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Would you say that AMEX Cobalt has a better sign-up deal and long-term use?
This is actually a very interesting question. It is only very recently that the AMEX Cobalt Card is now open for applications. This card may currently be the best card for grocery and dining purchases, as you earn 5 points per dollar with no cap.
Otherwise, all cards earn 1 point per dollar spent on everyday purchases. Scotia Rewards can be redeemed towards travel at 1 cent per mile (10k = $100) by making the purchase on your card. These points are worth 1.0 cpm. This is the same as the American Express Cobalt Card, which can also offset travel purchases at a 1 cent value.
However, the Cobalt Card can also transfer to SPG, as well as redeem for AMEX Fixed Travel Rewards. For the sake of comparison, I’ve put the value of both miles at 1 cent. The actual value of a Cobalt point will vary based on how much you value SPG points and whether you can maximize the value of a Fixed Value Travel Reward.
Until October 31, the Scotiabank American Express Gold Card has a 30,000 point signup bonus, after spending $750 within three months. The first year annual fee is waived. This means the total value of the bonus is $300.
The American Express Cobalt Card has a 40,000 point bonus broken into two parts. You earn 5,000 points after spending $500 in each month, and an additional 10,000 points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. There is a monthly fee of $10 ($120 annually). This means the total value of the bonus is $280.
However, if you put the other $6,750 spend instead on a 2% “cashback” card like the MBNA World Elite MasterCard, you could get an additional $155. That means the overall difference between the Cobalt Card and the Scotiabank Gold Card is $255 excluding everyday spending bonuses.
The American Express Cobalt Card earns 5x on groceries and dining, with no annual cap. The Scotiabank Gold American Express earns 4x on gas, groceries, dining, and entertainment with a $50,000 calendar cap. This means you can get 4 points per dollar on up to $100,000: $50,000 between today and Dec 31, and $50,000 next year.
The Cobalt card is a clear winner in terms when it comes to groceries and dining. For every $10,000 spent, you will earn 10,000 more AMEX points that Scotia Reward points, an additional $100 return. That means, the $255 is offset after spending $25,500 on groceries or dining within the cardholder year.
Since you only earn one point per dollar with the Scotiabank AMEX after the $50,000 cap, the difference is even more apparent, although the bonus also extends to gas and entertainment, which the Cobalt card does not have.
Overall, both cards are fantastic options to consider. The Scotiabank Gold American Express and the American Express Cobalt Card both have great signup bonuses as well as category bonuses that are some of the best in Canada.