Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Pros

  • Low APR
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR
  • $0 balance transfer fee
  • Free FICO® score

Cons

  • No rewards

Updated September 20th, 2017.

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is as simple as it gets, designed for cardholders who frequently carry balances, as its main perks are its low variable APR and 0% intro APR offer. Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® doesn’t offer any rewards or fancy promotions. Instead, cardholders are empowered with the ability to vote on how a portion of the card’s profits are used to support important causes and not-for-profits.

What we like about Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

  • Low APR  - The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® offers one of the lowest APR's we know of among major credit card issuers. Of course, if you pay off your card in full, the APR doesn’t matter. Most credit cards determine your APR within a specified, wide range, but Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® offers a single flat rate for all cardholders that many will not qualify for with other credit cards.
  • 0% intro APR - Cardholders can look forward to a 0% introAPR on new purchases and on balances transferred within 45 days of account opening. We view the promo balance-transfer APR as the better perk as utilizing it is a powerful tool to help pay down debt faster. That's a powerful way to get started investing sooner!
  • $0 annual fee - The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® doesn’t obscure the true cost of the card with an annual fee, which means that the stated APR is the true price of keeping the card and carrying a balance.
  • $0 balance-transfer fee - The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® doesn’t charge a fee for transferring balances, which gives cardholders the ability to roll higher-cost debt onto this low APR card at any time.

What could be improved about Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

  • Rewards – The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® doesn’t earn rewards. Instead, it relies on its cardholders to help it distribute some of the card’s profits to causes and charities selected by cardholder vote. Charitable card users who prefer more control may prefer to simply open a different rewards card and donate the rewards to their favorite charities and causes.

How to best use Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

  • Transfer high-interest credit card debt to chip away at debt balances faster. We Fools always encourage smart use of debt transferring balances to a card with a 0% introductory APR can help avoid costly interest charges. In fact, paying down a $5,000 balance over 15 months will cost a whopping $620 in interest charges at an 18% APR.
  • Leverage free access to your FICO® Score. Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® provides you with a free FICO® Score and we think this is a huge value! In fact, myFICO charges more than $350 per year to receive, track, and monitor your comprehensive credit history.
  • Before applying, consider your credit score. The card requires excellent credit for approval which generally means a FICO® credit score in the low 700's and higher.

Earn 1.5% cash back and a $150 sign-up bonus

Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM review cardholders can similarly expect a 0% intro APR on new purchases for 15 billing cycles, in addition to earning 1.5% cash back and a $150 sign-up bonus, both of which Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® doesn't include. Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders can qualify for the bonus after spending at least $500 on new purchases in the first three months from account opening. Read our full Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM review to learn why we picked it as one of the best cash-back credit cards.

If wanting a longer 0% intro APR

Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer may be better suited to cardholders who need longer than 15 months to pay off debt balances. The card includes a long 0% intro APR for 18 months for balance transfers and six months for purchases. What's more, the card includes one of the best cash back rewards programs we know of where cardholders earn 5% cash back (capped at $1,500 of spending) in rotating categories you activate, plus Discover matches all the cash back earned in the first year. These perks, alone, are among the best in each category and you get all of them in one card. Read our full Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer review to learn more.

Final take

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is simply designed for the cardholder who tends to keep a balance from month to month or who wants to pay down debt faster with balance-transfer strategies while reducing fees. While we can appreciate it for its low APR, we’d caution that the rate is only attractive relative to other credit cards. It's worth considering how much you can afford to put on credit, especially after the intro APR for new purchases expires.


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