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The AMC Entertainment Visa Card, issued by Celtic Bank, is presented with all the hype of a classic summer blockbuster. The points are explosive! The rewards are out of this world! It even comes with a limited-edition NFT!?
But behind all the special effects of credit card marketing, the AMC credit card is more akin to a campy, low-budget horror flick made only for a niche audience. Unless you’re a die-hard moviegoer with a well-used AMC Stubs membership, you’re better off taking a general-purpose rewards credit card on your next movie date.
Here are five things every movie buff should know about the AMC credit card.
1. Only members can apply
You must be a member of AMC's loyalty program, Stubs, to apply for the card. There are three levels of program membership, all of which earn points for AMC purchases that can be combined with rewards from the credit card, with varying fees and benefits:
AMC Stubs Insider: Free to join, offers some discounts and special offers.
AMC Stubs Premiere: $15 plus tax per year, gives free size upgrades on popcorn and drinks, plus various discounts.
AMC Stubs A-List: $19.95 plus tax per month, includes up to three movies every week.
The good news is there's a free membership option, so casual moviegoers can join risk-free and apply for the AMC Entertainment Visa Card. The not-so-great news for those occasional film buffs is that paid members reap more valuable rewards from the credit card. (More details below.)
2. It earns points on spending at AMC and beyond
Since the AMC Entertainment card is a Visa, it can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted — not just at AMC. Like most retail credit cards, it awards its highest level of points for spending within the AMC brand, including in theaters, on the AMC website and within the app:
50 points per $1 spent on AMC purchases.
20 points per $1 spent on dining, groceries and gas.
10 points per $1 spent on everything else.
Combining AMC Stubs membership points with credit cardholder points, A-List and Premiere level Stubs members earn 150 points per $1 spent on the card on AMC purchases, and Insiders earn 70 points per $1 spent.
3. Points aren't worth much and redemptions are limited
At first glance, that sounds like a lot of points. But take a closer look behind the Hollywood facade and you’ll quickly realize those points aren't worth very much. Cardholders get a $5 reward for every 5,000 points earned, meaning each point is worth a measly one-tenth of a cent. That’s far below the industry-standard value of a full penny per point.
Not only that, but any rewards you do accumulate are limited in redemption options. Unless you pay for an A-List or Premiere AMC Stubs membership, don’t expect to use points for any discounts on movie tickets. For base-level AMC Stubs Insiders, rewards can be redeemed for concession items inside AMC theaters only. Rewards don't expire unless there are twelve consecutive months of inactivity.
4. The bonus isn't a blockbuster
New AMC Entertainment Visa cardholders do enjoy a small welcome bonus. Customers who spend at least $50 on the card during the first three months are rewarded with an extra $50 in AMC Stubs Bonus Bucks.
But once again, unless you’re a Premiere or A-List AMC Stubs member, those rewards can be used on concessions only. And the Bonus Bucks expire 90 days after issuance.
Plus, new cardholders can earn a free large popcorn each month they spend at least $250 in purchases on the card, for up to the initial six months. The free popcorn reward will load automatically to your AMC Stubs loyalty account in the beginning of the next calendar month after it's earned. Enjoy your free popcorn quickly — the reward expires at the end of that month.
Additionally, those who are approved for a new card by July 31, 2023, will receive a limited-edition, custom artwork NFT when they spend at least $50 on purchases in the first three months.
5. There’s no annual fee
There's no annual fee to hold the AMC Entertainment Visa, but if you're only a free Stubs Insider member, the rewards earned from the card have very limited use.
For less frequent moviegoers, a more wide-ranging entertainment credit card is likely a better option. For example, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $0-annual fee and earns an unlimited 3% back on dining and entertainment, including movie theaters. And that’s true cash back, so you can spend your rewards on more than just another trip to the movies.
» SEE: Best no-fee credit cards