The Chase Slate credit card is changing the game in its particular market niche. Those of you who carry a balance — and/or maybe think it’s about time to transfer that balance — will definitely want to get a load of this.
Typically, cards with a 0% introductory offer for balance transfers still charge a balance transfer fee of (usually) 3%. This tends to still be a favorable offer, but it leaves the consumer with some calculations to do. If your current credit card balance has an APR of 18%, say, then that means it takes about two months for the balance to accrue 3% interest. So the question becomes: is it worth it to pay two months of interest upfront in order to secure 0% for over a year? How quickly could you pay it off otherwise? Whip out the calculators and spreadsheets…
Oh wait, except with the Chase Slate, you don’t have to worry about any of that at all, because there is no balance transfer fee. None. And there is still an introductory 0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
Believe It, Transfer It
Sound too good to be true? It’s true-blue, in classic Chase style. Clearly, they know how to keep all levels of their cards competitive. There are some details to be aware of, though.
- Balance transfers are free as long as you make them in the first 60 days. After that, it’s the usual 3%.
- Remember that you can’t transfer balances between cards issued by the same bank. That means no transferring balances to the Slate from any other Chase card.
- You can’t transfer balances that are higher than your credit limit.
- And if you do accidentally go over your credit limit, or make a late payment, on ANY Chase account, you can kiss your introductory 0% APR goodbye, because you will be slapped with a 29.99% penalty APR. Yikes!
By the way, there’s also no annual fee, as to be expected. There is a foreign transaction fee, though. You can’t win them all.
There’s another reason that the Chase Slate is particularly suited to those who carry a balance. This card, along with a few other Chase cards, comes with a nifty tool called Blueprint that helps you track your expenses and set up payment plans. Directly from your browser, you can use create plans to pay certain purchases or categories of purchases off in full every month, set up payment plans for large purchases or even your whole balance, or simply track your spending. Your created payment plan then shows up on your statements alongside everything else.
Although… Let’s put our critical thinking caps on for a moment. Chase proudly advertises that with Blueprint’s Full Pay feature, you can “pay no interest on selected items,” …wow, pretty sweet!… “if you pay them off in full.” Wait, what? How is that any different from any credit purchase ever?
It’s not. Don’t be fooled — Blueprint does not give you any special interest rates on select items, or do anything really. It’s just a tool that you can use for your own planning. It does nothing that a calculator, spreadsheet, calendar, or notebook couldn’t do for you. Except it’s prettier and easier to use.
There is great value in obsessive budgeting! But our advice has been and continues to be that you should pay everything off as quickly as you can — it’s that simple. You don’t really have to break your balance down by categories; it doesn’t matter ‘which’ dollars you pay off. You have to pay the whole thing eventually anyways, and every dollar left unpaid will accumulate interest charges. The faster you pay, the less you pay.
Still, Blueprint is valuable for its psychological benefit. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s nice to have numbers broken down for you. A good mindset is a valuable intangible asset. Chase claims that customers who use Blueprint’s payment plan features tend to pay off their debts twice as fast. So clearly, it works for many people. Despite, you know, not actually doing anything. Hey, whatever lights a fire, right?
The Chase Slate comes with no rewards program. Boohoo. Don’t be surprised; that’s not what this card is about. It’s about becoming debt-free. Nobody who carries a balance should sign up for a rewards card, because rewards cards’ interest rates are much higher, certainly higher than the rewards.
But you do get $0 liability for fraudulent charges, as well as protection for your purchases against loss or damage for 60 days (up to $250).