As a new school year resumes, many students are trying to find any possible way of saving some extra dough. Many do not realize that they are carrying the tool to savings right in their wallet; their student ID.
Sometimes, merchants will require a student identification card or, in the case of college students making purchases online, an .edu e-mail address. Trouble is, merchants don’t always make known their student discounts.
Three of the biggest categories for student savings seem to be computers, clothing and food.
One caution for students, especially with online purchases, search the internet for coupon codes, sales and other deals that might offer greater savings than the standard student discount.
Computers and tech gear.
Apple Inc. offers discounts to college students, teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade, administrators and staff members. During back-to-school buying it recommends a bonus for buying a Mac computer.
This year, it’s a $100 card to use for buying extra Apple products. In previous years, it has included an iPod.
Microsoft Corp. offers an attractive deal for students this year. College and high school students who buy a Windows 7 PC for $699 or more will get a free Xbox 360 gaming console.
AcademicSuperstore.com offers a assortment of discounted software and other gear with discounts for students. For example, Microsoft Office Professional 2010, which can sell for $500, is accessible to students who qualify for as low as about $80. JourneyEd.com is similar.
Free shipping. Amazon offers college students a free six-month membership to Amazon Prime, its membership program that provides free two-day shipping of Amazon goods. It also offers exclusive discounts in a variety of categories.
Event and venue tickets.
Movie theaters, museums and some sporting events often have student rates that slash the ticket price.
For instance, select AMC Theaters offers discounts to students on Thursdays.
And various Regal Cinemas locations offer student discounts as well.
As a rule, if you’re reaching for your wallet at a ticket window, reach for your student ID too.
A number of websites offer student travel deals. STA Travel (statravel.com) offers an International Student Identity Card for $22.
With the card, full-time students ages 12 to 26 can buy discounted plane tickets and get a year’s worth of basic travel insurance, as well as discounts in stores, hotels, train stations and museums worldwide.
StudentUniverse.com offers deals for no charge.
Many students might be surprised that many chain restaurants offer students discounts.
They include 10 percent off at McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Arby’s and Waffle House, according to GiftCardGranny.com. Papa John’s, Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza restaurants might offer discounts that vary by location.
Student discounts at clothing retailers are common, but waiting for a sale might reap bigger savings, Wilson said. Examples of stores that have student discounts are Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, J. Crew and The Limited. Discounts of 15 or 20 percent are common.
Some auto insurance companies will provide a 20 percent discount on policies that include single students younger than 25, says Bankrate.com. Some require students to maintain a “B” average.
A resulting tip is for parents who have college students on their auto insurance, but the child is attending school 100 miles or more away.
Contact your insurance company for a possible discount, says the Insurance Information Institute.
There of course are too many student discounts to list, but check student pricing for buying General Motors vehicles, wireless service from the big four cellphone carriers, membership at Sam’s Club and subscriptions to some newspapers.