Amaze Card cuts InstaPoint earn rates from August 2023

From 1 August 2023, Amaze will cut the earn rate for card-linked transactions to 0.5 InstaPoints per S$1, a 50% cut from before.

Instarem has announced an upcoming devaluation to Amaze Card’s earn rates, which will see transactions made via a linked debit or credit card earning 0.5 InstaPoints per S$1, half as much as before. 

This takes effect from 1 August 2023, per an email sent to customers last night:

 

Starting 1st August 2023, amaze card-linked transactions will earn 0.5 InstaPoints instead of 1 InstaPoint for every 1 SGD spent in foreign currency. However, there is no change to InstaPoints earned on amaze transactions linked to your wallet. 

Continue earning InstaPoints on all eligible FX spends and redeem the points as cashback or money transfer discounts on our app!

-Instarem

Revised Amaze Card earn rates

Apply Here
Use code 7HK2A2 for 225 bonus InstaPoints

Here’s how the earn rates on the Amaze Card will change from 1 August 2023 onwards. 

 Till 31 Jul 23From 1 Aug 23
Paired with Amaze Wallet1 InstaPoint per S$1 spent in FCY
Paired with debit or credit card1 InstaPoint per S$1 spent in FCY0.5 InstaPoints per S$1 spent in FCY

Amaze Card transactions with a debit or credit card as the funding source will see a 50% cut in points, from 1 InstaPoint per S$1 to 0.5 InstaPoints per S$1. 

As before:

  • InstaPoints will only be earned on foreign currency transactions of at least S$10 (except exclusion categories)
  • The maximum InstaPoints that can be earned per transaction remains capped at 500
  • 2,000 InstaPoints can be converted into S$20 cashback

This effectively cuts the Amaze Card’s rebate on FCY spend to 0.5%, which while better than nothing, is obviously a downgrade. 

The earn rate for Amaze Card transactions funded by the Amaze Wallet remains untouched, and it’s no big secret that Instarem’s endgame is to drive people towards heavier Amaze Wallet usage. In recent times we’ve seen both the carrot and stick deployed; the carrot in the form of 4X InstaPoints for Amaze Wallet spend, the stick in the form of a 2% charge for GrabPay and e-wallet top-ups (which incentivises customers to keep funds inside the wallet instead of cashing out) and now this.

Should you continue using Amaze?

Amaze’s latest nerf narrows the gap with bank-issued credit cards, but doesn’t exactly change my decision matrix. 

For foreign currency spending

With regards to foreign currency spending, my rule of thumb is to use Amaze so long as the following equation holds:

Amaze spread vs. Mastercard (A) – InstaPoint rebates (B) < Bank FCY fee (C)

When I last visited (A) in March 2023, the figure was about 1.5%; I understand it’s closer to 1.8% now (the spread will differ depending on currency and day of the week). 

❓ Why Mastercard rates?

Remember, you can’t compare Amaze rates to YouTrip/Revolut/mid-market rates unless you’re OK with foregoing credit card rewards!

If you’ve decided that you don’t mind buying miles on foreign currency transactions (through the implicit fees), then the right basis of comparison are the Mastercard rates you’d otherwise have to pay by using a bank-issued credit card directly.

(B) has been cut from “up to 1%” to “up to 0.5%”. Why “up to”? Because Amaze caps you at 500 InstaPoints per transaction. If you spend more than S$500 (pre-nerf) or S$1,000 (post-nerf), your effective rebate will fall below the 1/0.5% mark.

As for (C), the FCY fee that banks charge for Mastercard transactions is roughly 3.25%.

💳 FCY Fees by Issuer and Card Network
Issuer↓ Visa & MastercardAMEX
Standard Chartered3.5%N/A
Citibank3.25%3.3%
DBS3.25%3%
HSBC3.25%N/A
Maybank3.25%N/A
OCBC3.25%N/A
UOB3.25%3.25%
BOC3%N/A
CIMB3%N/A
American ExpressN/A2.95%

So, putting it all together: 1.8% – 0.5% < 3.25%.

tl;dr: the math still checks out, and as long as banks don’t exclude Amaze from earning credit card rewards (which in my mind is a bigger threat than Amaze’s death by a thousand cuts), I’m not changing my overseas spending strategy.

For SGD spending

With regards to local spending, the equation is much simpler. 

Here, the goal isn’t to save on FCY transaction fees. Rather, Amaze functions more like a tool that:

So long as it continues to perform these functions, there’s no reason to jump ship. 

Conclusion

Apply Here
Use code 7HK2A2 for 225 bonus InstaPoints
💳 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
    • Reduced to 0.5 InstaPoints per S$1 from 1 August 2023, for card-linked transactions
  • Redeem InstaPoints for cashback in blocks of 2,000 InstaPoints= S$20

From 1 August 2023, Instarem will cut the earn rate for card-linked Amaze Card transactions to 0.5 InstaPoints per S$1, which reduces the effective cashback to no more than 0.5%. Earn rates for Amaze Card transactions funded by the Amaze Wallet remain at 1 InstaPoint per S$1. 

While Amaze continues to be my go-to solution for overseas spending, it’s clear the party is steadily winding down. Drain the punch bowl while you can!

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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