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.