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The American Express Cobalt Card Review

american express cobalt credit cardThe new Cobalt card from American Express presents a lucrative opportunity for Canadians who love dining and travel, and who want to quickly accumulate rewards from purchases in those categories.

New members are greeted with a 10,000-point bonus for spending $3,000 in their first three months. An additional 2,500 points can be earned each month after a minimum monthly spend of $500—totaling 30,000 for the year.

At a Glance:

  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus points in the first 12 months
  • 5 points per $1 spent on restaurants, bars, food delivery, and grocery bills
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, ground transit, and gas
  • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Redeem points on travel, merchandise, events, statement credits and Amazon.ca
  • $10 monthly fee
  • No minimum income requirement
Apply Now!

 

Cardholders who choose to redeem points on travel will appreciate a full variety of insurance features, including out-of-province medical care and travel accident coverage. The card also provides insurance for flight and baggage delay, hotel burglary, lost or stolen baggage, and new purchases. The card’s annual $120 fee is fairly standard for a Rewards card, but the fee can be paid on a monthly basis (in $10 installments), unlike most of its competitors.

Why We Like It

  1. Rolling Bonuses: We like that 2,500-point monthly bonus is flexible from month to month; those who do not spend $500 in April can nonetheless earn points for May if their spending increases.
  1. Limited Time Bonus: Apply before January 30th, 2018 and get 10,000 points for spending a total of $3,000 over the first three months. Those who manage to earn the combined 40,000 points in the first year will have enough to redeem a long-haul flight to anywhere in Canada or the continental US, or $400 to spend on virtually any other travel expense that they please (e.g. Airbnb).
  1. Big Earnings Potential: The 5x accelerator for spending on food—whether at restaurants, bars, or for groceries—can generate massive points.
  1. Broad Point Redemption: Points can be easily redeemed through the Amex Travel Canada Catalogue, or on merchandise available online as well. For those who love concerts, sports, or theatre, Amex makes it easy to redeem points on Ticketmaster’s range of events. Additionally, points can simply be used as a credit against the card’s monthly statement, or on Amazon.ca through the Shop with Points program.
  1. Free Supplementary Cards: Cardholders can open a supplementary card to extend the benefits of the Cobalt Amex to others. It’s completely free and is a great way to include a spouse or immediate family member in the fun.
  1. High Level of Protection: Get a full suite of insurance features with the Cobalt AmEx, including up to $5,000,000 on out-of-province medical and $250,000 on travel accident insurance. Alongside these bonuses, members will appreciate insurance features covering flight and baggage delays, baggage or rental car theft, motel or hotel burglary, and rental car damage coverage. New purchases are also protected, with extended warranties increased up to an additional year.

Is It Worth It?

The American Express Cobalt Card is tailored to foodies and travel enthusiasts. Canadians can earn accelerated points from both dining out and cooking at home, and can then redeem those points on their next vacation. The 40,000-point signup bonus is obviously notable, and the basic reward and redemption structure really stands out among cards in the rewards arena.

Apply Now!

14 comments

  1. How do you guys calculate points in to cash? What way is the best way to claim the points?

    • Hey Sam, that’s a particularly hard question, because how one calculates the value of their points depends entirely on what they choose to redeem them for. Things like airfare, restaurants, hotels and other entertainment all have different dollar values, but thankfully AmEx gives each point an average value of around $0.01. From the Cobalt’s website: 40,000 points is the equivalent of $400 cash redemptions against travel purchases or a $400 flight, and we did the rest of the math. However, we can’t say what the very best way of redeeming points is, because it’s up to you! If you like travel, cash, merchandise, concerts – these are all options. Enjoy!

      GreedyRates Staff

  2. What is an elibile grocery purchase?

    Specific stores?

    • Hi Alex, let’s see if we can help you find out. We know Amex isn’t the easiest card in terms of where it’s accepted, but in Canada, you have a pretty good variety of eligible grocery stores. You can go to Safeway, Sobeys, Co-op Grocery Stores, Metro (or Meto Plus/Richelieu) Longos, Whole Foods Market, Price Chopper, Foodland, and more. There’s no comprehensive list, but we’ve become familiar with the card over time and have become experienced thanks to our readers and the internet at large. Let us know if any we’ve listed aren’t eligible and we can update the list. Thanks again!

      GreedyRates Staff

  3. Do the points expire? We’re planning a trip in about 2 years and this seems like a great way to cover the cost of hotel or airfare.

    • Hi Kathy, thanks for your questions! We’re glad you’re interested in the Amex Cobalt card, as are so many of our other readers. One of the best aspects of the card is that the points you earn from it do not expire as long as your account is in good standing. While you’re doing all those activities and racking up entertainment expenses, you can have fun without worrying about the cost of your upcoming vacation. Enjoy the card and good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  4. What is the Annual income requirements (in CAD) to be able to qualify for this card?

    • Hi Piali! Thanks for asking your great question. Fortunately for you, there is no annual income requirement for the American Express Cobalt card. Amex will instead determine your creditworthiness from other information, like your payment history and credit bureau report. It’s a great card, and we hope you’ll get your hands on one! Good luck.

  5. Can the points accumulated on the colbolt card be transferred at equal value to aeroplan like they are with the gold card

    • Hi Jan, thanks for your question. With the Amex Cobalt card, you will have to order your travel arrangements through the AmEx Travel Center. We’re not sure if AeroPlan is a part of this, but it’s unlikely. Like you, we wish that Amex would combine all the perks of its many cards into one, but these are the choices we must make! If you need any further help deciding between the two, let us know.

      GreedyRates Staff

  6. Will Greedyrates be external partner like what you did with TD Aeroplan VISA so we can get first year fee waived?
    5x point is nice but dinning out is just not my thing

    • Hi Andy!
      We don’t directly offer these promotions, but the card companies themselves do. The American Express Cobalt card does not have a first year fee waiver program, but it does have some excellent welcome benefits which include a 10,000 point bonus when you spend $3,000 in your first three months, and you can get 2,500 additional points a month for spending $500 a month, totalling 30,000 for your first year. If dining out isn’t your cup of tea, you can still accrue points easily with 2x points for airfare, hotel, ground transit, and gas, or earn 1x points for any other purchases, which add up quickly! We hope this helps you make a decision!

      GreedyRates Staff

  7. Can existing Amex members apply /switch cards and still qualify for the bonus points ? Am currently using the Gold Amex (signed up for the 25k points) and would love to grab the cobalt points as well? Thanks!

    • Hey Dave, thanks for leaving your comment. Existing customers of AmEx are welcome to apply for the new Cobalt card and are eligible for the bonus. There is nothing in the fine print to suggest otherwise, so go ahead and take advantage of this awesome deal. We’re getting a lot of interest in the Cobalt, so you’re not alone!

      GreedyRates Staff

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