Amaze Card adding new rewards exclusions from January 2022

From 1 January 2022, Amaze will exclude donations, education, insurance, government services and other MCCs from earning cashback.

From 1 January 2022, Instarem will be adding new rewards exclusions to the Amaze Card, details of which can be found in the FAQs section of the website. 

The following email has also gone out to customers:

From 1st of Jan 2022, we will update the amaze 1% cashback eligibility criteria with some merchant category codes (MCCs) being excluded. That said, you can continue to enjoy 1% cashback on all other merchants! The updated list of excluded merchants can be viewed on our website FAQs.

New Amaze rewards exclusions

Historically speaking, Amaze has been very liberal with its rewards.

Provided a cardholder spends at least S$500 per calendar quarter, he/she will earn 1% cashback on all transactions of at least S$5, except top-ups to prepaid accounts like YouTrip or GrabPay. 

From 1 January 2022, Amaze is adding a lot more rewards exclusions to the mix.

MCCDescription
4111Railroads, Transportation Services
4900Utilities – Electric, Gas, Water, and Sanitary
5199Nondurable Goods (Not Elsewhere Classified)
5993Cigar Stores and Stands
6211Security Brokers/Dealers
6513Real Estate Agents and Managers – Rentals
7299Other Services – Not Elsewhere Classified
7523Parking Lots, Parking Meters and Garages
8211Elementary and Secondary Schools
8241Correspondence Schools
8249Vocational and Trade Schools
8398Charitable Social Service Organizations
8675Automobile Associations
9211Court Costs, Including Alimony and Child Support
9223Bail and Bond Payments
9399Government Services
4784Tolls and Bridge Fees
5047Medical, Dental, Ophthalmic and Hospital Equipment and Supplies
5960Direct Marketing – Insurance Services
6012Financial Institutions – Merchandise, Services, and debt Repayment
6300Insurance Sales, Underwriting, and Premiums
6540Non-Financial Institutions – Stored Value Card Purchase/Load
7349Cleaning, Maintenance and Janitorial Services
8062Hospitals
8220Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools, and Junior Colleges
8244Business and Secretarial Schools
8299Schools and Educational Services
8661Religious Organizations
8699Membership Organizations
9222Fines
9311Tax Payments
9402Postal Services

If this list looks familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to banks. Among the new exclusions are things like education, insurance, government services, charitable donations and utilities– transactions which have been long excluded on most credit cards.

Now, the question is how big a deal this will be for existing Amaze cardholders, because you probably wouldn’t have used the Amaze for such transactions in the first place. Why earn 1% cashback when you could earn 1.7% cashback with the no-exclusions UOB Absolute Cashback Card?

Even if American Express (the UOB Absolute Cashback Card is an AMEX) isn’t accepted by the merchant in question, you could use it to top-up a GrabPay account and then pay with the GrabPay Mastercard, still earning 1.7% in the process.

❓ While you could stack the Amaze with the Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard for up to 2.6% cashback (1% from Amaze, 1.6% from Citi) you’ll still run into MCC exclusions. For example, Citibank excludes insurance transactions from earning rewards, so you’d get 1% cashback from Amaze and nothing from the Citi Cash Back+ if you paired the two. 

I suppose the main loss will be for those who were using Citibank cards to pay hospital bills, since Citibank still offers rewards on this category. You won’t be able to earn 1.2 mpd + 1% cashback on hospital bills with the Citi PremierMiles Card and Amaze from 1 January 2022, for instance. 

In any case, if your main use case for the Amaze is to clock 4 mpd + 1% cashback on foreign currency transactions with no fees, you’ll be more or less indifferent. 

The same cashback spending conditions apply as before, namely:

  • All transactions must be at least S$5 to earn cashback
  • A minimum spend of S$500 per quarter is required to earn cashback
  • Cashback is capped at S$100 per quarter (i.e. S$10,000 maximum spend)

Cashback is credited on the 25th of the month after the end of the calendar quarter. There is no option to cash out an Amaze wallet to a bank account, but a simple workaround is to use the Amaze to top-up a GrabPay account, then cash out. 

Conclusion

Amaze will be introducing new rewards exclusions from 1 January 2022, which are very similar to those of banks. There’ll be no more rewards for charitable donations, education, insurance or government services, although you may not have been using the Amaze for such things in the first place.

It remains to be seen how long Amaze can stay in the good graces of the banks, but we’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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cheesecake

For foreign education fees, UOB Absolute has high FX charge. So I use CIMB World Mastercard (1.5% cashback) via Amaze (1% cashback, now nerfed). The latter is substantial when fees are $120K a year, which I split them over the 4 quarters across 3 Amaze cards from family members. This nerf effectively “loses” me $1,200 a year.

freedom

Think about it. You are the exact reason why Amaze does not want to award cashback to education expense.

Traz

Well you still get the 1.5% and save on the fx fees.

Angela

It shouldn’t matter that the underlying card (e.g. UOB Absolute as you mentioned) has high FX fees and charges. Amaze negates that.

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year

What would be the best card to pay for a tuition fee posted in USD online then 🤔

No Idea

Nightmare_Angel

Not sure why but Amaze card transactions are all rejected (security and risk) since yesterday evening. Currently, I’m linking my Amaze card to Citibank Prestige which I’ve used for over 2 months already. Seems like it’s not the bank issue. Reached out to Amaze CSO and she’s has forwarded the matter to another team. Using the card in Korea now. Anyone else has similar issue?

Bubbles

You should check your card security settings in the Instarem app. I got those messages when I forgot to re-enable some txn types in the settings. (BTW the radio buttons are pretty much invisible when they are disabled – just a very faint outline).

Nightmare_Angel

Thanks for your suggestion. All transaction types have been enabled which was the setting I’ve done when I received the card. Still waiting for Instarem helpdesk to get back to me, already past a few days.

Lol

They’ve collected enough data on you now it’s time to take away the carrot

Ian End

Is anyone actually getting this cash back? I received one tranche in October, and nothing since then. I’ve charged probably 10-15000 dollars since then.

dkdk

The cashback comes every quarter, namely Jan, Apr, July and Oct I think

This is already stated in their tnc I believe and more so in all this article here. You should read up a bit more especially since you are spending so much with this card.

From this article:

Cashback is credited on the 25th of the month after the end of the calendar quarter.

Last edited 8 months ago by dkdk
Ian End

Great, thanks. I had assumed it was monthly.

lfk

whats a good card now to pair with for prudential payments?

Falco

I think the Amaze 4mpd hack is over. Even in Oct, Citi Rewards did only credit bonus miles for about half of the tens (all Amaze online only transactions), and when calling explained that the underlying merchant code counted, rather than Amaze. Now I see barely 3000 points on 1000$ spent for my next bill (when it should be 10,000 points), so I think this is well and truly over. Same with the DBS Women’s World. I see only a few points showing (not yet billed) despite siginificant spend via Amaze.

Halo

Hi Falco, what kind of transactions were they?

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