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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% 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, Barclaycard Ring™ sparks our interest; Instead of dealing with a future rate that could easily hit 20 percent (or more), Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® keeps a 13.49%* Variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. But that's after your introductory 15 months of 0 percent interest on all purchases as well as on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening.
Other Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® perks to consider:
Democracy. Any good democratic entity lets the people have control and transparency. Here's how the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® lets you do just that:
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.
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 13.49%* 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 low right now, so fair warning, this APR will likely go up.
These two cards are substantially different once you get beyond the same 15-month introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers. The Barclaycard doesn't charge a balance transfer fee, though, which is something to keep in mind.
The key difference, however, is in the rewards. The Chase Freedom® card offers:
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 quick.
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 two months, with a 0% APR on the transfer amounts for 15 months. That means you have slightly longer to make the transfer fee-free with the Chase card. With the no annual fee perk, 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 (see terms for details), whereas the Barclaycard rate doesn't go through the roof. Either way, timing is everything.
The Slate® card offers no rewards program where 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.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card isn't fancy, but it does offer one of the longest 0% APR introductory periods you're going to see: 18 billing cycles, for balance transfers. 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 half 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).
We like this card for you, if:
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?