There’s a new credit card being rolled out called the “Barclaycard Ring MasterCard,” which has some pretty unique, one-of-a-kind features.
Aside from branding itself as the “first social credit card,” it also comes with a very low fixed credit card APR and no fees.
But perhaps the biggest draw is that cardholders have the ability to change how the card is “managed and serviced,” meaning your input can determine the future features of the credit card.
8% Interest Rate for All Balances on Barclaycard Ring MasterCard
As alluded to earlier, the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard will come with an across the board interest rate of 8% on all balances.
So your purchase rate, balance transfer rate, and any other rate (as far as I know) will be 8%, which essentially makes it a low interest rate credit card.
I doubt the cash advance rate will be that low, but we’ll see.
And sure, you can get your hands on a 0% APR credit card, but those are only promotional rates that expire after a year or so, and then shoot up to the 20% range or higher.
Additionally, there are no fees on this new credit card. That includes balance transfer fees, annual fees, and so on.
I’m assuming there are still some fees, as there are with any “no fee credit card,” but the biggies seem to be free.
While this is beneficial, it’s not out of the norm. There are plenty of great cash back credit cards with no annual fee out there.
And there is still a no fee offer from Chase Slate.
Barclays Goes Transparent with Ring MasterCard
Barclays wants to give cardholders a more up close and personal look at how things work at their company.
This could be a response to the way credit card issuers have been perceived in recent years, as ruthless loan sharks that want nothing more than to nickel and dime you with obscure fees.
And so you can sign up for an account in the Barclaycard Ring community and get access to all types of insider information, such as the total number of active accounts, the percent of balances in good standing, the average balance, and so on.
Additionally, active members of the community can influence how the credit card evolves, and earn something called “Giveback™” when they do.
Barclays is essentially showing consumers how they make money, and passing on part of that profit to its active cardholders.
However, it’s unclear what the compensation structure will look like. It does look like cardholders will be able to refer their friends to the card, which will likely equate to a decent commission.
Cardholders may also earn points for going paperless or participating in forum conversations.
Barclaycard Ring MasterCard Blazing the Social Trail
So it looks like this could be the dawn of a new era, where credit cards begin to go social.
And perhaps cardholder feedback will make the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard one of the best credit cards out there.
But only time will tell how successful the company is at balancing the wants and needs of cardholders with its own priorities.
Still, it’s an exciting development for the credit card industry, and will likely push other credit card issuers to “open their books” as well.
While this may sound “cool” and “groundbreaking,” it is still recommended that you shop around for a credit card that best fits your needs.
If you want the most cash back, find a credit card that offers a great opening bonus and solid everyday cash back, like the Chase Freedom credit card.
Or if you need to transfer a balance, go with a no fee balance transfer that offers 0% APR for as long as possible.
For the record, the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard has been going through alpha testing and will be open to consumers in April.
Update: Barclaycard Ring now offers a 1% statement credit for all balances transferred to the card within the first 60 days of account opening. So you essentially get paid to transfer a balance, though the 8% APR isn’t as attractive as 0% APR offers out there. Still, it’s a nice new perk.