The Barclays Ring is one of the best low-interest cards for people who don't like credit cards - here's why
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- Most cards are far from a democracy, but the unique Barclaycard Ring Mastercard put the card's benefits in the hands of its users. But do those benefits make sense for you?
- The Barclaycard Ring offers low fees that make it an enticing option for balance transfers, occasional international travel, and no annual fee.
- This card charges a very low APR that is the same for purchase, balance transfer, and cash advance transactions.
- Pay 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months on transfers completed with 45 days of opening a new account (after that, a 14.24% variable APR applies).
- Update, 4/12/19: This article has been updated to reflect current APRs and fees.
Barclays, or Barclaycard, offers several useful credit cards depending on your needs and goals. If your focus is a low interest rate and low fees, the Barclays Ring credit card may be a great option for your wallet.While this card does offer low costs, it does not offer any credit card rewards. If you want to earn miles or points for free travel or cash back on every purchase, Ring is not the right fit. This is why it is important to understand your credit and your needs from a card before signing up.
Due to the low fees and interest rates, this card is most appealing for someone looking to consolidate and pay off credit card debt with lower interest or someone who wants a credit card for occasional purchases to build credit or protect their debit card and bank account data when shopping online or while traveling.
Barclays Ring as a debt consolidation and pay-off engine
If you have a long history with credit cards, you may have built up a few balances over time that keep you paying every month. Wouldn't it be great to consolidate those payments into one? Even better, what if you could pause interest for one year so all of your payments go right into the principal balance? With this card, you can do both!
The Barclaycard Ring offers new cardholders 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers completed within 45 days of opening a new account. Do note there is a 2% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) for transfers completed within the first 45 days. After that, there is no balance transfer fee for future transfers but you would have to pay interest.
If you don't pay off the balances by the time 15 months is up, interest will kick in. But this card charges a competitive 14.24% variable rate APR. Interest rates can change at any time with market rates, but you'll pay less than most competing credit cards charge with the Ring credit card.
Build credit with an almost no-fee cardThis credit card charges very few fees. Compared to the typical credit card, it feels like you pay nothing outside of interest, when it applies. There are only a couple of circumstances where you would pay any fees with this credit card.
There is no annual fee, no balance transfer fee after 45 days, and no foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost just $3 each, which is a bargain compared to the typical 5% and $10 minimum. Free balance transfers after 45 days may be another opportunity for huge savings.
Late and returned payments cost up to $28 per occurrence, but you can avoid those by paying on time and only paying when you have enough cash in the bank to cover your payment. But those are things you should be doing anyway.
As long as you pay on time and avoid cash advances and balance transfers, you will never have to pay any fees for this credit card.
Get credit card protections with no extra hassles
Some people who are good with their money don't like credit cards because they focus on the costs rather than the benefits. As long as you pay off your card balance in full every month by the due date, you'll never have to pay any credit card interest.
But there are still good reasons to use a credit card outside of the borrowing features. When used responsibly, credit cards can build your credit. Further, they are the best tool to protect yourself from payment fraud anywhere you shop, online or at brick-and-mortar stores.
Because this card has no annual fee, you could keep it as an emergency card with no balance at no cost to you. Every month it sits there with no balance, it helps your credit score a little bit as it shows a positive payment history and low balance in proportion to your limits. That is a good thing for anyone who ever plans to buy a home or car with a loan in the future.
Credit cards also offer important protections. If you use a debit card for a purchase and a data thief gets ahold of your information, they can drain your bank account when making a purchase. With a credit card, you can just make a phone call to report the fraud and don't have to pay a cent.Read more: 11 lucrative credit card deals you can get when opening a new card in August - including a rare 100,000-point offer
Barclays Ring: The best credit card for people who don't like credit cards
The simplicity, low cost, and benefits of this card make it a great option for anyone who wants to keep their costs as low as possible when dealing with credit. And if you don't like a feature or want to see something new, you get access to send card suggestions to community managers responsible for the Ring credit card. That is exactly how this card became so great to begin with!
Young professional cardholders enjoy this card for its ease-of-use and low costs. Retirees and those with homes paid off may enjoy using this account for purchase protections and keeping a healthy credit profile after paying off their home.
Personally, this card is not a great choice for my needs as I'm more focused on travel rewards. Others may be interested in cash back.
If rewards are not the main thing you look for in a card, you should look toward the Barclaycard Ring for its low fees and rates. That combination makes the card a winner.
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