Why the Hoyts Reward Card is (almost) a complete waste of time.

I recently moved up to Christchurch, and loving going to the movies, I got a Hoyts Reward Card.  Christchurch  – or the bits I’m local to by bike – has 4 cinemas, 3 Hoyts multiplexes and Alice’s Cinematique (a 35 seat arthouse I haven’t been to yet, but am dying to).  The Hoyts are your normal multiplexes, run by teenagers than run from freindly to surly, expensive snacks (5.00 bottles of water), badly soundproofed screens.  Normal suburban stuff.

For ten bucks you can get a reward card, and for that a free ticket.  That makes it financially viable.  From then on there is the promise of cheap tickets to selected films, and a points system.  Points are awarded on a price per purchase scheme, 10 points per dollar.  They are then redeemed at an outrageous markup – a couple of sodas costs 1890 points.  I’d love to tell you what a ticket to the films cost, but their website is broken and won’t tell me.

I’ll continue to use it, but the chances of getting enough points for a ticket (and I go to the movies once a week or so) before the points expire in 24 months are kinda small.

The return for Hoyts for me using it are great: they can profile my cinema going and snack buying.  The amount of effort they expend trying to get me to link to facebook is extraordinary, but what do I get for the effort of publicising their business?  Nothing.

The last benefit they provide are cheap tickets.  So far, the offer for the $10 tickets are for movies they are desperately trying to make some return on.  For a typical Hoyts audience that, I suspect, means the kinds of movies I’m interested in occasionally.  Trying to fill up screen 6, or at least, get A warm body in there. (I always seem to end up in screen 6).  There may be some utility in this for me.

In summary, the rewards scheme is a bunch of screaming advertising copy with little real benefit for me.  I wrote to Rialto and asked if they were going to open a cinema in Christchurch, but they have no plans.  Sad.

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