The Chase Slate®, which only requires fair credit to qualify, offers 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 24.99% Variable APR. The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, which requires excellent credit, offers a flat interest rate instead: The ongoing APR is 10.24% Variable APR. While a low ongoing APR might be better for those with especially large debts, the 0% APR offer promises more upfront savings and flexibility when paying down debt.
Here’s what you should know before applying.
Why the Chase Slate® wins
The Chase Slate® and the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® both feature low interest rates and fees. Let’s see how they stack up.
|Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®||Chase Slate®|
|Note: Neither of these issuers allows same-issuer transfers. You can't transfer a Chase debt to Chase, or a Barclaycard debt to Barclaycard.|
|Balance transfer fee||None||Introductory $0 balance transfer fee during the first 60 days after account opening, then 5% or $5, whichever is greater.|
|APR||The ongoing APR is 10.24% Variable APR||0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 24.99% Variable APR|
Here’s why the Chase Slate® is a better choice for most:
It comes with a 0% APR period. When it comes to credit card interest charges, nothing is better than something. Because of the Chase Slate®’s 0% APR period and introductory $0 balance transfer fee, you could theoretically pay off your credit card debt while avoiding fees and interest altogether. That’s something the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® doesn’t offer.
In fact, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® would have a lower average interest rate than the lower-interest version of the Chase Slate® only after about 40 months, or after 23 months when compared with the higher-interest version.
Of course, how much you ultimately spend on interest depends on how much you owe and how quickly you pay your balance off. With a very high balance paid off over a long period, you might save more with the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, even though interest will be accruing and compounding as long as you’re carrying a balance. But for most, the Chase Slate® is the less expensive choice.
You don’t have to stick with it forever. In some ways, comparing the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® to the Chase Slate® introduces a false dilemma: It implies than you can either have 0% APR for a short time, followed by a higher APR, or you can have a low flat ongoing APR. But if you go with the Chase Slate®, you also have the option of transferring your balance to another 0% APR balance transfer credit card after the promotional period runs out if you need more time to pay down your debt. In effect, you can get 0% APR for as long as you need to pay down your balances if you’re diligent about tracking your promotional periods.
The catch is, you’ll likely have to pay a 3% to 5% balance transfer fee each time you move your debt. That adds up the more you do it. But with careful planning, you could ultimately end up paying much less than you would with the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® with this strategy.
You can qualify with less-than-excellent credit. When you’re dealing with debt, your credit might not be in tip-top shape. The Chase Slate®’s more forgiving credit requirements make it a better fit for those trying to improve their credit. It’s one of the few 0% APR credit cards you can qualify for with fair credit.
» MORE: Full review of the Chase Slate®
Why you might want the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
You can’t do better than 0% APR when you’re paying down debt. However, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® might be a better choice for a very particular crowd: those with excellent credit who are dealing with chronic debt and don’t want to transfer debt more than once. Here’s why:
There are no balance transfer fees, ever. If you need to do more than one balance transfer, and you don’t want to move your debt from card to card, sticking with the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® might be a good choice. You’ll never have to pay balance transfer fees — as you would with the Chase Slate® after the first 60 days — and you won’t have to worry about when that promotional 0% APR period ends. You’ll pay the same low, flat interest rate month after month. And while Chase caps total balance transfers on each card at $15,000, Barclaycard doesn’t put a cap on this number.
You can suggest ideas to your issuer and earn rewards. The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is the only major credit card with crowdsourced features. When you become a cardholder, you’ll be able to submit ideas directly to the card’s product managers, suggesting improvements for the card. Ideas, especially costly ones, don’t always get accepted. Suggestions to lower the card’s interest rates, for example, have been filed under “Future Review.” But product managers have implemented cardholder ideas about adding free FICO scores and getting rid of balance transfer fees.
You’ll also get a small cut of the card’s overall profits through the card’s Giveback program, based on how much you charged to your card and how much money the card made overall. These features aren’t available on the Chase Slate®.
Find a card that works for you
The best card for getting rid of credit card debt really depends on your situation. If you can pay down debt quickly, or if you don’t mind transferring debt from one 0% balance transfer APR card to another, the Chase Slate® is your card. But if you plan on paying down a large debt over a much longer period, don’t like jumping from one card to another and have excellent credit, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® might make sense.
Whichever card you choose, make it a priority to pay down your debt sooner rather than later. The earlier you can get debt-free, the more you’ll save — no matter which credit card is in your wallet.