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Barclaycard Ring: A Low-Interest Credit Card That Listens to You

Credit Cards, Low Interest and No Fee Credit Cards
BarclayCard Ring
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The crowdsourced Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is like a credit union credit card, without the credit union: It comes with a strong sense of community and low interest rates.

Through the card’s crowdsourced product management system, cardholders have a direct say in product changes, a feature no other major credit card offers. And if you plan to carry debt for several years, this low-interest card’s ongoing rates will likely save you more than most introductory 0% APR offers. But it’s not an easy card to get — you’ll need excellent credit to qualify.

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Apply Now on Barclaycard's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • No rewards
    • Needs excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 10.49% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 10.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances
    • No annual fee
    • No balance transfer fees
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Chip technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
    • Free online access to FICO® Credit Score

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®: Benefits and basics

The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® minimizes cardholder expenses across the board, while letting cardholders suggest product improvements through its online community. Its best features include:

No fees (for the most part). The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® comes with an annual fee of $0, no balance transfer fees and no foreign transaction fees, making it an economical choice for someone carrying a balance or traveling abroad. You’ll also get a free FICO score. It comes with a flat $3 cash advance fee and late fees up to $26, but you can avoid these by paying on time and not using your card to take cash out of the ATM.

Low ongoing interest rates. The ongoing APR is 10.49% Variable APR on the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®. That’s unusually low — and much lower than the average credit card APR, which is about 12%, according to Federal Reserve data. Unlike with other cards, that flat APR applies for all transactions, including purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.

A card with an introductory 0% APR period would be a better fit if you had a debt you could pay off quickly. You’d likely still have a lower average interest rate with a 0% APR card even if you paid the ongoing interest rate for a few years, but that average interest rate would get higher with time. When carrying a debt for more than about five years, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®’s low ongoing APR will likely save you more in the long run.

Voting on product features. If you want to bend your bank’s ear, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is your card. You’ll be able to suggest new card features to the community managers directly and weigh in on new product ideas, the sort of influence you wouldn’t be able to get with any other type of credit card.

You’ll also get to see the profit and loss reports for the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, and earn a small payout through the card’s Giveback program every six months if you meet certain spending requirements. These rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit or check. This profit-sharing system is similar to the loyalty-based dividends many credit unions pay their members: The more money the card makes, and the more you use it, the more you’ll get back.

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®: Pitfalls and other possibilities

The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®’s consumer-first vision comes with some costs. Here’s where this card falls short:

Requires excellent credit. The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is designed for people who plan to carry credit card debt long-term and want an issuer that will be open to suggestions. That’s an easy sell. The trickier part is, you need excellent credit to qualify. And if you’re dealing with chronic debt, you might not have the best credit.

If you’re starting with fair credit, consider the Chase Slate® instead. It comes with an APR period that’s hard to find when you have subpar credit: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 24.99% Variable APR. It also has a $0 introductory balance transfer fee during the first 60 days.

Ongoing interest rate could be lower. The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®’s APR is low, but it’s hardly the lowest available. If you wanted a lower rate, you’d probably be better off with a card from a credit union. Credit unions generally let only members apply for cards, but sometimes, establishing membership is easier than you’d think.

Rewards tied to the credit card’s performance. Profit-sharing is nice, but unpredictable. If you want to have more direct control over how many rewards you’re earning, go for a card with a long 0% APR period and a clear-cut rewards program. The Discover it® - Cashback Match™, which offers rotating 5% bonus categories and 1% on everything else, could be a good alternative.

Is the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® right for you?

The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is designed for a very specific person in mind: someone who plans to carry credit card debt long-term, wants an issuer that listens, and has excellent credit. If you’re that person, the card is a good match.

Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.

Updated April 5, 2018