Credit Cards

American Express launches the Cobalt card, a credit card for millennials

By: Dominic Licorish on September 27, 2017

American Express has launched a brand new credit card aimed at the wallets of today’s largest generation: millennials. The American Express Cobalt credit card comes a big marketing campaign, including a pop up restaurant in Toronto.

The campaign, called “You Do You”, leans on more than 75 lifestyle influencers, and includes Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman and chef Gordon Ramsay.

"We are really embracing the idea of 'You Do You' to provide a marketing experience that meets the audience in a way that will resonate with them," said David Barnes, vice president of advertising and communications for American Express Canada.

Amex’s pop-up restaurant, The Cobalt Social, will be open in Toronto for a week starting Sept. 26. Located in Kensington Market, the restaurant features a menu by Antonio Park, Matty Matheson, and a signature dish by Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay’s dish is also going to be available on UberEats on September 27th and 28th.

Amex has always sought to appeal to consumers who enjoy a premium experience and the Cobalt card is no different.  It’s a premium rewards points card with a $10 monthly fee and an annual interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances. At $120 a year, it’s a fairly high fee credit card, especially for younger consumers, but that expense is offset with its inclusion of travel insurance coverage, fraud protection, and a rewards structure designed to maximize rewards where millennials spend most of their money.

Cardholders earn five points for every dollar spent at restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and food delivery; two points for every dollar spent on transit and gas purchases; and one point per dollar spent anywhere else. As a sign-up bonus offer, consumers will get 40,000 points, which has a value of $400 according to the American Express website. After crunching some numbers, the rewards value works out to about 5%, 2%, and 1% cash back respectively.

It boasts comparable rates to another highly rewarding card by Amex, the SimplyCash Preferred card, but unlike the SimplyCash card which only offers 5% as a promo rate, this card offers 5% as a standard rate. it makes a case for being one of the best rewards cards for young urbanites, however, there is something of a caveat behind all the enticing rewards rate and social media-friendly marketing. The card may offer great rewards, but as an Amex card, it is also less widely accepted than MasterCard or Visa, meaning you may not be able to earn points as often as with those cards.