Sunday, July 7, 2013

Student Discounts in Singapore - ZeeloTips

Students are awesome people. They work hard for exams, they don't really have to pay lots of bills except for mobile phone bills, they are shaping the future and they just like to have fun. However, one of the main disadvantages of being a student is that they don't really have that much money in their pockets. I know because I'm a student myself. Despite all that, don't worry so much because in Singapore, there are plenty of student discounts that students can make use of if they know where to find them. With these discounts, they can start to hang out with their friends without worrying so much about money and for certain discounts, they can even help students with their education. Here are some of the most common student discounts that students can find in Singapore. All a student needs is their student card, preferably a student EZ-Link card because most merchants accept this as proof of identity, some money and probably an official student email (although the last one is optional).

1) Bus/MRT/LRT Student Fares and Concession Passes

Many students with student EZ-Link cards except tertiary students and NSFs, are eligible for student discounts on public transport by default. All they have to do is to just top up their student EZ-Link card just like a regular EZ-Link card and tap on the bus/MRT/LRT card readers to get the discount. Student fares range from S$0.36 to S$0.58 as of June 2013. If students travel for a very long distance like 7.2 km and above, they just have to pay S$0.58. For feeder services, it's capped at just S$0.36 no matter how long the distance.

The fares are cheap although it's not as cheap as back in the olden days. For cash payment, students pay S$0.55 for shorter distances, S$0.65 for slightly longer distances and S$0.75 for distances above 6.3km. However, to pay cash fares, students must always present their student EZ-Link cards to the driver and must also prove that the student EZ-Link card has no value in it whatsoever. This is to avoid fare evasion. Furthermore, they cannot just prove by wearing school uniform and if they forget to bring their student EZ-Link card, they may have to pay adult fares.

Another option for students to get discounts for public transport, is to use monthly concession passes. Monthly Concession Passes allow students to ride on a certain amount of MRT rides and bus rides for a monthly fee. Thankfully, monthly concession passes also apply for tertiary students and NSFs although it may be more expensive than their primary and secondary school counterparts. Just head to any Transitlink Ticket Office which can be found in MRT Stations and bus interchanges, and let the cashier know what concession pass you would like to purchase. You can choose the Bus Concession Pass (BCP) which entitles you to unlimited bus rides in a month, Train Concession Pass (TCP) which entitles you to a number of MRT rides in a month or if you prefer, you can have both concession passes. Different concession cards will have different rates.

Just pay a monthly fee for your preferred concession pass and you can start based on the date that you have chosen. Do take note that if you travel regularly everyday or if you have to take lots of bus and train rides, it's wise to use the Monthly Concession Passes. Otherwise, it's better to use the EZ-Link as per normal whereby you top up once the value is 0 dollars. More information is available at the Transitlink website.

 2) Food and Drinks

Another way for students to make use of their student EZ-Link cards is to use them for food and drinks. A lot of restaurants offer student discounts to students at very affordable prices. Some examples include Manhattan Fish Market, BBQ Chicken, Swensen's and so much more. Usually, they will have a separate menu that's dedicated to student discounts and the prices are much lower than what people usually pay. However, students must always read the fine print carefully. Some places only offer discounts at certain days and at certain times. In order to save even more money, find restaurants that offer student discounts at nett prices. If you don't know what nett prices are, basically, you will pay only for the price that has been stated. This means, you don't have to pay additional GST and additional service charge as they are most likely included in the nett price. Paying for these additional fees may actually make your visit to the restaurant even more expensive.

Other than just restaurants, certain buffet restaurants also offer student discounts at certain timings. Examples include Seoul Garden and Shabu Sushi. Just like a regular buffet restaurant, all you do is to pay a certain amount of money to dine in at the buffet and you can start eating. However, to enjoy the discount, do let the staff know and don't forget to show the student EZ-Link card. More and more places are offering student discounts when it comes to food and drinks. Back then, almost all the major fast food restaurants offer student discounts. Unfortunately, now, I can only think of KFC offering discounts for students. Most likely it's because the other fast food restaurants already offer certain value meals at affordable prices for anyone to buy so they are not restricted to just students. Wherever you go, there are bound to have restaurants that offer discounts for students. Once again, like I said, find food at nett prices if possible.

3) Entertainment and Fun

Students are the type of people who always study a lot. They do need to take a break once in a while and some of the best ways to take a break and have fun is to visit entertainment places. Some entertainment places offer student discounts like movies, karaoke places and even the Singapore Flyer. Like I said earlier, all they need is their student EZ-Link card. The Singapore Flyer is a great tourist attraction that allows visitors to check out beautiful sights of Singapore. You can see a lot of things in a distance like the Central Business District, Orchard Road and who knows, maybe you can also see your house when you're up at the top. As of July 2013, the Singapore Flyer offers students tickets for just S$15 to go up the Singapore Flyer. Usually, it will be twice that amount. Basically, students are saving almost half the amount of a typical Adult ticket and that's a good amount of savings.

Other than the Singapore Flyer, another great place that students can visit for their entertainment is a movie theatre, also known as, cinema. Everybody knows that movie tickets will cost a lot of money especially for weekends. Thankfully, you can save a bit of money by getting a student discount. Most student discounts for movie tickets will only be applicable on weekdays and at certain timings like mornings and afternoons. Discounts can range from S$6 to S$7.50. It's a few dollars cheaper than buying regular tickets and not only that, they don't have to deal with lots of people because student discounts are usually applicable on weekdays.

Do note that student discounts are not applicable if you buy tickets through the phone and online and it's not applicable to 3D movies, movie marathons and premium lounge movie seats. More details are available through the websites of the various cinemas. For karaoke lounges, I believe there are some that offer student discounts although I'm not so sure which ones so I can't comment on that, unfortunately. Still, these places are still the best places for students who want to have student discounts when it comes to entertainment.

4) Phone Contracts

Ask any student and they definitely will know what social media is and the different types of social media accounts they use. Other than that, they just love to surf the web and check out the different kinds of apps available on their phones. Students can definitely save a bundle when it comes to phone contracts and data plans. All the three major carriers in Singapore offer plans and phones for students whether or not they are plans that are bundled with data or not. A check with Starhub's phone contracts reveal that all their major consumer plans have student discounts. Although it is a discount, it's not entirely a discount. Students still have to pay the usual monthly prices like what most people do but they will get extra perks like unlimited SMS/MMS, free 1GB of data every month (more details at the carrier's repective websites) and others. It may stray away from this blog's main focus but hey, since I'm discussing more about student discounts, might as well talk about all the other student discounts that are available in Singapore, right?

5) Computers and Computer Software

Again, like what I have said earlier, this may not be related to blog's main topic but since I'm talking about student discounts might as well talk about other things that students can get a discount on. Another thing that students can get at a discount are computers and computer software. Apple, a company that's very popular with their mobile products, offers students discounts on their Mac computers through their official Education website. They have an Education website that is made specially for Singapore.

On their website, students can buy all kinds of Mac computers like MacBooks and the discounts are also applicable to educators like teachers and lecturers. Unlike the other discounts that I have mentioned, students don't have to physically present their student EZ-Link card. They may have to provide other evidences of their student identity such as their official institutional student email and their official student ID which they use in school. Try visiting the Apple Education Singapore website to find out more.

Apart from the physical computers, you can also get student discounts on computer software too. Companies like Microsoft offer student discounts of software through their official portal for students called DreamSpark. With this website, all a student needs is a proper student email account that DreamSpark recognises and they can start downloading software at a discount or even for free. I used DreamSpark with my official student email and got a hold of Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus edition for FREE. Not only that, I also managed to download Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 for free too although there's an expiration date. Other software that students can get is Windows 8. Yes, the entire Windows 8 operating system, all for free through Microsoft DreamSpark. Different accounts may vary so you may have to check DreamSpark yourself and see which ones you can get for free and which ones you can get at a steep discount. Other than DreamSpark, there's also Mine Mall, a place where you can get Adobe Creative Suite at around S$100++ and

6) Free Attractions

Sometimes, the best discounts are always 100% discounts. Sounds impossible to find places to find 100% discounts for students in Singapore? Think again. While this may not exactly be the 100% discount that you are looking for, free attractions are definitely one example of an entertainment place that's totally free not only for students, but for other people as well. There hundreds of parks and gardens that any student can visit for free. They are great places to relax, unwind and breathe in some fresh air. Apart from that, these places can also be regarded as great youth hangout places. Other than parks and gardens, there are also free concerts at places like the Esplanade which is also one of the more popular hangout places for youths. You go there, enjoy great music at an open-air theatre all the for the price of free. Want to find out more, check out my previous ZeeloTips article here to find out more places that are totally free and appropriate for students.


If you are a student like me, chances are, you want to know how to save more money. With these examples above, there are so many ways you can save some money. All a student needs is a valid student EZ-Link card and perhaps other forms of student identification like student email to get some serious discounts. Discounts range from public transport fares to entertainment to food and so much more. Hanging out with friends can no longer be expensive thanks to the amount of student discounts that are available in Singapore. While this article may not be a full list of all the discounts that you can find in Singapore, these are some of the more common ones. If you have more student discounts that you know about that can be helpful to other students, do tell me right below in the comments section. Happy saving and don't forget to study hard students! 

ZeeloTips is a monthly article series whereby I talk about how to make your stay in Singapore a fun one. You can check out previous and future ZeeloTips articles in the ZeeloTips label.

1 comment:

  1. nice and informative article...I recently got the Microsoft student discount from one of the top Singapore discount and deals website in Singapore I hope this link will help others to avail this discount.


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