While travel rewards and cash-back credit cards provide lucrative perks, they work best for consumers who never carry a balance on their cards from month to month. After all, the average credit card APR is currently well over 17%. It doesn’t make any sense to pursue rewards if you’re carrying a balance since the interest you pay will add up to way more than any rewards you earn.
The thing is, not everyone should be pursuing rewards. If you’re in debt and paying a ton of interest each month, you should probably look for a different type of credit card altogether.
That’s why the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is such an intriguing credit card for 2019. Not only does it come without an annual fee, but it offers a lower ongoing APR than you can get with most credit cards these days. If you sign up, you’ll also be eligible for 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply.
If you’re trying to avoid exorbitant interest charges or you are tired of paying high APRs on debts you already have, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is worth considering. In this review, we’ll go over the perks this card offers, why it’s a good deal, and who it’s best for.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®: The Perfect Card for Balance Transfers
If you have debt already and want to pay it down, balance transfer cards could provide the relief you need. Cards that fall into this category let you secure 0% APR for a limited time, although they usually charge a balance transfer fee of 3% or 5% for the privilege.
The Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® sets itself apart from the pack due to the fact it offers 0% APR for 15 months on balances transferred within the first 45 days. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply. For promotional balance transfers that post to your account within 45 days of account opening, either a balance transfer fee of $5 or 2% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater applies. For balance transfers that post to your account at a non-promotional APR after 45 days of account opening, the balance transfer fee is $0. This is significantly lower than many other competing cards with balance transfer offers. For example, the popular Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers the same 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on new purchases and balance transfers (16.74% - 25.49% Variable APR applies after that period), but has a 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5. After that 60-day period, the balance transfer fee is either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Obviously, having 15 months to pay down debt at 0% APR could make a tremendous impact on your finances. Without interest charges levied each month, each dollar you pay would go directly toward your balance. Provided you quit using credit during this time (to avoid adding to your balance), the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® could provide the opportunity you’ve been waiting for — the chance to get out of debt and stay out of debt. The low variable APR of 14.24% could also be helpful for consumers who want to avoid the highest APRs many credit cards charge.
In addition to the balance transfer offer this card generously extends to new customers, you also get a free look at your FICO score each month. There is also no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, so you can use this card at home and abroad without any additional charges.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®: Where it Falls Flat
While the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® really is ideal for consumers who want to transfer a balance, there are a few areas where it struggles to keep up with some competing cards. There’s no rewards program to speak of, for example, which makes it a poor option if you want to earn cash back or travel rewards. Then again, it’s probably smart to steer clear of rewards schemes if you’re in debt.
This card also offers 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply. This intro period does not apply to purchases. That puts it at a disadvantage when compared to cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® that offer 0% APR for a limited time for both balance transfers and new purchases.
Also note that you only have 45 days to transfer balances to the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® in order to qualify for the 0% intro APR for 15 months offer. After that, a variable 14.24% APR applies. That’s not a long time to get your ducks in a row and your high interest balances transferred over, so you’ll need to move fast.
The Bottom Line
If you have high interest debt you can’t seem to shake, a balance transfer card could be the answer to your prayers. We think the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is one of the best balance transfer credit cards on the market since it gives you 15 months at 0% APR for balances transferred within the first 45 days. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply. And don’t forget, for promotional balance transfers that post to your account within 45 days of account opening, either $5 or 2% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater will apply. For balance transfers that post to your account at a non-promotional APR after 45 days of account opening, the balance transfer fee is $0. Compare these balance transfer fees to the 3% or 5% fees many other cards charge.
But really, the fact the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® doesn’t charge an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees means it could be a solid credit card option for just about anyone. Provided you don’t want to earn rewards, it never hurts to have a card that’s free to keep. The card’s variable 14.24% APR is also lower than many competing credit cards.
With these details in mind, we think the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is best for:
- Consumers with high interest credit card debt who want 15 months with 0% APR to pay it down balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply.
- Anyone who might carry a balance and wants a card with a relatively low interest rate
- People who don’t want to pay an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees
- Consumers who want access to their FICO score
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, make sure you check out the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® and all it has to offer. But also remember to explore all your options to see how they stack up. The best balance transfer and low interest credit cards come with no fees or low fees and 0% APR for at least 12 months.
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