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cobalt new card best featured

Why the American Express Cobalt card is one of the best credit cards in Canada

To the point

Find out how you can use the American Express Cobalt card for travel, points transfer, cash back and more!

An impressive welcome offer

The welcome bonus is split monthly for the first 12 months. For example, you earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for every $500 in purchases charged to your card during the month (whether in the 1X, 2X, 3X or 5X category).

And for a limited time, you can earn an additional Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. That’s up to 50,000 Membership Rewards points as a welcome bonus!

For the monthly welcome bonus, it is best to shop in the 5X categories:

  • 2,500 points as a monthly welcome bonus
  • 2,500 points for purchases in the 5x category

That’s a 10% minimum return for the first 12 months on each of your first $500 in Card purchases within the 5x categories like groceries.

metro cobalt

Here’s how you could earn 87,500 points in your first year by optimizing your purchases in the 5X categories:

Month Purchases 5x Categories Bonus Total
1 $1,000 5,000 points 2,500 points 7,500 points
2 $1,000 5,000 points 2,500 points 7,500 points
3 $1,000 5,000 points 2,500 points + 20,000 points 27,500 points
4 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
5 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
6 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
7 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
8 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
9 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
10 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
11 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
12 $500 2,500 points 2,500 points 5,000 points
Total $7,500 37,500 points 50,000 points 87,500 points

87,500 points for $7,500 in Card purchases within 12 months; that’s an 11.67% minimum return if you use your points for a statement credit redeemed towards any purchase charged to your Card. That’s an $875 value!

If you take out the cost of the card fee ($12.99 per month or $155.88 over 12 months), the net value in the first year is approximately $719 !

One way to do this is to do your grocery shopping. And if you don’t have $500-$1,000 worth of groceries a month, you could buy gift cards there for other businesses you regularly frequent like Amazon, SAQ, GAP, Old Navy, etc. Another way to earn 5x the points for these purchases.

Tip

In the first month, American Express will add 2,500 points to your account (because the first billing cycle is incomplete). So, in the first month, we recommend that you quickly put $500 on your American Express Cobalt™ Card to double up and earn 5,000 bonus points!

cobalt super c

A monthly fee

To our knowledge, American Express is the only institution in Canada that has introduced a monthly fee on a credit card instead of an annual fee!

The monthly fee for the American Express Cobalt™ Card is $12.99.

This allows you to be much more flexible: if you want to cancel your card after 6 months, you will have paid only $77.94 instead of $150 for a similar card. But I don’t think you’ll cancel your card as you’ll earn a lot of points even beyond the first year!

Earn rewards at a fast pace

With the American Express Cobalt™ Card you can earn between 1 and 5 points per dollar:

Category Points per dollar
Grocery 5
Food delivery 5
Restaurants and bars 5
Convenience stores 5
Streaming subscriptions 3
Gas station 2
Gas & Transit 2
Travel 2
Other 1

To maximize your card, you can purchase gift cards (Amazon, SAQ, Netflix, etc.) in grocery stores or at your 7-eleven / Couche-Tard convenience store. You will get 5x the points for these purchases.

cobalt super c

5 points per dollar on groceries

With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you earn 5 points for every dollar spent on groceries.

For example, here is a $226.12 grocery invoice at Super C, where I earned 1,131 Membership Rewards Points:

super c atwater

And don’t forget: grocery stores are a great place to find gift cards!

For example, here’s a $250 purchase I made with my American Express Cobalt™ Card at a Metro grocery store, right next to an SAQ Depot location:

metro charlemagne

So I earned, thanks to this SAQ gift card purchase in grocery stores, 5 points per dollar on my SAQ purchase!

Saq Cobalt giftcard

5 points per dollar on convenience stores purchases

With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you earn 5 points per dollar at convenience stores (Couche-Tard in Quebec, Macs-Circle K / 7-eleven elsewhere in Canada).

This is exciting because convenience stores sell a lot of gift cards. So you can earn 5 points per dollar on many other businesses purchases!

For example, with a $200 Amazon.ca gift card purchase, I earned 1,000 Membership Rewards Points:

couche tard carte cadeau amazon
5X The Points On Amazon.ca For Cobalt Cardmembers!

5 points per dollar on restaurants and bars purchases

Also, with the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you earn 5 points per dollar at restaurants and bars.

For example, here are a series of restaurants, grocery stores and bars on our American Express Cobalt™ Card:

restaurants cobalt

With all these purchases, I earned 5 points per dollar!

amex platinum cobalt restaurants

5 points per dollar on food delivery

We’re big fans of home food delivery with platforms like Uber Eats or GoodFood! With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you also earn 5 points per dollar for home food delivery!

Here are two purchases from:

  • Uber Eats for $42.64 (213 Membership Rewards Points)
  • GoodFood for $90.00 (450 Membership Rewards Points)
uber eats good food
Uber

Most Uber trips also fall into the 5X category instead of 2X!

Between 1 and 2 points per dollar everywhere else

With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you earn 2 points per dollar on all purchases:

  • gas purchases
  • travel purchases (flights, hotels, Airbnb,etc.)
  • local transportation purchases (taxis, commuter trains, etc.)

Outside of all of the above categories, with the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you earn 1 point for every dollar.

A card for your groceries and restaurants expenses abroad

Even if the terms and conditions indicate that the earning categories only apply to purchases made “in Canada,” the reality is quite different! The milesopedia community regularly demonstrates this through multiple examples, earning between 2 to 5 points per dollar!

Tested and personally approved in the following countries:

  • United States
  • Puerto Rico
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • Hong Kong
  • South Korea
  • Japan
amex cobalt presentation 1

Tested and approved by the milesopedia community in the following countries:

  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • Thailand
  • Australia
  • Indonesia
  • And more!

Even there is a 2.5% forex fee with the card, you’ll get ahead with 5X purchases!

Credit cards with No Forex Fees

If you’re looking for a credit card with no forex fee, check out our best no forex fee credit cards page.

5 points per dollar on groceries abroad

Do you regularly travel to the United States or anywhere else in the world for extended stays? You can easily use your American Express Cobalt™ Cardd at any U.S. grocery store and earn 5 points per dollar!

Here are, for example, our purchases in Puerto Rico grocery stores (Supermax and Pueblo):

cobalt san juan

5 points per dollar on restaurants and bars expenses abroad

When we travel, we spend more in restaurants and bars. With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you also earn 5 points per dollar!

Here is a series of purchases in US restaurants during a stay in New York:

cobalt new york

Or in South Africa:

Cobalt Afs

Flexible Membership Rewards Points!

It’s not all about earning a lot of Membership Rewards Points, but you have to be able to use them!

Here are the best uses of your Membership Rewards points earned with your American Express Cobalt™ Card.

Redeem Membership Rewards Points on travel purchases

This is the easiest way to redeem Membership Rewards Points earned with your American Express Cobalt™ Card:

  1. You charge a trip to your card: flights, hotels, Airbnb, car rental, etc.
  2. You redeem your points on this purchase: 1,000 points = $10

Here are two examples of travel companies without loyalty program, Air Transat and Airbnb:

cobalt transat
cobalt airbnb

Redeem Membership Rewards Points on everyday purchases

The principle is identical as above.

  1. You are purchasing something with your American Express Cobalt™ Card
  2. You redeem your points on this purchase: 1,000 points = $10

Redeem Membership Rewards Points through American Express Fixed Points Travel

This is simply the best use of American Express Cobalt™ Card Membership Rewards points:

  1. You browse American Express travel portal
  2. You book some flights at fixed-points pricing: 15,000 points = $300!

But this only applies to specific flights:

amex points fixes eco

Transfer Membership Rewards Points to Marriott Bonvoy

Here, this is for those who want to earn Marriott Bonvoy points to get a free stay at one of the group’s 7,000 hotels:

  1. You log on to the Membership Rewards transfer portal
  2. You transfer your Membership Rewards Points to Marriott Bonvoy with a 1:1.2 ratio (or 5:6 if you prefer)
  3. Book your hotel directly with your Marriott Bonvoy account
cobalt bonvoy transfert

This is a great way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, especially when you have exhausted other solutions like with Marriott Bonvoy credit cards bonuses!

Transfer of Membership Rewards Points to Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, etc.

This is for those who want to earn Aeroplan points or Avios miles when booking flights with partner airlines:

  1. You log on to the Membership Rewards transfer portal
  2. You transfer your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan points or Avios miles at a 1:1 rate
  3. You book your flight directly through your Aeroplan or British Airways Executive Club account
etihad first 777 23
Un Voyage sur Etihad Avec les Points Aéroplan

Transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Airline Programs

Here, you use the Marriott Bonvoy program as a lever to earn airline program miles through your American Express Cobalt™ Card!

This is for those who want to earn Flying Blue, Alaska Airlines, Avios miles with their American Express Cobalt™ Card purchases:

  1. You log on to the Membership Rewards transfer portal
  2. You transfer your Membership Rewards Points to Marriott Bonvoy with a 1:1.2 ratio (or 5:6 if you prefer)
  3. You transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to airlines program with a 3:1 ratio (or 2.4:1 when you transfer in 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points increments)
  4. You book your airline reward directly within the airline program
cobalt bonvoy aeroplan transfert 1

In short, with every purchase on your American Express Cobalt™ Card in a 5x the points category, you earn 6 Marriott points/$ or 2 Flying Blue miles – Alaska per dollar!

And it can be much more than that:

  • When transferring your Marriott Bonvoy points in 60,000 increments: you get 5,000 bonus miles (so 60,000 points = 25,000 miles)
  • Initiating this transfer during a conversion bonus period, such as occurs 3 or 4 times a year with airline programs (25 to 35% bonus)

That’s why we think the American Express Cobalt™ Card is one of the best credit cards in Canada!

Many Promotional Offers during the year

Throughout the year, American Express offers promotional offers to American Express Cobalt™ Cardmembers.

Here are three recent examples:

Promotion Value
2,000 Membership Rewards Points
after $75 in gas station purchases
$20
Receive $5 after $5 purchases
Shop Small merchants
$25
Receive 10 points per dollar
on Amazon.ca
$50
TOTAL $95

Up to $95 quickly earned, enough to put the $10 monthly fee into perspective!

Cobalt card insurance

With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you get a lot of great insurance, especially for a card that costs only $12.99 per month!

Mobile Device Insurance

You are covered for $1,000 for your mobile devices.

Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance

Save when you travel with the flight and damage Insurance for rental cars included with your Card This insurance provides compensation for theft, loss and damage up to the market value of the rental car with a maximum MSRP of $85,000 depending on the year of the model.

To take advantage of this benefit, you simply need to refuse loss or damage protection or any other similar option offered by the rental company and bring the entire rental to your Card. This insurance is available at no extra cost and you do not have to pay the insurance charged by the car rental company (usually costing between $16 and $23 per day).

Baggage delay insurance

Having booked your flight with your Card you may receive up to $500 (maximum in combination with Flight Delay Insurance) for any necessary and reasonable routine purchase of clothing and small items considered essential that you will make in a four days delay,if your luggage is not returned to you within six hours after your departure flight arrives.

Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance

If you carry the full amount of your airfare to your Card you are insured in case of loss or damage of your personal belongings, carry-on baggage or checked baggage while travelling up to $500 per trip for all policy holders.

Flight delay insurance

Charge your airline tickets to your Card and get up to $500 (maximum in combination with misdirected baggage insurance) for any necessary and reasonable expenses incurred within 48 hours at the hotel, motel or restaurant, or for small items, if your flight is delayed or you are denied boarding for four hours or more without making any other means of transportation available to you.

$250,000 Travel Accident Insurance

Travel accident insurance gives you automatic coverage of up to $250,000 for accidental death and dismemberment for yourself, your spouse and dependent children under the age of 23 years when you are travelling on a public carrier (plane, train, boat or bus) and carry the full price of all Tickets to your Card. Supplementary card holders, their spouses and dependent children under the age of 23 are also covered.

Hotel or motel burglary insurance

Simply pay for your hotel or motel room with your card and you will receive coverage of up to $500 in case of loss of most personal belongings in the event of a burglary at your hotel or motel room.

Purchase Protection® Plan

Eligible items purchased on your card may be insured for a period of 90 days from the date of purchase against accidental property damage and theft up to a maximum of $1,000 per claim (all items purchased combined).

Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan

Your coverage can automatically extend the manufacturer’s initial warranty up to an additional year when you carry all eligible items to your Card.

If you need to consult the insurance booklet, it can be found at this link.

Conclusion

The American Express Cobalt™ Card is one of our favourite cards for all of the above.

Whenever someone asks “which credit card to apply for” in the Facebook group, many enthusiastic members come up to praise the American Express Cobalt™ Card!

You would like to apply for this Card while supporting milesopedia? Click here!

This article was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this article are purely my own.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or controlling the accuracy of the information published on this website. For full and up-to-date product information, click on the Subscription link. Terms apply.

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