student cards
If there's ever a time to save money, it's in the midst of a pandemic. Let these student cards help. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

Everyone loves a good discount, especially when you’re stretching every dollar abroad. On top of tuition and rent, you have living and leisure expenses to cover. New gadgets don’t come cheap, either. That’s why student cards are a godsend for the average student abroad.

As 2020 throws us one curveball after another, know that good still exists out there. Here’s a list of student cards you can still use throughout a quarantine or lockdown.

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

ISIC is good for student discounts all around the world, including deals on entertainment, food, clothes and travel. From The Economist subscription discounts to benefits from Apple and Western Digital, you will have the best student deals in 130 countries at your fingertips.

It’s valid for one year from the date of issue. While the cost varies, it starts at US$20. According to the website, you’re eligible for a card if:

  • You are a full-time student at a school, college or university
  • You are at least 12 years old
  • You’re enrolled for the current academic year at an accredited institution and matriculating towards a diploma or degree.


Also known as the NUS Extra Card, TOTUM is the official student card in the UK. You can use it to access coupons, vouchers, and discounts worth up to 500 pounds a year across a variety of products and services. Latest offers include discounts on laptops, fitness packages, and class supplies.

Freshers, you can now get a three-year membership for just 25 pounds. Download the app to make the most of your subscription. Oh, and here’s a bonus: the card comes with a free, one-year subscription for ISIC, which entitles you to thousands of international discounts in addition to the hundreds available in the UK. Sign up here.


UNiDAYS is a free student discount card that enables students (sixth form, college and university) to enjoy discounts on clothes, skincare, technology, food, health and fitness. Fun fact: it’s also valid in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Ireland, Germany, and Denmark.

Depending on the store, you can enjoy discounts starting from 10% on brands such as Urban Outfitters, Nike, Reebok, Burger King, and more. Right now, you can get a 20% discount at H&M or 15% off on a Lenovo laptop. If you’re aged 16 and up, you may qualify for UNiDAYS. Sign up here.

16-25 Railcard

If the train is your main mode of transportation, then this one’s for you. For 30 pounds per year, anyone between the ages of 16 and 25 can get 1/3 off rail fares to travel across Britain. “Your 16-25 Railcard gets you 1/3 off Standard Anytime and Off-Peak fares, as well as Standard Advance and First Class Advance fares. And because there’s no limit to the number of times you can use your Railcard, the potential for adventure is huge,” notes the website.

Alternatively, you can get a three-year Railcard, which costs just 70 pounds, saving you 20 pounds on the price of three one-year Railcards. You can purchase the card online, at a station or via phone. Check your eligibility here.

18+ Student Oyster photocard

Are you at least 18 years old and living in a London borough during term-time? Then you may be eligible for the 18+ Student Oyster card. It offers 30% off adult-rate travelcards and bus and tram pass season tickets, for an upfront cost of 20 pounds (administration fee). The card will expire when your course ends. For more details on your eligibility, click here.

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