NUS Extra: What Extra?02 October 2006
Typical of others, I have always suspected that the NUS Extra scheme is conceived simply as an extra revenue stream for the NUS. When UBU held a referendum on whether to issue them, I voted no on the basis that UBU already forks out £45,000 in order to be in the NUS, and that is money that could otherwise be spent for students' benefit within the Union. This is particularly notable as discounts are a prime reason many undergrads want to remain in the NUS. Not that it matters now: UBU is in the NUS, and it is issuing the cards.
Epigram ran an article on the Extra card, which is best described as rather sceptical. I think they are still being generous. Lets take a look at what's in the "shop window". Aside from any remarks about a first impression bias towards technology and sex products it is noted that many of the touted benefits don't actually need the NUS Extra card to qualify for (when I got my HMV student card, they only wanted to know I was a student - a lot of people just use 'NUS' and 'student' interchangeably). Only consider the NUS Extra Exclusives and it doesn't look so rosy. Oh, you can also eliminate all the ones that do not operate in Bristol, and of the ones that are left, the ones I know about are not really places I would regard as having competitive prices. Needless to say, I won't be rushing to buy one.
One nice feature of the card is that UBU gets quite a nice slice of the turnover. However, I'm more inclined to show my support of UBU by spending the cash elsewhere in the Union.