​Student discounts in the United Kingdom

University season has arrived, and many teens up and down the country are about to embark on their first year on campus. Packing for the big move can be a daunting task, not to mention expensive, stressful and time-consuming.
Student discount cards are a great way to save on all the student essentials you'll need throughout the year. UNiDAYS, Student Beans and NUS Extra are the main student discount providers in the UK that offer a wealth of savings on anything from a cheap mid-week takeaway to a brand new laptop.
Never again will getting a discount be as easy as it is now for students - so make the most of it.
Whether you have an NUS card or just a student card, always ask for a discount. Flash that card whenever you can - wear it as a badge if you must!
 
UniDays
What is it? An online discount website dedicated solely to students with deals exclusive to UniDays. The website also provides its own blog which offers advice on aspects of student living such as cooking and fashion.
Membership? To access the discounts, you must be a student in higher education but sign-up is completely free and all online – there’s no need for a card like with NUS extra.
There’s an application for both Android and iPhones. You can redeem discount codes in store using photo identification on your phone. UniDays gives you the opportunity to earn money with its ‘Share and Earn’ scheme. Invite friends to UniDays and for every friend that joins, you earn £0.50.
Best current deals?
• 15 per cent off selected Apple Mac products
• 35 per cent off at HP
• 10 per cent at ASOS
 
Save the student
What is it? Save the Student doesn’t usually provide exclusive deals but finds the best offers from the Internet and brings them together in one easy-to-use website. More than this, the website provides content on everything student related from banking and budgeting to jobs and careers. It has everything you need to know as a student.
Membership? No – the website is open to all and anyone can access the discounts
Perks? The sheer volume of student-based content! Students can read how to save and make money or, alternatively, they can compare the best phone deals available at the moment.
Best current deals?
• Two for £10 at Gourmet Burger Kitchen
• Free Krispy Kreme doughnut
• Free burger at Ed’s diner
 
NUS extra card
What is it? This is the NUS’s official discount card for students. It provides countless offers – from restaurant deals to discounted travel – and can save students potentially £100s throughout their university years.
Membership? Unlike the other websites, the NUS extra card costs £12 for a year’s membership but given the discounts on offer, it’s certainly worth it. Students must be in further or higher education.
There is an application available on iPhone and Android. It lets you know all the nearest discounts available to you.
It has one of the highest numbers of discounts on offer, providing money off entertainment services such as Spotify, numerous restaurants, and retailers such as ASOS.
Best current deals?
• 50 per cent off Spotify Premium
• 10 per cent off Co-op groceries
• 25 per cent off National Express
 
Student Beans
What is it? Another student-based online brand that provides exclusive discounts all for free on its website. From You! Sushi to Topshop, students who join can expect discounts on hundreds of products. The Student Beans is part of the larger youth-based media company, Beans Group.
Membership? Students register to a free digital student beans id card which can be used online and on your phone. To register, students must be in higher education.
There is an application available on iPhone only at the moment (coming soon to Android)
Perks? Student Beans lists the latest UK part-time and full-time jobs for graduates, including weekend and summer holiday jobs for current students. It also advertises work experience, placements, internships and volunteering opportunities, a very handy tool.
Best current deals?
• 15 per cent off at New Balance
• 25 per cent off at Yo! Sushi
• 10 per cent off at Topshop
 
Student Money Saver
What is it? An online student platform that provides discounts, advice, and student-based content, similar to Save the Student, Student Money Saver (SMS) finds the best offers on the Internet, from travel costs to broadband, and compiles them under its various student-related sections. Additionally, SMS provides advisory content on topics such as budgeting, travelling and socializing.
Membership? Not needed – the website is open to everyone, although some of the discounts posted on the website are exclusive to SMS so you will need to verify that you are a student.
There is no application available yet but there are perks to it. The website’s top 20 helps you easily locate the best discounts and deals available on the Internet. It regularly updates meaning you can make the most of what the Internet has to offer.
Best current deals?
• Free cinema tickets to box office previews
• 10 per cent off at Forever 21 when you spend £50 or more
• 15 per cent off at New Era
 
There are also some particularly good discounts you can get (the kind that makes non-students very jealous) online and on the high street if you know where to look - here are some of the best:
Apple
As a student, you can get access to the legendary Apple Store for Education. It’s so hard to get a discount on an Apple product for non-students generally, but as a savvy student you can get a discount online, or just flash your NUS card in-store.
The catch is the discount is only on items that would be useful for university - such as MacBooks (15% off). Things like iPads get a smaller discount (5% off) because you don’t really need one for university.
 
McDonalds
Students aren’t strangers to a bit of Maccy D’s - especially after a few beers. You can get a student discount every day at McDonald’s, with a valid NUS Extra card. This means a free pack of medium fries when you purchase a Big Mac or McChicken sandwich.
Even if you don’t have an NUS card you can still be tucking into some freebies. Buy any Extra Value or Deli meal with a valid university student card and you’ll get a free hamburger, cheeseburger or McFlurry.
 
Superdrug
Get 10% off in Superdrug when you flash your NUS card in-store (unfortunately it doesn’t work online yet). The store sells a lot of the same products and brands as retail giant Boots, but generally has lower prices.
 
A 10% discount isn’t that unusual for a student, but this is a bit special as the discount is on stuff you’ll really need (lots of Lynx for the lads) as well as big make-up brands that are very rarely discounted.
 
Co-Op
The Co-op is the only UK supermarket to give 10% discount on their shopping, every time you shop with an NUS Card. There’s a potential for massive savings as everybody needs to buy food and essentials.
 
Cinema
Student Film First is the best place to get free cinema tickets as a student, but you’ll need an ‘.ac.uk’ student email address to sign up. You’ll get to see FREE preview showings of brand new films (so new they’re not even out yet) and all you need to do in return is fill out a short survey after the film telling them what you thought about it.
Another way to see free films as a student is to join E4’s Slackers Club at Picturehouse Cinemas. It has student only film previews that show about once a month. Just go into your nearest Picturehouse Cinema with your student ID and ask to be signed up. It’s totally free, and after you do that you can apply for free tickets.
 
Spotify
Spotify is a massive music streaming service where you can listen to tracks on demand from leading musicians/artists around the world.
With the NUS Extra discount you can get 50% off Spotify Premium which allows you to listen to unlimited music without advertisements for £4.99 a month for 12 months.
 
Topshop/Topman (on sale too)
Topshop notoriously never has discount codes. Luckily students can flash their student cards and get 10% off (we’ve even seen it go up to 15% off) every time they shop. Unusually, the discount also works on sale items too, which is great as items start from £1 and you can get them delivered to your nearest store for free.
 
Amazon student
If you’re a student you can get between 5 & 10% discount at Amazon. It doesn't work on some categories, including electronic items unfortunately. Once you’ve entered your NUS code at the checkout, it’ll automatically take off the discount for you every time you shop for a year.
 
There’s also a little known trick where Amazon Student users can get £1 of Amazon Music or Kindle Store credit every time they order something and DON’T take advantage of the one day delivery. The credit will only work on MP3 music, e-books or audiobooks, but if you’re not in a rush to get your parcel, it's worth doing.
 
Railcards
If there’s only one ‘money saving’ thing you need to do as a student, is to make sure you get a National Rail 15-25 railcard.
The 16-25 railcard cuts a third off the price of train travel and a one year card usually costs around £30 (which sounds hefty, but it only takes about two journeys to get your money back). You can get discount on Anytime, Off-Peak and Advance fares on all National Rail train operators in the UK. You can even get a third off first class fares if you’re feeling fancy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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