This post reviews the new American Express Cobalt Card.
Canadians love credit card rewards programs but finding the best one to suit our needs can be a challenge. A family of four with two working spouses might see the bulk of their budget go towards groceries and gas, but a metro millennial might spend more on cabs and takeout.
I’ve always said, the best rewards program is one that matches the rewards you want to earn with the categories in which you spend the most.
The fact is the vast majority of rewards credit cards are marketed towards two demographics: frequent travellers, and high earners who spend big on groceries and gas.
Surprisingly, credit card issuers have largely ignored the millennial generation. But this demographic – now larger than the Boomer generation – is coming of age and eager to find a rewards program that fits their unique lifestyle.
The NEW American Express Cobalt Card
Enter the new American Express Cobalt Card. It’s a rewards card designed by an actual team of millennials – not a bunch of old dudes in suits – with the millennial lifestyle in mind.
The first thing that stood out for me is the Cobalt Card comes with a monthly fee ($10) instead of an annual fee of $120. This fits the monthly subscription format that millennials are used to paying.
Secondly, the earn rate is incredibly high – 5x points on what Amex calls ‘eats and drinks’; a broad category that includes everything from coffee shops, grocery stores, fast food chains, take-out, cafes, bars, pubs, casual and upscale restaurants. So you get rewarded for the purchases you already make on a daily basis.
More than half of millennials go out to eat at least four times a month and are willing to spend up to one-quarter of their monthly income on dining out, according to a recent survey commissioned by American Express.
The rewards don’t stop there, as the Cobalt Card also pays a generous 2x points on all things ‘travel and transit’; including flights, hotels, short-term rentals, subway rides, gas and cab fare.
70 percent of Canadians surveyed by Amex go on a trip at least twice per year. More than one-third prioritize these activities, stating they are not willing to give up travel or dining out, even on a tight budget.
30,000 Point Welcome Bonus
American Express is known for its juicy welcome bonuses that attract new customers, and the Cobalt Card does not disappoint with a bonus offer of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points.
While other credit card rewards programs might pay out a welcome bonus upfront, in addition to charging an annual fee on the first statement, Cobalt flips convention on its head once again and doles out its bonus rewards points on a monthly basis, mirroring the monthly fee.
So, for instance, in your first year with Cobalt you can earn 2,500 bonus points each month once you reach $500 in monthly spending.
Of course, earning all the points in the world doesn’t matter if you can’t redeem them for useful rewards and experiences. Cobalt cardmembers can redeem their points through the Membership Rewards program on travel and flights with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. They can also use points to pay for purchases they’ve already made, whether it’s a night out, a new outfit, or paying for their music subscription charges.
It’s true; the new American Express Cobalt Card is designed with the millennial lifestyle in mind. But if you’ve been paying close attention, this isn’t just a credit card for basic, pumpkin spice latte sipping, pretentious hipster-talking millennials. This card pays out some serious rewards and should attract the attention of every rewards credit card fan in Canada, regardless of age.
5x points on eats and drinks is an incredible earn rate that immediately launches Cobalt into the top of the credit card rewards hierarchy. Then add 2x points on travel and transit on top of that and you have card that can compete with any card in Canada on overall earnings. Then add the potential to earn 40,000 bonus points in the first year on top of all everything else and you can see why the new Cobalt Card should find its way into your wallet.
For more information on the new American Express Cobalt Card, visit this link here.