What’s the best card to use with Amaze?

Whether you're spending overseas or in Singapore, Amaze remains one of the most useful tools at your disposal. Here's the best cards to pair with it.

While no one knows how long more the party will last, Instarem’s Amaze Card continues to be an essential tool for miles chasers, earning up to 6 mpd on overseas spend with lower FCY transaction fees than regular credit cards, plus InstaPoints worth up to an additional 1% rebate.

It’s not just overseas spend where Amaze excels, however. Its ability to turn offline transactions into online ones is key to unlocking bonus miles on the Citi Rewards and KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card- long may it continue!

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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 0.5-1 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

Like all good parties, there will come a day where the punch bowl runs dry. But as Gandhi once said, “see the sunlight, we ain’t stopping, keep on dancin’ till the world ends”.

So dance we will, and while you do, here’s the credit cards you should be pairing with Amaze. 

💳 What’s the Best Card for…
❓ Overall Guide
✈️ Air Tickets
🌎 Amaze 💗 Charity
🍽️ Dining
🏫 Education🥡 Food Delivery
🏨 Hotels☂️ Insurance
📱 Kris+
⚕️ MedicalPetrol🚍 Public Transport
🛒 Supermarkets🚰 Utilities 

What card should I pair with Amaze?

First, a brief reminder of the ground rules:

  • Amaze transactions code as online
  • Amaze transactions will be billed in SGD
  • Amaze transactions retain the original MCC of the underlying transaction
  • Amaze transaction descriptions are changed to AMAZE*merchant name
  • Amaze can be paired with up to five Mastercard credit or debit cards
  • DBS/POSB cards no longer award points for Amaze transactions
  • Citi and UOB exclude certain Amaze transactions, but so long as you avoid transit-related transactions (i.e. bus/MRT/EZ-Link) you have nothing to be concerned about

Given these rules, here’s the recommended cards for pairing.

💳 Recommended Amaze Pairings
CardEarn RateCap
UOB Lady’s Card
Apply
6 mpd1S$1K per c. month
UOB Lady’s Solitaire
Apply
6 mpd2S$3K per c. month
Citi Rewards
Apply
4 mpd3S$1K per s. month
OCBC Rewards
Apply
4 mpd4S$1.1K per c. month
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Apply
3 mpd5None
UOB PRVI Miles MC
Apply
1.4 mpdNone
Citi Prestige
Apply
1.3 mpdNone
OCBC 90°N MC
Apply
1.3 mpdNone
Citi PremierMiles Card
Apply
1.2 mpdNone
HSBC TravelOne Card
Apply
1.2 mpdNone
1. Pick 1: Beauty & wellness, dining, entertainment, family, fashion, transport, travel. Reduced to 4 mpd from 1 Apr 24 (T&Cs)
2. Pick 2: Beauty & wellness, dining, entertainment, family, fashion, transport, travel. Reduced to 4 mpd from 1 Apr 24 (T&Cs)
3. All transactions except travel (airlines, hotels, rental cars, tour agency, cruises etc.) (T&Cs)
4.  Clothes, bags, shoes and shopping (T&Cs)
5. Dining, shopping, travel, transport. Must spend at least S$800 on SIA Group transactions in a membership year (T&Cs)

#1: UOB Lady’s Card/ UOB Lady’s Solitaire Card

UOB Lady’s Cards
Apply
Earn Rate6 mpd till 31 Mar 24
4 mpd from 1 Apr 24
Eligible TransactionsPick 1 (Lady’s) or 2 (Lady’s Solitaire) bonus categories from beauty & wellness, dining, entertainment, family, fashion, transport, travel
Capped atS$1,000 per calendar month (Lady’s)
S$3,000 per calendar month (Lady’s Solitaire)
[cap is shared across all bonus categories]

The UOB Lady’s Card’s 2023 enhancement makes them hands down the best option to pair with Amaze. 

Cardholders can select one (Lady’s Card) or two (Lady’s Solitaire Card) bonus categories to earn 6 mpd, capped at S$1,000 (Lady’s Card) or S$3,000 (Lady’s Solitaire Card) per calendar month. Selections can be changed every quarter.

💳 UOB Lady’s Card Bonus Categories
CategoryMCCsDescription
(1) Beauty & Wellness5912, 5977, 7230, 7231, 7298, 7297Discount, Mass and Drug Stores, Cosmetics Stores, Barber and Beauty Shops, Health and Beauty Spa, Massage Parlours
(2) Dining5811, 5812, 5814, 5499Caterers, Eating places and Restaurants, Fast food restaurants and food deliveries
(3) Entertainment5813, 7832, 7922Bars, Taverns, Lounges and Nightclubs, Motion Picture Theatres, Theatrical Producers and Ticket Agencies
(4) Family5411, 5641Grocery stores, Children and Infants wear store
(5) Fashion5311, 5611, 5621, 5631, 5651, 5655, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5948Department Stores, Men’s and Boy’s Clothing and Accessories Store, Women’s Ready-to-wear Stores, Women’s Access and Specialty, Family Clothing Stores, Sports and Riding Apparel Stores, Shoes Stores, Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores, Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessories Shops, Luggage and Leather Stores
(6) Transport4111, 4121, 4789, 5541, 5542Local Commuter Transport, Taxi, Cabs, Limousines and Travel Service, Service Stations and Automatic Gas Dispensers
(7) TravelCredit card retail transactions made at major airlines and/or hotels with their main business activity classified as flights and/or hotels only. Refer to this post for more details

Which bonus categories you choose depends on your personal spending patterns. I personally choose Dining and Travel, since these are my two biggest overseas expense items.

Do note that UOB does not explicitly define the “Travel” category, but I’ve managed to get further details from discussions with the bank.

Explained: Which MCCs are included in the UOB Lady’s Card “Travel” category

A little trick I sometimes use: if your overseas trip happens to span two calendar quarters, you can make this work to your advantage by timing your expenses. For example:

  • For the preceding calendar quarter, pick Fashion as your bonus category and earn 6 mpd and frontload all your shopping
  • For the subsequent calendar quarter, pick Travel as your bonus category and earn 6 mpd when you check-out from the hotel and pay the bill

Unfortunately, the 6 mpd earn rate will revert to the regular 4 mpd from 1 April 2024, but there’s still a little more time to make hay- including the March school holidays. 

#2: Citi Rewards Card

Citi Rewards Card
Apply
Earn Rate4 mpd
Eligible TransactionsAll online transactions except Travel and in-app mobile wallet
Capped atS$1,000 per statement month

Despite a brief scare in January 2024, the Amaze + Citi Rewards Card pairing is very much alive and well.

And that’s great, because Amaze converts all transactions into online spend. This means that when paired with the Citi Rewards Card, you earn 4 mpd on the first S$1,000 per statement month.

One exception: travel-related transactions, which Citi defines as the following:

❌ Travel-Related Blacklist
MCCDescription
MCC 3000 to 3350 MCC 4511Airlines
MCC 3351 to 3500 MCC 7512Car Rental Agencies
MCC 3501 to 3999 MCC 7011Lodging- Hotels Motels, Resorts
MCC 4111 MCC 4112* MCC 4789*Passenger Transport and Railways
MCC 4411Cruise Lines
MCC 4722 MCC 4723*Travel Agencies and Tour Operators
MCC 5962Direct Marketing- Travel Related Arrangement Services
MCC 7012*Timeshares
*From 1 April 2024

In other words, don’t use your Amaze + Citi Rewards Card to:

  • Buy flight tickets
  • Pay for a hotel stay
  • Pay a tour agency or activities provider 
  • Buy train tickets
  • Book a rental car
  • Book a cruise

Fortunately, there’s still many other categories where you could slot this in, like dining, groceries, shopping and transport (e.g. taxis and ride-hailing).

Explained: Citi Rewards Card blacklist for “travel-related” transactions

Another use case for Amaze + Citi Rewards Card pairing is to circumvent Citi’s restriction on in-app mobile wallet payments. 

As a reminder, if you pair the Citi Rewards Card with Apple or Google Pay, and use Apple or Google Pay to make an in-app transaction with an app like Deliveroo or Kris+, you will only earn 0.4 mpd instead of 4 mpd.

You can solve this problem by:

  1. Pairing the Citi Rewards Card with Amaze
  2. Adding Amaze to Google Pay
  3. Paying in-app with Google Pay using Amaze

Of course, this workaround only applies to Android phones, since Apple Pay does not support Amaze yet (while Google Pay can be installed on iPhone, you can’t use it for in-app transactions).

#3: OCBC Rewards

OCBC Rewards
Apply
Earn Rate4 mpd
Eligible TransactionsClothes, bags, shoes and other shopping
Capped atS$1,110 per c. month
If you have the legacy OCBC Titanium Rewards Blue and Pink cards, remember that each of them has their own 4 mpd cap.

The OCBC Titanium Rewards Card (now known as the OCBC Rewards) suffered a big nerf in November 2023, where its annual 4 mpd cap was changed to a monthly one. Because of this, it’s no longer a prime contender for big ticket purchases.

Still, you’ll earn 4 mpd on the first S$1,110 per calendar month spent on the following MCCs.

🛍️ Shopping Transactions
MCCExamples
(non-exhaustive)
MCC 5309 Duty Free StoresLotte Duty Free, King Power Duty Free, The Shilla Duty Free
MCC 5311 Departmental StoresTakashimaya, TANGS, Isetan, OG, Metro, BHG, Marks & Spencer
MCC 5611 Men’s and Boys’ Clothing and Accessories StoresBenjamin Barker, Timberland, Edit Suits, Berluti
MCC 5621 Women’s Ready to Wear StoresZara, H&M, Mothercare
MCC 5631 Women’s Accessory and Speciality StoresTory Burch, Love Bonito, Pandora
MCC 5641 Children’s and Infants’ Wear StoresKiddy Palace, Mummys Market, Pupsik, Motherswork
MCC 5651 Family Clothing StoresUniqlo, ASOS, Club 21, Burberry, Yoox
MCC 5655 Sports and Riding ApparelNike, Lululemon, Adidas
MCC 5661 Shoe StoresSkechers, Charles & Keith, Bata, Foot Locker, Pazzion
MCC 5691 Men’s and Women’s Clothing StoresEzbuy, Zalora, Fartech
MCC 5699 Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessory ShopsQoo10, Cotton On, Reebonz
MCC 5941 Sporting Goods Stores Decathlon, Fila, New Balance
MCC 5948 Luggage or Leather Goods StoresLouis Vuitton, Coach, Rimowa

OCBC also has a specific list of merchants like Alibaba, AliExpress, Amazon and Taobao where bonuses can be earned, but pairing the Amaze would not work in this case because bonuses are awarded based on transaction descriptions as opposed to MCCs. Remember, Amaze modifies the transaction description, while keeping the MCC the same. 

#4: KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card

KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Apply
Earn Rate3 mpd with min. S$800 spend on SIA Group merchants in a membership year
Eligible TransactionsDining, food delivery, online shopping, travel and transport
Capped atNo cap

If you have big ticket spending planned, then the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card would be the right choice.

Cardholders who spend a minimum of S$800 on KrisShop, Singapore Airlines or Scoot transactions in a membership year will earn an uncapped 3 mpd on the following transactions:

CategoryMCCs/ Transaction Description
Dining & Food Delivery5812, 5813, 5814
Online Shopping4816, 5262, 5306, 5309, 5310, 5311, 5331, 5399, 5611, 5621, 5631, 5641, 5651, 5661, 5691, 5699, 5732, 5733, 5735, 5912, 5942, 5944-5949, 5999, 7278 (only for Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10)
Online TravelAgoda, Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Kaligo, Traveloka, Trip.com, UOB Travel
TransportBUS/MRT, 4121

The catch is: out of the 3 mpd, 1.2 mpd will be awarded upfront. The remaining 1.8 mpd will be credited two months after the card membership year (you might get lucky, but there’s no basis for arguing if you don’t). 

If that’s not an issue for you, then this card could soak up most of your overseas spending needs: dining, food delivery, and transport, without any concerns about busting the cap. 

In fact, this might be an excellent option for those buying luxury goods like jewellery and watches (MCC 5944), or luxury bags (MCC 5948). These would bust the cap on other 4-6 mpd cards, but by charging them to an Amaze x KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card combo, the transactions will code as online and earn an uncapped 3 mpd.

Do take care with the travel category, however, because bonuses are awarded based on transaction descriptions.

As mentioned in the previous section, Amaze modifies the transaction description, so you won’t earn bonuses for the merchants listed here. 

#5: General Spending Cards

General Spending Cards
Earn Rate1.2-1.4 mpd
Eligible TransactionsAll spend
Capped atNo cap

Assuming all your bonus caps have been exhausted (and you don’t want to use the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card), then your next best course of action is to pair Amaze with a general spending card:

It’s important to remember that Amaze converts all transactions into SGD, therefore the applicable earn rates are the local ones, not overseas ones (e.g. 1.4 mpd for UOB PRVI Miles Mastercard and not 2.4 mpd).

Other points you might want to consider:

  • OCBC and UOB cards earn miles in blocks of S$5, while Citi cards earn miles in blocks of S$1. Therefore, you might earn more miles with Citi cards on smaller transactions, despite the lower headline rate
  • Citi, HSBC and OCBC cards have more transfer partners than UOB

Conclusion

Apply here

While DBS/POSB have left the Amaze party, the good news is that the rest of the banks are still willing to dance. This allows Amaze to retain its two big party tricks: same rewards with lower FCY fees, and offline to online conversions.

I personally focus on the UOB Lady’s Solitaire Card, Citi Rewards Card and KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, which keeps my average earn rate at a healthy 3-6 mpd. 

Any other cards worth pairing with Amaze?

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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xiaoboy

Any idea what is current spread FCY ? Seems to be getting less competitive in recent times

eric tan

The UOB Krisflyer card cannot be linked to Amaze.

Daniel

I managed to link mine

Elizabeth

The terms and conditions of the travel category for uob lady’s card seems to suggest only that very few airlines listed on top of via uob travel portal. Surprising that list didn’t even include Singapore airlines.
Last saw today April 17.

John Tan

Hi there anybody else facing issues with Amaze paired with OCBC titanium? Over the last 3 weeks my transactions have been blocked. Amaze has confirmed its at OCBC end. OCBC CRM says its the vendor itself.

Man

Hi all,
anyone can help to explain further? I still don’t see the benefit of pairing amaze card to OCBC titanium, it also gain the same 4mpd and also is limited to the same list of MCC and worst still pairing to amaze card those selected merchant with transaction description will not earn 4mpd….so what is the benefits of amaze pairing to OCBC titanium card?? Can help to explain?
Thanks

Alvin

Paired Amazed with Citi rewards. Paid my PUB bill but wasnt given the 10x reward. Do i still have to abide by citibank MCC classification?

lelel

if i linked amaze card with citirewards & use for general spendings by paywave in restaurant/supermarket does it still gives me 4mpd?

Ashleigh

With the current offer from Citi offering 3.25% cash rebate on FCY spending, if I want to purchase an item from a luxury boutique overseas (>S$1K), which is the better option: OCBC TR + Amaze or Citi Rewards alone?

Also, if going with the former, is there a risk of the transaction not being recognized and thence no bonus points?

Last edited 11 months ago by Ashleigh
John Doe

Is there a benefit to link a Citi Premiermiles card to Amaze? I get 2 mpd for foreign currency spend but I’ll get 1.2 mpd with Amaze so the math doesn’t really check out.

$1000 spot foreign currency spend at 3.25% FCY = 1032.5 SGD = 2064 miles
$1000 spot foreign currency spend at 1.3% FCY (1.8% – rebate of 0.5%) = 1013 SGD = 1215 miles

mary

Hi, can I pair my Amaze card with my HSBC Revolution card? It is 4 miles per dollar for contactless and online transactions….

ninja

cannot because it is visa

MM 2

Just made a large US Amazon marketplace transaction via Amaze, and later on I saw the category was Education. Anyone knows why of all categories it’ll be under Education? Now I’m panicking!

skylar

Does anyone know if paying for non-SGD SIA transactions using the UOB Krisflyer card counts for 3mpd as well as the min spend required to unlock the bonus 1.8mpd for the year’s spend?

Last edited 3 months ago by skylar
Max3

if you can’t change your UOB Lady card category into travel, what card will you pair with your amaze card for any travel related oeverseas expenss?

Yan

For online travel transactions in SGD, would it still be ok to use Instarem paired with UOB lady / solitaire versus the UOB lady / solitaire direct? I assume going through Instarem we would earn some Instarem points as a bonus while earning the 6 miles per dollar still?

thanks!

Bella

If I pair the UOB Lady Card (with selected category as Dining) with the Amaze Card, will I still earn Bonus Uni$? Since it’s marked as a ‘local transaction’ and with MCC dining.

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