What Is AMC Stubs A-List?
AMC Stubs A-List is a movie theater subscription through which you can watch up to three movies per week for $19.95 a month.
The service launched in June 2018 just as another theater subscription company, MoviePass was stumbling through a ton of issues with their service as well as rumors of their company’s funding running out.
According to an AMC press release, their service was wildly popular within just a few months of launching.
“At more than 260,000 members enrolling in just seven weeks, the A-List membership sign-up trend continues to well exceed AMC’s expectations,” the release said. “At the time of launch in June, AMC said that it expected to hit 500,000 members one year later, at the end of June of 2019. It would now appear that this enrollment target will be reached much sooner.”
Along with MoviePass, A-List’s competition includes Sinemia and Cinemark Movie Club all four of these services have their own pros and cons.
The Rules for Using A-List
While rules aren’t the most interesting thing to discuss, they are vital to your experience with A-List. Theater subscription services tend to put limits on how many movies you can watch in a month or day, which types of movies you’re allowed to watch and where you have to be, physically, in order to purchase a ticket.
As an A-List member, your subscription allows you to watch the following movie formats, according to AMC’s website:
- Dolby Cinema
- RealD 3D
Only A-List and Sinemia allow premium-format tickets through their subscriptions.
One of the perks of A-List is that you can reserve your movie online, which we’ll talk about later. However, you’ll need to remember that you can only have three reservations at one time, even if those reservations aren’t in the same week.
Other important points to remember are that:
- You can’t use your subscription to buy someone else a ticket
- You have to present a photo ID to get entry to the theater
- No family packages are available
- IMAX VR is not included
- If you habitually are a no-show, AMC could cancel your account
- You have to be 18 years old
Also, AMC says the week starts at 6 a.m. on Friday and ends at 5:59 a.m. on Friday. So, in theory, your ticket count will reset to three every Friday morning at 6 a.m.
Finally, there may be some situations in which you won’t be able to use your A-List membership to buy a ticket. Here’s how the fine print describes these situations:
“AMC will make reasonable efforts to include every film but reserves the right to selectively exclude titles on a limited basis.”
How to Buy a Ticket With AMC Stubs A-List
Whereas Sinemia, Cinemark Movie Club and MoviePass require you to have a physical card to make your ticket purchases, A-List gives you a virtual card. This presents a great advantage that the other services can’t provide: instant access to movie purchases.
You see, you can’t use the other services until you get your card in the mail, which can take as many as 10 business days to arrive, and, in some cases, longer.
You have two options for buying tickets: online/mobile or in-person.
The online and mobile options work via the AMC website and the app and you have to be logged into your A-List account in order to get the proper pricing.
Basically, you scroll through the movies you want to see and pick a show time. You also choose how many tickets you want.
If your movie has assigned seating, then you’ll be able to choose seats for all the tickets you’re purchasing. Once you’ve chosen your seats, you’ll be taken to a payment page where you’ll buy the ticket or tickets you wanted.
You’ll notice that the app will automatically deduct the cost of your ticket from the total. Once you purchase your tickets, you can access them in the app when you arrive at the theater.
You can also use your virtual card to buy tickets at the box office or a ticket kiosk. Whichever the case, you’ll have to show your ticket, your virtual card and your ID in order to get into the theater and watch your movie.
Additional AMC Stubs A-List Perks
In addition to getting 12 movies a month for $19.95, your A-List membership also entitles you to the benefits of the Stubs club, whose main benefit is that you earn points for every purchase you make and you’ll get $5 in cash rewards for every $50 you spend.
Your A-List subscription also gets you complimentary Stubs Premiere status, a loyalty program that normally costs $15 a year. Membership in this program gives you:
- 10% bonus cash on concession purchases
- Free size upgrades on popcorn and soda
- Premiere priority lines at box office
- Premiere priority line at concession stand
Your A-List perks also include free movie bookings – you don’t pay a convenience fee to book online or through your app.
Canceling Your A-List Membership
The rules for canceling A-List are interesting. First, the fine print says that you have to pay for at least three months of the service before you can cancel it.
Second, if you cancel your membership then you cannot sign up for a new account for six months.
The last thing to watch out for is that you have to notify AMC at least five business days in advance of your billing day in order to cancel your membership without being charged for another month of service.
How AMC Stubs A-List Compares to MoviePass, Sinemia, and Cinemark Movie Club
The following chart presents the data we think is most important to the average moviegoer. Below the table, we’ll provide our analysis of how A-List compares to the three other services listed:
|AMC Stubs A-List||MoviePass||Sinemia||Cinemark Movie Club|
|AMC Stubs A-List||MoviePass||Sinemia||Cinemark Movie Club|
|Tix included in Best Plan||12||3||3||1|
|3D Included?||Yes||No||Yes – 1 per month||No|
|Theaters Included||Only AMC||Multiple nationwide||Multiple nationwide||Only Cinemark|
In our opinion, A-List provides the best value when it comes to the number of movies you can get with your subscription fee. You’re paying roughly $1.60 per movie for 12 movies, whereas MoviePass’s subscription fee averages out to about $3.33 for each of the three movies you get.
Per-movie value aside, A-List is the clear winner when it comes to all the perks and features you get with the membership. It is the only one in the chart that gives you access to 3D movies, advanced purchases via website or phone and phone support.
When it comes to the perks you get at the theater, A-List, in our opinion, wins out again. MoviePass and Sinemia don’t offer those perks because they aren’t tied to any single theater chain. Cinemark’s Movie Club members get 20% discounts at the concession stand but they don’t have priority lines for the members like A-List does.
In our opinion, A-List offers the most bang for the buck because you get more movies per month than the other services and you also get bonus cash, concession discounts and priority lines at the box office and the concession stand.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of AMC Stubs A-List
Based on our research of this service and three others, we believe that A-List's strengths are the number of movies you can get every month as well as member-dedicated ticket and concession lines. While the 10% bonus cash you get isn’t quite as lucrative as Cinemark’s 20%, the $5 bonuses you get for every $50 spent balances the bonuses out.
Another huge bonus is that you can watch premium format movies with your weekly movie allotment, something that only Sinemia offers for one out of their three monthly movies.
The downside to the subscription is that it costs more than the competition. However, for avid moviegoers, we don’t think this is going to be a problem because you'll most likely go to the movies at least four times a month, which is already more than what you get with MoviePass, Sinemia and Cinemark Movie Club.
In general, we think A-List offers excellent value for moviegoers who have a habit of heading to the theater at least four times a month and like to get concessions to go with their movie. The free upgrades, bonus cash and dedicated A-List lines will most likely appeal to this type of person.