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Discount Cards

Discount Cards

Discount cards in New Zealand come in two varieties -- hostel cards and student/youth cards. Both types of cards are worth taking, particularly if you're travelling for a while. Student cards are generally best for getting cut-price admission to museums and other attractions and often allow for cut-price transport; with hostel cards, the emphasis is on cheaper accommodation although these also give you excellent discounts on coaches, trains and domestic airfares.

Student & Youth Cards

It's worth bringing along several student cards if you're a student, if you're not a student but are aged under 26 you can get a youth discount card that gives you similar discounts.
Most sightseeing attractions including museums, wildlife parks and zoos allow substantial discounts for students. Many attractions throughout New Zealand refer to the discounted price as the concession rate. Occasionally you will find a hostel that will also extend the BBH/VIP/YHA discount to you if you have a student card. In many cases just flashing the card issued by your university will get you these discounts, however some attractions require an internationally recognised card such as the ISIC or ISE card. This is a good reason why you should have at least two student cards.
Both ISIC and ISE publish a list of available discounts, however virtually all establishments that offer discounts will grant the discount for either card even if it that establishment is not listed in the card's discount guide.
The concession rate on the public transport networks in most New Zealand cities is not available with these cards and in most cases it is restricted to students enrolled in local schools.
The International Student Exchange (ISE) card is a good card with lots of discounts.
Although this card is not as established as the ISIC, many establishments that give discounts to the ISIC will also provide the same discounts to ISE cardholders. The ISE card costs US$25 and you can order it online. See the ISE website ( for more information.
The International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC; website www. produces three discount cards that give discounts to students; teachers and travellers aged under 26. Some of these cards include basic travel insurance although this is dependant on where the card is issued. ISIC, IYTC and ITIC cards each cost US$22 or £7.
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the most widely accepted of the student cards. Many travellers buy fake ISIC cards while they're travelling through Asia which means non-students can sometimes pick one up; because of this the cards aren't quite as good for big discounts as they used to be and you may sometimes be asked for a secondary identification such as your student ID from your university at home. This is another reason why you should bring along a couple of student ID cards.
The International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) is an alternative for travellers aged under 26 who do not qualify for an ISIC. There is a wide range of discounts, but it is not as widely accepted as a student card.
The International Teacher Identity Card (ITIC) is a good alternative if you are a full-time teacher. Like the IYTC this isn't quite as good as a student card but it's worthwhile if you don't qualify for anything else.

Hostel Cards

Cards issued by the different hostelling organisations offer excellent discounts, particularly for transport and accommodation. Many travellers take along two cards, a YHA or Hostelling International card and one issued by an independent hostelling organisation such as Budget Backpacker Hostels (BBH) or VIP Backpackers Resorts. There is more information about hostel cards in the following hostel section.
In our accommodation listings we list the price without a hostel card followed by the price charged if you have a card. Just because a hostel offers a discount to someone with a card from a particular hostel network does not mean that that hostel is part of the network.

Reviews / Comments for Discount Cards

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The above is excellent information but there is now also a solution for when you are not a student or a Youth/Backpacker traveller.
There is a FREE discount card offering over $2000.00 worth of discounts and value offers when you purchase a 2degrees SIMcard from NZ The SIMcard is only $10.00 and there are other packages available depending on your needs.
The discounts vary form a free cup of coffee to free photo packs or straight discounts similar to what the Backpacker/Student discounts cards offer in the above article. The tourism operators are mainly New Zealand owned and operated so visitors will get a true NZ Experience and are supporting the local economy by supporting these businesses visitors are supporting the local economy at the same time.

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