be able to use the tickets, so it’s great if you’re willing to wait, but it means always being the last of your friends to see a movie.

I bought a bunch of Gold and a bunch of Silver tickets, figuring that over the course of the year, we’d want to see some movies during the opening week or two and other times we’d want to see a movie a few weeks after it came out. We could always buy more, so we’d just adjust our purchases to our movie watching habits, but it was clear that the discounts were large enough to make the initial purchase a no-brainer.

Yesterday, we went to see Iron Man 3, we whipped out a few Silver tickets, and enjoyed our movie. It wasn’t until we arrived at home that we realized that our little envelope where we kept our movie tickets (which usually resides in the car) had gone missing. We brought it into the theater, and it probably slipped out beneath our seats.

We called the theater to see if anyone turned them in, but they were likely swept into the trash after our movie.

We tried to be responsible and save money, but we ended up losing $80 in lost tickets. We had only used maybe 6 tickets, so in the end, it would have been better to just suck it up and pay the $14 each time we wanted to see a movie.

Despite this bad experience, I will absolutely be purchasing more movie tickets in the future. After losing them once, you can bet we’ll be very careful with our tickets in the future and will only take into the theater the tickets we’ll be using that day.

So despite this rather small setback, I won’t let it deter me from making the smart choice in the future. I guess even what seems like guaranteed savings has its risks.

Readers, when have you tried to save money and had it backfire on you?



  1. Oh no that really stinks! We have tickets similar to what you are talking about. I think I paid $7.50 for them at our bank. However, our movie theater will never take them because they always say it’s a “no pass” day. I regret ever buying them!

  2. That’s too bad losing those tickets. At least you now know that they work. And lesson learned on your end, to keep them properly next time.

  3. I’ve done stuff like this before, but I think the lesson learned is to only take with you the number of tickets you might use. Keep the rest at home where they can’t be lost.

  4. That is a pretty nice perk from your employer. Every time I see the AMC tickets on daily deal websites I buy a bunch of them. Movies are way over priced, but I hate to miss the theater experience of see an action movie.

  5. I have a similar deal with Pacific theaters. My ticket cost me $6 each. I keep them in the car too, but I only take what I need and leave the ticket book in the car.

  6. That’s a great perk from your employer. Just curious, why does your employer need access to that site? Do you guys wine and dine clients with those benefits or something?

  7. That really sucks! I’m sure you won’t make that mistake again. I probably wouldn’t take advantage of this kind of deal because we very rarely see movies in the theater – maybe only once per year. Our university shows fairly new releases for free in a lecture hall and we go to those if there is something we want to see.

    • @Emily @ evolvingPF, after buying the tickets, we haven’t started going to more movies. It seemed like a waste almost (except that they never expire, and prices keep increasing), but this summer we already had 4-5 movies we were planning on seeing.

  8. Ouch, that sucks! My father in law was able to get a similar deal at his job before he retired and would always get us some. We have had similar things happen to us in the past and it always sucks, but we learn something that we won’t do again. :)

  9. It doesn’t sound like losing the tickets should affect your future spending patterns–seemed like you had a viable method of saving money on films.

  10. Hey Daniel, I’ve had similar things happen to me. Never movie tickets but, I’ve lost things like drink tickets…I’ve learned to give the tickets, coupons, receipts and other loose items that are easily lost to my fiance!

  11. Oh, I’m a sucker for restaurant coupons and deals: buy x and we’ll give you a coupon for y that you can use next time you come in. Coupons generally have to be used within 30 days and can you find them when you go back? No.

    • @Lance @ Money Life and More, nope, anyone who has the tickets can use them, there’s no way to trace them back to me. I sent them a nice email explaining what happened but got back a very short negative response.

  12. Dang, that really sucks. I’ve lost coupons, certificates, and cash before, it isn’t any fun. That being said, you should be able to save more than $80 if you just keep buying those cheaper movie tickets. It’ll still be beneficial in the end.

    • @Jake Erickson, Yah, this doesn’t deter me from trying to save, it’s just so frustrating to think you’re doing the right thing and have it backfire!

  13. ARGH! That majorly blows – how frustrating.

    Speaking of stupid tax, I once booked extremely cheap flights online…for the wrong date. Ouch.

  14. That sucks! It sounds a lot like signing up for the Gym on a yearly membership to get a discounted rate per visit and then finding at the end of 12 months that you only went for the first three… :-/

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