Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to save money - Odeon Premiére Reward Card: worth it?

As always, please read my disclaimer before acting on any information contained in this post.

Odeon cinemas have recently introduced their own reward scheme. The idea is similar to other reward schemes in that you receive points every time you visit the cinema and buy tickets and food. You get 10 points for every £1 spent, and you can redeem these for tickets and food. Tickets give the highest return, so I'll concentrate on those in this post. The catch is that you have to pay for the card in the first place. However, you do get a certain number of free points depending on which level of membership you opt for:
  • Classic membership is £1.99, and you get 100 free points
  • Deluxe membership is £4.99, and you get 500 free points
  • Ultimate membership is £9.99 and you get 1000 free points

Is it worth it?
That depends on who you are.

If you're an avid cinema goer and attend fairly regularly you'll build up enough points to redeem a ticket for a seat every now and then. If you're buying for a family, and you buy food each time you go, points will rack up more quickly than say, me going by myself and not eating anything, and you might get a few free tickets a year out of it. Having said that, even if you only go once a year, you'll still accrue points and as long as you keep going long enough you'll eventualy build up balance enough to redeem, even if that takes you 14 years.

In short, it depends on how often you go on average as to whether it's worth the time and effort, and there's no hard-and-fast rule for this.

Which level of membership should I go for?
That depends on where you are.

Different Odeons have different ticket price tarrifs, yet the number of points you get per pound stays the same. This means that the more expensive your local odeon is, the more worthwhile buying a reward card is.

How worth it is calculable using maths:
The price of a standard ticket at my local Odeon is £7.30, and to buy one with reward points would cost 800 points. This means that for anybody who mostly visits Kettering's Odeon cinema, each point is worth:
730p / 800 = 0.91p.
This means that:
  • If I buy the Classic membership for £1.99, I get (100 points x 91p =) £0.91 worth of points for the price, giving me a loss of £1.08.
  • If I buy the Delux membership for £4.99, I get (500 x 91p = ) £4.56 worth of points, meaning that I lose £0.43.
  • If I by the ultimate membership for £9.99, I get (1000 x 91p = ) £9.10 worth of points, which is a loss of 0.89.
Bear in mind that any loss in the initial purchase will eventually be absorbed by extra points that you earn with your purchases (it's a one-off joining fee, but there's no limit to your savings), so if you decide to get a rewards card it makes sense to go with the membership level that gives you the lowest loss. So for me, that's Delux membership.

To work out your own, do the following:
1. Work out how much your points are worth:
Divide your local cinema's standard ticket price (s) by 800:
w = s / 800

2. Work out how much the free points with each level of membership are worth to you:
Multiply how much each point is worth (w) to you by the number of points you get with each level of membership in turn (fc for classic, etc):
  • Classic: fc = 100 x w
  • Deluxe: fd = 500 x w
  • Ultimate: fu = 1000 x w

3. Work out the difference (d) between the price you pay for the 'free' points and what they're worth to you:
  • Classic: d = £1.99 - fc
  • Deluxe: d = £4.99 -  fd
  • Ultimate: d = £9.99 - fu

4. Pick the membership level that gives you the lowest value for d.
Note that getting a negative number for d means that you'll actually be making a profit. Getting a value of 0 means that you break even.

Extra tips
To save even more money:

Final note...
If I'd checked my email an hour earlier, I could have just directed you towards this.