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And we’re onto the Quarterfinals! All of the best cards are still in the tournament – the Sapphire Reserve, the AmEx Gold, the Hilton Aspire card. Let’s see who can move onto the semifinals.

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
A basketball is being dunked.

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

Winners of Round 3 Games 5-8

  • Game 5:  Chase World of Hyatt (60) v American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business (12)
  • Game 6:  American Express Platinum (44) v Chase Sapphire Preferred (34)
  • Game 7:  Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (39) v AmEx Blue Business Plus (27)
  • Game 8:  Chase Freedom Unlimited (36) v American Express Business Platinum (31)

Chase is still winning a lot of their games, and so is American Express.  The Citi ThankYou Premier is facing the AmEx Gold this round, otherwise, it’s all AmEx and Chase! a full 75% of our remaining cards are transferrable points (UR, MR, and TYP). The remaining cards are both from hotels. No airline cards remain in the bracket!

Vote for your favorites below!

Quarterfinals Game 1:  American Express Gold v Citi ThankYou Premier

The AmEx Gold has now defeated the Barclays Hawaiian card, the Citi Expedia Voyager, and the Chase Freedom. 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.

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 chance for Citi in Card Madness 2020, can it live up to the AmEx Gold?

Quarterfinals Game 2:  Chase Ink Preferred v Chase Sapphire Reserve

Two titans of the Ultimate Rewards currency face off in Game 2! Everybody loves the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, but which do they like more? With the Ink card, 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.

The Reserve is the reigning champ of Card Madness 2019 and 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.

Quarterfinals Game 3:  Chase World of Hyatt v American Express Platinum

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 card member 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!

 

The original luxury card moves on to the quarterfinals! Last round, the AmEx Platinum even defeated the Chase Sapphire PreferredAfter an overhaul a few years back, the Platinum card will put 5x Membership Rewards in your pocket for all airline purchases and on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. The card comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, but offers a $200 annual airline credit, $200 in Uber credits annually, $50 every six months for shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, and a statement credit every four years towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Platinum cardholders also have Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold Elite status, and access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion locations.

Quarterfinals Game 4:  Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card v Chase Freedom Unlimited

This is a great match up against two of my favorite American Express cards. 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.

(SEE ALSO – Okay. Who is stealing things from hotels? Is it you? Is it me?!)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5x Ultimate Rewards on all purchases for no annual fee. No categories to remember, no complicated spend bonuses. This makes the Freedom Unlimited a great card for everyday use, and especially for folks that aren’t deep into the travel hacking game. I often find myself recommending the Cit Doublecash, AmEx Blue Business Plus, or Chase Freedom Unlimited just for the simplicity and good earn rates on everything. Remember, you’ll still need another Chase card to unlock the ability to transfer your hard-earned points.


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