fbpx
Couple standing in front of the last remaining blockbuster

How We Used Points & Miles to Visit the Last Blockbuster in the World

Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings and MileValue may receive a commission from card issuers. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer available. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. You can view our current offers here.

Did you know that there is only one remaining Blockbuster left on our planet? This is down from over 9,000 locations back when Blockbuster was a household name and a weekend hangout. The bold blue and gold logo, the aroma of popcorn kernels, and clunky VHS holders bring me back to the good old days. When we heard that there was only one remaining Blockbuster left we dug into our points & miles stash to make a quick weekend trip! (Scroll to the end for a video!)

The Last Remaining Blockbuster

Bend, Oregon is home to the last remaining Blockbuster on planet earth. The 2nd and 3rd final Blockbuster locations which closed in 2019 were located in Australia and Alaska. If you are a fan of John Oliver, he famously promoted the Alaskan location by sending them Russel Crowe’s $7,000 Jockstrap (and other random items) from the movie Cinderella Man to help drive some new customers. Many of those items were moved to Bend Oregon when the Alaska location closed for good.

John Oliver posing with Russel Crowe’s Jockstrap

We learned about the Blockbuster saga from the documentary “The Last Blockbuster” which showcases the rise and fall of the movie rental chain. It really brought me back to the days of visiting my local blockbuster and walking the rows of movies looking for the perfect video to bring home for the weekend. The documentary magically showed up at a time when we happened to be already traveling so it was easy to squeeze in a quick trip down memory lane!

Flights to Blockbuster

Flying to Bend Oregon is tricky! There is a small airport located directly in Bend (BDN) but does not serve very many flights given its size. The next closest major airport is Portland International (PDX) which is approximately a 3 and 1/2 drive depending on the route. Since we were based in Las Vegas (LAS), the flights to PDX made the most sense.

card_name
bonus_miles
bonus_miles_disclaimer
annual_fees
card_name
bonus_miles
bonus_miles_disclaimer

I found flights from LAS to PDX for only 17,279 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points. Since we have the Southwest Companion Pass, we only have to use points (or Pay) for one flight in order to add a second person for free. The total cost for Lisa and me to fly from LAS to PDX was 17,279 Points plus $5.60 each in fees ($11.20 Total).

Photo of Flights Price in Points on Southwest.com

Car Rental to Blockbuster

We arrived at PDX and swung by the Capers Market in Concourse D for some free food to go thanks to my Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass Card. Next, we picked up our rental car from Thrifty Car Rental which I booked via the Chase Travel Portal. The total cost was $127 but I was able to use only 8,466 Ultimate Rewards points. I received a 50% Bonus thanks to being a Sapphire Reserve Cardholder and booking via the Chase Travel Portal.

Hotel Stay

So we made a rookie mistake here and ended up booking two hotels. Our go-to option for last-minute trips or really any trip for that matter is Hyatt properties. On the flight over to PDX we logged into the app and searched in Bend, Oregon. A Hyatt Place showed up for 8K Points for one night which looked great so we booked. Well after getting into our rental and hitting the road we realized this Hyatt is a few hours away from Bend, Oregon! Lisa, the Globalist Shotgun Rider called them and they were able to cancel and refund the points without a problem thankfully.

Photo of the Hyatt not in Bend Oregon that we accidentally booked

Under pressure, we went back to the drawing board going through the travel portals and options using our hotel points. Lisa found a Hilton DoubleTree that was going for $101 as a last-minute booking. Given that I can cash out some more Ultimate Rewards points via the Pay Yourself Back (PYB) promotion to cover this expense, the total will end up being around 7,000 UR Points. Who else loves a Fresh DoubleTree Cookie?

Bend Oregon DoubleTree near the last Blockbuster Total Cost

Visiting The Last Blockbuster

We made it to the Final Blockbuster on earth! This was quite the random last-minute adventure that all led up to the moment we pulled into the parking lot. The Blue and Gold sign struck all of my nostalgic chords leading me back to those carefree days growing up in the 90’s. We walked through the doors and got lost in the rows of movies from wall to wall. Surprisingly, Blockbuster Bend still provides customers the latest releases which are exactly where they would have been 20 years ago on the back walls.

In the middle of the store, there are a bunch of throwback items to the glory days of Blockbuster. Additionally, this is where John Oliver’s Russel Crowe memorabilia is stationed for photos. Sadly the jockstrap was not a part of the collection 🙁

Before leaving, we purchased a few collectible items including a new pair of Blockbuster branded shades, magnet, trucker hat, retro puzzle, and of course a new Blockbuster Card!

Very sad the Be Kind Rewind shirt was sold out at the last Blockbuster

Basic Breakdown

Visiting the last blockbuster on earth was bittersweet. It was great to reconnect with my old self and take the long walk down memory lane through Bend, Oregon. Without points & miles, this trip certainly would have not been possible for us. Some of my most favorite memories are thanks to the hobby and being able to take spontaneous trips like this. I wish the last blockbuster all of the best luck going forward and am glad I was able to support them if only for a day.

If you have the chance to make it out to Bend, you’ll also find some beautiful hikes (we did the Deschutes three Mile River Trail Loop) and a variety of breweries (we visited Deschutes Brewery).

Basic Video

Do you prefer to watch our journey instead? Check out our youtube video below! We’d love it if you subscribed to the channel as well. 🙂

Let us know!

Have you visited the last Blockbuster on Earth in Bend Oregon? I’d love to hear from you down in the comments or over in the 4,900+ Member Basic Travel Facebook Group!

More Basic Reading

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

The comments section below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Basic Travel Strategies

Need-to-know tricks for cheap travel.

Top Credit Card Offers

card_name
bonus_miles_full

Chase Freedom Flex℠

5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 19.74% - 28.49%.
card_name
bonus_miles_full
card_name
bonus_miles_full
card_name
bonus_miles_full
credit-card

We're Dave & Lisa

An easy-going, fun-loving couple who have a passion for adventure and exploring the world! Our strategies have saved us over $100,000 in travel over the last four years, and our goal is to help you do the same.

Keep Exploring