There’s a new credit card available to consumers that’s trying to change the way credit cards work. Of course, the company behind the card, Barclay PLC, wants to make a profit, but they have a plan for that, too. What’s this new credit card called? It’s the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, and there is nothing else like it.
The card became available to the general public in April 2012. It’s been available for several months now and the experiment seems to be working very well in its beta tests. Barclay PLC has provided banking services for a few hundred years, and that lends credibility and reliability to this new service that many other services cannot give.
They also offer an 8 percent variable interest rate on all balances, including balance transfers, and on cash advances with no annual fee or balance transfer fees. While late fees and returned payment fees vary by state, they will not exceed $25. Transactions made outside of the United States will be charged at 1 percent of the dollar amount of each transaction, and the fee for a cash advance is only $1 per transaction.
There aren’t many cards that can match those features. For the first time, cardholders may participate in an online community that provides all sorts of information regarding the card’s performance and the overall standing of the community in card-specific terms of finances, profits and losses, and decision-making.
The online community also provides consumers with access to company profit and loss statements, access to the number of active accounts, and the figures corresponding to the average balance and average purchase amounts. Other information that helps consumers determine how other members are using their cards and impacting card performance and environmental impact is also provided. This comes by way of the percentage of community members who are in good standing, are using paperless billing and how many online payments are made instead of traditional payment methods.
In addition to these features, cardholders can engage in discussions with one another and offer suggestions to Barclay on how to change or improve services and profits. Barclay, in turn, has made a promise to give heavy consideration to this feedback when making decisions that will affect cardholders and the company.
However, the most interesting part of the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard is probably the GiveBack program. GiveBack rewards can be taken as a cash reward or members may choose to donate their portion of the reward to charity.
While the company hasn’t set aside an exact percentage of the actual profits for members to share, there is a calculation that’s done that is completely transparent to cardholders participating in the community. This calculation does include a measure of actual profits. As such, the amount of GiveBack rewarded each reward period fluctuates accordingly.
It certainly seems like the GiveBack program has some advantages over traditional programs. These features, paired with transparency, great rates and the opportunity to influence business decisions, make the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard look like the best card available. Hopefully they live up to expectations.
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