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:
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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).
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?