Recently, my partner and I made the exciting yet slightly unsure decision to buy an Entertainment membership. You may have heard of the Entertainment book, which claims that you can “discover thousands of valuable 2-for-1 and up to 50% off offers for many of the best restaurants, cafés, arts, attractions, hotels, travel, shopping and much more.”
How true is this? Today, I’d like to share with you our experience so far.
What did we buy, and how much was it?
Growing up, I’d always heard of the Entertainment book, but it is also now available as a digital membership! This digital membership means that you can activate one device at a time, and redeem the offers in app. We bought this for $70.
(I also keep the app on my phone, because I’m the foodie and he couldn’t care less about aesthetic food or cosy atmospheres. To him, food is food!)
Why did we buy it?
Some of the offers are exciting, but the main reason we were convinced to buy it was for a discount on accommodation: the first offer we redeemed was off a night at Travelodge Docklands in Melbourne! (Side note: I’d highly recommend this hotel, as I stayed there on my previous trip to Melbourne. It’s wonderful and conveniently close to the CBD & tram. Travelodge is reasonably priced, yet always absolutely clean, tidy, quiet, private, ambient, and cosy.)
Our other reason? We’ve made date nights a regular thing, which has been amazing and worthwhile in its own ways and is a whole other story altogether. But our Entertainment offers definitely help when we’re deciding what to do and where to go!
What have we used so far?
So far, we’ve used..
20% off accommodation at Travelodge Docklands, Melbourne (x 1 night – we have an AirBnB with a group of friends for 6 days and another two by ourselves!)
25% off on a cosy Sunday brunch at Melba Cafe, Takapuna
Buy 1, get 1 free on hot drinks at Starbucks (it was a great excuse to try a “Salted Caramel Mocha Crumble”)
25% off at Wagamama, Westgate
Buy 1, get 1 free on a Bacon & Egg McMuffin at McDonalds
25% off vegan friendly brunch at The Midnight Baker
25% off a delicious Italian lunch at Baduzzi
What else are we planning to use?
2 for $26 movie tickets at Hoyts
$12 movie e-vouchers at Event
25% off at Honey Cafe, Takapuna (favourite brunch spot in Taka!)
25% off at Paris Butter (phenomenal French restaurant in Herne Bay)
25% off at The Cheesecake Shop
25% off at Looksmart clothing alterations & repairs
Here’s a detailed list of our spending & savings (initial bill – discounted bill = saving, $NZD)..
Travelodge: $220.08 – $176.07 = $44.01
Melba: $51.20 – $38.40 = $12.80
Starbucks: $14.60 – $7.30 = $7.30
Wagamama: $69.50 – $52.12 = $17.38
McDonalds: $11.40 – $5.70 = $5.70
The Midnight Baker: $39 – $29.25 = $9.75
Baduzzi: $127 – $95.25 = $31.75
Our total savings? $128.69 so far!
While this is definitely a pleasant surprise, overall, I believe it’s not quite clear cut whether the Entertainment membership would be ‘worth it’ for you. Is it likely that what you will save will exceed the $70 you paid? Yes. However, it obviously depends on your personal tastes, favourite or preferred eateries and choices of leisure activities, and how often you go out. If you don’t normally frequent, or plan to visit the places with offers then clearly it won’t bring you as much value as someone who eats at cafes & restaurants every week.
What I’ve enjoyed about using the digital membership is that the app makes it easy to find offers based on different categories, such as fine dining, casual dining, takeaways, cafes, etc. You can even ‘star’ offers to save them to your favourites for easy reference.
Our Entertainment membership has given us the opportunity to discover new places, and given us an incentive to check out a place we’ve been eyeing for yonks. I’d always walked past Melba Cafe in Takapuna and wanted to try their brunch, but having a 25% offer definitely makes it easier to choose over another cafe – and when a friend asked me out for brunch in Mt Eden, I discovered The Midnight Baker simply through an easy search by area!
The app isn’t without its minor inconveniences. While you are able to search by suburb, you can’t search by a more generalised area, such as “North Shore, Auckland”. If you’d like to search the North Shore, typing “North Shore” won’t help. You will have to search each suburb separately: Takapuna, Glenfield, Milford, Northcote, Brown’s Bay, Albany, Rosedale, etc.. Yes, it can be quite time consuming.
Similarly, “Auckland Central”, “Auckland City”, and “Freeman’s Bay” are all different searches in the app.
And while the 25% off offers are fantastic, they all have limits – some more generous than others, such as “25% off, up to $40” or “25% off, up to $20”. However, the 25% off has always worked for us.
Another heads up is to check participating locations. For example, I once purchased a bento box at Kyoto expecting to receive an additional complimentary one – but Kyoto Glenfield informed me that it is only valid at Kyoto Takapuna & St Lukes. So if you find a great offer, be sure to check that you’re happy with the participating locations. You probably don’t want to buy the membership for an offer that’s only valid on the other side of town.
Last thing: Entertainment’s claim of up to 50% off offers. 50% off? Where?
(Fyi, I did find 50% off microdermabrasion, a makeup application and a beauty treatment at Vivo, the same salon where I tried eyebrow tinting once only to have my eyes burnt off. No thanks.)
Overall, is the Entertainment Book worth it? For us, yes! Even if it requires a little patience. But if you’re a foodie and frequent diner, or want to get out more, absolutely!
If you liked my food photos here, feel free to check out my other blog at Sophia Joy Lifestyle x Photography.