Student Discount Cards In The UK

Written by Sarah Mukaddam

An engineer turned content writer, Sarah is a self-proclaimed bookworm. Armed with a keen sense of story and the gift of the gab, she works as a content writer at UniAcco.

Last updated Jun 29, 2021

Pursuing higher education can get a little expensive as it’s not just the fee that is to be thought of but also the living cost which includes not only the rent but food expenses, clothing, travel and so much more. Students have to be very careful about their expenses as they are usually on a very tight budget. Discounts in any form are a blessing to students in such situations, and there are plenty of those going around. ‘Student discount cards’ is the way to go for sure! Let’s learn all about student discount cards in the UK, river island student discount in this blog.

What Are Student Discount Cards?

Student discount cards are plastic cards, similar to credit cards, that entitle students discounts, river island student discount of the full price of specific services or products.

These are designed to make a student’s life more rewarding by helping them to pay for the necessities of university life and also some luxuries. You simply show your discount card to a member of the staff in the store it’s applicable in, and you will get tremendous discounts on music, food, travel, clothes, etc. They are similar to loyalty schemes. They will make you eligible for reduced rates of anything from 10% right up to 90%.

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Apart from redeeming your discounts in-store, you can also use the card online by registering it and then downloading vouchers codes or vouchers for shopping online.

The higher education institution or organisation that issues the discount card will have negotiated deals on your behalf. These cards always have a certain validity period, so make sure you renew it.

Benefits Of A Student Discount Card

Student discount cards UK
  • Because of it containing your personal details on it, they can be used as ID to prove your identity as a student.
  • They are usually nationally accepted, if not globally.
  • They can be used when dining out, getting around or buying educational resources like books, stationery, etc.
  • Can be used for online shopping too.

It can assist you to save money on products or services such as – 

Student discount cards in the UK will also help you find some student affordable student accommodation.

  • Student Accommodation in the UK
  • Travel
  • Driving lessons
  • Fitness & Leisure Clubs
  • Pizzas
  • Car Breakdown Cover
  • Books and Stationery
  • Health & Beauty
  • Technology & Gadgets

How To Get A Get A Student Discount Card In The UK?

Student discount cards are applicable in a range of high street stores as well as restaurants. Big names such as Apple, Amazon, Topshop and Nandos are all listed as retailers who offer a discount to students. Where you can get a discount and the amount of discount they offer usually depends on the card you show at the point of purchase. However, most places give a discount of about 10% to 20% off the price if you have a student card. You will also get a student discount on travel with a student based Oyster card or railcard. Websites like Save the Student regularly update their site with companies who offer a student discount, river island student discount. Whenever in doubt, it’s best to just inquire whether they offer a student discount or not.

How Much Does A Student Card Cost?

Student cards will cost you roughly around £10-30 depending on the card you go for, and it will last for approximately a year. For example, an annual railcard will set you back £30, whereas an NUS extra card is £12 for the year. This is a small price in the long run as each card will help you save a ton of money in different fields.

The Process Of Getting A Student Discount Card 

Student discount cards UK

The method of signing up for a student discount card, river island student discount varies for every card provider. However, all follow a fairly similar format, which involves a short application process confirming where you study and how long you’re studying for. Take NUS for example.

  • Go over to totum.com and click on “Get Your Card” in the top right corner
  • Enter your email address (and confirm it)
  • Enter your course provider
  • Enter the details of your course (length of study, discipline, etc.)
  • Select the card you want and any of the add-ons
  • Upload a photo of yourself
  • Enter your personal details
  • Pay for the card

Queries To Ask About Any Student Discount Cards

  • Is there a charge for signing up?
  • What products or services exactly will it give you concessions on?
  • If it expires then will you be able to renew it?
  • Apart from being a student, are there any other criteria to become eligible?
  • How long will it take to receive it?
  • Are offers good for a one time use or repeated uses?
  • How long does the card last for, when does it expire?
  • How do I renew it, is there a time limit?

Who Is Eligible For A Student Discount Card?

If one is above the age of 16 and is a part-time or full-time student in higher education, they will probably be entitled to a student discount card. This includes Sixth Forms and Colleges. The process is quite easy and doesn’t take long. The process varies for each card, but when you qualify, you’ll get tons of excellent discounts in several places.

Some student discount cards even allow their users to be below 16; for example, the ISIC card UK will enable individuals as young as 12 to apply for their UK discount card; as long the student is studying for a minimum of 15 hours a week and has been doing so for 3 months.

How To Get A Student Discount Card At No Extra Cost

Students can get some of the student discount cards in the UK for free like a UNiDAYS card, which offers a discount on food, clothing, and tech. However, it may be possible to get hold of other student cards without paying a penny. Specific schemes may entice you with the offer of a free discount card or railcard. For example, banks sometimes give you these cards free of charge if you sign up to an undergraduate account.

Websites for finding discounts:

  • Save The Student – This website dispenses free, unbiased advice on how to make your money go further, and catalogues temporary UK student deals to take advantage of (such as free drinks/snacks). It also provides a search tool to look for student discounts.
  • Student Money Saver – This website also features an array of student deals and discounts, as well as advice on how to manage money.

Different types of student discount cards and online codes:

  • ISIC – The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the only internationally accepted proof of student status and widely useful if you happen to be an international student or planning on travelling abroad. The ISIC card UK can get you discounts in over 130 countries, with student airfare discounts being a significant bonus. The cost of the card differs depending on which country you are in, ranging from US$4 to 25. Although largely US-centric, an ISIC card is an accepted form of student ID in many UK stores.
  • TOTUM- Supported by the National Union of Students, TOTUM gets you deals on dining out, fashion, travel, fitness and more. It is one of the UK best student discount cards. TOTUM Pro costs £12 for one year, £22 for two or £32 for three and enjoys the complete range of discounts, or a TOTUM Lite card which is absolutely free. Including the proof of age on your TOTUM card means you can keep your essential documents, for instance, your passport and driver’s license, safely at home on your nights out. With the purchase of TOTUM Pro, you will also get a 12-month International Student Identity Card (ISIC) as part of your membership.
  • UNiDAYs – Signing up to UNiDAYS is entirely free. It makes getting student discounts online very easy. An academic email address will be required to create an account and then apply the diverse discount codes on the websites at the checkout. UNiDAYS offers student discounts with several brands such as Apple, ASOS and Urban Outfitters and is readily available as an app for smartphones.
  • Student Beans – It is similar to UNiDAYS; sign-up to the Student Beans website for free to access a wide array of discounts. Sign-up to both as they each have slightly different discounts and are both completely free. 

Student Discounts On Clothing

Watch out for the occasional 20% off offers.

  • ASOS – 10% discount all year round, with an occasional 25 per cent offers. Claim with your UNiDAYS code.
  • Boohoo – 10% off all year round.
  • Burton – 10% off all year round.
  • French Connection – 10% off online and in-store.
  • New Look Student Discount – Year-round, 10% discount, using a UNiDAYS code.
  • Office (footwear) – 10% off in-store and online.
  • River Island – Get a year-round 10% discount through Student Beans.
  • Schuh – 10% off in-store and online.
  • Topman/Topshop – Get 10% off year-round through Student Beans or UNiDAYS.
  • Urban Outfitters student discount – 10% off all year-round.

Student Discounts On Food

  • Dominos Pizza – 35% off online purchases of £25+. This is one of the best deals student discount cards give you.
  • ASK Italian – NUS Extra card will get you approximately 40% off your total food bill all day Monday and Tuesday, and about 25% off your total food bill every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
  • Giraffe – You are applicable to get 20% off your food bill all day Monday to Friday and Sundays from 6 pm. (with an NUS Extra card).
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen – 25% for students with the GBK app.
  • Krispy Kreme – 20% off with an NUS Extra card.
  • The Cooperative – With your TOTUM card enjoy 10% off your groceries.  
  • Yo! Sushi – Exclusively for UNiDAYS; students get 25% off dine-in food purchases from Tuesday to Friday and on Sundays.
  • Pizza Express – A delightful 30% off food and drinks from Sunday to Thursday. Student Beans, UNiDAYS and TOTUM Card memberships are accepted.
  • Las Iguanas – Dive into a Latin American feast, including drinks, with a 25% discount from Sunday to Thursday.

Student Discounts On Entertainment/Media

discounts for entertainment/media
Odeon Cinemas
  • Odeon Cinemas – Simply show your card at the box office and get an extra 25% off student tickets with a TOTUM card applicable from Monday to Thursday. 
  • Cineworld –Price tickets Reduced for students.
  • Spotify Premium – Students are liable to pay half price for a Premium membership which allows them to download and listen to their favourite music on the go.
  • The Guardian – 80% off of digital subscriptions to The Guardian.
  • Apple Music – Student Membership costs only £4.99 a month, which is half the standard price. You will be required to get a UNiDAYS account for the verification of your status as a student. There’s also an Apple Education Discount, where students can get up to 15% off Macs, iPads and more. Either show your student ID in-store or use UNiDAYS. 
  • EE – Students get 20% off-contract plans, as well as six months free Apple Music and 3 free months of BT Sport, which can be claimed with a Student Beans or an UNiDAYS account.
  • Virgin Experience days – students get 20% off on everything from skydiving to afternoon tea.

Student Discounts On Health And Beauty

  • Boots Opticians – Save 25% on your first pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses, with every added pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses at half price.
  • Supercuts – 10% off haircuts and services with a student ID.
  • Superdrug – Year-round 10% discount with UNiDAYS.
  • The Fragrance Shop – Ideal for gifts, you can get 15% off when you shop online.
  • Toni & Guy – Get 20% off your high-end haircut, valid Mon-Thurs with a TOTUM card. 

Student Discounts On School Supplies

  • Foyles bookshop – Offers 20% off in-store and online twice a year.
  • Waterstones – Get 10% off with UNiDAYS.
  • Paperchase – 10% off in UK stores and online with UNiDAYS, plus 10% off photocopying, printing and services in-store.
  • Ryman Stationery – It is the go-to shop for all office supplies and printing, Ryman offers 10% off for students in-store as well as online. The discount includes printing, photocopying and binding services. Simply use your UNiDAYS app or your student card. 
  • Cass Art –Cobalt Blue Student Card gives you 10% off online.
  • Amazon.co.uk – Students get a 6-month free trial and then a 50% discount on Amazon Prime membership, which includes next-day delivery, their music and streaming services as well as Kindle lending library.
  • Software4Students – Showcasing student deals and discounts for Microsoft, Adobe and anti-virus software.

Student Discounts On Technology

discounts for technology
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – 60% off on Adobe creative cloud services.
  • Apple for education – Student discount cards get you up to 10% student discount on laptops and Mac computers and up to 5% on iPads with education pricing. 
  • HP – Make some severe savings with up to 50% off through UNiDAYS when you shop online.
  • Microsoft Office – Utilise your academic email on the Office website to gain access to the software, which can be downloaded on up to 5 Macs or PCs, and get 1TB of free online storage with OneDrive.
  • Norton Security – Save up to approximately £46 on Norton internet security and anti-virus systems.

Student Discounts On Mobile

  • O2 – 20% off your Airtime Plan, when you sign up to O2 Refresh.
  • Vodafone – 10% off selected few plans.

Student Discounts On Travel

  • 18+ Student Oyster photocard – 30% off on adult-rate travel cards on all London Transport services (underground, overground, buses and trams). Available exclusively to students living at a London address during term time and enrolled at participating universities in London.
  • 16-25 Railcard – Splashing out on a railcard is a wise decision as it gives you 30% off standard rail fares. Use your TOTUM card to get 12% off a 1-year railcard. Planning on travelling around London, just add your railcard to your Oyster card and enjoy a 34% discount on off-peak, pay as you go travel, as well as daily caps.
  • Megabus – 10% off all coach travel with Megabus with NUS Extra card.
  • National Express Young Persons Coachcard – A third off the full-price National Express coach tickets (the card costs £10 per year) for 16 to 26-year-olds, or use your TOTUM card for a 25% student discount.
  • STA Travel – Offers for around the world travel.
  • Cross Country – Keep an eye out for further discounts, depending on which train company you travel with. Cross Country offers an extra 10% off for students on selected advance tickets.
  • Student Universe – Discounts for students on flights, hotels, hostels and tours.
  • TransPennine Express – They offer an astonishing 50% off advanced fares when you have a 16-25 Railcard and book through their website.

UK Student Bank Account Incentives

  • Natwest – Free four-year National Express coach card, giving you a third off coach travel. (Other perks include a gradually increasing overdraft.)
  • Santander – Free 16-25 Railcard for 4 years with the Santander student bank account, which will save you a third on all rail travel within the UK, with a free overdraft limit is up to £1,500.

Note: Although these offers are tempting, never let the incentive be the main reason for choosing a particular UK student bank account. Consider overdraft limits, interest rates, and whether there’ll be a branch near your university.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on student discount cards. If you’re someone who wants to share your valuable experiences through a blog, we’re more than happy to collaborate. Write to us at contact@uniacco.com to know more about our guest-post submission process.

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