some newbie questions

  1. #1

    Question some newbie questions

    I have finally decided to stay in HK long term . I need some advice on the following :

    1. Best Broadband Internet Provider
    2. Best HK Dollar Credit Card / Bank
    ( i plan to use credit card to purchase appliances through interest free installments , if thats possible )

    thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Don't even think of using credit cards to finance any major purchases. You're looking at rate of 24-25% a year, without exception. Credit Card rates are kept a point or two below what the govt considers loan shark rates.

    By the way, how long have you been in HK for? If you're new to HK, forget about HSBC or Stan Chart. You may have some luck with Citi.

  3. #3

    So-net looks like an alright service, monthly fee looks about average too. It's up to you, but if you're a bit tight, I would suggest getting Hong Kong Broadband instead. It provides a 10Mb (megabit) service, and for something like HK$90 something a month.

    Yes, it might sound like it's too good to be true, however it doesn't seem to be the case. I've tested the speed several times in the past just to confirm whether I really did have a 10M connection, and sure enough, when I saw that I was getting 1.0MBps - 1.1MBps (megabytes per second - close to 9M), I knew I did.

    There's only one small catch though, when connecting to the network, one is required to open up this small & annoying IE connection window. It can be taken away using the right software however, or you could also just reboot while connected, leaving you connected but without the window.

    I've also tried iCable in a neighbours system, but I didn't like it because the speeds fluctuate too much sometimes.

  4. #4

    thanks for the replies :

    * i guess the monthly fee will not be an issue if i can convince my office that i " need " a broadband connection at home to work " 24/7 " ... i guess my main concerns are reliability/uptime , speed , and connectivity to our VPN.

    * i already have a bank acct with HSBC but I'm shopping for a better credit card from other banks . . . although it seems i have to settle in a rented flat and apply for utilities under my name ... seems they don't look favorably at people living in serviced apartments for some reason or other .

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Hong Kong credit cards are a joke. If you're from Europe or the US, just use your old credit card from there. Visa is visa the world over, so you'll have no problems using it, and you get to pay SANE interest levels (and if you have online or phone banking it shouldn't be any problem paying it off abroad anyway).

    I still have my student credit card, so I snigger when I see how much everyone else pays on interest. Then I cry when I remember my student debt ^_^

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    in an underground bunker at an undisclosed location

    The best broadband provider in HK, ....PCCW's Netvigator, hands down (though some might disagree). Here's why: a friend of mine in the business says that most other ADSL broadband providers like So-net and HKnet lease their capacity from PCCW, and offer it at a lower price to gain market share. Don't get caught up on the rates, the plans they heavily advertise have hidden clauses and come with conditions, so read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. If its service you're looking for, again PCCW is the one to beat.

    If you prefer cable, then there's always I-cable, and also HK Broadband network, although they don't have coverage in certain areas. You'll have to check that out.

    Best credit card? I use three cards from three different banks. I would recommend HSBC, Bank of East Asia, Bank of China, and AMEX (though not too widely accepted here). I would definitely NOT recommend DBS. Their service standards are awful. A shame, really, considering they're very good in Singapore!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Netvigator customer service is PATHETIC. Don't even get me started on their bait and switch tactics and billing problems.

    Would recommend So Net and Netfront.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Back in Toronto now - after 10 1/2 years in HK

    Citi's HK cards could come with some interest-free installment purchase plans in tie-ups with Fortress and a number of other outlets. I remember mailers with my statement and notices at Fortress to this effect, but didn't pay much attention - don't know if it's still on. Check with their sales staff or website.