There are a lot of balance transfer credit cards out there, designed specifically for anyone who is carrying a balance on their credit card and paying high (or any) interest fees each month. In fact, there are so many it can be challenging to determine how one is better or worse than the others. Chase Slate is one of the cards vying for your business, and we took an in-depth look at this card to answer the question “is it any good?” The short answer is yes, it’s a great choice that can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars if you’re currently paying interest on another credit card. It’s the only card we’ve found with the combination of a lengthy 0% intro APR and no balance transfer fee. The in-depth answer, as well as the card’s pros and cons, is explained below.
It’s pretty common for folks to rack up a balance on their credit cards and are wonder how they are going to pay it off. Chase Slate is a strong solution, offering a 15-month 0% intro APR on both balance transfers and purchases. Many cards offer a 0% intro APR, but the best part about Slate is that you won’t pay any balance transfer fees to move your balance(s) onto this card. That’s a huge win, since these fees are typically 3% of the balance you’re transferring, which can add up to big money. For example, if you’re transferring $10,000 you’d probably pay $300 in fees with other cards. With Slate you pay absolutely nothing to transfer your money, and you have 15 interest-free months to make payments against the balance, which can give you even bigger savings. For example, if you were making $700 monthly payments on that $10,000 balance and had a 20% interest rate, it would take you 17 months to pay it off and you’d pay over $1,500 in interest. If you transferred that balance to Slate, you’d pay it off in 15 months with no interest, saving $1,500 and paying absolutely no fees. Just make sure you transfer your balance in the first 60 days to take advantage of the $0 balance transfer fee, as after that time there will be a fee.
In addition to the 0% intro APR on balance transfers, you’ll also pay no interest for 15 months on purchases. This is a great way to make any big (or small) purchases you need and save money on interest fees for over a year. Plus, Slate has no annual fee and a fairly low ongoing APR after the 0% intro APR period which is important if you plan to carry a balance after the 15 months are up.
If you’ve been known to make a late payment or two you’ll appreciate that Slate has no penalty APR. This means your interest rate won’t increase if your payment is delayed. We don’t recommend habitually paying your bill late, but it’s nice to know if it does happens you won’t be penalized for it.
Another huge point in Slate’s favor is that it’s available to those with good credit. A good credit score is typically considered to be above 660. Usually credit cards with the best offers are only available to people with excellent credit histories, but Slate has all the great features offered to excellent credit consumers and is open to those with merely good credit. So if you’ve missed a payment or two, or had some other minor hits on your credit report you will likely still qualify for this card. Of course, Slate also considers other factors like your annual salary and wages, your other annual income and a review of your debt, but in general those with good credit have a good shot.
World travelers will appreciate that Slate offers Chip and PIN technology. Chip-enabled cards are usually required when traveling outside the U.S., and if your card doesn’t have one you might not be able to use it when traveling internationally.
Things to Consider
Chase Slate is a smart way to gradually pay down your balance over the course of the 15-month 0% intro APR period, and after the no-interest period is up it continues to offer reasonable ongoing APRs. However, if you think you might be carrying your balance for a prolonged time, Barclaycard Ring Mastercard might be a better solution for you. It doesn’t have a 0% intro APR period, but features no balance transfer fee, no annual fee and a one of the lowest ongoing APRs we’ve ever seen – 8.25%.
If a 15-month 0% intro APR isn’t quite enough, but you think you can pay down your balance in under 2 years, consider the Citi Simplicity Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser). It has an incredibly lengthy 21-month intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, and has no annual fee and no late fees. There is a 3% balance transfer fee, but those 6 extra months of no interest on balance transfers might make it worthwhile.
Slate’s chip-enabled card makes it easy to travel internationally, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee for each purchase you make. This fee can add up, particularly if you’re taking a long vacation and charging most purchases onto your card. If this is a deal-breaker for you, BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card is an alternative to Slate that features no foreign transaction fees, a 20,000 point intro bonus (worth $200 when you redeem towards travel), no annual fee, 1.5 reward points for every dollar spent and a 12-billing cycle 0% intro APR.
Although Slate is a great balance transfer card, it doesn’t offer any rewards. If you’re interested in a balance transfer card that also has strong cash back rewards, take a look at the Citi Double Cash Card which has a 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, an effective 2% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee (note: the card does have a 3% balance transfer fee).
Should You Apply for the Slate from Chase?
Chase Slate is a very strong card and is unique in that it lets you transfer your existing balances free of charge and pay no interest for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases. We highly recommend Chase Slate, and it is our best-ranked balance transfer card. It’s particularly appealing because it’s available to those with good (rather than just excellent) credit. There are some potential drawbacks though, including no rewards and a foreign transaction fee. If these are concerns for you, check out the above-mentioned alternatives. You can also take advantage of our free Balance Transfer Calculator to see which card is the best choice for your particular situation.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.