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 (Updated 16 April 2018) :

NUSNTUSMUSUTDSITSUSS
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, SUSS and SMU accept credit card payments 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(and now SMU too). 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

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.

[credit_card_shortcode cc_id=”21830″]

[credit_card_shortcode cc_id=”21775″]

Matthew Chong
Addicted to luxury travel while trying not to go broke, Matthew is always on the prowl for the best deals in the travel industry. When he's not busy studying, he can be found trawling the internet and reading up on credit cards, airlines and hotels. He also wouldn't mind taking you out on a date.

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Brian

Great timing Matthew!

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

Gabriel

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

Ej

Any way of earning miles from paying tax? Hehe.

Aaron Wong

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

Michelle

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?

Matthew Chong

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

May

is this online gateway?

Chuckycheese

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

Matthew Chong

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

Aaron Wong

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

Dyna

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

Aaron Wong

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

Gary

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

Aaron Wong

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

Bert

*leery*

?

actually SMU allows credit card over counter too

“NETs or Debit/Credit Card in person at SMU Office of Finance during the following operation hours:
Tuesdays to Thursdays (Excluding Public Holidays) : 11.00 am to 2.00 pm “

Dewberry

Is there a maximum cap on the miles awarded for online payments for HSBC Revolution ? Am looking for a double confirmed guaranteed miles reward card for NUS fees payment. The amount is going to be HUGE, but not on monthly basis.

Dewberry

Simply cool! Thanks a lot for sharing. Really appreciate it ?

Michael

Just found out that NUS is listed as an institution on Cardup, have you tried it before? Will ppv get 4mpd on this?

Boon

Hi,

I just called HSBC and they explained that payment of school fees (SMU) will not be recognized for rewards. Is your post now outdated?

Thanks for nothing

With geniuses like you notifying the bank, it might well be.

Boon

Be honest about your post then!

Belle

Hey Matthew and Aaron,
Do you know if the same applies to payment at Polytechnics in Singapore? I can’t seem to get much information about it online. Thanks!

?

Avoid using any DBS cards (including Altitude) 0 Points are awarded

Gary

Confirmed NTU doesn’t have contactless payment, at least for apple pay. My bro tried it over the counter

Yi

It seems like OCBC Titanium has discontinued the 4mpd for mobile payments after 4 Aug 2018.

Dennis

Hey Matt, still using the Revo for your tuition payments? Any change in the statue quo for AY19/20?

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