- 1 Barclaycard Ring Mastercard Review: Low Interest
- 2 Interest Rates and Charges Summary
- 3 Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® Review
- 3.1 Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® Essentials
- 3.2 What Our Editors Like Most About the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
- 3.3 Potential Downsides of the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
- 3.4 How the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® Compares to Other Rewards Cards
Barclaycard Ring Mastercard Review: Low Interest
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With a low APR on balance transfers and purchases, no balance transfer fees, and a community-driven approach, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® might be the world's best social credit card.
- Low variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
- No balance transfer fees
- No annual fee
- Requires excellent credit
- No intro APR
- Uncertainty with profit sharing
Excellent no balance transfer fee credit card
Just about every credit card dictates its terms and conditions. Sign up for the card and you’re stuck with whatever the company tells you, from the APR to the fee details to the way the issuer handles customer calls. The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard turns that tradition upside down, by giving cardholders collectively a say in some of the details, providing them with a low interest rate, and letting them benefit when the majority of users have behaved themselves.
- Cardholders who need to carry a balance: While paying off your credit cards every month is ideal, sometimes you either can’t or you may have a cash strategy that has you paying off other debts instead.
With a low variable interest rate, the Barclaycard Ring won't hurt as much when you can't pay the balance in full. And if you have a balance going on another card with a higher APR, you'd be smart to transfer it to this one — and there’s no balance transfer fee (a rarity).
Need a Low Interest Rate? Why Barclaycard Ring is Good
To learn more why the Barclaycard Ring is a good choice, including the online application, here is a link to Barclaycard's secure website.
The Barclaycard Ring offers a unique bonus program that is based on the input and actions of cardholders. It's considered the world's first "crowdsourced" credit card, where cardholders can vote on details of how the card will evolve as well as interact with one another via the community blog. The Giveback rewards are based on a "transparent calculation" and then divvied up accordingly.
It’s a novel and modern card that lets cardholders vote on what benefits or features they want and share in the estimated profit of the community's financial performance. How these benefits will compare to more traditional card programs in the long run is debatable (cash back credit cards, for example, are a more predictable way to rack up rewards), but it is certainly a creative concept.
We think it’s a card worth considering, mostly because of its interest rate and lack of an annual fee. It’s especially useful for users who tend to carry a balance or want a new card to transfer a balance and don’t want to pay a lot to make the move (the card has no balance transfer fee, a rarity these days).
No annual fees, no balance transfer fees, and low interest rates make this card very competitive.
For international travelers, it's worth noting that the Barclaycard Ring has no foreign transaction fees.
A common marketing point for credit cards is that you can transfer your balances over from other accounts to save money with a lower interest rate. But, you usually need to pay an upfront transfer fee of 3% or so of your transfer. With the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard, you won’t have this issue, as it doesn’t charge a fee on balance transfers. This means you can shift your other card balances to this low-interest program without adding any extra charges to your debt.
Giveback Profit Sharing Program
The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is partially run by its cardholders. Each year, cardholders will be able to vote on the card’s policies and see how the program is doing financially. Members will have an incentive to run the card well because they will receive part of the card’s estimated profits based on the community's financial performance.
Keep in mind, this is not based on the actual profits of the program. The Giveback program is based on a calculation (available online at Barclaycard Ring's website) that determines the "profit share." Cardholders will have the option of receiving a statement credit or donating to a charity, or a combination of the two. If you opt for the charitable donation, note that it will not be eligible for a tax refund and no tax receipt will be given. However, a nice plus is that Barclaycard will match your donation, dollar for dollar.
Complimentary FICO score: a FICO score helps lenders determine your credit worthiness, so it's important for you to monitor it. Scores range between 300 and 850, and any score over 720 is considered excellent. Your track record for paying your bills on time and your debt to credit limit ratio have a big impact on your score. If you see a big drop in the score even though your payments are prompt and you don't carry a large balance, you may be a victim of identity theft. This is why it's a major advantage to have immediate access to your FICO score. For an in-depth explanation of your score and how it affects you as a borrower, read this article on good credit score.
While the Giveback profit sharing program is certainly an interesting idea, right now it’s difficult to forecast how much you will actually make per year. This makes this bonus program a bit of a risky proposition as there are no other rewards with this card. It’s possible that you could be a responsible cardholder all year but receive no rewards from this card. However, you do see a "profit and loss statement" each month, so you do have a general sense of historical performance. For those willing to take a chance with the novel idea of community-driven credit card, it could be a great opportunity for early adopters.
- Low variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
The community-based blog is a plus for those who like to "get involved" and voice your opinion to someone other than a customer service rep. But you could also ignore it and still take advantage of the attractive perks the Barclaycard Ring has to offer.
If you're looking for low interest rates or are an early adopter interested in the potential upside with the community-driven nature of the card, the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is a good choice. As far as rewards go, this card’s Giveback program is interesting and has the potential to be lucrative; however, the community-dependent nature of the card might make a traditional rewards credit card a more predictable alternative.
(Originally written by David; revised by Cynthia)
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Barclaycard. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Barclaycard. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.
Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 25, 2013. This content may have been updated on January 7, 2016. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Barclaycard website for updated information.
APR: 10.24% Variable APR
Cash Advance APR: 10.24%, Variable
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- No rewards
- Needs excellent credit
Not sure which card is best for you?
Offer is no longer available through our site
- A $0 annual fee.
- No balance transfer fees.
- A 0% APR promotion: The ongoing APR is 10.24% Variable APR.
With these benefits, you can avoid spending even a penny on interest and fees while you're paying down credit card debt. The card also boasts a tight-knit online community, where cardholders can vote on new features .
NerdWallet reviews are the result of independent research by our editorial team while cardholder reviews are contributions from independent users not affiliated with NerdWallet. Banks, issuers and credit card companies are not responsible for any content posted on the NerdWallet site, nor do they endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.
Exclusive online community
As an exclusive feature for cardmembers, our Ring Community offers a resource for questions you may have and provides a place for you to share your ideas as well as credit health education.
A rate that starts low and stays low
10.24% variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances 1
No balance transfer fees 1
No foreign transaction fees
on purchases made while traveling abroad. 1
Please see Terms and Conditions for important information regarding this offer.
so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad.
Free online access to your FICO ® Credit Score
lets you keep an eye on your credit score and get alerts when we learn that your score has changed. 2
Interest Rates and Charges Summary
Offer subject to credit approval. If at the time of your application you do not meet the credit criteria previously established for this offer, or the income you report is insufficient based on your obligations, we may not be able to open an account for you. This offer is available to new cardmembers only. For information about rates, fees, other costs, and benefits associated with the use of the credit card program, please see the Terms and Conditions.
Annual Fee: $0. For purchases and balance transfers, the variable APR is 10.24% depending upon our review of your application and your credit history at account opening. The variable APR for cash advances is 10.24%. The APRs on your account will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. The minimum monthly interest charge will be $0.50. Balance transfer fee: $0. Cash advance and cash equivalent fees: $3. Foreign transaction fee: 0%. This information is accurate as of 12/29/2017 and is subject to change after this date. See Terms and Conditions for information about the terms of this offer.
Barclaycard offers FICO ® Credit Score access at its own discretion. FICO ® Credit Score access is not a permanent feature of your account and may be removed at any time. To view your FICO ® Credit Score, your account with us must be open, active (having activity within the past 150 days) and in good standing. FICO ® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.
The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is issued by Barclays Bank Delaware pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® Review
- Take advantage of one of the lowest ongoing APRs on the market for purchases and balance transfers.
- No balance transfer fee to consolidate balances from higher-interest credit cards.
- No Annual Fee
- The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is a no-frills card. If you're in the market to earn rewards, you'll want to look elsewhere.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® Essentials
A common mistake when signing up for a new credit card is getting overly excited about an introductory offer. Finding out you can get 0 percent intro APR on purchases or balance transfers for a year or more is exciting, but don’t forget once the intro period is over the APR can skyrocket. For this reason, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® sparks our interest; Instead of dealing with a future rate that could easily hit 20 percent (or more), the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® offers a 10.24% Variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. And you won't be charged a balance transfer fee if you want to take advantage of that.
Other Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® perks to consider:
- No annual fees
- No balance transfer fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- Chip-card technology for extra security
- Complimentary FICO® Credit Score easily accessed online any time
What Our Editors Like Most About the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
Democracy. Any good democratic entity lets the people have control and transparency. Here's how the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® lets you do just that:
- You can go online and vote any time Barclaycard is considering changing the terms of the card, such as APR and other fees.
- You get access to the company's profit and loss statement for this card, so you can be an informed voter.
Creative perk: Barclaycard holders share in the profits. Barclaycard will pay you a portion of the company's profits. You can use those "dividends" yourself or donate them to charity through a program called GIVEBACK™ and GIVEBACK™ CHARITY. It's perhaps the most creative rewards program on the market.
Potential Downsides of the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
We like the GIVEBACK™ program for its creativity however, the red tape could put a damper in its luster. The company promises to make the calculation simple and transparent, but it also says it can discontinue the program at any time. Finally, your account needs to be in good standing to earn the rewards.
The 10.24% Variable APR is also not guaranteed; since it's a variable rate, it can go up or down depending on the interest rates set by the Federal Reserve. Federal interest rates are still fairly low but they have been creeping up so, fair warning, this APR will likely go up.
How the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® Compares to Other Rewards Cards
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® vs. Chase Freedom®
These two cards are substantially different starting with the 15-month introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers with Chase Freedom® (then, 16.24% - 24.99% Variable ) . The Barclaycard doesn't charge a balance transfer fee, though, which is something to keep in mind. Depending on how long you think it will take to pay off your balance, you might be better off with the 0 percent intro period offered by the Chase card.
The key difference, however, is in the rewards. The Chase Freedom® card offers:
- 1% cash back on all purchases, with 5% cash back on purchases within certain categories, like gas stations, up to a quarterly cap each quarter you activate.
- Earn $150 if you spend $500 in your first 3 months
Our vote is to go with Barclaycard if you just can't get used to regular credit card usage, and to go with the Chase option if you can. The rewards will add up fairly quickly.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® vs. Chase Slate®
Chase Slate® is a shining star for balance transfers – in that it offers a $0 balance transfer fee when you make the transfer in the first 60 days, with a 0% APR on the transfer amounts (and purchases for that matter) for 15 months (then, 16.24% - 24.99% Variable ). That means the Slate® card, like the Barclaycard, becomes an excellent way to pay down debt. However if it takes longer than 15 months to pay down your debt, Slate transitions into a fairly high APR, whereas the Barclaycard offers a low ongoing APR. Either way, timing is everything.
Chase Slate® offers no rewards program in which you get credit for particular purchases. Neither does the Ring Mastercard®, but the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® does reward you with cash back based on company profits. Both cards give you easy access to your FICO® scores. The Chase Slate® card takes it one step further with its Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard, which provides reasons behind your credit score and tips on improving it.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® vs. BankAmericard® Credit Card
The BankAmericard® Credit Card isn't fancy, but it does offer a long 0% APR introductory period: 15 billing cycles, for purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days (after the intro period, 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases ). There is no annual fee with this card, but there is also no sort of rewards or pay back program. The BankAmericard® is your old-fashioned basic card with a twist – a year and a quarter to pay off, interest-free, the debt you were accumulating on another card. We see it as the card to have, for the person who no longer wants to have a card (but still owes on one).
Who Should Get the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® ?
We like this card for you, if:
- You are leery of using credit cards – Its dedication to transparency may put you at ease.
- You don't rely on credit spending to save for travel or gifting – You want to avoid "the trap" of spending more than you normally would to get particular rewards.
If you've been burned by credit card usage, Barclaycard has developed a credit card that's worthy of a second chance. It's not power-packed with perks, but it's a program that honors responsible and nominal spending. What's your vote?
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