The American Express Cobalt Card Review

Sign Up Bonus Points
30,000
Sign Up Cash Value
$300
Annual Fees
$120
Purchase Interest Rate
19.99%
Min Personal Income Required
$0
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Fair-Good
Signup bonus of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points! Pay as little as $10/month to cover annual fee.

The 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.

Members will ear 2,500 points each month after a minimum monthly spend of $500— the equivalent of 30,000 points over 12 months.

At a Glance:

  • Earn up to 30,000 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

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 the 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.
  2. Big Earnings Potential: The 5x accelerator for spending on food—whether at restaurants, bars, or for groceries—can generate massive points.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 30,000 reward and redemption structure really stands out among cards in the rewards arena.

Article comments

9 comments
Sue says:

Hi, what is the conversion rate points:dollar when points are redeemed as a credit against the card’s monthly statement?
Thanks.

Darren says:

I shop at Superstore, so there goes the grocery idea. They don’t take Amex. But what about other regular spots for me? Manitoba Liquor Marts, are they grocery? Winnipeg Jets hockey games at BellMTS Place Beer & Concessions, are they bar food & beverage? Do they all get 5x points?

The 5x points categories are vague.

GreedyRates says:

Hey Darren, thanks for leaving your comment with us. We’re sorry to hear that your local Superstore doesn’t take Amex, and believe you’ll encounter the same with Manitoba Liquor Marts. American Express publishes a short list of Canada’s largest merchants that accept their cards on their site below:

https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/en/content/our-cards/choice/merchant-list.html#

Otherwise, we’d suggest calling Amex and asking for more information about the places you already shop at. You might be surprised, as the card’s newness means there aren’t many details available yet. Enjoy!

GreedyRates Staff

Anthony Stark says:

We currently use AMEX Gold card. and earned 25,000 points last year.
AMEX Gold points can be exchanged 1:1 for Aeroplan Points which is useful for us since we have an Aeroplan balance which we need to build up.
Can points earned with a Cobalt card be exchanged for Aeroplan miles??

Michael says:

Hi Anthony, thanks for your question! It makes sense that you’d be curious as to whether the Cobalt allows reward program point transferrability, as other Amex cards do. However, the points that one earns with the Cobalt card are a different variety than the Membership Rewards points earned with the Gold card. They’re meant specifically for redemption on the wide variety of benefits available to Cobalt members (like concerts and events), or for use in the Fixed Points Travel Program. This program will likely have a healthy selection of flights similar to Aeroplan, but the points themselves aren’t backwards compatible. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! If you want to explore our most recommended rewards cards and choose one that fits your needs best, check out our page here:

http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/greedyrates-loyalty-program-bible/

Andy says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Dave says:

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!

GreedyRates says:

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