In this Instarem amaze card review, we’ll break down the amaze card changes and determine if the amaze card is still worth its salt.
In our original Instarem amaze card review, we noted that it was really quite something — it lets anyone and everyone earn free 1% cashback so long as they met the easily attainable criteria. Alas! Good things don’t last forever; amaze card users will have to contend with slashed cashback and tougher requirements altogether.
But is it still amaze-ing? Read on to find out.
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- Instarem amaze card changes
- What is Instarem amaze?
- How does amaze card work?
- What are Instapoints?
- How to use amaze card?
- Is Instarem amaze card’s exchange rate good?
- Can you use amaze card on Apple Pay?
- Instarem amaze card referral
- What currencies does amaze support?
- Is Instarem amaze card still amazing?
- Best credit cards to pair with amaze
Instarem amaze card changes
- The amaze's 1% cashback rewards system was replaced with a points-based one called Instapoints. You'll earn 1 Instapoint for every S$1 spent on all foreign transactions with a minimum of S$10. This is capped at 500 Instapoints per spend
- DBS has excluded Instarem amaze transactions from its DBS rewards programme
- You won't be able to earn KrisFlyer miles when you use your UOB cards for amaze transit transactions (i.e. public transport)
- Previously, you also had to spend at least S$1,500 (or foreign currency equivalent) per calendar quarter to earn Instapoint cashback. Thankfully, Instarem has removed the minimum spending requirement, allowing you to earn unlimed Instapoints on foreign currency transactions, capped at 500 Instapoints per spend (you can also earn 2X Instapoints, or 2% cash back, on all eligible spend via amaze wallet until 31 March 2023)
- There's also an exclusion list from amaze rewards (see below)
What is the Instarem amaze card?
Instarem’s amaze card is a multi-currency debit card, much Wise, Revolut, and YouTrip, offering competitive foreign exchange rates when you make overseas purchases.
However, the amaze card holds one major advantage over other multi-currency cards: it lets you link up to five Mastercard debit or credit cards, allowing you to earn cashback/miles/rewards from your linked card(s).
You can also choose which Mastercard to use as your primary card, and this will be where your payments are charged.
What's also amazing about the amaze card is that it can convert all eligible offline spending to online transactions. So when paired with the Citi Rewards Card for instance, you're essentially earning 4 miles per dollar spent on most of your purchases, even for local spending.
How does the Instarem amaze card work?
Spending with your amaze card will convert your foreign transaction into an SGD transaction base on a competitive exchange rate. The transaction will then be reflected on your credit card as a local transaction.
Before it was nerfed, the amaze card was one of the most OP cards available; you could earn up to 1% cashback for local and foreign transactions. This was on top of the miles, points, or cashback your linked card(s) would earn.
This was fantastic as it’s essentially ‘free’ cashback — you’ll continue to rack up rewards earned on your credit card spend. For example, you could earn up to 8% cashback with the Citi Cash Back credit card on top of the additional 1% cashback from amaze.
The fact that amaze also doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee made it one of the best cards for local and foreign transactions.
However, the cashback for local transactions was nerfed from 1% to 0.5% circa 2022. It was then nerfed further as Instarem replaced the cashback system entirely with a points system known Instapoints.
Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2023? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.
What are Instapoints?
[Instarem amaze wallet promotion]: earn 4X Instapoints per S$1 spent (instead of the usual 1 point per S$1 spent) with the amaze wallet from 5 May to 31 May 2023. Both local and foreign transactions are applicable as long as they're funded from the amaze wallet. Read the full terms here.
Instapoints are loyalty points that you earn when you spend with the amaze card.
You'll earn Instapoints at a rate of 1 point per S$1 (or foreign currency equivalent) spent. But note that this is capped at 500 Instapoints per transaction.
That said, you can also earn Instapoints through successful referrals and remitting money overseas.
You can redeem your Instapoints for cashback at a fixed rate of 2,000 Instapoints for S$20, or 1% cashback. Your Instapoints will expire within a year of being issued.
Aside from cashback, you can also use your Instapoints for a discount for foreign remittance.
Also, amaze has a list of merchants that are excluded from reward points, which includes public transport:
|4111||Railroads, Transportation Services|
|4784||Tolls and Bridge Fees|
|4900||Utilities: Electric, Gas, Water, and Sanitary|
|5047||Medical, Dental, Ophthalmic and Hospital Equipment and Supplies|
|5199||Nondurable Goods (Not elsewhere classified)|
|5960||Direct Marketing: Insurance Services|
|5993||Cigar Stores and Stands|
|6012||Financial Institutions: Merchandise, Services, and debt Repayment|
|6300||Insurance Sales, Underwritting, and Premiums|
|6513||Real Estate Agents and Managers: Rentals|
|6540||Non-Financial Institutions – Stored Value Card Purchase/Load|
|7299||Other Services (Not elsewhere classified)|
|7349||Cleaning, Maintenance and Janitorial Services|
|7523||Parking Lots, Parking Meters and Garages|
|8211||Elementary and Secondary Schools|
|8220||Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools, and Junior Colleges|
|8244||Business and Secretarial Schools|
|8249||Vocational and Trade Schools|
|8299||Schools and Educational Services|
|8398||Charitable Social Service Organisations|
|9211||Court Costs, including Alimony and Child Support|
|9223||Bail and Bond Payments|
How to use the Instarem amaze card?
Follow these easy steps to start using your amaze card:
- Activate your amaze card through the Instarem app
- Link your preferred Mastercard card(s)
- Indicate your default card
- Use your amaze card
Use the amaze card as you would any credit card; it even lets you make contactless payments.
The amaze card is also free; you can apply for a physical amaze card via the app and it will be delivered to you. There's no annual fee, processing fee, and application fee either.
Even if you’re paying in a foreign currency, charge your purchase to your amaze card. It will automatically convert the amount for you at competitive FX rates without additional fees or charges.
To check how much your transaction is exactly in SGD, log in to your Instarem mobile app.
Furthermore, there is no need to top up your amaze card before using it online, in-store or on the go either.
Is Instarem amaze card’s exchange rate good?
Proponents of YouTrip may not know this: the amaze card doesn’t come with annoying foreign currency conversion (FCY) fees or charges!
This means users can access competitive FX rates 24/7 wherever they may be, plus continue to earn rewards on their linked credit card.
That said, it does charge a small FX spread when you make a foreign transaction.
Here's a fee comparison between amaze, Revolut, YouTrip, Wise, and credit cards:
|Card||Foreign transaction fee||FX spread|
|Revolut||None (1% to 2% on weekends)||None|
|Credit cards||High||2.5% to 3.5%|
Can you use the amaze card on Apple Pay?
Unfortunately, not at the moment. You’re in luck if you have Google Pay, though.
Instarem amaze card referral
You get 400 Instapoints referral bonus when you invite a family member or friend to join Instarem. Your referred family member or friend will receive 475 Instapoints. As mentioned, these can be used for cashback or a discount when you remit money overseas, just like Wise.
What currencies does Instarem amaze support?
Like other multi-currency wallets out there, Instarem amaze also has a multi-currency wallet feature; you can store and covert in Sing dollars, Euros, British pounds, and Swiss francs, with support for Japanese yen, New Zealand dollar, and Australian dollar to come.
That said, if you want more currency support, then Wise and Revolut are better options. Wise supports over 50 currencies, while Revolut allows you to hold more than 30+ currencies.
Is the Instarem amaze card still amazing?
Although the cashback part of the equation isn’t as attractive as it used to be, the amaze card is a convenient addition to anyone’s wallet, particularly if you’re a frequent traveller or spend in foreign currencies predominantly.
Apart from letting you enjoy competitive FX rates, you could also earn credit card rewards. The cherry on top would be that there’s no need to top up or have funds locked up in the account.
You can also withdraw up to S$1,000 daily from overseas ATMs. But note that you'll incur a 2% admin fee and an ATM owner fee for withdrawals. You'll also be charged a dynamic currency conversion fee if you don't withdraw in the local currency.
That said, the threshold is much higher than other multi-currency cards like Wise and Revolut, which only allow you to withdraw S$350 monthly.
As for its downsides, while the amaze wallet supports SGD, EUR, CHF, JPY, NZD, and AUD, it's not as comprehensive as Wise and Revolut, which operate in more countries. As such, you might want to bring those cards along if you're visiting a country with a currency that's not supported on amaze.
Another minor thing to note: the foreign exchange rate offered by Wise, Youtrip, and Revolut is competitively lower.
This wouldn't matter since the difference is marginal unless you buy undervalued currencies and want the best exchange rates. That said, the amaze offers cashback on foreign purchases, which helps.
Lastly, amaze currently only supports Mastercards; if you have a Visa credit or debit card, you won't be able to collect reward points, cashback, or miles on your card.
Pros of Instarem amaze:
- Can link up to five Mastercard debit/credit cards to earn cashback/rewards/miles; no top-ups to digital wallet required
- No foreign transaction fee, only a small FX spread
- You can remit money overseas
- Earn 1 Instapoint for every S$1 spent overseas
- Instapoints can be redeemed for cashback
- Allows you to convert eligible offline transactions to online transactions
Cons of Instarem amaze:
- Cashback isn't as great as it once was
- Can't link to Visa debit/credit cards (though you can top up your amaze wallet with Visa cards)
- Instapoints are only obtainable on overseas transactions
- Doesn't hold and support as many foreign currencies compared to Wise, Revolut, or YouTrip
- Cashback can only be used in amaze wallet
Best credit cards to pair with Instarem's amaze card
Our favourite Mastercard credit cards include:
|Card||Type of credit card||Benefit|
|Citi Cash Back+ Card
||Cashback||1.6% unlimited cashback all transactions and no minimum spend|
|Citi Cash Back Card
|Cashback||6% cashback on dining transactions worldwide|
|Citi Rewards Card
|Rewards||Earn 4 mpd or 10X rewards points on online and shopping transactions|
|Citi Premier Miles Card
||Miles||1.2 mpd on local transactions and 2 mpd for overseas transactions; miles never expire; 2 free airport lounge visits per year|
|Maybank Family & Friends Card
|Cashback||8% cashback for five categories (S$25 each category, up to S$125 per month)|
Maybank Credit Card Welcome Gift: Receive a pair of American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$336) or an Apple AirPods 3rd Gen with Lightning Charging Case (worth S$261.40) or S$200 cash credit when you apply for a new Maybank credit card and CreditAble account, and make a min. spend of S$600 per month for 2 consecutive months from card approval date. T&Cs apply.
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