Why the Amex Cobalt is better than you think

Amex Mar 9, 2021

Recently I have seen multiply websites talk about the Amex Cobalt card as a very good card for millennials and was a great starter card. I had seen the great earning rates of 5x on Restaurants & Dining, 2x on Travel & Transit, 1x on everything else, but I did not find any of the redemption options compelling as the Amex Cobalt earns RM Select Points that are not able to transfer to airline partners.

Annual Fee & Signup Bouns

  • $120 Annual Fee paid monthly
  • 15,000 MR Select Points when you spend $3000 in the first 3 months
  • 30,000 MR Select Point in the first year when you spend $500 per month for 2,500 MR Points for the first 12 months
  • For a total of 45,000 MR Select Points

Earning rates + Bonuses

  • 5x on restaurants, coffee shops, drinking establishments, grocery stores, delivery of food and groceries in Canada. This includes Uber eats. There are a number of restaurants and grocery stores in other countries that you will still earn 5x points on. To a maximum of 30k per calendar year.
  • 2x Gas Stations, local transit (including taxis, buses, and Uber, subways)* in Canada, and travel bookings worldwide (including air, water, rail and road transport, lodging, and tour operator sales).
  • 1x on everything else.
  • +1 points on hotels or car rentals booked with American Express Travel & on The Hotel Collection
  • 5000 RM Select Points per referral to a maximum of 75,000 RM Select Points per calendar year.
  • Up to $100 Hotel Credit + one-category room upgrade on the Amex The Hotel Collection
  • Amex Offers will give you exclusive discounts or bonuses

*You will only get 2x points on purchases on bus or subway tickets at merchants where are their primary business is selling those tickets.

Redemption Options

  • Statement Credits at 1000 points = $10 on travel a value of 1 CPP
  • Statement Credits at 1000 points = $7 on everything else a value of 0.7 CPP
  • Amazon.ca Credits at 1000 points = $7 a value of 0.7 CPP
  • Gift Cards at a value of roughly 0.8 CPP
  • AmexTravle.com 1000 points = $10 a value of 1 CPP
  • Marriott Bonvoy at 1 point = 1.2 points
  • Amex Fixed Point Travel with a value of between 1.5–1.75 CPP and 2 CPP on popular routes in Economy Class and a value of between 1.6–1.8 CPP in Business Class


  • Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance for up to $5,000,000 for the first 15 days as long as you are under the age of 65
  • Flight Delay Insurance up to $500 (aggregate maximum with Baggage Delay Insurance)
  • Baggage Delay Insurance up to $500 (aggregate maximum with Baggage Delay Insurance)
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance up to $500
  • Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance up to $500
  • $250,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance for cars with an MSRP of up to $85,000
  • Purchase Protection Plan
  • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan


There are a few limitations to the fixed points flight chart the most notable one being that you have to book round trip flights. Though you could use 15,000 Points to fly round trip from Toronto or Montreal to New York and then between the arrival in New York and the return trip book another flight from New York fly to a city that you can’t fly to from Toronto like Singapore.

There are other problems with the redemption options like the class of service you are allowed to book. Amex does not allow you to book flights in premium economy nor in first class. This is a bummer as you don't get the flexibility of choosing if you want to get the best possible experience on a plane booking first class or an upgrade over economy with the same number of points as business.

Another problem is that you can only get 1.5–2 CPP in Economy Class and a value of between 1.6–1.8 CPP in Business Class if you are able to find a flight that reaches the max price for the ticket, or else you will get way lower CPP evaluation. An easy way to find out the Cents Per Point you can get for the flight is:

CPP = (ticket price ÷ points needed)*100


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