Barclaycard Ring review: Should you get this crowd-sourced card?

Our rating

3 stars3/5

See explanation of our ratings system

See breakdown of this card’s rating

Barclaycard markets its Ring card as an industry outlier – a card whose features are put to community vote and whose estimated profits and other financial data are disclosed to cardholders. It also promises simplicity, in the form of no annual fees and no balance transfer fees.

Our review will help you decide if you should make the Ring a part of your credit strategy.

The basics

The Barclaycard Ring offers the following:

  • No balance transfer fees: You’ll also get a 15-month 0 percent introductory period for balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, as well as a 15-month 0 percent introductory APR on purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free online access to your FICO score
  • Access to the Ring community: This online community allows you to talk about the card, features you’d like to see and credit health with other cardholders. This is also where you can submit ideas to the Barclaycard Ring team and vote on new card features.
  • No annual fee

The value of the benefits

The community is a unique feature, but there’s no guarantee your ideas will be incorporated into the card. Instead, focus on these benefits, which provide tangible value:

  • Free FICO score access: You’d have to otherwise pay about $20 to check your FICO score. Constant score access also provides a valuable benchmark for measuring your credit progress, which can save you significant money on future loans.
  • No foreign transaction fees: This is useful if you plan to use your card abroad or make purchases from foreign websites.
  • No balance-transfer fees: Most balance transfer cards charge a fee, so this is a valuable benefit. One of the only other cards on the market to waive balance transfer fees (at least temporarily) is the Chase Slate.

The Ring card has no rewards, so it may never be a card you use for every purchase indefinitely. But if you need to transfer a balance, or are looking for simple, no-frills card with a relatively low interest rate as you build up your credit, the Ring could be a good choice. Being part of a community may even benefit you, if you like the idea of participating in your card’s future or want a sounding board as you build up your credit.

Why we gave it 3 out of 5 stars

We rated the Ring card based on our standards for balance transfer cards, as it advertises several perks geared at those transferring balances.

0% period length: Half star rewarded if BT period is more than 12 months. Full star rewarded if more than 15 months. This card gets half a star.
Waived balance transfer fee: This card earns a star for having no balance transfer fees.
Forgiving terms: This card does not waive late-payment fees.
Low go-to APR: Half a star if its go-to-APR range dips below 15 percent and a full star if the lowest possible APR is below 12 percent.
Credit-management tools: This card provides free FICO access and a discussion community.

 
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