Gaming Redbox

If you don’t know about Redbox, you probably should. They have more than 17,500 kiosks that look like bright red soda vending machines, except they deliver DVDs instead of soft drinks. A rental costs $1 per night, and you can return it to any kiosk — not just the one where you rented it — which is great for travelers. Redbox partners with major retailers including Walmart, McDonald’s, and Walgreens, as well as many grocery store chains. You can even reserve a movie online at your local kiosk, so you’ll know it will be waiting for you when you get there.

When you sign up, you get a promo code good for one free night. You can also sign up for an email service from Redbox that will send you a code for a free night once a month.

With all these free codes flying around, you might think that someone would come up with a way to game the system. And you’d be right. Search the Web for “Redbox promo codes” and you’ll find sites that post codes for you to use. And now Neese Products has come up with an iPhone app that provides you with the latest promo codes.

My guess is that these services aren’t hurting Redbox by giving out the codes for free nights. I expect that it may get people to try Redbox who might not do so otherwise. And even with the $1 per night fee, it takes a lot of rentals to add up to a movie channel or mail-in DVD rental subscription. At just $1 a night, it is an appealing deal, especially since the kiosks are right where many people go on a regular basis. Maybe that’s why Redbox has already made more than half a billion rentals already.