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15 student discount tips you can’t afford to miss

Ok, so student discount may not be the very best thing about your higher education journey but what’s not to love about getting money off things you already need to buy anyway? There’s a huge array of discounts available to us from food to clothing, gym memberships to travel.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t buy any Christmas presents last year that weren’t from retailers, be it online or in store, that didn’t provide student discount. If you’re savvy you really can save a lot of money by sticking with companies who offer us perks.

A wide range of organisations want to capture the student market and as such we benefit greatly from severely cut prices ranging from 10%-70% off.

I recently spoke to a fellow student who didn’t know about some of these perks which surprised me, so this blog is here to point you in the right direction of where you can find these deals.

Here are my top tips to save the most but please remember that deals change regularly, these were correct at time of writing:

1. Always ask if student discount is available – I ask everywhere I go whether they offer student discount and you’d be surprised how many independent retailers and restaurants offer discount without heavily advertising the fact. Don’t be too shy to ask the question even if it does mortify those who you’re with – I don’t care and neither should you – if you can save a few pounds go for it!

2. Shop around – there may be something you need to buy that you don’t think is available from a retailer that offers discount, however look around online, the same thing may well be available elsewhere with a company that does participate in student deals.

3. Amazon Prime for students is free for the first six months – even if you’re already a Prime member when you become a student Amazon will happily switch your membership to a student account and give you 6 months free which is a huge saving. After the initial 6 month period they will then give you a discounted rate so it really is well worth taking on. They offer several other perks too such as free kindle book downloads, Amazon music for 99p/month and money off some books and supplies. Check out Amazon Student Prime.

4. Sign up to Student Discount Apps and websites – my favourite are:



Student Beans

Generally, you can obtain discount by either showing your student ID when making a purchase with a retailer who offers student discount (often displayed on a poster in the store window) or by showing a card or app from one of the above. When buying online you are either given a code to enter at checkout or if you access the website directly from an appropriate app the discount will automatically be applied.

5. Use Money Saving Expert – a great place to find regularly updated information about current deals is Money Saving Expert, I check it often to find out about new deals.

6. Boots – although Boots (the chemist) do advertise that they offer student discount I found the information by accident and wouldn’t have otherwise known. The way to access their discount of 10% off everything is through their Advantage Card loyalty programme which is free. If you haven’t already got an Advantage Card sign up for one in store and ask the assistant to link your student ID to the card – just show them your NUS card. This then ensures that every time you show your Advantage Card, 10% will automatically be taken off your bill, really handy for medication to ease all the coughs and colds going around Uni at this time of year. Superdrug also offer 10% student discount using their Health and Beauty loyalty card, just follow the same procedure as suggested in Boots.

7. The Co-operative supermarket – The Co-Op offer 10% off everything (including alcohol) for students with a Totum card – see above. This is really useful for groceries, it’s the only supermarket I have come across that directly give us money off, however some, such as Morrisons provide vouchers through their loyalty card so look out for that too. I’ve found occasionally assistants in Co-op stores aren’t familiar with how to apply the discount, simply tell them they have a card at the till point with a barcode they must scan to allocate the discount, you’ll have to show some form of student ID – usually your Totum card to be accepted. You can find out more about saving money on grocery shopping in my future blogs, so make sure you subscribe below.

8. Travel – before you book any travel, check out what companies are offering the best student deals at that time. National Express have regular student discount as does which is great for hotels but my advice is don’t make any travel commitments without making sure you can save money.

9. Student Rail Card – I was disappointed to learn that student rail cards are only available for those of us aged between 16-25, however there is small print which can help us older students – it is always worth checking the small print as it says in the Terms and Conditions; “4.3. If you are a full-time student over 25 years old, you may purchase the 1-year Railcard with valid proof of full time study” So, all you need to do is provide them with the appropriate document to show you are a full time student and you can qualify. A Student railcard gives 1/3 off rail travel and costs just £30/year so could potentially be a superb saving. Visit Student Railcard.

10. Deliveroo and Just Eat – if your favourite take away uses Deliveroo or Just Eat then you can benefit from student discount through their apps. You can order direct through the Unidays app or enter a code derived from Unidays to access the money off.

11. Shopping Local – we all appreciate that shopping local is important and it may be that your favourite local store isn’t signed up to one of the student aggregator sites such as Unidays, so why not suggest to them that they offer student discount. If they agree you can spread the word for them and let all your fellow students know that they are happy to offer discount to us.

12. Drive your own car? – a little publicised discount is offered by Kwik Fit who give up to 15% discount off their products and services to students, including tyres. This is available through Student Beans – see above. This can be incredibly useful in a crisis, if you need your car fixed, you need it to be done at the best possible price to get you back on the road.

13. Entertainment – cinemas and theatres – many local cinemas and theatres offer discounted student tickets. Very often you will find the discount applies to refreshments too – so don’t pay full price for that popcorn, always ask if student discount can be applied. Student memberships may be available at certain establishments as well, so look out for any deals. Sometimes they advertise discounts available to concessions – you may not realise that this applies to students but often it does so don’t buy before you enquire.

14. Apple – shop at Apple for education purposes and you could save a lot of money. Make sure you tell the assistant you are a student as in my experience (because I’m older most likely) the information was not automatically volunteered. They regularly hold special purchase events where students can receive free Beats headphones with certain items too.

15. Gym membership – unfortunately the gym I attend, David Lloyd does not offer student membership (shame on them), however I am loyal to them based on the convenient location of their carpark to my university, it’s a “needs must” situation! There are many other gyms that do offer student discount and free joining fees so always check before you sign up unless your parking needs outweigh your need to save money of course.

This topic is ever changing with new companies joining the student discount revolution all the time, please feel free to comment below if you have any excellent tips on how we can get further discount and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss further articles.

Thank you for reading.


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Published by Jen Grant

I am a first year undergraduate student studying Digital Marketing BA (Hons) at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. I live in Aberdeen with my husband, 2 sons and 3 dogs.

3 thoughts on “15 student discount tips you can’t afford to miss

  1. I found this post really helpful. Being an international student I had no clue about some of the apps that Scotland or the UK offers to student in order to have discounts. It was really nice to find out about ways to save up while being in uni.
    Thank you so much for the tips can’t wait to read more posts xx

    Liked by 1 person

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