Choosing Blockbuster Versus Netflix

Blockbuster vs Netflix

I am an avid fan of online movie rental services in general and have reviewed both Blockbuster and Netflix very thoroughly before making my choice of Blockbuster Total Access in the last year. I wanted to share with you my reasons for choosing Blockbuster instead of Netflix in case my readers are wondering which service to choose, or if they have one service they can consider if they are using the right service for them.

First I want to say that no matter which service you use there is almost no reason to have a local account and rent movies from a local video store anymore.  Online Movie Rentals are cheaper by far, fast delivery and with live streaming getting better every week, you just don’t need to pay $4.00 or more per rental at your local video store.

Both Services Blockbuster and Netflix offer DVD or Blu Ray movies through the mail and allow you to keep them as long as you want. The services work very similar you simply sign up, browse through their extensive list of movies and build your movie queue. Then depending on the package you purchase you will receive your movies in the mail and you can watch them at your leisure. When you are finished with the movie you simply return them in the mail (postage is already prepaid) and your next movie will ship when the first one arrives back.

Both services have the ability to download and stream older movies to your computer and desktop for watching immediately. Both services have package and pricing model flexibility whether you want 1 movie at a time, or 5 movies at a time. Indeed both Blockbuster and Netflix are priced very similar, so here is some of they key differences in why I chose Blockbuster.

Blockbuster has 2 key advantages over Netflix that are particularly valuable if you live within 10 miles of the nearest Blockbuster Store.  This is true in my case and is the main reason why I chose Blockbuster.

  • Blockbuster Information

#1 – When you are done watching a movie from Blockbuster that you received in the mail you can immediately drive it back to your local Blockbuster store and exchange it for a free in-store movie.  This bypasses you having to wait a few days for your next movie to arrive.  You get an immediate instant movie to replace it and the store will mail your movie back for you.

#2 – When you sign up for Blockbuster movie service of a higher level (3 movies or more) you get a free E-coupon every month that you can print out and redeem at your local Blockbuster for a free movie or a free video game.  Thats right, a free Wii, PS3 or Xbox 360 game rental every month which is normally like $7.00 to rent a game, you wouldn’t want to waste your E-Coupon on a movie, since movies are only about $4.00 to rent, you get more value for your coupon for renting a game.

Now one of the disadvantages is Blockbuster currently charges for online movie rentals and downloads to your computer at a per movie download.  This is discouraging as Netflix offers free movie streaming to your desktop and is one area Blockbuster needs to be more competitive.  So if you are really looking for streaming movies then Netflix is probably of more value. I should note though that with both services you can only stream older movies not the most current new releases.

  • Netflix Information

Netflix has actually a larger and better selection of movies than Blockbuster and especially this hold true of foreign films, independant films and rare films.  While Blockbuster advertises 85,000+ movies, Netflix advertises over 100,000+ movies.  Netflix also has the advantage of free streaming movies without having to pay for streaming movies to your desktop.  Both services have about the same speed for mail delivery, but if you live close to a Blockbuster like I said, then with Blockbuster you have zero wait time if you just trade your movie in for free rental.

Netflix also has a slightly cheaper package deal but this only amounts to saving a dollar and some change, Blockbuster is quite competitive and the free coupon and in-store exchanges more than even the odds in my opinion.

  • In Summary

I would like to conclude this post by reiterating that if you live close to a Blockbuster store and also have a game console of any type that the Blockbuster Total Access is a better deal and more flexible than the Netflix Offering.  However, if you care more about the indepenent and foreign film access and want to stream movies to your desktop PC, then Netflix may be a better fit for you.

I have been using the Blockbuster 3 at a time service for over a year now and have been very happy with it, I often have over 70 movies in my queue at any given time.

-Justin Germino

Published by

Justin Germino

IT Manager who is a married father of two children living in Southern California, my hobbies include running a technology blog, doing product reviews, playing video games (gamer for life), and spending quality time with my family.

  • Thanks for the review. We liked Netflix but now I’ll be looking into Blockbustter TA.

  • We have been using Netflix for years and I am totally satisfied with it. I am not so sure if I’d like to switch to Blockbuster though especially that Netflix allows you to watch unlimited movies online. I’ll be getting us the streaming device that makes it even better.

    Just one Q about BB, if you returned the movie at the BB store and get another one from them, are the overnight fees and deadlines that are usually charged in stores apply to that?

  • The movie you exchange it for at your local blockbuster does have the normal 5 day rental terms applied to it, but the local blockbuster here you can keep a movie for 10 days there are no late fee’s for being a few days late, but too long they just charge you for the movie and return the money when you bring the movie back.

  • I’m a Netflix user (b/c of the foreign film selection), but am glad that Blockbuster has become a major competitor in the online movie rental business. The more these two companies try to one-up each other by offering more deals and features, the more we (the consumers) benefit. I hope the trend continues…

  • As mentioned I am not knocking Netflix, Netflix is a great service and has better streaming video, this post was merely to explain what prompted me to choose blockbuster, what works for me doesn’t fit other people’s needs.

  • Netflix all the way! We have the 3-at-a-time plan and we LOVE it. We like the price, the online instant movies, and the fast turnaround delivery. I write regular reviews on netflix and love to read what other members and review experts have to say about a movie before I watch it. I am thoroughly entertained with the selection of “different” movies such as independent and foreign films. Since my daughter’s birth, watching Netflix movies is one of my absolutely greatest pastimes. In fact, I have basic tv because there’s absolutely no need for cable. Anyway, I’m glad you broke this down because I was wondering whether BB was better. Now I know it’s not for us.


  • We’re a Netflix family. For one, there is no Blockbuster near us, so that eliminates that benefit. Besides, has Blockbuster stopped editing movies yet? I still haven’t forgiven them for that one…

    Plus, I can now run my Netflix Watch Instantly titles not just to my PC, but through my TiVo. Which, of course, means I get the movie on the big TV with its better picture. I get an unlimited number of shows/films this way, too. Can’t argue with THAT!