Back in 2019, during a closed-door Instarem x Seedly meet-up, the digital cross-border payments giant Instarem unveiled its contactless card, which aims to consolidate a user’s debit and credit cards into one seamless app.
The amaze card was officially launched in December 2019.
Over the years, the card has gone through a huge revamp and has added new features as well.
Here’s all you need to know about it!
Disclaimer: This non-sponsored article is updated as of 25 Aug 2021. Do note that the information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy any product(s).
What is Instarem?
Instarem is a digital cross-border payment service that has been quietly making waves since 2014, and offers highly competitive rates for overseas money transfers.
It aims to improve the transparency of traditional money transfers which usually comes with unfavourable forex rates and additional hidden fees.
They offer mid-market exchange rates – which is to say, real-time rates with no fx mark-ups.
Of course, a nominal fee is imposed depending on the amount you intend to transfer.
Is Instarem A Digital Bank?
Nope, it isn’t – but Nium (the platform where Instarem is hosted) holds the Payment Services Act license and is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
It’s also in the midst of acquiring an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) licence in several countries, much like what it has in the EU.
An EMI essentially sits one tier below a full-fledged bank.
Instarem’s Mastercard-issued card (which we’ll get to shortly!), amaze, is therefore not under a bank per see.
Instarem’s amaze Card
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably more curious about amaze than anything else.
Unsurprisingly, the Singapore-exclusive card doesn’t exist solely for the purpose of digital money transfers (duh).
Rather, you’re allowed to link up to five Mastercard debit or credit cards, which eliminates the need to carry multiple cards with you.
You’ll be able to choose a specific card from your wallet to transact with at any point in time.
There’s no need to wait for a physical card, either: you’ll instead be offered the option of a virtual card, which can be immediately used for online purchases.
If you’re overseas, however, any cross-border transactions will take place on your amaze card, minus unpredictable currency conversion fees. In this respect, it’s very much on par with YouTrip and Revolut‘s respective cards.
Here’s a look at what else amaze has to offer:
- No top-ups required
- Zero margin fx rates from Mastercard, i.e. no weekend mark-ups. (Yay!)
- 1% cashback on top of other card rewards (for every transaction of SGD5 and above, min. value of cumulative transactions of SGD500 per quarter, $100 maximum cashback per quarter)
- Doubles up as a public transport card (Mastercard-enabled contactless payment)
- Unlimited currencies to transact in
- Transactions are viewable in real-time
- Option to combine selected transactions from various cards into one listing for corporate claims
- No maximum spending limit, apart from per taxation limit of SGD25,000
- View transactions with the transaction tracking feature, with transactions being automatically categorised
The 1% cashback comes in addition to existing cashback on your linked debit and credit cards.
Domestic and Cross-Border Payments
At its core, Instarem’s sole purpose remains in affordable cross-border money transfers, as we’ve touched on earlier.
- Allows for payouts across over 50 countries
- Allows for real-time, account-to-account payment across 270 corridors
- Eliminates multiple middlemen by building direct relations with financial institutions globally, meaning quicker transfer times.
Note, however, that there will be minimum money transfer amounts for different foreign currencies.
I’d initially delved into my research on Instarem’s amaze card with skepticism. Another multi-currency card? How different could it be?
Yet it so far sounds promising; being rewarded in the form of cash backs and having the option to store unlimited currencies in my virtual wallet are reason enough to give the card a chance.
Are you a fan of multi-currency cards, or hope to find the best overseas money transfer service to use?
Take a look at real user reviews to help you with your decisions!