Amaze adds 2% fee on GrabPay and other e-wallet top-ups

From 20 February 2023, Amaze will add a 2% fee on GrabPay top-ups and other selected transactions- but not if you use the Amaze Wallet.

 ⚠️ Update: From 5 July 2023, this fee will be extended to GrabPay/e-wallet top-ups where the Amaze Wallet is used as a funding source.

Instarem has announced that it will be adding a 2% fee for Amaze transactions made in SGD to prepaid wallets, trading and public transport, effective 20 February 2023. 

While this may sound like a negative development, it will not impact your ability to cash out Amaze Wallet balances via GrabPay- the fee only applies if a linked card is used as the source of funds. 

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💳 tl;dr: Amaze Card
  • Link up to five Mastercard credit/debit cards
  • Overseas transactions are converted into SGD (no FCY transaction fees, but subject to FX spread) and charged to the underlying credit/debit card
  • Transaction MCC remains the same, offline transactions charged to Amaze become online transactions for the underlying credit/debit card
  • Earn 1 InstaPoint per S$1 spent on FCY transactions of at least S$10 (except exclusion categories), capped at 500 InstaPoints per transaction
  • Redeem InstaPoints for cashback in blocks of 2,000 InstaPoints= S$20

Amaze adds 2% fee for certain transactions

From 20 February 2023, Amaze will charge a 2% fee (with a minimum of S$0.50) for any of the following transactions made in SGD with a linked card. 

MCCCategoryExamples
6540Non-Financial Institutions – Stored Value Card Purchase/LoadGrabPay Wallet, ShopeePay, Revolut, CRO, YouTrip
6211Security Brokers/DealersXmglobal, Plus500, eToro, IG.com
6051Quasi Cash–MerchantCoinhako, Coinbase, Wirex, Kucoin
OthersEZ-Link wallet top-ups

The good news is this fee does not apply if the transaction is made in foreign currency, or if the funding source is the Amaze Wallet.

That’s an important distinction, because it means you can still cash out your Amaze Wallet balance at no cost via GrabPay:

  1. Top up a GrabPay account using the Amaze funded by Amaze Wallet
  2. Withdraw the GrabPay balance to a bank account (since Amaze is considered a debit card, any funds topped from Amaze can be transferred to a bank account, unlike those from a credit card)
❓ Dealing with odd amounts? 

Each GrabPay top-up must be at least S$10 and in whole dollars (i.e. no cents), but an easy way to zero out your Amaze Wallet is to top it up further with a card, then cash out the whole amount.

For example, suppose I have S$8.29 in my Amaze Wallet. This is insufficient for a GrabPay top-up, but I can:

(1) Top-up S$21.71 using my credit card (Amaze requires a minimum top-up of S$20, and charges a 2% fee for Visa cards)
(2) Use the S$30 Amaze Wallet balance to top-up GrabPay
(3) Cash out S$30 from GrabPay to my bank account

For avoidance of doubt, Amaze Wallet top-ups code as MCC 6540 (POI Funding Transactions), and will not earn rewards with any card in Singapore

The fee does not apply if the transactions are made in foreign currency either.

In fact, unless I’m missing something, I can’t think of any reason why you’d want to use Amaze paired with a linked card for any of the affected transactions anyway:

  • Amaze does not change the MCC of a transaction, so you won’t earn any rewards from the linked card
  • Amaze excludes SGD transactions (not to mention these MCCs) from earning InstaPoints, so you won’t earn any rewards from the Amaze side either

I am vaguely aware that there’s something going on with EZ-Link top-ups that has probably triggered the exclusion, so I hope everyone made hay while they could. 

Conclusion

From 20 February 2023, Instarem will add a 2% fee for selected Amaze transactions, including GrabPay top-ups. This will only apply if you use a linked card as the source of funds for the transaction, as opposed to the Amaze Wallet.

Therefore, you can continue to use GrabPay as an avenue to cash out InstaPoint redemptions, with no fees applicable. 

Any implications of the 2% fee that I’m missing?

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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anon

Paying 2% to get the “free” money from all the accumulated points?

CHK

Killed the last channel to top up EZ-Link wallet which you could use to pay your tax

revhappy

Can’t you top up wallet using credit card 1st and then top-up ezlink using the amaze wallet?

CHK

You could try. Somehow using amaze to top up e wallet does not count into pseudo cash transaction. But directly topping up will definitely amount to.

John

any card give cashback for top up Amaze ?

Lincoln

>> you can continue to use GrabPay as an avenue to cash out InstaPoint redemptions

When top-up GrabPay Wallet, via Instarem Amaze MC (via Amaze Wallet), dun have any option to redeem the InstaPoints.

Ortloc

Have you tried cashing out Amaze Wallet to GrabPay recently? All my attempts to cash out $20 a few weeks ago failed (Tried topping up GrabPay, Revolut and Youtrip). It appears that Amaze has also put a stop to this. It looks like users will need to spend the wallet amount instead.

revhappy

But why did Amaze do this? Why do they want people to top-up Amaze wallet first and then use Amaze wallet to top up Grab? I mean what are they trying to crackdown at here?

Mark

Hi Aaron,

This was found on your posting.

Others EZ-Link Top-ups and TransitLink-related transactions

While at Amaze, a different posting was found.

Others EZ-Link wallet top-ups

It seems that Amaze 2% service fee applies to EZ-Link wallet top-ups only.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark
Vin96

Transit-link GTM exclusion seems to be back now? lol

With very clear definition of “TransitLink General Ticketing Machines”

Last edited 1 year ago by Vin96
Interested in MS

Perhaps the angle you missed was the manufactured spending angle?

I found another article discussing how to do it using amaze card: https://link.medium.com/kQSk1JErrxb

But yea, I guess this highlights the risks of manufactured spending because it only works while the loophole is open…

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