Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again

By Paul Michael on 30 March 2008 (Updated 13 August 2013) 236 comments

Why go to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video? Why pay $4-$5 for a DVD movie rental? Why pay anything for a DVD rental ever again? For the last month, I haven't paid for one new release movie at RedBox, and sometimes I've rented two or three in one day. It's legit, it's easy, and if you ever pay even one cent for a DVD rental again, well, you're paying too much. (See also: 8 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment)

I have to thank Peter for first bringing my attention to this back in January, when I posted a free coupon for Hollywood Video. What a fool I was, in hindsight. I was looking for these free rental coupons, scouring the web and clipping magazines and newspapers. All I had to do was pop along to the RedBox which is on my way home from work, punch in a code and grab my free rental.

Code Sharing for RedBox

This is not like illegal downloading (which I hate — cheap, not frugal) or borrowing a copy from a friend. RedBox actually distributes these codes weekly if you sign up for SMS or email messaging. You get free rental codes which you can use for one night's free rental.

But this is the social media age, and the Internet creates a vast number of people all getting codes. Enter the code sharing websites. I've listed a few of my favorites below, but what they basically create is a community of people sharing codes for the RedBox rentals.

Each code is good for one use per credit/debit card (you need to swipe it, you will be charged for each additional day you may have the movie out). If you have more than one card, you get more than one free rental off that code. I have swiped three cards, entered that same code each time, and got three brand new releases for a whole day of movie heaven. OK, so I'm a movie addict.

All you need to do is visit these sites and print out the latest list of codes before your trip to the local RedBox. I like Inside Redbox the best, it gives a percentage rating for the codes, much like RetailMeNot. Anyway, choose your movie, punch in a code (hit the Add Promo Code button), swipe your card and take home your free rental. As long as you return it before 9pm the following day, you never pay for that movie. I do believe they put a $1 hold on your card for each rental, but that is of course returned to you very quickly.

So, there you have it. I can't really believe Blockbuster and Hollywood Video can compete with completely free rentals. And to be honest, with the late fees I've paid in the past, I'm no fan of either.

[Update: the Monday email I received from RedBox today with my code was followed with the phrase, Forward To Friends. I think that settles the ongoing debate about whether RedBox approves of code sharing]

Sites to Find Redbox Codes

Here are sites you can try for codes, which are constantly updated. At the time of writing this article (updated on April 23rd, 2010), both DVDONME and BREAKROOM are working codes that will get you a free rental.

 

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Guest's picture
baban malhi

well these codes wont work if u used them already on your debit or credit card. if you wanna reuse them then you have to use diffrent card.

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Eric The Ron

Well, unfortunately you are a hypocrite. You say you are against illegal downloading, and sharing copies with friends which also steals copyright income from the people who spent money to make the movie. But this is no different. Redbox is only paying for the one download it expects from the person they gave the code to, but you are stealing multiple copies. Of course this is a loophole, but one which Redbox is not inclined to close (until it gets sued for it) while it is getting you used to making two trips to their boxes to get and return DVDs. In terms of convenience, not much different from movie rental stores. I'll stick with Netflix, thank you!

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Christina

Some of these comments are absolutely hilarious. Thanks for the codes dude. I personally still love Family Video. : )

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RexBoxer

I am a satisfied customer with Redbox. Occasionally I forget to return and get charged for the extra day. No biggie! I rented a DVD in NJ and wanted to return in Houston when hurricane Ike hit us and the power was out for days. Eventually I returned and called Rex Box. I like the convenience of rent anywhere and return anywhere policy.

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Guest

damn its just one dollar per night, not worth the trouble to get codes

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Guest

You can't be any cheaper than this!

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Sandstone

Blockbuster and Hollywood video aren't primarily trying to get you inside to sell narcotic foodstuffs. They also have real selections. The two models are very contrasting.

Guest's picture
Guest

Or, you could just the pay One dollar.

Guest's picture
Guest

Beware I've used these codes and was charged $10 for 10 days for one movie when I'd returned the movie on time the next day after rental....after complaining and saying I'd never use a redbox again the teenage sounding customer service rep. only refunded me 1/2.....I could have bought the lowsy movie for that much! ("Funny People"--it's not funny btw). Just beware, I've had machines spit out dvd when you try to return and I think this is why this occurred because the barcode was facing just right..also lines can develope if you're running late to turn in a movie before 9pm...

Guest's picture
Mom2four

Always make sure the movie is placed in the box properly. Next, insert as seen in the automated picture with the arrow facing the hole and wait at the machine until you see a confirmation page. If the machine won't take the movie, call the customer service number.

I have had to call Redbox and BlockbusterExpress on occasion and have always been treated sweetly. I have received a free code in my email for my trouble or been given one right their on the phone. Also, if my free eligible code code is not accepted, I call the customer service number. They simply give me another.

If you are at the box and the line is long, call and let them know you are waiting and worried if it will not be in there on time. They will help you. If you do get an awful service representative at Redbox or any other business, don't get unnerved, just ask for a shift manager. If the shift manager is rude, you be polite and thank them for their time. Call back and ask for the phone number and name to a manager above the shift manager and get the hours in which that person may be reached.

Our economy stinks...if you don't get nasty, representatives will do their best to straighten out your circumstance because companies are hurting.

There was a statement about DVDs ruining a player...I had this happen...or so I thought. I cleaned the disc and it still would not work. I then played the clean disc in another player and it was fine. I bought a new player, but I also purchased a DVD disc to clean my machine. It fixed the "broken" DVD player immediately. DVD machines are so cheaply made...they do go out spontaneously, too. If your machine is more than a year old, consider yourself fortunate. Manufacturers no longer make products to last; they make them to last just beyond warranty so that one must buy another to boost business and the economy. Cheap plastic parts!!! You get what you pay for; a player under $100 is a disposable unit. It is just the way things are.

I have learned to always clean the disc or make sure it is clean before it goes in. Kids have grubby hands...some grown ups must, too! lol

Hope this helps!

Mom2four

Guest's picture
Guest

Just so you know :the promo code is only free one time for each different CC you swipe, because they record it , so eventually you run out of cards and promo codes to use...

Guest's picture
Guest

They still take your credit card. So your "free" rental could become $1000 it the computer decides. I rented a movie and it charged me eleven times for the same movie that I returned on time. I only had a few dollars left, as it was close to payday. Everything bounced, and multiple insufficient fund charges were added. Every day the account was negative the bank charged $3. Now it's over a thousand dollars negative, for what was to be a single dollar. The 7-10 business days redbox promised to resolve this turned into a year. (still unresolved)

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freebrent223@gmail.com

It really works great !!! I tried promo code and it worked . code was dvdonme and it worked great . breakroom also works great

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Guest

Be Careful Customer

I thought like so many others that $1 Redbox rentals was a good thing. However, my positive thoughts changed quickly when my credit card number was stolen out of their database system. Apparently, someone hacked into their system somehow and stole my credit card information. The crooks went on a shopping spree and bought free flights through Air Canada. The crooks ended up draining my account.

Joe

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Guest

ummmm...duh, they still make a giant profit off of all the people who don't turn in their movies the next day. Thats OBVIOUSLY why they do this.

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Guest

I can't believe there are those of you complaining about this helpful website! You obviously googled free codes to find it or do you have nothing better to do? Try watching a movie!
To what's his name that complained about the loss of jobs in the video store...BooHoo! They made a killing for years so NO I don't care! Do you care about all the companies in the US that moved to other countries or went out of business because you shop at Walmart? Bet cha don't!

I for one would like to thank the owner of this site and I have already signed up for one of the sites suggested! Code sharing is not a crime people, get over it! I spend lots of money at Redbox every week since I refuse to pay for cable, movies rule! If I get a bonus in the process so be it!

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scorpiox3m

I think redbox is a stupid concept because it only lets you rent new releases, its like it tells you what to rent. And now it rents video games at 2 dollars a night, absurd, I can't do nothing with 1 day, Blockbuster rent games at 6 dollars for 5 days membership 35 a month so redbox would cost 10 dollars same days and membership would be 60 a month. So what so good about redbox again?

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Guest

One of the best ways to rent movies!

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Not a fan

Free is NOT free if you have to pay for it. It's false advertising, consumer fraud. Here's what happened to me. It's why I seriously doubt I'll ever again bother with RedBox and their lies:

http://tinyurl.com/43lmhuk

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Someone

The disk do mess up sometimes but that depends on the player you put it in and some computers can play them too ...

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Guest

The discs DO mess up dvd players. They freeze them, they have to be unplugged and you have to pray you can get the disc out. Just rented Quarantined 2 and it messed up two dvd players, There is no one @ Redbox to complain to---call the # and get a recording.

Guest's picture
Guest

I used BREAKROOM today 8-8-2011 and it worked for a free rental :). I used DVDONME last week and it worked as well. Thanks for the info, I have free codes once a month, I will be sure to post to share :)

Guest's picture
Jeffrey

Just a comment for Think Real - I agree with you on many levels. I think acquiring media for free that is normally offered for sale can be destructive to the job market of that medium when done on a large scale. However, with this particular form (the DVD rental medium), I feel like technology is quickly turning your point mute. With the internet getting faster and faster and companies like Netflix and the iTunes music store that offer streaming and/or downloadable movies becoming more and more popular, there is, in turn, becoming less and less need for physical video rental locations. So getting free redbox rentals, in the bigger scheme, really only affects redbox itself (which then see other's comments about this being a good thing and part of their marketing strategy). In the bigger scheme, what's killing video rental stores is not free redbox codes, it's simply technological progress. The sooner video store owners see that and either get out or adapt, the better it will be for them.

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Guest

no matter how many times i re use a code they still make money off of me. i couldnt tell you how many times i have returned a movie 2-3 days late. heck my son eve broke one so i ended up paying $24 for the thing anyway

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Guest

I appreciate this article because it tells the truth. I found this out for the "other" movie rental box about a year ago. I just go to coupon code websites and use what others have posted and I don't have any negative feelings about it because I watch the 3 family's in front of me in line rent 3 DVD's at a time, never entering a code. Not many people think to get the codes. I just pull them up on my smartphone and pop them in.

For the people that think it's "stealing", do you think it's stealing when these "super coupon people" go into a store and get $300.00 worth of groceries for $6.00 "Stealing" because they took the time to look for coupons and sales? No, and because there are only a few people willing to dig or wait for those deals and save up coupons and look for the sales. So I say if your smart enough to not let retailers charge you out the rear for stuff they paid a penny to make, way to go. And that's how a real millionaire is made.

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Redbox

Latest Working code is BREAKROOM.Tested on 11dec.

Guest's picture
disappointed

Yes, the free codes they email out to their subscribers are offered as an enticement to use their service, but it stops there. When you start claiming "I haven't had to pay for a rental in over a month." and "I've even rented up to 3 free per day", that's theft - plain and simple. You're purposefully abusing a system setup to encourage further purchase and bragging about scamming the company for upwards of $90 a month. Plus you're probably renting new releases, so you're adding insult to injury by potentially denying paying customers the opportunity to watch that same movie. Those customers in turn get tired of redbox not having the movie they want adn stop using the service. You represent the same kind of mentality to claim to be against - piracy. Except your theft is of the service and nto the product - like stealing cable tv. The more people who subscribe to the misguided notion that this must be okay b/c redbox isn't doing anything to stop it are causing the premature stopping of redbox giving out free movie codes to begin with, forcing them to implement restrictions to stop it or losing their capacity to offer their service for $1. Stop acting like a child - and a thief. Suck it up and pay the $1 per disc per day or suscribe to an unlimited streaming service. Stop wrecking it for everyone and trying to make yourself not feel guilty by taking more people with you on the slow train to hell.

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Shamus Magillicutty

Most of the codes are BS. They don't email codes any longer either.

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tyler

how do i go about using a promocode?

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Guest

As far as DC and its surrounding areas is concerned, blockbuster and hollywood can't compete. Every location has closed its doors within a 10 mi radium of the city as far as I can tell. There are still a few small businesses open but most of them also rent or sell adult videos too. Totally different niche. There's a movie kiosk pretty much everywhere but downtown in the business districts. And all of the major cable companies offer on demand tv and movie watching, most with online viewing options free with your contract and premium channel subscriptions. Who wants to DRIVE somewhere to rent a DVD for $4...

Guest's picture
Lobo

Never rent from Redbox. Why not its convenient plus $1.00 a movie probably go wow ! But don't get fooled and make sure you checked either bank account or the credit card statement, when you do I am sure you will find out there is charges from redbox for the movie rental and will also see the same charge twice. Its happens a lot and thats how they get us. You think its only a dollar and may be not worth calling them about it and they do that frequently preety much every time you rent it. and does same to other millions of people.

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Guest

On the redbox website, it says if you can't use the code, just give it to a friend.

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Guest

ok for all the bubble busters that want to call people theives for using and sharing movie codes refbox released an official syatement to yhe media saying the encurage the sharing of codes becase its increasing their exposure i know i always rent 2or3 movies everytime i go so i get one free but thats one dollar omg the company is going to go bankrupt because i got one free movie oh no come on now i know generally people are stupid but come on try to hide it a little redbox is the best thing to hsppen to movie renting netflix is cheap but that snail mail holds you up to much redbox has been my fav since it started i have been a loal coustomer for6 years ive spent probably 1000 with them and maybe gotten 100 free rentals believe me they make theiglr money and in our economy today giving free stuff makes you a retailer who cares about their coustomers they not only are the cheapest most covineant but they say hey coustomers thank you for bringing your buisness to us here have a dvdonme which is one of their codes keep up the awsome work redbox ill be a coustomer for life and haters get a life and quit spending your life being so negative and mean thats why you hwve no friends and can only talk to people you cant see

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Guest

Pokeygrany its most likely u got a blueray disc that's the only reason it would do it the reflection in the disc Burns out the laser

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Guest

Thanks for sharing the free codes that Redbox actually authorizes.. better than using stolen credit cards.... now some people can actually try a movie before they buy it!

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Guest

Wait, so if you use the promo code on say, Tuesday night, could you return the movie on wednesday morning free of any charge whatsoever?