Ready for Round 3? Let’s see if Citi can keep up with Chase and American Express…
Follow the full Card Madness 2020 bracket and post series here – Challonge Bracket Card Madness 2020
- Pick the Best Credit Card of 2020 with Points With a Crew!
- Vote for Card Madness 2020 Round 1 Here!
- Card Madness 2020, Games 7-16, FIGHT!
- Card Madness 2020 Games 17-24, Big Wins for Chase
- Hyatt Dominates the Competition! Welcome back to Card Madness 2020
- Our Readers Love Chase and AmEx – Vote for Card Madness 2020
- Discover and Capital One Have Been Voted Off the Island! Card Madness 2020 Round 2
Winners of Round 2 Games 9-16
- Game 9: Chase World of Hyatt (52) v Citi Expedia Rewards (10)
- Game 10: American Express Bonvoy Business (31) v Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Credit Card (19)
- Game 11: American Express Platinum Card (41) v Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card (18)
- Game 12: Chase Sapphire Preferred (45) v Bank of America Alaska Airlines (13)
- Game 13: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (44) v American Express Hilton Honors Business Card (11)
- Game 14: American Express Blue Business Plus Card (34) v Chase Rapid Rewards Southwest Premier Business (20)
- Game 15: Chase United Explorer Card (11) v Chase Freedom Unlimited (44)
- Game 16: American Express Business Platinum (29) v AmEx Everyday Credit Card (26)
With the latest results in, Bank of America is officially out of the tournament! As we move into Round 3 of Card Madness 2020, American Express, Chase, and Citibank are now the only remaining banks in the bracket. Last year, both Bank of America and Citi made it into Round 4, but AmEx and Chase remained on top.
Our readers are still loving the Hyatt and Hilton cards, and prefer transferrable points over other miles currencies. No surprise there! Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points, and other currencies offer some great value and flexibility for travel hackers. You’ll have your chance to vote for your favorite rewards programs below. MR, UR, ThankYou points, Rapid Rewards, and Hilton points are facing off!
Game 1: American Express Gold Card v Chase Freedom
The AmEx Gold is on a hot streak – winning both of its previous games by a factor of 10! My Gold card is one of my daily carry cards. I 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.
The Chase Freedom is a classic categories cashback card, but when paired with some other Chase cards, you earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points! Earn 1% back (or 1x UR) on every purchase, and 5% (or 5x UR) on rotating categories each quarter. Is it enough to keep up with the revamped Gold card?
Game 2: Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card v Citi ThankYou Premier
PWaC readers love Southwest! Out of four Southwest Rapid Rewards cards making it into the tournament, only the Premier version remains into Round 3. This card nets users double Rapid Rewards on Southwest purchases and 1x everywhere else. You’ll get 6,000 Rapid Rewards each year at your cardmember anniversary (you’ll also be required to pay the $99 annual fee).
Your Citi ThankYou Premier card earns 3x ThankYou points on any travel purchases (including gas), 2x on restaurants and entertainment, and 1x on everything else. You’re handcuffed to a $95 annual fee, but there aren’t any foreign transaction fees. The Citi ThankYou Premier also allows you to book travel through the Citi travel portal or transfer to airline and hotel partners. This is the last Citi card in Card Madness 2020!
Game 3: AmEx Everday Preferred Credit Card v Chase Ink Preferred
The American Express Everyday Preferred Card earns 3x Membership Rewards on groceries (on 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. This incentivizes you to use the card regularly, and it’s a neat little bonus. The Everyday Preferred is one of four Membership Rewards cards left in Card Madness 2020.
Everybody seems to love the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards — and the Ink Preferred is a great option! 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. To put things in perspective, there are five Ultimate Rewards cards left in the tournament.
Game 4: Chase Sapphire Reserve v American Express Hilton Honors Surpass
The reigning champ (it was also the winner of Card Madness 2019) continues to make a good showing in this year’s tournament. People usually think of the CSR as the holy grail of travel cards! 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 AmEx Hilton Honors Surpass is one of four Hilton cards on the market right now (two of which remain in Card Madness 2020). 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.
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