That plastic college ID card is worth more than you think.
Flashing it at stores and restaurants can get you major savings. But many of the deals are not advertised, so ask.
Clothing seller Banana Republic and electronics chain RadioShack Corp., for example, offer discounts to college students year-round. Online sellers, such as Amazon.com, will ask for your college e-mail address in exchange for deals. Smaller local stores near campus are likely to offer deals, too.
“Always have your student ID with you,” says Trae Bodge, a senior editor at online coupon and deals company RetailMeNot.
Companies target students for deals because if a product wins them over, the company might have customers for life. The deals expire when your college education does, so take advantage of them while you can. Here’s what you need to know:
TECH DEALS: If you’re in the market for electronic devices, you’re in luck. Many companies offer deals for college students. Apple Inc. has special pricing on its laptops and desktop computers, both at its online and physical stores. MacBook Pro laptops, for example, are discounted $200.
RadioShack, which sells everything from calculators to computers, offers a 10 percent discount online and in its stores. (You’ll need to put in your college email address here: bit.ly/1duaRsD)
Best Buy Co. Inc. will send you new online coupon codes every month on a variety of items. You will need to register and provide your .edu e-mail address at BestBuy.com/StudentDeals. Among its current deals are $100 off Apple iMacs and $20 off Beats headphones until Sept. 14.
CLOTHING MARKDOWNS: J. Crew offers a 15 percent discount in its stores. Club Monaco and Ann Taylor both offer 20 percent off their goods, but only on full-priced items. Banana Republic gives 15 percent off full-priced items. Charlotte Russe’s 10 percent student discount works in its stores and online.
FOOD DISCOUNTS: Many fast-food companies, such as Subway and Dairy Queen, offer discounts, but not all stores participate. Fast-food restaurants are often owned by individuals, not the parent company. So ask at the counter if they offer any discounts. Most are around 10 percent off.
MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM DEALS: Amazon.com Inc. gives college students free two-day shipping for six months if they sign up at amazon.com/joinstudent. After that, you can sign up for Amazon.com’s Prime service for $39 a year, almost half off its regular price of $79 a year. Amazon Prime members receive free two-day shipping, free instant streaming of select movies and TV shows and one free e-book loan a month. Sam’s Club gives college students a $15 gift card if they renew or sign up for a new membership.
DO THE RESEARCH: Stores and restaurants near campus might offer discounts, too. Check your school’s Web site to see if it has a list of shops that offer deals, or ask the store’s employees when you’re there. Do a quick Internet search for a store and the words “student discount” before you head out. You can also search “student discount” on RetailMeNot.com’s search bar for newer or limited discounts, Bodge says.