Update: do note that Amaze has been nerfed a few times since, with the latest removing all cashback from local spend
Companies have been releasing all manner of wallet apps and promos along with them, and I want more. And more is exactly what Instarem is bringing to the table with its aptly named Amaze Card. I have been testing the card since last week and can confirm that it lives up to its name. Just download it now while you read the rest of the review.
Additional 1% cashback
This card gives you additional 1% cashback on the MasterCards you normally use. Additional as in bonus, or on top of. I could stop the review right here and that’s enough reason for you to download the app. If you are used to getting 1.5% with your Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card, get another 1% when you use it with the Amaze Card. Been enjoying 4 mpd with the DBS Women’s World Card or Citi Rewards Mastercard? Get 1% more cashback.
All you have to do is to add your favourite Mastercard into the app, and use the Amaze Card when spending. The Amaze Card then charges to the card, and transactions show up with a AMAZE* prefix and the merchant you’ve spent on:
From user testing, MCC is unaffected by the Amaze Card. That is to say, if you have cards that give you a high earn rate for a particular MCC, you’d still get that high earn rate on top of the Amaze Card’s 1% cashback.
The exclusion is an amazingly short list: wallet top-ups (or MCC 6540). This means that practically everything gets you the 1% cashback, even things like insurance or education which are commonly excluded. Grab top-ups are sadly not eligible and specifically excluded.
Talking about Grab, a particularly notable MasterCard – the GrabPay MasterCard – cannot be added to the Amaze Card. A bummer since it’d be a truly amazing pairing.
💰 Cashback is given on transactions S$5 and above, with a minimum spend of S$500 within a calendar quarter. It is capped at S$100 per calendar quarter and awarded on the 25th of the following month after each quarter (cashback accrued in July to September quarter is awarded on 25th October).
Converting offline payments to online
As with most wallet apps, the Amaze Card comes in a physical form for use in the offline world (it doesn’t support smartphone wallets like Apple Pay). From testing, transactions made on the physical card are recognised by credit cards as online transactions, at least for Citi Rewards MasterCard. This is very useful indeed, and something I expect would be thwarted by banks sooner rather than later.
Right now, one could link a cards that give rewards for online transactions and get a higher earn rate everywhere instead of online purchases. Notable ones would be DBS Women’s World MasterCard (jury is still out whether it’ll get 4 mpd this way) and Citi Rewards MasterCard (confirmed to currently give 4 mpd through the Amaze Card).
No forex fees
Instarem advertises the Amaze Card as having Great FX rates, which is a rare occasion where marketing understates the actual benefit of a product. Not only does the Amaze Card give a good currency exchange rate on foreign currency transactions, it converts the foreign currency transaction into a SGD one. By doing so, you dodge the forex fees that most credit cards charge by using the Amaze Card linked to your card of choice.
One of my favourite things about the Amaze Card is also the ability to add multiple cards in the app and select the primary card where transactions are charged to. My mum spends with my credit cards, and I can pass her one Amaze Card now instead of multiple cards, and select the primary card accordingly to maximise my rewards. You can also cut down on the number of cards you have in your wallet with this feature.
While smartphone wallets like Apple Pay already allow you to carry multiple cards conveniently, physical cards are sometimes more convenient, especially in places like public transport and in a time of face masks and Face ID. Perhaps not everyone would appreciate such a feature, but I definitely like it, especially when my Apple Wallet has already exceeded the maximum 12 cards it can hold.
Also, it provides a consolidated view of spending across multiple cards in one place, which makes life a bit easier for those who spend across multiple cards to reconcile their expenses.
Given that the Amaze Card currently gives an additional 1% cashback on top of your usual rewards, practically every MasterCard in your wallet needs to be linked to it.
ipaymy and CardUp (update: no longer working on ipaymy; not tested on CardUp yet) are also much better when you have an additional 1% cashback to offset the service fee, making the cost of buying miles much cheaper, and even making several cashback cards viable for earning more cashback than the service fee.
It’s definitely something that has a wide variety of use cases, and I can only imagine the discussion that’d happen in our Telegram chat group.
- Additional 1% cashback is excellent with few exclusions
- Converts offline spend to online… for now
- Dodges credit card forex fees
- Multiple card management
- Charges directly to card (i.e. no top-up required nor maintaining a balance in the app)
- Can’t add GrabPay MasterCard or Visa cards
- Amaze Card can’t be added to smartphone wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay
- Already counting down to nerfs and exclusions
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