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“Good morning everybody!  Boy have we got some great matches coming up over the next week!  I can feel the energy as we’re getting closer to the tournament.”

“Of course we have the fan-favorites – the CSR, the AmEx Gold, the Alaska Visa cards…but look at some of these underdogs too!  The AmEx Lowe’s Business Card, the FNBO TravElite card, who knows where we’ll end up!”

That’s right guys, the votes are in!  Keep reading to see the current lineup, the first round matches, and more information!

Rules Recap

Check out all the rules in the original post here.  We’ve made two small change to the original rules…

First, Due to popular demand, we’ve allowed some cashback cards to compete in Card Madness 2019!  These cashback cards were all voted for in our Facebook polls, and will be admitted into the tournament:

  • Citi Doublecash
  • Chase Ink Business Cash
  • Synchrony Sam’s Club Card
  • American Express Lowe’s Business Card

a basketball on a court

Second, voting will now take place right here on our blog posts! We chose to migrate the voting platform to the posts so we didn’t flood the Points With a Crew Facebook page with too many posts. Plus, now you can vote even if you don’t have a Facebook!

Keep reading to vote on the first 8 games!

Follow the Tournament on Challonge!

This is a GREAT tool!  Check out our site on Challonge:

For the original lineup, all tournament seeds were determined by our Facebook polls.  Once we tallied the votes, Challonge set up the brackets for us.  For those curious, the #1 seed was actually a tie!  The American Express Gold and the Chase Sapphire Reserve were tied at 25 votes each!

You’ll see all the matches on Challonge and outlined below, and I’ve broken out into a few “divisions” for Points With a Crew Card Madness 2019.  Each division has 8 matches for the first round, which will take place this week, March 19th through the 22nd.

a close up of a credit card

Will the fan favorite win out?

Metropolitan Division (March 19th – vote down below!)

  1. American Express Gold Card vs. American Express Business Lowe’s Card
  2. US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Signature Visa Select vs. Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard
  3. Chase Freedom vs. Barclay JetBlue Business card
  4. Banco Popular Avianca Vuela Visa Card vs. Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Business Card
  5. Capital One Venture vs. City National Crystal Visa Card
  6. Barclay Wyndham Rewards vs. Chase Ink Cash Business
  7. Citi ThankYou Premier vs. US Bank Altitude Reserve
  8. Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Card vs. American Express Business Gold

(SEE ALSO – Time to Head to Oz? 25% Bonus on Citi ThankYou Points Transferred to Qantas)

Pacific Division (March 20th)

  1. American Express Hilton Aspire Card vs. Wells Fargo Propel Card
  2. Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Chase Southwest Plus
  3. Discover it Miles vs. Chase Ink Business Unlimited
  4. Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business
  5. Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa vs. Synchrony Cathay Pacific
  6. Barclay Choice Privileges vs. Chase Southwest Premier Business
  7. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select vs. Citi AAdvantage Executive
  8. Chase United MileagePlus Club vs. American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

(SEE ALSO – Greek Sale: New York, Orlando, Chicago, And More to Crete from $500)

Atlantic Division (March 21st)

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Synchrony Sam’s Club
  2. Chase United MileagePlus Explorer vs. Bank of America Virgin America World Elite Mastercard
  3. American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles vs. Barclay Miles & More World Elite Mastercard
  4. Barclay JetBlue Plus Card vs. Bank of America Travel Rewards
  5. Barclay Arrival+ vs. Chase Ink Plus
  6. Capital One Spark Miles vs. Citi ThankYou Prestige
  7. Bank of America Premium Rewards vs. US Bank Aeromexico Visa Signature Credit Card
  8. Citi DoubleCash vs. American Express Business Platinum

(SEE ALSO – Last chance! United Explorer Business Card – Up to 3 Roundtrip Flights with this Expiring Offer!)

Central Division (March 22nd)

  1. American Express Platinum vs. FNBO TravElite Card
  2. Chase Southwest Premier vs. Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
  3. American Express Hilton Ascend Card vs. Chase Aer Lingus Visa Signature
  4. American Express Hilton Honors Card vs. Bank of America Spirit Airlines World Mastercard
  5. Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red vs. Barclay Frontier Airlines World Mastercard
  6. American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles vs. Chase Southwest Priority Visa
  7. Chase Ink Business Preferred vs. CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
  8. Chase World of Hyatt vs. American Express Preferred

(SEE ALSO – Last call: 7 Hyatt properties you might want to lock in your free night at before prices change!)

Metropolitan Division – Round 1, Games 1-8

Alright everyone, ready?  Vote for your favorite credit cards below!

American Express Gold Card vs. American Express Business Lowe’s Card

The American Express Gold card was tied for the number 1 seed in our original Facebook polling.  After quite a few updates to the card last year, the Gold card represents tremendous value in my opinion!  4x on restaurants and groceries (with a cap), 2x on travel, a $200 airline credit, AND a Priority Pass membership?  This is a card that seldom leaves my wallet.  The Lowe’s card on the other hand, is something less common in the travel hacking world.  You’ll earn triple points at restaurants, gas stations, and cell providers in the US, double points at Lowe’s.  You’ll also get 5% off at Lowe’s every day, and can redeem your points for Lowe’s gift cards or American Express gift cards.

US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Signature Visa Select vs. Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard

US Bank’s FlexPerks system allows you to use your FlexPerks to book travel, instead of shelling out your hard-earned cash.  The Travel Rewards Signature Visa Select earns double points on airlines, grocery stores, gas stations, cell service, and charities.  Interesting huh?  Oh Amtrak, how we love to hate you…The Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard, issued by Bank of America, offers those of us near the rails with some decent value.  Amtrak points typically have a good cents per point value, and this card will earn you triple Guest Rewards on Amtrak, and double on qualifying travel purchases.

Chase Freedom vs. Barclay JetBlue Business card

Many people keep the Chase Freedom card in their wallet, and rightfully so!  Masquerading as a cashback card to the uninitiated, the Freedom earns 1% back on everything, with 5% categories rotating every quarter.  Here’s the best part – that cashback is really in the form of Ultimate Rewards, and when it’s paired with a  Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, the Freeom has a ton of earning potential!

Who doesn’t love a good business card?  Although Barclays can be stingy with approvals, the JetBlue Business card is a great option if your home airport is frequented by the carrier.  With the JetBlue business card, you’ll earn 6x TrueBlue points on JetBlue purchases, and double points on restaurants and office supply stores.  Plus, get free checked bags for you and up to three companions.

Banco Popular Avianca Vuela Visa Card vs. Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Business Card

I was honestly surprised any of Banco Popular’s cards made it into the tournament!  (By the way, if you can get a hold of Avianca, ask them to help Ian out next time!)  The Avianca Vuela Visa card has been riddled with issues since opening, but if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll earn a decent welcome offer.  With triple LifeMiles on Avianca purchases and double LifeMiles on gas and groceries, it might be worth the risk.  Barclays offers a few AAdvantage cards, as part of the deal leftover from the US Airways-American Airlines merger.  Their AAdvantage Aviator Business Card has a great sign up bonus, and nets you double AAdvantage miles on office supply, telecom and car rental transactions.  

Capital One Venture vs. City National Crystal Visa Card

The Capital One Venture card is a great flexible points card.  With the recent addition of transfer partners, the card is even more enticing to those without airline loyalties.  (Or, those looking to maximize sweet spots op award charts around the world!  Earn double Venture miles on every purchase, and redeem towards travel statement credits.  A little less well known – the City National Crystal Visa Card.  The Crystal Visa has ton of benefits, not the least of which are a $250 airline credit, Global Entry credit, and Priority Pass Select membership.

Barclay Wyndham Rewards vs. Chase Ink Business Cash

Most people seem to have a love-hate relationship with the Barclay Wyndham Rewards card.  For a brief moment, the sign up bonus was 45,000 points, and with every property valued at 15,000 points per night, that made for some fantastic redemptions, but that’s all changing soon.  Still, with double points on utilities, groceries, and gas, there’s value to be had.  The Chase Ink Cash is what many would consider one of the Chase All Star Team!  With a great sign up bonus and 5% cashback on internet, cable, phone, and office supply store purchases, this is a serious contender.

Citi ThankYou Premier vs. US Bank Altitude Reserve

A card that I frequently keep in my wallet, the Citi ThankYou Premier will get you triple points on travel and gas and double ThankYou points on travel and entertainment.  You can then redeem your ThankYou Points for statement credits, gift cards, or transfer to Citi’s growing list of travel partners.  The Altitude Reserve is a newer card to the lineup, that caused quite a splash when first released.  Triple points on all travel and mobile wallet purchases had some folks very excited!  Unfortunately, US Bank is very sensitive to volume on these the benefits outweigh the risk?

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Card vs. American Express Business Gold

Even with Bank of America tightening up on approvals, the Alaska Business card earned the number 24 seed (with the personal Alaska card earning the number 5 seed).  It’s easy to see why, with Alaska’s great partner redemptions.  The business flavor of our number 1 seed also made it into the running!  AmEx’s Business Gold has a flexible earning rate.  Earn 4x Membership Rewards on whichever two categories you spent the most on:  airfare, gas, advertising, restaurants, shipping, or telecommunications.

Good Luck to all the Round 1 Contenders!

Tomorrow, we’ll announce the winners to the first 8 games, and release the next 8 polls.  Stay tuned…

Now taking bets on the winners!

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