Any savings and discounts help stretch your finances so why not take advantage of the numerous student discount cards that are available? The following article lists those that are available, the discounts that they offer and some feedback from students who have used them.
The NUS Extra card gives students of University age a range of discounts, including up to 25% off restaurants like Zizzi’s, Pizza Express and Frankie and Benny’s, up to 40% off theme park tickets, and up to 15% off many clothing stores. The card costs just £11, and on average, students save over £500 a year.
For an extra £1.99, you can turn your NUS extra card into an NUS extra ISIC card (which costs £9), saving you a total of £7.
“Although my University card gives me discounts for some shops, the discount doesn’t seem to work online, whereas an NUS Extra card does. I buy most things I need online anyway so the card is definitely worth it for me” Sophie, London *****(5 stars)
“Someone told me about the NUS Extra card but I never knew how many discounts you could get! It’s a bargain at £11 and I would definitely recommend it to others” Josh, Crawley *****(5 stars)
“Definitely the best of all the student cards I’ve heard about in my opinion. For what you get £11 is ridiculously cheap too!” Dan, Hull *****(5 stars)
The ISIC card is the only internationally-recognised student ID, with over 4.5 million students in 120 countries using it. Any full-time student over the age of 12 is eligible for the card, and is available to buy online for £9. The discounts offered vary depending on where you are in the world – some of the best including 90% off Microsoft software downloads, 10% off visual and dental products at Optical Express, and 30% off all online purchases at Logitech.com.
“I decided to get the card because of how popular it seemed to be from the figures on the website. However, when I received it, I wasn’t overly impressed with the discounts on offer.” Henry, Horsham **(2 stars)
“For the sake of an extra £2 I’d say it’s worth getting the NUS Extra card instead. The discounts are far better in my opinion and accepted at more of the shops I like.” Rhiannon, Kingston **(2 stars)
“I don’t know if the lack of discounts is because of the area I live in – but not many places I shop in offer a discount. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend the card to others.” Chris, London *(1 star)
Student Discounts Card
A Student Discounts Card costs £5 with free delivery when bought online. It is under half the price of an NUS Extra card, and offers a wide range of discounts at stores such as HMV, Topshop, and M&S. However, a lot of the discounts are below 5%, and many are for products and services students would not necessarily want.
The Student Discounts Card comes free with a NatWest Student Account. They also have a cashback service that enables you to save money when you shop online.
“Considering the amount of shops that accept the Student Discounts Card, I expected it to be worth getting. However, I found the 2% discount offered by most doesn’t make much of a difference.” Lucy, Brighton ***(3 stars)
“Half the price of some of the other student cards I’ve seen around and it’s hard to find a shop that doesn’t accept it. I’d definitely recommend this one to my friends.” Dean, Plymouth *****(5 stars)
“I’ve got a student account with NatWest, so got it free! I still think it’s good value for money though if you shop a lot on the high street.” Lucia, Hove ****(4 stars)
The SIN card is available online for £4.95 (free postage), and offers discounts from a variety of top online brands, including 20% off New Look and Oasis, 10% off Avon and La Senza, and weekly offers from many more companies. Membership is also free.
When you order you SIN card, you will also receive a SIN voucher book, which could save you up to £200. This includes a free 2 days trial at Fitness First, buy one get a second for £1 at Perfect Pizza, and 20% Nails Inc.
“Apart from my University card, the SIN card is the only other card I’ve got and the other card I need. Great value for money and discounts at most of my favourite shops.” Hannah, Bath *****(5 stars)
“In my opinion, better than the NUS card and under half the price. You’d be crazy not to get one.” Mark, Bristol *****(5 stars)
“Personally, I think the card is fairly similar to the NUS card. Both offer great discounts for similar shops, so it’s down to an individual’s tastes.” Jamie, Worthing ****(4 stars)
Young Persons Railcard
Available for people aged 16-25 (or 26 and over but still in full time education), this card entitles you to a third off all rail travel across the UK. It also means you save money through discounts, including up to 68% off magazine subscriptions, 2 for 1 entry at London’s top attractions, and a free SIM card with 1,000 free texts worth £100 when you join Orange. The card is available to buy online for £28 (which works out at £2.33 a month).
You can also purchase a 3-year railcard online for £65 (instead of renewing your 1-year railcard each year). This saves you a total of £19.
“I would advise anyone going to University to get a railcard. You save a third on anywhere you travel and this really makes all the difference when you’re living on a tight budget.” Richard, Sussex *****(5 stars)
“It’s a shame you don’t save more than a third considering how expensive train fares are. Even so, you really do save a fortune.” Paul, Hove ****(4 stars)
“I didn’t realise I could use my railcard for discounts other than train fares, but now that I do I’ll definitely look into it! I’d recommend this card to anyone that does a lot of travelling.” Amy, Worthing ****(4 stars)
Asda Student Shopper card
The Asda Student Shopper card is really two cards – one for the student and one for the parent. Both are linked, so that the parents can add money as and when, or the student can simply top-up themselves. You can upload up to £500 online or in-store, and it is completely free, providing you register.
You can also check your balance, transaction history and protect your funds in case of card loss either by phoning Asda directly or visiting the website.
“I initially thought this was a good idea – but personally I don’t see the point. My parents put money in my account anyway so putting the money on a card only restricts where I can buy my food. A lot of the time Tesco’s do better deals anyway.”Andy, Kingston **(2 stars)
“I find it a lot easier to carry a card around than withdrawing cash every time I need to shop. It also saves me having to pester my parents.” Sophie, Bognor ****(4 stars)
“It’s a lot easier to budget for food when I’ve got money already put aside for my weekly shop. Last year I found myself spending more than I should have because I paid on my debit card. I’d definitely recommend to others.” Luke, Windsor *****(5 stars)
*All terms and conditions are correct at the time of publishing this blog entry