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American Express Cobalt® Card Review

Credit Acceptance:

Card Network:

AMEX

Good to Excellent

660-850

Up to 30,000 MR Points

Signup Bonus

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Cash
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Income Requirement:

N/A

9.5/10

Our Rating

Card Type

Points

Annual Fee

$155.88

Institution

American Express

Interest Rate

20.99%

Earning Rewards

5 points for every dollar in Restaurants, Fast Foods, Coffee Shops, Food delivery and Groceries up to 150000 points

3 points for every dollar on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada

2 points for every dollar used in standalone gasoline stations, travel services or local commuter transportation in Canada including ride share services

1 point for everything else

EXCELLENT

Redeeming Rewards

What can you do with your rewards?

Transfer to Airline Partners

Fixed Point Travel Program

Transfer to Hotel Partners

Statement Credit

Gift Cards

Merchandise

What's a good redemption?

Amex points, often referred to as MR (Membership Reward) points are one of the best redeemable points amongst all credit cards due to being very flexible and transferable.


The best redemption route for the Amex Cobalt is for travelling purposes, more specifically towards Aeroplan, British Airways and other partner airlines.


Learn more on the American Express website.

EXCELLENT

Insurance & Benefits

Flight Delay

$500

Baggage Delay

$500

Mobile Device

$1000

Purchase Protection

90 days

Hotel Burglary

$500

Extended Warranty

1 year

Baggage Loss or Theft

$500

Car Rental Theft and Damage

$85,000

• Out of Province Medical insurance up to $5 million
• Flight delay and Baggage delay insurance up to $500
• Hotel Burglary insurance up to $500
• Lost or stolen baggage insurance up to $500
• Travel accident Insurance up to $250K
• Car Rental Theft and damage insurance up to $85000
• Mobile Device Insurance up to $1000
• Purchase Protection Insurance up to 90 days
• Extended Warranty Insurance up to a year
• Access to American Express Experiences and offers

GOOD

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Generous welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points

  • 4 different ways of redeeming your points for great value

  • 10 different types of insurance, including travel

  • Often referred to as the Best Credit Card in Canada

Cons

  • Less acceptance of American Express at different merchants across Canada

American Express Cobalt Review


The American Express Cobalt card, often referred to as the best credit card in Canada tends to stand out amongst its peers due to the high reward rates it offers.


So what makes this card be so special? Let's find out.


The Rewards


The Amex Cobalt credit card offers one of the highest points earning rates on very popular everyday categories. Here's what you can earn and how to best use them.


How You Earn Rewards


Your points are part of the overall American Express Membership Rewards (MR) program. You can earn points as follow:

  • 5 points per $1 on eligible restaurant and grocery purchases

  • 3 points per $1 on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada

  • 2 points per $1 on transit, gas and travel

  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases


As you can see, that's a lot of points to be earned on very common categories like food and groceries. That's usually where most people spend their money each month!


How much do you think you could earn on this card? Find out using our rewards calculator.


How You Redeem Rewards


American Express MR points are known for the flexibility that they offer, mainly because they can be used in many different ways and be potentially worth a lot of money.


Transfer MR points to other airlines

This is the best method for redeeming your points since it gives you the highest yield for your points.


These are the available Airline partners.



Most of the time, your points will transfer at a 1:1 ratio but always check on the airline's website.


One of the best airlines to use MR points on is Air Canada for Canadians. Your points will transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan (Air Canada's point system) and each point is worth about 2 cents.


Essentially on an average spending of $1,700-2,000 per month, and approximately earning 50,000 MR points, that's equivalent to $1000 in points value.


Transfer MR points to hotel programs

This is another good option to redeem your points for. Marriott Bonvoy is the better of the 2 since it provides more value generally, on average at about 97 cents per point.



The Fixed Points Travel Program

This is the second best option for redeeming your MR points.


How does it work?


You essentially can redeem a certain number of your points to fly to a specific region. These points can cover the base cost of your ticket, leaving you to pay for the taxes or any other fees.


Here's a chart from the Amex website that showcases the Economy class.


A way to maximize the points is to redeem points towards certain short-haul routes. These can generally yield 2 cents per mile, however there's a limited selection and generally not worth it to do so.


How can you see the number of points required?


You can simple book a flight through the American Express Travel portal and login into your account.


For example a flight from Vancouver to Toronto that costs me $1236.56 will require a redemption of 123,645 points.

This may not be the best redemption route for a flight like this given that I could get a better value from transferring points to an airline partner like Air Canada.


Redeem MR points for any purchase

This option generally gives a lower redemption rate compared to those mentioned above. For example if you go to your Membership Rewards page, you can pay off any of your past month's purchases with your points balance.


Note that you need to redeem at least1,000 points to be able to do this.



Welcome Bonus


The American Express Cobalt card comes with a first year bonus of up to 30,000 points when you make at least $500 in net purchases each month.




Approval


Getting approval for the American Express Cobalt card is fairly straight forward. There's no specified minimum income requirement and generally anyone with a good credit score should get approved.


The best part? This card has instant approval, meaning when you apply for it and are qualified, you will get approved instantly.



3 Benefits of the American Express Cobalt Credit Card


1. Insurance Coverage


This card comes with a fantastic range of insurance coverages. From travel to mobile device insurance, you'll get more than enough coverage for most of your needs.


Learn more in the insurance section above.


2. Large Signup Bonus


You may earn 2,500 points per month when you spend $500 in the month, for a maximum of 30,000 points earned during your first year.


That's about $600 worth of airline tickets when you maximize your redemption.


3. Amex Offers and Benefits


On top of the great bonus and insurance coverage, you can get in front of the line through the Front of The Line® program. Essentially this allows Amex cardholders to get early access to ticket sales on Ticketmaster.


You can also get personalized Amex offers when you make purchases through certain merchants. You can usually find them on your Amex page when you're logged in. Learn more here.



2 Downsides of the American Express Cobalt Credit Card


1. Lower Acceptance at Merchants Across Canada


This is an unfortunate fact about Amex in general. Not all merchants are accepting of American Express in their stores at a similar level to Visa or Mastercard.


Major retailers like Loblaws or Costco do not accept Amex.


You can also use the Amex map to see whether the retailers in your area do accept Amex or not.


2. High Annual Fee


This card comes with a hefty monthly fee of $12.99 or $155.88 per year, which is on the higher end of most premium credit cards.



Final Verdict


Is the Amex Cobalt card really worth the $155.88 yearly fee?


The simple answer is absolutely yes. Given the amount of points you can redeem on this card, it would be hard to say no to it. This card isn't known to be the best credit card in Canada for no reason.


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