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Follow the full Card Madness 2020 bracket and post series here – Challonge Bracket Card Madness 2020

  1. Pick the Best Credit Card of 2020 with Points With a Crew!
  2. Vote for Card Madness 2020 Round 1 Here!
  3. Card Madness 2020, Games 7-16, FIGHT!
  4. Card Madness 2020 Games 17-24, Big Wins for Chase
  5. Hyatt Dominates the Competition! Welcome back to Card Madness 2020
  6. Our Readers Love Chase and AmEx – Vote for Card Madness 2020
  7. Discover and Capital One Have Been Voted Off the Island! Card Madness 2020 Round 2
  8. Only Three Banks Left, Vote for Card Madness 2020 Here!
  9. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Pulls in the Most Votes in Round 3 of Card Madness 2020
  10. Welcome to the Quarterfinals of Card Madness 2020!
  11. The Best Hotel and Bank Cards Have Made it to the Financial Four!
A basketball is being dunked.

A person dunks a basketball. Image source: Getty Images.

Card Madness 2020 Semifinal Winners

  1. Game 1:  American Express Gold (46) v Chase Sapphire Reserve (62)
  2. Game 2:  Chase World of Hyatt (46) v Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (58)

The CSR will move onto the final round of Card Madness 2020, defeating the AmEx Gold card by 16 votes! Both of these cards are great friends of the frequent traveler, but our readers prefer the Reserve card just a bit. In the end, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a much more flexible travel credit, and a great redemption system through the Chase Travel Portal.

The Aspire card takes top honors for hotel card in 2020! (A title that it also earned in 2019…) The World of Hyatt card still offered some competition, but it’s clear that our readers prefer the Hilton Aspire’s travel credits, despite overall positive reviews of the Hyatt loyalty program.

Card Madness 2020 Finals

A person holds a trophy in the air.

A person holds a trophy in the air. Image source: Getty Images.

Will the CSR be able to defend the gold prize, and the honor of our top credit card slot for the second year? I think so, but the Hilton Aspire will hopefully put up a good fight!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the reigning champ of Card Madness 2019 and continues to make a good showing in this year’s tournament. People often think of the CSR as the holy grail of travel cards. (And the votes seem to back that up! Cardholders earn 3x Ultimate Rewards on travel and dining and a can use 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 Select membership and $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020 and 2021. No promises on whether those benefits will stick around.

The Aspire Card took home the Bronze trophy in 2019 and is back for another fight! A $450 annual fee unlocks quite a few benefits. An annual free weekend night at any Hilton (and another after $60,000 in annual spend), a $250 Hilton resort credit each cardmember year, and a $250 annual airline incidental credit. You’ll also have Priority Pass Select membership and a $100 credit towards any two-night minimum stay at Conrad and Waldorf Astoria stays worldwide. When you use your card at Hilton properties you’ll get 14x Hilton points, 7x on air travel, car rentals, and restaurants, and 3x on everything else.

The Hilton Waikiki. Image Source: Hilton

Card Madness 2020 Consolation Prize

I’m sad to see the AmEx Gold lose, but the CSR won fair and square! The Gold card will be facing off against the World of Hyatt for the Bronze Trophy this year. So far, the Gold has won against the Barclays Hawaiian Card, Citi Expedia Voyager, and Citi ThankYou Premier. Chase’s World of Hyatt card has knocked out the BoA Air France Card, Citi Expedia Rewards card, and the AmEx Platinum.

My Gold card is one of my daily carry cards (in fact, I have it in my pocket right now!). Anyone with the card will earn 4x Membership Rewards at restaurants globally and US supermarkets (on up to $25k spend annually), 3x on flights from airlines or the AmEx travel portal, and 1x on everything else. After some major revamping last year it also boasts $10 in monthly dining credits and a $100 airline incidental credit. Unfortunately, these benefits weren’t enough to defeat the CSR last game.

Hyatt continues to be one of our travel community’s favorite hotel brands (clearly). This card has scored at least 50 votes in each of the first three rounds! The Hyatt card from Chase will get you 4 points per $1 spent at Hyatt, double points on transit, taxis, tolls, ride-share services, dining, airlines, fitness clubs, and gyms, and 1 point everywhere else. You’ll net a free award night every year on your cardmember anniversary, and a second free night if you spend at least $15,000 during your cardmember year (these nights are only good at categories 1-4). Reach your Hyatt status faster with 5 qualifying nights annually and 2 additional qualifying nights every time you spend $5,000 on your card. Plus, you’ll have Discoverist status at Hyatt hotels just for holding the card!


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