The Cobalt Card is the attractive, newest member of the Amex Family with a slightly different twist. It offers a whopping Welcome Bonus of up to 40,000 MR Select Points. Yes, Select Points. More on that later!
There was a lot of chatter circulating around this card and everybody was talking about it. Kudos to AMEX for generating that buzz! So, I mentioned this card had a twist. But before we get into that, let’s take a peak at what the new American Express Cobalt Card is all about.
Welcome/Spending Bonus: up 30,000 Membership Reward Select Points (2,500 points for each month you spend over $500) as well as an additional bonus of 10,000 MR Select Points when you charge $3,000 within the first 3 months, the bonus is valid if you apply before January 30th, 2018.
Annual Fee: $120 (No Annual fee waiver) broken up over 12 months at $10/month.
Referral Power: 5,000 MR Select Points per successfully approved referral to either the Cobalt Card or the Gold Rewards Card (up to a Max. 150,000 MR Points/Calendar Year)
Earning Power: 5 MR Select per dollar on Food and Drink, 2 MR Select per dollar on travel and transit. 1 MR Select per dollar on everything else.
Bells & Whistles:
Okay, let’s talk about this whole MR Select point business. On the surface this Welcome Bonus seems like a pretty big deal – and don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty sweet! But these MR Select Points differ from the traditional MR Points we’ve come to know and love.
First of all, think of MR Select Points as the younger sibling to the MR Points. This is one of those cases when “Anything you can do I can do better!” doesn’t apply. While being able to transfer MR Select points to hotel partners holds true for the Cobalt as it does for other MR earning cards, unfortunately, MR Select Points cannot be transferred to Airline partners.
I know what you’re thinking, “Steve! That’s Bolshevik!” And you’re right, it kinda sucks. But you have to realize why they went with this approach. This card is targeted to millennials/young professionals – you know the ones who Uber from bar to bar on the weekend and after a night of drinking, crash on the couch and binge watch their favourite show on Netflix while scarfing their late night snack courtesy of the cute Foodora delivery person. And those of you reading may very well fall into that category and are probably saying to yourself, “Ah, totally get it.”
Earning Power on the Cobalt Card is as follows
5 MR Select points per dollar spent on Food and Drink (think restaurants, bars, food delivery services, grocery stores)
2 MR Select per dollar on travel and transit (Uber, flights, hotels, public transportation, etc)
1 MR Select point per dollar on everything else.
Although Airline partner transfer is not possible with the Cobalt, all is not completely lost. Since SPG is one of the hotel transfer partners with the Cobalt (2:1 to Starpoints) one important tidbit of information to note is that the earning potential towards Starpoints could be HUGE. If you’re the type who spends a lot of money at the grocery stores or even on food delivery services, you could effectively be earning a staggering 2.5 Starpoints per dollar! That’s pretty damn impressive and is definitely better than another other AMEX card, even the SPG Card!
Travel Expenses charged to your card come with the following:
Travel Accident Insurance: up to $250,000
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance: up to $500 per trip
You’ll also have coverage for flight delay, baggage delay, hotel burglary and car rental theft and damage.
It also includes:
Emergency Medical Insurance: Maximum of $5,000,000 per insured person under the age of 65 for the first 15 days of each out of province travel.
Purchase and Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
The birth of the Cobalt card came with a few criticisms – earning MR Select Points instead of standard MR points, lack of point transfers to Airline Partners – but nevertheless, like any new family arrival, it was welcomed with open arms.
Compared to the other American Express cards, the earning power on the Cobalt is pretty phenomenal and will allow you to wrack up the points in no time at all, especially with its 5x Points on Food & Drink which may already make up a huge portion of your expenses. Its travel coverage is nothing to scoff at either which is extremely important given the target market of this card. Lastly, the ability to earn a potential 2.5 Starpoints per dollar spent is a BIG deal, especially since the Marriott Rewards Visa card will be cancelled in a few months time.
Applying for the Cobalt card through Great Canadian Rebates link above will earn you a $50 Cash-Back rebate on top of the regular bonus being offered my American Express. Don’t forget to apply by January 30th to be eligible for the extra 10,000 Welcome Bonus!
If you have any questions, you know the drill – either shoot me sa comment below or an email!