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Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® Review

Good/Excellent

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By Curtis Arnold Editor-in-chief  Updated Apr 30, 2019

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® Essentials

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:

  • No annual fees
  • No balance transfer fees after the first 45 days
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip-and PIN technology for extra security
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Score easily accessed online any time
  • Instantly secure your accounts by locking your cards with Barclays SecurHold™, plus set transaction limits and block certain purchase categories for you or your authorized users. Available only on the Barclays mobile app.

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Take advantage of no interest for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening.
  • No balance transfer fees on transfers made AFTER the first 45 days, allowing you to take advantage of that low ongoing rate of 14.24% Variable even if you don't have a balance to transfer right away.
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
  • This is a no-frills card. If you're in the market to earn rewards, you'll want to look elsewhere.

What Our Editors Like Most About the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

Democracy. Any good democratic entity lets the people have control and transparency. Here's how the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® lets you do just that:

  • You can go online and vote any time Barclays is considering changing the terms of the card, such as APR and other fees.
  • You get access to the company's profit and loss statement for this card, so you can be an informed voter.

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.

Potential Downsides of the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

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.

Top Features

Purchase Intro APR
14.24% Variable 
Purchase Intro
APR:
N/A
Regular APR
14.24% Variable 

How the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® Compares to Other Rewards Cards

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® vs. Chase Freedom®

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:

  • 1% cash back on all purchases, with 5% cash back on purchases within certain categories, like gas stations, up to a quarterly cap each quarter you activate.
  • Earn $150 if you spend $500 in your first 3 months

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.

Who Should Get the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®?

We like this card for you, if:

  • You are leery of using credit cards – Its dedication to transparency may put you at ease.
  • You don't rely on credit spending to save for travel or gifting – You want to avoid "the trap" of spending more than you normally would to get particular rewards.

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?

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® compared to other low interest cards

Card Name
Regular APR
Purchase Intro
Balance Transfer Intro
Ratings/Apply
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
This card is no longer available.
14.24% Variable 
APR:
N/A
Within 45 days of account opening
10.50% variable 
APR:
N/A
N/A
11.99% to 17.99% Subject to credit approval.* Your APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. N/A
APR:
N/A
12 months with no balance transfer fee now through September 30, 2019

Credit Card Consumer Reviews:

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