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This is it!

64 cards, 62 games, 14 posts, and only 1 card can win now.  The AmEx Gold and the CSR will move onto the final round.

Which card will take home the Card Madness 2019 Gold Medal?

Loving the Card Madness 2019 series?  Follow along here:

Game 61:  American Express Gold (89 votes) vs. American Express Hilton Aspire Card (50 votes)

The AmEx Gold topples the AmEx Hilton Aspire, and moves onto the final round!  In my opinion, the Gold card’s new suite of benefits, as well as the increasing value of American Express Membership Rewards points, set the Gold a half step above the Hilton Aspire.  As far as hotel cards go though, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than the Aspire at the moment.

(For example, you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines, but do it before April 15th!)

Game 62:  Chase Sapphire Reserve (113) vs. American Express Platinum (44)

The Sapphire Reserve will face off against the American Express Gold in the finals!  The CSR beat the Platinum by a wide margin, over double the number of votes!  From the beginning of Card Madness 2019, we knew the Reserve would be a crowd favorite.  The card was originally seeded number 2, just behind the AmEx Gold.  Now, the CSR and Gold card are up against each other for all the marbles!

(Interested in either of these cards?  Check out the latest offers on our Top Credit Cards Page!)

Follow the Challonge bracket here!

Card Madness 2019 Finals

You guys will have all weekend to vote on the final two games.  We’ll close polls Sunday night, so there’s plenty of time to decide.  On Monday April 8th (to line up with our basketball tournament namesake), we’ll announce the winners!

1st Place Matchup:  American Express Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

This is the match up we’ve all been waiting for…the number 1 and number 2 seed!  You guys must have picked some great cards, I find it really cool that the top 4 cards are the original top 4 seeds!

In one corner, weighing in at a $250 annual fee, we have the American Express Gold Card!  With 4x Membership Rewards on restaurants and up to $25,000 spent at grocery stores, and 3x on airfare booked with airlines or on the AmEx Travel site, the Gold card is a serious contender.  Cardholders will also get a $100 annual airline credit and a $10 monthly dining credit at select locations.  So far, the Gold card has taken down the AmEx Business Lowe’s Card, the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa, the Chase Freedom, the Chase Ink Cash, and the AmEx Hilton Aspire.

In the other corner, the heavyweight champ, the Chase Sapphire Reserve!  For a $450 annual fee, the Reserve will get you triple Ultimate Rewards on travel and dining, and offers a $300 annual travel credit.  Reserve holders also get a 50% bonus on the value of their points when redeemed through the portal – making UR virtually unmatched for flexibility.  The Chase Sapphire Reserve has reigned supreme over the Synchrony Sam’s Club Card, the MileagePlus Explorer, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles AmEx, the ThankYou Prestige, and the American Express Platinum (two of its closest competitors!).

Any of these cards can get you a great room at the Hilton! Either with Hilton points, AmEx Travel, AmEx Offers, or the Chase Travel Portal.

3rd Place Matchup:  American Express Hilton Aspire Card vs. American Express Platinum

Two luxury travel cards from AmEx will duke it out for the bronze medal in this match!  (I’m sure the Bonvoy Brilliant feels a bit left out…

First up, the American Express Hilton Aspire!  The Aspire earns 14x Hilton points on Hilton stays, 7x Hilton points on airfare, car rentals, and restaurants, and 3x on everything else you pay for with the card.  The card also has some great benefits to offset its annual fee:  Cardholders get an annual $250 airline credit, a $250 resort credit, one free weekend night automatically, and another after $60k spend on the card in a calendar year, and automatic Hilton Diamond Status.  Before losing to the AmEx Gold in the last round, the Aspire had defeated Wells Fargo Propel Card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Bank of America Alaska Visa.

The American Express Platinum comes in a bit higher, at a $550 annual fee.  Cardholders earn 5x Membership Rewards on airfare and AmEx Travel bookings when they use their Platinum card.  A lot of folks get some great value out of an annual $200 airline credit, $200 in monthly Uber credits, and access to the AmEx concierge.  Plus, Platinum cardholders received Priority Pass Select Membership and access to the American Express Centurion Lounges.  For weary travelers, that lounge access is clutch.  The AmEx Platinum won against the FNBO TravElite Card, the Chase IHG Premier Card, the Hilton Ascend, and the Chase World of Hyatt, before the Chase Sapphire Reserve sent it packing.


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