Nerfed? Citi Rewards Not Awarding Bonus Points For Amaze Transactions

Update: Amaze transactions starting to post with 10X points again.

However, transactions made on 19th, 20th and 21st January 2024 still awarded only 1X points.


Over the past couple of days, scattered reports in the Telegram have been signalling that Citi Rewards card was not awarding bonus points for transactions made via Instarem Amaze. It is unclear whether this is a temporary aberration or a permanent nerf, but if you’re intending to make a large purchase with the Citi Rewards + Amaze combo, you might want to hold off first.

Citi Rewards

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Last day to apply: 30th April 2024


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Get 10X ThankYou Points (4 mpd or 2.27% cashback) on online and shopping transactions. Read the review here

Easy 4 miles per dollar no more?

Citi Rewards gives its 10X points earn rate primarily on online transactions. Conveniently, Instarem Amaze transactions have been processed as online ones. The pairing thus creates an easy-to-use high earn combo: add Citi Rewards to your Amaze app, use your Amaze card to pay for in-store purchases, and get 10X points from Citi Rewards nearly anywhere.

Instarem Amaze

Promo code iQYZTH for 325 points

New users:

Get 225 InstaPoints when you sign up with referral code iQYZTH and make at least one transaction of S$10. Get another 100 points when you verify your account upon sign up.

Features:

  • Get 0.5 InstaPoint per S$1 equivalent* spent in foreign currency (equivalent to 0.5% rebate, min spend S$10)
  • Save on forex fees (compared to your credit card forex charges)
  • Convert offline to online spending (for cards like Citi Rewards)
  • Store and swap between 5 credit cards on one Amaze card
  • Find out Merchant Category Code of transactions

Once upon a time, DBS Woman’s World Mastercard also enjoyed this mechanic until DBS pulled the plug back in June 2022. Given how it’s been almost 2 years since this “hack” became widely known and excluded by a major bank, it seemed like Citibank was happy to keep it going.

Things are a lot murkier now. While DBS explicitly excluded Amaze transactions, there haven’t been major changes to Citi’s terms and conditions to reflect anything about Amaze transactions being excluded from bonus points. Aside from some slight tweaks mentioning Amaze in June 2023, Citi has been quiet about Amaze-related transactions.

Seth
Seth

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Could Amaze transactions no longer be online?

It is thus curious why Citi Rewards has stopped awarding 10X points for Amaze transactions. Such transactions continue to earn the base 1X points (a paltry 0.4 miles per dollar) so it does not seem like there is a specific Amaze-related exclusion that has been recently imposed.

A possible situation would be that Amaze transactions are no longer coded as online ones. This would be quite similar to how there are reports of Atome purchases not being coded as online transactions. Such a scenario has implications beyond Citi Rewards – KrisFlyer UOB also benefit from being paired with Amaze to convert offline transactions into online.

Alternatives to use

As neither Citi nor Instarem has made any clarification on this matter yet, we can only speculate why such a change has happened. Regardless of the theory, you should hold off on making purchases via Instarem Amaze if you are counting for it to be online for cards like Citi Rewards or KrisFlyer UOB.

While not perfect replacements, in the interim there is UOB Preferred Platinum Visa or HSBC Revolution – both of which give 4 miles per dollar on most retail transactions.

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa requires you to add the card to your smartphone wallet and pay using your phone. This means that you can dump the physical card at home since only mobile contactless payments work. You should also note that the points are awarded on blocks of S$5 (e.g. a S$49.87 transaction is rounded down to S$45).

HSBC Revolution also requires contactless payment though it has a whitelist of eligible MCCs. Most retail transactions should fall within this white list, and unlike UOB Preferred Platinum Visa you don’t have to worry about S$5 blocks.

HSBC Revolution

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  • S$350 eCapitaVoucher
  • S$150 cash via PayNow

Existing HSBC Cardholder²

  • S$50 cashback (with S$1,000 min spend)

⚠️ Important – complete all the following steps to be eligible for rewards:

  1. Provide HSBC consent to receive marketing/promotional materials during application
  2. Fill up SingSaver gift redemption form
  3. Make a min. spend of S$500 by the end of the following month from card approval date to be eligible for rewards

Last date to apply: 14th May 2024

For quick reference only; refer to terms and conditions for exact terms and save a copy for future reference:

  1. Terms and conditions
  2. Terms and conditions (existing cardholder)

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Good while it lasted

In the world of credit card reward farming, good things seldom last, especially things that are publicly known. Citi Rewards + Amaze was something that went on for a very long time to the point I thought that it was deliberate. Call me an optimist, but I still hold out hope that this is just a little glitch in Citi/Amaze’s system that would be quickly resolved.

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