Every time I go to Harris Teeter to do my grocery shopping, I have to push through a line of people waiting to rent DVDs for $1 from redbox. Before I tried it out for myself, I couldn’t believe the traffic this was creating at the supermarket entrance. Now I know what all the commotion is about.
If you aren’t familiar with redbox, it is basically a high-tech vending machine that dispenses DVD rentals with the swipe of a credit or debit card.
Rentals are $1, as long as you return them by 9 p.m. the next day. By requiring you to swipe your credit card, the folks behind redbox keep you honest. If you miss the 9 p.m. deadline, your card is charged another $1. There are no late fees. If you fail to return a movie after 25 days, it’s yours to keep and the $1 per day charge ceases. (Redbox, btw, is owned by Coinstar and McDonald’s.)
I can’t believe it took someone this long to think up such a simple, yet ingenious, idea. Pick up a flick while running in for milk. Get a movie for the kids while picking up Happy Meals. This is bound to be the final nail in the coffin of Blockbuster, which has had such a long and storied history of bad customer service, outrageous prices and unfair late fees.
But as good as a $1 DVD rental is………if you’re like me, why pay $1 when you can get a movie rental for FREE?
Check out insideredbox.com to get codes for free rentals, news on the latest titles to be added to Redbox and the occasional weird news story involving redbox. You can also follow insideredbox.com on twitter.
If you are a redbox newbie, you can rent free using the code DVD4ME. This code is good any day of the week. Then, every Monday, insideredbox.com updates with a new free code good on Mondays only, presumably because that is the slowest rental day of the week. But hey, free is free.
Today’s Monday code is:
There are also codes offered that are good only at certain redbox locations. A code for a redbox at Walmart, for instance, will not work at a redbox inside a Harris Teeter or McDonald’s.
Another source of a free redbox rental is the official redbox site, redbox.com. Send it your email address and redbox will send you a free code. Plug in your zip code, and the site will give you a list of all the redbox machines in your area.
You can also reserve a movie title on the site to make sure you’re not disappointed when you get to a machine only to have all the latest flicks gone, which, incidentally, is the one drawback to redbox. Be ready to be flexible when picking your movie because selection is limited — unless you have reserved in advance.
Reserving a title doesn’t cost you anything extra but it does mean you can’t use a free code. But, hey, that’s a cheap price to pay for guaranteeing your selection. One final cool feature of redbox: you can rent from one redbox machine and return it to any other. And according to redbox.com, there are more than 12,000 machines nationwide. Pretty convenient.
With movie theater tickets at $9.50 and up, Blockbuster store rentals in the $4 to $7 range depending on where you live, and Netflix at $9.99 a month for unlimted rentals, redbox gets my frugal thumbs up for entertainment.