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Household Finances Canada’s top travel reward credit card has a cool twist

The Number One travel rewards credit card in Canada is the American Express Cobalt Card, according to RewardsCanada. What makes this choice interesting is that this is not a card designed to appeal to high earning, frequent flying executives and professionals.

Without making a big deal about it, Cobalt is pitched at millennials. It offers five points per dollar spent on restaurant food and drink, two points per dollar spent on travel and transit, and one point per dollar on other purchases. Instead of charging annually, it has a monthly fee of $10. For a generation used to paying monthly subscription costs for Spotify and Netflix, that makes sense.

Rewards Canada says Cobalt allows users to earn points that can be used toward any travel. If you prefer earning points for a specific reward program, check out the third-ranked WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard, the fourth-ranked Amex Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and the fifth-ranked RBC Visa Infinite Avion. The top no-fee card is the Scotiabank More Rewards Visa.

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There are several websites that list best credit cards and other financial products in the Canadian market. It’s standard for websites like these to be paid when visitors click on links to product websites. Because of the commercial aspect to these lists, I like to consult a few different ones to see how the choices differ. Some other credit card comparisons can be found on CreditWalk, GreedyRates, RateHub.ca and RateSupermarket.ca. Ratehub has just released a list of the best bank accounts and GIC deals.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

The all-you-need-to-know guide to car buying

A thorough comparison of leasing versus buying, new versus used and trading in your current vehicle versus selling it privately. Good info here even for people who have bought lots of cars in the past.

He saved $300 by repairing his IKEA dresser

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Home ownership blogger Sean Cooper on an almost new IKEA dresser with drawers that began to close funny. Instead of junking it, he fixed it.

For those who fear falling stock markets

A short, timely and helpful look at the risks of investing in the stock market. The biggest risk isn’t losing money in a particular year – it’s not making enough money over the long term to reach your goals.

Balanced ETF smackdown

A helpfully detailed comparison of balanced exchange-traded funds offered by Vanguard and iShares. Balanced ETFs provide a low-cost, fully diversified portfolio in a single purchase. They’re a great addition to the ETF market in Canada.

Today’s financial tool/app

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Here’s a handy estate organizer for gathering together all your financial records. The point is to ensure that your partner or family members have an inventory of all your bank and investment accounts, plus your insurance policies and details about your will, power of attorney and more.

Ask Rob

Q: I recently inherited about 40 ounces of gold. I am planning to take a sabbatical from work and am wondering if it would be better to finance it with RRSP withdrawals or through selling some of the gold (which has doubled in price since my relative purchased it). Can you advise?

A: Why not sell the gold and leave the registered retirement savings plan to do its job, which is grow in value over the years until you retire? Gold is volatile and unpredictable, but you’ve done well with your holding. Sounds like a case for selling and moving on. Suggest you get quotes from several different gold bullion dealers, which you can find by doing a Google search.

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 and clarity.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

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- Retirement has taken on urgency for this couple. But can they do it?

- Active baby boomers rewrite the retirement myth

- It’s time to rethink the 60-40 portfolio asset mix (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

More Carrick and money coverage For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

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