American Express Cobalt Card

Last updated: May 17, 2021
  • 50,000 MR Select points
  • $743 First-year value
Best offer is available publicly via incognito
Signup bonus:
2,500 MR Select points for each of the first 12 months in which you spend $500
20,000 MR Select points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
Total of 50,000 MR Select points in the first year for spending $7,500
Monthly fee:
Earning rate:
5 MR Select points per dollar spent on groceries and dining
2 MR Select points per dollar spent on gas, public transit, and travel purchases
1 MR Select point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Referral bonus:
5,000 MR Select points per referral, up to 75,000 MR Select points per calendar year
Perks & benefits:
Special offers for Cobalt cardholders throughout the year

The American Express Cobalt Card is one of the most popular cards in Canada, and for good reason. It’s the ultimate lifestyle card, earning incomparable rewards on groceries and restaurants, with an extremely flexible points program.

Bonuses & Fees

Eschewing the traditional credit card model, the Cobalt Card is designed as a “monthly membership” card, offering a bonus of up to 50,000 Membership Rewards Select points over the course of the first 12 months of your membership.

Here’s how it works: for each monthly billing cycle during the first 12 months that you complete $500 in spending, you’ll earn 2,500 MR Select points, for a total of 30,000 MR Select points.

Also, upon spending $3,000 within the first three months, you can earn an additional 20,000 MR Select points. This extra bonus is only available for select visitors to the American Express website, so try reloading the page in “incognito mode” if it isn’t offered to you at first.

The annual fee of $120 is also charged on a month-to-month basis – each month, you’ll be on the hook for a “Membership Fee Installment” of $10.

As a cardholder, you’ll earn 5,000 MR Select points for every referral you make, up to a maximum of 75,000 MR Select points per calendar year. You can also add supplementary cards for free.

Earning Rewards

The American Express Cobalt Card is a game changer when it comes to the returns on daily spending. You’ll earn:

  • 5 MR Select points per dollar spent on groceries & dining, specifically “(i) restaurant, quick service restaurant, coffee shop and drinking establishments in Canada, (ii) stand-alone grocery stores in Canada, (iii) delivery of food and groceries in Canada as a primary business”
  • 2 MR Select points per dollar spent on travel purchases, transit, and transportation, specifically “(i) stand-alone automobile gasoline stations in Canada, (ii) travel services or travel bookings including air, water, rail and road transport, lodging and tour operator sales, (iii) local commuter transportation in Canada including subway, streetcar, taxi, limousine and ride sharing services”
  • 1 MR Select point per dollar spent on all other purchases

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Amex has the millennial demographic locked in their sights with this credit card. As someone who’s often lumped into the millennial category myself, I can attest to the fact that the vast majority of my spending goes towards food and travel, and I do indeed get amazing value out of this card.

This is also the only 5x category multiplier on spending in Canada, which is something our neighbours down in the US have had for many, many years.

In terms of best uses for MR Select points, they can be converted to the Marriott loyalty program at a 1:1.2 ratio, or put towards booking a flight via Amex Fixed Points Travel.

Insurance Coverage

The major coverage categories are pretty much all included, with the exception of Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation. In particular, the following benefits are included:

  • Emergency medical insurance, of up to $5,000,000 per insured person
  • Lost, stolen, or damaged baggage insurance, of up to $500
  • Baggage delay insurance, of up to $500
  • Car rental loss or damage insurance, so you can save on the insurance fees usually charged by car rental companies
  • Hotel or motel burglary insurance, of up to $500

Apply Now

The American Express Cobalt Card is relatively easy to get approved for. There is no minimum income requirement, meaning that anyone is eligible to apply.

You'll earn the best available signup bonus if you apply using a referral link. Consider supporting Prince of Travel by applying for the card via our referral link below.

  1. Avatar

    Hi Ricky! Can I transfer the MR points from the cobalt card to Aeroplan points?
    Thank you!

    1. Josh

      Cobalt MR points are really MR Select (although not marketed as such by Amex). You can’t transfer them directly to Aeroplan or other airline programs, but you can transfer them to many airlines via Marriott Bonvoy at a rate of 2:1.

  2. Avatar

    Hi Ricky
    Can I transfer MR-S points to my RBC Avion card? Or vice-versa?
    I’m thinking of cancelling either Cobalt or Avion but I’m not sure where to transfer points.

    1. Ricky

      The two points currencies are not interchangeable. You could convert Cobalt points to Marriott Bonvoy for hotel stays, or RBC Avion points to Avios, Asia Miles, American Airlines, or WestJet Rewards for flights.

  3. Avatar

    Hi, when transferring the MR points to fixed points travel, can you use the points on a one way trip? And can you use them as part payment if you don’t have enough to cover the full cost?

  4. Avatar
    Sean Clements

    Do you know what the minimum credit score needed to be approved for Amex Cobalt?

  5. Avatar
    Mr. Blue

    Hi Ricky, do you know of the Cobalt gives 5X points return on food delivery compagnies such as Goodfood and Cookit? I am asking since I curently have the Scotia Amex Gold but I am considering switching to the Cobalt since the Amex Gold no longer gives me 5X the points on my Goodfood purchases. Thanks in advance!

    1. Josh

      I can personally confirm that Cobalt gives 5x on Goodfood!

  6. Avatar

    Thanks Ricky, this is an enticing promo.

    I currently have a Cobalt with 280k MR-S. I am considering transferring those points to Marriott @ the usual rate of 1.25, then cancelling and reapplying just before the May 5 expiry of this promo, to try to earn the 45k SUB.

    Do you expect another MR-S to Marriott 25% transfer bonus anytime soon? If so, I am better off to keep my 280k MR-S points and wait for the transfer bonus (especially since there is no guarantee Amex will honour the 45k SUB if I’ve recently cancelled the card).


    1. Ricky

      It’s a usual rate of 1:1.2. I wouldn’t expect another 25% bonus until later in 2021, perhaps one year after the first one we saw in September 2020 (although there’s no guarantee it will come back again).

      If your plan is to transfer to Bonvoy eventually and you want another shot at the 45K (even if it’s uncertain), I’d go ahead and transfer now. Alternatively, get an Amex Choice Card and park your points there while waiting for the next 25% bonus.

  7. Avatar

    I’m an international student living in Ontario and I’ll need travel to Asia, Bangladesh specifically every year. I intend to rack up points to use towards the high priced tickets and maybe even upgrade the seats where applicable. Should I apply for this card ? Or should I apply for the AMEX gold rewards card even though it has lower points per spending?

    1. Ricky

      Ordinarily, the Gold Card would be recommended over the Cobalt for the purposes of earning flights and upgrades, as the Cobalt’s MR Select points can only be transferred to hotel partners and not airline partners.

      However, keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post which *could* make the Cobalt a lot more interesting for flights.

  8. Avatar

    Is there still a$100 stmt credit for ticketmaster because I cant seem to find the link. Expired maybe?

    1. Ricky

      If you follow the Ticketmaster link above, you’ll see the $100 Ticketmaster statement credit listed among the benefits.

  9. Avatar

    I suppose, those 5x earning rates are in Canada only? Has anyone tried using it overseas?

    1. Ricky

      Overseas works too, as long as the merchant is coded as a restaurant.

  10. Avatar
    Linda McCallum

    Can anyone tell me when the 30,000 cap resets – I thought there was a specific date that was not tied to the card activation date so called AMEX – who had no idea – and also could not tell me when I reached the cap etc.

    1. Ricky

      It resets on your cardmembership anniversary date, I believe.

  11. Avatar
    Michael Kurtas

    With the new cap on the 5x spend for cobalt, can I add a supplementary card and get another $30,000 at the 5x earn rate?

    1. Ricky

      Nope, the $30,000 limit is across the account, regardless of primary or supplementary cardholders. To get another $30,000 limit, you’d need to apply with a different individual as the primary cardholder, or cancel and reapply on your own.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have an Account? Click here to Login