Amaze adds 1% fee for selected SGD transactions; lowers fee for GrabPay top-ups

From 13 October 2023, Amaze will add a 1% fee for SGD spend at hospitals, car dealers and other merchants, but cut the fee for e-wallets in half.

Instarem has announced some upcoming changes to the Amaze Card, which take effect from Friday, 13 October 2023. 

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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 0.5 InstaPoints (linked card) or 1 InstaPoint (wallet) 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

A new transaction fee of 1% will be added to selected payments such as education, insurance and healthcare, made in SGD and charged to a linked card. Amaze will also cut the transaction fee for e-wallet top-ups from 2% to 1%.

While there have been some unpleasant nerfs to Amaze in recent memory, this latest development shouldn’t cause too much distress. Though we will be losing a couple of Amaze use cases, the vast majority remain untouched.

1% transaction fee for selected SGD transactions

Planning to earn 4 mpd on a car purchase with Citi Rewards + Amaze? Better do it before 13 October!

From 13 October 2023, Amaze will add a 1% transaction fee (with a minimum fee of S$0.50) for selected payments made in SGD with a linked card.

The affected MCCs can be found below:

MerchantExamplesWalletLinked Card
Insurance
(MCC 6300)
Singlife, FWD, AIA, AtomeN/A1%
Specialty Retail Stores
(MCC 5999)
Shopback PaylaterN/A1%
Healthcare
(MCC 8011, 8021, 8041, 8062, 8099)
Doctor Anywhere, Raffles Medical, Polyclinics & Hospitals, Q&M DentalN/A1%
Business Services
(MCC 7311, 7399)
Google, Tiktok Ads, AWSN/A1%
Gov. Services
(MCC 9399)
HDB, LTA, Town CouncilsN/A1%
Education
(MCC 8220, 8299)
Learning Lab, NTUC Learning Hub, NUS, NTU, SUSSN/A1%
Car Dealers and Auto Services
(MCC 5511, 7538)
Performance Motors, C&C, Mitsubishi or Kia Service CentreN/A1%

Here’s the thing: from the list above, government services, education and insurance are already excluded from earning rewards by almost every card in Singapore. Therefore, there’s no real reason why you’d be using Amaze to pay in the first place. 

The bigger losses are healthcare and car dealers. These aren’t on the Citibank exclusions list, which means you can currently use the Citi Rewards + Amaze combo to turn them into 4 mpd opportunities (because Amaze converts all transactions into online ones)- something that won’t be possible (at least not without a 1% fee) from 13 October onwards.

But it’s still possible to earn 4 mpd at car dealers and most private clinics with the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa or UOB Visa Signature by using mobile payments (UOB excludes hospitals, but hospitals ≠ clinics).

So there’s still alternatives here, not to mention it should be fairly easy to max out the Citi Reward’s monthly 4 mpd cap (S$1,000) via other Amaze transactions anyway.

🏥 Paying hospital bills?
If you’re paying hospital bills, try using the HealthHub/HealthBuddy app. Transactions code as MCC 8099, which is eligible for 4 mpd with the Citi Rewards Card and DBS Woman’s World Card

Transaction fee for GrabPay/e-wallet top-ups reduced from 2% to 1%

Topping up a GrabPay wallet balance will only incur a 1% transaction fee from 13 October 2023

Amaze Wallet balances cannot be withdrawn to a bank account. If you wish to cash them out, your only option is to use the Amaze Card (with the funding sources set as Amaze Wallet) to top-up an e-wallet such as GrabPay, then transfer the GrabPay balance to your bank account.

However, back in February 2023 Amaze added a 2% transaction fee on GrabPay and other e-wallet top-ups. Initially this fee only applied if a linked card was used, but was later extended to the Amaze Wallet in July 2023.

Some good news on this front: from 13 October 2023, the e-wallet fee will be reduced from 2% to 1% (with a minimum fee of S$0.50) for both linked card and Amaze Wallet transactions. 

MerchantExamplesWalletLinked Card
e-wallets
(MCC 6540)
GrabPay, ShopeePay1%
Security brokers, quasi cash merchants
(MCC 6051, 6211)
XM global, IG.com, Coinhako, Coinbase, Wirex1%
EZ-Link wallet top-ups and TransitLink GTM1%

The upshot is that it’ll be cheaper to cash out your Amaze Wallet balance, so take note if you have a stash of InstaPoints from spending or referrals.

This doesn’t really change much 

No one likes to see more restrictions, but some of the panic I’ve been reading online really makes me shake my head.

For me (and I imagine most readers), the impact is going to be minimal. You can still use Amaze to earn 4-6 mpd on overseas transactions with a ~2% FCY fee. The Citi Rewards + Amaze combo still works for local and overseas spend. In short, if you’re using Amaze for retail spend like shopping, dining, air tickets, hotels, attractions, supermarkets etc., there really isn’t any cause for gnashing of teeth. 

How long this continues is anyone’s guess, and it’s probably only a matter of time before other banks join DBS in shutting down the Amaze party. But like I said in my Amaze Card review, it’s a simple matter of “keep on dancin’ till the world ends”.

If you need a refresher on the best cards to use with Amaze, check out the article below.

What’s the best card to use with Amaze?

Conclusion

From 13 October 2023, Amaze will add a 1% transaction fee for selected SGD payments made with a linked card, and reduce the transaction fee for e-wallet top-ups from 2% to 1%.

This means you won’t be able to use the Citi Rewards + Amaze combo for things like car down payments and hospital bills (unless you’re willing to pay a 1% fee, which for 4 mpd I suppose some people wouldn’t mind), but otherwise it’s business-as-usual for most Amaze cardholders.

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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Eddie

What’s the MCC of Shopback Vs Shopback Paylater? Both are Insurance?

Eddie

Thanks. What’s the MCC for normal ShopBack? It’s not affected right?

Ken

The clinic’s MCC I visiting is 8099 which does not give 4mpd from UOB PPV or UOB VS.
Sad case for me.

New Bird

how about favepay?

Fisherman's Friend

The bigger losses are healthcare and car dealers. These aren’t on the Citibank exclusions list, which means you can currently use the Citi Rewards + Amaze combo to turn them into 4 mpd opportunities (because Amaze converts all transactions into online ones)- something that won’t be possible from 13 October onwards.

Why is it not possible? You just need to be willing to pay the 1% charge to continue earning 4mpd with the Citi Rewards card pairing.

Last edited 4 months ago by Fisherman's Friend
YPYP

That’s a big nerf to me. I use Amaze for healthcare payments A LOT and it works like a charm!

Junky

Is using AMAZE + UOB Krisflyer cc to convert local sgd spending to online for 3mpd is still worth it after the 1% fee hike?

Since the mechanics works like the Citi rewards card, is this the end of the UOB Krisflyer cc?

Shiro

For overseas spend, if is it considered payment in SGD?

Louie

just read the official blog, sounds like oversea payments are not sgd payments, we are about to find out soon. Poorly worded stuff.

Light

KrisPay is coded as 5999 (1% fee) in case if anyone is using the Citi Rewards + Amaze combo as a linked card.

Joe

Hi FYI, atome is 5999,so it charges the 1st fee, just got charged for woosa

Max

MINISO codes as 5999 as well.

Was at Bedok Mall branch paying in-store with Amaze card. Got charged 1% fee.

bryan

Was charged Amaze 1% fee for an oddle transaction, trying to clarify with Citi and instarem on why it was coded as 5999

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