Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® is really quite unique as far as balance transfer credit cards go. Most balance transfer credit cards give you a long introductory APR, but then pin you with high ongoing APR's after your intro period runs out. But Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® issued by Barclaycard, is a low interest credit card that's suitable for those of you who will be carrying a card balance on a regular basis as it offers a very low variable APR all year round. This MasterCard is marketed as a community based credit card, and as a cardholder you can vote on product changes, share your ideas with fellow cardholders, and even share in community profits.
But all that aside, this card packs all the right ingredients to save you money if you regularly carry a balance or use other credit cards, rewards cards for example, which have high APR rates. In this review of Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® you find out if this card is what you need, and learn how to use it to save money on APR payments.
Things We Like About Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard®
Low variable APR on balance transfers and purchases. You will enjoy a very low 8.25% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. This is a very low interest rate that can benefit you if you carry a balance regularly.
No balance transfer fees. Apart from the low APR that you will enjoy, if you transfer any other card balance to this card, you won't have to pay any balance transfer fee. Most credit cards charge 3% of each balance you transfer just in balance transfer fees. So while you may be better off getting a card that has a long intro APR period for balance transfers if you plan to pay off your card debt quickly and never carry a balance again, Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® provides a much longer term solution for balance transfers. The fact that you can transfer a balance at any time without paying a balance transfer fee makes this a very good card to regularly transfer outstanding card balances from your other cards onto. For example, if you use rewards cards to make your purchases in order to earn cash back, points or miles, but those cards charge a high APR for your purchases, you can transfer your balances to this card to enjoy the low 8.25% variable APR.
No annual fee. You don't have to pay any annual fee for this card. That leaves you with more money to invest in paying off your debt, or getting things you need.
Barclaycard Ring members get money back for good performance through the new Giveback™ program. Although you don't earn cash back when making purchases, Barclaycard US claims that you will be able to earn money through the Giveback "profit sharing" feature. This is what the fine print reads: "This profit sharing feature is not based on the actual profits of the program. Instead, the Giveback program contains a transparent calculation that is used to determine what will be shared with the community members and which may or may not approximate actual profits." This sounds ambiguous to me. A bank spokesperson has said that this amount would depend on how often cardholders use the card and refer new customers. Anyway, this feature shouldn't be a main reason for getting this card, as its strength lies in its low ongoing 8.25% variable APR.
Access your FICO® Credit Score for free. As long as you are an active cardmember, you can opt-in for complimentary access to your FICO® Credit Scores right from your Barclaycard online account. The FICO® Credit Score is one of the most widely used credit scores in the U.S., and gives you a good idea of what your overall credit looks like.
No foreign transaction fee. If you make purchases in a foreign currency or abroad, you won't have to pay any foreign transaction fee. Most cards charge a 3% or $5 fee when you make purchases in another currency with your credit card.
Embedded chip technology makes using this card more secure when you pay for your purchases at chip-card terminals and gives it greater global acceptance. Since EMV chip technology seems to be the new trend in the U.S. as well, having a card with an embedded chip will guarantee that your card will be usable for a long time to come.
Low cash advance fee. This card has a much lower cash advance fee than most other credit cards. If you regularly use your credit cards to get cash, then a low cash advance fee is a life saver (well, a cash saver really). Most cards charge you 5% to 10% of the amount you draw from an ATM or other cash dispenser, with a minimum payment of at least $10 every time. Imagine paying $10 every time you get $50 or $100 using your credit card! But this card only charges you $3 for each cash advance, no matter how much cash you get!
Our Least Favorite Things About Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard®
No rewards or cash back program. Unlike Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®, this card doesn't have a rewards program. You do earn some rewards through the Giveback program, but those rewards are based on the performance of the whole cardholder community, rather than purchases you make. For that reason, this isn't really a rewards card, but rather an excellent ongoing low interest and balance transfer credit card.
No 0% introductory APR. This card doesn't have any 0% promotional rate on purchases and balance transfers. If you are looking for one that comes with 0% intro APR for a certain period of time, you might be better off with the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever, a partner card, that has a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months, then a 13.24% - 23.24% (Variable). 13.24% - 23.24% (Variable) on purchases and balance transfers based on your creditworthiness (read review of Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever here) or the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer that has 18 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers and 6 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and a standard 11.24% - 23.24% variable purchase APR thereafter. The balance transfer fee on Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer is 3% (read review of Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer here).
How Other Cards Compare With Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard®Chase Slate®, is a solid balance transfer credit card from Chase. It has 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that). The highlight of this card is that you get a $0 introductory balance transfer fee for balance transfers made during your first 60 days as a card member (After that, the fee is 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5). That makes this a good card to use if you have a credit card debt that you would like to pay off, as you can transfer it to your Chase Slate® account without paying a balance transfer fee (as long as you do it in the first 60 days) and then enjoy that long intro APR period. This card also has a $0 annual fee. But if you need a card that you can use to transfer balances from your other credit cards on an ongoing basis, Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® is hard to beat as it has a consistently low APR, and you never pay a balance transfer fee.Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever gives you a very long 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months with a regular 13.24% - 23.24% (Variable). 13.24% - 23.24% (Variable) for purchases and balance transfers after that intro period. It also has no annual fee. But unlike Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard®, you will pay a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. If you have a large balance and need as long as possible to pay it off before having to pay an APR, then the balance transfer fee may well be worth paying to enjoy the long intro APR period. But this is not the card to use if you regularly rake up credit card balances and need a long-term, low interest solution.
Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® has a low APR and no balance transfer fee, making it a useful card to carry your regular ongoing card balances on.
The Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® is a good choice of card to get if you tend to carry a balance as you will have a very low ongoing 8.25% variable APR. While this card is being marketed as a balance transfer card, if your main intention is to transfer a balance from another card to one that has lower APR, it would be more beneficial for you to get one with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for a period of time. However, if you simply want a card with a very low ongoing interest rate, then I highly recommend this card for you.
Katrina Gutierrez is a writer at GET.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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