Is the Chase Slate® card a good balance transfer option? Like all cards there are positives and negatives. Our review will help you 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, because most cards charge a balance transfer fee.
What are the advantages?
- $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening – 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) seriously changed the profit dynamics for the card industry and in turn, fees are more common in banking these days. This card normally charges a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. But, if you act quickly there is a $0 Intro Fee on Transfers made within 60 days of Account Opening. This might not be around forever 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
- Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free: Beginning early last year, Chase began offering Slate cardholders free online access to their FICO score. Free FICO access is an extremely valuable perk, and one that Barclaycard, AmEx, Citi and Discover have begun offering to their cardmembers in an effort to make their cards more appealing to consumers. The Slate card is currently the only Chase card that offers free FICO score access.
- Chase Blueprint – Blueprint is an advanced budgeting tool that 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 2 times 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 – 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. The Slate card offers a relatively low APR if your credit qualifies you.
- 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers – When you’re trying to pay down a balance, having a zero percent APR can help tremendously. You have 15 months from opening your Slate card to pay off your balance interest free.
- $0 Annual Fee – This is a common benefit these days, but still worth pointing out.
- No Rewards Program – Really the only disadvantage 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.
What are the disadvantages?
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 above, you can apply and get all of the following:
- 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
There are a couple longer 0 percent intro periods out there, 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. Currently, this is the only nationally advertised deal with no transfer fee.
Why we gave it 3 out of 5 stars
While it doesn’t have the lengthiest 0 percent period on the market, the Slate offers the ability to avoid paying a balance transfer fee, if you move your balance by a deadline. It’s therefore a solid balance-transfer product.
|0% period length: Half star rewarded if BT period is more than 12 months. Full star rewarded if more than 15 months. With a 0% period of 15 months, this card gets half a star.|
|Ability to avoid balance transfer fee: If you transfer your balance in the first 60 days of opening your account, you pay no balance transfer fee.|
|Forgiving terms: Balance transfer cards appeal to those who need a fresh start, so we reward a star to any cards that have stated policies for waiving late fees. This card does not waive them.
The Chase Slate charges late fees that increase with the size of the balance.
|Low go-to APR: The card gets half a star if its go-to-APR range dips below 15 percent and a full star if the lowest possible APR is below 12 percent. Keep in mind, however, your own APR could be higher, based on your creditworthiness.|
|Credit-management tools: This card includes Chase Blueprint, an advanced debt-pay-down and budgeting tool. It also provides free FICO score access.|
This review was written or last updated August 19, 2016