How Do Those Redbox Movie Rental Machines Work?

by Nicole Schmoll, Demand Media

    Redbox rents standard DVDs and Blu-ray Discs to customers from more than 27,000 self-serve locations across the United States. As of time of publication, movies cost as little as $1 per day or $1.50 for Blu-ray rentals. Just a little bigger than a typical vending machine, Redbox kiosks contain up to 200 titles at a time.

    Finding Redbox

    The bright red, 12-foot-tall Redbox machines are commonly located near or inside grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants. You can find the Redbox location nearest you at Just click the "Find a Redbox" button at the top left of the Redbox homepage and enter your zip code. The outdoor locations provide 24-hour possibility.

    Selecting Movies

    Redbox offers up to 200 movie titles at any time. Some Redbox units rent video game discs as well. Search for a movie you want to watch online at or walk up to a Redbox kiosk near you. The company releases new movies every Tuesday. When you find a movie you want to watch online, reserve it with a credit card and pick it up at the Redbox nearest you by 9 p.m. the next day. Or, press the "Rent a Movie" button on the kiosk touch screen. Browse through available titles and click "Add to Cart" once you find a title you want to rent. Click "Check out" and select a method of payment, either by credit card or debit card. Enter your email address so that Redbox can send you a receipt. Wait for the machine to dispense your DVD in a slot below the touch screen.

    Returning Movies

    Be sure to return the disc by 9 p.m. the next day. For each additional day that you keep the movie, your credit or debit card will be charged an additional $1 or $1.50 if you rented a Blu-ray disc. You can return the movie to any Redbox nationwide; you do not have to return it to the exact rental location. Approach the Redbox kiosk, press "Return" on the touch screen, follow the instructions on the screen and insert the DVD into the slot. As soon as you insert the disc properly, the return process completes. You can rent another movie if you like.

    Getting Deals

    Redbox regularly offers free movie rentals to customers. By "liking" the Redbox Facebook page, you become eligible to receive free movie offers. If you sign up to receive the monthly Redbox email newsletter, you will receive additional free offers by email, including a repeating offer to rent a free movie on the first Monday of each month. You can search for additional deals online at

    About the Author

    Nicole Schmoll is a freelance writer in Omaha, Neb., who has been writing professionally since 2005. Specializing in gardening, religion, communication and marketing, she has been published in "Woodmen Living," the "Journal of Current Issues in Research and Advertising" and various online publications. Schmoll holds a Master of Arts in communication.

    Photo Credits

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