Updated: Jun 12
As a frequent business traveller, I often mull over which card should I be using for my overseas spends.
I have heard of many people advocating the use of cards like Revolut or YouTrip, but am hesitant to use them as they function more like a multi-currency mobile wallet rather than "a credit card". This means several things. You will have to top up your account before you can use the cards, and also there are less of those bells and whistles like cash back or miles collection that you could usually do with a credit card.
I personally find it rather irritating to have the need to top up my account before I could use them. What if the account has less money than the meal or item I am paying for? I will then be put in an embarrassing situation where I have to apologise and "secretly" top up my Revolut or YouTrip account before I could make the purchase. If I have to transfer the excess money out of my accounts, it is usually almost impossible for me to do so easily.
Hence, I am resistant to using such cards despite the rave about their superior exchange rate for overseas spends.
I always thought that there must be a card which does not require me to top up the account beforehand, provide me with a favourable exchange rate, and can allow me to use the benefits associated with whichever credit card I am using.
And I think I found it with Instarem's amaze card.
Founded in 2014, Instarem is a Singapore-headquartered cross-border payments company and is licensed to operate in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, India, Europe, United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. The company provides several services relating to international money transfer or payment. Essentially, Instarem allows you, either as an individual or business entity, to be able to transfer money internationally at a significantly lower cost compared to banks or traditional remittance companies. The company thrives on providing fast, secure, and low-cost money transfer.
The amaze card is a product from Instarem which aims to be a multi-currency travel card which travellers can use to experience amazing exchange rates, ultimate convenience, and awesome rewards.
I was sold the minute I learnt that the amaze card does not require you to top up your account before making any purchase and can allow you to combine up to 5 of your Singapore-issued Mastercard debit and credit cards into one so you can declutter your wallet. This is the ultimate convenience to me. Let me explain a bit more on these points.
The amaze card works by somehow functioning as a proxy to your credit card when you are making a purchase. Most of us lament about the poor exchange rates that our credit cards provide when we are overseas. With Instarem's amaze card, you get to enjoy favourable exchange rate provided by Instarem as your transactions are made in the exchange rates provided by Instarem first before it got converted into SGD spent on your credit card. This is awesome in several ways. Firstly, there is no need for you to top up your account at all. Secondly, you get to enjoy all the benefits your credit card is providing like cashback or clocking miles etc. For instance, I often use the Instarem's amaze card with my Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card. The Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card provides me with 1.5% cashback on all my spends which I can still enjoy when I am using the Instarem's amaze card. I simply need to link the payment source of my Instarem amaze card to my Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card.
One of the most irritating issues with credit cards is that we sometimes simply have too many of them and that clutters our wallet. This is another very strong reason why I love to use the Instarem's amaze card. It allows me to link up to 5 of my Singapore-issued Mastercard debit and credit cards. This means that I will only need to carry my Instarem amaze card around instead of bringing 5 debit/credit cards. I can easily switch the payment source of my Instarem amaze card to any of these 5 debit/credit cards when I am making the purchase to enjoy the benefits associated with each of these cards. This seriously helps me to declutter my wallet.
(Screenshot: linking a Mastercard to amaze)
The Instarem amaze card also has an excellent point reward system where you get to earn 1 InstaPoint on every 1 SGD-equivalent in foreign currency made on your amaze card. The transaction must be a minimum of 10 SGD (foreign currency equivalent) and cap at a maximum of 500 SGD (foreign currency equivalent though). Hence, you can only earn a maximum of 500 InstaPoints no matter how big an amount your single transaction is. Every 2,000 InstaPoints will entitle you to SGD 20 credited to your amaze wallet. Given that most of my transactions are usually between 10 SGD and 500 SGD, I am essentially getting an additional 1% cashback (on top of what I am already getting from my credit card) just from the use of Instarem's amaze card.
I was in Denmark recently and decided to give both Instarem's amaze card and Revolut card a try. Here are the exchange rates from these cards.
(Screenshot: Exchange rate using Instarem Amaze Card)
(Screenshot: Exchange rate using Revolut)
From the screenshots, you can see that the Revolut card does have an advantage in exchange rate as compared to Instarem's amaze card. For the exchange rate from SGD to DKK, the Instarem amaze card has an exchange rate of 1 SGD to 4.9245 DKK while the Revolut card has an exchange rate of 1 SGD to 5.0569 DKK. At first glance, you might be thinking that the Revolut card must be the superior card to use. However, you have to remember that the Instarem amaze card has the Instapoints system (which essentially works like a 1% cashback system as described above) and allows you to use any of the benefits that are associated with your credit cards. If the credit card which you are using has an amazing cashback or miles conversion system, the benefits of using an Instarem amaze card might outweigh the slight disadvantage that you are getting with the exchange rate as compared to the Revolut card.
If you like to give this card a try too, please use my sign-up link here.
Being a reader of this blog, you also get to enjoy exclusive coupon code! If you are looking to use Instarem to transfer money overseas, please use my coupon code "DSI20X2"
This coupon code will provide you SGD 20 off their first transfer and SGD 20 off their second transfers (min. transfer of SGD 500 each) which is a fantastic deal if you are looking at transferring money internationally.
An example of how the discount code could be applied can be shown below (remember to use DSI20X2 instead of hello).
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for Instarem. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
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