Paying school fees each year means making a serious dent in your annual savings, and most of it in one go. If you don't have enough saved, this can create a heavy financial burden for the rest of the year. Credit card offers can come in handy here, but take each one you see with a pinch of salt.
Before we get into the offers, let's discuss the questions you must ask your bank's customer care executive or a new card sales executive.
1. What is the cut-off date on using the card for school fees?
2. Is there a minimum spend limit on the card?
3. Is there a minimum spend limit on school fees also?
4. How much of the minimum spend can I fill up with my school fee instalments? For example, if the minimum spend is Dh2,000 per month, is my school fee instalment added towards this?
5. Are there specifics on what I can use the card for to complete the minimum spend amount per month? Is there a restriction on type of purchases or payments? For example, can I pay my Dewa bills with the card to fulfil the spend limit?
6. What are the annual fees for the card?
7. What are the instalment options available to me?
8. What is the processing fee for the instalment conversion, and how is it charged - per month or per year?
9. When you say cashback or rewards, is there a maximum cap on how much I can earn?
10. How can I redeem these reward points - can I use for payments? Is there a restriction on where or how I can use this?
11. Are there any hidden charges or monthly fixed charges on the card?
Here are some of the offers we found:
Convert your child's school fee payments into an interest-free 12-month payment plan for up to 12 months. For converting to 12 months, there is a processing charge of 2.5 per cent while a three to six month plan has a processing charge of 1 per cent. If your school does not accept credit card payments, you can still pay through the offer using the internet banking service or mobile app service of ADCB.
Mashreq has cards with a cashback offer on school payments (local or international). However, they have a relatively high minimum spend limit on the card and low caps on the cashbacks. Weigh your normal expenses, comparing with the rewards, to check if this might be a good offer for you.
Standard Chartered (SC)
You could get up to 10 per cent cashback (up to Dh400 a month) on instalments of school fees paid through the SC Titanium Card, at a minimum spend of Dh2,500 per month. The zero per cent instalment amounts do not count towards the minimum spend limit on the card. There is, however, an annual fee on the card and processing fees.
Emirates NBD also offers 10 per cent cashback (up to Dh500) on school fee payments exceeding Dh2,500 and parents can also convert the amount to zero per cent interest instalments for three, six or 12 months. This is subject to a onetime processing fee (1.5 per cent for three months, 2.5 per cent for 6 and 4 per cent for 12).
Dubai First has an instalment option for zero percent monthly payments and a 3 per cent processing fee while using the card for school fees. If the school does not accept cards, cheque facility is also available at a nominal fee.
NBAD for GEMS
For parents of students enrolled in GEMS schools in the UAE, NBAD has a credit card offer which features a discount on annual fees (up to 7 per cent), conversion to a 12-month easy payment plan and education coverage for your child. This offer is available for use throughout the academic year. However, the month you start determines how much of a discount you get, which starts at 1.8 per cent, going up to a maximum of 7 per cent.
Disclaimer: This information has been taken off respective websites of the banks. Gulf News is not responsible for any changes, losses or any other obligation arising out of choosing one of these. These figures are correct as of August 24, 2017.
This is an informative guide only and please read terms and conditions carefully before choosing to go ahead with any banking service or card offer.