The American Express Cobalt Card is a credit card tailor-made for millennials with active social lives: the foodies, the Instagram influencers, and the summer festival-goers.
The provider itself doesn’t even refer to the Cobalt Card as a regular old rewards card — it’s a lifestyle card. To drive the point home, Amex opened a pop-up restaurant in Toronto’s Kensington Market for the card's launch, the menu curated by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
The Cobalt Card supercharges rewards by a factor of five when you use it to buy groceries, restaurant meals, and drinks. Earn twice the points if you pay for your cab rides and gas refills with the card.
The aim of the card, according to Amex, is to reward millennials for simply doing the things they do every day.
Broken down, the earn rate works like this: earn five points for every dollar spent on food and drinks (that includes meal kit delivery services!), earn two points for every dollar spent on transit and gas, and earn one point on any other purchases.
Once you’ve banked 1,000 points, you can either redeem them for $10 to spend on travel expenses or $7 for anything else. The card has a mobile app to make redeeming points easier. You can pay for streaming subscriptions or buy stuff on Amazon from the app.
American Express also claims that cardholders could earn up to 30,000 points in their first year (we explain how you can achieve this in the bullet points below). That's enough points for:
- An eligible short-haul flight using the Fixed Points Travel Program, or
- $300 in statement credits redeemed towards travel purchases charged to your Card, or
- $300 worth of tickets on Ticketmaster.ca.
The Cobalt Card is Amex’s first card that charges a monthly, not annual, fee of $10. To qualify for the card, you need a fair credit score (575-649). An annual percentage rate of 19.99% applies on outstanding balances and the interest rate for a cash advance is 22.99%. And finally, there's a 2.5% charge on foreign transactions.
Why get The American Express Cobalt Credit Card?
Earn a respectable amount of points in the first year - New cardholders could realistically earn up to 30,000 bonus points in the first year. Here’s how it works: you’d need to spend $500 a month on your credit card, which adds up to 2,500 points a month, or 30,000 points after 12 months. Voila.
A diverse points program - The Cobalt Perks Program promises a series of offers and opportunities in retail, music, entertainment, and travel. Cardholders can also redeem points through Amex’s bevy of established rewards programs.
Book flights easily - Some rewards programs pull a bait and switch, lowering the value of travel points during peak travelling season. This is where American Express shines as a company — The Fixed Points Program at Amex does exactly what it says: the value of your points doesn't change with the season, end of story. Its travel rewards almost make up for the fact American Express cards aren’t widely accepted.
Get a travel credit - American Express is partnered with The Hotel Collection, which counts over 600 hotels and resorts as members. When you use American Express Travel to book a stay at a member hotel, you could qualify for up to $100 USD in credit to spend on:
- Spa treatments, dining experiences (room services excluded), golf, and more (it depends on what amenities your hotel offers).
- A complimentary room upgrade at check-in, when available.
Earn points doing fun stuff - The real selling point of the Cobalt Card is the fact that you can earn points faster for going on fun outings. Like boozy brunches. This isn’t your parents’ Amex.