The Amex Cobalt Card from Perkopolis

Many of you will be familiar with the special offer from Perkopolis on the Amex Gold Rewards Card, which allows you to pick up 25,000 Membership Rewards points with the first-year fee waived, and recently another American Express product came out with an exclusive offer for one of Canada’s most popular membership organizations.


The Perkopolis Offer

The American Express Cobalt Card normally grants 30,000 Membership Rewards Select points as a signup bonus, delivered to your account on a monthly basis in the form of 2,500 MR Select points for every month in the first twelve months that you spend $500 on the card.

If you apply via the new Perkopolis offer, you’ll also get an additional 10,000 MR Select points upon spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months. You can access the offer at this link.

This means you can earn a total of 40,000 MR Select points on the card within the first year, which is worth at least $400 towards your future travel expenses. Similar to the Amex Gold via Perkopolis, this welcome bonus in fact reflects the original offer that was available on the Cobalt Card between September 2017 and January 2018, when it was first introduced.

The Cobalt Card is a very useful card to keep in your wallet, since it earns 5 MR Select points per dollar spent on food and drinks. If you like to go out to eat or drink on a regular basis, or if your preferred grocery store happens to accept American Express, this card can really work in your favour by maximizing your return on a significant chunk of your spending.

Moreover, many grocery stores carry gift cards for a wide range of retailers, so you can buy these gift cards to extend your 5x MR Select earnings to all sorts of other purchases as well, like electronics, liquor, gas, clothing, or travel purchases with Air Canada. 

Indeed, even if you don’t go out to eat very often and you tend to buy groceries at places where Amex isn’t accepted, you can still extract maximum value from the Cobalt Card simply by purchasing $500 worth of gift cards for retailers you do shop at. Taking into the 5x earnings, this will earn you an additional 2,500 MR Select points per month on top of the 2,500 MR Select points you already get as part of the monthly welcome bonus.

Meanwhile, you’ll earn 2 MR Select points per dollar spent on travel and transit (including taxi and ride share) and 1 MR Select point per dollar spent on all other purchases. 

 
 

The Cobalt Card’s MR Select points, while lacking the ability to transfer to airline partners that makes regular MR points so powerful, remain a highly versatile points currency that can help achieve a variety of travel goals. 

If you’re looking to redeem round-trip flights departing from Canada, you can use Amex Fixed Points Travel to cover a portion of your fare. If you’d like to score some free hotel nights for your next trip, you can convert your MR Select points to Marriott Bonvoy. And if you simply have miscellaneous travel costs you’d like to offset, you can do so using the Pay with Points feature at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Click here to read my article exploring the various uses of Amex Cobalt points in detail.

And for more information on the details of the day-to-day usage, insurance benefits, etc. on this card, refer to my in-depth review of the American Express Cobalt Card.


Do You Qualify?

Perkopolis is a membership organization that partners with many Canadian workplaces, universities, and alumni associations to provide a wide range of perks to members, including special deals on credit cards like these.

Check with your employer or the organizations you participate in, since there’s a good chance that you already qualify as a Perkopolis member, and would therefore qualify for this special offer on the Cobalt Card. You’ll need to enter an RSVP code to that corresponds with this offer to launch the application.

 
 

If you don’t qualify as a member of Perkopolis, technically you aren’t eligible for the offer, although you can still apply under it by entering the RSVP code. In the usual spirit of “grey areas” like these, I won’t mention the offer code here publicly, but I will say that all it takes to find it is an easy Google search for something along the lines of “Amex Cobalt Perkopolis” and a few button clicks from there.


What’s the Best Way to Apply for the Cobalt Card Now?

It’s getting a little difficult to keep track of all the different offers for the Cobalt Card out there…

  • The public offer is for 30,000 MR Select points, awarded in twelve monthly installments of 2,500 MR Select points upon spending $500 on the card each month for the first twelve months

  • There’s a Great Canadian Rebates offer that gives you $50 cash back in addition to the public offer

  • There’s a Ticketmaster offer that gives you an automatic $100 discount at Ticketmaster within the first year in addition to the public offer

  • If you (or your partner in two-player mode) are already in possession of an Amex Gold Rewards Card, you can earn 5,000 MR points as a referral bonus by referring yourself to the Cobalt Card 

  • And now there’s an extra 10,000 MR Select points available by applying via Perkopolis, albeit with an additional spend of $3,000 in the first three months

Among all these options, the final three offers are probably the most compelling. The Ticketmaster offer can be as good as $100 cash back if you plan to buy any sort of event tickets in the next year or so, and the 5,000 MR referral points on the Amex Gold Rewards Card can deliver outsized value if transferred to a frequent flyer program like Aeroplan or British Airways Avios

However, on balance I’d say the new Perkopolis deal just about comes out on top as the best Amex Cobalt Card offer, providing that you can manage the $3,000 spending and derive more than 1 cent per point in value from the incremental 10,000 MR Select points (which should be easily doable). 

I say this because while 5,000 MR points could give you more value than 10,000 MR Select points thanks to the airline transfers, it’s never a sure bet until you actually redeem those points, and any such high-value redemption would require a much bigger chunk of airline miles that would’ve mostly been earned from other sources anyway.

This also raises the question of how this development affects the Amex Flowchart. Is it still optimal to kickstart the Gold & Cobalt “family” with the Perkopolis offer on the Gold Rewards Card, and then refer to the Cobalt Card?

The answer will depend on whether or not you agree with my logic above on the relative value of 5,000 MR points vs. 10,000 MR Select points. If you’d prefer the former, the flowchart remains as is:

 
 

Whereas if you’d prefer to receive the latter by applying via Perkopolis for both the Gold Rewards Card and the Cobalt Card, then the referral “link” is broken here and you’re simply making two separate applications: 

 
 

I guess it’s time for me to think about how to update the Amex Flowchart going forward…


Apply Now

You can access the landing page for the Cobalt Card from Perkopolis via the link below, although as I mentioned, you’ll need to have the RSVP code to proceed with the application.

americanexpress.com/ca/en/credit-cards/compare-cobalt-card-and-gold-rewards-card/?cpid=100324134


Conclusion

It’s always nice when new credit card offers come around and expand your range of options for earning points, and the new Perkopolis bonus of 40,000 MR Select points in total on the Amex Cobalt Card is a welcome new addition to the already abundant set of ways you can pick up this very versatile credit card for your wallet.

Taken together with the effective first-year fee waiver on the Gold Rewards Card, and Perkopolis members are truly getting some sweet deals when it comes to signing up for the personal American Express products.