The American Express Cobalt Card is widely considered one of the most powerful credit cards in Canada, largely thanks to its 5x earning rate on food and drinks.
Historically, the welcome bonus on this card has hovered in the range of 30,000 MR points, with occasional periods of an elevated bonus of 50,000 MR points.
However, the welcome bonus has dropped to its lowest point in years, and comes paired with a relatively hefty monthly minimum spending requirement to boot.
Amex Cobalt Card: New Offer for 15,000 MR Points
The standard welcome bonus on the American Express Cobalt Card has historically been 30,000 MR points, distributed over 12 monthly periods upon spending $500 each month.
For now, the signup offer available through both public and referral channels is for up to 15,000 MR points, distributed as monthly bonuses of 1,250 points upon spending $750 each month.
In other words, the total welcome bonus is half of what it used to be, and you’ll have to spend an extra $250 each month, or an extra $3,000 over the course of the year, to fully unlock it.
It’s worth noting that the Cobalt Card hasn’t historically been known for juicy welcome bonuses, and is regarded for its prowess as a card to use for many daily expenses instead.
There’s no listed ending date to the current offer. Therefore, if you don’t currently have the Cobalt Card in your wallet, it could be worth holding out for a better offer.
However, it could be a while before we see an elevated bonus again, and since the Cobalt is still one of Canada’s best credit cards for daily spending, it’s still worth considering.
Amex Cobalt Card: Still One of Canada’s Best Credit Cards
Even with the recent changes to the spending cap for category multipliers and the current low welcome bonus, the Cobalt Card remains an excellent choice for ongoing day-to-day spending.
Despite a low signup offer, it’s still one of our top picks for the best beginner credit cards, and one of the best overall credit cards in Canada.
The standout feature is the ability to earn 5 MR points per dollar spent on eats and drinks, which includes restaurants, bars, cafés, takeout, delivery, and purchases made at the grocery store.
And since the points transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan and British Airways Executive Club, 1:0.75 to Air France KLM Flying Blue, and 1:1.2 to Marriott Bonvoy, amongst others, you shouldn’t have any problems finding great ways to redeem your points.
Indeed, at 5x the points on eats and drinks:
- ~$5,000 of spending in this category could earn you a transcontinental business class flight at ~25,000 Aeroplan points or a transatlantic flight in economy for 20,000 Flying Blue miles
- ~$11,000 of spending in this category could earn you a business class flight from Vancouver to Tokyo at 55,000 Aeroplan points or a round-trip flight from Canada to Europe in economy for 40,000 Flying Blue miles
- ~$13,000 of spending in this category would earn you a business class flight from the East Coast to Europe at 60,000 Aeroplan points or from anywhere in Canada to Europe for 50,000 Flying Blue miles
By and large, the Cobalt Card is the easiest way for the average Canadian household to travel on a regular basis, and that’s what makes it a truly incredible product all around.
On the other hand, with a lower welcome bonus on the Cobalt Card, it could be that Amex is looking to bolster the attraction of the American Express Gold Rewards Card, which currently offers a welcome bonus of up to 70,000 points, structured as follows:
- 10,000 MR points upon spending $4,000 in the first three months
- 5,000 MR points upon spending $1,000 in each of the first twelve months
While the monthly spending requirement on the Gold Rewards Card is higher than the Cobalt, the payout is also better, earning 4x more points each month, plus a boost of 10,000 MR points upon spending $4,000 in the first three months.
If you’re choosing between the two, it could be worthwhile to side with the Gold Rewards Card for its welcome bonus for now, and then consider adding the Cobalt a bit further down the line to use as a daily driver.
The welcome bonus on the American Express Cobalt Card has been lowered to just 15,000 MR points, spread out over the course of a year. This bonus is 50% of the standard welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points, which has been around for most of the last two years.
If you don’t have this card already, it still remains as one of Canada’s best for beginners and daily spending, due to its excellent 5x category multiplier on eats and drinks. Even with a low welcome bonus, your points will rack up month after month.
However, since there’s no listed expiry date for this offer, you may want to weigh up the pros of having it available for daily spending against other welcome offers that may prove to be more fruitful in the short term.