This is our full review of the Instarem Amaze Card.
The Instarem Amaze Card has been the talk of the town ever since its launch in August 2021. As a travel hacker, you would have heard of it. It supercharges your miles earning capabilities, makes it easier for you to hit your monthly bonus spending categories and even allows you to save some money on foreign currency exchanges along the way. What’s there not to love?
Exactly 2 years later, is the Instarem Amaze Card still as good as it used to be? Should you still get it if you’re starting on your travel hacking journey? We’ll find out!
How does the Amaze Card Work?
First off, the Instarem Amaze Card is not a credit card. You cannot make payments simply with the card. You’ll need to link an underlying Credit or Debit Card to it.
Whenever you make a payment with the Amaze Card, it will then route the purchase to the underlying card.
The main value proposition is that during this routing process, Amaze will convert all spending from offline to online spending. On top of that, if you’re using your Amaze Card overseas or paying in a foreign currency, it will convert the purchase into the Singapore Dollar (SGD), thereby bypassing the pesky foreign transaction fees banks charge that typically go for 3.25%.
Do I need to Top Up Money into the Instarem Amaze Card?
Yes and no.
If you’re asking this question, you’re probably familiar with other similar travel debit cards like YouTrip or Revolut. For those cards, you’ll need to first top-up money into an account. When you spend on the card, your spending will be deducted from the balance.
If you’re using an underlying credit or debit card, then no. You do not need to top up any money into the Instarem Amaze Card. As long as your underlying card can process the payment, then the payment will go through.
Alternatively, Instarem also introduced its own Instarem Wallet feature. If you want to use this method as the underlying payment method, then yes, you’ll have to top it up first. There are some benefits to using this payment method compared to an underlying credit or debit card that we’ll discuss in later sections.
Earn InstaPoints for Cashback on Spending
InstaPoints is Instarem’s loyalty currency. With InstaPoints, you can redeem them as either cashback directly on your Instarem Card or discounts towards your next Instarem money transfer.
|Reward||Number of InstaPoints|
|S$5 off next Instarem Transfer||400|
|S$20 cashback in Amaze Wallet||2000|
You’ll earn InstaPoints when you spend with your Amaze Card overseas or in foreign currency. You can also earn InstaPoints when you transfer money with Instarem or refer friends to the platform.
|0.5 InstaPoints per S$1 on FX spent via linked card|
|1 InstaPoint per S$1 on FX spent via Amaze Wallet|
|Money transfers with Instarem|
When using the Instarem Amaze Card on overseas purchases, the exchange rate is very important.
It is very common and expected that the rate you get with forex operators will be different from what you get when you search Google (aka the Spot rate). That difference in the exchange rate is known as the spread.
The spread is an unspoken fee paid by you whenever a currency conversion takes place. Essentially, the larger the spread, the higher you’re paying in implicit fees.
Over the past couple of months of travelling, we’ve been to several countries and have been actively using our Amaze Card while we were there. Here are some of our transactions with the card.
We’ve also compared the rates offered by Amaze to Visa’s official currency conversion rate on the day. This is the exchange rate that will be used by Visa if you directly paid with your card instead of going through Amaze.
|Country||Date||Amount Spent (Local Currency)||Amaze Rates (SGD)||Visa Rates (SGD)||% difference (Amaze vs Visa)|
|South Korea||July 24 2023||54,400 KRW||S$57.78||S$56.61||+2.06%|
|USA||July 03 2023||19.06 USD||S$26.35||S$25.38||+3.8%|
|Germany||June 20 2023||129.99 EUR||S$194.42||S$191.01||+1.78%|
|UAE||May 21 2023||31 AED||S$11.66||S$11.39||+2.37%|
|Oman||May 13 2023||5 OMR||S$17.71||S$17.41||+1.72%|
|Malaysia||April 10 2023||54.44 MYR||S$16.81||S$16.51||+1.81%|
|Thailand||April 09 2023||720 THB||S$28.72||S$28.21||+1.80%|
Also, do note that almost all credit cards in Singapore charge a foreign transaction fee if you pay for your overseas purchases. This typically goes for around 3.25% of the purchase amount.
Therefore, when analyzing the table above, we should subtract 3.25% from the % difference to get the actual savings by using the Amaze Card.
On top of that, remember that we also get an additional 0.5% cashback in the form of InstaPoints when we spend on foreign transactions. This further increases the actual amount of savings we’d get if we use the Amaze Card for overseas purchases.
ATM Withdrawals with the Amaze Card
You can use your Amaze Card at overseas ATMs for withdrawals. However, it will only work when the underlying payment method is the Amaze Wallet.
This is capped at S$1,000 per day and subjected to a 2% fee.
I do not recommend using the Amaze Card for cash withdrawals overseas. There are much better cards to do so like the Trust Card.
Mobile Payment with Amaze Card
In the present day, it’s increasingly common for consumers to only use their mobile devices for payment. It’s a lot more convenient and secure. Therefore, it’s only natural that Instarem supports mobile payment for its Amaze Card.
Currently, the Instarem Amaze Card only supports Google Pay for mobile payments. However, it’s noted that Apple Pay support is in the works and should hopefully be available for the general public soon.
Best Cards To Pair With Amaze Card
Remember that the Instarem Amaze Card can only be paid with Mastercards at the moment. There are also some card issuers like DBS which explicitly exclude earning points and miles with the Amaze card.
Also, the Amaze Card converts all offline spending into online spending. Therefore, cards that provide bonus miles for online spending are also perfect for pairing with the Amaze Card.
Below is a list of all the cards that we think are the best for pairing with the Amaze Card.
|Card||Spending Categories||Miles earned (mpd)|
|UOB Lady’s / UOB Lady’s Solitaire|
|Needs to be selected. |
Dining / Travel / Fashion / Beauty / Entertainment
|Citi Rewards Mastercard|
|All transactions except travel||4 mpd|
|UOB KrisFlyer Card|
|Dining / Shopping / Travel / Transport||3 mpd|
My Verdict: Should You Get The Instarem Amaze Card
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