A Student Discount Card (Student Advantage):
It’s been several years since I was living in a dorm room and studying for exams. I remember my college days fondly, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I would’ve been even happier if Student Advantage cards had been available back then.
Here’s how it works:
- If you qualify for a Student Advantage card (you need be an enrolled college student or an employee/faculty member of a qualified institution of higher learning), you can pay $20 to get a discount card. You can sign up for a multi-year card at a cheaper per year rate.
- You can present that card any of the participating retailers and service providers who recognize the card in order to secure discounts on purchases.
That’s not very complicated is it?
Is it a Good Deal?
The simple way the card and the arrangement works makes it pretty easy to figure out if spending $20 for an account is worthwhile.
If you can save more than $20, you’re doing well for yourself.
If you’re saving less than $20 over the course of the year on purchases you’d be making otherwise, it’s not a good deal.
So, will you save more than $20 by buying a card?
In fact, many people will save much, much, much (please note: I only use “much” three times in a row when I really mean it) more tha twenty bucks.
There are two reasons for that. Lets look at them individually.
The Student Advantage Card has a Great Lineup!
First, Student Advantage is aligned with a seriously impressive list of retailers. Their main web page shows a handful of the “big boys,” but if you dig deeper and uncover the full list of participating partners, you’ll find deals ranging from discounts on underwear to rebates on office supplies.
And these aren’t “oh, I think I heard of them once” retailers, either. We’re talking about companies like Target, Foot Locker, AMC Theaters, Office Depot, Pearle Vision and T-Mobile.
That’s what really separates this discount cards from other options. Instead of collecting a list of joints nobody knows and with whom nobody would really shop, they’ve cut discount deals with real stores that people frequent on a regular basis.
That makes it easy to recoup the minimal investment. One example of this is the fact that you can get the customer rewards pricing at Barnes & Noble bookstores without ponying up the $25 it would take to become a member. In other words, your $20 Student Advantage card automatically qualifies you for a $25 value–and that status can save you well over $25 if you regularly shop with B&N.
I’ll be honest. I don’t remember the spending habits of my student years that well. And that’s not because of the binge drinking (well, not exclusively). It’s just been a few years. However, I can’t imagine that college students don’t buy books, go to movies, shop at Target or have cell phones with major providers like T-Mobile and Verizon. Even if card members never set foot in a Hanes store and could resist the tasty allure of Godiva chocolates, I have no doubt that they’d save well over $20 per year without changing their usual buying habits one bit.
The great partner lineup makes a winner of this student discount card. Student Advantage is doing things the right way.
But that’s only half of the story…
A Serious Student Discount Card: Student Advantage Helps with Big Ticket Items..
It’s one thing to save 10% on your underwear purchase at a Hanes outlet. It’s another to get massive discounts on extremely expensive purchases.
The 10% off deals with some retailers and other smaller discounts will justify the purchase of a card over time. The fact that the Student Advantage card offers hefty bargains on larger purposes will make it a winning investment instantly.
The big one in this department is the ability to save a whopping 15% on Amtrak tickets. If you live in an area where train travel is common and efficient, you would be absolutely crazy not to purchase a Student Advantage card.
A commenter on a blog post about Student Advantage illustrates this quite clearly:
I’ve only used my card once, and I used it to buy train tickets to visit my friend this summer. I saved like $35 or something like that, which was nice, because altogether, the price was close to $300.
That’s one use of the card and it put fifteen bucks in her pocket. If she uses the train four times per year, that’s a savings of 300% more than the card’s purchase price.
Student Advantage provides bargain access to the John Candy Trinity (trains, planes and automobiles). You can get discounts when you buy airline tickets from Orbitz and Cheap Tickets. You can get car rental discounts from Alamo.
Then it goes an extra step. You can save on your Greyhound Bus fares, too.
Those are bigger-ticket purchases and even one-time card use can more than cover the cost of being a Student Advantage membership.
Is There Any Reason NOT to Get This Student Discount Card?
Student Advantage looks like a clear winner to me. I can’t really think of a reason not to plunk down $20 for the discount opportunity if you’re eligible.
I suppose there are people who don’t utilize any of the long list of partner retailers (check out the aforementioned big ol’ list here). I suppose some of those people may not use trains, planes, automobiles or buses.
If you’re one of those three people, don’t get the card.
If you’re part of the 99.99% who can easily make back $20 via the student discount card, sign up now.
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