September 22, 2018

Study in London? There’s a card for that

The attainment of student status brings with it many things, but one of the biggest perks, alongside a degree of course, is the range of discounts that are available to you. From travel to the food shop, there is a student card for that and many of them are free!

Particularly for those who are studying in London there are now hundreds of discount cards available for students to ease their life in higher education and the bank balance. So sit back and relax as we list the best of the cards you should be applying for right now.

Travel

Travel, both internationally and nationally, can get expensive but as a student there are plenty of great cards supplying cost-effective offers to get you jet setting in no time. While an NUS card can get you discounts on numerous travel options, from gap year experiences with Gap360 to train tickets home with Cross Country Trains, there are still numerous other cards that are worth signing up for.

The International Student Identity Card is the only student identification card that is recognised globally. It is available for just £12 from STA Travel and offers 40,000 discounts worldwide across museums, hotels, restaurants and activities, as well as some great discounts with the travel operator STA Travel themselves.

For discounts a bit closer to home you can’t go far wrong with the Student Oyster card. This one is specifically for students above the age of 18 in London and offers 30 percent off of travel on the London Underground – perfect if you’re always running around between lectures.

A bit further afield there is the student railcard, which offers a third off rail travel for those aged between 16 and 25. The student railcard from National Rail is priced at just £30 and could easily make its money back if you are regularly travelling by train to visit friends and family; it also comes with some other great deals, including two for one entry into London attractions.

If you opt for the coach rather than the train then the National Express Young Persons Coachcard is the card for you. Like the student railcard you can save a third off of coach fares as a student between the ages of 16 and 26 and – considering it costs just £10 for the year – it is a worthy investment for those looking to get out of the city.

Shopping

Shopping
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Shopping can seem like a luxury as a student when funds run low between loan dates and pay days, but retailers know this and that is why thousands of them have partnered up with student card schemes to offer discounts galore. While the Boots Advantage Card is not strictly speaking a student card, it is still one you should add to your list. With the card offering four points per pound spent in store, you could soon be on your way to making great savings on all of your toiletries in no time.

The UCAS Card, much like the NUS card, offers hundreds of savings across numerous retailers; this includes River Island, Ted Baker, New Look and many more. What makes this card different is that it provides great information and advice, in addition to all these great offers, from organisations such as the Money Advice Service and Beat Bullying.

Food

While new clothes may be a bit of a luxury to those who take their accounting degree seriously, one thing you can’t skimp on is food; luckily, there are such cards as the Bite card to hand. This one works in great partnership with your railcard as it offers 20 percent off of loads of UK rail station brands including Burger King and Millie’s Cookies, so it’s great when picking up a snack on journeys.

Like the Boots card, supermarkets offer some great loyalty cards to take advantage of, including the Asda Student Shopper Card, the Tesco Clubcard and the Sainsbury’s Nectar Card.

Additionally, The Co-operative has recently teamed up with the NUS card to offer student card holders 10 percent off of their food shop – which is great if you have one near you!

Cover all bases with an NUS card

As you may have already gathered through this guide, the original is still the best. The NUS card offers discounts across all of these areas and more. For shopping, hundreds of clothes retailers including Amazon have partnered up with it, whilst Rymans and Staples even offer discounts on stationary essentials. Keeping students well fed, they offer discounts and extras across fast food chains, which includes free McFlurries or cheeseburgers at McDonald’s as well as money off bills at Prezzo, Ask, Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Pizza Express – now that’s a lot of pizza, even for a student!

Travel-wise, there’re some great savings to be had, including 11 percent off the price of National Rail’s student railcard and there’s event 5 percent off holidays to be had with EasyJet, among other travel companies. London events management course students can blag days out as experience and save too with the NUS card offering savings on laser tag and fancy dress! They can even look smart with 40 percent off haircuts at Nicky Clarke, whilst half price driving lessons with the AA and BSM are also available.

These are just a few of the great discounts available with an NUS card, so to find out more download the NUS card Student Discount App.

Know of any other top student discount cards that haven’t been mentioned here? Share them on the GSM London Facebook page.

Image Credit: Annie Mole (flickr.com)

Image Credit: Vaula vitally (shutterstock.com)

This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.

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