Is the Entertainment Book actually worth it?

NICOLA FIELD
You may no longer get a physical book, but we take a look at how Entertainment Membership works and whether it is good value.

The Entertainment Book had a bit of a revamp in 2019 when it went completely digital. Now known as an Entertainment Membership, the program still offers two-for-one deals and discounts of up to 50% on a variety of purchases but you no longer get a physical book.

Despite what the name may suggest, it’s not just about entertainment. Discounts are available for dining, shopping, travel and attractions, as well as services such as parking, gym membership and beauty services.

A unique aspect of Entertainment Membership is that 20% of every sale goes to the non-profit organisation of your choice – be it your local school, community group or a registered charity.

Is the Entertainment Book actually worth it?

Let’s look at a hypothetical couple, Bill and Sue, who take out a one-year membership for Sydney. In as little as one week, they could potentially recoup their $69.99 membership fee (more on pricing later) through the savings provided. Of course, you’re only really saving if you’re buying things you would have bought anyway.

To see how, let’s assume that on Sunday the couple visits Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium, gaining one free admission (save: $48). That’s followed by dinner at Vessel Dining & Bar with a complimentary main course if they purchase a main course of equal or greater value (save: $35). Mid-week, the couple arranges for $50 worth of dry cleaning but they use their 20% discount to reduce that to $40 (save: $10). On Friday, Bill logs onto The Iconic website to buy a $60 pair of shorts, paying just $48 thanks to his 20% discount voucher (save: $12). On Saturday, Sue has a hair salon appointment that would normally cost $100 but with her 25% discount voucher, she pays just $75 (save: $25).

Provider Deal Cost without vouchers Cost with vouchers Saving
Sea Life Aquarium Sydney One free admission* $96** $48 $48
Vessel Dining & Bar One complimentary main course*** $70 $35 $35
Lawrence Dry Cleaners 20% off total bill $50 $40 $10
The Iconic 20% off $60 $48 $12
Christiane’s Hair 25% off $100 $75 $25
Totals $376 $246 $130

Source: entertainment.com.au, https://www.visitsealife.com/sydney/tickets-passes/, 10 October 2021.*When another full price general admission of equal or greater value is purchased. **Cost of entry at door. ***When another main course of equal or greater value is purchased.

As the table shows, in just seven days Bill and Sue could save $130 – almost double the cost of their annual membership. The downside is that they spent $246 to pocket the discounts.

This is where the catch lies. You need to spend to save, and that can be a problem if you’re tempted to spend more than usual solely to score a discount.

To be fair, the savings can be applied to regular household purchases. A 4% discount on Supermarket Store eGift Cards, for example, could cut the cost of groceries you’re already buying. The savings will vary according to the city you select, however, so it’s important to check which discounts and outlets are available for your preferred city.

If you’re wondering whether membership might be for you then here’s a look at some of the things you need to know.

 

Entertainment product shot
Source: Supplied


How does Entertainment Membership work?

You will need to download the Entertainment app and activate your membership. You can then use the app to redeem discount vouchers.

The app has a number of useful functions. You can search for nearby businesses offering discounts or you can use the app to keep track of the savings you’ve received to date.

Entertainment Membership can be shared with up to five family members or devices in your household. To share membership, the new user will also need to download the app. It’s important to note that membership is linked so once one person uses an offer it can not be used again. ‍

What locations are available?

There are 20 cities to choose from including all of the capital cities and selected regional locations. They are:

  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane & Sunshine Coast
  • Cairns, Palm Cove & Port Douglas
  • Canberra
  • Darwin
  • Geelong & Ballarat
  • Gold Coast & Northern NSW
  • Hobart and Surrounds
  • Launceston, North West Tasmania and Surrounds
  • Melbourne
  • Newcastle, Central Coast & Hunter
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Townsville
  • Wollongong, The South Coast & Southern Highlands

How much does it cost?

Membership is available at tiered rates. The cheapest option is a single city 13-month membership for $69.99. This covers you for the city you choose that best matches your area. 

The next tier is a multi-city membership. This lets you pocket savings across Australia and New Zealand at a cost of $119.99 for 13 months. Alternatively, you can buy a multi-city membership lasting two years (24 months) for $229.99.

At the time of writing, you could get a free multi-city upgrade which means you could get access to all 20 cities for $69.99 – a saving of $50. 


Where can I buy it?

Entertainment Membership can be purchased online from the website of your favourite non-profit organisation. You can choose from the Cancer Council, Canteen and The Smith Family, to name a few. It’s possible to purchase membership direct from the Entertainment membership website. The cost is the same across each option.

The bottom line

Depending on your circumstances, an Entertainment Membership could offer the potential to save big dollars over the course of a year on a wide variety of purchases. And you might enjoy the feel-good factor of knowing you’re supporting a worthy cause.

The trick is not to change your normal spending patterns just to take advantage of discounts. If you can manage this, Entertainment Membership can offer value for money, depending on your lifestyle and needs.

 

Cover image source: Atstock Productions/Shutterstock.com


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This content was reviewed by Editorial Campaigns Manager Maria Bekiaris as part of our fact-checking process.


Nicola is a personal finance writer with nearly two decades of industry experience. A former chartered accountant, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Education degree, Nicola has contributed to several popular magazines including the Australian Women’s Weekly, Money and Real Living.

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