Online Movie Rentals: Blockbuster vs Netflix

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I have to say, I may be switching my alliances for “The Best Online Movie Rental Company”…


Why Rent Movies Online?

There are lots of advantages to renting movies online vs trekking to the local movie rental store… once to pick OUT the movies, then again to RETURN the movies.

Unless the rental store is directly in your path between work and home, then you’ve got to admit that’s it’s kind of a hassle to “run by the rental store” to rent movies these days.

For me at least… I’m all about convenience, and quickness, and not having to leave my home.

Which is why I LOVE online movie rentals!


Reasons Online Movie Rentals ROCK:

  • It’s convenient… renting DVD movies is as easy as picking up your mail.
  • There are literally THOUSANDS of movies to choose from, including New Releases!
  • You create a master list online (rental queue) of all the movies you would like to see at some point.
  • Then rank the order of those movies, so the ones at the top of the list arrive at your home first.
  • You can have as many movies out at a time that the payment plan you choose allows for (…typically up to three movies at a time).
  • Keep each movie as long as you want — there are never any due dates or late fees.
  • Every time you return a DVD after viewing it, they ship you the next available title in your rental queue… right away!
  • Movies are returned in the same pre-paid postage envelopes that they arrive in, and shipping is always free (both ways).

The only downside that I can find is the fact that you can’t rent VHS tapes online, only DVDs. So if you don’t have a DVD player yet (…YET?!?!), then you’re out of luck.


Netflix Rentals: A First-Rate Biz

In the past we’ve used Netflix.

We love Netflix. They have fast turn-around times. No limit on the number you can rent each month. The largest collection of movies to choose from (50,000). Free shipping – both ways. And, of course, no late fees.

…all for $17.99 a month for 3 movies out at a time, rent as many as you wish each month.

UPDATE: We later switched to 1 movie out at a time for $8.99/mo (which later became $9.99/mo to rent as many as we wanted each month) because we started watching more movies via Netflix streaming.


Blockbuster Movie Rentals: More For Less

But now there’s a new kid on the block, and we are considering giving Blockbuster a try.

Why? Because they’re cheaper. AND, they throw in an interesting Bonus: 2 free in-store rentals each month!

They have 40,000 titles to choose from, FREE shipping, no return dates, and no late fees.

… for $14.99/month* for 3 movies out at a time, rent as many as you wish each month.

*Both online movie rental companies have a handful of other plans to choose from, as low as $9.99/month. However, the plans highlighted above made the most sense for our viewing needs. Here are Blockbuster’s other plans, and here are all the Netflix plans.


Blockbuster Thinks Outside The Box

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, we like that Blockbuster has gone the extra mile by providing fun local promotions.

For example, Blockbuster has teamed up with Exxon Mobile to provide One Free Movie Rental after you purchase six 32 oz. or larger sodas at their gas stations & convenience stores (On The Run, TigerMarket, Tiger Mart and Mobil Mart).

Plus, you can trade in ANY of your old DVD movies at your local Blockbuster in exchange for $5 certificates for use on Blockbuster rentals, movie purchases, snacks, whatever you want in their stores!

So, got any old DVD movies you don’t watch anymore? What about those films you THOUGHT you’d like, but didn’t?… Take ’em to Blockbuster and get $5 in Blockbuster cash for each one.


UPDATE #1: Effective 8/19/05 Blockbuster Online will be increasing its subscription price to $17.99 for the first “regular billing” time frame (and each month thereafter). The new offer will be as follows: $9.99 for the first month and $17.99 for each additional month thereafter.

UPDATE #2: I guess Netflix is ahead of the curve in more ways than I thought… check out this article about Netflix leading the way in the broadband era!

UPDATE #3: It looks like Amazon will likely enter the online DVD rental business… Will the end result be Amazon vs Netflix?

UPDATE #4: Taking Netflix’s latest price increase into account (in an attempt to move everyone over to streaming, instead of mailing movies), this video shows how Blockbuster and Netflix compare now:

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I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

One thought on “Online Movie Rentals: Blockbuster vs Netflix

  1. I love the way you think, Lynnette! For you and for your readers I want to share that the Blockbuster Movie Pass I picked up has been phenomenal. As a DISH Network subscriber I get access to not only 100,000 DVD movies, TV shows and games available by mail and in-store (no extra charge for Blu-ray or the video games) but I also get streaming of 3,000 movies to my TV and 4,000 movies to my PC. I have also been working at DISH for a couple of years and the 20 premium movie channels they throw in with the pass are some of my favorites because of the various titles they carry and change up frequently. All of this for only $10 a month on my DISH bill made this a no-brainer; there is no one place that is able to match this kind of offer.
    Keep up the good work, girl!

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