Meerkat trick: Spend £1ish to get 2for1 at cinemas AND restaurants for a year

Meerkat trick: Spend £1ish to get 2for1 at cinemas AND restaurants for a year

Meerkat Movies* gets you 2for1 at cinemas and now restaurants too FOR A YEAR when you buy via comparison website Compare The Market.

And we’ve a trick to get it for £1ish...

It came about when we asked ourselves, what’s the cheapest product you can buy in order to qualify for Meerkat Movies*? (And now Meerkat Meals*, which works the same way).

The T&Cs state you'll be eligible for both for 12 months as long as:

  • You purchase any of the following insurance – car, motorcycle, van, contents and/or buildings, pet, life, landlord or travel insurance.
  • OR you switch any of the following – domestic energy (gas and/or electric), broadband, home telephone or digital TV.
  • OR you successfully apply for – a credit card or loan or mobile phone contract.

Car and home insurance were too pricey – there are better rewards and cashback offers available elsewhere. So we homed in on travel insurance.

Remember, we’re not necessarily encouraging you to use these policies as they may not provide the cover you need – see our Cheap Travel Insurance guide for more info. The point of this is just getting 2for1 cinema tickets and restaurant meals as cheaply as you can.

So, one night’s UK cover for one person does the job. Do a quick search on Compare The Market* for a single-trip travel insurance policy. 

The cheapest quotes when we last tried it on Thu 18 Apr:

  • £1.01 – TravelInsurance.co.uk ‘Super Saver’ (1-2 Sep)
  • £1.01 – ERV ‘Lite’ (1-2 Sep)

At these prices, the insurance is far cheaper than the price of a second cinema ticket or a second main course, so in most cases you'll save even if you use it once.

Do bear in mind the year's membership begins from the date you made a purchase, and you can only have one active membership. If you make any subsequent purchases during the 12 months, it'll reset the clock - so you never get more than 12 months.

Will it always work?

Since first sharing this trick four years ago, we've been swamped with countless successes from MoneySavers (like Geraint below), yet at the time we didn't think it would last - a year's 2for1 for £1 seemed too good to be true. Four years later, it's still working... touch wood.

So while we can't guarantee it'll go on forever, as Compare The Market could technically close the loophole anytime it wants, it seems likely it'll keep going for a while longer yet.

If you want to learn more about how Meerkat Movies and Meals actually works (once you've done the trick), we've included a full step-by-step guide in 'More info' below. See our Cheap Cinema Tickets and Restaurant Vouchers pages for related deals.

  • Once I’ve done the trick, how does Meerkat Movies and Meals actually work?

    1. After making a qualifying purchase at Compare the Market (see the full list*), download the Meerkat app to activate your membership. Your 12 months’ 2for1 starts from the date you made the purchase. Activation can take at least 48 hours.

    2. Claim your cinema voucher code online or via the app when you want to see a film (as regularly as once a week either on the Tuesday or Wednesday). Or select a restaurant via the app when you want to dine out (as many times per week as you like between Sunday and Thursday). You can use both Meerkat Movies and Meals on the same night.

    3. Print the cinema voucher code or show it on your smartphone at a participating cinema. If you're dining out, check to see whether you need to book in advance (this will be indicated clearly when you search for restaurants on the Meerkat app). You should notify the restaurant that you're a Meerkat member when booking. You’ll need to present your digital Meerkat Meals membership number, via the app, to your waiter when you ask for the bill. To get this, click on 'Meals' at the bottom of the app and then click the golden 2for1 in the top right corner.

    Generally, your Meerkat Movies 2for1 will be valid every Tue/Wed at all the big chains (eg, Odeon, Vue, Cineworld, Showcase), plus many independent cinemas, though some cinemas may have their own rules on how you can use it and which films, if any, are excluded. If you’re unsure, please check with your local cinema before buying.

    Generally, your Meerkat Meals 2for1 will be valid every Sun/Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu, but there are some exclusions, including: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, plus certain days in December at selected participating restaurants. These exclusions will be indicated clearly when you search for participating restaurants on the Meerkat app.