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The popularity of credit cards offering cash back rather than travel rewards is definitely on the upswing. Travel cards appear to be a mature category with little innovation these days, But there's a lot of action in the cash-back category – new products and new twists on earning rewards. While some cards offer a set reward rate, others return more cash in particular spending categories. This allows you to pick a card suited to your spending habits.

If you prefer tangible cash rewards as opposed to travel points you might never use, now's a great time to pick a cash back card. Here are some rankings of top cash-back cards. Always consult a few different listings to get a variety of perspectives.

Rewards Canada just issued its list of top cash back cards this week. looks at a variety of cards, including those with and without annual fees. offers a search engine to help you find cards suited to your situation A total of 76 cards were considered, so this is an exhaustive comparison. ranks the best cash-back cards with and without annual fees.

A card that comes up in a few of these rankings is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. In this column, I explain how Tangerine is changing this card for the worse barely more than a year after it was introduced.

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The lighter side of tax time
Late night TV host Stephen Colbert does a hilarious interview with a guy who works for tax preparers H&R Block, then goes undercover as a tax guy. Best laugh of the week.

What if the CRA wants to audit you?
All about what happens when the Canada Revenue Agency wants to dig deeper into your tax situation.

Saving for other people's weddings
The cost of attending a wedding is so expensive these days that one blogger talks here about having a savings account just to cover the cost of attending friends' weddings. Advice to young couples: A frugal wedding benefits you, and your family and friends.

Avoid these four popular dividend stocks
Well-argued contrarian thinking on four widely owned U.S. dividend stocks.

Tales from the dark side of human nature
A woman who looks into suspicions of fraud abuse against seniors talks about some of the nasty things she's seen scammers do. Check out the story of the guy in his early 70s and his 23-year-old girlfriend.

Today's featured financial tool
Figure you'll put off investing for the future and catch up later? Here's a calculator that shows the cost of delaying.

Ask Rob
The question: "Why are the corporate bonds being offered for resale by my discount broker so limited in choice and nearly completely different from the equally sparse choices from my spouse's discount broker, which are, again, quite different from the limited offerings at a third discount broker that my mother uses?"

My reply: The Canadian corporate bond market is fairly thin – not a ton of selection for investors and not a lot of trading of the bonds that are in the market. Thus, brokers all have different inventories. If you want a specific issue, try calling your broker to see if they can get it for you. Mind the yields you'll get. Brokers mark up bond prices a fair bit, and that squeezes the yields that retail investors get.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories
– Want to save thousands? Forget car ownership and rent instead
– How to break up with your bank.
– The best investment for retirement? Try marital counseling and a home miles away from your kids

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