Comparing the AMEX Centurion Card, Cobalt Card, Platinum and Simply Cash Preferred

Today, we feature Pointshogger contributor Leo Doss, general manager of Carlined. He highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of the American Express Centurion Card, Cobalt Card, Platinum Card and Simply Cash Preferred Card to help people decide which American Express card best suits their personal situation. 

Most American Express (AMEX) cards have very useful features and benefits, allowing you to save money, as well as valuable travel insurance. You can choose the AMEX card that is most appropriate to your lifestyle. AMEX can be especially valuable to business owners who frequent frequently.

AMEX Centurion Card

Let’s start with the features of the AMEX Centurion Card. Unfortunately, there is very little public information about this card, as it is by invitation only. Below are some of the highlights of the exclusive credit card.


  • There is a personal and business version of the card. You can also add supplementary cards for family members or employees.
  • The prestige of this card is that it is made of titanium. You can also request an ordinary plastic version to be compatible to use with payment services.
  • When it comes to flying, you can receive free flights, travel reservations, special services, airport shuttles, Priority Pass membership, Virgin Lounge and access to Qantas cruises.
  • When it comes to hotel stays, you can receive free hotel nights and upgrades. The exclusive benefits with hotel partners including Hilton Honors, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Inter-Continental Hotels.
  • The American Express Centurion offers a host of travel insurance, as well as purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty.
  • Save time at the ticket office and pay for your purchases or services using Android Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.


This card has its fair share of benefits, but it comes with a high price.

  • By invitation only. It is rumoured that you need spend between $250,000 to $450,000 per year on other AMEX accounts, before you are even considered to be invited.
  • One time entrance fee of $7,500.
  • Annual fee of $2,500.

AMEX Cobalt Card

This is a much simpler credit card, but there are less advantages. I would recommend this card for daily spending because of the multiplier bonuses to earn more Membership Rewards points faster.


Let’s take a closer look at the advantages that you can get from this offer:

  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on groceries and at dining places, including restaurants and fast food chains.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and transit, taxis, hotels, metro, and travel.


In terms of any drawbacks, there is not really any other than AMEX not accepted everywhere.

AMEX Platinum Card

The AMEX Platinum Card is clearly positioned at the high end as an elite travel card. I can say with certainty that this American Express Platinum Card is really the most suitable for those who travel. If you at least once a year travel and manage your loan well, even though the annual fee of $699, this card should be definitely yours.


  • Earn 60,000 sign up bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The sign up bonus would essentially cover the first year annual fee.
  • Receive access to Priority Pass lounges, along with a companion.
  • This card provides extensive travel insurance, including: emergency medical, accidents, flight delays, delay or loss of luggage, theft of a car rental and hotel/motel burglary.


  • There is a high annual fee of $699.
  • This card is a charged card, which means the balance must be paid in full in every month and has a high interest rate of 30%.

AMEX Simply Cash Preferred Card

The Simply Cash Preferred card has some similarity to the no annual fee version of the Simply Cash card. This Preferred card as a higher cash back return and more benefits. However it does come with an annual fee of $99. Let’s consider the features of using this card.


  • Earn 2% of cash back on all purchases (no limit on the 2%).
  • Earn 5% cash back (limit of $300) for the 6 months.
  • No minimum income requirement to apply.
  • Receive travel medical insurance as well as the other insurance services such as car rental, loss of luggage and the flight delay.
  • Receive purchase protection for the 90 days.


  • AMEX cards are less accepted than MasterCard and Visa.
  • Need to purchase enough (at 2% cash back) to justify the $99 annual fee, otherwise the no annual fee version is better (earn 1.25% cash back).

I would recommend this card or the no annual fee version daily spending, especially for those of you who do not want hassle of dealing with points.


  1. Oddly, you do not mention a big disadvantage of the Cobalt card , which is that the MR points you earn are not the regular kind. To me, this is a very important drawback.

      1. Correct – Gold/Platinum cards earn “MR First”, whereas the Cobalt earns “MR Select” points, which can only be transferred to Hilton/SPG or redeemed directly with Amex travel for $0.01 per point. It drastically reduces the value of the points, though earning 5 points/dollar on food spend translates to 2.5 SPG/dollar, which is a pretty good rate if you collect/use SPG often!

  2. Keep in mind that with the Cobalt Membership Select points they are still convertible to SPG points. These valuable SPG points are easily transferable to airline points. Ratios are strong and maintain solid value.

  3. The magic number for the AMEX Simply Cash Preferred Card over the free version of the card is apx. $20,000. If you spend over 20k per year, you cover the cost of the annual fee and match the cash back earned on the Simply Cash card.

    As for the AMEX Cobalt Card, THIS CARD IS DANGEROUS!!! (with the possible exception of the 1st year bonus).

    The 5 x points for food and drink (assuming the restaurant, etc. is eligible) is WAY too tempting and WILL alter your consumption habits. Any economic benefit on this card will most certainly be GONE within a month or two by way of a handful of impulse decisions. If you think you are super disciplined, great, but I doubt it, as we all like nice stuff and experiences, and will use any excuse to get more of them 😉

    1. @Christopher and of course one will not want to have their monthly spend less than $500 in one month , or you won’t get your monthly bonus points. If this card is targeting 18 to 34 year olds, with an annual fee of $120 and 5 x points for food and drink, this card is definitely not encouraging one to save money. Do you carry this card in your wallet?

    2. The 5x multiplier on eating includes groceries… and everyone I know buys groceries…

      In addition, you can buy gas gift cards at most grocery stores, so I see this as a gas/groceries card with a 5x multiplier.

      If you really get creative, many grocery stores also have restaurant gift cards as well.

  4. I am loving the Cobalt so far, and will use it as my in-between card when not hitting min spends on others. I signed up in early November and have already hit 65000 pts so far utilizing the grocery store, gift cards for fuel and other stores purchases, IE Home Depot, Canadian Tire etc to maximize the X5 points earning. December sure helped the total jump up with the 10x multiplier, not to mention X-mas I will be transferring to SPG when appropriate as I value the 2.5 transfer as pretty solid value. The $120 a year seems to soften a bit when its worked into the monthly statement. Even though its there you don’t really notice. If they keep offering deals every few months that can be taken advantage of, all the better in keeping this card long term in the wallet. At least for me anyway. Thanks.

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