Announcing: Bankrate Cards Madness

Pen Cristobal/Bankrate

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The month of March is underway, and that means many across the country are gearing up for a certain college basketball tournament. As top-ranked teams compete to be the nation’s best on the court, others fill out brackets to join in the madness of competition off the court. In that same spirit, we have decided to take one of the things we’re mad about (credit cards) and join the fray.

Announcing: Bankrate Cards Madness — a four-week-long tournament where our editorial staff seeds some of the top credit cards on the market into competition with one another. That’s right. Throughout the month of March, we will face-off some of the best credit cards of 2019 in an epic bracket showdown for category supremacy.

Tournament rules

Our editors have selected their top eight cards in four categories: Travel, Business, Cash Back and No Annual Fee. Similar to the NCAA tournament, each card category represents a region in our challenge. Once every week in March, we’ll release a round of single-elimination card matchups, where the cards will be compared head-to-head according to their strengths and weaknesses. One card will go home and another will advance to the next round. At the end of the tournament, we will crown our Bankrate Four — the top credit card representatives in each competing region.

The winners will be chosen subjectively in each unique matchup, but don’t assume it will be easy to have the winners figured out beforehand. Much like the basketball madness during March, anything can happen.


Round 1 regional matchups:

Travel Region:

(#1)Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs. (#8)Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(#3)Citi Prestige vs. (#6)Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

(#2)Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. (#7)The Platinum Card® from American Express

(#4)Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® vs. (#5)Hilton Honors Aspire

Business Region:

(#1)Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business vs. (#8) American Express® Business Gold

(#3)Business Platinum® Card from American Express vs. (#6)CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

(#2)Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card vs. (#7)The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card from American Express

(#4)SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express vs. (#5)Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Cash Back Region:

(#1)Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards vs. (#8)Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

(#3)Chase Freedom® Unlimited vs. (#6)Chase Freedom®

(#2)Discover it® Cash Back vs. (#7) U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

(#4)Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card vs. (#5)Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards credit card

No Annual Fee Region:

(#1) Citi Rewards+℠ Card vs. (#8) Chase Freedom Unlimited®

(#2)Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card vs. (#7)Discover it® Cash Back

(#3)Citi® Double Cash vs. (#6) Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards

(#4)Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. (#5)Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards

The information related to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card has been collected by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

We want to hear from you

We’re excited to put the Bankrate spin on what should already be a thrilling month, but it doesn’t stop there. We need your participation. Tell us in the comments on our social channels which card you think should win each matchup. If you disagree with our editors’ picks, let us know why. If we missed a strength a particular card, call it out. Stand behind your favorite cards just like your favorite teams.

Whether you’re an avid participant in your yearly office bracket pool or just a spectator, this is your chance to join in the cards madness.

The first round tip-off is on Friday, March 8 on all Bankrate channels:

We’ll see you there!

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