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How can you earn miles on your university tuition fee payments?

Breaking down your options for earning miles on your school fees.

If there’s one thing that’s certain to every Singaporean student studying in university, it’s tuition fees. Unless well, you’re privileged enough to be on a scholarship. Then tuition fees wouldn’t exactly be on your mind. Instead, you’ll be dreaming of splurging that money received on two exchanges both in the Western hemisphere. I digress. Due to popular demand (or rather being arrowed), I took a break from watching senseless videos on Youtube and penned this article as the new term is starting.

Public Universities

Image result for smu singapore

Currently, Singapore has 6 public universities :

  1. National University of Singapore (NUS)
  2. Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
  3. Singapore Management University (SMU)
  4. Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
  5. Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
  6. Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) [ previously SIM ]

There are many ways to settle your kid’s tuition fees. CPF, Cash, Nets, Cheque etc. Most importantly, credit cards.

Here is a chart showing the various payment methods which the universities accept :

NUS NTU SMU SUTD SIT SUSS
Cash
NETS
Bank Transfer
Online Credit Card
Credit Card at counter

Fortunately, all 6 of them accepts credit card payments on their respective student portals. However, only NTU and SUSS accept credit card payment over the counter. What this means is that the best way to earn miles from payment of tuition fees online would be through the HSBC Revolution card, which gives 2mpd(i.e 5X points) for online transactions. I personally paid my school fees with the HSBC Revolution during AY17/18 Semester 1 and received 5X points for it.

For those of you (or rather your kids) studying in NTU and SUSS. Lucky you. You guys can head on over to their respective payment centres to utilize the OCBC Titanium Rewards with Samsung Pay to perform payment via MST to earn you a cool 4mpd. Maybe I made the wrong decision to study in NUS.

Nah just kidding. #teamNUS

I’m not quite sure if DBS WWMC would award you 4 mpd for school fees online as their T&C excludes transactions made to educational institutions.

So for now, your best bet would be the HSBC Revolution, which is a 100% hit for miles earning on school fees for payment made online. Alternatively, you could take advantage of sign up bonuses that are currently available and pay the school fees with those cards.

Private Universities

Image result for kaplan singapore

Now, the list of private universities is just too long to list out. So I’ll be covering the ones that I have friends studying in :

  • Kaplan
  • SIM GE

Now for both Kaplan and SIMGE, they accept credit card payments online. Thus, HSBC Revolution would potentially net you 2mpd for online payment of school fees.


SIMGE accepts credit card payment over the counter though, meaning the OCBC Titanium Rewards x Samsung Pay MST method would work and net you 4mpd. Note that the cap for OCBC Titanium Rewards to earn 4 mpd tops off at S$12,000. So you might need to use both the blue and pink cards to cover the school fees (as I’ve heard they can be rather high). In the case of Kaplan, it would also be possible to make payment by credit card over the counter. Hence the OCBC Titanium Rewards x Samsung Pay MST method would also work and net you 4mpd for your school fees, assuming their terminal supports MST. As per above, you could take advantage of sign up bonuses to pay off the school fees as well.

STOP paying by cheque/bank transfer, start paying by card.

While having a conversation with a London obsessed friend, let’s call him Lau, he highlighted to me the possibilities an undergrad can unlock by paying your tuition fees with a credit card.

Let’s assume I’m studying in Nanyang Business School on a Double Degree Business/Accountancy program. My school fees would be S$9,250 an academic year. Assume I put this on my OCBC Titanium Rewards with Samsung Pay, I’ll earn a cool 37,000 miles a year. When I graduate in 4 years, I would have earned 148,000 KrisFlyer miles. Throw in concentrated spending throughout my 4 years in university on 4mpd cards, I’ll surely have enough miles to fly myself to London after graduation for my grad trip. That’s effectively 1 year’s worth of tuition fees in rebates I’m receiving from the redemption of the Business Class ticket.

If you have been paying your child’s school fees via cheque or bank transfer, kindly write 1.000 lines of “i will not lose miles again” and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #milesforlife.

On a more serious note, Semester 2 is starting on Monday (or rather it has already started for the peeps over at SMU) and the tuition fees would be due around February. If you haven’t already got the two cards mentioned above to facilitate earning miles from payment of tuition fees, feel free to apply for them via the links below.

Editors Note : The cards mentioned below are cards which fall in bonus categories. General spend cards may still be used to earn 1.4/1.3/1.2mpd.

Min Income
Annual Fee

$30,000

$160.50 (First 2 Years Free)

HSBC Revolution

A good entry-level card to use for dining, entertainment and online spending.
  • Unilt 31 Dec 2017, sign up and earn up to $140 cashback or an American Tourister Caravan 70cm TSA luggage (existing HSBC customers earn $50) when you spend $600 within one month
  • Earn 2 mpd on dining, entertainment and online spend and 0.4 mpd everywhere else. Online spend includes air tickets, movies, hotels, taxi bookings, insurance premiums, food delivery and much more
  • Although the HSBC Revolution earns fewer miles on dining (2 mpd) than the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature (3.2 mpd), its definition of dining is broader, it has a lower income requirement, and points last 3 years versus 1 for Maybank. Have a read of this post for more info
  • Protip: This card can help you earn 2 mpd on your EZ-Link topups for up to $200 each month. Simply link it to your EZ-Reload account
  • Read the full T&C here

more details

Apply Here
Min Income
Annual Fee

$30,000

$192.60 (First 2 Years Free)

OCBC Titanium Rewards

Earn 4 miles per dollar wherever mobile payments are accepted, and for online and offline shopping
  • Earn 4 miles per dollar when you shop at department stores, electronics stores, babies' and children's wear, or clothes, shoes and bags both online and offline, in Singapore and overseas
  • From now till 31 December 2018, earn 4 mpd on personal care (drug stores and pharmacies) and mobile payments with Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Bonus miles are capped at $12,000 of spend per card membership year. But apply for both the Blue and Pink version of the card and double that cap to $24,000 (96,000 miles)
  • Spending on the OCBC Titanium Rewards helps you earn bonus interest if you have an OCBC 360 account. Check out this article about bank accounts and miles cards

more details

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14 Comments on "How can you earn miles on your university tuition fee payments?"

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Great timing Matthew!

What about foreign uni? Could you add your 2 cents about paying for them?

Does SUSS also accept payment by Apple Pay or only Samsung MST?

Any way of earning miles from paying tax? Hehe.

there are several posts on this site about tax payments, do a quick search and let me know if you have further questions

Sending my son to SJI International. They process payments online through Red Dot payment, and charge 2.4% fee. Would the HSBC Revolution card still work?

Hi Michelle, if the payment gateway is online, you should receive 2mpd on HSBC Revo. But note that now you’ll be effectively buying miles

Titanium 4mpd ends this year. Unless they extend it, we’re not getting that many miles 🙁

Here’s hoping they extend it then! If not the OCBC TR isn’t as competitive as the CR. Imo.

long way to go till 31 dec! i wouldn’t get worried just yet

Confirm DBS WWC can’t get miles. Tried it last semester. Not even the 1x points

yeah, definitely not. it would fall under the educational institutions exception. thanks for testing, though

Just called up NTU, seems like they don’t have Samsung Pay or Applepay over the counter..

Could be that the counter staff don’t know that most Contactless terminals now support these payment methods. I’m always weary about relying on the answer of a front line staff who may not understand the technical details of How mobile payments are implemented

*leery*