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The Bottom Line: Generally low costs and a curious combination of benefits can make this an attractive card for a very specific type of customer.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
14.24% Variable APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply
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Quick FactsView rates and fees
- Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply
- Low 14.24% variable APR on purchases and cash advances
- NEW - Control Your Card - Instantly secure your accounts by locking your cards with Barclays SecurHold™, set transaction limits and block certain purchase categories for you or your authorized users. Available only on the Barclays mobile app.
Pros & Cons
No annual fee
Intro APR period on Balance Transfers
No foreign transaction fee
Alternate Pick: Longer 0% period
The ideal balance transfer credit card wouldn't have an annual fee, would give you an introductory 0% interest period on debt you move to the card, and wouldn't charge balance transfer fees.
The Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® gives you two out of three. The twist is that you get decide which two out of three: You can have the 0% intro APR period or the $0 transfer fee, but not both.
In other respects, the crowdsourced Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is like a credit union credit card, without the credit union: It comes with a strong sense of community and a relatively low ongoing interest rate.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®: Benefits and basics
The Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® minimizes cardholder expenses across the board, while letting cardholders suggest product improvements through its online community. Its best features include:
A break for balance transfers. With this card, balances transferred within the first 45 days get a breather on interest but incur a balance transfer fee. Balances transferred after 45 days incur no transfer fee — but you have to pay the card's ongoing APR. Details:
APR — 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 14.24% Variable APR. The regular APR on this card is relatively low compared with the ongoing rates charged by many other cards with a 0% intro offer.
Transfer fee — Promotional Balance Transfers that post to your account within 45 days of account opening: Either $5 or 2% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. For Balance Transfers that post to your account at a non-promotional APR after 45 days of account opening: $0.
Low fees: The annual fee is $0, and there are no foreign transaction fees. Though cash advances on a credit card are best avoided, they're cheaper on this card than on many others: Each advance comes with a flat $3 fee, and you pay the same APR for cash advances as for purchases (many cards charge a much higher rate on advances). Late fees on this card max out at $28.
Voting on product features. If you want to bend your bank’s ear, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is your card. You’ll be able to suggest new card features to the community managers directly and weigh in on new product ideas, the sort of influence you wouldn’t be able to get with any other type of credit card.
You’ll also get to see the profit and loss reports for the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®, and earn a small payout through the card’s Giveback program every six months if you meet certain spending requirements. These rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit or check. This profit-sharing system is similar to the loyalty-based dividends many credit unions pay their members: The more money the card makes, and the more you use it, the more you'll get back.
Using Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® as a balance transfer card
The terms on the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® can make it an attractive balance transfer credit card for certain consumers.
The typical balance transfer credit card has a 0% introductory APR for 12 to 18 months, after which the interest rate rises — usually to a higher rate than that on the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®. Most of these cards also charge a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5%, although a handful do not. On these counts, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is more or less a typical balance transfer card within the first 45 days.
But because there are no balance transfer fees after 45 days, keeping this card in your wallet gives you the option to execute multiple transfers over time. Say you have a big purchase coming up that you'd like to pay down over a few months. Put it on your rewards card to earn cash or miles, but avoid paying the high APRs typically charged by rewards cards by shifting the balance to the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®: Pitfalls and other possibilities
The Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®’s consumer-first vision comes with some costs. Here's where this card falls short:
You can get a longer 0% period — and for purchases, too. The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 20 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR. There's a balance transfer fee of 3% (with a $5 minimum), and the annual fee is $0.
Rewards tied to the credit card’s performance. Profit-sharing is nice, but unpredictable. If you want to have more direct control over the rewards you earn, go for a card with a long 0% APR period, no annual fee and a clear-cut rewards program. Good alternatives include:
The Discover it® Cash Back which offers 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories that you activate (on up to $1,500 in sending per quarter) and 1% on everything else.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which pays 3% cash back on all purchases in the first year, up to $20,000 spent. After that, you'll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Is the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® right for you?
With its choose-your-benefit approach to balance transfers, its low fees and lower ongoing APR, and its crowdsourcing features, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is designed for a very specific person in mind. If you're that person, go for it.
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