Students: Use Your ID to Save Big Money
College students across the country are burdened with record debt levels costs rising greater than the inflation rate.
Despite the financial and unemployment problems college students face, they have a hidden coupon in their wallets: the student identification card.
Showing your student ID card to various retailers and attractions will result in a wide range of savings, from 10%-80% off – no questions asked.
But some retailers don’t like to spread the word about their student discounts, which means if you’re not sure, ask the store’s salesperson if one is offered.
And don’t think these discounts only apply to the brick and mortar stores: “If you are shopping online, chat with a live customer service rep to find out if any student discounts are available,” Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert with Kinoli Inc. tells MainStreet.
We compiled some of the best discounts at 30 well-known retailers and attractions, where getting a student discount is as easy as presenting your ID card.
Photo Credit: jimmyharris
Studying abroad in Europe? Chances are you’re going to want to travel to other countries and the EuRail will make this possible – especially with its 35% student discount.
If you ride CoachUSA to take to and from college during weekends or spring break, they’ll offer a 15% student discount (we did the math!).
Photo Credit: jpmueller99
Need a new computer? Students can save up to $200 on an Apple MacBook Pro – visit this link on Apple’s website to select your school. Students will also save $50 on a MacBook Air for the iMac a savings of up to $100 applies. This is from Apple’s Education Pricing program.
As for Dell, students will receive a $25 eGift card when they purchase one of these laptops.
Even Sony offers 10% off various electronics, including digital cameras.
During the heart of the back to school season (July and August), computer manufacturers tend to put forth even more student discounts, so be on the lookout then.
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Most campus gyms are free – but for night owls who crave a 2 a.m. workout, joining a gym that is open around the clock will give you more flexibility.
24 Hour Fitness offers student discounts that are different for each location, but the initiation fee is waived.
If you’re trying to join a local gym, it’s always worth it to ask if they’ll lower your membership fees because you are a student.
Photo Credit: Mimar Sinan
Tired of eating noodles and pizza every night? Fast-food restaurants Subway, McDonald’s and Burger King offer a 10% discount for students – at select locations. That’s why you have to ask to see if the location near you is offering the discount.
Since these restaurants are franchises, each store operator typically has the discretion to participate in the student discount promotion.
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Who said you can’t go to the movies during the week? According to the website of movie theater chain AMC, students who head to the movies on Thursdays will receive a “lower ticket price.”
If there is a Cinemark theater near campus, a student discount will also be offered at locations in these cities.
Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass
Spending a rainy afternoon at a museum doesn’t mean you have to empty out your wallet thanks to the student discounts offered at major museums, such as:
• Museum of Modern Art, New York City ($14 for students, instead of the usual $25)• American Museum of Natural History, New York City ($14.50 instead of $19)• Los Angeles County Museum of Art ($5 savings)• Science Museum of Minnesota • Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania ($2 student discount)
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Doing well in school does more than raise your GPA. When it comes to insurance, high grades will also save you money.
Allstate offers a 20% student discount with good grades and Geico will throw a discount to students who have at least a B average.
State Farm and Farmers also have discount programs, depending on your location.
Photo Credit: theKCB
Other Discounts Worth Mentioning
Is there a Sam’s Club near your campus? Join Sam’s Club and once you show your student ID, you’ll instantly receive a $15 gift card. Not bad!
If some of your classes require the use of Adobe software, take advantage of their 80% student discount.
Amazon.com is offering students a 6-month free subscription to Amazon Prime, which includes free-two day shipping on various products.
And one final tip from Woroch: “Don't buy something just because you are getting a discount, which is often times alluring. Really consider if you need the item before buying.”
Photo Credit: Walmart Stores
Scott Gamm is the founder of the personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, MSNBC and CNN. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter.