The American Express Cobalt Card is a premium travel and rewards credit card that offers robust benefits and perks. With a $10 monthly fee, the card provides valuable rewards on everyday purchases and travel bookings.
The American Express Cobalt Card was launched in Canada in 2017 and quickly became one of Amex’s most popular cards. It’s a charge card, meaning the balance must be paid in full each month. The card is geared towards frequent travelers and those who dine out regularly. Key benefits include:
- 5x points on dining, groceries, transit, and select streaming services
- Travel and purchase protections
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to Amex Experiences
- Car rental discounts and bonuses
With a strong rewards program, luxury perks, and a reasonable $10 monthly fee, the Amex Cobalt Card aims to provide exceptional value to cardholders. Keep reading for an in-depth exploration of its features and how it compares to other top cards.
Earning Rates and Rewards Program
The Cobalt Card offers some of the highest earning rates among Canadian credit cards. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll earn in Membership Rewards (MR) points:
- Food Delivery
- Streaming Subscriptions
- Public Transit and Taxi Fares
- Travel Purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals, taxes, fees)
- Gas and Electricity Bills
- Drugstore Purchases
- All Other Eligible Purchases
As you can see, the 5x bonus categories provide strong incentive for everyday spend. The 2x on travel is also decent. While the 1x base rate is lower than some other cards, the 5x categories more than make up for it.
Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and Amex offers. You can also transfer them to airline and hotel partners. Popular transfer partners include:
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- British Airways Avios
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Delta SkyMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Costs and Fees
Let’s take a look at the pricing details:
- Annual Fee: $0
- Monthly Fee: $10
- Supplementary Card Fee: $0 for first 9, then $50 each
- Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
- APR: Not applicable (must pay balance in full)
The lack of an annual fee is a nice change compared to premium cards charging $150+ per year. The reasonable $10 monthly fee is easy to justify given the strong rewards you can earn.
Benefits and Perks
Beyond earning rates, the Cobalt Card comes with a suite of benefits:
- Travel and Purchase Protections
When booking travel through Amex, you’ll get access to trip cancellation, interruption, and delay insurance. There’s also rental car protection, baggage loss and delay coverage, and hotel burglary insurance. Purchases are protected with 90 days of purchase protection and 1 year extended warranty.
- Amex Experiences
Gain access to exclusive events, presales, and special offers through the Amex Experiences program. Discounted and priority access to sought-after dining, travel, and entertainment.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
Unlike many Canadian cards, there are no foreign transaction fees with the Cobalt Card. No need to worry about extra charges when traveling abroad.
- Car Rental Privileges
Gain elite status with Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental along with discounts and bonus points/miles. Also enroll for complimentary membership in Priority Pass for airport lounge access when you rent with Avis or Budget.
- Amex Offers
Unlock savings and bonus points by adding offers through the Amex app and using your Cobalt Card to complete them. Offers include statement credits, extra points, and discounts for dining, shopping, travel, and more.
- Referral Bonus
Refer friends to get 3,000 bonus MR points for each approved referral. No limit on how many friends you can refer.
- Welcome Bonus
New cardholders can earn a handsome signup bonus:
- 30,000 MR points after spending $500 in 3 months
This is worth at least $300 and potentially much more when redeemed for travel. It’s one of the higher public bonus offers among Amex cards.
- Strong bonus categories
- Solid travel and shopping protections
- No foreign transaction fees
- Generous welcome bonus
- Access to Amex events and offers
- Reasonable monthly fee
- High redemption rates for cash back
- Need to pay off monthly balance
- Not accepted at Costco
- Low insurance coverage caps
How to Apply
Applying for the Amex Cobalt Card is straightforward:
- Go to the American Express website or app and click “Apply Now” on the Cobalt Card page.
- You’ll be prompted to enter some personal and financial details including: name, address, date of birth, social insurance number, income, housing payment, and employment info.
- Read through the terms and conditions carefully before submitting your application.
- The application process only takes a few minutes. American Express will let you know if you’re approved within a couple weeks.
- If approved, your new Cobalt Card will arrive within 10 business days.
Tips to Activating Your Card
Once you receive your new card in the mail, you’ll need to activate it:
- Call the number on the sticker on your card. It will be a 1-800 number specifically for new Amex activations.
- You’ll need to provide some personal info like SIN, date of birth, etc.
- Choose your PIN number for purchases. You can use the last 4 digits of your SIN or set your own 4-digit PIN.
- Your card is now activated! Sign the back and you’ll be ready to start using your Cobalt Card.
Logging Into Your Online Account
To access your Amex account online:
- Go to www.americanexpress.com and click on “Log In”.
- On the login page, enter your card number or username if you’ve already created one.
- Enter the security code/CVV from the back of your card.
- Set up your password and security questions the first time you log in.
- You’re now logged in! You can view your statements, pay your bill, check rewards, refer friends, and manage account details.
You can also download the Amex app (available for iOS and Android). Log in using your credentials from the website. The app makes it easy to track your spending, redeem points, view offers and more.
For frequent travelers and those who dine out regularly, the American Express Cobalt Card presents exceptional value. With a market-leading earn rate on dining and groceries, it’s easy to rack up points for your next vacation.
The lack of foreign fees, solid insurance protections, and high welcome bonus add further appeal. Overall, the Amex Cobalt Card deserves consideration as one of Canada’s top rewards credit cards.