You might think you’ll find the best back-to-school student deals. But this holiday season you would be wrong. Amazon is offering a limited number of $25 flight tickets home for the holidays. Read on for details. And Amazon isn’t the only one offering student deals. Retail giants Best Buy, Target and Walmart all have student deals meant to help you save money on groceries, tech, furniture and other college essentials.
To take advantage of the deals, you have to prove you’re a student, but that extra step is worth it if it means you can get free grocery delivery, say, or a free subscription to a service in streaming.
Here’s where to find the student deals major retailers have this year as school starts. For more, here are our favorite student deals this year and our picks for the best student laptops.
Amazon Prime Student friendly $25 airline tickets for holiday travel
If you’re a college student and shopping on Amazon, it’s not hard to make a case for signing up for Prime Student. The first six months are free and then $69 a year for four years. (Regular Prime membership is $139 per year.) To join, you must be a college student enrolled in at least one college course located in one of the 50 US states, Washington DC or Puerto Rico.
This holiday season, a Prime Student subscription can be especially valuable. Amazon said it partnered with StudentUniverse to offer thousands of $25 trips to and from home between mid-December and early January.
Amazon says it’s making 1,000 tickets available each day to Prime Student subscribers, starting at 6 a.m. PT on Dec. 6 and 7. (It’s already offering 1,000 on Dec. 5.) After Dec. 7 StudentUniverse said it will offer Prime Student members $25 off flights with a limited promotion code. Head to this StudentUniverse page at midnight PT to see if you can score a cheap flight. Make sure you are logged in with your Student Prime account. You can also sign up for a Student Prime account on the page.
A Student Prime subscription also gets you free one- or two-day shipping to eligible cities and regions, discounts at Whole Foods and a one-year membership to Grubhub Plus for free food delivery.
When you get your books from Amazon, you can find Prime-eligible sellers for faster two-day shipping. Unfortunately, you can no longer rent printed books from Amazon.
Best Buy used to have a dedicated student deal program: After you signed up for the program, you got access to exclusive student discounts on tech and other electronics, including Mac and Windows laptops, keyboard and mouse, headphones and TV. At some point last year, however, Best Buy ditched its dedicated student program and instead teams up with college-oriented collections: “Study Essentials,” “Dorm Room & Apartment,” “Apple” and others.
The deals are still good — I found a Dell Inspiron laptop that seemed to be the best price on the web — and a dedicated computer discount page for students rounds out the deals, too. And you can sign up for a free My Best Buy membership account, which gets you free shipping.
Target Circle Rewards
Students can sign up for Target’s free Circle loyalty program, which lets you earn 1% cash back on all purchases and has personalized offers. Right now, students can get a 20% discount on a qualifying purchase — handy if you want to furnish your dorm room or stock up on food before school starts. You must prove your status as a student to take advantage of the discount, which runs until August 26. Exclusions include Apple products, phone contracts and unlocked phones and, perhaps most disappointingly, the Barbie camper and houses.
Like Amazon does with its Prime paid subscription service, Walmart lets students sign up for a Walmart Plus membership for $49 a year or $6.47 a month, with a free 30-day trial . (For non-students, it’s $98 a year or $12.95 a month.) Students get everything Plus includes, like free grocery delivery and free shipping, for up to 10 cents per gallon of gas to nearly 14,000 stations and free subscriptions to Paramount Plus and Pluto TV. And you can scan items in the store and check out contactless.
As with Amazon and Target’s student discount programs, you’ll need to check yourself before you can participate.
For more, here are the best back-to-school deals under $100 and essential tech gadgets designed to make school work easier.