Barclaycard Ring Mastercard
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The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is among a handful of balance transfer credit cards that really stand out when compared with the rest of the field. It should be a top choice for anyone looking to consolidate credit card debt.
This card offers a lengthy 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, but earns its high marks by waiving the balance transfer fee so many other offers impose. With no fee, cardholders could save hundreds of dollars in additional costs over other balance transfer cards.
Transferring high-interest debt without having to pay a fee — typically 3% to 5% — could help cut debt balances significantly. If you transfer a $10,000 balance to the Barclaycard Ring, you have 15 months to pay it down — for free. But if you choose a card that charges a 3% balance transfer fee, you’re adding another $300 to your debt — even if that card gives you longer to pay off the balance at 0%.
What’s more, when the introductory period ends, this card charges a modest standard variable APR of 13.99%. That’s below the average APR for cards of this type, but significantly higher than the 8.5% rate this card offered before it debuted its rich transfer deal.
However, if you don’t need to transfer a high-interest balance — and you plan to continue paying off your balance in full each month — there really is no compelling reason for you to apply for this credit card. The Barclaycard Ring doesn’t have much in the way of traditional rewards or perks.
Its one stab at a reward effort is its Giveback program, which was designed to share some card profits with cardholders. Unlike traditional rewards programs, there are no guaranteed rewards, and Barclaycard says it may discontinue the program at any time. You may also designate any Giveback rewards to charity.
We do like that this card preaches transparency and that cardholders are both alerted to upcoming changes and are offered an opportunity to vote on certain card features.
Who should get this card
The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard has a powerful trio of features that make this card best-in-class among balance transfer cards: A 15-month long introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers, no balance transfers fees — ever — and no annual fee. This card is a great choice for anyone looking to shave down their credit card debt and stop accruing interest charges.
Only a few cards card on the market pack a similar cost-effective punch, including Chase Slate. That card only waives the balance transfer fee for the first 60 days, then a 5% fee will apply.
Fees and APR
- You’ll pay no annual fee with the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard.
- Balance transfers are free.
- There are no foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside of the U.S.
- The card includes a 0% introductory offer for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, you’ll be charged a variable 13.99% APR.
Extras and perks
The Barclaycard Ring touts itself as a “community-minded” credit card and has a dedicated website featuring tips and tools for money management as well as a place to start a discussion or submit an idea. The card also has a profit-sharing feature that gives an opportunity to either get a statement credit, donate your earnings to charity, or a combination of both. Keep in mind that, according to the fine print, any payouts are at the discretion of Barclaycard and it’s not a guarantee that any payouts will actually occur.
How this card compares
There are other credit cards on the market offering longer terms like 18- and 21-month 0% APRs on balance transfers, but nearly all of them charge a 3% balance transfer fee. Where the Chase Slate stands out is the option to forgo a balance transfer fee if you make the transfer within the first 60 days of opening the account.
If you have a great deal of credit card debt, you have a choice to make when it comes to balance transfer credit cards: Pick the one that on the surface offers the cheapest way to get out of debt, or pick the one that gives you the longest 0% APR introductory period possible.
The Citi Simplicity Card falls into this second group.
Citi Diamond Preferred gives you 21 interest-free months to pay off purchases and balance transfers. That’s the longest 0% introductory period available today.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.