Nerfed: DBS adds Amaze to rewards exclusion list from 1 June

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From 1 June, DBS will no longer issue rewards points on Amaze transactions. Here's my new strategy going forward.

From 1 June 2022, DBS will add all Amaze transactions to its rewards exclusion list, ending the possibility of earning 4 mpd with the DBS Woman’s World Card (or any points with any DBS card, for that matter).

This was confirmed in an update to the DBS Rewards T&Cs posted yesterday afternoon, under point 2.6.

⚠️ New DBS Rewards Exclusion
Any transaction with transaction description “AMAZE*” (with effect from 1 June 2022)

You can’t say it hasn’t been coming…

DBS adds Amaze to rewards exclusions

All Amaze transactions on the DBS Woman’s World Card posted by 31 May 2022 will continue to earn 10X DBS Points (4 mpd), as per normal.

From 1 June 2022, all Amaze transactions posted to the DBS Woman’s World Card will cease to earn DBS Points, period. The only benefit will be the 0.5% or 1% cashback from Amaze, plus the avoidance of DBS’s 3.25% FCY transaction fee. 

Currently, the two best cards to pair with Amaze are, by a long shot, the DBS Woman’s World Card and Citi Rewards Card. This doesn’t mean they’re the only options (see below for alternatives), but they’re the most fuss-free thanks to their blacklist-not-whitelist approach.

Blacklist ApproachWhitelist Approach
  • Earn 4 mpd on all transactions unless they fall into a blacklisted category (e.g. charitable donations, insurance premiums)
  • Example: DBS Woman’s World Card, Citi Rewards Card
  • Earn 4 mpd only on specific transactions that fall into the whitelist (e.g. shopping, dining)
  • Example: OCBC Titanium Rewards, UOB Lady’s Card

So by holding the DBS Woman’s World Card and Citi Rewards Card, you could easily earn 4 mpd on up to S$3,000 of spending each month (remember, Amaze converts all transactions into online spend), with no FCY transaction fees and up to 1% cashback.

Given the increasing popularity of Amaze, it was surely only a matter of time before one of the banks decided to take action, but if I had to choose, I’d rather it have been Citi than DBS. That’s because the Citi Rewards Card has one glaring omission: you won’t earn 4 mpd on any transaction with a travel MCC. 

This means that if you’re paying for any of the following, the Citi Rewards Card would be the wrong card to pair with Amaze:

  • Buying flight tickets
  • Paying for a hotel stay
  • Paying a tour agency or activities provider 
  • Buying train tickets
  • Booking a rental car
  • Booking a cruise

It’s not the end of the world, since travel can be a bonus category for the UOB Lady’s Card, but its appeal is limited to half the population (or those with wives/girlfriends/wives and girlfriends), and UOB requires you to pick and choose your bonus categories (so selecting travel must come at the expense of some other category).

⚠️ Update

Here’s a comment from an Instarem representative regarding DBS’s decision.

“amaze is well-positioned as the best travel card in Singapore for many reasons. We believe customers are discerning and will continue to maximize their rewards by pairing amaze with other bank cards.

We are currently seeing amaze customers saving on big ticket purchases, especially while they are travelling – saving them the hassle of dealing with spend limits that they may face when paying with multi-currency wallet players. They also avoid having to top up and deal with bank FX admin fees.

We are continually working to strengthen the amaze card proposition and we have a line-up of exciting features we will be announcing in the coming weeks”

Which other banks exclude Amaze?

For the moment, DBS is the only bank with Amaze on its exclusion list. 

UOB technically added AMAZE*TRANSIT* to its exclusion list back on 1 March 2022, but that’s not significant in and of itself. It simply means you won’t earn any rewards should you pair your Amaze to a UOB card and tap the Amaze for SimplyGo rides. All other Amaze transactions are kosher (for now). 

But it’s very clear that Amaze is now on banks’ radars, and I’d be very surprised if it made it through the rest of 2022 unscathed.

What other cards can you use with Amaze?

As a reminder, Amaze can only be paired with credit cards on the Mastercard network, which leaves the following as the best alternatives to the DBS Woman’s World Card:

CardEarn RateCategories
Citi Rewards
Apply
4 mpd1All online transactions except travel
T&Cs
OCBC Titanium Rewards
Apply
4 mpd2
  • Clothes
  • Department stores
  • Electronics
  • Shoes

T&Cs

UOB Lady’s Card
Apply
4 mpd3

Pick 1 (Lady’s) or 2 (Lady’s Solitaire) per quarter

  • Beauty & Wellness
  • Dining
  • Entertainment
  • Family (Groceries)
  • Fashion
  • Transport
  • Travel

T&Cs

UOB Lady’s Solitaire
Apply
4 mpd4
1. Capped at the first S$1,000 per statement month
2. Capped at the first S$12,000 per membership year
3. Capped at the first S$1,000 per calendar month
4. Capped at the first S$3,000 per calendar month

My new strategy going forward will be to:

  • Use the Citi Rewards as my primary Amaze pairing
  • Use the UOB Lady’s Solitaire Card (courtesy of the MileLioness) for dining and travel- the two categories I’m most likely to spend on when overseas
  • Use the OCBC Titanium Rewards for shopping, especially when dealing with big-ticket items (since the 4 mpd cap is applied by membership year)

These three cards should be able to cover most of my overseas spending, though there’ll definitely be more switching back and forth compared to before.

Conclusion

From 1 June 2022, DBS will stop issuing rewards points for all Amaze transactions. This gives you one last month to rack up some points, and thank my lucky stars I’m heading to New Zealand in May instead of June. 

It’s not the end of the Amaze story, insofar as there are other cards which still give 4 mpd, but it’s definitely a sign of the times. To be fair, we knew that Amaze’s double dipping wouldn’t last forever. Opportunities come and go (remember Imagine?), so make hay while you can.

What’s your revised Amaze strategy going to be?

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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Kev

I have not received the bonus 9x points in April for Amaze spending in March. Just wondering if anyone still receives it?

I did receive the regular 1x points though.

D L

Likewise not received any extra points on my DBS Woman’s card

Jack

i received on 17 Apr for March spend

MAX

hmm I’m curious, as the 9x bonus points for May only gets credited in June, does it mean that the May transactions will not get the bonus points then?

Jack

No. It’s depend on transaction post date, not points credit date. You will get the bonus point for post in May. But I believe the payment on 30 and 31 May will be post on 1 Jun or 2 Jun

Patrick

Actually my travel expenses always not enough for the $2000 DBS limit and $1000 Citi limit. But I use it for the Foreign Exchange benefit

Mark

I think the biggest hit will be to the business of Instarem. If other banks follow (and is likely) what will be the point of using Amaze? It’s only remaining benefit would be 0.5% cash back, and there are other cards giving more than 0.5% cash back. It could be argued that it still has value for overseas transactions given the FX rates, but the FX rate without miles as opposed to the ~3% FX charge on normal cards with ~2.4 miles (depending on the card) becomes somewhat 50-50 proposition too. As I predicted when Instarem reduced the cash back… Read more »

cheesecake

Amaze FX rate used to be identical to MasterCard official rate. In recent week its no longer – Amaze has started to take more spread.

Ethan

Gutted! I’m heading to Switzerland for holidays in June and this change couldnt come at a worse time.

Having said that, what would be my best option now? I dont intend on getting the missus to sign up for the UOB lady’s card as I’m consolidating all the miles under my accounts. I do have the Citirewards Mastercard though.

Does it make sense to link UOB PRVI Mastercard to Amaze, just to avoid the 3.25% transaction fee and terrible bank forex, in exchange for 1.2 lesser miles?

Let me know your thoughts!

Ethan

Thanks Aaron.

Ahh so if it were you, you’ll just use Amaze+CRMC, HSBC Revo, UOB VS and PPV in Switzerland? And after that’s burned through, switch to Amaze + UOB PRVI?

I guess using UOB PRVI direct for that additional 1 mpd wouldnt be worth it right?

Adam

You can use the CRMC for non travel transactions and UOB PRVI MC for travel transactions.

Ethan

Thanks Adam. Yes I intend to do that. But I bet I’ll burn through that $1k in no time, especially so in a country like Switzerland!

Yogi

@Aaron / all – This is quite unfortunate ! Will the supplementary card eg Citi Rewards card supplementary card for spouse have its own 1000 dollar monthly cap on top of the 1000 for the primary card?

Dan

Once you hit the 4mpd cap for online transactions on whatever card(s) you have, the only reason left to use Amaze is for the cheaper forex rates. Pairing it with the UOB PRVI miles card:

– UOB PRVI miles with Amaze: 1.2 miles and no forex fee
– UOB PRVI miles on its own: 2.4 miles and forex fee of 3.25%

Personally, I still think it makes sense to use Amaze. 1.2 miles is clearly not worth 3.25 cents.

Ethan

UOB PRVI gives 1.4mpd with Amaze. So I guess it further strengthens your proposition to use Amaze + UOB PRVI.

1 mile in exchange for 3.25% and terrible bank forex doesn’t add up for me!

Wrong

Amaze takes 0.8% just fyi

Dan

You have a source for that? Or just based on personal experience?

Wrong

Personal data points. Feel free to test it yourself.

Fees

Yeah from my experience Amaze forex fees were almost zero when it first came out and have recently increased to at least 0.8% over market rates.

Ethan

Just thought of something. Would it be also worthwhile to link UOB Krisflyer Card to Amaze to get 3mpd for dining at least? Assuming one has already hit the $500 min spend on SIA requirement..

John

how about pairing with SC unlimited cash back?

Pete

Good point, SC cashback still works for now. Any rumours they stop?

Kat

Hmm what happens to the later instalmets if I’ve split the amaze transaction into instalments to get the 6mpd?

Boliao

You guys are overthinking things. The banks can combo block amaze next month and all your elaborate plans won’t mean anything. Just take the 4mpd for May and be done with this garbage card.

Shi Jie

Any idea how this would affect the mp3 transaction that we have chosen for the 6mpd campaign?
Assuming all are Amaze transaction. April, May gets 6mpd Jun gets 4mpd?

Jack

It will not affect MP3 at all

Chris

Looks like for travel spending one can use

Amaze with UOB miles card
1.4 miles + 1% spread + 0.5 % rebate

UOB PPV or HSBC Revo or DBS womens for various overseas spending
4miles + 3.25% fees

For additional 2.75%, you get 2.5 more miles.

Plus, easier to deal with hsbc and uob if there is any refunds etc.

Amaze with UOB is not really worth it.

JayHage

I know that Citi doesn’t state MCC 4111 in exclusions list, and SimplyGo is excluded in their T&C if I use the Citi card directly. In that case, what if I use Amaze + Citi Rewards for SimplyGo MRT and bus rides? Does that earn 4mpd?

Last edited 1 month ago by JayHage
Penny

Aaron or others- Has anyone tried transferring forex eg GBP via Instarem app (where you get upfront charged in SGD), which is funded by a credit card such as DBS Woman’s card? The extra card fee is only S$7 vs using Paynow to fund the forex transfer.

Would you still get the 4 mpd (understand it’ll stop in June) AND not get hit by DCC? Is forex transfer using Instarem app/underlying DBS card the same concept as using Amaze/underlying DBS card?

Fees

If you use a credit card then the MCC is excluded from rewards by all banks and you will not get any miles (some treat it as a cash advance and charge additional fees). If you fund the transfer via the Amaze debit card linked to WWMC then the MCC is still excluded and the Instarem fees are higher.

Jay

Is Citi premiermile still able to earn mile when combined with amaze?

Mark

It appears that DBS may have already stopped awarding miles for AMAZE. While the updated T&C say from 1 June, I have noticed that for my first few transactions in May, the miles have not been awarded. (Note, normally you get the 0.4 miles which you see go to your account the day after the transaction is posted, with the remaining 3.6 coming the following month. For May, the 0.4 miles have not been added on, suggesting they have made this change earlier than 1 Jun) *sigh* I have sent a mail to DBS. They surely cannot say it is… Read more »

Arki

Same here.. i noticed that all my transactions from May 01,2022 up to now does not earn points.

Fees

Thanks. I was about to charge $2000 as a last hurrah – but it seems to be time to delete WWMC from the Instarem app.

Vin96

Chill… There’s just a huge major delay ever since over the Labour / Raya long weekend..

My transaction done on 1 May, only received base points on 10 May

A whopping 10 days wait..

Digibot should be celebrating Raya still..

Shirl

There’s no use case for carrying around the physical Citi Rewards card once you have paired it with Amaze right?

jialat

Just read it now. so i cant use amaze anymore because

1.nerf on WWWC
2.i gave ocbc titanium to my wife to spend on her own
3.i just cancel citi because i thought no use for me anymore.

gg

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