Students shopping at Co-operative food stores - who are also Co-op members - will receive a further 5% reward when purchasing own-branded products and services, in addition to the 10% discount available for NUS extra cardholders.

The move could make a combined savings for students of up to £7.5m while earning £300,000 for good causes, with a further 1% of purchases by Co-op members being used to directly benefit local causes, community groups and charities.

Jemima Bird, customer director at the Co-op, said: “With many students living away from home for the first time our partnership with NUS extra aims to support young people trying to balance their budget, eating the right food is not only affordable, but can also bring about a boost to health, wellbeing and even educational achievement. 

Richard Brooks, vice-president for Union Development at NUS, said: “The cost of living is a concern for students and this move which further helps to reduce the burden on their budgets is very welcome. As a community retailer the Co-op’s stores are conveniently placed and its new membership proposition not only provides a 5% personal reward, but gives 1% to good causes to make a difference in local communities - something that this generation of student cares deeply about. With food provenance a concern its commitment to backing British farming should be applauded and at the same time, its investment in lowering prices has seen over 1,000 everyday essentials reduced.”

The NUS extra card offers over 200 UK student discounts and comes with one year free ISIC, with over 42,000 international discounts available. The card costs on average less than £11 per year when purchasing a three-year card.