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.
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.
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