American Express Cobalt Card vs Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Head-to-Head: American Express Cobalt® Card vs Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

To the point Here's our detailed comparison of the American Express Cobalt® Card and the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

American Express Canada and Scotiabank each offer an American Express credit card that earns up to 5 points per dollar on certain categories of purchases:

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus offered by each of these credit cards varies according to promotions. However, there are differences to be aware of between the two credit cards.

american express cobalt card

When you apply for the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can earn up to 30,000 points:

  • 1,250 points per month for the first 12 months (monthly expenses of $750 or more)
scotiabank gold american express card

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can earn up to 40,000 Scene+ points :

  • 20,000 points after $1,000 in purchases within the first three months
  • 20,000 points after $7,500 in purchases within the first year
Advantage: Scotiabank Gold American Express

To earn the full American Express Cobalt® Card welcome bonus, you need to spend $9,000 in the first year ($750 per month spread over 12 months) to earn the 15,000 points. This has a value of $150.

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you earn the first part of the 20,000-point welcome bonus after just $1,000 in purchases in three months. This has a value of $200.

Then, however, you’ll also need to spend $7,500 within the year to earn an additional 20,000 points.

The American Express Cobalt® Card welcome bonus requires spending $750 each month, for 12 months. With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you get more value, more easily.

Minimum income

american express cobalt card

The American Express Cobalt® Card requires no minimum income.

scotiabank gold american express card

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card requires a minimum income of $12,000.

Advantage: American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt® Card requires no minimum income, unlike the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card (although the $12,000 a year requirement remains attainable for many).

Annual fee

american express cobalt card

The American Express Cobalt® Card has a monthly fee of $12.99, charged on each monthly statement. At the end of 12 months, you will have paid $155.88.

scotiabank gold american express card

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card has an annual fee of $120. It’s charged on the first statement, and at the time of renewal.

However, for a limited time, the first year is free!

Advantage: Scotiabank Gold American Express

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card annual fee is lower than the American Express CobaltMD Card. And even better: for a limited time, the first year is free!

Earning points

The American Express Cobalt® Card and Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card each offer 3 levels of point accumulation.

Maximum earning level

american express cobalt card

With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can earn 5 points per dollar of purchases for:

  • Groceries
  • Food delivery
  • Dining
  • Convenience stores
scotiabank gold american express card

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can earn 5 Scene+ points per dollar spent:

  • Groceries
  • Food delivery
  • Dining
  • Entertainment venues
Draw

It’s hard to tell the difference between the two cards in the 5 points per dollar category. Only one type of business is different: convenience stores for the American Express Cobalt® Card, entertainment venues for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

Don’t forget the possibility of buying gift cards at Couche-Tard convenience stores with the American Express Cobalt® Card: you could earn 5 points per dollar, even on Walmart gift cards!

If you choose the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you’ll earn 6 points per dollar spent at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.

Some will spend more in one category than another. It’s up to you to choose the most appropriate one, especially for your foreign currency purchases, as you’ll see below.

Intermediate earning level

With the American Express Cobalt® Cardandthe Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can earn between 2 and 3 points per dollar of purchases in various categories of stores.

american express cobalt card

With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can earn 2 points per dollar spent at :

  • Transit
  • Gas stations
  • Travel purchases

And 3 points per dollar on streaming services purchases.

scotiabank gold american express card

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can earn 3 points for every $1 in purchases at:

  • Transit
  • Gas stations
  • Streaming services
Advantage: Scotiabank Gold American Express

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you earn 1 more point per dollar of purchase than with the American Express Cobalt® Card, especially in recurring purchase categories such as gas stations and transportation.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card innovates by offering a category linked to streaming services (Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.).

On the other hand, if you make frequent travel purchases, you should instead subscribe to the American Express Cobalt® Card.

Basic earning level

Outside these accelerated purchase categories, you earn 1 point per dollar of purchase with both the American Express Cobalt® Card and the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

Foreign currency purchases

Unlike the American Express Cobalt® Card, the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card has no conversion fees for purchases made in foreign currencies.

This is a saving of 2.5% on each transaction made.

However, with the American Express Cobalt® Card, you earn more points thanks to the 2 and 5 point categories that also apply to foreign currency purchases.

europeJPG cobalt accumulation

On the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all foreign currency purchases.

Draw

While, on paper, the absence of conversion charges for foreign currency purchases would allow the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Cardthe fact that the latter only allows for the accumulation of 1 point per dollar abroad brings the American Express Cobalt® Card in the race!

Indeed, frequent purchases made abroad are often for restaurants (or groceries for snowbirds).

In these categories, the American Express Cobalt® Card will offer 5 points per dollar. Even with a 2.5% conversion fee, you still come out ahead compared to the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

Redeeming points

Both cards offer travel points.

However, their loyalty programs are completely different:

This means that the ways you can redeem your points are different.

For travel

With the American Express Cobalt® Card and Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can redeem your points for travel purchased on the card:

american express cobalt card

With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can apply Membership Rewards points to travel purchases charged to the card.

The redeeming rate is 1,000 points = $10.

You must apply at least 1,000 points (i.e. minimum $10), thereafter it will be in increments of 1 cent / 1 point.

scotiabank gold american express card

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can apply Scene+ points to travel purchases.

The reddeming rate is 1,000 points = $10.

You must apply at least 5,000 points (i.e. minimum $50), thereafter it will be in increments of 1 cent = 1 point.

Advantage: American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt® Card wins this duel, as it allows points to be used towards a travel purchase with a $10 minimum, compared with $50 for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

This allows for more flexibility.

For everyday shopping

american express cobalt card

With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can apply Membership Rewards points to everyday purchases charged to the card.

The redeeming rate is 1,000 points = $10.

You need to redeem a minimum of 1,000 points (i.e., a minimum of $10).

scotiabank gold american express card

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can apply Scene+ points to everyday purchases.

Redeem your points in 1,000-point increments for $10 off your next hotel night or car rental when you book with Scene+ Travel. Or you can also get a credit to the account with the “Redeem Points for Credit” option.

It's a tie !

For both the American Express Cobalt® Card and the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, the use of points for everyday purchases is identical.

Transfers to other programs

american express cobalt card

With the American Express Cobalt® Card you can use its points:

scotiabank gold american express card

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, Scene+ points remain in the program. Therefore, they cannot be transferred.

Advantage: American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt® Card wins this duel.

Using Membership Rewards for some flights can double their value, and what about transferring points to hotel programs such as Marriott Bonvoy, which allows you to earn more points for free hotel nights! Or to airline partners like Aeroplan or Flying Blue.

Whereas with the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you cannot transfer your points.

Insurance

american express cobalt card

With the American Express Cobalt® Card you can benefit from these insurances:

  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Delayed Baggage Insurance
  • Loss / theft of luggage insurance
  • Medical insurance up to the age of 64
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
  • Purchase warranty: 90 days
  • Extended warranty: 1 year
scotiabank gold american express card

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can benefit from these insurances:

  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Delayed Baggage Insurance
  • Loss / theft of luggage insurance
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Medical insurance up to the age of 64
  • Medical insurance over 65
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
  • Purchase warranty: 90 days
  • Extended warranty: 1 year
Advantage: Scotiabank Gold American Express

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you benefit from additional or more generous coverages than with the American Express Cobalt® Card.

What’s more, it requires 75% of travel purchases to be charged to the card, whereas the American Express Cobalt® Card requires the entire trip to have been charged to it.

If you want a card that covers your travels, even when a tiny fraction of them have been charged to it, you should read this article: The Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance with Rewards Points.

Bottom Line

So? Which Card is the winner?

It’s hard to declare an official winner. In short, the American Express Cobalt® Card is excellent for everyday purchases. While the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card is excellent for travel.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card stands out from the crowd:

  • robust travel insurance
  • absence of foreign currency conversion charges

But the American Express Cobalt® Card stands out on:

  • the very flexible use of its points
  • its accelerated earning rate, even abroad

In France, American Express cards are somewhat different.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
4.6 Milesopedia Rating
Jean-Maximilien Voisine
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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