About Chase Slate Credit Card
Named as the Best Balance Transfer Card five years in a row by CardRatings.com, Chase Slate Credit Card offers low interest rates, no annual fees, and free access to your FICO score.
Compared to other credit cards, Chase Slate’s online dashboard won’t just show you your credit score, though. You’ll also be able to see the reasons behind your score, a summary of your information, and even get helpful information on “ways to manage your credit health.”
With Slate, you’ll also get real-time fraud monitoring, including alerts and an embedded chip. And if your payment is late, Chase won’t increase your APR (more about this in a second)!
Compared to the Freedom Card, the Chase Slate Credit Card is a different animal altogether. Is it the best balance transfer card for you? Do you even want a balance transfer card, and if so, is there anything you should keep in mind?
Let’s take it step by step. First, since one of Slate’s biggest benefits is the free FICO score, we’ll start there.
What is Your FICO Score?
Previously known as Fair Isaac Corporation, FICO is an independent company who specializes in taking a specific set of information, crunching the numbers, and predicting behaviors based on this information.
The information that FICO uses to assess your score includes amounts owed (current debt), payment history, length of credit history, new credit, and credit mix. Using this information, a number between 300 and 800 is produced—the higher the number is the more likely it is that you’ll be approved for a loan, as well as to receive favorable terms.
FICO isn’t the only company that specializes in this type of analysis, but they are the best known, since their score makes “up a substantial portion of the credit report that lenders use to assess an applicant's credit risk and whether to extend a loan.”
From this perspective, one of the best things you can do to improve your FICO score (or keep it high) is to check it regularly, which the Chase Slate Credit Card seems to help you accomplish. On top of this, Chase will also provide ways to help you maintain your credit health.
So, although you probably won’t find anything on your Slate dashboard that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere online for free, having everything in one place could definitely make the process easier.
Speaking of easy, will Slate Credit Card’s fraud protection benefits make your life easier if the unthinkable happens?
Does Chase Slate Provide Decent Fraud Protection Benefits?
Nearly every credit card is supported by two different entities: the bank (e.g. Chase) and the payment processor (e.g. VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, etc.). Why is this important?
Because each of these businesses provide their own level of fraud protection, although they often overlap. So, although the Slate Card includes an embedded EMV chip for verification, real-time fraud monitoring, and alerts if any fraudulent activity is suspected—all of which can be immensely useful—this is pretty much what you’ll find with any other credit card, so Slate doesn’t seem to be necessarily unique here.
For more information about this, be sure to read Your Comprehensive Guide To Credit Card Fraud Protection Benefits.
But one thing that does make Chase Slate (at least somewhat) unique is its balance transfer benefits, which is what we’ll discuss next.
Chase Slate Credit Card Pricing & Fees
Chase Slate comes with $0 annual fee, as well as a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases or balance transfers.
After the first 15 months, your variable APR will increase to 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Remember how we talked about FICO score earlier? This is where a higher score will definitely benefit you.
After the first 60 days your account is open, the fee for future balance transfers will be 3% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5.
Chase Slate’s cash and overdraft advance APR is 24.99%, in addition to a $10 or 5% fee, whichever is greater.
Important note: Were you impressed that Chase won’t raise your interest rate if you send in a late payment?
While this is certainly a bonus, this doesn’t mean you won’t be hit with some hefty fees. According to Slate’s Pricing & Terms, you’ll be charged “up to $15 if the balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250; up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more” for each late or returned payment.”
What are customers saying about their experiences with Chase Slate Credit Card? Do they appreciate the low fees? Let’s find out.
Chase Slate’s Online Customer Reputation
NerdWallet gave the Slate Credit Card a 4.6-star rating, and liked that “it offers a unique combination of features that will get dedicated debtors out of the red in no time.” This includes no balance transfer fees, 0% introductory period on purchases and transfers, and no annual fee. However, they didn’t like Slate’s high credit score requirements, medium-term introductory period, and the fact that it doesn’t offer any kind of rewards.
Conversely, NerdWallet readers gave Chase Slate a lower rating at 3.5 stars. Many customers wrote that they liked the 0% introductory period, solid customer service, and the layout of their FICO dashboard. On the other hand, many customers claimed that the card isn’t great after the intro period ends, that the lack of rewards was a big deal, and high interest rates.
On CreditKarma, readers gave the Chase Slate Credit Card an average rating of 2.8 stars (as of 11/16/15), based on 245 reviews (interestingly, about 45% were 1-star reviews). Again, while many seemed to be pleased with Slate, many other complained that they were denied partial or whole balance transfer requests (more about this next), the company’s deceptive business practices (such as making you jump through hoops to complete transfers, which might not be completed within 60 days), high interest rates after the intro period, and poor customer service.
And it seems like CreditKarma’s readers weren’t alone. Several CreditCardForum.com readers also complained that although Chase might approve your Slate Card with a $10K limit (for example), it might be the case that only a very small percentage of this (say $500) will be available for a balance transfer.
Alright, you’ve learned a lot about Chase Slate up to this point. But before we bring it home, let’s talk about the pros and cons of balance transfer cards.
Balance Transfer Cards Pros & Cons
If you’re thinking about using Chase Slate’s 0% balance transfer option (and why wouldn’t you, since this is arguably its primary benefit?), you’re probably excited about the prospect of reducing your debt and paying it off faster.
But before you do, carefully weigh the following:
Will you pay your balance in full?
Ultimately, “The only real, solid, definable benefit from a balance transfer is you can save money over the long haul if you pay back the previous amount you owed and you pay it at a lower interest rate, including all your costs.” And if you’re not able to do this within the intro period, the APR afterward could be higher than your current card—not to mention the fact that you could be charged this interest rate all the way back to inception!
How much money are you expecting to save?
Yes, 0% APR balance transfer cards can definitely help save you money. Just how much though? According to this Investopedia article, even dropping your interest rate by a whopping 15% will only save you about $270 over the course of a year. Certainly, this is nothing to sneeze at, but if you’re expecting to save thousands and pay off your balance many months in advance, this probably won’t be the case.
Will you be using your Slate Credit Card for anything other than a balance transfer?
Remember that any purchases you make on top of your balance transfer limit probably won’t come with the same ultra-low interest rates. So if you’re planning to make any purchases outside of your balance transfer, check your APRs carefully beforehand.
Are you interested in anything besides balance transfers?
Finally, if you want a balance transfer card that offers anything more, you might want to think twice about Chase Slate Credit Card. Why? Because it doesn’t offer any kind of rewards program, so once your introductory period is up, you’ve basically exhausted the card’s main benefit.
Is the Chase Slate Credit Card Right for You?
Inarguably, Chase Slate’s biggest benefit is its 0% introductory period on balance transfers. So if a balance transfer isn’t your primary motive, we’d strongly recommend exploring different credit card options.
And even if a balance transfer is your primary motive, the fact that Chase Slate comes with some fairly high interest rates and its lack of any type of rewards can be big drawbacks. Especially considering that you’ll need to have a mid-to-high FICO score in order to qualify (or at least get the best terms), which might get you lower rates and better rewards with other cards.
Were you approved for a Chase Slate Credit Card? Did you transfer balances from other credit cards? Tell us about your experience by leaving a review below!