5 Money Saving Tips for incoming HKU students

August 20, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Studying abroad can be pretty daunting. If you’re coming to Hong Kong University this summer for the first time, this guide will help you to get settled down, the fastest, cheapest, and the most convenient way possible.

1. Purchase an Octopus card and apply for the Student Octopus card in September

Student Octopus

A must have in HK!

First off, grab an Octopus card at the airport or any MTR station. Click this link for a detailed guide.

In September, you must apply for the Student Octopus Card to enjoy 50% off MTR fares, and other student concessionary fares. Discounts are not applicable for buses. To find out how, click here!

2. Find out the best deals for a local mobile contract

It is advisable to first get a prepaid number upon arrival and switch it to postpaid once you receive your Hong Kong Identity Card (and a credit card in some cases). We have recommended a few prepaid cards here.

A postpaid plan is more preferable in the long term, but you can only get a postpaid contract after you’ve applied for your HKID. Without a HKID you would need to place deposit, and it can be a huge sum depending on the contract.

For more information regarding postpaid mobile plans, click here.

3. Opening a bank account and applying for a credit card – HSBC v.s BEA

HKU has two bank branches on campus: Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) on the Main Campus, and Bank of East Asia (BEA) on the Centennial Campus.

Both HSBC and BEA offer simple saving account but they do not offer the same benefits to you, so be sure to check out what you stand to gain before deciding!



Documents Required

  • HKID / Passport with visa

  • Proof of address in Hong Kong (from your residential hall)

  • Proof of address in your home country (ie. driving license)

  • HKID / Passport with visa

  • Proof of address in Hong Kong (from your residential hall)

  • Proof of address in your home country (ie. driving license)


To be made with the branch prior to opening account

Walk-in is possible

Minimum Deposit

HKD 2,000

HKD 100

Minimum Balance

Maintain an average of HKD 5,000 per month

Not required

ATM network

HSBC/Hang Seng ATMs

Jetco network


Not offered currently

  • 2 complimentary UA Cinemas movie vouchers,
    or 4 Starbucks Coffee Gift Certificates (HKD 25 each)

  • Waiver of the inward remittance fee

  • Waiver of monthly service fee during
    your period of studies and first three years immediately after graduation

  • Click here for more info

For more information on bank accounts and credit cards, click here!

4. Caught the flu? UHS has your back.

If you get ill, don’t worry! As a student at HKU, you are entitled to use the University Health Services (UHS). The UHS provides basic medical care services for free and dental care services for a minimal fee. The UHS is located at Meng Wah Complex 2/F. You are only entitled to such services upon receipt of your student card and HKID card.

For more info, visit this link.

5. Gym for free

You are free to use any of the facilities (basketball court, badminton court, swimming pool, etc.) in Flora Ho Sports Centre (opposite to St. John College/ village 2) and Stanley Ho Sports Centre (minibus bus no.8 from HKU). However, in order to get access to the gym, you will need to possess a gym card known as the IHP Fitness Centre User Card.

Find out how here.

Hope this guide will keep you stress-free in preparation for your new journey. Study hard and Play hard!  For more money saving tips, visit us @