Your Guide to Student Credit Cards in Hong Kong 2021

Many credit cards have minimum income requirements and annual fees that make them difficult to access for full-time students. Luckily, university students can apply for a student credit card without stringent requirements and still enjoy perks and rewards on their spending.

Contents:

What is a Student Credit Card?

From buying textbooks and paying tuition to purchasing groceries and eating out, students have plenty of expenses during their time at university. However, many full-time students have a limited or no salary at all, which means they don't qualify for regular credit cards. Student credit cards typically have low or no minimum income requirement and may even offer an annual fee waiver. Some cards are affiliated with universities while others are issued by financial institutions and specifically tailored to students.

What are the Benefits of a Credit Card?

Credit cards offer rewards on your spending and a wide variety of perks, including discount prices at select merchants, free airport lounge access and more. By spending with a credit card, you can receive a percentage of your expenses back in the form of cashback or in points, which can be redeemed for air miles or gift vouchers.

For example, the Hang Seng MPOWER Card has no minimum income requirement for university students. You can earn a 5% rebate on mobile and online spending with this card and cardholders enjoy benefits like priority concert booking and discounted tickets and popcorn at MCL Cinemas. The PrimeCredit EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card offers a flat 2% rebate on every purchase plus a 5 year annual fee waiver and buy one, get one free ticket deals at UA Cinemas.

An additional bonus of responsibly using a credit card as a student is that you can begin to develop your credit, making it easier to obtain a loan or mortgage later on. Check out our roundup of the best student credit cards in Hong Kong to compare different cards and determine the best choice for you.

Compare Cashback Rates and Welcome Offers of Student Credit Cards

CardGeneral Spend RebateWelcome Offers
Hang Seng MPOWER Card5%
  • Receive HK$600 cashback w/ HK$5k min. spend in 1st 2mo, OR:
  • Receive 8 MCL Cinemas movie tickets w/ HK$5k spend in 1st 2mo
  • Receive HK$100 cashback w/ online application
EarnMORE UnionPays2%
  • Receive HK$500 rewards (HK$200 supermarket coupon + HK$300 cash rebate)
  • Receive HK$500 cashback w/ HK$8.5k min. spend in 1st 3mo, OR:
  • Receive Dyson V7 Vacuum Cleaner w/ HK$8.5k spend in 1st 3mo (redemption fee required), OR:
  • Receive Tefal Air Fryer w/ HK$8.5k spend in 1st 3mo

WeWa UnionPay0.4%
  • Receive HK$500 rewards (HK$200 supermarket coupon + HK$300 cash rebate)
  • Receive HK$500 cashback w/ HK$8.5k spend in 1st 3mo, OR:
  • Receive Jabra Elite Active wireless headset w/ HK$8.5k spend in 1st 3mo, OR:
  • Receive American Meresoy massage gun w/ HK$8.5k spend in 1st 3mo, OR:
BEA i-Titanium0.4%
  • Receive HK$300 supermarket coupon
  • Receive HK$300 Deliveroo Cash Coupon w/ HK$2k spend in 1st 2mo, OR:
  • Receive HK$200 cashback w/ HK$2k spend in 1st 2mo, OR:
  • Receive JBL Tune12- wireless headphones w/ HK$4k spend in 1st 2mo

What are the Application Requirements for a Student Credit Card?

  • Most financial institutions require applicants to be full-time University Students
  • Applicants must be over the age of 18
  • Minimum income requirements are waived for many student credit cards
  • You must submit documentation such as your ID, proof of residential address, and a valid student ID to be eligible

University Student Credit Cards vs Student Cards from Financial Institutions

University-branded student credit cards allow students to earn rewards for on-campus purchases including spending on textbooks and even tuition. They also may donate a portion of your spending towards university development. Hang Seng offers 5 university-branded cards that offer a 2.4% Cash Dollars rebate for tuition fee payment and exclusive campus privileges. Students, alumni and staff from the following universities are all eligible to apply:

  • Hong Kong Baptist University
  • City University of Hong Kong
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • School of Continuing and Professional Studies CUHK
  • Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

Student credit cards from financial institutions don’t offer specific university perks, but they tend to have higher cashback rewards and more competitive perks than university-branded cards.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Many banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong offer student credit cards, including PrimeCredit credit service, HSBC, and Hang Seng. Other banks like Standard Chartered offer competitive cards like Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard and Standard Chartered Simply Cash Visa Card with a relatively low minimum income requirement of HK$96,000.

Several student credit cards waive their minimum income requirements and annual fees for university students. When you apply for a student credit card, you will need to submit your proof of residency and student id to be eligible.

It depends on the card. Some student credit cards like the Hang Seng MPOWER Card offer a perpetual annual fee waiver. Others like the WeWa UnionPay Diamond Card offer a 2-year waiver, extended to 5 years for students.

Before applying for a credit card, you should compare the perks and rewards of several different cards to find the best value for your lifestyle. Reviews like our roundup of the best cashback credit cards and the best air miles credit cards can help you gain an understanding of the market.

Our best student credit cards page details a list of low- or no-requirement cards that are easily accessible for university students. Visit the financial institution’s website and read the terms and conditions before applying for your card. You should note that you will need to submit proof of residency, an identity card and proof of university enrolment to enjoy student benefits.

Kevin Schwartz

Kevin is a Junior Research Analyst at ValueChampion specialising in credit cards in Hong Kong. He previously worked for the U.S. Congress as a Legislative Fellow as well as in international education in Beijing. He holds a B.A. in International Studies and Chinese from the College of the Holy Cross and received multiple scholarships for Chinese language studies, including the State Department Critical Language Scholarship.