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Are you up for the challenge? The Amex Cobalt Card can transform your grocery runs into a points-earning adventure.
Here are all six ways you can earn Amex Cobalt points with a few tricks for maximizing the points you can earn on everyday purchases.
And be sure to explore the links below for in-depth articles on each method of earning points with the Amex Cobalt Card:
- Welcome bonus
- 5x points on food and drinks
- 3x points on streaming services
- 2x points on travel and transit
- 1x points on everything else
- Referral bonus
Earn the Amex Cobalt Welcome Bonus
The Amex Cobalt Welcome Bonus
- You can earn up to 15,000 Membership Rewards points in the first year. That’s $150 in cash value you can use towards purchases with a statement credit. Or transfer your points to airline loyalty programs for a higher redemption.
- That breaks down to 1,250 points for every monthly billing period when you spend $750 on your Cobalt Card.
- There is an annual fee of $155.88, billed monthly at $12.99.
Requirements to Earn the Welcome Bonus
- Eligibility is limited to new Amex Cobalt Cardmembers.
- The minimum monthly spend of $750 is required to earn the maximum welcome bonus.
Tips for Maximizing the Bonus:
- Watch for potential devaluations, and anticipate higher bonuses after dips. Be sure to align your card application with higher bonus offers and be PointsWise.
- Historical trends show peak bonus points in January and August.
- Consider adding a supplementary Cardmember to reach the minimum spend faster, without an additional fee.
Learn More: How to Earn the Amex Cobalt Welcome Bonus
Earn 5x Points on Food and Drinks
- You can earn 5x points for every $1 spent on food and drinks.
- You’ll earn up to 150,000 points per year by reaching the spend limit for the food and drinks category.
- $2,500 per month x 5x points = 12,500/month. 12,500 x 12 = 150,000 points per year.
Where to Use Your Amex Cobalt Card and Earn 5x Points
Eligible establishments for earning 5x points, include:
- Restaurants, coffee shops, and drinking establishments.
- Stand-alone grocery stores. This refers to dedicated grocery stores.
- Food and grocery delivery services like DoorDash and Instacart.
Limits to 5x Points
- There is a monthly spend cap of $2,500 CAD (as of August 2023). The spending limit resets on the first of each month. After reaching the spend limit, you’ll earn 1 point for every dollar spent.
- Some stores, including Walmart and Costco, do not qualify for earning 5x points. Walmart falls under the “general merchandise” category, and Costco does not currently accept American Express.
- Superstore (Loblaws) does not accept American Express instore or online. However, with this loophole, you can purchase Loblaws gift cards through Rakuten with American Express and earn bonus cash.
Earn 3x Points on Streaming Services
- You can earn 3x points for every $1 spent on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada.
- Spending $100 monthly on streaming services yields 3,600 bonus points annually. Each point equals $1, providing a $36 statement credit.
Eligible Streaming Services for 3x Points
Movies and TV Shows
- Amazon Prime
- Apple TV+
- Apple Music
- SiriusXM Canada
How to Earn More Points on Streaming Services
- Earn 5x the points by purchasing gift cards for streaming services at grocery stores using your Cobalt Card.
- This strategy should be used first to maximize your points, especially for services not on the official list, such as gaming platforms like Xbox.
Limits to Earning 3x Points
- Only eligible purchases from the official streaming list will earn 3x the points. Bundled or third-party billed services are not eligible.
- There is no spend cap on streaming services.
- YouTube and YouTube Music are not officially recognized, but some Cardmembers have reported receiving 3x points.
Earn 2x the Points on Travel Purchases
- You can earn 2x points for every $1 spent on eligible travel and transit within Canada.
Eligible Transit & Travel Purchases
- You can earn 2x the points on travel and transit at a comprehensive list of well-known merchants for earning 2x points, including gas stations, airlines, accommodations, and more.
How to Maximize Your Travel and Transit Points
- Consider buying gift cards at grocery stores specifically for gas stations. This way, you can earn 5x the points on gas purchases, as opposed to only earning 2x the points when buying directly from the gas station.
Earn 1x the Points on Everything Else
- You can earn 1x points on everyday purchases if they don’t belong to specific categories (food, drinks, streaming, travel, and transit).
- Points are not earned on interest charges, Card membership fees, cash advances, foreign transaction fees, or balance transfer fees.
How to Maximize Your Points
- Consider buying gift cards at grocery stores for Amazon to earn 5x the points on Amazon purchases.
Earn the Referral Bonus When You Refer a Friend for an Amex Cobalt Card
Referral Bonus Overview
Limited Time Referral Bonus Deal!
- You can earn a bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points for each approved referral.
- Refer a friend between January 17, 2024, and March 4, 2024 to take advantage of this limited time offer.
Standard Referral Bonus
- The standard offer is 5,000 Membership Rewards points for each approved referral.
Referral Program Terms
- The maximum annual referral bonus limit: 75,000 Membership Rewards points.
- Most referral points will post to your account in a few days, but allow up to 10 weeks.
- Referral points can only be earned by referring new Cobalt Cardmembers.
How to Get Your Referral Link
- As a current Amex Cobalt Cardmember, log in to your online account, and from your Dashboard, click “Refer Now,” and accept the terms and conditions. Then, copy and share personalized referral link. Not already a Cardmember? Apply now!
How to Maximize Your Referral Bonus Points
- Sometimes Amex may increase the referral bonus so be sure to check when you log in to your Amex account.
- Some travel bloggers share their links on their blog, or social media like Reddit or Facebook.
- Historically, enforcement for sharing links has been flexible, allowing a reasonable approach to earn referral bonuses. Basically, don’t spam your link.
- The Amex referral program offers you a chance to earn more points and enjoy free travel experiences.
Now that you’ve learned all six ways to earn Amex points using the Cobalt Card, the next step is to create a points strategy that works for your lifestyle.
Consider updating a monthly spreadsheet to track your purchases to help reach your points goals.
Part of your strategy should be to plan how you can refer as many people as possible for a Cobalt Card so you can earn more points faster.
Your next focus is to maximize the 5x points you can earn on food and drinks. 5x the points is an excellent earn rate, so if it’s within your budget, focus on reaching the spend cap of $2,500 a month in that category.
The trick is, that money doesn’t all need to be spent on food and drinks.
Get creative – when shopping at grocery stores that accept Amex, like Save on Foods or FreshCo. Check the gift card aisle for cards from your frequently visited stores. Purchasing a gift card to that store will automatically code as 5x the points. This is particularly beneficial for stores where you might typically earn only 1-2x points.
I hope this article helps you get the most out of your Amex Cobalt Card.
Do you have any favorite ways of earning Amex points? Drop a comment below.