Real Unlimited: Thoughts So Far, and Some Gripes

In the not so distant past, when MoviePass was a thing, I tried it out for a month, realized it was a bit too limiting for me and I didn’t really use it much. Then again, at that time, I was living in a different city, not entire mobile, and given the rigorous school schedule I was in, I didn’t really have the time to commit to movies the way I had been when I first started this website. Later on, I had invited someone into my life, and although we were watching movies together, I was a little limited in what we were able to see due to difference in preferences, and there were too many other things going on that made it difficult to blog at times. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that although my entries can oftentimes be sparse, I prefer to write only when I can put my full effort into it. I like my writing to come from passion and not to feel like another job. That’s what full-times are for.

Anyhow, I was initially greatly excited for Regal Unlimited, when it first came out. There were many reasons for this. The first, which I will detail in one of my lists, is the benefits I found in Regal Unlimited compared to AMC’s unlimited movies program. There are also more superficial reasons; personal preferences I have, like I prefer Regal’s popcorn over AMC’s, and I’ve found I like the recliner seats at most of their theaters a lot better, when and where they are available.

Like any subscription pass of any kind, Regal Unlimited comes with its pros and cons. I’ll be listing those out too. But first, the price rate chart for Regal Unlimited:

For those, like me, who have been following what theaters are available at each tier, I definitely found something interesting. Regal, for a time, went back and forth as to what theaters are available under their $18 + tax/mo. tier. They kept bouncing back from the $18 level allowing you to access a majority of theaters (at least in my area, anyway), to putting all of what I consider to be my go-to theaters under the $21 + tax/mo. tier.

I didn’t sign up at the time for Regal Unlimited when I noticed my favorite theaters fell under the $18/mo. umbrella, partly due to some limitations, but I am curious if anyone out there did subscribe, and whether Regal later turned around and increased prices on them (bumping them up a tier) when they changed their minds as to what theater fell under what category.

Details Regarding Subscription Fees for Regal Unlimited (as according to their website’s FAQ):

  • Unlimited Plan: $18.00/month + tax or an annual fee of $216.00
  • Unlimited Plus Plan: $21.00/month + tax or an annual fee of $252.00
  • Unlimited All Access Plan: $23.50/month + tax or an annual fee of $282.00

*Note: In regards to monthly payment, you will be charged on the same day each month on which you started your subscription. So if, say you first started your subscription January 1st, you’d be charged on February 1st; if you started on January 15th, your next charge will come up on February 15th. This may help you budget and determine when you actually start your subscription, if you’re interested in it. To determine your subscription status and/or request a cancellation, you can do it from the Regal Crown Club app. Hit the bottom icon that looks like a person, and then hit “Subscription Details.” That should give you everything you need. As to ease of cancellation, I couldn’t tell you right now, because I haven’t tried. In theory, it should be simple since you can do it either through the app or contacting customer service by phone or email, but who knows. I’ll provide an update if I ever happen to find that out.

If you want the cliff notes version of my pro/con breakdown of this program, just skip all the bulleted lists.

Pros to Regal Unlimited:

  • The program is great, FOR THE INDIVIDUAL. If you’re a huge movie buff, this program actually is kind of nice. On my own, I average watching anywhere between 3-5 movies in any given month, so it does seem to pay off, in the end.
  • 10% off concessions, minus any alcoholic drinks; always nice.
  • No blackout dates.
  • Free large popcorn and soft drink on your birthday (two of my favorite concession items, so this is nice). Although, I could have sworn Regal was already doing something like this anyway, for when you’re a regular member. Might be a small popcorn and soft drink though. it’s been a while since my last birthday, so I honestly cannot recall.
  • First to see Regal Unlimited screenings. I haven’t experienced this portion of the subscription pass yet, so that remains to be seen. I’ll be sure to update on this when I can.
  • One hundred Crown Club credits will be earned for every $1.00 spent on monthly or annual Subscription fees, online convenience fees, regular admission tickets for non-Subscription Program members and concessions (in each case subject to the Crown Club rules), and theatre, format, seating and movie event surcharges, or as otherwise determined by Regal in its sole discretion.
  • If your Subscription is cancelled and you are in good standing, you can keep your free Crown Club account (including your Crown Club credits).
  • Cancellations can be made through the app. Yay, convenience.

Cons to Regal Unlimited:

  • If you’re going to enroll, it’s only through the app. Can’t do it through the website or in person. This seems kind of goofy, but perhaps they do this to make the process more convenient and streamlined.
  • Once you start your subscription, you are locked in for a year, regardless of whether you choose to pay month-to-month, or pay annually. I could see how this would make someone wary to apply in the first place. That’s a real commitment to movie-going.
  • YOU CANNOT order tickets through third-party apps like Fandango. Why is this a problem? Because I’ve noticed that the time selection can also be limited when ordering through the Regal app. When I was trying to find a good movie time for watching Weathering With You (2020), Fandango gave a lot more time options for both dubbed and subbed showtimes. Perhaps it’s to help make a profit, but the Regal app limits what’s available. Personally, I think that might deter some people from joining at all.
  • The change/fluctuation in price tag, but this is just me wishing they’d go back to making available my go-to theaters at the $18 tier. I understand they’re a business, but there are so many subscription services and micro-transaction things out there nowadays, a person really has to pick and choose their battles with their budget.
  • This is more of a minor gripe, but they require you to upload a photo. For those with privacy concerns about this, you might find something about it in the Privacy Policy. I just used a photo I don’t care much about if the company has/owns. However, the minor thing I didn’t like here, was that they completely changed how your Regal Crown Club card looks in the app. Gone is the ability to pick a cool skin of your choice for the front of your digital card. Why they do this, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the front of the card says “Regal Unlimited” now, but they could easily just have that advertised when you flip the card to the back, which shows your photo and your generic Regal Unlimited rewards anyway.
  • change at any time in Regal’s sole discretion.
  • If you want to use your Subscription to obtain admission tickets for (i) premium format showtimes (e.g., ScreenX, 4DX, IMAX, RPX, 3D, and VIP), (ii) theatres not included in your Subscription plan (“Restricted Theatres”) or (iii) eligible movie event showtimes (e.g., marathons, double features and fan events), you will be required to pay a surcharge. All showtimes may be subject to an additional surcharge for premium seating.
  • Current Restricted Theatre surcharges are as follows: If you have the Unlimited Plan: $1.50 for a Restricted Theatre offered under the Unlimited Plus Plan, and $3.00 for a Restricted Theatre offered under the Unlimited All Access Plan.
  • If you have the Unlimited Plus Plan: $1.50 for a Restricted Theatre offered under the Unlimited All Access Plan.
  • Regal may change any surcharges at any time in its sole discretion, with or without notice to you.
  • Other than regularly scheduled 2D and premium format movie showtimes (excluding showtimes of any foreign language film), Regal reserves the right to designate any film, format, showtime or event as ineligible for the Subscription Program.
  • While you can upgrade your subscription plan at any time, downgrading is not so simple. You first have to wait that initial year commitment term, and then you have to make that cancellation via their customer service phone line or email.
  • This may or may not be a con for some people, but you can only have 3 pending reservations maximum at any given time. I usually don’t need to reserve more than that ahead of time anyway, so this isn’t as huge a deal for me as it might be for someone else. Free screenings do not count towards this total.
  • You can cancel a reservation, but you won’t get the surcharges you paid back. However, frequent and repeated cancellations violates their Terms of Service, and your account will be at risk of termination.
  • Subscriptions are non-transferable. This doesn’t surprise me.
  • You will not earn credits for “visits” anymore like you could with the free card. If you’re big on using their rewards store, this can become a major setback.
  • The Regal Unlimited card won’t show in your “Wallet” app on your phone. Could be an annoyance to some.
  • You can buy tickets in person, but it has to be for same-day showtimes only.

Cancellations Policy and “Hidden Fees” (which definitely falls under my “Cons” list):

  • Except as provided by their Terms and Conditions, you cannot recoup any fees you pay either in full, or partially, for any reason. (See Paragraph 4a.)
  • Speaking of fees, there’s a .50 cent convenience charge per transaction. Why, who knows. It’s not like they’re going through Fandango. Maybe to make a tiny bit of profit? I suppose if enough people are giving their .50 cents, that amounts to something. Now, the .50 cent charge I noticed through the app. Not sure if the same thing happens if you decide to buy the tickets in person, but of course, in doing that, you run the risk of not exactly getting the seat you want, in this recent era of seat reservations.
  • There’s a difference to the monthly and yearly subscription plans, aside from overall total. For the monthly plan, it continues until cancelled. So if you get sick of it after a year, mark your calendar and get ready to cancel. For the yearly plan, it ends automatically after the year is up. You will then either have to pay for another annual term, or switch to a monthly plan. The choice is yours.
  • Additionally, when cancelling, it will not necessarily be effective immediately. Cancelling a monthly plan within the first year, doesn’t take effect until the end of the year. So essentially, you’re stuck with paying until the year is done. If you don’t like the idea of recurring transactions beyond the initial year, I’d stick with the yearly plan and keep a close eye on their Program Rules so that you’re aware if they change things up on you regarding this. They also break things down for you regarding all their policies, including cancellation. For yearly subscriptions, cancellation again doesn’t take effect until the end of the year. After that first year, the cancellation becomes effective the first day of the month following the month in which your cancellation request was received.
  • Upon any cancellation of your Subscription, your Regal Unlimited pass gets deactivated, all pending reservations will automatically cancelled, and you’ll be refunded Restricted Theatre Surcharges, Premium Format Surcharges and Premium Seating Surcharges (but not any Convenience Fees) paid for those reservations.

TLDR version; it all boils down to this. From what I can tell, the Regal Unlimited program benefits the most those who like watching a ton of movies a month (at least 3-5) and enjoy concession, but could care less about convenience charges, or the Regal Rewards Store. For those wary of a year-long commitment, potential cancellation headaches, people on a tight budget, people against convenience charges, people who don’t really buy concessions (or don’t want to feel pressured to buy a lot of concessions to earn points to be able to exchange for rewards), and/or the whole standard language of “we reserve the right to change our terms and conditions at any time” does not appeal to you, this may not necessarily be the program to subscribe to.

Quick (and Relevant) Links:

Regal Unlimited Program Rules
Regal Unlimited Program FAQs
Regal Unlimited Theatre List
Regal Cinemas Privacy Policy

So how does this compare with AMC’s AMC Stubs A-List program? Here’s what I find most notable (depending on what it is, it may be a pro or con for you):

  • Limit of 3 movies per week; although, it isn’t clear whether you can watch more than three movies a week, because the website states the limit is specifically for reservations made ahead of time.
  • There is a 3-month non-cancellable term. This may or may not appeal to people who don’t want to make that year commitment to Regal Unlimited. The catch: If you cancel, you’re blocked from renewing your A-List subscription later on for a period of six (6) months. If you’re trying to cancel and restart for budget reasons, this could prove to be a snag.
  • Subscription is rolling until cancelled by either you or AMC.
  • For cancellations, you must give at least 5 days notice ahead of time, to avoid being billed for the next pay period.
  • If you cancel, you automatically go back to the tier which you were originally a member, either their free tier, or the Premiere tier.
  • AMC A-List has something called Entourage—if I understand it correctly, that means you can buy two tickets at a time next to each other (better for coordination), as long as that other person is also an A-List member. You can do this with non-A-List members as well, but the limitation there is you would have to pay the standard price for their ticket.

The costs for AMC’s A-List Membership Plans:

See Movies in All States$23.95Valid for use in all AMC theatre locations in the US.
See Movies in 45 States$21.95Valid for use in all AMC theatre locations in the US except for California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
See Movies in 34 States$19.95Valid for use in all AMC theatre locations in the US except for CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, MA, MD, MN, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VA and WA.

*Note: In using your benefits while away from home, you may use your plan outside of your designated coverage area (at time of visit) three times each calendar year without an upcharge.

Again, the TLDR verison: the main differences from Regal’s Unlimited Program seem to be potential geographic limitations, and potentially less of a headache for cancellations. As far as I know, AMC doesn’t have a rewards store like Regal, so you’d be missing out on that as well, no matter what tier you’re a part of. AMC also has that Entourage option, which Regal Unlimited has no comparable offering to parallel that.

In both instances, terms and conditions are subject to change at any time, and exclusions may apply. Not clear on whether you can use your A-List credentials through Fandango, being that I rarely go to an AMC, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the limitations are similar to that of Regal Unlimited, as described earlier in this entry.

Quick (and Relevant) Links:

AMC Stubs A-List Terms and Conditions
AMC General Terms and Conditions
AMC Privacy Policy

In my opinion, this is honestly a case of pick your poison.

One response to “Real Unlimited: Thoughts So Far, and Some Gripes

  1. Pingback: Sonic (2020) Review | Cutting Edge Creativity·

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