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It’s that time of year again! If you’ve been following the Points With a Crew team for some time,I hope you remember our Card Madness 2019 threads. If nothing else, it was a fun series for me to whip up, and it was a great way to engage our readers. Here we go again…

Welcome to Card Madness 2020!

(Insert airhorn noise here) – BWAH BWAH BWAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

For those of you familiar with the namesake, you get the idea already. If college basketball isn’t your thing, here’s how it’s going to work:

For the month of March, our Points With a Crew readers will vote on the top credit cards in the industry. We’ll have roughly one round each week, and I’ll do my best to post every Thursday and Sunday, the following schedule is subject to change.

a person playing basketball at sunset

Our first Facebook polls are up!

Remember, overall votes will determine the seed of the team, just like stats help pick the top basketball teams.  We’ve organized the polls into 6 separate posts to keep things organized.  Click on the links below, log into Facebook, and go vote!  (Keep in mind, you won’t be able to add cards to the polls from your mobile device.)

  1. Hotel Credit Cards
  2. Airline Credit Cards
  3. Bank Points Credit Cards (Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, etc.)
  4. All Other Credit Cards (Casinos, Cruises, etc.)

I have to assume we’ll see the 2019 Card Madness champ back in the action here, but only time will tell!  (If you want to see more about Card Madness 2019, check out the bottom of this post for all the action!)

The Rules of Engagement

  1. In order for a card to be included in our Card Madness series, it must be open for applications. If a card is discontinued by its issuing bank during the series, it will be disqualified from the competition. (PWaC takes its rules seriously, ok?)
  2. No straight cashback cards will be included in this series. Cards that earn flexible points that can be redeemed as cash (among other options) are eligible. So, no Citi DoubleCash, but we’ll definitely be seeing some of the ThankYou Points, Membership Rewards, and others.
  3. Only average welcome offers will be considered, no bonus points for having a killer welcome offer right now. Who knows when the current offer on a card will go away?
  4. Initial cards will be chosen by Facebook poll. Not in our Facebook group?  Join here! Vote for the cards you want to see in this tournament!

We’ll be running a full 64 cards for this challenge, which means plenty of new and interesting competitors! I’ve loosely organized the cards into categories for polling purposes, but actual tournament brackets will be randomized.  We want to give the underdogs a chance!

Criteria for the Winning Card

When two cards face-off, we’ll be letting PWaC readers decide what which one moves onto the next round by popular vote. We assume most folks will be looking at the following criteria to determine the winner:

  1. Value of Points
  2. Earning Potential
  3. Transfer Partners
  4. Average Welcome Offer
  5. Additional Benefits (Priority Pass, Airfare credits, etc.)
  6. Annual Fee
  7. Retention and Bonus Offers
A number of credit cards are fanned out.

Image source: Getty Images.

The Card Madness Schedule

I’ll do my best to keep the schedule on target!  (Updated 3/12)

  • March 5 – intro post and open polls on Facebook (that’s this post!
  • March 12 – close polls, brackets will be announced and games 1-8 will be polled
  • March 15 – winners of games 1-8 announced, games 9-16 will be polled
  • March 19 – winners of games 9-16 announced, games 17-24 will be polled
  • March 22 – winners of games 17-24 announced, games 25-32 will be polled
  • March 26 – winners of games 25-32 announced, games 1-8 (second round) will be polled
  • March 29 – winners of games 1-8 (second round) announced, games 9-16 (second round) will be polled
  • April 2 – winners of games 9-16 (second round) announced, quarterfinal games will be polled
  • April 5 – quarterfinal winners announced, polls open for semifinals
  • April 9 – semifinalists announced, polls open for Gold and Bronze medal games
  • April 12 – Winner announced!

Points With a Crew Card Madness FAQ

Which cards will be in the tournament?

That’s up to you! Go to our Facebook page here, and vote for your favorite cards! Voting will close March 12th, so you have a few days to vote. Think of the cards you always keep in your wallet. The cards you won’t ever close. Or, just the prettiest card in your sock drawer, who am I to judge! The top 64 cards across the polls will be included in the tournament, and brackets will be randomized to ensure a fair chance for every card.

Why aren’t you including cash back cards? I love my Discover it!

Hey, I hear you…I’ve had my Discover it for years! The thing is, they’re super easy to figure out. The Doublecash is decent everywhere, the Discover it is useful for categories. But benefits? Sweet spots? Transfer partners? Totally different sport.

Who will judge the competition?

Democracy! Log into Facebook, head to the Points With a Crew page, and vote for your favorite each round! After the initial selection and seed of cards chosen by the voice of the people, each game will have a poll within our Points With a Crew posts to determine the winner!

Here’s all the action from Card Madness 2019:

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