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.
It Used to Be an 8% Interest Rate for All Balances on Barclaycard Ring MasterCard
When it first launched, the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard came 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) was 8%, which essentially made it a low interest rate credit card.
And sure, you could 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.
The interest rate has since been raised to 13.99% at last glance, and chances are it’ll move even higher over time.
Additionally, at first launch there were no fees on this new credit card. That included balance transfer fees, annual fees, and so on.
While this was 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.
They’ve since added fees such as a balance transfer fee, cash advance fee, late payment fee, and so on.
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.