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Published November 16, 2022

American Express Cobalt Card Canada Review

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Best for rewards card aficionados who appreciate high earn rates, a great welcome bonus and specialty perks.

With its generous earn rates on everyday purchases like groceries and gas, the American Express Cobalt Card can put you on the fast track to earning a wide variety of rewards.

    4.0

    NerdWallet Rating for American Express Cobalt Card

    American Express Cobalt® Card

    American Express Cobalt® Card
    • Annual Fee
      $155.88
    • Interest Rates
      20.99% / 21.99%
    • Rewards Rate
      1x-5x Points
    • Intro Offer
      Up to 30,000 Points

    Quick fact

    American Express Cobalt Card pros and cons

    Pros

    Cons

    American Express Cobalt Card full review

    The American Express Cobalt Card is a rewards credit card that allows cardholders to earn Membership Rewards points with each purchase. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed to cover a variety of eligible purchases, including groceries and gas, gift cards and merchandise, and bookings made through American Express Travel Online. A minimum of 1,000 points, worth $10, must be redeemed each time.

    Benefits of the American Express Cobalt Card

    With the American Express Cobalt Card, cardholders can rack up Membership Rewards points at an impressive clip. Elevated earn rates apply to restaurants and food delivery purchases, streaming subscriptions, and travel and transit expenses, including gas. You can earn an extra point for every dollar spent on eligible hotel or car rental bookings made through American Express Travel Online, too.

    There’s a nice amount of flexibility in how Membership Rewards points can be redeemed. In addition to using your points to pay for merchandise, travel and gift cards, you can also transfer them to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs, including Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy.

    Cardholders are covered by a robust suite of travel protection benefits. The insurance provided, which includes lost baggage, emergency medical, trip cancellation and hotel burglary coverage, should provide peace of mind while you’re on the road — or in the air.

    The American Express Cobalt Card also grants cardholders access to American Express Experiences, a collection of special dining, shopping and wellness events, and American Express Front Of The Line, which can help cardholders score presale and reserved tickets for concerts or the next big game.

    Drawbacks of the American Express Cobalt Card

    A drawback of any American Express card is that they aren’t as readily accepted by retailers as Visa and Mastercard, though you can use American Express Maps to find stores that accept Amex cards. 

    While being a Cobalt cardholder promises access to exclusive Cobalt Perks, they are limited time offers that may not appeal to everyone. Past offers have included activities like virtual yoga and cooking classes. At the time of this writing, no Cobalt Perks were available.

    And while the insurance offered could come in handy, you’re required to charge the full cost of any flight, hotel, rental car or mobile device you want protected to your American Express Cobalt Card. And if you’re 65 or older, you won’t be eligible for the $5 million in emergency medical insurance.

    Is American Express reliable and secure?

    With American Express being one of the world’s biggest credit card issuers, their products typically provide a secure way of making purchases in person and online.

    If someone steals your credit card information or makes fraudulent purchases with your card, American Express’s Fraud Protection Guarantee ensures you won’t be held responsible for any of the charges. 

    There have been minor security scares involving American Express customer information in recent years, but they were either the result of security breaches at third-party sites where American Express customer data has been stored, or the work of disgruntled former employees. 

    American Express customer satisfaction ratings

    American Express ranks third (and above industry average) in customer satisfaction with credit card issuers, according to J.D. Power’s 2022 Canada Credit Card Satisfaction Study, a survey of 6,478 cardholders in Canada[1]. Card issuers were rated on their benefits and services, communication, card terms, customer support and rewards. The credit card issuers with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the survey were Tangerine Bank and Canadian Tire.

    At the time of this writing, American Express had a:

    American Express Cobalt Card details and eligibility

    Who qualifies for the American Express Cobalt Card?

    To apply for the American Express Cobalt Card, you must:

    Approximate credit score needed for approval

    Canadian credit card issuers rarely disclose required credit scores, which makes it hard to know your chances of approval when comparing credit cards. It also means any score suggestion we make would be our best guess — which may not be accurate and could result in card application rejections. We don’t want that. 

    Suggesting that you’d need a “good” or “excellent” score is also confusing, because the meaning of those terms can vary depending on the rating system card issuers use.

    Instead, we’ll tell you what we do know: Higher scores have better chances of approval — that’s true no matter what type of credit you’re applying for.

    Want to learn more? Visit our “What Credit Score is Needed for a Credit Card?” page.

    » MORE: How to Check Your Credit Score 

    Income requirements

    There is no known minimum income requirement for the American Express Cobalt Card.

    Who should get the American Express Cobalt Card?

    The American Express Cobalt Card could capture the interest of credit card hunters looking for a little something extra from their next rewards card, like generous earn rates, the ability to transfer points to several frequent flyer programs and access to exclusive events and bonuses.

    How to know if the American Express Cobalt Card is right for you

    Deciding whether the American Express Cobalt Card is right for you depends on a few key factors. 

    First, because it’s a rewards credit card, you’ll want to ensure that the earn rates align with your everyday spending habits. Since those earn rates apply to a wide array of purchases — groceries, gas, food delivery and online subscriptions — there’s a decent chance they might. 

    Second, if you have a history of missing the odd credit card payment, you’ll have to be wary of the higher interest rate that kicks in once multiple payments are missed. You could wind up paying as much as 26.99% in interest if you don’t stay on top of your credit card bill.

    Total value of the American Express Cobalt Card’s welcome offer

    In your first year as a new Cobalt cardholder, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you make $500 in net purchases on your card. That could add up to 30,000 points, or $300 in reward redemptions. 

    Is the American Express Cobalt Card worth it?

    Because you’ll be awarded Membership Rewards points with every purchase, the American Express Cobalt Card provides ample opportunity to earn rewards. If you use your card frequently, particularly on items that can earn you 2x, 3x or even 5x the points, it won’t be long before you’re redeeming those points for a range of items.

    While not comprehensive, the American Express Cobalt Card’s included insurance coverage still could be invaluable if something goes awry during your next travel adventure.

    Point value breakdown

    The value of an American Express Membership Rewards® point varies on the redemption method you choose, but you can expect to get around 0.7-2 cents per point.

    How to apply for the Amex Cobalt Card

    You can complete the application for the American Express Cobalt Card from the American Express website:

    1.  Select the Apply Now button from the American Express Cobalt Card page.
    2.  Review the card’s terms and conditions and select Agree and Begin to continue.
    3.  Enter your personal details, including your full name, date of birth, phone number, email address and residential address.
    4. Input your financial information, including your annual personal income, household income and employment details.
    5. Choose a four-digit PIN.
    6.  Review the information you’ve supplied and submit your application.

    How to maximize the benefit of the Amex Cobalt Card

    To get the most out of your American Express Cobalt Card:

    Alternatives to the Amex Cobalt Card

    Reasons you might want a different card

    The American Express Cobalt Card has a lot going for it, but if you’re looking for higher points earning potential on items like gas or entertainment purchases, you may be able to find it elsewhere.

    You can find several comparable benefits at a lower annual cost with the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.

     American Express Cobalt Card Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
    Annual fee$155.88 ($12.99 per month)$120

    Rewards earn rates5x on eats and drinks.
    3x on streaming. subscriptions.
    2x on travel and transit.
    1x on everything else.
    5x on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food and food delivery purchases.
    5x on eligible entertainment purchases.
    3x on gas and daily transit.
    1x on everything else.

    Foreign exchange fee2.5%None
    Minimum income requirement

    None$12,000 (individual)

    American Express Cobalt Card facts

    American Express Cobalt Card
    Card TypeThe American Express Cobalt Card is a rewards credit card. It earns Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed for a variety of items, including discounted travel purchases, merchandise and statement credits.
    Interest Rates
    Regular APR
    The American Express Cobalt Card charges a regular APR of 20.99% for purchases and 21.99% for funds advances, but those rates increase if you miss multiple payments. Miss two payments and you’ll pay a rate of 23.99% for the next 12 billing periods; miss three or more and your interest rate will rise to 26.99%.
    Purchase APRAs of October 2022, the American Express Cobalt Card’s purchase APR, also known as the regular APR, is 20.99%.
    Balance Transfer Intro APRAmerican Express does not offer an introductory APR for balance transfers made with the Cobalt Card.
    Fees
    Annual fee$12.99 per month, or $155.88 per year.
    Balance transfer feeUp to 3% of the amount of each balance transfer.
    Cash advance fee$2.75 per transaction. A 21.99% interest rate is charged on cash advances.
    Foreign transaction fees2.5% for each foreign currency conversion.
    Reward Earn Rates5x the Membership Rewards points on eligible eats and drinks purchases in the first three months, up to a maximum annual spend of $30,000.
    3x the Membership Rewards points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada.
    2x the Membership Rewards points on eligible travel and transit purchases.
    1x the Membership Rewards points on all other eligible purchases.
    Signup Bonus or Welcome OfferEarn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year as a Cobalt Cardmember by earning 2,500 points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases to your card.
    Rewards and benefitsThe most significant reward offered by the American Express Cobalt Card is the elevated earn rate that applies to several common purchases, including dining, food delivery and gas.
    Other perks
    Transfer power.The ability to transfer Membership Rewards points 1:1 to a number of frequent flyer programs.
    Redemption optionsFlexibility in how you redeem your points.
    Experiences and Front Of The Line perks.Access to American Express Experiences and Front Of The Line.
    Insurance coverage
    Out of province/country emergency medical insurance: Up to $5 million for eligible expenses incurred by an insured person under the age of 65 for the first 15 days of a covered trip.
    Flight delay insurance: Up to $500 for accommodation, food and sundry expenses when delayed or denied boarding for four hours or more and no alternate transportation is made available. Flight must be fully charged to your American Express Cobalt Card.
    Baggage delay insurance: Up to $500 for essential purchases if checked baggage is delayed for six or more hours. Flight must be fully charged to your American Express Cobalt Card.
    Hotel burglary insurance: Up to $500 in coverage against the loss of certain personal items if an accommodation booked with your American Express Cobalt Card is burglarized.
    Lost or stolen baggage insurance: Up to $500 per trip for all insured persons for the loss or damage of checked or carry-on baggage. Flight must be fully charged to your American Express Cobalt Card.
    Travel accident insurance: Up to $250,000 in common carrier accidental death and dismemberment insurance if tickets are paid for using the American Express Cobalt Card.
    Extended warrantyPurchasing eligible items with the American Express Cobalt Card can automatically extend the manufacturer’s original warranty by up to one additional year.
    Purchase protectionEligible items charged to the American Express Cobalt Card can be insured against accidental damage or theft for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to a total of $1,000 per occurrence.
    Mobile Device ProtectionUp to $1,000 per insured person for the theft, loss or accidental damage of an eligible mobile device paid for in full with the American Express Cobalt Card.
    Rental Car Theft & DamageCoverage for theft, loss and damage of a rental car with an MSRP of up to $85,000 on rentals of 48 days or less, when it’s charged to your American Express Cobalt Card.

    Rating Methodology

    NerdWallet Canada rates credit cards according to overall consumer value and their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation include annual and other fees, rewards rates, the earning structure (for example, flat-rate rewards versus bonus categories), redemption options, bonus offers for new cardholders, introductory and ongoing APRs, and other noteworthy features such as airline or hotel perks or the ability to transfer points.

      Frequently asked questions about the Amex Cobalt Card

      Is it hard to qualify for an American Express Cobalt Card?

      Because there’s no minimum income required, it might be easier to qualify for an American Express Cobalt Card than some other rewards credit cards. Having a credit score of 660 or higher should help your chances of approval.

      Is Amex Cobalt better than Amex Gold?

      The American Express Cobalt Card (monthly fee of $12.99) applies a higher earn rate to a broader range of spending categories than the American Express Gold Rewards Card, but the Gold Card (annual fee of $250) offers more ways to save on travel, including 2x the points on eligible flights, hotels and car rentals.

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      How to Activate an American Express Card

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      Activate your American Express CA card online, via the American Express app or over the phone whenever you receive a new or replacement card.

      Article Sources

      Works Cited
      1. J.D. Power, “J.D. Power 2022 Canada Credit Card Satisfaction Study,” accessed Nov. 16, 2022.
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