Congratulations, fellows! You’ve reached the age when you can apply for your first student credit card. With a card in hand, everyday online shopping, dining, entertainment, staycations, booking flights for semester break, and even paying tuition fees can earn you cashback and miles!
So, you’re ready to dive into the world of credit cards! Which one should you get? Don’t worry, MoneySmart helps you compare different student credit cards and find the one that suits you the best, whether you want to accumulate miles, enjoy dining and entertainment privileges, pay tuition fees, or get online shopping discounts. Read on to find out more!
Table of contents: Student credit card guide
- Who can apply for a student credit card?
- Smart tips before applying for student credit cards
- Top student credit cards for daily spending
- Top student credit cards for tuition fee rebates
- Top student credit cards with rewarding welcome offer
- Virtual Banks debit and credit cards
- Frequently asked questions: Student credit cards
Who can apply for a student credit card?
Besides credit cards co-branded with universities, many banks have introduced student credit cards that waive income requirements. These cards typically have low or no application thresholds and require only a Hong Kong ID, a student ID, and proof of address for those over 18 years old. So, you can get these cards with ease.
Smart tips before applying student credit cards
Although student credit cards have a lot of eye-catching offers, you need to be smart when applying for credit cards to get the most bang for your buck! Here are 4 tips to know before applying for a credit card:
Tip #1: To borrow or not to borrow, borrow only if you can repay
I know, you might have heard of the slogan somewhere else, but it’s worth repeating before we start: To borrow or not to borrow only if you can repay.
A key reminder here is that a credit card is a type of financial product. If you do not repay your balance on time, you will be charged a high interest rate (approximately 33% per year). Therefore, only spend what you can afford to repay, and make sure to repay your outstanding balance on time.
Tip #2: Knowing your spending pattern
Before applying for a student credit card, the first step is to create a monthly spending budget. Knowing how much you spend in specific categories can help you determine which credit card will earn you the most rewards.
For instance, if you are planning to pay the tuition fee, you can pay it with your credit card to earn cash back. To know more about it, jump to “Top student credit cards for tuition fee rebate”.
Tip #3: Get to know the credit card terms and conditions
When it comes to credit card offers, it’s easy to get dazzled by the promises of rewards and discounts. But before you jump on board, remember to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and investigate the terms and conditions, especially the minimum spending limit. Otherwise, all your efforts could go down the drain.
Tip #4: Avoid overspending because of a credit card offer
Credit cards often advertise rewards of 5-6% of your spending, which can sound like a steal. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not actually earning extra money from your spending; you’re just paying less for what you buy. So, instead of thinking of it as earning, think of it as a discount. After all, you’re still paying for what you buy!
Buying more just because of the cash rebates is not a MoneySmart thing to do! If you want to know more, check out our Credit Card FAQs to learn smart tips on how to use credit cards!
Top student credit cards for daily spending
Hang Seng MM POWER credit card: up to 5% rebate for online shopping and daily spending
What makes Hang Seng MM Power stand out from other credit cards is its 5% rebate on online spending and selected spending categories:
- Mobile payment
- Travel and foreign currency
- Electronics and
What is +Fun Dollars?
Hang Seng MM Power credit card offers a unique cashback scheme in the form of +FUN Dollars. Simply register 2 out of 5 spending categories and enjoy a 5% rebate for +FUN Dollars. You can also redeem +FUN Dollars as cash when you make purchases at designated merchants.
Special offers for moviegoers
Frequent moviegoers will find the MMPOWER credit card essential for watching movies! You can enjoy the following with the MMPOWER credit card:
- purchase tickets online at MCL cinemas to enjoy waived handling fees,
- exchange $1 +FUN Dollars for an additional ticket, receive free popcorn, and
- enjoy a 10% discount on regular-priced tickets.
If you successfully apply for the MMPOWER World Mastercard before August 14, 2023, and spend HK$2,000 or more within 60 days from the date of card issuance, you can enjoy an additional $300 +FUN Dollars or 5 MCL Cinemas 2D e-Gift Vouchers.
Hang Seng enJoy Card: 4X yuu points for daily spending
Hang Seng’s enJoy card is now linked with the yuu points programme, which allows for discounts and rewards at participating merchants like GNC, 7-11, Wellcome, IKEA, KFC, and Pizza Hut. You can earn up to 4X yuu points, which equals 2% cashback, making it perfect for everyday expenses like dining out, ordering takeout, or buying daily necessities.
yuu points redemption
You can accumulate points from spending with a Hang Seng enJoy card. Below is an overview of the yuu points bonus in designated merchants:
|yuu Points Bonus||Designated Merchants||Equivalent Cashback|
|4X||KFC, PHD, Pizza Hut, Thai Basil, and more||2%|
|3X||IKEA, 7-11, Mannings, Wellcome, Market Place, and more||1.5%|
|2X||Starbucks, GNC, ShakeShack, Genki Sushi, and more||1%|
Each yuu point can be redeemed for coupons, gifts, or cashback at the rate of 200 yuu points = HK$1.
Within 60 days after card activation, if you bind the card to yuu membership and accumulate qualified spending of HK$6,000, new customers can enjoy 120,000 yuu points, while existing customers can also enjoy 80,000 yuu points.
DBS Live Fresh credit card: up to 6% rebate from online shopping
If you frequently shop online, the DBS Live Fresh credit card is the one you need, with its offer of a 6% rebate for specific online shopping categories.
Here’s how the 6% rebate works:
- Get a 1% rebate for any online transactions.
- Get a 5% cash rebate for 1 designated spending category.
The DBS Live Fresh student credit card offers 6% cashback on eligible spending. This includes a 5% cashback for 7 different spending categories and a 1% rebate for online foreign currency transactions.
Designated spending category details
After selecting a spending category, you can begin earning 5% cash back. Additionally, you have the flexibility to switch categories every month.
|Spending Category||Eligible Transaction||Example||Online Shopping Cashback||Selected Spending Category Cashback||Total Cashback|
|Online Foreign Currency Spending||Transactions in foreign currencies are based on Mastercard HK country codes.||–||1%||5%||6%|
|Online Travel Merchant Spending||Online purchase of any travel products||Agoda, Expedia, Booking.com, Klook, Cathay Pacific, HK Express||1%||5%||6%|
|Online Supermarket Spending||Online purchases of goods at supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores (supermarkets only), or online platforms||Parknshop, Wellcome, HKTVmall, Watsons||1%||5%||6%|
|Online Dining Spending||Online spending for food and beverages ordered from restaurants, fast food stores, restaurant chains, or food delivery platform merchants.||Deliveroo, foodpanda, McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut||1%||5%||6%|
|Online Entertainment Spending||Online spending for recreational products or services||iTunes, Netflix, MCL Cinema, Amazon.com, Spotify, Gmarket, Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park Hong Kong||1%||5%||6%|
|Online Fashion & Apparel Spending||Online spending for clothing and footwear||H&M, ZARA, Nike, adidas, UNIQLO, I.T, ASOS, Zalora, NET-A-PORTER||1%||5%||6%|
|Online Charity Donations||Online donations to charitable and social service organisations||Orbis, World Vision, UNICEF, Save the Children, SPCA||1%||5%||6%|
Planting trees while spending with DBS Live Fresh Card
If you accumulate eligible retail spending of HK$4,000 or more, including at least 1 transaction at designated social enterprises (Eco-Greenergy, FAIRTASTE, FurryGreen, GreenPrice, Ground Works, Mealingful, Rooftop Republic, SLOWOOD, and WEDO GLOBAL) using your DBS Live Fresh Card during any calendar month of the promotion period, DBS will plant a tree on your behalf to help restore our planet’s forests.
Flexi Shopping and a 90-day interest-free installment
With the DBS LIVE FRESH credit card, you can apply for Flexi Shopping with a 6-month installment plan for a fee as low as HK$20. Additionally, you will receive a free 10-time trial offer during the promotional period. What’s more? You can now enjoy a 90-day interest-free installment plan when you make travel, overseas, or online purchases!
The DBS Live Fresh Student Credit Card offers several attractive welcome offers. You can enjoy them all by fulfilling the stated requirements:
- Spend HK$4,800 or above within 3 months after card issuance to enjoy HK$550 “InstaRedeem”, including HK$300 for retail spending and HK$250 for online spending, or a HK$1,000 Klook e-voucher.
- Within 3 months after card issuance, use the new card to top up HK$1,000 or more with Octopus Automatic Add Value Service or apply for a Flexi Shopping installment plan for 12 months or more to enjoy a HK$100 cash rebate.
- Within 1 month after the new card is issued, successfully confirm and activate the new card to enjoy HK$50 “InstaRedeem”.
- Min. Annual Salary
- Cash back on Online Overseas spend
- Designated Cash Back for Online Transaction
From now until 31 December, apply for designated cards through MoneySmart（DBS Eminent Card/ DBS Live Fresh/ DBS Compass Visa）successfully to get HK$200 Apple Store Gift Card or HK$200 Klook Gift Card or HK$200 ParknShop Voucher!
Top student credit cards for tuition fee rebates
Paying university tuition fees can be a daunting task, but with the right credit card, it can also be rewarding! Earn up to 2.4% cash back with the following credit cards, and choose the one that fits your needs best.
HSBC Visa Gold Card: 2.4 RewardCash rebate on tuition fee payment
The HSBC Visa Gold Card for Students is specially designed for university and college students. One of its unique features is that students can get up to a 2.4% Reward Cash rebate when paying tuition fees, either through the HSBC mobile banking app or personal online banking. Plus, each HK$4.17 spent on tuition fees earns you 1 mile if you choose to redeem your reward points for air miles. That’s quite a deal when it comes to paying tuition fees!
This student credit card can also be used for daily expenses such as purchasing books, listening to music, and watching movies. Here are some of the discount offers for daily spending:
- Enjoy a HK$30 discount when you make a single transaction of HK$300 or more with mobile payment or Visa payWave payment at any Eslite Bookstore.
- Enjoy the first month of KKBOX for only HK$9.9, and then HK$53 per month.
- Enjoy a 10% discount on regular-priced tickets when you purchase them at CGV Cinemas.
Spend HK$ 2,000 in the first two months and get HK$ 300 cashback.
Hang Seng co-branded student credit card: 2.4% +Fun Dollars Tuition Fee rebate
Hang Seng co-branded credit cards are available to students from the City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Hang Seng University of Hong Kong.
The card offers a 2.4% +FUN Dollars rebate on tuition fees, as well as for local bookstore purchases and exam fees. So if you’re paying the annual tuition fee as a full-time student with the Hang Seng co-branded credit card, you can earn up to (HK$42,100 x 2.4% = HK$1,008 cash back.
New applicants can enjoy up to $600 in +FUN Dollars when they spend HK$5,000 or more within 60 days of receiving the new card.
- Annual Principal Fee
- Perpetual annual fee waiver
- Local Resident
- HK$150,000 (except full-time university/tertiary students)
- 2.4% Cash Dollars rebate for Tuition Fee Payment
Which is better, a co-branded university credit card or a general student credit card?
It depends. Compared with student credit cards issued by banks, co-branded university credit cards are only available to current university or college students and have special offers for tuition fees.
Meanwhile, student credit cards issued by banks generally offer more diverse benefits, such as earning reward points from watching movies, dining out, shopping online, etc., allowing students to choose according to their spending habits.
Top student credit cards with rewarding welcome offer
WeWa student UnionPay card: 4% cashback for entertainment spending
If you love to travel and have fun, don’t miss out on the WeWa UnionPay Card. Plus, full-time university, college students can enjoy a waiver of the annual fee for the first 5 years.
WeWa UnionPay Diamond Card can earn you 4% cashback (HK$10 for every HK$250 spent) for the 4 spending categories: travel, cinemas, theme parks, and karaoke.
What makes this offer special is the buy-one-get-one-free deal at selected restaurants, exemption from overseas spending transaction fees, up to a 20% discount on designated transactions, and a 3-month interest-free installment plan with the OmyCard app.
|Eligible Spending Requirements||Welcome Offer|
|HK$8,500 or above on eligible retail spending transactions within the first 90 days after card issuance||B&O Beosound Explore waterproof Bluetooth speaker|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (LTE) tablet (T225)|
|HK$2,000 or above on eligible retail spending transactions within the first 90 days after card issuance||HK$200 cashback (for full-time university/college students only) plus a 5-year annual fee waiver|
You can also get your hands on up to HK$90,000 of interest-free and fee-free cash installments for borrowing as a welcome offer.
- Min. Annual Salary
- Cash back on overseas spend
- Cash rebate on travel spending and designated spending categories
【MoneySmart Exclusive Offer】From now until 31 December 2023, new customers who successfully applied for WeWa UnionPay Diamond Card via MoneySmart, can enjoy 2,000 SmartPoints without further spending! You are free to choose vouchers of over 20+ brands (including Apple Store Gift Card, supermarket voucher, HKTVmall, Uber, Klook, etc.). Click here for more details. T&C applied. (fulfilled by MoneySmart)
[PrimeCredit x MoneySmart] Successfully applied WeWa UnionPay Diamond Card through MoneySmart and earn extra HK$200 cash rebate + Welcome offer: Sony Truly Wireless Headphones LinkBuds S or Samsung Galaxy Watch4 40mm (Bluetooth) or B&O Beosound Explore Bluetooth Speaker (Black Anthracite) or HK$500 Cash Rebate or up to HK$90,000 Interest-free and Handling Fee-free Cash Instalment Program or Tertiary Student: HK$200 Cash Rebate (Exclusive reward will be fulfilled by PrimeCredit)
Virtual Banks debit and credit cards
Virtual banks have arrived in Hong Kong like a storm. This means students can now apply for financial products more easily. Virtual bank debit cards and other credit consumption tools can replace credit cards in many situations and even offer more benefits.
Check out the Virtual Banks in Hong Kong Overview if you’re interested in learning more about them.
Frequently asked questions: Student credit cards
What is a co-branded university credit card?
A co-branded university credit card is a credit card jointly launched by a bank and a university. It is not only available to students, but also to alumni and full-time faculty and staff. Co-branded university credit cards usually have the name and image of the university printed on them, which makes them a valuable souvenir for students after graduation.
What are the application requirements for a student credit card?
As long as you hold a valid student ID, all university students or full-time college students can apply for a student credit card.
Will a student credit card charge an annual fee?
Most co-branded university credit cards and student credit cards have permanent annual fee waivers, while some student credit cards do not.
Can I still use a student credit card after graduation?
Yes, but the issuing institution may replace the card for you. For example, co-branded university credit cards may be replaced by alumni versions.
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