Have It Your Way With This Credit Card

Barclaycard Ring MasterCard encourages cardholders to join an online community.

Social media has crossed a new frontier. Sign up for the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard and you are encouraged to join an online community on the Web site, where you may influence the card’s operations and evolution. Even if you’re not a regular on Facebook or Twitter, you might be tempted by the card’s appealing 8% interest rate.

Paul Wilmore, managing director of consumer markets for Barclaycard US, hopes that the community will serve as a virtual credit union where members engage with one another, share stories and ask for advice. Plus, he compares the company’s dialogue with its customers to a shareholders meeting. Cardholders may propose changes to the credit card’s terms (there is an online moderator). One recent post suggested that cardholders who do not call customer service should receive a credit. Wilmore anticipates Barclaycard will pose three or four of its own questions to the community once or twice a year. For example, participants might be asked whether the late fee should be dropped from $25 to $10 and the interest rate raised to 8.25%.

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Senior Reporter, Kiplinger's Personal Finance