Review: Barclaycard Ring MasterCard – Get Money Back On Your Balance Transfers

Imagine you have a big credit card balance AND you’re paying a high interest rate.

I’ve been there.

You do your best to try and pay off your debt but with both a high balance and a high interest rate it’s tough to make a lasting dent in your balance.

What to do?

One tool I’ve used to great success is to transfer your balance to another card that offers better terms, usually a much lower interest rate.  Doing this you can pay off more of your actual balance instead of your money going towards interest payments.

Balance transfer credit cards are nothing new.

They tend to offer up a low interest rate for a limited time, many times a 0% APR, in order to sway you to their card.  Some of these are great offers mind you, but there are usually details you need to be keenly aware of such as the balance transfer fee (a fee you have to pay on the balance you transfer over, usually about 3% or so) and the term of the intro. APR.

The Barclaycard® Ring Mastercard® is a bit different.

Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits…

barclaycard_ring_mastercardapply_now_button
  • 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.

This particular version of the card offers you 1% cash back on your balance transfers made within the first 60 days.  This will come back to you in the form of a statement credit.  That’s quite different than having to pay when you transfer a balance.  Getting back 1% beats out paying 3% in my math book.

And in case it’s not quite spelled out, you don’t pay a balance transfer fee either.

“That’s great and all but what’s the catch,” you ask?

I love the smart questions you have!  Other balance transfer cards tend to offer a low intro APR on their balance transfer yet you pay a balance transfer fee.  With the Barclaycard® Ring Mastercard® you get a variable 8% APR on everything — both purchases and balance transfers.  But this isn’t an introductory offer that goes away.  This is your rate.  Mind you it is variable but the rate will remain lower than most average rates out there.  And you get a head start on paying off your balances with a 1% cash back statement credit and no balance transfer fees.

You have to see what works best for you.

Consider two questions before you get this card — How long will it take you to pay off your balance and will you still be making purchases on the card?

If you can pay off your balance before an intro APR period runs out then there may be a better balance transfer card for you out there, many with long terms.  But if you think you’ll still be paying your card off after the intro period then the Barclaycard® Ring Mastercard® gets interesting since your APR is still the 8% variable rate.  With most other cards your interest rate will shoot up above 8% APR.

The next consideration is if you will still be making purchases with your card.

If you know you won’t then other cards could work better for you.  But if you’ll still be putting purchases on your card then the 8% variable the Barclaycard® Ring Mastercard® offers gets enticing.  See, with many other offers you get a great balance transfer rate but you still have the standard APR on purchases.  That means if you are still buying stuff with your card you are paying a higher APR than what your balance transfers have.  This isn’t the case with the Barclaycard® Ring Mastercard® where everything has the same rate.

On top of all that interesting goodness the card has no annual fee.  If you plan to travel the foreign transaction fee for purchases is only 1% (many other card average around 3%).  Be aware you’ll need excellent credit in order to get this card.

Have you heard of a card that has community input?  With the Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® you join other community members to propose and vote for ideas to make your card better fit your needs.  You can also interact in the community to answer questions or get your questions answered and share financial knowledge.

Now with FICO® Scores

You’ve made it this far, very smart of you!

Barclaycard has recently partnered up with FICO to offer up access to your FICO score for free.  Yes, your real FICO score for free.  There are some great companies that offer up credit scores for free but it’s usually not an actual FICO score.  You have to opt-in for this access and you can check your score 24/7.

Having free access to your FICO score is a pretty great perk.  Checking your score is a great way to look for any issues you may have, like possible fraud.  IT can also tell you the strength of your credit in case you need a loan (or many of the other uses of FICO scores like renting an apartment or even getting a job).

Is the Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® Right for You?

You have to do the math on this one and see if the 8% variable APR, 1% cash back statement credit, and no balance transfer fee work better for you than other balance transfer cards.  Consider that the 8% variable APR is on everything, both balance transfers and purchases.  You also get access to a community to interact and share financial ideas.  And let’s not forget access to your FICO score as well!

Apply Now for the Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® – 1% Back on Balance Transfers

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Published or updated March 15, 2014.

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