Chase Slate Credit Card Review
January 8, 2020
Get rewarded with Chase Slate credit card
The Chase Slate credit card offers creditworthy consumers a way to escape the burden of high-interest debt that they may be encountering with other cards. By offering one of the longest balance transfer financing periods, the Chase Slate lets you spread payments out over 15 months for existing balances. And the good part is a 0% APR applies for the duration. Unlike some other balance transfer cards, you won’t need sparkling credit to qualify for the card.
A stellar balance transfer program isn’t the only reason to like this card. If you’re looking to make a significant purchase upon approval and the same 15-month window will suit your budget, the card also offers 0% financing from day one on new purchases. As you’d expect, all of the standard Chase cardholder perks come with the Slate card. So, if you’re familiar with the bank’s programs and want to shed some burdensome balances, this option will meet your expectations.
What to expect from the Chase Slate credit card
- APR: 16.49%-25.24%
- Annual Fee: $0
- Reward Rates: None
- Intro Offer: 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
- No penalty APR: Late payments won’t have a negative impact on your APR, but all other conditions apply.
- Free credit score: Even if you’re not a cardholder, Chase gives you a running look at your credit score through its Credit Journey program.
- Fraud protection and alerts: Real-time monitoring for suspicious activity allows you to get instant updates via text, voice or email.
- Contactless payment: In a hurry? Breeze through checkout at participating retailers by using the tap-to-pay option.
- Purchase protection: For 120 days from the time of purchase, you’ll have protection on stolen or damaged items up to $500 in value.
But keep your eyes open for pitfalls
The Chase Slate card does a couple of things really well if you’re a balance transfer and intro purchase fan. Unfortunately, it falls short almost everywhere else. The most glaring disadvantage of owning this card is a complete absence of rewards. You won’t get points, miles or cash back for any purchases you make – which for some, could be a dealbreaker. It doesn’t fare particularly well in the travel arena, either. Naturally, you can use the card on vacations or business trips, but there is a foreign transaction fee that will add 3% to every purchase. Couple that with a lack of travel rewards, and you might look in another direction for a more balanced card. And you might not have to stray far.
The Chase Freedom card works a lot like the Slate card, but with the former, you’ll earn at least 1% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make. Depending on where you spend, those rewards multiply considerably. Each year, Chase rolls out a list of categories in which you can spend up to $1,500 combined and earn a tidy 5% cash back reward. If you max out each category during the year, that’s $300 in your pocket that you wouldn’t have if you spent $6,000 annually with the Slate card. You’ll need to pay attention to get the most from your spending, but the categories are fairly common: gas, groceries, big-box retailers, etc.
How to maximize your Chase Slate credit card rewards
You won’t have the chance to optimize rewards with the Chase Slate card, but don’t let that fact dissuade you from owning it. The balance transfer option is a pretty sweet deal, especially since you won’t be charged a fee for the transaction. If you had a $12,000 balance on another card that was charging you 24.99% annually, you’d pay almost $2,100 in interest fees were you to eliminate that debt over a 15-month period. So, you could choose to pay about $939 monthly with your high-interest option or make an $800 payment with the Chase card. In this scenario, there’s little to stop you from moving that balance over or financing a $12,000 purchase without interest — all without an annual fee.
There is that absence of a rewards program, but no worries. If you’re not opposed to holding two cards, you can pack a nice one-two punch by using the Slate card in tandem with the Freedom card. Neither option charges an annual fee, so you start out ahead of the game in that respect. Also, you’ll have some time to decide on balance transfers with the Slate card. As long as you initiate the move within 60 days of account opening, you won’t incur any fee. If you are opening the account for the sole purpose of transferring a balance, you might want to back away from financing a big purchase in case the total payments hinder your ability to pay off the debt in 15 months.
The Chase Slate credit card offers some welcome relief to consumers who feel the weight of an existing balance with a high APR or any rate at all for that matter. While you won’t be able to move another Chase card balance to the Slate option, all other issuers are fair game. Fifteen months is also a manageable term in which to finance a vacation or reasonable home improvement effort. If you wielded the Chase two-card combination play, a new deck or bathroom upgrade could fall into one of the quarterly 5% Freedom bonus categories.
If you used the Slate card as your sole credit card option, you’ll receive no incentive to spend outside the first 15 months at 0%. After the intro period, carrying a balance could rack up substantial interest charges. Without any rewards to offset them, you might end up looking for a third card option to finally pay down that existing debt.