Amex Cobalt vs. Amex Scotia Gold: which card is better? | milesopedia
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Comparison: American Express Cobalt Card vs. Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

To the point Here is 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.

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

  • 2,500 points per month for the first 12 months (monthly spend of $500 or more)
Scotiabank Gold AMEX

When applying for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card you can earn up to 45,000 Scene+ points:

  • 25,000 points after $1,000 in purchases in the first three months
  • 20,000 points after $7,500 in purchases within the first year
  • First-year free
Advantage: Scotiabank Gold American Express

To earn the full welcome bonus of the American Express Cobalt® Card, you must spend $6,000 in the first year ($500 per month spread over 12 months to earn the 30,000 points).

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, you earn the first part of the 25,000 point Welcome Bonus after just $1,000 in purchases in three months. However, you will also need to spend $7,500 in a year to earn an additional 20,000 points. But most importantly, you get the first-year free, which is rare for this card!

The welcome bonus for the American Express Cobalt® Card requires spending $500 each month, for 12 months. Whereas with the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, you may be able to get there faster with higher purchases.

Minimum income

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The American Express Cobalt® Card requires no minimum income.

Scotiabank Gold AMEX

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 per year requirement is still attainable for many).

Annual fee

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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 AMEX

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’s annual fee is lower than the American Express Cobalt® Card. And even better: for a limited time, the first year is free!

Earning points

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

Maximum earning level

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

  • Groceries
  • Food delivery
  • Dining
  • Convenience stores
Scotiabank Gold AMEX

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, you can earn 5 Scene+ points per dollar of purchases for:

  • 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, and entertainment venues for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

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

If you choose the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, please note that you will earn 6 points for every $1 in purchases 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® Card and the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you can earn 2 to 3 points per dollar of purchases at various categories of merchants.

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With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can earn 2 points for every $1 in purchases at :

  • Transit
  • Gas stations
  • Travel purchases

And 3 points per dollar on streaming services purchases.

Scotiabank Gold AMEX

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, you can earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on purchases for:

  • 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 compared to the American Express Cobalt® Card, especially in recurring purchase categories such as gas stations and transportation.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is breaking new ground by offering a category related to streaming services (Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.).

On the other hand, if you make frequent travel purchases, you should sign up for the American Express Cobalt® Card.

Basic earning level

Outside of these accelerated purchase categories, you earn 1 point for every $1 in purchases 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 fee for foreign currency purchases.

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

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

europeJPG cobalt accumulation

While with 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, it’s a win-win situation compared to the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.

In our eyes, the ideal combo remains the American Express Cobalt® Card AND the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® (which does not charge any currency conversion fees AND is a Mastercard credit card i .e. accepted where American Express will not).

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

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With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can apply its 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 AMEX

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 because it allows you to use your points for a travel purchase with a $10 minimum vs. $50 for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

This allows for more flexibility.

For everyday shopping

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With the American Express Cobalt® CardCard, 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 AMEX

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

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

Scotiabank Gold AMEX

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.

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

Insurance

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With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can take advantage of these insurance coverages:

  • 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 AMEX

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, you can take advantage of 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 receive additional or more generous coverage than the American Express Cobalt® Card.

In addition, it requires 75% of travel purchases to be charged to the card, while the American Express Cobalt® Card requires the entire trip to be 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 fact, it will be up to each person to make up their own mind according to their needs.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has the following advantages:

  • 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
Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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