Crowdsourcing Experiment: Barclaycard Ring MasterCard
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More and more companies are starting to realize the power of social media when it comes to creating products and services that would appeal to a wide number of consumers. While crowdsourcing efforts are growing ever increasingly in popularity, could a credit card company possibly find success by letting users shape the terms and conditions of its credit cards? Well, Barclaycard is trying to do just that with the Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard®, as it aims to bring cardmembers and banks closer together in order to create the perfect credit card for consumers, by consumers.
Why We Like This Card
- Low APR
- Community input on credit card issues and new terms
How This Card Works
What makes the Barclaycard Ring different from other credit cards is that it allows user feedback to shape the terms and conditions of the credit card which encourages users to have an investment in the performance of the card. While the Barclaycard Ring doesn't come with a direct rewards program, it does have a special Giveback™ feature that allows cardmembers to potentially receive a small percentage of the company profits, although the exact amount you will receive will vary. You have the option of either donating that money to charity or keeping it on your account as bonus credit. Additionally, the low APR and zero balance transfer fees make this a good choice for those who need to keep a balance.There is no annual fee.
Online community portal. Barclaycard Ring cardmembers can discuss issues with the credit card and vote on new ideas to implement in an official online community portal, where Barclaycard provides "real time" responses to all user suggestions. They can even give feedback on marketing ideas for the credit card as well as possible website enhancements. Cardholders can also use this online portal to monitor the company's profit and loss margins.
Free FICO score. Active cardholders may also opt-in to receive complimentary FICO credit scores from their Barclaycard online account. (See also: Best Credit Cards with Free Credit Scores)
- $0 Annual Fee
- 8.25%* variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
- $0 Balance Transfer Fee
- 0% Foreign Transaction Fee
Community input. Barclaycard should be commended for being the first credit card company to allow users to have a direct input in how the credit card is shaped, and the transparency they offer their cardmembers is something rarely seen but greatly appreciated.
Giveback™ rewards. The Giveback™ program is a nice little feature that gives you a chance to earn a little money without having to do anything.
Very low fees. If nothing else, the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard offers an easy-to-use credit card that users can rely on thanks to its incredibly low fees. It's ideal if you need to transfer a balance because there is no balance transfer fee and a low APR. Further, there are no foreign transaction fees, which can save you as much as 3% if you frequently travel abroad.
No introductory offers. There are no special sign-up promotions offering new cardholders an extra opportunity to earn cash back or rewards. Often, these promotions can be worth hundreds of dollars. The Barclaycard Ring doesn't offer any 0% introductory APRs for purchases or balance transfers, which can help you save money in interest payments if you need to either transfer a balance or make a little purchase right away. The Discover it card offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (6 months for purchases), followed by a regular APR of 11.24%-23.24%. (See also: Best Credit Cards Offering Bonus Cash)
Unclear award amount. Despite their commitment to transparency, the exact amount cardmembers receive from the Giveback™ program isn't made very clear. Being a Barclaycard Ring cardholder doesn't make you a direct shareholder of the company, and thus your award amount won't be based on the actual company's profits. With the BankAmericard Travel Rewards, you would know you'll receive 1.5x points on every purchase. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Earning Cash Back)
Who This Card Is Best For
The Barclaycard Ring is a great for people who want a straightforward credit card or a dependable backup card, thanks to its simple terms and astoundingly low fees. This card should also appeal to consumers who enjoy giving feedback and having their feedback count for something.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank, card issuer, airline or hotel chain.