InternationalStudent.com InternationalStudent.com

The International Student Blog

Student ID Cards – which one is best?

Posted on October 13th, 2006 by InternationalStudentGuru

I was recently thinking about student ID cards, as we get emails all the time from students asking which one is the best? Where can they get one? Why should I get one? and so on…..so I thought I would look into the main options and see how they compare.

The 2 main players in the International Student ID card arena are the ISIC card and ISE Card – so how do they compare:

ISIC Card – Cost in the USA $22:
– Worldwide recognition
– 32,000 discounts in 106 countries
– 24 hour emergency helpline
– ISI Connect phone card

ISE Card – Cost in the USA $25:
– Worldwide discounts
– $2,000 medical expense and $5,000 evacuation coverage
– 24 hour worldwide assistance
– Airline Bankruptcy protection
– Calling Card Feature
– North America Roadside Assistance Program

Information obtained on both cards at:
http://www.isecard.com/isecard/benefits.html
http://www.istc.org/sisp/index.htm?fx=istc_info

I think its pretty clear the ISIC card has been the heavy weight in this field, and I think it may well be the more well known card – however saying that you cannot ignore the benefits of the ISE Card, and I believe its clear that the ISE Card provides more “added value” to the student with many more benefits.

If you have any comments, post them!

4 Responses to “Student ID Cards – which one is best?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I’d have to somewhat disagree. This past summer, I took a group of 15 high school students to London. Neither card was a requirement, but some kids had either the ISIC or the ISE card.

    Although you are correct with the discounts being virtually the same, the ISIC came with comprehensive medical insurance. It covers for emergency medical evacuation, sickness, and even lost document replacement….which was a huge benefit for us when two students lost their passports.

    From previous experiences and researching the products, I am now making the ISIC mandatory for all our students. Plus it’s $3 cheaper and apparently has been around for something like 50 years! I’m sold on its value and would vouch for the product anyday.

    If anyone has comments, feel free to continue this thread.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I agree, both cards are good. But for us it was the fact that the ISE Card had no daily limit on medical expenses paid – That was really good!
    The ISIC Card paid only a maximum of $100 per day.

    Also good for us was the discount at National Express bus co in the UK – For that, they only took the ISE Card. You get 10% off with online booking.

    For these reasons, we’re going to continue with the ISE Card.

  3. lesley Says:

    I’d have to somewhat disagree. This past summer, I took a group of 15 high school students to London. Neither card was a requirement, but some kids had either the ISIC or the ISE card.

    Although you are correct with the discounts being virtually the same, the ISIC came with comprehensive medical insurance. It covers for emergency medical evacuation, sickness, and even lost document replacement….which was a huge benefit for us when two students lost their passports.

    From previous experiences and researching the products, I am now making the ISIC mandatory for all our students. Plus it’s $3 cheaper and apparently has been around for something like 50 years! I’m sold on its value and would vouch for the product anyday.

    If anyone has comments, feel free to continue this thread.

  4. Stu Says:

    Some European trains only accept ISIC and not ISE (such as here in Sweden). They state this pretty clearly in the conditions of student travel, so read them carefully before. I just threw my ISE card in the bin as it’s as good as useless over here.

Leave a Reply