Vodafone is gunning for Orange Wednesdays with a new offer for pay as you go customers that gives you £10 to spend at the cinema every month.
The big red network's Freebee Rewardz -- poorly spelled sweeteners to liven up your off-contract custom -- now include a Cinema Pass. This is a prepaid Visa credit card that you can only use at UK cinemas that accept Visa (ie, virtually all of them). You have to register, then log in to the website every month to claim your £10, which is then sent to the card.
You have to buy a phone before the end of the year, worth at least £50, and a £20 'Freedom Freebee' pack that includes 500 minutes, 1GB of data and unlimited texts. You don't need to pay £20 every month to keep using the Cinema Pass though.
You must be over 18 to buy the phone, but you can give it and the Cinema Pass to someone who's under 18. The offer's limited to three passes per household. You'll find Vodafone's FAQ here and terms and conditions here. Good luck with that -- it's complicated.
Orange Wednesdays is still going strong, despite Orange effectively no longer existing as a consumer brand here in the UK -- the shops are all EE now, and even Orange contract customers are getting their bills from EE these days. The scheme gives you two midweek movie tickets (or pizzas at Pizza Express) at participating fleapits, and is open to anyone with an Orange or EE SIM card.
On the surface of it, the Vodafone deal is much better -- £10 will usually buy you a ticket and part of a snack or drink, you can use it on any day, and you can go on your own. (Don't tell me you've never been to the cinema on your own, it's brilliant.) But claiming the credit is really complicated, certainly much more hassle than texting 'film' to 241.
Is this the freebee Vodafone's been missing? Does it sound like more hassle than it's worth? Grab some popcorn and watch the comments below, or head over to the second screen that is our Facebook wall.