Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

We’re back with the next round of games!  Vote below for your favorites.

Follow the bracket here – Challonge Bracket Card Madness 2020

Card Madness 2020 Posts

  1. Pick the Best Credit Card of 2020 with Points With a Crew!
  2. Vote for Card Madness 2020 Round 1 Here!
A basketball is going through a hoop.

Get ready for the madness. Image source: Getty Images.


Winners of Games 1-8

Some not-so-surprising winners here:  AmEx Gold, Chase Freedom, Capital One Venture.  Our closest game was 18-33, and our biggest loss was the Synchrony Cathay Pacific.  Only one point to IHG’s 51…

Winners are in bold below, number of votes in parenthesis:

  1. American Express Gold Card (59) v Barclays Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard (6)
  2. Citi Expedia Rewards Voyager (44) v Barclays Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card (5)
  3. Chase Freedom (50) v Bank of America Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard (7)
  4. Discover it Miles (39) v Barclays Frontier Airlines World Mastercard (10)
  5. Delta SkyMiles Gold (18) v Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (33)
  6. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select (16) v Capital One Venture (32)
  7. Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier (51) v Synchrony Cathay Pacific Credit Card (1)
  8. Citi ThankYou Premier (28) v Capital One Spark Miles Business Card (6)

Game 9:  Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card v Chase Aer Lingus Visa Signature

Like the Premier version, the Southwest Priority Card will earn double Rapid Rewards on Southwest purchases and 1x on everything else. This card weighs in at a $149 annual fee and boasts a bunch of upgrades over the Premier card. You get 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary, a $75 Southwest travel credit annually, 4 upgraded boarding passes per year (when available), and 20% back on in-flight drinks and WiFi.

a blue and red airplane flying in the sky

3x Avios on purchases with Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia, 2x Avios on hotels, and 1x everywhere else on the Chase Aer Lingus Visa Signature. Every year you spend $30,000 in a calendar year you’ll be eligible for a companion ticket good on any economy ticket for 12 months. There are no foreign transaction fees on either of these cards.

Game 10:  Barclays Choice Privileges v American Express Everyday Preferred Credit Card

The Choice Privileges card from Barclays will give you 15x points, 5x points on Choice Privileges and Choice Hotels gift cards, and you’ll earn 2x on every other purchase. There’s no annual fee, but you’ll get 8,000 points on your cardmember anniversary each year. The card also gives you Gold Elite status with Choice!

The Everyday Preferred Card 3x Membership Rewards on groceries(up to $6,000 in spend annually), 2x pts on US gas stations, and 1x on everything else. You’ll also get 50% more points on any statement where you’ve used the card at least 30 times. Incentivizes you to use the card regularly, and it’s a neat little trick

Game 11:  Chase Ink Preferred v US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

Everybody loves the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards — and the Ink Preferred is a great addition. You’ll earn triple UR on travel, shipping expenses, internet,/cable/phone, and advertising on social media sites and search engines.  There are no foreign transaction fees, and the Ink Preferred offers some great travel and purchase insurance.  Other than that, the real potential of this card shines through with the earning capability and access to Ultimate Rewards partners.

Radisson isn’t one of the most talked-about hotel brands, but there’s some value to be had globally with its brand.  Radisson Blue, Radisson Red (they love colors), Park Inn, and more. The Premier card from US Bank offers 10x points on the hotels, and 5x everywhere else. You’ll get Gold status while you have the card. You can also spend $10,000 for a free night certificate, up to three times in a cardmember year.

Game 12:  Barclays JetBlue Plus v Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

The JetBlue Plus card earns the highest of any airline card I know: 6x on JetBlue purchases. You’ll also earn 2x on restaurants and groceries, and 1x everywhere else. Barclays will give you an additional 5,000 points on your card anniversary (for a $99 annual fee), save 50% on inflight food and beverage purchases. Spend $50,000 in a calendar year and unlock Mosaic status on JetBlue! You and 3 companions on your reservation will get your first checked bag free.

The Premier Southwest card already won its first round, let’s see how the Plus does! Both cards earn double points on Southwest flights and hotel and rental cars, and 1x everywhere else. You’ll net 3,000 Rapid Rewards every year, in exchange for a $69 annual fee.

Game 13:  Chase Sapphire Reserve v FNBO TravElite Card

What is often referred to the holy grail of travel cards (and our 2019 Card Madness winner), the Chase Sapphire Reserve! Cardholders earn 3x UR on travel and dining and a $300 travel credit annually.  There’s a hefty $550 annual fee, and you’ll benefit from complimentary Lyft Pink membership and 10x points on Lyft rides through March of 2022.  Plus, Priority Pass membership and $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020 and 2021. No promises on whether those benefits will stick around.

The FNBO TravElite card has been…discontinued!  Sorry about that guys, let me know if you have another card to put in its place! Otherwise, the CSR will win by default.

FNBO TravElite Card disqualified, Chase Sapphire Reserve automatically moves on.

Game 14:  American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant v American Express Business Gold Card

Don’t even get me started on the Bonvoy overhaul last year…not a great move on Marriott’s part, if you believe the travel community. Either way, let’s take a look at the Bonvoy Brilliant. 6x Bonvoy points at Marriott, 3x on restaurants and flights, and 2x on everything else. Each year you hold the card you’ll get 15 elite night credits and AmEx will also give you a Priority Pass Select membership.

The Gold Business card from AmEx earns 4x Membership Rewards in two of the following categories (whichever you spend the most at during that statement cycle):  airfare, advertising, technology, gas stations, restaurants, or shipping.  Each calendar year, you can max out the 4x on up to $150,000 in spend.

a close-up of a credit card

Game 15:  Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards Card v Citi ThankYou Prestige

I think the Amtrak card (well, Amtrak in general) is underrated. Swipe for 3x Amtrak Guest Rewards points on Amtrak spend and onboard purchases, 2x on other travel, and 1x everywhere else.  You’ll get 20% back on onboard spend and a few annual certificates – upgrade, companion, lounge. Plus, get 5% back on Amtrak points redemptions while you hold the card!

The Citi ThankYou Prestige was a great card but suffered some losses when Citi nerfed their 4th-night free benefit.  Now only applicable to two hotel stays per year, it can still provide some value.  You’ll earn 5x ThankYou points on airfare and restaurants, 3x on hotels and cruises, and 1x everywhere else.  Priority Pass Select membership, an annual $250 travel credit, and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit every 5 years.

Game 16:  American Express Hilton Honors Surpass v Citi AAdvantage MileUp

The AmEx Hilton Honors Surpass is one of four Hilton cards on the market right now. Surpass users get 12x Hilton points on Hilton hotels, 6x at restaurants, groceries, and gas, and 3x everywhere else. You’ll automatically get Hilton Gold status and can upgrade to Diamond by spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year. If you spend at least $15,000 within a single calendar year, you’ll also get a free weekend night to use at any Hilton.

The MileUp is the newest addition to the Citi AAdvantage family, and it’s one I happen to like. No annual fee, and double AAdvantage miles on all American Airlines and grocery store purchases. You’ll also get 25% savings on inflight purchases. That’s it!  Hey listen, for $0 annually, you can’t ask for too much.


Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers and that compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners and I do not include all card companies, or all available card offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers and other offers and benefits listed on this page. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them

User Generated Content Disclosure: Points With a Crew encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.