Benefits Of UK Student ID Card

Unlocking the benefits of students ID card in the UK: A comprehensive overview 

Welcome back to our blog, folks. I hope you have read our previous blog about the cultural adjustments that Indian students in the UK come across.  

Now you will have a clear idea of what to expect if you come to the UK for your studies. 

And finally, you have landed at your dream destination. Soon you will get your BRP card and student ID card in the UK and start your university classes. Then you will have a sigh of relief as things start falling into place.   

But wait! Your journey has just begun!  

You know that the cost of living is relatively higher in the UK. You may consider getting a part-time job to cover part of your expenses. Well, that’s good to work hard. However, you have to think wise too.   

Do you know that as a student, you have some extra privileges that others don’t have?  

Yes!! You are reading it correctly! Your student ID card in the UK will serve you many purposes. Let us see what advantages you have with your student ID card in the UK. 

About the student ID card in the UK: 

After you enrol, your UK educational institution will issue an ID card. It will be given both in digital and physical plastic format. It will serve as proof of your studentship with the institution. Each educational institution has a unique student ID card format in the UK. But all of them will have almost the same kind of details about the student as follows: 

  • University Name  
  • Student name  
  • University ID/roll number  
  • Date of Birth  
  • Country of Origin  
  • Course name  
  • Course duration  
  • Campus name  
  • Student’s present UK address  
  • Student’s photograph 

How to get your student ID card in the UK? 

Once you get admission and complete your enrolment process, your educational institution will automatically provide you with the ID card. You may need to complete an online application and submit the documents below to get your student ID card in the UK. 

  • Birth Certificate or Passport  
  • BRP card  
  • UK address where you will stay during your studies  
  • Photograph 

You can collect your ID card at the university, or it may be delivered to your UK address by post as per your wish. 

Need for a student ID card in the UK: 

Student ID card in the UK is an essential tool to identify and authenticate thousands of students. Educational institutions need an ID card system for students for many purposes that, include the following: 

  • Differentiate between staff and students  
  • Provide access control to specific areas of the campus  
  • Track the student’s attendance  
  • Maintain the academic history of the student  
  • Encourage cashless payments within the campus  
  • Confirm student’s identity during exams  
  • Improve organisation inside the university campus 

Similarly, below are some advantages students have for using an ID card :

  • Using it as ID proof outside the institution  
  • Accessing the university facilities  
  • Using books from the university library  
  • Getting discounts outside the university from shops, restaurants, etc.  
  • Use the online learning facilities from home  
  • Using for some essential purchases to save money 

Unlocking the benefits of students ID card in the UK: A comprehensive overview

Save Money with the student ID card in the UK: 

Being a student in an economically well-developed country like the UK comes with high expenses. You worry about each penny that you spend. You may wait for discounts from your favourite shops to purchase desired things.   

In addition to the student ID card issued by your university, many student ID card in the UK can be used to avail discounts on food, travel, accommodation, shopping and so on. Let us see some of the beneficial student ID card in the UK. 


1. University ID Card

  • As we have seen earlier, this is the free student ID card in the UK that is issued once you join the university.   
  • It is a free card mainly used inside the university campus and to join the student union.  
  • You need the university ID card to enter and access all the facilities inside the university.  
  • In addition, you can use this as a discount card in most of the stores and shops in the UK.  
  • Its validity is based on the duration of your course.  
  • It is accepted only within the UK. 

2. ISIC Card: 

  • International Student ID Card (ISIC) is an internationally recognised student ID card in the UK. It is accepted in more than 130 countries in the world.  
  • After reaching your host country, you can apply for an ISIC card through its website. It can be collected from any of the issuing outlets.   
  • This card can be applied for by full-time students aged 12 or above.  
  • The cost of an ISIC card may vary from £12 to £15, based on the type of card you are applying for, whether a digital or a physical plastic card.  
  • This card is generally valid for sixteen months. You can extend its validity for four years based on your academic duration.  
  • It allows worldwide access to more than 150,000 discounts for students. 

3. NUS Card: 

NUS cards are run by the National Union of Students, which aims to help students in the UK to live a more effortless and cheaper life.  

NUS cards are available and operated only in the UK. It cannot be used in any other country.  

You can apply for an NUS card through the NUS website. You will be asked to provide the below details for registration: 

  • Name  
  • Date of Birth  
  • Email-ID  
  • University Name  
  • Course details  
  • UK Residential address  
  • Your photograph 
  • The NUS card costs vary from £13 to £32 based on how many years the card is valid.  
  • You can use this student ID card in the UK to get a discount on food, travel, entertainment and many more.  
  • Also, you can apply for tax exemption or a student TV license using this card.  
  • The NUS website provides complete details about the latest offers available in major high-street stores in the UK.  
  • With the latest NUS Extra card option, students can save up to an average of £500 a year.   

4. Totum Card: 

Totum is the new name for the National Union of the Students (NUS) Extra Card and is considered the number one discount card in the UK for students.  

  • This student ID card in the UK can be used as proof of age ID.  
  • Totum cards can be used anywhere in the UK to get more than 350 discounts on small and big brands.  
  • If you get a Totum Card, you will get the ISIC card (International Student ID Card) free with one-year validity.  
  • By creating an account, you can apply for a Totum card through the Totum website.  
  • You may be asked to provide your university and course details.  
  • Totum digital membership can be applied for free. But it will provide limited discounts.  
  • You can get physical plastic cards with one year or three years of validity. The cards will cost £15 and £25 respectively.  
  • Totum card’s paid membership gives you a free Tastecard. It has a dining loyalty scheme and offers discounts on food at restaurants and theatres. 

5. UniDays Card: 

UniDays card is one of the other famous student ID card in the UK for discounts.  

  • UniDays is available to students studying in Sixth form, college or university.  
  • It operates in more than 114 countries worldwide, including Canada, the USA, Australia, Japan, China, etc.  
  • This app verifies your student status and provides offers both online and in-store. 
  • The UniDays app is free to join and use if your age is over 16 years. No plastic cards are issued for using UniDays service.  
  • A profile should be created on the UniDays website using your academic email ID, which can be used at the stores to get discounts.  
  • This email ID is needed along with your university name to confirm your student status.  
  • UniDays will give 10% to 50% offers depending on the store/website for food, clothing and technology. 

6. Railcard: 

If you primarily use the train for transportation in the UK, you can use 16-25 Railcards and get one-third of your fare off on train travel.  

  • You must be between 16 and 25 to get the 16-25 Railcards. 
  • If you are 16 or 17 years, you will get a 50% discount on train fares.  
  • The Railcard saves money on your travel and at hotels and restaurants.  
  • You can get the Railcards at any of the staffed station ticket offices or from a National Rail licensed Travel agent near you.  
  • It will be straightforward if you apply online. You will get your card approved in 5 working days.  
  • You will have the option to get either a digital or physical Railcard. Below documents are needed to get this type of student ID card in the UK: 
  • Your photograph  
  • Passport  
  • NUS Card or University ID card  
  • Railcard application form completed by your educational institution 
  • Students doing a part-time or distance learning course and studying in an Open University are not eligible to apply for the Railcards.  
  • You need to download the Railcard app to start using your digital card. If you apply for a physical card, it will be sent to your UK address by post within five working days.  
  • You can get Railcards valid for up to 1 year or three years. It will cost £30 and £70 respectively.  
  • University students are eligible only for the 1-year Railcard as they must prove their student status yearly. 

7. Student Oyster Card: 

For students 18 or older living in the London Borough, discounted travel is available using the Oyster photocard.  

  • If your university/college is outside Greater London, you can still apply for this student ID card if you live in the London Borough.  
  • Your educational institution should have registered for this on the 18+ Student Oyster Card scheme.  
  • Sometimes, you can apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster Card if you are less than 18 years old.  

You can apply for this card online after your enrolment in a UK university. Below are the documents needed to apply: 

  • Email ID – personal/university issued  
  • Student ID issued by your university  
  • Address proof for your London residence  
  • Photograph  
  • Passport 
  • This card helps the students to save 30% on their travel cards and bus & tram pass tickets.  
  • You can even add money to the Oyster Card or use it to pay train fares contactless.   
  • If you rarely travel, you can use the pay-as-you-go option instead of buying paper tickets at the station.  
  • Sometimes, only the contactless method is accepted for pay-as-you-go, and Oyster cards may not be accepted. (Example: Elizabeth Line Services between Iver and Reading)  
  • This card costs £20, and its validity depends on your course duration. It can be valid for a maximum of three years. 

8. Student Beans: 

Student Beans is a discount student ID card in the UK similar to the UniDays discount card, which is available to students over 16 years of age.  

You can sign into the Student Beans website and can easily apply for it without any registration fee. You will need the following: 

  • Student Email ID issued by the university  
  • Student ID card in the UK provided by the university 
  • Transcripts or Acceptance letters from the university 
  • Student Beans provide offers through online discount cards, web-based offers and mobile apps for purchasing in stores.  
  • As it has partnered with more than 500 brands, Student Beans offers students a great deal of discounts.  
  • You can get offers at more than 10,000 stores in the UK, both online and on high-street outlets.  
  • You can utilize this card to enjoy offers in various categories like food, health, beauty, tech, fashion, etc. 

List of benefits you get: 

If you are going out for a movie with your friends or buying any books or gadgets related to your studies, check whether you can get a student discount. Sometimes, you may get up to a 40% student discount, saving more money.  

Both online and in shops, let us see where you can get discounts for your student ID card in the UK. 

  • Clothing shops like Adidas, Nike, Asos, etc. provide discounts in their outlet shops and on their websites.  
  • Fashion – Students get offers at fashion retailers as well. Some are, Coast, New Look, etc.  
  • Restaurants, bars, cafés and nightclubs - Domino’s, Uber Eats and Pizza Hut are a few.  
  • Music subscriptions from Apple Music, Spotify, etc., give discounted monthly/yearly subscriptions.  
  • Magazines – Some finance magazines like FT and Economist give discounts on student ID card in the UK.  
  • Beauty – Get offers for beauty products from Sally’s Beauty, Superdrug, etc.  
  • Entertainment – Discounts are provided for the students at theme parks and other tourist places like Alton Towers, London Eye, Go Ape, etc., in the UK.  
  • Supermarkets – Students can get discounts on their groceries at Co-op,, etc.  
  • Theatre – Booking websites and theatres provide offers based on the student’s age. Some are the National Theater, the Royal Shakespeare Company, etc.  
  • Gyms, Fitness and well-being clubs – If you are a fitness freak, avail student memberships using the good deals provided by the Gym Group, Nuffield Health, etc.  
  • Books – Using student voucher codes or ID cards, you can get new or secondhand books at an offer price from shops like World of Books, Foyles, etc.   
  • Laptop, software or other technical stuff – Adobe Cloud Services, MS Office, HP, and Apple products help the students to save money by providing offers.  
  • Transport by bus, tram or train - Travel companies like National Express provide travel discounts for students 
  • Freebies – Students can get a few things for free if they buy anything or simply with their ID cards. Amazon Prime, MS Office, McDonald’s, etc., provide specific freebies based on student ID card in the UK. 

Important points to note: 

Below are some of the details that you should know about your student discount cards in the UK: 

  • You can apply for a student discount card if you are a full-time or part-time student.  
  • Most cards require the students to attend courses of more than 3-month duration.   
  • The weekly study hours the student attends should be a minimum of 15.  
  • You may be asked to provide your university-issued student ID card in the UK when you apply for the above discount cards.  
  • International students may be asked to produce their visa/BRP and university student ID card in the UK to get the discount cards.  
  • You should be at least 16 years of age to use the discount cards. Students from the age of 12 can use some cards.  
  • Any student ID card in the UK can cost you around £10 to £30. Some cards can be applied for free.  
  • You may be asked to install apps and update your profile to use some of these cards to get discounts.  
  • The validity of the student discount cards depends on the duration of your course. A few cards may be valid for one year only.  
  • The student ID card in the UK issued by any licensed educational institution can be used as ID proof in some cases.  
  • However, accepting the student ID card or any other discount card as ID proof depends on the issuing person and usage purpose.  
  • It will not be accepted as ID proof for international students in all scenarios.  
  • If the ID cards are lost or stolen, you should report them to the university/police and can apply for a new card.   
  • Applying for a new card can cost you extra money in such cases. 

In conclusion, student ID card in the UK is an essential part of the organisational structure of the college/university. Even if you are a local or international student, you must be aware of all types of student ID card in the UK. It is essential to obtain student discount cards to save money in one of the most expensive countries in the world. I hope you have a clear idea of what kind of student ID card in the UK is accepted for ID proof, discounts, etc. If you want more information about the type of discount cards available to the students, contact Team Dolphin. 


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