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Some credit cards were born great; some have greatness thrust upon them. The latter applies to the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, which has become one of the most valuable “get out of debt free” cards available.
For years, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® was a solid low-interest card. But five years after its launch, Barclaycard gave it an introductory 0% annual percentage rate period, catapulting it to balance transfer greatness. The catch: You’ll need excellent credit to qualify.
Why you should get the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
You can wipe out debt with no interest or fees. The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is like a regular balance transfer credit card turned up to 11. Its powerful arsenal of features helps you trim costs as much as possible, including:
- No balance transfer fees, ever. Most balance transfer cards charge a fee of 3% to 5% when you move debt. Some cards waive this fee for a short period. The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® simply doesn’t charge it.
- An annual fee of $0.
- A long promotional APR period: 0% on Purchases for 15 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening), and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% Variable APR.
This rare combination makes it a more cost-effective choice than competing balance transfer offers. The only other credit card from a major issuer with this trio of benefits is the Chase Slate®, which comes with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee for the first 60 days, then a fee of 5% of the transferred balance or $5, whichever is greater.
It lets you vote on product features. Most credit cards don’t solicit feedback and new ideas from cardholders. But the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, which has fostered a tight-knit online community, is not like most cards. You can suggest product improvements and vote on card changes. It also shows its members the card’s profit-and-loss statements, another unconventional move for a card from a major issuer. And you earn rewards based on the card’s financial performance.
It doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. It’s devilishly hard to find a low-interest credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Generally, that feature is touted by travel cards with high APRs — not low-interest cards. But the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® nixes these 1% to 3% fees, making it a fine card to take abroad. Because it’s a MasterCard, you’ll be able to use it in just about any country.
Why you might consider another card
If your credit is less than excellent, look to the Chase Slate®. It offers almost identical benefits to the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, but is available to people with average credit. Keep in mind, however, that the issuer may give you a smaller credit line if you have a lot of debt, which can affect your ability to take advantage of a balance transfer offer. If that happens, here’s what you can do about it.
If you want a card that will help you earn big rewards after you’re done paying down debt, regardless of its balance sheet, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. It offers high flat-rate cash-back rewards, and it features a long 0% balance transfer period. However, it charges a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of the transfer or $5, whichever is greater.
You also can check out the NerdWallet best credit cards page for more information on how these balance transfer cards stack up.
Is the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® right for you?
The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is a slam-dunk card for a very specific person: someone who’s trying to get out of debt and has excellent credit. If that’s you, this card is a near-perfect match.
This article has been updated. It was originally published May 23, 2016.