New welcome bonus of 50,000 points for the American Express Cobalt card + $120 cash back

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.

As of today, there’s a new welcome bonus offer of 50,000 points (worth at least $500) if you apply for this card. You have the ultimate flexibility in redeeming Amex reward points against purchases (similar to cash back) or convert points to hotel or airline programs.

Plus, there are some other positive changes to the Amex Cobalt card as of August 16, 2021:

  • The ability to transfer points to airline partners (like Aeroplan)
  • New earning rate of 3x points on streaming services (like Netflix)
  • Mobile device insurance up to $1,000 in coverage

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!

Now, let’s go through the details of the card and how to apply via GCR.

American Express CobaltTM Card

The American Express CobaltTM Card lets you earn Membership Rewards (MR) 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 MR points up to a maximum of 30,000 MR points.

Plus, you can earn an additional bonus of 20,000 MR points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of having the card! This means that you could earn up to 50,000 MR points over the course of your first 12 months of membership!

Now, the card does have a monthly fee of $12.99 so you’ll spend $155.88 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 reduces the net annual fee down to $35.88!

The combination offers of  bonus 20,000 MR points plus the $120 cash back from GCR have never been seen before on the Cobalt card. So, now is definitely the best time to apply for this card to earn extra bonus points as it’s unknown when these offers will end.

Next, let’s look at the Cobalt card’s earning rates.

Fantastic Amex Cobalt earning rates

With the American Express CobaltTM Card, you earn MR points according to the following rates:

  • 5 MR 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).
  • NEW: 3 MR points for every $1 spent on eligible streaming services in Canada which includes Netflix and Spotify.
  • 2 MR 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 MR points for every $1 spent on other purchases.

The Cobalt card is unique because it allows you to earn an incredible 5 MR 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 MR points. Over the course of a year, this means you would earn 60,000 MR 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.

Earn 3x points on streaming services

Also, as of August 16, 2021, the Amex Cobalt card has a NEW earning rate of 3x MR points on streaming services such as Netflix, Disney +, Spotify and more. If you are currently subscribed to any of these streaming services, you’ll def want to charge your bill to your Amex Cobalt card to earn 3x points! 

In addition, with the Amex Cobalt card, you earn 2 MR 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.

New Mobile device insurance

Also, starting on August 16th 2021, the Amex Cobalt card now offers up to $1,000 of mobile device insurance in the event that your smartphone, smartwatch or tablet is lost, stolen or accidentally damaged.

To take advantage of this feature, use your Cobalt card to pay (in full) or finance the charges from your mobile device and you’ll be covered for a period of up to two years.

More details about these changes and FAQs can be found on the Amex website.

Options to redeem your Amex Cobalt points

There are many ways to redeem your American Express CobaltTM Card MR points.

1. Transfer points to Marriott Bonvoy™ or Hilton Honors™ for hotel stays

It’s possible to transfer your MR points directly to the Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty program. The transfer rate is 5 MR points = 6 Bonvoy points so 30,000 MR 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.

It’s also possible to transfer your MR points directly to Hilton Honors hotel loyalty program. The transfer rate is not ideal as with Marriott because it’s 1 MR points = 1 Hilton point so 30,000 MR points is equal to 30,000 Hilton points.

2. Transfer points to airline partners like Aeroplan (NEW)

As of Aug 16, 2021, you’re able to convert your Amex Cobalt MR points to Amex’s partner airlines. This includes Air Canada’s Aeroplan and also British Airways Executive Club with a 1:1 transfer ratio.

You can also convert your MR points to other airlines such as Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Delta Skymiles but the transfer ratio isn’t as favorable at 1000 MR points = 750 airline miles.

3. Booking flights

Use your MR 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 MR points for a $10 credit towards any eligible purchase!

5. Redeem for gifts cards, merchandise and more.

Lastly, you can also redeem yours MR 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 MR 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 50,000 MR points over the course of your first year which converts to 60,000 Bonvoy points.

Between 1 & 12 free Marriott hotel nights with the Amex Cobalt welcome bonus

Now what could you do with those 60 000 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.

Marriott Bonvoy redemption chart

Thus, you could obtain between 1 and 12 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 60,000 Marriott points, here’s the minimum and maximum number of nights you can stay for FREE based on the hotel category.

Hotel CategoryMinimum # of free nightsMaximum # of free nights
1612
246
334
423
51 2
611

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).

Amazing $120 cash back if you apply for the Amex Cobalt 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.

The above table is approximate since the minimum wait for a payment is 58 days after the posting date.

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 MR points!

Plus, spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to unlock an additional bonus 20,000 MR points!                         

Summary

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 MR points per dollar spent on those categories.

Plus, MR 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.

Now, you can also convert your points to airline partners such as Air Canada’s Aeroplan.  Plus, transfer your MR points 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 of 50,000 points for new cardholders in their first year. For each month you spend $500 on your card you’ll receive 2,500 MR points up to a maximum of 30,000 MR points. Plus, you could earn an additional bonus of 20,000 MR 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!

Do you plan on applying for the American Express Cobalt card? Let me know in the comments below.

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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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