Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

We’re really excited to announce…

Card Madness 2019!

(Insert airhorn noise here)

Over the next two weeks, you guys will be deciding the best credit card of the year in a full Card Madness bracket! Check out the details for the Points With a Crew 2019 Card Madness tournament below.

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!

  1. American Express Poll
  2. Bank of America Poll
  3. Barclays Poll
  4. Citibank Poll
  5. Chase Poll
  6. Poll for all other banks and cards (Wells Fargo, US Bank, Capital One, etc.)

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.  (The NCAA takes its rules seriously, ok?)
  2. No straight cashback cards will be included in the 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 Citi ThankYou Points Cards.
  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!

a basketball in a net

Criteria for the Winning Team

When two cards face off, we’ll be looking at the following criteria to determine the winner:

  1. Value of Points and Earning Potential.  The judges will look at the earning rate of the card, and the value of its currency, transfer partners, cashout options, etc.
  2. Average Welcome Offer.  We’ll look at the welcome offer over the past few years, and make a call based on highest value.
  3. Additional Benefits.  Priority Pass.  Airfare credits.  Additional award availability.  Rebate eligibility.  This is where the competition will heat up!
  4. Annual Fee.  This one’s like golf.  Lower fee = better score.

a group of credit cards

The Card Madness Schedule

Keeping in line with the real March Madness tournament, we’ll be scheduling the following games:

  • The Facebook polls are live right now!  Your votes determine the seed order for the tournament.  May the best card win!
  • March 17th – Selection Sunday!  Our Facebook polls will close on Sunday, March 17th at 11:59PM EST.
  • March 18th – On Monday morning, we’ll announce the cards competing in the series, as well as their first round matchups.  Seeds will be determined by our Facebook polls.
  • March 19th through March 22nd – Round 1 – our Facebook polls will determine the winners of each matchup, so be sure to check back frequently!
  • March 23rd through March 26th – Round 2 – The second round matches will take place over the next four days, reducing our cards to the top 16.  Don’t forget to vote for your favorite cards on our Facebook page!
  • March 27th and March 28th – Round 3 – Only the top 8 teams will make it to the next round.
  • March 29th and March 30th – Regional Finals – The winners of these four games will narrow us down to our…FINANCIAL FOUR!
  • March 31st and April 1st – Semifinals
  • April 2nd and April 3rd – Finals – One 1st place game, and one 3rd Place game will determine our Card Madness tournament champions!

All games will be played on your local PWaC channel.  Right here, at!

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 17th at 11:59PM EST.  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 cashback 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?

This will be a totally democratic system!  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 to determine the winner!

Why are you doing this?

We thought it would be fun!  Besides, there have been so many changes in the credit card world since we last did this in 2017.  The new Bonvoy cards, the expansion of Chase’s 5/24 rules, a few flopped products from some of the banks, constant expansion of transferable points partners…so much new material!

Good luck to all the cards!

“You know Jim, I think this is going to be a really good year.  We’ve got some major upstarts in the league, and quite a few curveballs on the fan favorites.  I mean who would have seen that American Airlines rebate removal coming?  And right before the tournament!  Sometimes I think I could coach these teams…”


“Oh come on Greg, let’s not get carried away here!  We just do the talking, remember?  Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing how the transferable points cards do in 2019!  There are a lot of great new partners, and I think that’s going to give some of these teams the edge over the competition.”

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