Instarem Amaze Card

Review: Instarem Amaze Card

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!

⚠️ Sign up for the Instarem Amaze Card here!

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.

RewardNumber of InstaPoints
S$5 off next Instarem Transfer400
S$20 cashback in Amaze Wallet2000
Redemptions with InstaPoints

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.

Earn Rates
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

Exchange Rate

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.

CountryDateAmount Spent (Local Currency)Amaze Rates (SGD)Visa Rates (SGD)% difference (Amaze vs Visa)
South KoreaJuly 24 202354,400 KRWS$57.78S$56.61+2.06%
USAJuly 03 202319.06 USDS$26.35S$25.38+3.8%
GermanyJune 20 2023129.99 EURS$194.42S$191.01+1.78%
UAEMay 21 202331 AEDS$11.66S$11.39+2.37%
OmanMay 13 20235 OMRS$17.71S$17.41+1.72%
MalaysiaApril 10 202354.44 MYRS$16.81S$16.51+1.81%
ThailandApril 09 2023720 THBS$28.72S$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.

⚠️ Sign up for the Instarem Amaze Card here!

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.

CardSpending CategoriesMiles earned (mpd)
UOB Lady’s / UOB Lady’s Solitaire
(review)
Needs to be selected.
Dining / Travel / Fashion / Beauty / Entertainment
4 mpd
Citi Rewards Mastercard
(review)
All transactions except travel4 mpd
UOB KrisFlyer Card
(review)
Dining / Shopping / Travel / Transport3 mpd

My Verdict: Should You Get The Instarem Amaze Card

The Instarem Amaze is a must-have card if you’re serious about travel hacking in Singapore. Its main ability to convert offline purchases into online purchases and reduce the high foreign transaction fees makes this an amazing card to earn a lot of points and miles.
Despite its increasingly bad foreign exchange rate, the points earned from your underlying credit card far outweigh the fees you’re implicitly paying for with the bad rate.

⚠️ Sign up for the Instarem Amaze Card here!

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There are 10 comments

  1. If I use my Citi rewards to top up this amaze card, and then spend it will it better? Or Ciit doesn’t count that as an online spending?

    1. No, topping up the Amaze Wallet will NOT get you the 4 mpd on the Citi Rewards card. You have to use the Amaze Card as a passthrough instead.

    1. It all depends on whether you value earning 4 / 6 mpd on your underlying credit cards and whether that’s worth paying an additional 0.55% difference in currency conversion. For me it’s worth it as I can easily get more out of redeeming free flights from the miles earned.

    1. No, no credit cards provide miles for topping up the Amaze Wallet (a separate functionality by Instarem).
      If AMAZE*TRANSIT is placed in the exclusion list, then you cannot use the Amaze Card (as a passthrough) for transit purchases like SimplyGo and MRT rides.

  2. It seems that all the recommended credit cards have Amaze top-ups (MCC 6540) under their exclusion list so you won’t be able to get any miles from this.

    1. Yes you are correct. That’s for topping up the Amaze Wallet. However, if you use the Amaze card as a passthrough and not the Wallet functionality, then you’ll still get the miles.

  3. I have had the Instagram Amaze card for a while but never used it until I saw your article. I am a bit confused with pairing with UOB Lady’s card as it’s already earning 6mpd on it’s own why do we pair it with the Amaze card?

    1. If you use it on overseas purchases or foreign currency purchases, UOB will charge you an extra 3%+ fee on top of the forex spread. By using instarem amaze, you can reduce that fee to about 1-2%. There’s no difference if you’re doing offline purchases.

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