The American Express Cobalt Card is one of the best travel credit cards in Canada and people don’t even realize it. With the ability earn up to 5% in points and some excellent transfer partners, this card deserves the hype it has been getting.
One could argue that the Amerx Cobalt Card is aimed at younger people (aka. millennials), but when you look at the features and benefits, you’ll quickly realize that this card is great for a variety of people. Read my American Express Cobalt review now to find out what makes it one of the best American Express credit cards in Canada.
American Express Cobalt Benefits
- $10 Monthly fee ($120 Annually)
- 2,500 monthly welcome points after charging $500 in purchases per month for a total of 30,000 points in the first year
- Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eats and drinks (Groceries, restaurants, bars, cafés, and food delivery)
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel (flights, hotels, trains, public transportation, taxis/Uber)
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Comprehensive travel insurance package included
- Front Of The Line by American Express Invites access
- Free supplementary cards
At first glance, the monthly award bonus of 2,500 points on a $500 spend seems a bit excessive since you’ll have to spend $6,000 in the first year to get the full bonus, but it makes sense for both the business and consumers.
For American Express, they don’t need to worry about customers cancelling the card immediately after getting the bonus points which is a common thing for credit card churners. As for consumers, since you pay a monthly fee instead of an annual fee, you can test out the card and cancel it whenever you like if it doesn’t line up to your spending and reward patterns.
The 5 points earned per dollar spent on food and drinks is the highest you’ll get for that category from any credit card in Canada. The 2 points earned per dollar spent on travel is nice since it includes public transportation and taxis/Uber).
Although the travel insurance package does not include trip cancellation/interruption, it does include the major things such as Emergency Medical, Lost or Stolen Baggage, Flight Delay, Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance, Travel Accident, and Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
How does American Express Memberships Rewards work?
One thing to note right away is that with the Cobalt card is that you earn Membership Rewards Select (MRS) points as opposed to regular Membership Rewards points that some other Amex cards get you.
1,000 points = $10 travel credit or $7 for a non travel credit.
Clearly claiming your points for travel gives you the best return since you would get 5% back on food and eats purchases and 2% on travel purchases.
With MRS points, you don’t have the ability to transfer to American Express airline partners, but you can use them towards the Fixed Points Travel Program which offers some good value.
One often overlooked feature of MRS points is the fact that you can transfer them to hotel partners.
Currently, you can convert to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio or to Hilton Honors at a 1:1 ratio.
How the American Express Cobalt card compares to others
To be honest, there’s no other credit card that truly compared to the Amex Cobalt card (referral link). The 5% earn ratio on food and drinks is the highest earn possible. American Express recently changed their policy so there’s a cap on the 5 points per $1 spent on food and drinks on the first $30K, but that should be enough for most people.
Some people like to compare this card to the American Express Platinum card, but that’s more focused on travel experiences and benefits so I don’t think it makes much sense to compare the two. That being said, the MR points earned from the Platinum card are more flexible since you can transfer them to Aeroplan.
My American Express Cobalt review is positive. It’s easily one of the best travel credit cards in Canada when you take advantage of their hotel transfer partners and the Fixed Points Travel Program. If you spend a lot on food and eats, then you need to apply for this card now.