It's good you are checking. Having signed up for the same credit card with the thought that the free night would more than cover the fee, I blame myself for assuming I would get some kind of e-mail notification of my free night.
Time passed and we suddenly wondered why we'd heard nothing about our free room. I finally called Visa, who directed me to Marriott Rewards, only to discover that our free night had been posted somewhere into our account and had expired about five days prior to our phone call, unbeknownst to us, since there is no e-mail notification and we hadn't checked our account in sufficient detail.
The Marriott rep. wasn't himself sure where it would appear within the account and it took him several minutes to find out. He was very sympathetic but told me I'd have to apply to Visa for reinstatement of the free night and referred me back there, where I made my request.
I received absolutely no reply, let alone reinstatement of the "free" night, so I'm winding down my business with Marriott, even though I just received my 2011 Silver card in the mail. When I called to cancel my credit card, the Visa rep was not at all interested in why I was canceling, so I saved us both some time.
We're 1Ks with UA, Hilton Diamonds, SPG Platinums, IC Golds, and even maintain our own modest travel blog. We'll still manage to find a room to stay somewhere on our travels and Marriott will get along just fine without us once we've burned our measly 60,000 points.
Was I ripped off? No, caveat emptor, but it did feel like it. In closing, monitor your account carefully and make phone calls early if you have any doubts. The Marriott rep told me this was not the first time this had happened to a customer.