Every college student has at least three things in their wallet: their debit card, driver’s license, and their student ID. At many schools, your ID card is your key to campus. You use it to get into buildings after business hours, to pay for things in the dining center or campus store, and to enter the recreation center. But there are TONS of reasons to use your student ID off campus as well, many of which also involve saving money.
Here are 14 of them:
There are so many different uses for Amazon these days it’s pretty remarkable. Stocking everything from toilet paper and granola bars to textbooks and sweatpants, Amazon is the ultimate in online convenience for college students. And they know it.
Students with a .edu email address can use their status as a student to receive a FREE Amazon Prime trial. Which will get you discounts, movies and TV shows to stream, and free 2-day shipping on TONS of items. It’s the perfect service for getting your textbooks in your hands before your first quiz without spending bookstore prices.
2. Get your gym time in
Most colleges and universities have pretty sweet rec centers. But, if you’re not a fan of the options on your campus, your student ID to get a reduced rate at the gym of your choice! Many gyms, like 24-hour fitness or golds gym, offer student discounts.
3. Stylish and professional clothes
In college, it can be tough to juggle looking good for classes and interviews, with a ramen noodle budget. Thankfully, there are quite a few people in the fashion industry who feel your pain. Use your student ID to get a discount of 15% or more at stores like J.Crew, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Ann Taylor Loft, and many more.
4. College Nights
Whether on campus or at a local business, college nights offer entertainment to students. Simply showing your ID will get you into free movie nights, bowling, and other activities. Depending on the event, college nights often have raffles or contests that can result in winning sweet prizes like spring break trips or electronics like an Xbox or new laptop.
5. Computers and Computer Software
Speaking of laptops, it’s become pretty common knowledge that college students need laptops or access to a computer in order to be successful. While all colleges offer the use of computers in their libraries, there are some that are offering each of their incoming students a laptop computer simply for being an enrolled student.
If your college doesn’t participate in this type of program, you’ll still be able to snag a ton of software for free or for a discounted price. Companies like Word, Adobe and many others offer student discounts and packages as long as you have a .edu email address or can show your ID when you purchase.
6. Cell Phone
We’re glued to our phones. They have become our main form of communication whether that means texting, emailing, snap chatting, or sharing every moment of our lives on social media. And if you’re going to college states (or minutes) away from your family, your phone is your main connection to home.
Some phone companies offer discounts on their monthly charges for students or even on the cost of a new phone. So the next time you drop your phone while trying to juggle everything and pack up your backpack, see if there are any student discounts available on a new one–that doesn’t have a shattered screen.
College is a time in your life where you have built-in vacation days. So it’s not surprising that it’s also a time in your life when you’ll have the most opportunity to travel. But not everyone can afford to fly off to warmer weather for spring break or jump across the pond to make a wish in the Trevi Fountain.
Many travel sites like STA Travel, Student Universe, and even Amtrak offer students the opportunity to take trips at a discounted price. And the discounts don’t only happen at peak travel times like spring break or over the holidays, they’re offered year-round.
Many newspapers and magazines offer students discounted subscription rates. Students in business, journalism, or political science who need to know everything going on in the world every day should look into getting the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal delivered to their doorstep for a pretty solid discount.
Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas my family goes to the movies together. We take up most of a row, snack on popcorn and Icee’s, and enjoy the upcoming Oscar winners. But other than those two times a year, it can feel WAY too expensive to go to the movies–especially with Netflix.
But, if you have your student ID on you, you can generally get a discounted rate at the movie theater. Some theaters, like Marcus Theaters, offer one or two days a week where students not only get in for $5, they also get free popcorn. Which if you ask me, is a great deal.
When you were in 5th grade, I’m willing to bet you went on a field trip to a natural history museum near you. But if that was the last time you set foot in a museum you’re missing out. Museums offer tons of entertainment through exhibits that change regularly, reenactments, and even permanent collections that you have to visit multiple times to see all of. Most museums offer a student discount of around 10%, and if it’s not advertised, simply ask!
Car insurance, health insurance, renters insurance, all of them cost money. If you’re younger than 26 you likely don’t have to deal with health insurance, but you do have to pay for the others, and they’re not cheap. So see if you can get a discount on your monthly rate for being a student.
12. Textbooks…Or Reading For Fun!
This may sound like a no brainer, but you can get some serious discounts on books as a student. For textbooks, sites like Amazon, Chegg, and Half offer massive discounts, rental options, and buyback.
If you enjoy having something other than a textbook to read, your student ID will also help you get discounts at local stores and national chains like Barnes and Noble.
Two years ago I gave up my cable package in favor of a combination of Netflix, Hulu, and other subscription services. It’s helped me to save money and–with the exception of serious binge sessions–watch less TV. But I also subscribe to Spotify which offers a 50% discount to students so that I can listen to hours of music while I’m working without the interruption of annoying ads.
There are tons of subscription services out there covering everything from music and TV to makeup and shower gel. Many of these services offer a lower rate to students.
14. Caffeine Fix
Caffeine is the best friend of many college students. It’s there with you during your all-nighters, its there when you wake up in the morning, it’s there when you need a mid-day pick me up. But, a healthy caffeine habit can be seriously unhealthy on your bank account. So many coffee shops offer a 10% discount to students, which means studying at a coffee shop is an extra nice change of pace from the library.
It never hurts to ask
And don’t forget, there are tons of times that your student ID will get you a discount even if it isn’t advertised. I frequented a couple of restaurants that offered student discounts for my first couple of years of college before I thought to ask if they offered a discount. Had I thought to ask earlier it would have saved me more money than I would like to think of. So, it never hurts to ask. After all, the worst they can say is “no”.