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Barclaycard Ring Credit Card Review

The Barclaycard Ring is a new credit card featuring simple terms and a low regular APR.Let’s face it: Few credit cards are innovative. When picking new plastic, you have similar choices and decide on trade-offs like rewards, annual fees, and interest rates.

Occasionally, however, there’s a card that’s notably different, like a new product from Barclay’s Bank: The Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard®.

Barclay’s is calling this a “crowdsourced” credit card. According to the bank, they are “actively listening” to cardmembers and will change the card’s features in real-time according to feedback.

What’s different

The card is designed to be as simple as possible, with a low 8% variable APR and no balance transfer fee.

They’ve also cut fees. For example, whereas many cards charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, the Barclaycard Ring credit card charges only 1%. Instead of a $35 late fee many cards charge, their max late fee is $25.

The rewards program is different, too. Called Giveback, it is essentially a profit-sharing system: when account holders opt in for paperless statements and pay their bills on time, the community benefits; the card will kick back more of a reward to account holders, which you can use as a statement credit or to fund charitable projects.

That sounds cool, but I have to put my blogger hat on and point out that if you’re looking to maximize your credit card rewards, one of these cash back cards is a better choice. This is not a rewards card, per se.

Who it’s for

With a low 8% regular APR, the Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® is best suited to anyone who occasionally uses a credit card to buy big ticket items and pay them off over a few months. For that, the Ring card is ideal. If you did the same with a rewards cards (which currently have average APRs around 16%), you would pay double the finance charges as you would on the Ring card.

Let’s say you charge $2,500 to your card and plan to pay $250 each month until the balance is paid off.

  • With the Ring card, you would pay $96 in interest and clear the balance in 11 payments.
  • A card with a 16% APR would still be paid off in 11 $250 payments, but you would have paid $201.25 in interest. Let’s assume you got 1% cash back on the $2,500 purchase. That’s a $25 cash rebate, making the net cost of financing the purchase $176.25 – still $80.20 more than the Ring card.

Now having gotten into trouble with credit card debt myself, I always recommend that you pay off your balance every month in full to avoid paying any interest on credit cards. That said, I realize there are times when your finances just aren’t mature enough to do this – sometimes you need to float a credit card balance to pay for unexpected expenses or finance a large ticket item. In these cases, a simple card with an unusually low regular APR like the Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® makes a good pick.

Learning more and applying

The Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® requires excellent credit. You can check your credit score for free before applying here.

Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard®

An innovative card with a very low regular APR

Credit Needed: Excellent

Average Approved Score: 734*

Lowest Approved Score: 675*

Apply Now

  • No Balance Transfer Fees - start saving immediately!
  • A low 8% variable APR on balance transfers and purchases
  • No Annual Fees
  • Choose your card benefits and features
  • Get rewarded through the new Giveback™ program, where Barclaycard Ring members get money back for good performance
  • Get exclusive access to our online community and vote on the card features you like and view the financials of the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard online
  • Learn more about personal finance from Barclaycard and other members
  • Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
Intro APR Balance Transfer APR Regular APR Annual Fee
N/A 8.00%* Variable 8.00%* Variable $0

Disclosure: One of the ways I make money to support the free content on this blog is through affiliate advertising. The links to credit cards mentioned in this post are affiliates, meaning I get a few bucks if you choose to sign up for these offers which helps keep Money Under 30 free. I only engage with companies I trust and products I would use myself, so if you choose to support our site in this way, thank you!

*Credit Karma users have received approvals with these TransUnion New Account credit scores. These approval metrics are only guidelines and approval is not guaranteed.

Check your credit score for FREE (for real -- no CC required). Learn how here.

About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Comments

  1. This is an interesting stance for a credit card company to take. I like the fact that they are listening to their customers and trying new things. You are correct that some of the other cards you link to are better if your goal is maximizing cash back.

  2. I find this very interesting. As someone who went through CareOne to get myself out of credit card debt I found Barclays to be one of the worst creditors to work with. Having never been late with them, the way they treated me was cruel. In fact so cruel that I know that it wouldn’t matter what they offered having worked with them in the past they would never get my business again.
    Sorry but I truly have a real hatred for this credit card company!

  3. I just saw this offer on the Fidelity website (https://www.fidelity.com/cash-management/american-express-cards) where I have an employer sponsored 403(b). Have you seen a reward like this and what are your thoughts on it? It appears like it does at least one of your favorite things which is putting finances on autopilot.

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