Is the Chase Slate card a good balance transfer option? Absolutely. But like all cards there are pros and cons. Read this review before you decide to take the plunge in order to make an informed choice.
When Chase launched this card a few years ago they tried to make it different, both in terms of features and design — it used to have a vertical design, rotated 90 degrees from the typical horizontal orientation of the standard credit card. Chase just did away with this feature, though, and the card has flipped back to the traditional horizontal design.The other unique feature of the card is that it offers an initial period where there are absolutely no transfer fees. That’s a big deal, especially since card issuers have now removed the fee caps that used to mitigate the pain when transferring large balances.
What are the advantages?
- New for 2015: Free FICO score: In March 2015, Chase began offering Slate cardholers free online access to their FICO score. Free FICO access is a useful perk, and one that Barclaycard, Discover and others have been introducing over the past couple years.
- Flexible Credit Requirements – The vast majority of Chase credit cards have very stringent credit score requirements. Their reward cards like the Freedom and Sapphire require excellent credit and a high FICO credit score to qualify. Fortunately, the Slate card from Chase has somewhat relaxed requirements… instead of just “excellent” credit, they also advertise this one for those with “good” credit. So this is probably the easiest Chase card to qualify for compared to their other rewards based products like Sapphire.
- Chase Blueprint – This is a really useful feature that is discussed and displayed on the Slate commercials. The Chase Slate with Blueprint is an advanced budgeting tool which helps you save money on interest and stick to your goals of paying down balances faster:
As a Slate cardmember, this benefit is completely free for you. According to Chase, customers who set up and stick to their “Split It” or “Finish It” Blueprint plan tend to pay off their balance 2x faster when compared to their other cardholders. That can save consumers quite a bit of money over time – so definitely take advantage of this innovative tool to help reach your goal of becoming debt free, faster.
- Reasonable Interest Rates – As I’m sure you know, reward credit cards usually have high interest rates (because they have to subsidize the cost of the rewards, right?). Well since the Chase Slate credit card is designed for those with a balance, they skipped the rewards program (and to be honest, if you’re trying to get out of debt, having a rewards card can be extremely counterproductive) and instead focus on giving better APRs. As I write this review, the interest rate is 12.99 percent, 17.99 percent or 22.99 percent (variable) depending on your credit. Of course I’m not claiming the high end is “low” but if you have good credit and get the 12.99 percent tier, that is probably lower than what you would be paying on many reward cards.
- Initial $0 Balance Transfer Fee – Back before the Great Recession, it was possible to find balance transfer credit cards with no balance transfer fee. Unfortunately those disappeared and haven’t returned in force since. It’s also unlikely we will see a lot of them again, because the credit card reform (CARD Act) has cut into the industry’s profits and in turn, fees are more common in banking these days. This card normally charges a balance transfer fee of 3 percent which is a lot better than the 5 percent you find on a lot of other cards. But, if you act quickly there is a $0 balance transfer fee promotional offer available in the links within this review. This might not be around for too long so act quickly if you’re in the market to transfer a balance. This is the only card in the market offering this money-saving fee-free transfer feature
- Zero Percent Offers – Of course, when you’re trying to pay down a balance, having a zero percent APR can help tremendously. The Chase Slate balance transfer offers are among the best on the market (scroll down to see the current offer).
- No Annual Fee – This is a common benefit these days, but still worth pointing out.
What are the disadvantages?
- No Rewards Program – Really the only disadvantage I can think of when it comes to this card is the fact that there is no rewards program. But that makes sense, as the card is designed for people carrying a balance from month to month. People who consistently carry balances are much better off avoiding a rewards card altogether because those tend to induce much more spending and carry slightly higher interest rates. So, if you have excellent credit and pay your bill in full each and every month, you would be better off with their Freedom. However, Chase Slate probably makes more sense if you need to transfer a balance and keep a lid on future spending until you get your head above water.
Should you apply?
If you will be using this card to pay down a balance, then yes, it’s a good deal. Right now using our sponsored promotion below, you can apply and get all of the following:
- 0% for 15 months on balance transfers
- 0% for 15 months on purchases
- $0 balance transfer fee (for transfers made within 60 days)
There are a couple transfer offers out there that are a little longer (18 months) but they all charge a 3 percent to 5 percent fee on your transferred amount. So, if you transferred $5,000 you might pay $150 (3 percent) to $250 (5%) upfront just to do the transfer. Heading into Q1 2015, this is the only nationally advertised deal with no transfer fee. That makes the Chase Slate card the go-to offer if you need to transfer a balance in 2015.
This review was written or last updated March 25, 2015