The Ring Mastercard from Barclays bank is a bit of a one trick pony, but the one trick it can do it does quite nicely. The big perk on this card is the ability to transfer a balance from an existing credit card you have with a bank other than Barclays. You'll pay 0% interest on the balance you transfer for 15 months, and then a low 14.24% variable APR will apply. In order to transfer a balance you'll need to pay a 2% fee upfront, or $20 for every $1,000 you need to transfer. The 0% balance transfer offer is also only good for the first 45 days that your account is open. This is a relatively good deal considering other cards on the market tend to charge between 3-5%.
After your 45 days is up, you're still able to transfer a balance to this card, but there won't be a 0% APR period. Any balances you transfer will be subject to the 14.24% Variable APR. The nice thing is that transferring a balance in this scenario is balance transfer fee free, meaning you aren't subject to the same 2% fee. Why would anyone do this, you might ask? The average interest rate on credit cards is 19.24% as of 1/9/19. That means that the average consumer can save quite a bit of money by transferring a balance, even if the rate is the higher 14.24%.
The Ring Mastercard is really only good at saving you money if you have a higher interest balance on another card and are able to transfer it to your Ring card. Unfortunately, Barclaycard doesn't offer any kind of prequalification tool that would tell you how much of a credit line you are likely to be approved for. This information would be extremely helpful when figuring out whether or not to apply for a credit card for a balance transfer.
You can use this simple interest rate calculator to figure out how much you would save, but a person with $4,500 in existing debt paying the national average of 19.24% would be paying a bit over $800 in interest a year if they were making the minimum payment. Crazy, right? In this case, transferring a balance to the Ring Mastercard could save you a pretty penny, at least for the first 15 months.
We're not going to lie. Aside from the balance transfer options, there's not much to say about the Ring. The nice thing is that after you get through your first 15 months of 0% APR, you can look to upgrade your ring card to another of Barclays product, like the Arrival Plus, so you aren't stuck with a ho-hum card after you've gotten your use out of it.
The Ring Mastercard is best for someone that is currently carrying a balance, has good to excellent credit (680+), and is okay with paying off their balance in the next 15 months. If you need more time take a look at the Citi Simplicity, which offers a longer 0% balance transfer period, but comes with a higher balance transfer fee.
This is going to be hard advice for some, but if you currently have a boatload of credit card debt and your credit score is suffering as a result, you're going to be unlikely to be approved for a new credit card. This is a bit of a chicken or the egg problem. If this sounds like you, our recommendation would be to check out a personal loan with an interest rate lower than what you currently have on your credit cards.
You may not have heard about Barclays Bank and that's okay. Barclays was founded in 1896, and based in London. It's the 34th largest financial services company in the world based on revenue. The Barclays Center is also the home of the Brooklyn Nets. Their online interface is top notch, and they haven't made the news like some of their competitors (cough, Wells Fargo), although they have had their share of data breaches. Sometimes not hearing about a bank is actually a good thing.
The Ring is a card that has one purpose. If that purpose suits your needs then it will serve you well. If you're looking for some more bells and whistles with your credit card this is not the choice for you.