This is crazy and totally unexpected news for the American Express Cobalt® Card! As you know American Express announced some amazing changes to their Cobalt Card not too long ago that make this the best credit card in Canada even better. Yes they are charging more for it which has made some people unhappy but for the most part everyone seems ecstatic about the changes even with paying $2.99 more per month. So what if you don’t have the card yet? Well you’re in luck as American Express has just revealed the best ever welcome bonus offer for the card in it’s four year history. That’s what makes this crazy and unexpected – I don’t think any of us thought American Express would come out with such an offer seeing how compelling and valuable the card is with its up to 5x points earn rate, its new 3x streaming services earn rate and most importantly now having the ability to transfer 1:1 to Air Canada Aeroplan and British Airways Executive Club.
Back in July I wrote about whether you should get the Cobalt Card then to lock in the $10 per month fee for a year or waiting to now to see if a new increased welcome bonus offer came out and having to pay $12.99 per month right off the bat. Well at that time I wish I had a crystal ball as of course that post would have told everyone to wait! And this is because of this new welcome bonus offer where you can now earn up to 50,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year of having the card! This is 5,000 more than previous high on the card which we saw earlier this year.
Here’s how this new welcome bonus offer is structured:
- In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, you can earn 2,500
Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you
spend $500 in net purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000
points in a year
- Plus, you can earn a Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points
when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first
3 months of Cardmembership
As you can see the card keeps its standard offer of 2,500 points per month for each month you spend $500 on the card for the first 12 months and now they have thrown in an additional welcome bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of having the card. All told you can earn 50,000 points in the first year.
Those 50,000 points can be redeemed for the following:
- $500 in rewards when redeeming via Use Points for Purchases (the cash back option)
- One round trip flights from Canada to Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii or Mexico with Amex’s Fixed Points for travel (up to $800 in value)
- Three round trip flights on popular short haul Canada/US routes with Amex’s Fixed Points
for travel (up to $900 in value)
- 50,000 Aeroplan Points or British Airways Avios (min. $750 in value),
- 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points (min. $600 value)
Those are just some of the best redemption options that you can get with this offer. Granted you’ll have a lot more points than just 50,000 since you do have to spend $7,500 on the card to get the entire bonus. If you make all that spending at the 5x points level (which is super easy to do) you’ll end up with 37,500 more points.
The new features/changes launching today on the Cobalt Card
August 16th also marks the day that the much anticipated changes to this card take place. These are the changes:
- 3x points on select streaming services in Canada.
This accelerator category is something we are seeing more of and Amex
is definitely targeting the competition who have these increased rates
on this category as well. See below for the list of eligible streaming
- Mobile Device Insurance – again this is something that has been seen on a lot of competing cards now and now the Cobalt Card will have it as well.
- Increasing the monthly fee to $12.99 from $10.
This means on an annul basis the card will cost $155.88 versus the
previous $120. This is a pretty big jump that I’m sure some people won’t
be happy about. It also makes the card one of the most expensive cards
in the premium card market (vs. Mastercard World Elite and Visa Infinite
Cards) That being said – even with this increased fee the card still
blows most of the competition out of the water so it is pill I am
willing to swallow.
- You can now convert your Membership Rewards Select points to
their airline partners like Aeroplan and British Airways. This is
huge and make that price increase worth it! This means you can earn up
to 5 Aeroplan Miles or British Airways Avios per dollar spent with the
- All cards issued after August 16th will be made from 99% recycled plastic. Existing cardholders will get the new cards on their anniversary date
The 3x points earning on streaming services is pretty big news but by far and away the biggest news that excites points and miles junkies all across Canada is the ability to now convert directly to Amex’s frequent flyer partners. Prior to today, Membership Rewards Select which is the program the Cobalt Card is in only allowed conversion to their hotel partners which are Marriott and Hilton. That all changes now as you can now convert directly to Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles and more! Seeing that the conversion rate to Air Canada and British Airways is 1 to 1 that means you can earn up to 5 Aeroplan Points or 5 BAEC Avios per dollar spent with the Cobalt Card. No other cards in Canada can match this – not even the Aeroplan co-brand cards! What may make this even that much more valuable is American Express does offer limited time transfer bonuses to British Airways but the question will be, with the Cobalt Card being able to convert 1:1 and earning up to 5 points per dollar will they do away with those bonuses? Only time will tell.
Here are the streaming services included:
- Apple TV+
- Apple Music
- SiriusXM Canada
Don’t forget the Cobalt Card is still good for transferring to Marriott Bonvoy with its 1 to 1.2 ratio which means you earn up to 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent. On top of that they do have occasional bonuses for converting points (it was 30% this past June). This is always a great option for those hotel stays that otherwise may prove too expensive to pay cash for!
To learn more about where you can earn up to 5x points with this card be sure to check out our American Express Cobalt Card Confirmed Multiplier Locations
Wrapping it up
Even before these changes and this new welcome bonus offer The American Express Cobalt Card was and is Canada’s number one travel rewards credit card and also Canada’s number one cash back credit card. This makes it the best credit card in Canada
no matter what type of reward you want and it is the card that EVERY CANADIAN should have in
their wallet. I think that’s all that needs to be said.