I have just received some more information regarding the Cobalt Card from American Express and it’s pretty great.

After confirming in my previous post that you will receive 5x points for grocery, restaurants, food service and food delivery as well as 2x for travel and transit, a few people asked for more detail.  We know that the card will earn Membership Rewards points and that you cannot transfer those points to airline partners, however, AMEX’s hotel partners, SPG and Hilton, are fair game.  That being said, we are still left with a few questions regarding redemptions.

Redemption Ratios

I have confirmed with an AMEX representative that the hotel transfer ratios for hotels will remain the same!  That means for Hilton it’s 1:1 (not a great redemption in my opinion) and SPG will remain 2 Membership Reward points to 1 SPG point.

This is AMAZING news because it confirms what my assumption was in the previous post … $1 spent at a grocery store or restaurant will net you 2.5 SPG points!!!!  That’s absolutely bonkers fantastic!  Again, here’s the math:

$1 spent at a grocery store = 5 Membership Rewards = 2.5 SPG

Annual Fee and The Bonus

As you know, the Cobalt Card will have an Annual Fee split into 12 monthly installments of $10 each month and that you will receive 2,500 Membership Rewards per month as a sign up bonus (assuming you spend at least $500/month), but what you may not know is that the points keep flowing after the first year!  This is great news because what it amounts to is 30,000 Membership Rewards per annual fee paid … for as long as you hold the card (again, assuming you spend at least $500 on the card per month)!

Again, this is fantastic because while you pay $10/month, you will always get value out of that fee!

I have to say that this approach is VERY refreshing.


Another question that popped into my mind after my initial call was what kind of insurance coverage this card would have.  Great news!  It’s fantastic!

This card will grace us with the following insurances:

  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Medical Insurance for out of province and out of country travel
  • Flight and Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Lost/Stolen Baggage Insurance
  • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
  • Purchase Protection Insurance
  • Buyer Assurance (I assume this is extended warranty coverage)
  • Travel Emergency Assistance
  • Travel Accident Insurance

The only thing missing from this suite of insurances is Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption insurance.  Full details of the limits to the coverage and requirements were not available at this time, but I am VERY happy to see that you will receive the same benefits as a premium card.


The Cobalt Card is still set to launch on Tuesday, September 26th barring any unforeseen delays.


I have to hand it to AMEX for thinking way outside the box on this card.  From what I understand of this card, there is very little in terms of negatives and it’s one that I plan on getting and using as a daily driver.

What do you think of the card?  Am I missing any big negatives?

Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


  1. I foresee myself making gift card purchases to top up to $500 as End Of Month nears each month.

    • So, the $500 minimum spend would be required each month? (That is, if I spend a large amount in Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep and Nov, and nothing the other months, I get the bonus only in those months?)

    • The $500 minimum spend can be any kind of spend? (Does it have to be only within gas & groceries?)


  2. I don’t believe the 2500 points/month (with $500+ spend) is accurate. Where did you source this information? The site posts that it is during the first year:

    Up to 30,000 Bonus Points
    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 purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year

    • Hi Dorian,

      This information was directly from an AMEX rep that was reading from a sheet, however, there is now doubt as to whether or not what he quoted was accurate. I’ll give AMEX another call shortly to try to get clarification. Cheers


  3. This card doesn’t appeal to me because the grocery category bonus is of little use. In our area, there are 3 main grocery chains: Superstore, Sobeys, and Walmart. Superstore doesn’t take Amex, Sobeys has high prices relative to the others, and Walmart is not considered a grocery store for point-earning purposes.

    • Hi Stewart,

      Do you have Safeways in your area? Because they take AMEX. Also, I have to run an experiment to see if Walmart codes as grocery for me. I would hope that with their new grocery strategy that they would be coded as such.



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