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I’m a big fan of that one college basketball tournament going on right now whose name I can’t say for fear of violating their trademarks. Last year, we did a “Top Travel Tool March Mayhem” tournament where we ranked the top miles and points tool, with Award Wallet beating out AutoSlash in the finals.
This year I thought I’d try a similar tournament to pick the “best” miles and points credit card. While the definition of a “best” credit card is fairly impossible to judge, since there are so many factors that go into that decision, most importantly figuring out where you want to go before you just sign up for cards, but hey, let’s give it a try!
Here is our CardMadness bracket for 2017.
You could certainly argue with some of the seeds I’m sure, but I think it’s a fairly reasonable list.
Card Madness Opening Round
The other opening rounds are still going on and will close next week – you can still vote if you haven’t already
#3 Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. #14 The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
#3 Chase Sapphire Reserve – The Chase Sapphire Reserve has been the darling of the miles and points world over the past year or so. There have been signup bonuses of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards, but the signup bonus has dropped to 50,000 as of now. You certainly get a ton of benefits with the CSR, but it comes with a hefty $495 annual fee.
The CSR is also subject to Chase 5/24, which had some negative consequences for my mom the other day. Here are a few articles on the CSR
- Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred card
- Why the Chase Sapphire Reserve card might make using Rapid Rewards obsolete
#14 The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express – This includes both the regular and preferred versions of the card. The big benefit of the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is 2x (3x for Preferred) on your first $6000 of spending at grocery stores. And if you make 20 transactions in a statement period, you’ll get a 20% or 50% bonus on your points. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express doesn’t come with an annual fee and the annual fee on the Preferred version is $95. These cards can also be good places to store your Membership Rewards so they don’t expire if you cancel one of your premium American Express cards.
#6 The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. #11 Citi Prestige® Card
This should be a pretty good matchup as these are very similar cards. We’ve actually compared these 2 cards before (along with the Chase Sapphire Reserve
#6 The Platinum Card® from American Express – The original “premium” card, this is just for the personal card; the business version is seeded #2.
Amex has recently made some changes to this card, including raising the annual fee to $550 and adding Uber credits. These changes were not very well received – here were 5 better enhancements Amex *should* have made to the personal Platinum card. The signup bonus ranges from 40,000 to 100,000 points and is currently at 40,000 points. It comes with a $200 annual airline credit, American Express roadside assistance, Priority Pass membership and more.
#11 Citi Prestige® Card – The Citi Prestige® card comes with a $450 annual fee and also comes with Priority Pass membership. There is a $250 annual airline credit (which I screwed up)
Citibank devalued the benefits a few months ago, removing the ability to get 1.6 cents per point on American Airlines flights and removing Admiral’s Club membership. You can still get the 4th night free on hotel stays, though the benefit is slightly worse, and you no longer get a golf benefit.
A note on shenanigans – this contest is meant to be in fun and there are no prizes for winning. While I don’t mind if you encourage friends, family members and others to vote for a particular tool, please don’t try to rig the system by voting multiple times. I do reserve the right to disqualify entries and/or just arbitrarily pick a winner if I feel like it.