A common mistake when applying 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 14.24% Variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances PLUS it offers 15 months of no interest on balance transfers made within the first 45 days (subject to a balance transfer fee of 2 percent of the transfer amount or $5, whichever is greater). After those first 45 days, you can still transfer a balance and take advantage of that low ongoing rate, plus, you won't be charged a balance transfer fee at that point. (See Rates and Fees)
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 Ring® Mastercard® members share in the profits. Barclays 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 14.24% 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, 17.24% - 25.99% Variable) . The Barclaycard does give you 15 months no-interest on balance transfers, though, and then offers that low ongoing rate. Depending on how long you think it will take to pay off your balance, you might be better off with the shorter 0 percent intro period offered by the Barclaycard and then the lower ongoing rate.
The key difference, really, 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.
We like this card for you, if:
If you've been burned by credit card usage, Barclays 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?