• Annual Fee: $12.99 per month ($155.88 per year)
  • APR: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash
  • Maximum Earnings: Up to $30,000
  • Minimum Personal Income Required: N/A
  • Recommended Credit Score: 575-649

minimum price:

$12.99/monthly

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A Comprehensive American Express Cobalt Review [Pros, Cons and Features in 2021]

American Express Cobalt Card is considered one of the most popular lifestyle and travel cards in Canada, but does all the hype about the famous Cobalt by AmEx stay true after signing up? Is this card really ahead of its competitors?

Keep reading our AmEx Cobalt Review to find out!

A Comprehensive American Express Cobalt Review [Pros, Cons and Features in 2021]

minimum price:

$12.99/monthly

Visit Website
  • Annual Fee: $12.99 per month ($155.88 per year)
  • APR: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash
  • Maximum Earnings: Up to $30,000
  • Minimum Personal Income Required: N/A
  • Recommended Credit Score: 575-649

Best For

Perks and Benefits

Strengths

  • Generous welcome bonus
  • High earn rates
  • Flexible monthly fee
  • Up to 9 free supplementary cards
  • $100 annual travel credit
  • Travel, shopping and mobile device insurance

Weaknesses

  • Limited acceptance rate compared to Visa and Mastercard
  • 2.5% foreign transaction fee
  • No airport lounge access

What’s the Deal with the Amex Cobalt Card?

American Express launched the Amex Cobalt Credit Card in 2017, in order to facilitate millennials, but soon it caught eyeballs and became the most suitable card for all generations, with the campaign attracting 84% more applicants in its very first month compared to the other two largest card launches by Amex in the last 10 years.

The first reason behind this most successful launch in AmEx Canada’s history was definitely its promising benefits, including higher earn points, no income requirement and other fantastic rewards.  To this date, American Express Cobalt Card has been ranked Top Overall Card 4 times in a row, due to its specific offerings.

The card is currently held by 109 million people.

Main Features

The card comes with a variety of features, catering to a wide range of needs. Let’s take a closer look at the main features of the card.

Rewards on everyday spending

American Express takes rewards pretty seriously.

The AmEx Cobalt allows you to earn 5 points for each dollar spent on selected drinks and food, including eligible cafes, restaurants, bars, food delivery services and grocery stores in Canada.

Furthermore, you get 3 points for every dollar spent on selected streaming subscriptions, including:

  • Apple TV+
  • Apple Music
  • Disney+
  • Netflix
  • SiriusXM Canada
  • Spotify

We’re not even close to finishing the list. The AmEx Cobalt also gives you 2 points for each dollar spent on selected gas, travel and transit purchases throughout Canada, but it also gives you a 1 point for each dollar spent on eligible hotel or car rental bookings.

The maximum amount of earnings totals $30,000, which is $20,000 less than what the BMO Eclipse Visa offers.

Emergency Card Replacement

In the event that your card gets stolen, you won’t be held accountable for any fraudulent purchases.

You can simply request a replacement card at their online website, and American Express will instantly cancel your stolen or lost card and send you a replacement.

Tap to Pay

The Cobalt card by AmEx is also compatible with multiple Tap to Pay services, including:

  • AmEx Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Samsung Pay

To activate this feature, you need to download the desired wallet app on your phone and add your eligible American Express Cobalt Card to your wallet.

Once activated, you can use your phone to pay with your Cobalt card at participating American Express contactless merchants, such as stores, online portals, apps, etc.

Exclusive Membership Offers

Should you decide to indulge yourself in travels and opt for American Express Travel, you will be awarded 1 additional Membership Reward point, which can be accumulated up to a total of 75,000.

Moreover, if you are a basic cardmember, you can earn a referral bonus by referring the Amex Cobalt Card to your friends.

Additional Perks and Benefits

Aside from the main features, the card brings a few unique perks to the table as well. Let’s check out the Cobalt benefits!

Welcome Bonus

As a new Amex Cobalt Cardmember, you can win 2500 Membership Rewards points on each $500 purchase in the whole month, totalling to up to 30,000 points per year.

Plus, if you spend a generous amount of $3,000 in the first 3 months of your card membership, then you can win a welcome bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points.

Shopping insurance

The AmEx shopping insurance instantly extends the manufacturer’s warranty package for up to a year, provided that you charge the total amount of the product on your AmEx Cobalt card.

Note that the AmEx shopping coverage is only eligible for selected purchases.

Travel Insurance

Given how travel disruptions are as common as ever, American Express provides you with some hefty travel insurance, to make sure that no money is wasted due to selected types of inconveniences.

The Cobalt card by AmEx makes sure that you get reimbursed in the following cases:

  • Up to $5,000,000 for eligible emergency medical expenses that occur out of the country or province
  • Up to $500 in coverage when it comes to flight delays
  • Up to $500 in coverage for baggage delays
  • Up to $500 in coverage against loss of personal items caused by hotel burglary
  • Up to $500 per trip in lost or stolen baggage
  • Up to $85,000 in car rental damages

All of these benefits come with certain Terms of Use, which can be easily found on the official website.

Mobile Device Insurance

Should you decide to purchase eligible phone devices using your Cobalt card, you will be reimbursed up to $1,000 per insured person in case of loss, theft or accidental damage wherever you find yourself in the world.

The coverage starts on the day the device is charged on your card or on the 91st day, in order to avoid overlapping with your Purchase protection plan, should you have any. What is more, the mobile device insurance ends after a total of 2 years, which is a significantly convenient period of time.

When it comes to insurance, other cards such as the CIBC Select Visa may compete, however, AmEx definitely offers one of the most comprehensive insurance packages for a credit card.

Rates and Fees

All good things come at a price and the AmEx Cobalt card makes no exception. Let’s see what’s going on in the fees department.

Aside from the card fee that will cost you $12.99 per month ($155.88 per year), American Express charges nothing out of the ordinary and is generally on par with competitors. Take a look at the table below for more information regarding costs.

Annual Interest Rate 20.99% for purchases; 21.99% for funds advanced (effective from the day the account is opened)
Foreign Currency Conversion 2.5%
Dishonoured Payments $25 each
Statement Reprint $3 per statement
Points Reinstatement: $20 for each reinstatement through Online Services or $30 for each reinstatement through other service channels
Overlimit: $29 when you exceed your credit limit and at the end of each subsequent billing
Balance Transfer/Amex Cheque Up to 3% of the amount of each balance transfer
Installment Program A monthly fee of up to 1.2%, calculated on each balance moved to the installment program

To put things into perspective, the BMO Eclipse Visa costs $120 per year (with the first year waived), However, the BMO Eclipse Visa carries a 23.99% APR on cash advance and purchases, whereas AmEx seems to charge a bit less.

For more details on each AmEx rate and fee, make sure to visit the website or consult someone from the company.

Application Process

American Express takes pride in its outstanding service. Once you decide to apply for the card, your request will be answered in up to 60 seconds. Let’s go over the eligibility requirements as well as other application-related stuff.

Eligibility Criteria

Before you start your Amex Cobalt application in Canada, make sure that you can confirm the following statements:

  1. You are a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file.
  2. You belong to the age group of the majority in the territory or province of the residence.
  3. Your credit score is at least Fair (575 – 649).

In order to submit your application, you might be asked to provide additional details such as income, employment and other bank-account-related information.

If all goes well, you enter the personalization stage, where you get to choose how your name appears on your Cobalt card. You will also be given the opportunity to pick additional benefits and create billing plans in this stage.

Card Issuing and Delivery Date

Once you complete the application process and submit your inquiry, you will receive your new Cobalt credit card in 7 to 10 days. The card will be shipped in a white envelope with the American Express logo on it.

As soon as you receive the card, make sure to confirm online, in order to be allowed to set up your online account. Your online account can be used to pay bills, manage preferences and apply for other features.

Want to Consider Other Options? 

The Cobalt card by American Express is certainly an excellent option for every Canadian. But how does it compare to other popular cards? Let’s do a quick side-by-side comparison with two other cards.

American Express Cobalt  vs. Capital One Savor credit card 

According to our research, the Capital One Savor card offers equally attractive benefits like concierge service, extended warranty, Card Lock, and plenty more.

In terms of price, the annual fee of $95 will bring you unlimited 4% cashback on purchases in popular categories, a 0% transaction fee, as well as exciting cashback rewards. Currently, the card’s APR ranges from 15.99%-23.99%. Still, customers can enjoy 0% purchase intro and balance transfer intro during the first 15 months.

All in all, the Capital One Savor card is worth considering if you’re a food and fun-loving individual looking to earn points while spending.

Read the full review on Capital One Savor over here.

American Express Cobalt vs. BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite

AmEx and BMO have created two of the best rewards cards in Canada with very similar features. Both credit cards provide everything you would expect from a high-fee credit card, including emergency medical insurance, purchase security, and extended warranty.

However, the BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite comes at a lower fee of $120 and a generous welcome bonus of up to 50,000 Membership Rewards points in the first year. Furthermore, BMO steals the spotlight with its wider merchant acceptance, flexible redemption options, and high-earning categories.

The bottom line is that the Cobalt Amex card would be a better option if you often fly with Air Canada and want to earn some points, whereas the BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite is better for everyday spending.

American Express Cobalt Review: Our Final Verdict

If you consider yourself a frequent flyer and love earning rewards on other types of purchases as well, the Cobalt card by AmEx is worth the shot.

Even though American Express isn’t as widely accepted as other providers, the Cobalt card’s welcome bonus and exclusive perks secured its top spot among the best credit cards in Canada.

FAQ

Do American Express points expire?

Amex Reward points have no expiration date and do not expire at all. American Express also allows you a 30-day grace period to use all of your points before you cancel a card.

What is the annual fee for an American Express Cobalt Card?

The Cobalt AmEx card charges a monthly fee of $12.99, which adds up to $155.88 per year.

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