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The Best Student Discounts and How to Get Them in 2023

Being a student is expensive, but it’s our duty to make sure that your Maintenance Loan stretches as far as possible by milking student discounts for all they’re worth. You only get student discounts for a few fleeting years, so making the most of them should be a top priority (as well as studying, obviously)…

So, if you’re thinking to yourself, “how do I get a student discount?” look no further. Here are the best student discount schemes and student cards in the UK, for undergrads and graduates, and how to get them. Most of these discounts can be found on discount platforms like Student Beans, UNiDAYS and Totum.

How much can I save with a student discount?

Discounts for students usually range from 5% to 50%, so there are some big savings to be made on food, tech and all sorts of things you’ll need for uni.

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How do I get a student discount?

Proof of student status will often be enough to get access to student discounts. A student ID card from your university or college will work in most cases, but some student discount schemes require extra verification. On the plus side, applying for a student discount card is usually very quick, easy and free.

The UK’s biggest student discount schemes and their requirements

  1. Student Beans is a free app and website with thousands of student and graduate discounts, and advice articles for new and returning students. Student Beans offers free student discount codes on brands like ASOS, Crocs, Gymshark, PrettyLittleThing, Pandora, Dunelm, Dell, FlixBus, New Look, Sports Direct, Schuh and more. Anyone over the age of 16 and in full-time education including university, college, sixth form, and high school can use Student Beans.
  2. Totum was introduced in 2018, as a sort of turbocharged replacement for NUS extra. The flimsy blue NUS student discount card was a bit of a rite of passage for students in the UK over the last decade or so, but all isn’t lost. RIP NUS extra card, shine on, you beautiful diamond. TOTUM offers more than 300 high street and online brands (including student discounts on Apple, ASOS and Amazon) available via the app or website. A one-year Totum digital membership is free (but has fewer discounts), while the classic student card costs £14.99 for a year, or £24.99 for three years.
  3. UNiDAYS is another free site and app that features a wide variety of offers and discounts for students.
  4. The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) can help you get student discounts in more than 130 countries. It does cost £12 (as of August 2022) for a digital copy, or £15 for the physical card.

Can I use my student discount on already-discounted items?

You can’t generally use student discounts or discount codes on already-discounted products or items on sale. There are some exclusions to that rule, but that tends to be the gist.

Where can I get a student discount?

Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular places and brands you can get a student or graduate discount:

Shops and retailers offering student discounts:

  • Amazon: The Amazon Prime Student membership gives you fast delivery for six months, unlimited streaming on Prime Video and more. Plus, after the six-month trial, you’ll only need to pay £3.99 a month for Prime membership (50% off)
  • ASOS: 10% discount online all year round, with occasional better offers
  • Boohoo: Boohoo offers student deals throughout the year rather than a set student discount
  • Crocs: 25% student discount online
  • Dell: Save up to 25% on Dell electronics as a student. Dell states that the current discounts are 7% up to £999 and 10% above £1000 on systems
  • Dunelm: 10% student discount on orders over £40 with Student Beans
  • Gymshark: Exclusive 10% discount can be found at Student Beans
  • HOKA: HOKA is a brand that creates innovative, lightweight running shoes. You can get 10% student discount at HOKA with Student Beans. The catch? It’s a limited-time-only discount so buy sooner than later if you’re interested
  • Holland & Barrett: 20% student discount with Student Beans
  • JD Sports: 20% discount online
  • Nike: 10% discount online
  • New Look: 10% off for students
  • Office: 10% student discount
  • Pandora: 5% student discount with Pandora, exclusive with Student Beans
  • PrettyLittleThing: 5% student discount at PLT with Student Beans
  • Pull & Bear: 10% off for students
  • River Island: 10% student discount at River Island with Student Beans
  • Samsung: discounts across the range rather than a set student discount
  • Schuh: 10% off at Schuh for students
  • Sports Direct: 10% student discount at Sports Direct when you spend over £25
  • WHSmith: 10% student discount with UNiDAYS

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Restaurants, bars and cafes offering student discount

  • Domino’s Pizza: 35% off at Domino’s for students when you spend more than £25 online
  • Greggs: free sausage roll, vegan sausage roll or sweet treat when you buy any cold sandwich deal
  • HelloFresh: 15% off with UNiDAYS
  • KFC: free popcorn snack bucket when you spend £3 in-store
  • McDonald’s: Get a free cheeseburger, mayo chicken or McFlurry original when you buy any Extra Value or Wrap Meal and show a valid student ID or Student Beans ID
  • Papa John’s: Students get 35% off pizzas from Papa John’s – only minimum delivery spend applies
  • Thorntons: 10% student discount with Student Beans
  • Waterstones: 10% student discount at Waterstones with UNiDAYS. You can also sign up to the student discount scheme that Waterstones runs separately, but this 10% discount can’t be combined with the Waterstones Plus Student 5% discount

Entertainment, theatre and music student discounts

  • Apple Music: Students get cheaper membership at Apple Music for 48 months with UNiDAYS
  • Cineworld: Reduced price tickets for students
  • EE: 20% student discount
  • Marshall: The audio brand Marshall offers speakers, headphones and more with a 15% student discount through Student Beans
  • Spotify Premium: Students get Premium free for 3 months, then pay half price for a Spotify Premium membership (£5.99)
  • Virgin Experience Days: Students get 20 percent off a whole range of activities with Virgin
  • Vodafone: 10% student discount on selected airtime plans, pay monthly tablets and SIM only plans

When it comes to student discounts and deals at the theatre, it’s pretty straightforward; most theatres offer discounted ticket prices to young people. All you need to show is ID for proof of your age.

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How to get student discount on trains, buses, hotels and flights

Travelling can can cost a lot, but it doesn’t have to. If you want to be a bit more savvy with your savings, make sure you know where to get the best student discounts and offers.

  • Emirates: Book a flight with Emirates by 30 September 2022 – using the promo code STUDENT – to get discounts of up to 10% on Economy Class and Business Class fares
  • FlixBus: 10% student discount on the Flixbus app
  • Hotels.com: Students save 10% on hotels
  • LNER: Full time students can save 40% on LNER tickets
  • National Rail: Students save 15%
  • Trainline: 33% off all railcards, limited time only. Save money by travelling with the 16-25 railcard, too

Best freebies you get as a student in 2023

  • Amazon Prime: The Prime Student membership is a 6-month free trial that offers you fast delivery for those six months, unlimited streaming on Prime Video and Prime music. Plus, after the six-month trial, you’ll only need to pay £3.99 per month for Prime
  • Greggs: free sausage roll, vegan sausage roll or sweet treat when you buy any cold sandwich deal
  • KFC: free popcorn snack bucket when you spend £3 in-store
  • McDonald’s: Get a free cheeseburger, mayo chicken or McFlurry Original when you buy any extra value or wrap meal
  • Microsoft Office: If you’re a student (or teacher!), you’re eligible to get the online version of Microsoft Office for free, plus 1TB of online storage
  • Spotify Premium: Students get Premium free for 3 months, then pay half price for a Spotify Premium membership (£5.99)

Can graduates get discounts?

Yes! The student discount platform, Student Beans, offers a Grad Beans discount scheme for those who’ve graduated in the last five years. Like Student Beans, Grad Beans is completely free.

Brands that offer graduate discounts:

  1. 37% off for graduates at Myprotein
  2. Graduates can get 10% off at Fierce Petite
  3. Acer offers 15% graduate discounts across the range
  4. 10% off for graduates at Moss Bros
  5. Logitech offers special graduate discounts — currently 25%
  6. FatFace gives graduates a 10% discount
  7. If you’re after kitchen essentials, Ninja has a 10% graduate discount

As far as student discounts go, it’s smart to check on travel and tech discounts as they tend to be higher-priced, bigger ticket items. A 10% discount at Apple or Samsung will go a lot further than a 10% discount on – say – a jumper, so it’s always worth looking around for a student discount before you make the purchase.

Can apprentices get discounts?

Yes, but there’s only one apprentice discount scheme — and that’s NUS Apprentice Extra. With the Apprentice Extra discount card, you can save 10% at Co-Op, as well as eating at Pizza Express, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny’s, Dominos and Las Iguanas.

Other apprentice discounts include 10% off at Go Ape, up to 57% off at Alton Towers, up to 64% off at Thorpe Park, 25% off student price tickets at Odeon and 20% off Virgin Experience Days. 10% off at ASOS, 25% off at Boohoo, 10% off at Miss Selfridge and 20% off at Fila.

Megabus also offers a 10% apprentice discount, 25% off with TransPennine Express and eligible driving schools. Lastly, 10% off at Boots and Superdrug – though this is by no means an exhaustive list.

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How to get student discounts on Black Friday

When is black Friday in the UK?

Black Friday falls on Friday, 25 November 2022. Black Friday sales take place every November, when retailers slash prices on a range of products ahead of the holidays.

2023 Black Friday tips

Firstly, avoid searching for the best deals on the day itself. Follow your favourite shops and brands social media and newsletter – if they send one out. These will give you an idea of the upcoming deals so you don’t have to stress purchase on the day.

On that note, if you want to buy something particular through a brand’s website, it’s worth making sure you have an account so you don’t lose out by having to create an account while trying to purchase something on sale.

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