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Discounts, discounts, discounts

Week 34

29 April 2019

Making your money stretch through the end of a long term is a skill, and one that is made much easier by all the student discounts on offer around the high street.

We're here to help out with where to start, as well as where to go to keep up to date with the latest deals.

Dosh, moolah, dough – whatever you call money, as a student you’re likely to be short of it at some point.

That’s why this article is all about all the great deals you can get just by being a student.

It’s worth mentioning that for many of the schemes, you’ll need to pay some money to be eligible for their discounts. However, if it’s something you’re likely to use a lot, it’s definitely worth it as the savings soon mount up.

NUS Extra

Probably the most well-known student discount scheme, both college and university students can apply for a NUS Extra card.

It costs £12 for a year, £22 for two years or £32 for three years, although with some student bank accounts you may be able to get a year free.

There are a whole host of discounts you can get from having this card. We don’t even scratch the surface by mentioning 10% off at Co-op, up to 47% off Thorpe Park, 10% off at ASOS and 25% off Odeon student priced tickets.

What’s more, the card now comes with a year of free ISIC, the International Student Identity Card, which has 42,000 of its own discounts over more than 130 countries.

If you’re a foodie at heart, you can choose to add the Gourmet Society bolt-on to your card, for £7 for a year, £12 for two years or £15 for three years. This gives you either 2 for 1 or 50% off deals at selected restaurants across the country.

Find out more about the NUS Extra Card


You don’t need to pay anything to access the discounts that UNiDAYS offers, but you will need to be able to sign into your university’s system so it can confirm you’re a student.

Like NUS Extra, the website has a whole host of online discounts, including 10% off New Look, Apple and Cath Kidston.

Discounts are often boosted for a limited time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the website.

Find out more about UNiDAYS


If you’re living away from home, it’s worth investing in either a 16-25 Railcard or a Young Person’s Coachcard. Both offer you a third off fares, either on trains or with National Express coaches. While they both reference age, mature students are also eligible.

The railcard costs £30 for a year, or £70 for three years. The coach card is £12.50 for a year, or £30 for three years. Some student bank accounts will offer a coach or railcard as an incentive for opening an account with them.

While the coachcard is valid for all standard and fully flexible fares, be careful with the railcard. For peak journeys (classed as between 4.30-10am Monday to Friday, except public holidays, July and August), a £12 minimum fare applies.

Find out more about the 16-25 Railcard

Find out more about the Young Persons Coach Card

And that's not all...

There are a whole host of websites out there dedicated to keeping you up to date with the latest discounts, so we’ll do everyone a favour and just give you the links – they’re on the right hand side of the page.

A decadent day of discounts

Okay, let’s say you’re in Southampton for the weekend, you’ve got money to blow but don’t want to pay full whack. What can you do to really make the most of your discounts?

  • 10am: Let’s assume you don’t live in Southampton. Having a railcard or coachcard has netted you a third off the fare.
  • 11am: Once you’re here, head to the shops! New Look, Oasis, Jack Wills and Timberland all offer you 10% off. Even better, Coast and Sketchers offer 15% with either you NUS Extra or UNiDAYS discount card.
  • 1pm: Starting to feel a bit hungry? Lunch is at Byron with 20% off your burgers. If you’ve taken up the three month free membership of Tastecard with UNiDAYS, get 2 for 1 at a range of other places too.
  • 3pm: In the afternoon, you’ll be able to get a student discount at either the Mayflower Theatre, the Odeon cinema, or Hollywood Bowl.
  • 6pm: Dinner can be at Ed’s Easy Diner in Westquay, where meals are 2 for 1 (or a number of other restaurants).
  • 8pm: There are quite a few bars and pubs in Southampton which are catered to students and often offer deals on drinks. You can find out more on our going out page.
  • Then you can get your train home whenever! Or if you need somewhere to stay, you can use your UNiDAYS discount and get up to 40% off Sorted!

Alternatively, you can head to Marwell Zoo for the whole day and get 13% off your ticket.

Tasks for this week:

  • Apply for an NUS Extra card, if you don't have one already.
  • Look up your favourite shops and see whether they offer any discounts.
  • Sign up for UNiDAYS or, if you can't yet, save the website for future reference.