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That’s right folks…the votes are in.  And your new Card Madness tournament champion is…


a group of trophies on a podium

1st Place Matchup:  American Express Gold (100 votes) vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve (126 votes)

Despite the recent overhaul to the AmEx Gold card, is still wasn’t enough to keep up with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  We left the voting open for the whole weekend on these games, to get a really good feel fro which card you guys liked better…and the CSR beat the Gold card 126 points to 100.  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.

a credit card with a blue light

The undisputed 2019 Card Madness Champ! (Don’t worry I still like the Gold card..)

(Want to celebrate the winner with us?  Check out the latest offer on the Sapphire Reserve card over at our top credit cards page.)

3rd Place Matchup:  American Express Hilton Aspire Card (83 votes) vs. American Express Platinum (58 votes)

The Hilton Aspire benefits finish their winning streak with 3rd place overall, knocking the American Express Platinum off the podium!  At 83 votes, the Aspire had a decent lead over the Platinum throughout the match.  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.

a credit card with a blue and red background

In the end, here’s your final line up:

  1. First Place:  Chase Sapphire Reserve
  2. Second Place:  American Express Gold Card
  3. Third Place:  American Express Hilton Aspire Card

You can check out the full Challonge bracket here.  There were some really close games!  I’m working on something of a highlights post, you know, like the instant replay the day after the game.  If there’s anything you want me to comment on, or that you enjoyed about the tournament (or that you didn’t enjoy) let me know in the comments!

Here’s all the action from Card Madness 2019:

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