Up until recently, Cineworld  was the only cinema chain offering a monthly membership scheme. However, Odeon has now launched its own scheme called Limitless, which allows cinemagoers to enjoy unlimited films each month for a set price.

But which scheme is better value for avid film buffs?

How many films can I see?

In return for a monthly fee, both Cineworld Unlimited and Odeon Limitless allow you to see as many films as you like.

Cost

Odeon’s Limitless card costs £17.99 a month, rising to £19.99 if you want access to central London cinemas. Meanwhile Cineworld’s Unlimited scheme costs from £16.90 a month rising to £19.90 if you want to include central London cinemas.

Be aware though that you’ll have to pay extra for certain things with both schemes. For example, if you want to see a 3D film you’ll have to pay an extra charge, or if you are going to an IMAX screening. You’ll pay extra if you want to sit in the premium seats too.

Also, keep a tight hold on your card, both schemes charge for replacements. Odeon is better value as it charges £5 to replace a lost or stolen card. Cineworld charges a hefty £10 to replace cards.

Winner:

Cineworld (unless you lose your card)

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Availability

Cost is irrelevant if you can’t actually use your membership because there isn’t a cinema in the chain nearby. It is more likely you have an Odeon near you as the company has 121 cinemas around the UK, whereas Cineworld only has 89.

Winner:

Odeon

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How often you’ll need to visit

Cinema prices vary around the country, and depending on the film you want to see. For example, go to see Hail Caesar! in Cardiff Odeon and you’ll pay £6 compared to £9.25 in Huddersfield Odeon.

Assuming you pay roughly £8 a visit you would need to go to the cinema at least three times a month to make the Odeon Unlimited card worthwhile.

Cineworld is slightly more expensive at nearer £10 a ticket on average. With the monthly Unlimited card costing from £16.90, that means you may want to consider membership if you go more than once a month.

Take a look at the charges at your local cinema and consider whether you go to see the latest blockbusters, such as Batman vs Superman or Star Wars, or smaller films which tend to have cheaper ticket prices. Then work out how often you would have to go to recoup the monthly membership cost.

Extras

The Cineworld card comes with a couple of added benefits, besides the unlimited screenings.

Cardholders get 10% off snacks and drinks and discounts at local restaurants and shops.

Odeon has said that it will roll out a host of added benefits for cardholders throughout the year.

The two-for-one alternative

Film fans who go to the cinema less than four times a month could be better off avoiding these subscription schemes and instead taking advantage of ComparetheMarket.com’s two-for-one offer.

Purchase a cheap insurance deal via the comparison website and you can get two-for-one cinema tickets every Tuesday and Wednesday for a year. Provided you have someone to split the cost of the single ticket with, you could save yourself far more money overall.

Picture credit: 1000 words / shutterstock.com

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