Instarem Amaze Card Review: How It Works & The Best Credit Cards To Tie, Money News
Between all the multi-currency credit cards, prepaid debit cards with 0% overseas transaction fees, and cashback credit cards, consumers like us are spoiled for choice. Instarem’s Amaze map is the most recent in the very crowded area.
So how does the Amaze card manage to stand out? Let’s find out!
What is the Instarem Amaze card?
The Amaze card is a bit like a VPN (virtual private network) for your credit cards.
If you know, you know – a VPN allows you to bypass regional restrictions to watch certain shows or broadcast the world cup in Singapore without paying exorbitant prices.
What if you applied this concept to your credit cards?
In the same way that you would avoid paying outrageous prices for a show you really want to watch, you would use the Instarem Amaze card to avoid paying unnecessary foreign transaction fees for your online purchases abroad.
Of course, VPNs are somewhat in gray legal territory. But the Instarem Amaze card is a completely legitimate method, regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
How does the Instarem Amaze card work?
It’s pretty straightforward – just like a VPN, you can link up to five Mastercard-issued credit or debit cards to your Instarem Amaze card. There are no top-ups involved, and you don’t have to wait for the card itself to arrive in your mailbox.
Here is the summary of the benefits of the Instarem Amaze card:
- Link up to five credit or debit cards issued by Mastercard
- No recharge required (unlike YouTrip, Wise, Revolut, BigPay or GrabPay)
- Track Mastercard exchange rate – no surcharges
- Get 1% cash back on top of your credit or debit card rewards
- Transact in unlimited currencies
- Real-time transaction monitoring
- Maximum spending limit not capped, but maximum of $ 25,000 per transaction
- SimplyGo activated; use as a public transport card in Singapore or when travel becomes a thing again
The caveat to this cashback mechanism is that it is earned on a quarterly basis, and there is a minimum trade amount of $ 5.
But of course cashback sounds a bit too good to be true, and who can say that Instarem might adjust the cashback rate in the future? Collect it while you can!
Illustration: Instarem Amaze card vs credit card vs multicurrency debit card
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a gaming nerd. Just like how my character is equipped in the 1337th Gear, so will the person playing him. Coincidentally, my playmates have complained about the mic quality of my headset, so I’m on the hunt for a new pair of gaming headphones.
READ ALSO : Citi, Fave, convertCASH: New BNPL players enter the Singapore market (July 2021)
Online Shopping on Amazon US
More precisely, I have my eye on this pair of SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless headphones which costs US $ 129.62 (S $ 174):
However, this * is * MoneySmart. Of course, I would compare the prices of headphones with different cards:
|Menu||Instarem Amaze Card||Citi Cashback + Credit Card||BigPay||YouTrip|
|Exchange rate (caa September 6, 2021)||1.34394||1.34394||1.34399||1.34394|
|Costs||Nothing||3.25% foreign transaction fee||Nothing||Nothing|
|Awards||1% cash back||1.6% cash back||30 WHOLESALE AirAsia points||Nothing|
|Price by case (SGD)||$ 174.20||$ 179.87||$ 174.21||$ 174.20|
|Effective price (SGD)||$ 172.49||$ 176.99||$ 174.21||$ 174.20|
Small remark on the Citi Cashback + Credit Card change rate; I wasn’t sure if Citibank had its own rates, so I just followed the standard rate issued by Mastercard.
Everyone knows that direct cashback is better than points, which is why you would want to use the Instarem Amaze card.
The above mentioned price that you pay with said card is if you paid it with an unrewarded debit card, but if you stacked it with a cash back credit card like the Citi Cashback + credit card, you could get 1 % + 1.6% Cash Back!
Online shopping on Taobao
What is a gaming rig without a proper monitor stand? I find the ones on Amazon a bit meh, so I turned to Taobao for that. Of course, there are cheaper or better alternatives, but this one speaks to my soul. Here is the price comparison:
|Menu||Instarem Amaze Card||Citi Cashback + Credit Card||BigPay||YouTrip|
|Exchange rate (caa September 6, 2021)||0.20847||0.20847||0.20855||0.20847|
|Awards||1% cash back||1.6% cash back||20 WHOLESALE AirAsia points||Nothing|
|Price by case (SGD)||$ 101.62||$ 101.62||$ 101.63||$ 101.62|
|Effective price (SGD)||$ 100.60||$ 99.99||$ 101.63||$ 101.62|
Unlike shopping on Amazon, using your credit card directly to pay on Taobao is the cheapest. That’s even before Taobao’s credit card days – in Citibank’s case, it’s Wednesday. This particular screenshot shows that you’ll actually get a better deal with $ 10 off just by paying with your Citi Cashback + card.
What you need to know about the reimbursement mechanisms of the Instarem Amaze card
The 1% cashback is the main difference and advantage of the Amaze card over its competitors like BigPay, Revolut, Wise (formerly TransferWise) and YouTrip. However, it is not without strings – you can only earn this cashback on a quarterly basis.
This cashback only applies to transactions of $ 5 or more, and you must accumulate at least $ 500 in transactions for that given quarter.
There is also a cap on the amount of cashback you can earn: it’s $ 100 per quarter. Plus, you won’t earn cashback if you were to top up other e-wallets or get refunds on your online purchases.
It still doesn’t beat anything, however. Its competitors – BigPay, Revolut, Wise (formerly TransferWise) and YouTrip – offer no refunds on their similar card offers.
That being said, you might still want to compare all transfer service providers if you want to send money across borders, like transfer money from Singapore to Malaysia.
How to sign up for Instarem’s Amaze card
The advantage of having such a fintech product is that you don’t have to wait for the physical card to start buying online. You can simply have your information verified through Singpass and start shopping once it’s approved. You will, however, have to wait for the card itself to arrive in your mailbox if you want to use it for public transport.
Until September 23, 2021, signing up for the Instarem Amaze card and spending $ 500 on it can give you a chance to get a $ 50 foodpanda voucher. This is provided that you are one of the first 500 people to subscribe to the card. Full terms and conditions here.
Best Credit Cards To Pair With Instarem Amaze Card
The best way to take advantage of Instarem Amaze card cashback is to combine it with another cashback credit card.
Citi Cashback + Mastercard
Citibank’s Citi Cashback + card is currently the highest cash back credit card issued by Mastercard. It offers 1.6% cash back on most expenses, and it comes with a great sign-up offer if you’re new to Citibank’s offering. It is only beaten by the Amex-exclusive UOB Absolute Cashback, which offers 1.7% cashback.
ALSO READ: You refused a personal loan? How To Improve Your Credit Score Now
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Mastercard
He is the finalist in the Mastercard cashback race, offering 1.5% cashback on all expenses. To make up for that 0.1% loss of cashback that the Citi card has, it has a two-year annual fee waiver and you get up to five additional cards for free.
Citi Rewards Mastercard
If you like points and rewards, your best bet is to get the Citi Rewards card. Obtaining this card means that you will be entitled to 10 times the reward points, which is the equivalent of 4 miles for every $ 1 spent.
Conversions for most cards are around 2-3 miles for every dollar spent. However, there is a cap of 10,000 points per month.
Even though the multi-currency card and credit card landscape in Singapore is very crowded, Instarem offers a stylish solution to the card bloat that many of us have with the Amaze card.
Hopefully there will be more cards like this offering even more competitive cash back in the future, as well as a more consolidated solution to keep tabs on each card’s statement.
This article first appeared in MoneySmart.