The American Express Cobalt Card is widely considered one of the most powerful credit cards in Canada, largely thanks to its 5x earning rate on food and drinks.
Historically, the welcome bonus on this card has hovered in the range of 30,000 MR points, with occasional periods of an elevated bonus of 50,000 MR points.
Until December 9, 2022, we’re seeing an all-time-high welcome bonus of 52,000 MR points on the Cobalt Card, but only when you apply through a specific channel that may be somewhat surprising at first glance: CreditKarma.ca.
Record-High Welcome Bonus of Up to 52,000 MR Points
The standard welcome bonus on the American Express Cobalt Card has historically been 30,000 MR points, distributed over 12 monthly periods upon spending $500 each month.
The current offer via CreditKarma adds a further bonus on top of that baseline: 22,000 MR points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months, bringing the total to 52,000 MR points.
To access this offer, you’ll need to be a CreditKarma user. Thankfully, CreditKarma is free to sign up for, and it’s very much worth signing up for anyway as one of the best services in Canada for monitoring your credit health.
Upon logging into CreditKarma, you’ll see the above banner being shown just under your credit score dashboard if you have a credit profile that makes you suitable for the Cobalt Card. Clicking the “Apply now” button leads you to an American Express landing page with the details of the offer.
You’ll then be asked to enter the RSVP code as indicated on CreditKarma to start the application.
This is the highest welcome bonus we’ve ever seen on the Cobalt Card. There’s been offers of up to 50,000 MR points in the past, but 52,000 MR points sets a new all-time high.
To optimize this offer from a spending perspective, you’d be looking at spending $5,000 in the first three months while ensuring you reach a minimum of $500 each month (e.g., $1,667 per month, or $4,000 in the first month followed by $500 in subsequent months). Then, for the remaining nine months of the year, the offer would be equivalent to before: a monthly minimum spend of $500.
This offer specifies an end date of December 9, 2022, so make sure to apply by then if you’re interested in taking advantage.
Amex Cobalt Card: One of Canada’s Best Credit Cards
Even before its recent changes and especially now that the changes have kicked in, the Cobalt Card is an excellent choice for ongoing day-to-day spending, and one of our top picks for the best beginner credit cards and best overall credit cards in Canada.
The standout feature is the ability to earn 5 MR points per dollar spent on eats and drinks, which includes restaurants, bars, cafes, takeout, delivery, and purchases made at the grocery store.
And since the points transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan, that’s effectively equal to 5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent – an earning rate that blows even Aeroplan’s own co-branded credit cards out of the water!
In this fashion, an average household can easily rack up a sizeable chunk of MR points – and in turn Aeroplan points or Marriott Bonvoy points – every year.
Indeed, at 5x the points on eats and drinks:
- ~$5,000 of spending in this category would earn you a transcontinental business class flight at ~25,000 Aeroplan points
- $11,000 of spending in this category would earn you a business class flight from Vancouver to Tokyo at 55,000 Aeroplan points
- $12,000 of spending in this category would earn you a business class flight from the East Coast to Europe at 60,000 Aeroplan points
However, take note that a maximum cap of $30,000 applies to the 5x earning rate, so if you have a very large family to feed and regularly make voluminous purchases at the grocery store, then it would certainly be worth getting your partner to also sign up for the Cobalt Card under this record-high offer as well.
If both members of a household signed up for the Cobalt Card under the current offer and maximized their $30,000 allowance at the 5x rate every year going forward, they’d earn a cool 404,000 MR points in the first year, followed by 300,000 MR points in subsequent years. That’d be enough for two round-trip tickets in business class to Europe or Asia year after year.
By and large, the Cobalt Card is the easiest way for the average Canadian household to travel in premium cabins on a regular basis, and that’s what makes it a truly incredible product all around.
Until December 9, 2022, the American Express Cobalt Card‘s welcome offer has been raised to an all-time-high level of 52,000 MR points when you apply via CreditKarma.ca, making this a great opportunity to get onboard the 5x food and drinks hype train.
If you aren’t already a member of CreditKarma, it’s absolutely worth signing up as a free way to keep track of your credit score. Beyond that, you’ll also be eligible for this special offer on the Cobalt Card when you click through to the landing page and enter the dedicated RSVP code.
I have the Amex SimplyPreferred card and the Marriott Bonvoy card (received Dec 1, 2022). I just applied for the Cobalt card and received the dreaded “Your application is currently under review. Your request will take approx. 10 business days to process” So I assume that’s a rejection?
I have multiple amex cards with MR points. AMEX will no longer transfer more than one of these to Bonvoy. They said contact Bonvoy! Bonvoy says it’s an AMEX issue and AMEX says it’s a Bonvoy issue; you can only have one AMEX MR card convert points to Bonvoy. I have filed a complaint with AMEX as this renders my cards useless; the phone agent indicated I could still use the points for a statement credit!!! ha. Has anyone else had this issue? I have asked if i can move my MR points from one card to another or if I can unlink the current card and link another 😉 I’ve been told NO.
Ricky, is AMEX really enforcing the WB ? Would like to apply for the Cobalt a second time.
Hi Ricky – I spent over $3,000 within the first three months but I don’t see the 20,000 bonus points in my account balance. Is this bonus awarded at the end of the first year?
I believe you would have to wait 6-8 weeks to show up
Am I eligible for the welcome bonus as a current Amex Gold cardholder?
Great article as usual Ricky! Just wondering do you know if AMEX do limit split between credit cards? I.e. from Aeroplan reserve to cobalt. Or if I want this one I have to apply?
Like Ron said, you’ll have to submit a new application.
Amex doesn’t do “limit split”. Need to submit a new application.
Now that MR select can be transferred to airlines does that mean we can merge our MR points with platinum card?
Nope – it looks like MR and MR Select remain two separate tiers, so cannot be combined. It’s just that MR and MR Select are virtually identical in every other way, now that MR Select points can be transferred to airlines too, so we’ll generally refer to all of them as “MR points”.
So if I have 50k Aeroplan and converted 50k Cobalt MR points into Aeroplan, does that mean I cannot book a flight that costs 100k aeroplan total?
Really wish amex would add YouTube premium to the eligible streaming services.
Ah damn. I thought today was the last day for the $10/month fee and waited. I wish i realized yesterday 🙁
Well, there’s a higher welcome bonus now, so you’re actually better off! $200+ in value > $36 savings for sure.
Would it be possible to re-post the previous Amex Cobalt Incognito offer from a couple of month ago? I applied under that expired offer and cannot locate the details of the spend threshold/time period to receive the 50,000 points. It looks like the thread was updated today with the new Cobalt offer. Thanks.
The details were exactly the same as the current offer: 2,500 MR points for each of the first 12 months that you spend $500, as well as 20,000 MR points for spending $3,000 in the first three months.
Thanks so much Ricky. Much appreciated. FYI I love your site.
I have had the Amex Cobalt card in the past. Am I ineligible to sign up and get this great bonus?
Technically, yes, you are ineligible. However, it’s still worth getting the Cobalt Card for the ongoing 5x points that can be transferred to airlines, and who knows – you might just get the bonus anyway.
Is there any word on whether the MR-S earned on the Business Edge card will become convertible to airline points? If not, the Business Edge card will be the only one with MR that are not convertible to airline points.
I just checked on the Amex MR account associated with my Business Edge card, and it appears that one can transfer these MR to airlines now.
It definitely seems like MR Select as a whole has become transferable to airlines, even though it was initially indicated that no changes were coming to the Business Edge. A pleasant surprise!
Can u send the link to the Cobalt card and, do we get extra points for sharing the link with others?
You can check out our page on the Cobalt Card for more information and to apply: https://princeoftravel.com/credit-cards/american-express-cobalt-card
Yes, once you get a card of your own, you can earn 5,000 MR points for each referral that you make from your link.
Any thoughts on when we should see a revamp of the Plat and Gold cards? With the 10x dining/grocery coming to an end soon, and the Gold card now more or less collecting dust in a drawer, I’m sick of paying big annual fees for so little earning value.
I can only offer my predictions – I think we’ll most likely see a Gold relaunch before the end of the year, and Platinum revamp next year perhaps. Again, pure speculation here though.
Will the possibility to transfer to AP appear at some later point in time? So far I see only the usual two suspects under “Transfer Points” (Bonvoy and Hilton)
It should be there now!
Other than converting to Bonvoy, is there any other advantage to the Cobalt card over the Scotia Gold Amex?
The value of Amex points are much higher.
Yes and no – our valuations place a premium on flexibility, and Amex also has the fixed points flight chart. If your preferred redemption is to cash out for statement credit for general travel expenses, you won’t get that extra value, and the two cards are almost identical.