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Updated: September 18, 2023

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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.

The American Express Cobalt® Card is a customer favourite and sits at the top of the Canadian card market for many credit card experts. It’s widely considered one of Canada’s best travel rewards cards, grocery cards and lifestyle rewards credit cards. To cement its rein, American Express has also added features like new earn rates, mobile device insurance, and the ability to transfer points to airlines. Seeing new benefits for an established card is rare to see, especially when it already offers so many exclusive perks.

Amex Cobalt Cardmembers can earn up to a 5% rate of return on spending in select categories, and its $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee) annual fee paid monthly (rather than a lump sum annual fee) makes it more flexible than other competing credit cards.

We put together this American Express Cobalt® Card review to show you how this card has maintained the buzz it generated when it was first released. We keep it real by including some of the drawbacks of the card, but they are small in comparison to the variety of perks cardholders earn as soon as they sign up.

American Express Cobalt® Card overview

When it comes to a credit card, you want something that offers a low monthly fee without additional costs while giving you enticing incentives to spend. While the American Express Cobalt® Card’s $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee) annual fee certainly isn’t nothing (it comes in at an upper mid-range monthly), the impressive insurance and travel benefits make up for it.

You easily rack up points per $1 spent as you shop every day or spend money on special events that are eligible for rewards. They also offer a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points that’s hard to pass up.

Related: Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Travel benefits include access to the travel partners of American Express, including Air Canada Aeroplan and the British Airways Executive Club.

American Express has been a prominent figure in the Canadian market for years because of the exclusive benefits and perks offered to cardholders. They have a variety of cards to meet the needs of all their cardholders.

If you’re familiar with the American Express® Gold Rewards Credit Card, then you’ll quickly see the American Express Cobalt® Card earns more rewards overall.

Apply for the American Express Cobalt® Card

Pros and cons of the American Express Cobalt® Card



  • High earn rates (up to 5% return on spending!)
  • Flexible month-by-month fee structure
  • Free supplementary cards
  • 1:1 points transfer with selected hotels, airlines and frequent flyer programs


  • Accelerated earn rates only apply to purchases in Canada (not to purchases made abroad)
  • Amex has a more limited merchant acceptance rate than Visa and Mastercard
  • Slightly higher than average annual fee

American Express Cobalt® Card review

Below is the American Express Cobalt® Card at a glance, including the benefits, fees, and travel insurance packages.

American Express Cobalt® Card Welcome bonus

  • In your first year as a new Cobalt® Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year. That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets. Conditions apply.

Travel benefits

  • Up to $100 USD hotel credit for spa, dining, and other lodging amenities at participating properties in The Hotel Collection when booking a minimum of two consecutive nights
  • Complimentary one-room category upgrade at participating properties when available, when booking a minimum of two consecutive nights

Annual fee

  • $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)

Additional card fee

  • You can have up to 9 additional cards without a fee

Points per $1 spent

  • 5 points per $1 spent on eligible eats and drinks, including purchases in grocery stores and food delivery
  • 2 points per $1 spent on eligible transit and travel purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on other everyday spending

Travel coverage

  • $5,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance (for out of province or country)
  • $250,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance

Purchase coverage

  • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
  • Purchase Protection Plan


  • Canadian citizen or resident
  • Have a valid Canadian credit file
  • Your account is in good standing (recommended to have a minimum credit score of 650)

Type of card

  • Credit card
Apply for the American Express Cobalt® Card

Cost and sign-up features of the American Express Cobalt® Card

The annual fee for the American Express Cobalt® Card is $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee). This is higher than the average annual fees of other cards, which range from $120-$150 per year. However, the higher price is worth it. Additional cards also come at no extra charge, saving you some cash when it comes to competitors when adding authorized users to your plan.

The Amex Cobalt® Card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after registering your first card. One caveat: you receive the bonus points throughout the individual monthly billing period rather than all at once.

To earn the welcome offer, you’ll need to put down $500 in spending on the card during each billing cycle; that’ll earn you 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each of the first 12 months. This means you will have to spend $6,000 in the first year to earn a total of 30,000 points. If you don’t manage to spend all $500 in one of the first 12 months of having your card, you unfortunately miss out on the bonus for that month.

If you want to rack up those bonus points, make sure to reach $500 worth of net purchases each month for the first 12 months.

The interest rate is 20.99% for purchases and 21.99% on cash advances. Also, note that while some Amex cards are charge cards, the Cobalt® Card is a credit card.

Similar to all the cards offered by American Express, there is no minimum annual income required to apply for the American Express Cobalt® Card.

How to earn Membership Rewards® points

Points are applied as a statement credit when you make purchases and earn points through any of the methods listed below:

  • 5x the points on eligible eats and drink purchases
  • 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions
  • 2x the points on eligible transit purchases and gas purchases
  • 1x the points on all other purchases
  • You can earn 1 additional Membership Rewards® point for every $1 spent as a charge on your Express Cobalt® Card on any eligible hotel or any car rental bookings made through American Express Travel
  • Refer a friend to earn a referral bonus for each approved referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards® points
Apply for the American Express Cobalt® Card

How to redeem Amex Membership Rewards® points

You can redeem Amex MR® points for a variety of eligible purchases ranging from food and drink to movie streaming. Ways to redeem points include:

  • Streaming services
  • Movie tickets
  • Food and drink purchases
  • Retail
  • Statement credits
  • Travel purchases via American Express Travel Online
  • Gift cards and merchandise through
  • Purchases at
  • Flights through the Fixed Points Travel Program

The value of your points depends on the redemption category you choose. Redeeming points as a credit against your card statement gets very good value compared to what you get with other rewards cards: 1,000 Amex MR® points are equal to a $10 statement credit (1 point = $0.01), but it’s possible to find even better deals through the Fixed Points Travel Program or by transferring your points.

With the American Express Cobalt® Card, you can transfer your points to partner travel rewards programs, such as AeroplanAvios, and Marriott Bonvoy, among other options. Particularly popular transfers include Aeroplan and Avios, where MR points transfer at 1:1 ratio.

Redeeming your points for merchandise will typically yield the lowest value among all redemption options, and point values vary depending on which item you redeem for.

You can learn more by reading our guide to American Express Membership Rewards®.

Book your best stays with The Hotel Collection

Cardmembers get to enjoy benefits offered by 600+ participating hotels and resorts in The Hotel Collection spanning over 30 countries. When you book a minimum of two consecutive nights with the card, you earn a hotel credit equal to up to $100 USD for amenities including dining, spa, and other facilities that will be charged for your room. You can also enjoy a one-category room upgrade when you check-in if available at your current lodging.

American Express experiences

The American Express Cobalt® Card also gives you access to exclusive offers for special events.

Presales and reserved tickets

Front Of The Line® access gets you, exactly as it says, to the front of the line for concerts, theatre productions, and events held at big-name restaurants before they open to the general public.

You can also reserve tickets for a section of seats reserved exclusively for Cardmembers during the public on-sale period for selected major events.

Dining experiences

With the dining experience, you get special access to food festivals and popular restaurants.

Entertainment experiences

You can enjoy special offers and events ranging from advanced screenings of upcoming blockbuster films to deals on theatre packages.

Retail experiences

Amex Cardmembers also get to enjoy curated private shopping experiences and exclusive online offers.

Shopping coverage

Not only are you covered when you travel or get into an accident. Eligible, everyday purchases are also protected when you have an issue with an item under warranty. These protection programs will help save your hard-earned money when things go wrong.

Buyer’s assurance protection plan

You have coverage for a fully charged and eligible item with American Express extending the manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year.

Purchase protection plan

This plan guarantees eligible items that were paid for with your card are insured for up to 90 days from the date of purchase in the event the item sustains accidental physical damage or is stolen, for up to $1,000 combined value of the items involved per incident.

Some limitations, exclusions, and restrictions may apply with all insurance coverage subject to the terms and conditions of the master policies.

Mobile device insurance coverage of up to $1,000 is also offered for eligible devices that were purchased or financed with your Amex Cobalt® Card.

Customer service coverage

24/7 customer service

Amex offers 24/7 customer service so Cardmembers can be helped at any time, including outside regular business hours.

Fraud protection guarantee

American Express offers a fraud protection guarantee so that Cardmembers are not held responsible for fraudulent charges made with their card so long as they took reasonable care to protect their account details, including PINs and devices where account information was stored and accessed.

Emergency card replacement

If your card or any additional cards are lost or stolen, you can call one of the emergency numbers corresponding to your location inside or outside Canada to cancel it and order a new one.

Fixed Points Travel Program

The Fixed Points Travel Program provides great travel rewards for Cardmembers.

Return airfares begin at 15,000 points for popular, short-haul routes like Toronto to New York or Calgary to Vancouver. If you focus your card spending on food and drink purchases worth 5x points, you can afford that ticket for $3,000 worth of charges.

At the other end, a round-trip business class flight to Europe will cost you 140,000 points, or $28,000 worth of spending on the same 5x multiplier. Other cards in Canada that allow you to redeem for business class have that total set to double the amount American Express offers.

The cost of your flight, wherever you choose to go, will be charged on your card, then you will receive a statement credit within 5-10 business days.

American Express Cobalt® Card travel coverage

The American Express Cobalt® Card comes with a travel insurance package to protect you in the event of an accident or emergency.

  • $5,000,000 Emergency medical insurance. This policy covers almost any medical emergency that takes place out of province. This coverage can be used by you, your spouse, dependent children, for the first 15 consecutive days.
  • $250,000 travel accident insurance. This travel insurance is a type of AD&D life insurance coverage that is for you and your family while traveling with a common carrier.
  • Flight and baggage delay. These are two separate policies but they cover a combined maximum of $500. These policies are intended to cover you for unseen expenses due to a flight or baggage delay over a long period. Expenses include out-of-pocket costs for food and lodging.
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance. This policy can cover up to $500 worth of lost or stolen baggage.
  • Hotel burglary insurance. This policy also covers up to $500 for stolen personal items if your room gets burgled during hotel stays. The lodging has to be paid for with your Amex Cobalt® Card.
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance coverage. This car rental theft policy can be used to waive the insurance policy of the car rental company and get up to $85,000 of coverage without paying out of pocket. It must be within 48 days or less after charging your American Express Cobalt® Card. You would also have to decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Loss Damage Waiver (LWD), and other insurance options offered by the car rental company.
  • Mobile device insurance coverage. You can use this protection plan for an eligible device after purchase. This coverage insures you for up to $1,000.

Should I get the American Express Cobalt® Card?

The American Express Cobalt® Card has some of the best benefits on the Canadian market, which is why it’s still so popular. Below are some of the biggest benefits this card has to offer that help it outrank its competitors.

Membership Rewards® Points

Membership Rewards® points are easy to earn across a variety of categories and you have plenty of options when it comes to redeeming them.

The travel rewards system is the best way to use these Membership Rewards® points. You can transfer them to one of seven airline partners (Aeroplan, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Alitalia MilleMiglia, British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Delta SkyMiles, and Etihad Guest) or to two hotel partners (Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors).

The best points transfer options are Aeroplan and British Airways Avios, both at a 1:1 ratio with each point equating to 2 cents. This means you’re getting about a 4.5% return on your spending and can enjoy a nice trip.

The sign-up bonus rewards

The welcome bonus of 30,000 points distributed in monthly installments is hard to say no to. New cardmembers earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $500 every month for the first year (2,500 x 12) after signing up.

If you are a frequent spender, it’s a no-brainer that you should receive these rewards for already spending.

Free supplementary cards

One of the biggest credit card deals you get with Amex is no fees for additional Cardmembers on the account. That’s $0 for up to nine Cardmembers.


Although this card has a long list of benefits, there are a few drawbacks that can present some inconveniences for Cardmembers.

American Express acceptance rate

Unfortunately, American Express cards are not as easily accepted as Mastercard and Visa for everyday purchases. Major retailers such as Costco and Loblaws don’t currently allow American Express cards to be used in their stores. If you shop at these stores, you may want to have an alternate form of payment so you can still reap the benefits of other purchases at other retailers.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Groceries

Trip interruption or cancellation policy

The American Express Cobalt® Card does not offer trip interruption or trip cancellation insurance. This type of travel insurance policy reimburses Cardmembers for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses for flying and lodging. Unfortunately, this Amex card does not support this policy.

Related: Best Credit Cards with Travel Insurance

Emergency medical coverage time frame

The American Express Cobalt® Card offers out-of-providence emergency medical coverage that is good only for the first 15 days of your trip, but other premium cards offer to cover as many as 31 days or more.

High annual fee

The annual fee for the American Express Cobalt® Card is on the higher side. The annual fee is $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee). This amount is high compared to similar rewards cards.

Related: Best No-Fee Credit Cards

How do I know if I’m eligible for the American Express Cobalt® Card?

You’ll need a fair to good credit score (around 660 is recommended) to qualify for the Amex Cobalt®. Other than that, any Canadian resident that has a Canadian credit file and is considered to be at or above the age of maturity in their province or territory where they live is eligible to apply for the card.

Apply for the American Express Cobalt® Card

Who is the American Express Cobalt® Card right for?

If you are eligible to apply for the Cobalt® Card, these are a few additional considerations to make before deciding if this card is the right match for you:

  • You frequently purchase food and drinks
  • You frequently travel or often use public transit
  • You want the highest possible return on select spending categories
  • You collect Aeroplan and/or British Airways Avios points

Final thoughts on the Amex Cobalt® Card

The American Express Cobalt® Card makes up for its drawbacks (a higher annual fee than other premium cards and restrictions on insurance policies) with things like their Experience programs, partnerships with popular hotels and airlines, comprehensive insurance packages, a large sign-up bonus, and a noteworthy high earn rate for points. Those points per $1 spent can add up quickly, especially if you’re a frequent spender at restaurants and on food delivery.

The interest rate is 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances and balance transfers. There are no minimum annual income requirements for signing up or additional annual fee in addition to the monthly fee.

As an American Express card, it also gives you exclusive front-of-the-line access to events and theatre premieres.

Of course, because Amex isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard, it may be hard to use the Cobalt® Card  for all your purchases. But apart from that, the Cobalt® is still a winner.

Apply for the American Express Cobalt® Card

Contact American Express for the most up-to-date referral bonus figures.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

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