Where to find student discounts

Where to Find Student Discounts in Canada

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Last updated on September 2, 2022

Student discounts are a great way to save money, cut back on essential costs, and even build loyalty with businesses you frequent. It’s hard enough to navigate the stress of school, let alone the added stress of a slim student budget. Taking advantage of student discounts can help you manage your finances during your studies.

There’s a lot of variety when it comes to student discounts available in Canada. Knowing where and how to find these discounts is important if you want to take advantage of them. We’ve decided to break down all you need to know about finding student discounts in Canada. From transportation to books to rewards points programs, we’ve got you covered.

Are You Eligibile for Student Discounts?

While eligibility requirements for student discounts may vary, the general requirements are pretty simple. You must be enrolled in post-secondary education and be able to provide proof of this. Usually, this just means having a student ID card you can present, but any other proof of enrollment will work too.

Student Discount Programs

One of the best options for student discounts are designated student discount programs. These programs provide you with a loyalty card that comes equipped with discounts for a variety of things at multiple businesses.

Here are some of Canada’s top rated student discount programs you might want to check out:

SPC

The Student Price Card, or SPC, offers 450+ student-exclusive deals, discounts, giveaways, contests, and limited-time offers. At the membership cost of $10/year, this card will grant you access to discounts on things like food, tech, clothing, travel, and more. You can use the SPC to redeem discounts both in-person and online

UNiDAYS

UNiDAYS is a discount website for students that directs you to a variety of affiliated retailers offering discounts. You can sign up for free and get deals on things like fashion, health, fitness, and tech.

StudentBeans

The StudentBeans student discount program connects you to a variety of student deals offered on things like health, beauty, and tech. The program is accompanied by an app to make utilizing discounts and finding the best deals for you as easy as possible.

ISIC

Aside from getting discounts in Canada with the programs mentioned above, the ISIC, or International Student Identity Card can help you snag student discounts around the world. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling for a summer trip or spending a semester abroad and want a student card that’s internationally recognized.

Retail Discounts

Retail student discounts

ImageSource: Shutterstock

Many retailers offer their own unique discounts for students. The following are some spending categories you should keep in mind when looking for discounts, as well as some of our most recommended offerings here in Canada. Even if you don’t see your favourite shops on this list, simply check out their website or contact their customer service to find out if there are any student deals available.

Food, Restaurants, and Groceries

Not only are there plenty of discounted offerings to accompany you on a night out with friends at a restaurant, but there are plenty for essential grocery purchases too! These discounts are sure to help you cut costs and get the ingredients you need to stay healthy amidst the stress of school.

  • Bulk Barn: Save 10% off your purchase on Wednesdays with valid student ID
  • Metro: Get 10 to 15% off your groceries on student discount days at participating locations
  • Subway: Save 10% off your meal with valid student ID
  • St. Louis Bar & Grill: Get $5 or 20% off deals on various menu items with valid student ID
  • Chipotle: Receive a free soft drink with your meal when you show your student ID
  • Freshii: Save 15% off your meal with valid student ID
  • Zehrs: 10% off purchases made on Tuesdays and Thursdays with valid student ID.
  • Dairy Queen: Save 10% off your meal with valid student ID

Transportation

Many students commute to school or rely on public transportation to get around. Check with your local public transit provider to see if there are student discounts. Here are some companies that offer student discounts to help you get around without breaking the bank.

  • GO Transit: You can save at least 17% on fares with an approved sticker on your transit pass
  • Via Rail: Students can travel across Canada with an Unlimited Semester Pass for $499. Via Rail also offers reduced youth pricing on all travel if you are between the ages of 16-25
  • TTC: Post-secondary students can purchase a monthly pass at the discounted rate of $128.15
  • Greyhound: Save 10% on adult fares and up to 45% on trips to and from select universities

Electronics & Tech

Nowadays, school supplies go far beyond pencils and paper. Having the software and tech necessary to succeed in your studies is important, and these retailers offer great deals to help you do just that at a fraction of the price.

  • Apple: Discounted products are available through Apple’s Education Pricing shop
  • Staples: Shop for supplies and tech during back-to-school season for discounts
  • Lenovo: Discounts on laptops and printers
  • Adobe: Students can get 60% off the first year of subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Prezi: If you sign up with an official school email address you get discounted monthly fees for your Prezi EDU Plus subscription
  • Best Buy: Save 10%-30% on student deals
  • Telus: Get 3 GB extra data for $5 on any premium smartphone upgrade or activation on a two-year plan

Everything Else

Just because you’re a student, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself sometimes! You can get discounts on things like clothing, shoes, subscription service, beauty products, wellness, books, and more without worrying about overspending on non-essentials. Here are a few examples you might want to check out:

  • Adidas: Receive 30% off full-priced purchases online at adidas.com
  • H&M: Get 15% off in-store purchases with valid student ID
  • Amazon: Students can get 50% Amazon Prime service
  • GoodLife: Discounted rates for student memberships.
  • Book Outlet: 5% student discount.
  • PC Financial: Free daily banking that lets students earn interests on their account balances
  • Bath and Body Works: 10% off your purchase in-store
  • Spotify: Half-price monthly membership with enrollment verification
  • Reebok: 30% discount on full price products and 15% on sale products after proof of enrolment has been provided

Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards

ImageSource: Shutterstock

Beginning to build your credit while you’re a student is a great idea and pretty simple to accomplish with student-specific credit cards. These cards are designed with student finances and lifestyles in mind in order to make them easy to use and qualify for.

One of the greatest things about student credit cards is the money-saving perks that come along with them like cash back on purchases. If you’re going to be spending money anyways, it doesn’t hurt to build a positive credit history, earn money, and benefit from exclusive discounts all at once.

If you want to discover the right student credit card for you, check out our post on the Best Student Credit Cards in Canada and start saving! If you qualify, you can also check out other cash back credit cards that aren’t specifically made for students and reap the rewards in a different way. Even with a student credit card, you’ll still have ways to continue getting the card benefits after you graduate, so this makes for a great option if you’re shopping around for your first credit card.

Here are a few student credit cards and their offerings that we think you should check out:

Card NameAnnual FeeCash Back RewardsPerks
BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*$0• 3% cash back on groceries*
• 1% cash back on recurring bills*
• 0.5% back on all other purchases*
• 5% cash back for the first 3 months (capped at $125)*
• 25% off National and Alamo car rentals*
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card$00.5%-2% cash back on eligible purchases• Choose 2 purchase categories where you want to earn 2% cash back
• Deposit your rewards into your Tangerine Savings account and you can choose a third category for 2% cash back
KOHO$0 for KOHO Easy

(Annual Fee of $84 (or $9/month) for KOHO Premium)
Earn up to 5% cash back at partners merchants with KOHO Easy (up to 6% with KOHO Premium)Personalized advice on how to manage your finances

*Terms and conditions apply.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Final Thoughts

Despite the stereotypes, being a student does not inherently mean you have to be constantly struggling and broke. By keeping an eye out for discounts and rewards opportunities you can cut costs, save money while you’re in school, and sometimes even earn more than if you weren’t taking advantage of these savings opportunities. Do yourself a favour and take advantage of these types of rewards while you still can.

 

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Author Bio

Emily Norton - Greedyrates.ca author
Emily Norton is a Toronto based writer and editor. Her personal finance work focuses on themes of career building, lifestyle, wealth inequality, relationships, and budgeting. She is a staff writer for Money After Graduation Inc. and has also been published by IN Magazine, MTV News, and Vagabond City Lit. She is currently finishing her final year of her Professional Writing degree at York University. When she's not writing, she's probably reading. Read more from Emily on her LinkedIn profile.

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