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Updated January 7, 2016

Barclaycard Ring Mastercard Review: Low Interest

Read more about Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® from Barclays, a CreditDonkey advertiser
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
This article contains references to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

With a low APR on balance transfers and purchases and a community-driven approach, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® might be the world's best social credit card.

Barclaycard Ring
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Overall Score

4.4

Rewards

3.0

Interest Rates

5.0

Fees

5.0

Benefits

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Low variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit

Bottom Line

Good balance transfer credit card

Just about every credit card dictates its terms and conditions. Sign up for the card and you're stuck with whatever the company tells you, from the APR to the fee details to the way the issuer handles customer calls. The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard turns that tradition upside down, by giving cardholders collectively a say in some of the details, providing them with a low interest rate, and letting them benefit when the majority of users have behaved themselves.

Who This Card Is Good For

  • Cardholders who need to carry a balance: While paying off your credit cards every month is ideal, sometimes you either can't or you may have a cash strategy that has you paying off other debts instead.

    Barclaycard Ring offers a 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a 13.74% Variable APR will apply.

    Note: Balance Transfers that post to the account within 45 days of account opening: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Balance Transfers that post to the account after 45 days of account opening: $0

    With a low variable interest rate, the Barclaycard Ring won't hurt as much when you can't pay the balance in full. And if you have a balance going on another card with a higher APR, you'd be smart to transfer it to this one.

  • Anyone averse to fees: No one likes credit card fees, but in general most of us just accept that it's a part of the deal. For the Barclaycard Ring, you can feel satisfied when you sign up, knowing there is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Need a Low Interest Rate? Why Barclaycard Ring is Good

  • You'll have support in paying off your balance: This card is meant for cardholders to motivate and learn off each other, with its social media component. If you need help making a dent in your debt, you could turn to the card community and get some advice and the motivation you need.

To learn more why the Barclaycard Ring is a good choice, including the online application, here is a link to Barclaycard's secure website.

Benefits

© Susanne Nilsson (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

The Barclaycard Ring offers a unique bonus program that is based on the input and actions of cardholders. It's considered the world's first "crowdsourced" credit card, where cardholders can vote on details of how the card will evolve as well as interact with one another via the community blog. The Giveback rewards are based on a "transparent calculation" and then divvied up accordingly.

It's a novel and modern card that lets cardholders vote on what benefits or features they want and share in the estimated profit of the community's financial performance. How these benefits will compare to more traditional card programs in the long run is debatable (cash back credit cards, for example, are a more predictable way to rack up rewards), but it is certainly a creative concept.

We think it's a card worth considering, mostly because of its interest rate and lack of an annual fee. It's especially useful for users who tend to carry a balance or want a new card to transfer a balance.

Low Fees and Interest Rate

No annual fees and low interest rates make this card very competitive.

For international travelers, it's worth noting that the Barclaycard Ring has no foreign transaction fees.

Giveback Profit Sharing Program

The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is partially run by its cardholders. Each year, cardholders will be able to vote on the card's policies and see how the program is doing financially. Members will have an incentive to run the card well because they will receive part of the card's estimated profits based on the community's financial performance.

Keep in mind, this is not based on the actual profits of the program. The Giveback program is based on a calculation (available online at Barclaycard Ring's website) that determines the "profit share." Cardholders will have the option of receiving a statement credit or donating to a charity, or a combination of the two. If you opt for the charitable donation, note that it will not be eligible for a tax refund and no tax receipt will be given. However, a nice plus is that Barclaycard will match your donation, dollar for dollar.

Credit Score

Complimentary FICO score: a FICO score helps lenders determine your credit worthiness, so it's important for you to monitor it. Scores range between 300 and 850, and any score over 720 is considered excellent. Your track record for paying your bills on time and your debt to credit limit ratio have a big impact on your score. If you see a big drop in the score even though your payments are prompt and you don't carry a large balance, you may be a victim of identity theft. This is why it's a major advantage to have immediate access to your FICO score. For an in-depth explanation of your score and how it affects you as a borrower, read this article on good credit score.

No Formal Rewards

While the Giveback profit sharing program is certainly an interesting idea, right now it's difficult to forecast how much you will actually make per year. This makes this bonus program a bit of a risky proposition as there are no other rewards with this card. It's possible that you could be a responsible cardholder all year but receive no rewards from this card. However, you do see a "profit and loss statement" each month, so you do have a general sense of historical performance. For those willing to take a chance with the novel idea of community-driven credit card, it could be a great opportunity for early adopters.

Pros

  • Low variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Giveback profit sharing program

Cons

  • Uncertainty with the Giveback profit sharing program

Bottom Line

The community-based blog is a plus for those who like to "get involved" and voice your opinion to someone other than a customer service rep. But you could also ignore it and still take advantage of the attractive perks the Barclaycard Ring has to offer.

If you're looking for low interest rates or are an early adopter interested in the potential upside with the community-driven nature of the card, the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is a good choice. As far as rewards go, this card's Giveback program is interesting and has the potential to be lucrative; however, the community-dependent nature of the card might make a traditional rewards credit card a more predictable alternative.

(Originally written by David; revised by Cynthia)

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped families make savvy decisions. (read more)

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Barclays. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Barclays. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 25, 2013. This content may have been updated on January 7, 2016. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Barclays website for updated information.

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Barclaycard Ring Mastercard
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Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/ASee Terms
13.74% Variable
$0

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