Student Deals & Essentials

Student Price Card (SPC)

The card can save you money on a variety of things such as coffee, food, clothing, fitness, etc., at a variety of stores in Vancouver. It can be purchased from the UBC Bookstore at the cashier for $10 plus tax or online at:


Consider signing up for a Student Amazon Prime membership. It is less than the price of a regular Prime membership and gives you free 2 day shipping.

When the free trial ends, students will have to pay a fee of $39 per year, which is 50% off the cost of Prime membership. The student fee includes extra perks such as unlimited instant streaming of movies, TV shows and music, as well as photo storage.


Finding housing in Vancouver can be tough, but here’s a list of the top websites we use. But remember, NEVER give your personal information, or send any money, without thoroughly verifying the place first.

  1. Craigslist (BE CAREFUL OF SCAMS):

  2. UBC Roommates and Housing Facebook Page:

  3. Vancouver Rentals Facebook Page:

  4. Padmapper:

  5. UVRentsLine:


There are many major grocery store chains in Canada: Safeway, Save on Foods, Real Canadian Superstore and Walmart.

Make sure to get a rewards card from each store (PC Optimum, More Rewards) so you can gather points and use them for groceries later!

Budget Options:

Some budget options for groceries include No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore and Walmart.

Wholesale Options:

Costco is a membership-based wholesale club that sells items in large quantities, and can often have lower prices. However, keep in mind that they do not accept credit cards, you need a membership to shop there, and you can only buy items in bulk. If you have a friend or classmate with a Costco membership and the space to store non-perishable or frozen items (or classmates willing to shop for items together), it can save you money.


New and used textbooks are available at the UBC Bookstore. Used textbooks can also be purchased from a 2nd year student.

If you want to purchase a new or digital textbook, they can cost considerably less if purchased through Amazon.

Student Discounts

Some stores, restaurants, and online retailers have student discounts. If you’re not certain, simply ask the retailer or search online.

Service providers such as salons, massage therapists, physiotherapists, etc., sometimes provide student discounts. It never hurts to call around and ask before making an appointment.

At the start of the school year, internet and mobile phone providers often have student specials. Some of these companies include Shaw, Rogers, Fido, Bell, Freedom and Telus.

Newspapers and magazines often offer a student rate, some publications that do this include: New York Times, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, and Harvard Business Review.

Some other discounts can include:

  • International Student Identification Card (ISIC) - The ISIC card verifies you as a student worldwide and can be used to obtain discounts overseas where your student card might not be recognized or acknowledged. You can obtain an ISIC Card online for $20. Visit their website for more information on the discounts available HERE!

  • Travel - You can often save money on flights. Trains and buses through student discounts. Air Canada has their own program “Altitude Students” where you will receive discount codes for flights, food and onboard wi-fi. Simply check for a student fare before you book your ticket. Or use for the best deals!

  • Car Share - Many car share companies (ZipCar, Evo, Car2Go) offer discounts, waive the membership fee, or offer free minutes for students. They are often on campus during the first week handing out the promo codes.

    • You will need an international driver’s license or BC license in order to sign up (or if you’ve been driving for two years or more, a driving record from your home country). And if you’re an environmentalist, you can also sign up for PopARide and carpool!

    • The cars are available on the street and in designated parking spots around the city. A live map is available on these apps. You pay per minute for using these cars. The charges vary, company to company.


Uber doesn’t currently operate in Vancouver. Of the cab services, Blacktop and Checker cabs and Yellow Cabs have decent service and are fairly priced. During bad weather conditions, cabs sometimes take about 30 - 40 minutes to arrive so make sure to call ahead of time and/or use their app.