About Marvel Mastercard
The Marvel Mastercard is a Marvel-branded credit card that offers cash-back bonuses for several different kinds of purchases, including anything bought on Marvel.com as well as Marvel merchandise booths.
The card is unique in that there are very few credit cards branded with specific comic franchises. The result is a credit card that’s a sort of hybrid between a store card and a regular credit card.
You’ll find that the Marvel Mastercard has some great benefits to it, as well as some drawbacks you’ll need to know before you sign up.
Is the card a good deal? Is it worth signing up for? Those are the questions we’ll answer as we look through the following features of the Marvel Mastercard:
- The short-term benefits
- The long-term benefits
- Rates and fees
- Expert & consumer reviews
Once we talk through those sections, we’ll wrap up this review with a section about the general pros and cons of the card as well as who we think would like using this card on a daily basis.
The Marvel Mastercard’s Short-Term Benefits
Most credit cards will give you some incentive to sign-up – a introductory 0% interest rate, a cash bonus and other things like free travel miles.
The Marvel Mastercard’s intro cash bonus is pretty weak: a $25 statement credit. This means that Mastercard will add a $25 credit to your statement within two billing cycles of you making your first purchase.
Now, we know the $25 doesn’t seem like much. It’s not, especially when you compare it to cash-back rewards cards that will give you between $100 and $250 in bonus cash. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that a card’s short-term benefits won’t keep you around for the long run.
It’s what the card can offer you one, two or three years from now that really counts. Before we get to the Marvel Mastercard’s long-term benefits, we want to point out one more short-term benefit.
Cardholders who aren’t already Marvel Unlimited members will get a free three-month subscription to MU. You’ll need your Marvel Mastercard to get the three free months. You can cancel the subscription any time you want.
The Marvel Mastercard’s Long-Term Benefits
Whereas the Marvel card’s short-term benefits were pretty weak for Marvel fans, the long-term benefits are what make this card worth having, in our opinion. But rather than take our word for it, read through the next few sections here to see how this card could benefit you.
Nearly every time you swipe your Marvel Mastercard you’ll what are known as “points”. One hundred of these points is worth $1.
Most credit cards will give you anywhere from 1 to 3 points for every dollar you spend. How many points you get is determined by what kind of purchase you make.
The Marvel Mastercard will give you 3 points for every $1 you spend in the following areas:
- Select entertainment
- Marvel official merchandise booths
Dining is pretty straightforward – you get the 3x bonus whenever you eat out at a restaurant or a fast-food place.
“Select entertainment” is a little trickier. We wanted to clear up exactly what this mean, so we read through the fine print and found that the following purchases get triple points for every dollar:
- Movie theatres
- Video rentals
- Game stores
- Theater and concert performances
- Amusement parks
- Digital entertainment
- Games and software
- Hobby stores
As you can see, there are plenty of categories included in this list. If you like to buy music/movies/shows in iTunes or on Google Play, you’ll get triple points. Same goes for any video games you buy.
If your purchases don’t fall into any of these categories, then you’ll get one point per dollar.
Pro tip: Mastercard automatically calculates how much reward money you earned. Your cash back rewards are credited to your account every month.
Whenever you use your Marvel Mastercard at Marvel’s online store (shop.marvel.com), you’ll get a 10% discount on your purchases. We read through the fine print to make sure there aren’t any restrictions on the discount and here’s what we found:
- Can’t be combined with other promotions
- Can be combined with free-shipping promotions
- Can be combined with sale items
In addition to these rules, Marvel’s Mastercard website says that your discount won’t apply to:
- Gift wrapping
- Shipping and handling
- Gift cards
- Games & accessories
- Limited Edition merchandise
You’ll want to read through the terms and conditions you get with the card just to make sure you know which items get the discount. If you don’t want to do all the reading, the easiest way to find out is to go through the purchase process without actually making the purchase.
By the time you get to the page where you buy whatever’s in your cart, you should know if it’s getting the discount.
Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Discount
Cardholders will also get a pair of discounts at Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., the interactive Avengers exhibit in Las Vegas.
If you use your Marvel Mastercard to buy your tickets, you’ll get 20% off. There are two big exceptions to this benefit. First, you’ll only get the 20% of tickets you buy at the box office, and the discount applies for up to four tickets.
Any purchases made in the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. store will get a 10% discount, but, like the Marvel online store discount, your 10% can’t be combined with any other promotions.
Card Design Choice
While card design has absolutely no effect on your finances, Marvel fans will most likely enjoy the fact that they get to choose one of six designs for their Marvel Mastercard:
- A cassette modeled after the Peter Parker Awesome Mix Vol. 1 tape
- Iron Man
- Spider Man
- The Avengers
- Captain America’s shield
- Mix of greyscale Marvel logos
The Marvel Mastercard’s Rates and Fees
Banks and other financial institutions like credit cards because they are a way to make money.
You see, 41% of Americans carry a balance on their credit cards and, of that 41%, the average balance across all cards is more than $20,000.
Whenever you carry a balance, financial institutions charge you interest on the balance you haven’t paid off. If you’re late on a payment, they’ll charge you a late fee.
We’re telling you this so you’ll remember that the list of fees and interest rates we’re about to show you can be completely avoided if you can pay off your balance in full every month.
Now, here are the Marvel Mastercard’s rates and fees:
- Purchase APR: 15.74%, 20.74% or 25.74%, depending on your credit score
- Cash advance APR: 29.99%
- Annual fee: None
- Late fee: Up to $37
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
The low-end purchase APR is average when you compare it to other credit cards. The card’s cash advance APR is pretty high; we recommend never doing a cash advance because of the interest rate and fees.
The foreign transaction fee is standard for credit cards. Travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier don’t have a foreign transaction fee because the assumption is that you’ll use the card when you travel abroad.
The Marvel card, on the other hand, is more about merchandise than it is about travel, so the foreign transaction fee shouldn’t be a big issue. If you have a card with no transaction fee, use that card when you travel.
Expert and Consumer Reviews of the Marvel Mastercard
The reviews we read from experts other than HighYa pointed out that the card has a great rewards rate for restaurants. This is a good point; most cards give either 1% or 2% rewards on dining.
They also noted that the card doesn’t have much appeal aside from the 3% cash back. While we’d agree that’s the case for someone who doesn’t buy Marvel stuff, we’d say it’s a little off for consumers who consistently spend money on Marvel.com and buy video games, movies and shows.
Most of the consumer input we found came from Reddit, where the card gets mixed reviews mainly because there are better cash-back rewards cards out there.
Our Closing Thoughts on the Marvel Mastercard
Based on our research of this card and other cash-back cards, we believe it’s unfair to compare the Marvel card to other rewards cards. Why? We’ll explain as we list the pros and cons and who might like this card.
The Marvel card has great dining rewards – better than any other cash-back card we’ve reviewed. Also, we like that the card has no annual fee but that’s a pretty standard perk with cash-back cards.
The 3x bonus on entertainment and Marvel.com purchases is a huge plus for those who make consistent purchases every month in those categories.
The Marvel Mastercard’s intro bonus of $25 is pretty sparse compared to competing cash-back cards. Also, the card has no 0%-APR offers.
Who Is This Card Good For?
We believe, based on what we’ve learned about the card’s cash back rates, that the Marvel Mastercard is a superb fit for someone who spends money on Marvel.com, digital entertainment and eating out.
Simply spending $300 a month in those areas will rack up about 10,800 rewards points each year, which translates to $108 in cash back.
When you add in all the other purchases you make, you could be looking at another 15,000 rewards points, which equals $150 in rewards.
The Final Word: Great for Marvel Fans
While we acknowledge there are better cash-back cards out there, none are quite so tailored to people who love Marvel.
If you’re a Marvel fan, this is a decent card. If you’re not a Marvel fan, we suggest taking a look at our Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Card of 2017 guide, where you’ll find several excellent cash back cards that can earn you a decent chunk of free money every year.