Maximise the freeness of your Orange Wednesdays and O2 Moments

freestuffWe like free. Although freeness usually has a catch somewhere, most people now have a mobile phone and if you are paying for it anyway, why not take advantage of the deals to the best of your ability. You might even be able to get the benefits without forking out a wedge of cash.

Orange Wednesdays

Orange Wednesdays are, surprisingly enough, only valid on Wednesdays. You get a BOGOF on cinema tickets and at Pizza Express all for the cost of a 35p text. Nice. However, there are a few tips for maximising your mooching.

First of all, some cinemas (such as Empire) will genuinely give you a BOGOF on your cinema tickets, but others (for example Vue) will only give you the cheapest tickets free. So for example if you have matching spouse Orange contracts and go to view a family film with your two children, you will get the two children’s tickets free, not one free adult and one free child. Given the scandalous prices of cinema tickets these days, that can make a few pounds difference a time, and hundreds of pounds over  a year.

We checked Orange’s terms and conditions and they do actually refer to cheapest ticket free, rather than buy one get one free. False advertisers. But the way to get around this minor inconvenience is simple- just buy your adult tickets in one transaction and your childrens tickets in another. It takes longer, and if you pay by card it might mean those mean cinemas get stung with two card handling charges rather than one, but that’s the price they pay for being non-deal friendly.

O2 Moments

O2 run a similar reward scheme, although the offers change regularly, and the cinema pair up with Odeon is no longer available. Current 2 for 1s include Madame Tussauds and Legoland, but O2 also offer freebies where you don’t even have to pay for anything. While four free Millie’s cookies or a free coffee at Little Chef might not excite you dramatically, they are also currently offering a free pizza at Ask restaurants. OK, you have to pay extra for toppings (we are assuming cheese and tomato are included as otherwise it would be free circular bread) and you have to eat in between 2 and 5pm Sunday to Thursday, but what’s the dole for if not to encourage you to get out and about seeing what you can get for nothing, right?

But I am on some other random network so am missing out on all this free-ness

Another minor inconvenience if you are an entertainment-seeking-pizza-muncher would be if your phone isn’t actually on Orange or O2. However, these benefits are not just reserved for monthly contract customers, no, Pay as You Go-ers can get them too. Which is where you really can get something for (almost) nothing.

You can get a free SIM from either Orange or O2 and, to save messing about, you could stick that SIM in an old phone. All you need it to do is text and call so it doesn’t have to be a smartphone, although it may need ‘unlocking’ to accept a SIM from any network. Top up said free SIM with at least 35p, and you are ready to go. For Orange, you need to call or text 241 (which costs 35p) and you get your two for one deal, but obviously you will need to top up every so often to make sure you have enough to cover your 35ps. To keep the SIM activated you may need to make a call at least once every six months, but this would include a free calls to check your balance by calling 453.

A similar principle works on O2, but some of their deals are app-exclusive, meaning you need to get a code (which normally lasts 24 hours) from the app. Clearly if you are using an old brick for your freebie phone, you will be unlikely to be able to app it. But don’t worry, you can actually download the app onto a smartphone on another network, and it then prompts you to enter your O2 phone number. You *should*, therefore, be able to access the app codes on your other-network smart phone and get free stuff for, well, free.

You can thank us with a free pizza later.


  • Kay
    Why not just ask an O2 or Orange user to forward you the text... Its only a few more pennies
  • Milky P.
    ^This normally works but if you get an arsey jobsworth at the cinema, they may want to see the whole message with sender, this happened to my sister once. But yes, it generally works.
  • Tom
    If you have a smartphone just take a screenshot of the code or whatever and pop your normal SIM back in. Show the piccy to the till monkey and away you go.
  • Bob
    Odeon are also very tight when it comes to "Free" cinema tickets on Orange Wednesday. Go see anything in one of their IMAX screen and they only reduce the price by 1 standard screen price. It's not exactly 2 for the price of 1.
  • Glenn
    @Tom - the screenshot idea doesn't work - the screen with the code on has 5 white dots which flash in sequence. If you take a screen shot they remain static & don't flash, so the person reading the code can tell (unless they are not paying attention & don't notice). It would be a bit embarrassing to be caught out though!

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