Here’s Something New: A Credit Card That Pays You Cash to Transfer a Balance

Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2013

This post comes from Logan Abbott, editor of the credit cards section of MyRatePlan.com.

Barclaycard is at it again with one of the most unique credit card offers I’ve ever seen.

With so much parity among credit card offers, it can be difficult to find a card that really differentiates itself from the rest. Not so with the new, first-of-its-kind Barclaycard Ring MasterCard: It offers a cash-back bonus on balance transfers.

Advantages

  • 1 percent cash back on balance transfers and no fees. While there’s a host of credit cards that offer a 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers, nearly all charge a fee to transfer an existing balance. The Barclaycard Ring MasterCard takes this a huge step further and actually offers a cash-back bonus of 1 percent, along with no transfer fee as long as you make the balance transfer in the first 60 days that you have the card.
  • Low APR on purchases and balance transfers. Cardholders receive a variable APR of 8 percent on both purchases and balance transfers with the Ring MasterCard. This rate isn’t just an introductory rate; it’s the actual variable APR.
  • Earn rewards through the Barclaycard Giveback program. The Giveback program is what makes the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard one of the most unique cards on the market. Barclaycard Ring MasterCard cardholders can vote online with the entire community of other Ring cardholders in order to decide how the rewards will be distributed. Customers can view the financial position of the Barclaycard online, then vote on whether to change the rates of the card, distribute rewards points, or reward themselves with cash back. Options that are financially viable for Barclaycard and favored by customers can become part of the card.
  • Favorable fee structure. Along with no balance transfer fees, the card also offers no annual fee, a low $1 cash advance fee and a 1 percent foreign transaction fee. The late payment fee on the card is also just $25.

Disadvantages

  • No mobile app. The smartphone app from Barclaycard does not support the Ring MasterCard.
  • No introductory APR period. The card doesn’t offer an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases or balance transfers. The 1 percent balance transfer cash-back bonus is nice if you can pay the balance off right away. Otherwise you will be stuck paying 8 percent interest on that balance.
  • Rewards aren’t very clear. Since the rewards program is crowd-sourced, it’s not immediately clear which rewards you will receive from the card before you sign up, other than the 1 percent cash back on a balance transfer.

Bottom line

Get it if: You have excellent credit, you are looking for a low variable APR on purchases and balance transfers and no balance transfer fee, and you want a 1 percent cash-back bonus on your balance transfer.

Forget it if: You have less than excellent credit or do not need to transfer a balance.

Follow Logan Abbott on Google+

Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page. Also note that any terms, rates or other features described in this article can change without notice. Always double-check everything with the issuer before applying for any credit card.

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