It’s that time again! After my 2017 roundup of student discounts was so popular, I thought I’d go wild and do a whole new post listing student discounts for 2018. It’s been interesting to see how many of the discounts are lower or come with more terms than last year. As usual, remember that some of the discounts will be on a limited basis, so if you’re thinking of using them it’s best to do it now. I’m giving you a whole ton of information here, and there are bound to be some things you already know, so if that’s you, just skip these bits and move straight on to the discount, but if you’re a first time student or haven’t really looked into it yet, I’ve listed everything you need to know. Remember, you need to prove you’re a student and the first thing you’ll need to do is register with the NUS here: National Union of Students.
The TOTUM Card
First things first, if you’re interested in student discounts for 2018, the new name for the NUS Extra card is TOTUM (f you’ve got the old NUS Extra card, though, don’t worry, it’s still valid). This card is an absolute lifesaver, entitling you to discounts on food, travel, fashion, beauty, tech and more. There’s also a TOTUM app, which is really handy. A one year card is just £12, but it’s cheaper to splash out and buy the full three year card for £32. Also, follow @wearetotum on Twitter for limited offers and updates.
Some student bank accounts will give you a TOTUM card free when you sign up.
ISIC is the International Student Identity Card. You’ll get one year free when you sign up for the TOTUM card. It gives you discounts around the world, plus you can download a virtual card to you can instantly prove your student status wherever you are in the world. Clever, right?
Let’s start with the important stuff, shall we?
If you haven’t sorted your bank account yet:
Firstly, don’t get suckered into the best freebies, unless they’re really going to benefit you. For example, if you’re travelling by rail regularly, Santander’s 123 Student Current Account offers a four year 16-25 Student Railcard, and if you’ll be heading back to see the fam on the regular, both NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland offer a four year National Express Coachcard (both offer an alternative choice of an Amazon Prime membership or a Tastecard if that suits you better).
Lloyds Bank offer a £1500 overdraft in years 1 – 3 and give you a free TOTUM card. The Nationwide’s FlexStudent account starts you off with a £1000 overdraft limit in year one, increasing to £2000 in year two and £3000 in year three.
Find the account that’s best for you. If you’re not great with money, don’t automatically go for the one that gives you the biggest overdraft. Getting into debt can be mega stressful (oh hey student loan), so calculate what you can realistically get away with and don’t go past this. NatWest offer a £500 interest free student overdraft for term one, with the option to increase up to £2000. Also, take care not to bust that overdraft limit – they’ll charge you a bomb for it and it can seriously stuff up your credit rating, which could affect you in the future. Download the banking app, take the time to sort out a budget for food and living costs and try to stick to it.
Discounts on food
Lots of the big food chains are doing decent discounts for students. These are just a selection. Remember with a lot of the restaurant deals, you’ll be restricted to certain times or there might be a limit on the number of people so check the small print before you go.
Shop in Co-Op and you’ll get 10% off with your NUS Extra card (good times!) but remember you can’t buy cigarettes or booze (bad times).
Las Iguanas (Latin American cuisine) – it says up to 40% off but I can only see a 25% off food and drinks Sunday to Thursday offer – there are restaurants right across most of the country, from Newcastle up north to Woking and Lakeside down south.
Bella Italia give a very generous 50% off pizza and pasta from Monday to Wednesday as well as two for one cocktails. You need to enter your email to get the code and turn up with valid student ID
McDonalds offer a free cheeseburger, mayo chicken or McFlurry when you buy any extra value or wrap meal with valid student ID.
Pizza Hut offer 20% off food Sunday to Thursday with any valid student ID, and some restaurants have other student evenings offering up to 40% off. You can check online.
Domino’s Pizza offer 35% off when you register with Student Beans (minimum spend £25 though) – you can get the discount online too, just click for the code.
My lovely mates Gourmet Burger Kitchen offer an exclusive 25% student discount when you download their fabulous app.
Ask Italian offer a massive 40% off your total food bill to TOTUM/NUS Extra Card holders every Monday and Tuesday. You can also get 25% off your total food bill on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Pizza Express also offer 30% discount to NUS Extra Card holders/UNiDAYS members Sunday to Thursday with a few exclusions like bank holidays, etc. There’s also a blackout over Christmas.
Papa John’s offer 40% off online when you spend £25 (via Student Beans), but again, some of the outlets in University towns do great deals like buy one get one free direct so make sure you check locally.
Loyalty – no switchin’ sides
And don’t forget loyalty cards – whether you shop in Sainsbury’s (Nectar), Tesco (ClubCard – don’t forget petrol too), Co-Op (members get 5% cashback on top of that 10% when spent on own brand products – which are generally the best value anyway), Waitrose (myWaitrose – don’t forget your free tea or coffee), or somewhere else, sign up for the supermarket loyalty cards and you’ll get extra discounts and vouchers too.
Share the love
One tip, if you’re in a shared house or flat, is to just agree to use one supermarket and get one person to register for their loyalty card, which you all agree to share. Then make sure you all take the communal loyalty card when you go shopping. You’ll soon get enough points and offers for loads of extra treats.
It’s called fashion look it up
Warehouse are currently offering offering 20% off for a limited time. It’s still going now but doesn’t show a closing date so grab it while you can. Enter your TOTUM card number or UNiDAYS code at the checkout
Boohoo.com offer a 10% discount and free premier delivery – fill in the form online.
Topshop offer students 10% off with a Student Beans or UNiDAYS card. UPDATE: increased to 20% from Thursday 20th to Sunday 30th September!
Oasis offer a 20% discount with UNiDAYS.
ASOS offer students 10% off until they graduate – fill in the form and you’ll get a unique student discount code – also sign up for the newsletter for other offers/special stuff throughout the year.
H&M have a limited time offer of 20% off your entire purchase plus free standard delivery online. In store you’ll get it too but only with purchases over £30.
Missguided are currently offering 20% discount via UNiDAYS – not sure how long this one lasts.
New Look offer 10% discount with UNiDAYS.
River Island often team up with Student Beans and TOTUM to provide a 20% discount, keep an eye out on the app to find out when the offers go live.
Blacks and Millets offer 10% off their brilliant range, including waterproof jackets and walking boots from The North Face, Berghaus, Jack Wolfskin and more. Offer is via UniDays online, and in store with valid student ID.
Beauty and Health
Superdrug offer 10% off in store only as long as you have a registered Health & Beautycard and your TOTUM card or UNiDAYS ID.
Look Fantastic offer a 10% discount all the time and sporadic 20% off discount offers via UNiDAYS (the last one finished 17th September).
Toni & Guy offer a permanent 20% student discount with valid student ID.
Urban Decay are offering a banging 20% off until 21st September with UNiDAYS.
Durex UK offer sexual health tips and 25% off products with a TOTUM card.
TOTM offer 10% off their brilliant range of 100% organic, cruelty free and biodegradable cotton products and reusable menstrual cups with a TOTUM card.
Exclusively for English Mum readers:
Find me a gift have all sorts of gorgeous items, including perfect things for pressies, fab things for parties and great novelty items. They’re offering an exclusive 12% discount off their products for EM readers until midnight on Wednesday 26th September. Just use the code EMUNI12 – it can’t be used in conjunction with any other offers.
16-25 Railcard – if you’re going to be travelling by train at all, make sure you by a 16-25 Railcard which gives you 1/3 off each rail journey and at just £30 a year will quickly pay for itself.
National Express are offering 15% off through UNiDAYS when you book online (£1 booking fee applies). They do also offer a Young Person’s Coachcard which costs £12.50 for a year or £30 for three years and saves you a third on coach travel.
Music and Tech
Sync, the Apple Authorised Reseller and Apple Authorised Service Provider is offering up to 20% off Apple products and 10% off repairs to students. Offer ends 31 October, so still time to sort out that cracked screen before you get going!
HP have an online student store with exclusive discounts (rumoured to be around 30%) and special offers – just register with your uni email address.
Register to use the Apple Store for Education, and you can get Beats headphones free when you buy a Mac or iPad Pro through UNiDAYS.
Curry’s PC World are offering 10% off stuff like kettles, toasters, irons and the new Microsoft Surface with Student Beans, although…
Microsoft offer 20% off Surface devices with TOTUM, plus some other really good deals, 20% off Sennheisers and loads more.
Spotify offer their premium service for students at just 99p for three months, then £4.99 a month after that – grab the offer before it ends on 25th October.
All the rest
My Voucher Codes have a huge variety of student discounts, covering everything from fashion and tech to food, travel and days out.
Amazon offer Amazon Prime Student, membership of which gives you Amazon Prime (one day delivery for six months, plus unlimited streaming with Prime Video, and ad-free music and playlists with Prime Music). Then, after your free six month trial, you’ll only pay £39 per year (or £3.99 a month) for Prime membership (50% off).
Odeon Cinemas offer an additional 25% off the price of a student/teen ticket on Mondays – Thursdays only with NUS Extra card at any participating ODEON. This offer has just been updated to include 3D films too.
Access Self Storage offer 50% off your first 2 months’ storage plus free pick up. The pick-up service will transport your possessions from your accommodation to the chosen Access Self Storage centre within a two mile radius so this might work if you’re in a big city. Access has over fifty UK stores in several university cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester. Could be useful if you don’t want to schlep everything home at the end of the year.
Remember the golden rule…
And finally, don’t forget the golden rule: ALWAYS FLASH THE CARD (and the teeth)! It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a laptop or a coffee, it’s always worth smiling sweetly and asking for a student discount. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! If you know of any other student discounts or perks you’d like me to add to this, leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list (with attribution, of course) so don’t forget to check the comments.
Disclaimer: these offers were live as I sent this to publish (I’m updating every so often to keep things current) but please don’t blame me for any errors or omissions! Also remember that some of these will come with Ts and Cs like minimum spends and exclusions.
Also, remember to look at my student staples section for ideas for meals that are perfect for feeding a crowd and/or eating on a budget.
I’m not going to wish you good luck at uni because you don’t need it – you bagged your place fair and square on your results, so give yourself a big pat on the back and head off into your next adventure – you’re going to smash it!