Any parent will happily tell you that school fees in the UAE can be a source of stress. Just this week, a report from Old Mutual International said that the cost of a child’s education, from pre-school to university, could reach over AED 1.4 million. That’s a big number, and while the best advice to handle such sums is to start saving early and ensure financial discipline, there are additional measures that parents can take when it comes to school fees.
Funnily enough, one of the answers lies in credit cards. Banks in the UAE have come to understand that school fees can place enormous financial pressure on families, so, in recent years, they’ve begun offering benefits to their products as a way to attract parents with school fees to handle. There’s nothing nefarious going on here – there’s demand for benefits to do with school fees, and some banks are meeting that demand with their credit cards.
And this our pick of the best credit cards that help parents with school fees in the UAE.
Standard Chartered Titanium Credit Card
This one makes the list because one of its key benefits is that you get up to 10% cashback if you use the card to pay for school fees. What’s more, if your child’s school does not accept credit card payments, Standard Chartered will offer a monthly instalment plan for school fees with 0% interest. The bank will then give you a cheque that can be presented to the school. And you’ll still get cashback on your repayments if you use your credit card for them.
On top of this, if you’re new to Standard Chartered, the bank will throw in an iPhone 7 Plus when you sign up for the Titanium Credit Card. All you need to do is pay the AED 499 fee for the card, and spend AED 10,000 per month with the card for the next six months – just remember to pay that amount off every month to keep your finances in check.
And we explained in this article, the card also offers up to 10% cashback on supermarket spends and utility payments, making it one of the best credit cards for families. And, just recently, Standard Chartered announced that you can get 20% cashback on all Uber rides with this card. And if you’re a first-time Uber user, you can get three free rides with Uber if you link this card to your Uber account.
NBAD GEMS Titanium Credit Card
Okay, this card is specific to GEMS schools, but given how many GEMS schools there are in Dubai, we’re betting that more than a few parents will be interested in it. Essentially, if you use this card to pay for your GEMS school fees, you’ll get a 7% per annum discount, which is given to you as a reducing balance on the advance payment of your school fees. Clear the balance quickly and you’ll have saved a bundle.
Mashreq Bank Smart Saver Card
This free-for-life card makes the list because it offers up to 10% cashback on education fees. It’s relatively simple, really – make a school fee payment of up to AED 20,000, and you’ll get 10% of the balance returned back to you. The only catch is that, to take advantage of the offer, you’ll have to spend at least AED 15,000 with the card. Still, if you fall below that number, you can still get 5% cashback on your school fees.