Without a doubt, one of the most popular credit cards in Canada is the American Express CobaltTM Card. This unique card lets you earn valuable reward points and offers an amazing 5x points on grocery, restaurant and food delivery purchases.
Plus, you can redeem reward points against purchases (similar to cash back) or convert points to hotel programs like Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors. Thus, giving you the ultimate flexibility in how to redeem your points.
For those of you that may not have the card yet, now is the time to apply for it via the Great Canadian Rebates (GCR) cash back website. That’s because GCR is offering a cash back bonus of $120 if you’re approved for the American Express CobaltTM Card! The GCR cash back rate used to be $40 so $120 is the highest offer we’ve seen ever for this card!
Plus, apply by May 5, 2021 and you can earn an additional bonus of 15,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Now, let’s go through the details of the card and how to apply via GCR.
- American Express CobaltTM Card
- Fantastic Amex Cobalt earning rates
- Options to redeem your Amex Cobalt points
- Between 1 & 10 free Marriott hotel nights with the Amex Cobalt welcome bonus
- Bonus $120 when you apply through Great Canadian Rebates
American Express CobaltTM Card
The American Express CobaltTM Card lets you earn Membership Rewards Select (MRS) points on every purchase.
There’s also a very generous welcome bonus for new cardholders in their first year. For each month you spend $500 on your card, you’ll receive 2,500 MRS points up to a maximum of 30,000 MRS points.
Plus, apply by May 5, 2021 and you can earn an additional bonus of 15,000 MRS points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of having the card! This means that you could earn up to 45,000 MRS points over the course of your first 12 months of membership!
Now, the card does have a monthly fee of $10 so you’ll spend $120 over the course of one year.
But, if you apply for the Amex Cobalt card via Great Canadian Rebates, you could earn $120 cash back!!! This effectively makes the card FREE for the first year.
The combination offers of bonus 15,000 MRS points plus the $120 cash back from GCR have never been seen before on the Cobalt card. These offers will probably end on May 5, 2021 so, now is definitely the best time to apply for this card to earn extra bonus points and have a net fee of $0 for the first year!
Next, let’s look at the Cobalt card’s earning rates.
Fantastic Amex Cobalt earning rates
With the American Express CobaltTM Card, you earn MRS points according to the following rates:
- 5 MRS points for every $1 spent on eligible eats and drinks in Canada, including groceries and food delivery (up to a maximum of $30,000 per card year).
- 2 MRS points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada. Plus, this includes travel purchases like flights, hotels, car rentals and tours.
- 1 MRS points for every $1 spent on other purchases.
The Cobalt card is unique because it allows you to earn an incredible 5 MRS points per dollar spent on grocery purchases but also restaurants, bars, cafes and food delivery purchases!! This 5x earning rate on eats/groceries is incredible and one of the best earning rates on a Canadian credit card!
For example, if you spent $1,000/ month on groceries, you would earn 5,000 MRS points. Over the course of a year, this means you would earn 60,000 MRS points!!!
Note that the 5x earning rate is only valid for a maximum of $30,000 in net purchases per your membership year (not calendar year). Once you’ve reached that max amount, you’ll then earn 1 point per dollar spent for the rest of your member year.
In addition, with the Amex Cobalt card, you earn 2 MRS points on purchases at gas stations, public transportation, taxis, limousine and ride sharing services (like Uber). Also, this 2x points rate applies to travel purchases like flights, hotels, train, car rentals and tours.
Finally, you earn 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.
Options to redeem your Amex Cobalt points
There are many ways to redeem your American Express CobaltTM Card MRS points.
1. Transfer points to Marriott Bonvoy™ for hotel stays
It’s possible to transfer your MRS points directly to the Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty program. The transfer rate is 5 MRS points = 6 Bonvoy points so 30,000 MRS points is equal to 36,000 Bonvoy points.
This is the best option to redeem your points if you want FREE hotel stays! Read more about redeeming your Marriott Bonvoy points.
2. Transfer points to Hilton Honors™ for hotel stays
It’s also possible to transfer your MRS points directly to Hilton Honors hotel loyalty program. The transfer rate is not ideal as with Marriott because it’s 1 MRS points = 1 Hilton point so 30,000 MRS points is equal to 30,000 Hilton points.
3. Booking flights
Use your MRS points to book flights with the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program. Under this program, a fixed number of points covers the base ticket price of eligible flights up to the max base ticket price.
For example, 20,000 points covers a short haul flight to an adjacent province/state up to a max price of $300.
4. Redeem for statement credits
You can use your points to pay for previous card purchases depending on the category. You can exchange a minimum of 1,000 MRS points for the following:
- a $10 credit towards eligible travel purchases.
- a $7 credit towards any other purchase.
5. Redeem for gifts cards, merchandise and more.
Lastly, you can also redeem yours MRS points for a variety of other options like gift cards, merchandise, shopping at Amazon.ca or donations to charity.
Out of all the options to redeem your MRS points, the best choice to convert your points to Marriott Bonvoy points for FREE hotel stays! If you apply for the Amex Cobalt card today, you could earn 45,000 MRS points over the course of your first year which converts to 54,000 Bonvoy points.
Between 1 & 10 free Marriott hotel nights with the Amex Cobalt welcome bonus
Now what could you do with those 54 000 Bonvoy points? Well to start, you could redeem them for a free hotel night with Marriott. The Marriott Bonvoy redemption chart is based on 8 categories with off-peak, standard and peak pricing.
Each Marriott hotel is assigned to a particular category. So, the number of points required for a free hotel night will vary depending on occupancy and the time of year.
Here is the Marriott Bonvoy hotel redemption chart.
Thus, you could obtain between 1 and 10 free hotel nights with this credit card bonus! The exact number of nights will depend mostly on the hotel category and your travel dates. With the bonus 54,000 points, here’s the minimum and maximum number of nights you can stay for FREE based on the hotel category.
|Hotel Category||Minimum # of free nights||Maximum # of free nights|
|6||1 (only off-peak or standard rates)|
For example, the TownePlace Suites hotel in Petawawa, Ontario is a category 1 hotel (one of the few in Eastern Canada). If you book this hotel on off-peak dates, it would only cost a remarkably low 5,000 points!
Add in Marriott’s 5th night free benefit and you could stay for 5 nights at this hotel for only 20,000 points! This is exactly what I did when I last stayed at this hotel in March 2021 so check out my full review of the TownePlace Suites Petawawa.
Again, if you’re interested in the Amex Cobalt card, consider applying through Great Canadian Rebates as they are offering cash back for successful applications.
Bonus $120 when you apply through Great Canadian Rebates
Here’s where the interesting cash bonus comes in. If you apply for the American Express CobaltTM Card through Great Canadian Rebates, you could earn a $120 bonus!!!
What’s Great Canadian Rebates (GCR) you ask? For those unfamiliar, it’s a website that offers cash back rebates on almost every online purchase with select Canadian merchants. This includes stores such as: Sport Chek, Amazon.ca, Home Depot and many more. The cash back rate will vary between 1% to 8% with the average being 4% for most vendors; but they also provide cash back when you apply to certain financial products (such as $120 for the Amex Cobalt credit card).
Interested in getting this offer? Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Sign up for Great Canadian rebates through this link, or login if you already have an account.
- Choose your cash back method such as Paypal, egift card, or a cheque sent to your home. My preference is to be paid by Paypal and then deposit the funds directly into my bank account.
- Type “Amex Cobalt” in the search bar to find this offer or look under Categories > Credit Cards & Finance and scroll down to find it.
- Click on the link to apply which will open in a new browser tab.
- Proceed with the Amex application by providing your personal information like address, date of birth, employer and income.
*Important Note* applying for this credit card will result in hard inquiry by Amex on your credit report.
Once you’re approved, GCR will keep track of your application and send the cash back about 2-3 months later, (usually by the 28th of the month). To help you out, you can refer to the following schedule.
Next, Amex will send out your credit card usually within 1-2 weeks.
Once your card arrives, don’t forget to spend $500 every month for 12 months to unlock the welcome bonus of 30,000 MRS points!
Plus, if you applied before May 5, 2021, spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to unlock an additional bonus 15,000 MRS points!
Overall, the American Express CobaltTM Card is a great credit card to have in your wallet. It’s a clear winner to use for groceries, restaurants and food delivery purchases with an amazing 5 MRS points per dollar spent on those categories.
Plus, MRS points have flexible uses. They can be used to book a flight with the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program or redeemed for a statement credit, gift card and more. Although, the best option for your MRS points is to transfer them at a 5:6 ratio to the Marriott Bonvoy hotel program for FREE hotel nights.
Also, the card comes with a very generous welcome bonus for new cardholders in their first year. For each month you spend $500 on your card you’ll receive 2,500 MRS points up to a maximum of 30,000 MRS points.
Lastly, now is the best time than ever to apply for this card! If you apply before May 5, 2021 you could earn an additional bonus of 15,000 MRS points upon spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Plus, if you apply for the Amex Cobalt card via Great Canadian Rebates, you could earn $120 cash back! This effectively makes the card FREE for the first year!
Do you plan on applying for the American Express Cobalt card? Let me know in the comments below.
Disclosure: American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, please visit the American Express website.
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