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Sometimes you don't need anything fancy, which is perhaps why plain vanilla is the best selling flavor of ice cream, so says the International Dairy Foods Association.

In the world of credit cards, while rewards cards and other perks get a lot of airplay, there are still plain vanilla cards that can be good options for your wallet. These cards have no annual fees, no rewards and sometimes offer low rates.

Since the recession, these vanilla cards are making a splash, with issuers stepping up their direct mail efforts in hopes of getting new cardholders. "Plain vanilla cards target revolvers who typically carry a balance from month to month," says Andrew Davidson, senior vice president, Mintel Comperemedia, in a statement. "During the downturn, plain vanilla became a niche segment as access to credit from all sources dried up nationwide. Card issuers focused their attention on consumers with excellent credit histories, resulting in a proliferation of credit card offers promoting rewards and other perks."

After President Obama signed in the CARD Act in 2009 with the aim of instituting reforms that would help credit card consumers understand card rates and fees, these plain vanilla cards sought to fulfill the mandates of this law.

Mintel Comperemedia noted that Citibank, Chase and Capital One have upped the direct advertising for their plain vanilla cards, which include Citi's Simplicity card, Chase's Slate card and Capital One's Platinum MasterCard. "Unlike plain vanilla offers mailed pre-recession, today's plain vanilla offers typically boast additional post-CARD Act features so they are not just competing on rate. Citi's message is one of clarity and no late fees, whereas Chase's Blueprint feature helps customers manage their spending and borrowing. Capital One, on the other hand, is targeting consumers looking to re-establish their credit and will provide access to a higher credit line once a cardholder makes five on-time payments," says Davidson.

Now Barclays has joined the competition with its own plain vanilla card, the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard. According to Barclays, the card has a low interest rate, low fees and simple terms. These features came about through Barclays' efforts in "community crowdsourcing," in which the company consulted an online group of its cardmembers.

"We want to change the way people think about credit cards and their credit card company by putting the power back in the hands of customers," says Paul Wilmore, managing director-Consumer Markets, Barclaycard US, in a statement. "Barclaycard Ring will give cardmembers a voice to help decide how the card can best work for them -- along with the unique opportunity to benefit from its collective performance."

Barclaycard Ring's vanilla features include an 8 percent interest rate for all balances, no balance transfer fee, no annual fee, and clear terms. It will also feature a virtual cardholder forum, where members can see the card's financial statements and participate in the card's management and servicing decisions. A social media element will help community members share ideas and give feedback to the company. In return, this community will also be able to share in the profits that come from its decisions through Barclays' Giveback program.

"Through simple and transparent terms, we want to pull back the curtain that has traditionally separated banks from their customers and give our community a say in weighing economic tradeoffs that can create a better cardmember experience," says Wilmore. "Some might say we're creating a virtual credit union or community bank, but we're taking that model much further by giving our members a seat at the table to help decide what card features and benefits are really best for them."

The Barclaycard Ring will be available to consumers this April.