Review of the New Marvel MasterCard (3% Back on Dining & Entertainment)

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Here’s my review of the new Marvel MasterCard!  It’s a no-annual-fee cash back card from Synchrony Bank with cool superhero card art.

This card does NOT have a great sign-up bonus.  But it does earn 3% at restaurants and select entertainment like movie theaters, games, Marvel.com, and more.

And while we don’t earn a commission from this card, we’ll always tell you about interesting deals.

Review Of The New Marvel MasterCard 3 Back On Dining Entertainment

There’s a New Cash Back Card, but I’ll Show You Similar Cards That Are Better!

I’ll tell you more about the new Marvel MasterCard.  And suggest cards that are a better deal!

Is the Marvel Card Really That Marvel-ous?  (Sorry, I Couldn’t Resist!)

Link:   Synchrony Marvel MasterCard

You’ll get a $25 statement credit after your first purchase, along with:

  • 3% cash back on dining and select entertainment (like movie theaters, video rental and game stores, amusement parks, digital entertainment, music, games and software, books and newsstands, toys and hobby stores)
  • 3% cash back online at Marvel.com and at Marvel’s official merchandise booths
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 10% off purchases at MarvelShop.com
  • Free shipping offers at MarvelShop.com
  • 3 free months of Marvel Unlimited membership (gives you online access to 17,000+ Marvel comics)
  • No annual fee

Who Should Consider This Card?

The best perk of this card is the 3% back on restaurants and entertainment, two categories where many folks spend a lot of money.

It might also be a good option for folks without a lot of credit history or great credit.  Because Synchrony Bank is known for approving folks without long credit histories, like recent college graduates or new immigrants.

Or maybe you just want a cool Marvel comics character to flash around on your card. 🙂

Hulk Smash!  Wants More More Powerful Sign-Up Bonus!

The $25 welcome bonus for this card is weak.  And you’ll only earn 1% back on most everything else. 

If you spend a lot of money on comic books and Marvel merchandise, the Marvel MasterCard could be a good card for you.

But while it might be fun to have comic book superheroes on your credit card, there are better cash back cards out there!

My Spidey-Sense Is Tingling in the Direction of Better Cash Back Cards

The Marvel MasterCard offers a $25 sign-up bonus, and that isn’t very exciting.  There are other no-annual-fee cash back cards with better bonuses and similar bonus categories that have low spending requirements.

For instance:

I’ve written before about the top cards with no annual fee.  And I’ll explain these options and more in a moment!

When you apply for a new card, it’s also important to remember that banks access or “pull” your credit report. 

It can be more difficult to get approved for new cards if you have a lot of recent inquiries on your credit report.  So choose your new cards wisely.

Review Of The New Marvel MasterCard 3 Back On Dining Entertainment

Deciding Between Rewards Cards Can Be Tough!

One positive note, the Marvel MasterCard might not require excellent credit while some other cards do.

So if you’re new credit cards, it might be a good option to start building your credit history.  But you have to decide which card is best for you and your personal goals.

The Marvel credit card is issued by Synchrony Bank, a bank most folks don’t have cards with.  So if you already have lots of cards from other banks, it could be a good choice for a card that earns bonus cash back on dining and entertainment.

So, is a $25 sign-up bonus worth a hard credit pull?  I don’t think so.  Because there are other cards with better bonuses and perks.  Here are suggestions.

Chase Freedom Cards

Link:   Chase Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom Unlimited

Link:   My Review of the Chase Freedom

Link:   Review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom card is my favorite no-annual-fee card.  It has a $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) sign-up bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.  

It also has rotating 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) quarterly bonus categories that allow you to earn up to $75 each quarter for a total of $300 cash back per year.

And like the Marvel credit card, you’ll earn 1% on all other purchases.  So you might consider the Freedom instead.  Because with the Freedom you can earn the one-time $150 sign-up bonus AND 5% back in select categories each quarter.

Do You Want to Travel?

And if you’re like me and you love to travel, the Chase Freedom card opens up a new world of possibilities!

The Freedom issues you points that are good for cash back at 1 cent per point.  So the 15,000-point bonus gives you $150.  But when you also have Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold,  you can transfer the points to travel partners like United Airlines, Southwest, and Hyatt.

I prefer to transfer for travel because I get more than 1 cent per point!  For example, instead of using 15,000 points for $150 cash back, you can use them for 3 nights at these Hyatt hotels.  Or a night at these Hyatt hotels that typically cost ~$200.  Or ~$210 worth of flights on Southwest.

But remember, you can only transfer your points to Chase’s partners if you ALSO have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card.

That said, even if you’re satisfied with cash back, you’ll likely do better with the Freedom instead of the Marvel card because of the superior sign-up bonus.

The Freedom Unlimited – A Simpler Option

While the Freedom card has 5% back in rotating categories, some folks prefer simplicity.  For that reason, there’s a different version of this card called the Freedom Unlimited.

The main difference is that with the Freedom Unlimited you get 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no rotating categories.

And just like with the Freedom card, you can transfer the points to Chase’s travel partners when you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card.

Review Of The New Marvel MasterCard 3 Back On Dining Entertainment

Having the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Allows You to Transfer Your Ultimate Rewards Points to These Partners for Award Flights and Hotel Stays

So the credit pull could be worth much more!

My suggestion is to look at the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited as an alternative to the Marvel card, even if you’re not interested in travel.

CardSign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending RequirementOngoing Bonuses
Marvel Mastercard- $25 statement credit after your first purchase

- No annual fee
- 3% cash back on dining and select entertainment (like movie theaters & amusement parks)

- 3% cash back online at Marvel.com and at Marvel's official merchandise booths

- 1% cash back on all other purchases

- 10% off and free shipping offers on Marvel.com

- 3 free months of Marvel Unlimited membership

Chase Freedom- $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account

- $25 (2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) for adding your first authorized user who makes a purchase within this same 3-month period

- No annual fee
- 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate

- 1% cash back (1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on everything else
Chase Freedom Unlimited- $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account

- $25 (2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) for adding your first authorized user who makes a purchase within this same 3-month period

- No annual fee
– Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

- No bonus categories to remember

If you don’t have a long established credit history because you’re young or new to credit in the US, you may qualify for the Freedom cards, as well as the Marvel card.  That said, the bank always makes the final decision!

Discover It

Link:   Discover It

The Discover It card is another excellent choice for a no-annual-fee card.

Review Of The New Marvel MasterCard 3 Back On Dining Entertainment

With the Discover it Card, You Can Earn $300 in Cash Back in Rotating Categories Each Year. Then Discover Will Double It After Your First 12 Billing Cycles!

Best of all, Discover will double all your cash back after your first 12 billing cycles.  

With Discover it, you also get 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 in spending) on rotating categories each quarter when you activate the bonus.  So you’re getting a lot of value for the hard credit pull on your credit report!

For instance, through June 30, 2016, you’ll get 5% cash back at restaurants, which is essentially 10% for new cardholders (because Discover doubles your cash back after your first 12 billing cycles).

AMEX Blue Cash Everyday

Link:   AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Card

The AMEX Blue Cash Everyday is also a no-annual-fee cash back card.  And until June 15, 2016, you’ll earn $100 back (as a statement credit) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

You can also earn up to an additional $200 back by getting 10% back at US wireless telephone service providers, on the first $2,000 in purchases made on the your card.  This is a great deal if you spend a lot on cellular services!

It doesn’t have an annual fee.  But it DOES have foreign transaction fees when you use the card outside the US.

You’ll also get 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.

Bottom Line

The new Marvel MasterCard from Synchrony Bank looks pretty cool.  You’ll earn a $25 sign-up bonus after your first purchase, and earn 3% cash back at restaurants and on select entertainment, like movies and concerts.

But unless you’re spending a small fortune at Marvel.com (3% back) and MarvelShop.com (10% off), use your Captain America shield to block this offer from your mailbox.

Because there are better cards with larger sign-up bonuses and similar bonus categories like the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Card cards.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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4 responses to “Review of the New Marvel MasterCard (3% Back on Dining & Entertainment)

  1. Does it come with superpowers?
    Who needs to free flights if you can fly. The ability to fly would be the ultimate travel perk.

  2. 17thWhitePrince

    Amazing how they compare a 3% cash back card to an Amex that earns only 1% back toward dining and entertainment and toward a couple of other cards that have rotating categories. Personally I’d rather get 3% back all year long when I’d use the card toward dining and entertainment than just getting 5% back three months out of the year but that’s just me. Ha!

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  4. I agree that if you don’t already have something like the Chase Freedom or Discover It card, both of which I already use, they would probably be a better choice at the moment. However, for me, this card filled pretty much the only “gap” I had in purchases that earned bonus points. Restaurants and entertainment are some of the only categories that I don’t earn more than 1% on (unless they happen to be one of the quarterly bonus categories for my Discover or Chase cards), plus the inclusion of digital entertainment (spotify, Netflix, etc.) means my monthly subscriptions are now earning bonus points as well. Like I said, I’ve been a longtime member of the cards listed above and use them regularly, but if you need to fill in a gap with these specific categories, this is the best card I’ve seen to do it.