Student Discounts That Can Save You Thousands

Going to university is typically quite expensive. Today’s costs are high enough that many post-secondary students are unable to complete their schooling without incurring some student debt. Fortunately, there are many student discounts that do not require more than a student card, student number, or a timetable.

Student Discounts on Home Internet Services

For better or for worse, the internet is a big part of our lives, perhaps even a necessity. However, with basic internet plans starting around $70 or $80 per month, prices are high enough to make university students think twice about whether it’s worth it and affordable. Fortunately, Canadian internet providers typically offer student internet plans at a significant discount. Most student internet plans seem to be priced between $30 to $40 per month, roughly half the standard rate of basic internet plans. There is a significant opportunity for savings by signing up for student internet plans instead of the regular internet plans available to all other customers.

Most student internet plans seem to be priced between $30 to $40 per month, roughly half the standard rate of basic internet plans.

I’ve found that sometimes these student plans are not widely advertised and sometimes they are not at all. I’ve also found that they usually seem to be offered at the beginning of the Fall Semester in August, September, and early October.  In my experience, I’ve been most successful phoning the internet service providers in my area (in my case, Telus and Shaw) to ask about the details of the student internet plan currently offered. It’s never the fastest speed (nor the slowest) and does not have massive amounts of bandwidth, but I have always found the student plans to be more than sufficient. The internet provider will ask for my student information (typically the university I’m attending and my student id number), and I’m able to save roughly $400 per year.

Monthly Banking Fees

Saving money on banking services is the other thing that every university student should make sure they’re doing throughout their entire degree. The majority of Canadians have a bank account with one of the big 5 banks (Scotiabank, TD, RBC, BMO and CIBC).  It’s literally impossible to survive without a bank account. But for this service, the big 5 typical charge somewhere between $12 and $16 per month for a standard chequing account and savings account. However, all the big banks offer a student banking plan. And, students don’t need to be paying these monthly fees as long as they annually give their bank information confirming that they’re students qualifying them for student banking plans. These student banking plans offer at least 25 debit transactions (some offer unlimited debit transactions) and no minimum balance with no monthly account fees. Student banking plans can easily save you $150 in monthly account fees over the course of a year.

Student banking plans can easily save you $150 in monthly account fees over the course of a year.

There are also alternative banking options to the big 5. Credit unions and internet banks offer chequing accounts without monthly account fees to all their clients.  They make for great alternatives for students as well as university graduates who no longer qualify for free banking and who are unwilling to pay monthly account fees.  You can read about the benefits and limitations of internet banks, as well as a review of Tangerine.

Insurance

Canadians spend thousands of dollars on insurance premiums every year. We will pay premiums on tenant, house and vehicle insurance to protect our assets, investments, and liability from uncertainty. There are things you can do to lower your premiums, such as having an anti-theft or security system, but did you know that being a student can make you eligible for lower premiums through group insurance programs? The best part is that you can benefit from group insurance programs past your university graduation through alumni associations.  One provider that I am aware of is TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, who offers discounts on insurance policies to alumni of numerous Canadian universities.

Apple Education Pricing

Apple Canada offers special discounts online as well as in Apple Stores in-store to university students and their parents, to teachers and educators of any K-12 private or public schools (including homeschool teachers) and to faculty and staff at postsecondary institutions.  Discounts are offered on computers, iPads, and software.  (Click here for the fine print on Apple’s Education Discount).

Based off of the listed prices in Summer 2018, MacBooks and MacBook Airs are available for $70 off, while you can save $30 on iPad Pros.  If you were looking at the base model MacBook Air with a standard retail price of $1,199, the education price of $1,129 works out to be a 5.8% discount.  Discounts are generally about 5% which doesn’t sound like a lot – but you are almost never able to beat Apple Education prices on current models.

Student Price Card

The Student Price Card (SPC) is a loyalty program that has partnered over 120 businesses, services, restaurants and retailers to bring discounts to eligible students.  All students are eligible (not just university students) to be SPC cardholders.  Whether you’re an elementary or university student, studying at public or private academies, or even language schools, you qualify.

The Student Price Card (SPC) is a loyalty program that has partnered over 120 businesses, services, restaurants and retailers to bring discounts to eligible students.

SPC cards are available to be purchased for $10 online, or in-store with participating retailers.  Some schools and campus bookstores also have the SPC card available – there is a complete list of schools that offer the SPC, but there is a stronger presence in the West.  If you want the SPC for free, you can open up a student banking account at BMO and/or apply for a no annual fee BMO SPC MasterCard.  There is a cashback and an Air Miles version, both of which double as your Mastercard and as your SPC card (just make sure that you tell the teller that you have a SPC card before you pay).

The best feature of the SPC card is the number of places that you can get a discount.  It’s also one of the biggest challenges, there are too many partners to list.  SPC’s solution is their iOS and Android app, which you can download to see the full list.  Some discounts are offered only in-store, or only online, and others are offered both.  Other discounts are available nationwide while others are only available in individual provinces.  Most of the discounts that are offered are 10-15% off, though there are some retailers that offer 20% (i.e. Lindt Chocolate).  SPC provides discounts at fashion partners (Roots, Urban Planet, Dynamite), travel services (VRBO, Hotels.com, Flight Centre, Contiki), restaurants (Milestones), coffee (Keurig, Blenz, Pizza 73 Applebee’s, Montana’s, Boston Pizza), automotive (Midas), electronics (Microsoft, Samsung, The Source), and activities (Escape Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Splatters Paintball, True North Climbing).  As long as you don’t forget to show your SPC card and don’t end up spending more than you would without it, the SPC card offers massive opportunities for students to save.

Most of the discounts that are offered are 10-15% off.  The SPC card offers massive opportunities for students to save.

Memberships and Admissions

It can save you money just by carrying your student ID card everywhere. Whether it’s student admissions to attractions like museums and zoos or student fares for Greyhound buses or train tickets, having a Student ID card can save you money! Keep your student card in your wallet and keep your eyes out for student pricing. There are some retail stores that do not advertise the student discounts they offer. For example, the signage is never prominent at Banana Republic, but students (and teachers) can get an extra 10% off everything with a student ID card (or teacher’s certification card).

Do you know of or use any other student discounts I’ve missed? Please comment below!

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