Your guide to all popular UK student discount cards

Your guide to all popular UK student discount cards

Find out how to apply for a student discount card, from NUS Extra to ISIC, and make great savings on some of your favourite things whilst you study!

As you know, being a student is an exciting time in your life.

From making new friends and creating lasting memories, to studying towards a degree that will unlock your future career. It’s all an essential part of the student experience.

Equally as essential is being able to make huge savings on some of your favourite things – just because you’re at university!

Whether it’s eating out in restaurants, ordering on your favourite online stores, or even when buying cinema tickets, as a student you can unlock a world of discounts and offers just by owning one of a number of student discount cards.

Below we list all the main ones you need to know, what they entitle you to, and, most importantly, how you can get hold of them:

Name: University/Student Card

Cost: Free

How to apply for a University/Student Card: This is the card you get once you enrol at your university, containing your name, photo and student number ─ so you don’t have to do anything!

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It’s important that you keep your card in your purse or wallet for when you’re out and about. When you walk into a shop, fast food restaurant, cinema etc. and ask if they offer student discount, this will be the card you need to show.

What’s more, it’s likely that any local, independent shops in your city that offer student discount will also ask you to show your card to receive your savings.

Who offers University/Student Card discount?

Being a student and having your university card entitles you to discounts at many popular UK high street shops, stores and brands. These include:

  • McDonalds – free cheeseburger, hamburger or McFlurry with any large value meal purchased
  • Vue/ODEON/Cineworld/AMC cinemas – student ticket prices
  • 16-25 Railcard – use your card to get a railcard that will save you a third on UK rail fares


Name: NUS Extra

Cost: £12 per year

How to apply for a NUS Extra Card: Undoubtedly the biggest student card in the UK, it’s really easy to get your hands on one of these. Simply go to the NUS Extra website and follow the instructions to place your order online.

While it does cost £12 for 12 months, it really is worth it. You’ll quickly make your money back thanks to some of the amazing savings you can make on just about anything! To find out exactly how much, use this handy NUS Extra potential savings calculator.

Who offers NUS Extra student discount?

A selection of some of the best offers for cardholders at the time of writing include:

  • 20% off at Pizza Hut delivery and restaurants
  • 25% off student ticket prices at ODEON Cinemas
  • 50% off Spotify Premium packages

And many more!

Name: International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

Cost: £12

How to apply for an ISIC: This one is ideal if you plan on spending your whole year abroad studying outside of the UK. The ISIC unlocks offers and promotions for students in over 129 countries around the world.

Simply go to the ISIC website where not only will you be able to buy your card online, but also select any city in the world and watch a drop down list of amazing offers for students in that location!

You can also order a ISIC when buying an NUS Extra Card for an additional £2.99 a year, allowing you to have the power to save both when you’re in the UK and when you’re overseas.

Who offers ISIC student discount?

Use the website to find the offers for the city that you’re in. Examples include:

  • Teatro Quiriro: 20% off theatre shows in Rome
  • La Cle’ du Barbier: 15% off at this Paris hairdresser
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood: Over 15% off for ISIC holders in Los Angeles

Name: UNiDAYs

Cost: Free

How to apply for UNiDAYs offers: The difference with UNiDAYs is that you don’t need a card for your wallet – it’s all online. Simply go the website, sign up, download the app and let the offers come directly to your phone!

Who offers UNiDAYs student discount?

Some of the best UNiDAYs promotions at the time of writing include:

  • Up to 10% off at Apple
  • 10% off at TopShop
  • 10% off at Waterstones

And many more!

Name: StudentBeans

Cost: Free

How to apply for StudentBeans offers: Just like UNiDAYs, StudentBeans works by simply going to the website and signing up with your email address or social media profiles. All you have to do is browse the site, or let the latest offers arrive directly in your inbox!

Who offers StudentBeans discount?

StudentBeans features all the very best high street brands and online stores. At the time of writing, a selection of the best offers include:

  • £20 student tickets for Alton Towers Resort
  • Up to 50% discount at Ticketmaster
  • 50% discount on Amazon Student


Name: Vita Student VIP Card

Cost: Free to all Vita Student residents

How to apply for a VIP Card: No need to apply, you’ll receive your VIP Card when you move into your new Vita Student apartment.

Use your VIP Card to access some exclusive promotions and savings at stores and brands across your city – just for living at Vita Student!

Who offers VIP Card discount?

All offers and incentives vary from one Vita Student city to another. However, offers can include:

  • Kenjo’s Laundry Exeter: 20% off total bill
  • Leo’s Turkish Barber Glasgow: 10% off haircuts and wet shaves
  • Pizza Express Manchester: 20% off food bill
  • Krispy Kreme Liverpool: 20% off in-store
  • Tiger Tiger Newcastle: 50% off food bill and 2-4-1 drinks
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