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I need your help with something. The rewards credit card I’ve been using for years is de-valuing its points-earning power and it’s time to move on. What would you recommend as a replacement?

The card I have now is the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. “Once upon a time there was a credit card that ruled the land,” says a recent article on the RewardsCanada website. “The Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard was king.”

Capital One stopped issuing the card a few years ago, but it maintained a very good 2 per cent earn rate on cashback for use on travel, RewardsCanada notes. There was also a solid insurance package and, for original cardholders, an annual $100 anniversary bonus to be used on travel.

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Starting in August, the earn rate falls to 1.5 per cent and the anniversary bonus disappears. I’m now looking for alternative cards that will generate cash rewards that can be applied to any type of travel. For me, what made Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard so good was a feature that let you charge a travel expense and then immediately apply accumulated points against it. Points racked up with this card helped my wife and I cover costs for travel to Newfoundland, Peru and London in recent years.

Among the alternative cards suggested by RewardsCanada are MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard and HSBC World Elite Mastercard. Help a personal finance columnist out – let me know what travel rewards card works well for you. Send me your thoughts at rcarrick@globeandmail.com.


Instagram Live with with Rob and Roma

Kids are cute, but costly.

Amid soaring housing costs and a precarious job market, should the cost of kids factor into your decisions about whether to have them?

Join The Globe’s personal finance team and Stress Test podcast hosts Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw for an Instagram Live where they will answer your questions about the cost of kids.


Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Say goodbye to the standard 60/40 portfolio

Burton Malkiel, author of the well-respected book A Random Walk Down Wall Street, questions the relevance of the traditional portfolio mix of 60 per cent stocks and 40 per cent bonds. He said bonds don’t provide much income and could be risky if interest rates rise. Bond prices fall when rates rise.

The makeup mark-up

A look at how women deal with the time and cost of doing their hair and makeup.

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How good at investing is your investment adviser?

Some thoughts on how to find out an adviser’s track record in investing for clients. There’s more to a good adviser-client relationship than investments, but you’ll need decent returns to get where you want to go, financially.

Moving back in with mom and dad

The Atlantic looks at shifting attitudes toward a trend that will undoubtedly grow as a result of the pandemic – young adults moving back home with their parents. We’ll look at this topic in an upcoming edition of Stress Test, the Globe and Mail personal finance podcast for young adults.


Ask Rob

Q: I have my house insurer of nine years trying to increase my house insurance by 21 per cent this year, after years of annual but smaller increases. No claims. Are there any good sites or tools that might help a person find cheaper insurance?

A: For sure – just google “home insurance quotes” and you’ll have your hands full. I suggest checking at least three or four different websites because not all insurers are in each site’s database. Pay close attention to coverage for water damage – here’s a column I wrote on this a few years ago.

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.


Today’s financial tool

A useful primer on capital gains taxes in Canada. Expect speculation about a capital gains tax hike in the years ahead as we grapple with the costs of supporting the economy in the pandemic.

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

  1. Advisors prepare clients for anticipated tax hikes
  2. As restaurants and bars closed, younger Canadians saved during COVID-19. But will it last?
  3. Give yourself a break with these tax rules for sabbatical planning

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.

Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.

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