Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
Annual Fee: $0
Credit Required: Excellent
Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:
- 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases. Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 13.74%
- No balance transfer fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- Chip technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
- Free online access to FICO® Credit Score
0% 15 months
Intro Balance Transfer
0% 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening) and no transfer fee
13.74% Variable APR on Purchases and Transfers
At first glance, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is merely a low APR credit card designed for people who carry a balance. Upon closer inspection, it's actually one of the most unique credit cards on the market.
Launched in 2012, the Ring card is called the first "social" credit card. Why? Because it puts cardmembers in control. The card focuses on transparent fees and a low interest rate while allowing cardholders to vote on product changes.
If you're looking for a good balance transfer card with low fees, here's why the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® deserves some attention.
What Makes the Ring™ Card Unique?
Barclaycard calls the Ring™ card a "crowdsourced" credit card because cardmembers have a say in the card's features.
As a cardholder, you can vote on the features or products you want, and Barclaycard will change the card's features in real-time based on member feedback.
How cool is that?
Barclaycard releases financial information on the Ring™ user base, including total charges, payments received, interest charged, and fees received.
The Ring™ community then votes on changes to policies based on their priorities.
The Ring™ also participates in a unique program called Giveback™. Giveback is basically a profit-sharing system in which cardmembers benefit when the Ring™ community chooses paperless statements and pay their bills on time. Based on community performance, the card will kick back a reward to members which can be used for a statement credit or charitable donations.
Right now, the Giveback™ program has a "hurdle" set: a 2.25% annualized return to cover marketing expenses, taxes, and returns to cardholders.
(The previous hurdle was 3% followed by sharing of 70% of remaining returns although it was changed because it didn't result in a high enough Giveback.)
Once this hurdle is passed, 20% of the remaining returns are given to the Giveback program.
It's important to note that this is not a rewards program; the Ring Mastercard does not offer traditional rewards and focuses on saving you money on interest. You can think of this program as a unique benefit to the card.
Ring™Card Fees and Interest
The Ring™ Mastercard® is not a rewards card. It is designed for people who want to save money on interest above everything else. So expect low fees and a low interest rate.
The main appeal of the card is its introductory balance transfer offer. Lots of cards have good balance transfer offers, but the Barclaycard Ring™ card combines this with the fact that there is (1) no transfer fee and (2) a low regular variable APR after the intro period is over.
Remember, you will need to complete your transfers within 45 days of account opening to qualify for this offer.
On top of all that, the introductory APR offer applies not just to balance transfers, but to new purchases as well.
There is also no penalty APR with the card if you pay your bill late.
And the other fees for the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® are also lower than average:
- Flat $3 per transaction cash advance fee, which you won't find with any other card. Most cards charge a $5 or 3% fee, whichever is higher.
- No foreign transaction fee. The card used to have a 1% foreign transaction fee although this was changed due to a vote by the Ring community.
- No annual fee.
- No balance transfer fee.
Is the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® Right for You?
The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® card is a great choice if you're in saving money. In that case, it has an introductory finance offer, no balance transfer fee, and a low regular variable interest.
For those looking to spend less on interest and fees, it's hard to beat theRing™ Mastercard®.
You may also appreciate the more personal approach to banking that lets you have a say in the product. And if you are socially conscious, you may also prefer the Giveback™ program to a traditional rewards card.