American Express Cobalt Card

Last updated: November 9, 2023
  • Up to 15,000 MR points
  • $372 First-year value

Best offer is available via a referral link

Signup bonus:

  • 1,250 MR points for each of the first 12 months in which you spend $750
  • Total of up to 15,000 MR points in the first year

Monthly fee:

  • $12.99

Annual interest rates:

  • 20.99% purchases
  • 21.99% cash advances
  • 21.99% balance transfers

Earning rate:

  • 5 MR points per dollar spent on groceries and dining
  • 3 MR points per dollar spent on streaming services
  • 2 MR points per dollar spent on gas, public transit, and travel purchases
  • 1 MR point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Referral bonus:

  • 5,000 MR points per referral, up to 75,000 MR points per calendar year
  • Perks & benefits:
  • Special offers for Cobalt cardholders throughout the year


  • Good

Card type:

  • Credit card

The American Express Cobalt Card is one of the most popular cards in Canada, and for good reason. It’s the ultimate lifestyle card, earning incomparable rewards on groceries and restaurants, with an extremely flexible points program.

Bonuses & Fees

Departing from the usual credit card approach, the Cobalt Card operates as a monthly membership system. It offers a reward of up to 15,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points across your first year as a member.

Here’s the mechanism: For every month in your first year where your spending hits $750, you’ll receive 1,250 MR points. This could total up to 15,000 MR points for the year.

Rather than an annual fee, the Cobalt Card charges a monthly Membership Fee Installment of $12.99, adding up to $155.88 per year.

As a member, each referral you make brings in 5,000 MR points, with the potential to earn up to 75,000 MR points annually. Plus, you have the option to add extra cards to your account at no additional cost.

Earning Rewards

The American Express Cobalt Card revolutionizes daily spending rewards. Here’s what you earn:

  • 5 MR points for every dollar spent on groceries and dining in Canada. This includes restaurants, quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, drinking establishments, standalone grocery stores, and primary food and grocery delivery services, up to a monthly cap of $2,500. Beyond this limit, the rate is 1 MR point per dollar.
  • 3 MR points per dollar on eligible streaming subscriptions, such as Apple TV+, Apple Music, Crave, Disney+, fuboTV, hayu, Netflix, RDS, SiriusXM Canada, Spotify, and TSN.
  • 2 MR points per dollar on travel, transit, and transportation expenses. This encompasses standalone gasoline stations, air, water, rail, and road travel bookings, lodging, tour operators, and local commuter transportation like subways, streetcars, taxis, limousines, and ride-sharing services in Canada.
  • 1 MR point per dollar on all other purchases.

American Express targets millennials with this card, a group I belong to. Most of my spending is on food and travel, and this card offers significant value for such expenses.

It’s worth noting that anyone who can leverage the Cobalt Card’s robust earning rates on everyday expenses will find it a beneficial addition to their wallet.

This card is also unique in Canada for offering a 5x category multiplier on spending, a feature long available in the U.S.

Redeeming Rewards

The Membership Rewards program also presents excellent options for redeeming points, thanks to its versatility as a transferable rewards currency.

You have the ability to convert your MR points to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio. Additionally, you can transfer to several other international airline loyalty programs, like Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Air France KLM Flying Blue, at a 1:0.75 ratio. Points can also be exchanged for Marriott Bonvoy credits at a 1:1.2 ratio, useful for hotel reservations.

Moreover, MR points can be used directly to book flights through the Amex Fixed Points Travel chart. However, this option is restricted to round-trip flights starting from Canada.

This system allows you to apply a predetermined number of points towards the base fare of a regular cash ticket, with a cap on the ticket price. The required points and ticket price cap vary based on the destination region, and bookings are limited to round trips originating in Canada.

Finally, MR points can be redeemed directly against travel expenses at a value of 1 cent per point. While this is a straightforward option, it’s generally less advantageous in terms of value compared to using points for flights through Aeroplan, Avios, or the Fixed Points Travel chart.

Insurance Coverage

The card includes a comprehensive range of coverage categories, except for Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation. Notable benefits include:

  • Emergency medical insurance covering up to $5,000,000 for the initial 15 days of a trip outside your province, applicable to travelers under 65 years of age.
  • Insurance for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage, up to $500.
  • Baggage delay insurance, also up to $500.
  • Car rental loss or damage insurance, which can help you avoid the insurance fees typically charged by rental companies for vehicles valued at up to $85,000.
  • Insurance for burglary at hotels or motels, up to $500.

In addition, the card provides Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection. This covers most items bought with your card against theft or damage for 90 days from the purchase date and extends the manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year.