Nerfed: Amaze Imposes 1% Fee For Local Spend Above S$1,000

Starting 1st April 2024, Instarem Amaze is changing up the fee structure. The 1% fee previously imposed for insurance, education etc. will be removed. The fee for Merchant Category Codes (MCC) 6540 (e-wallet top-ups) and 4111 (EZ-link and TransitLink General Ticketing Machines), however, will continue to attract a 1% fee.

At the same time, all monthly domestic spending in excess of S$1,000 will attract a 1% fee with a S$0.50 minimum per transaction. To be clear, international spend in foreign currency will not incur this fee nor count towards the S$1,000 limit.

Instarem Amaze

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S$1,000 monthly cap complicates things for Citi Rewards

Those who use Citi Rewards with Amaze can continue to heave a sigh of relief, mostly. S$1,000 is just enough to max out the spending capacity of a single Citi Rewards card within a month.

However, Amaze’s monthly cap will go by calendar month while Citi Rewards card goes by statement month. My Citi Rewards card’s monthly cycle starts and ends in the middle of each month so it is perfectly fine for me to spend S$1,000 in the first half of the month and another S$1,000 in the second half. This still gets me the full 10X bonus points since the spending is across two statement months for my Citi Rewards card (first half of March 2024 counts as March 2024 statement and second half of March 2024 is together with April 2024’s statement).

Under the new fee structure of Amaze, I would have incurred a 1% fee for amounts above S$1,000 since I did both spends were done within the same calendar month.

It is an annoyance that you can overcome by being more mindful in syncing up your Citi Rewards spend cap with that of your Amaze. Changing your statement cycle with Citibank would help too though I’m not sure if the bank allows for that.


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KrisFlyer UOB card impacted as a big-spend card

While Citi Rewards users shouldn’t be too affected by this change, KrisFlyer UOB’s effectiveness as a card for huge expenses is quite impacted by this new change.

Unlike most high-earn cards, there is no limit to the 3 miles per dollar earn rate of KrisFlyer UOB on selected expenses like online shopping etc (as long as you meet the minimum S$800 spend on Singapore Airlines transactions). Paired with Amaze which helpfully converts offline transactions into online spending, even physical stores can get the 3 miles per dollar earn rate. You could thus buy a pricey handbag, a high-end laptop, or half a dozen iPhones if you wish and not have to worry about a spend cap.

This still works after the new fees are imposed, though you now have to pay 1% on amounts exceeding S$1,000 of spend per month which is obviously unpleasant.

1% fee has a $0.50 minimum

Once you hit S$1,000 of spend within the month, you have to be a little more careful when using the Amaze card for smaller, local transactions. This is because the 1% fee has a S$0.50 minimum, so even if you bought a small $0.30 item, you would incur a disproportionally high fee of S$0.50 for this transaction.

Foreign currency spending not affected

As a travel-oriented card, Amaze isn’t impacted by this new fee structure. Foreign currency expenditure will not incur this fee nor count towards the S$1,000 monthly spending limit.

Removal of 1% MCC fee

As part of the change, Instarem has removed the 1% fee it imposed some time last year on things like insurance, healthcare and education. These transactions will still be subject to the S$1,000 spend limit, so anything above the cap will incur 1% fee.

MCC 6540 (e-wallet top-ups) and 4111 (EZ-link and TransitLink General Ticketing Machines) continue to be subject to 1% fee.

Season for nerfs

Nerfseason continues and we can only roll with the punches. For bigger spenders, a “Player 2 Strategy” now becomes more relevant. Having multiple cards means that your spend cap is multiplied by the number of cards you control.

Aside from that, make sure to adjust your spending accordingly and get your big ticket purchases done before the new fee structure take place.

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2 thoughts on “Nerfed: Amaze Imposes 1% Fee For Local Spend Above S$1,000

  1. Suppose I have a payment totaling $5000 that needs to be made, but I decide to split it into five transactions of $1000 each. Would I still be subject to the 1% fee on the remaining $4000?

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