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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.
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!)
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.
- Chase Freedom has a $150 sign-up bonus after required spend
- Chase Freedom Unlimited has a $150 sign-up bonus after required spend
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a $100 sign-up bonus after required spend
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.
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
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.
The Freedom Unlimited – A Simpler Option
The main difference is that with the Freedom Unlimited you get 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no rotating categories.
So the credit pull could be worth much more!
|Card||Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending Requirement||Ongoing 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
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!
Link: Discover It
The Discover It card is another excellent choice for a no-annual-fee card.
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
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.
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.