Chase Slate Credit Card Review: Is It Right for You?
The Chase Slate Credit Card is a 0% intro APR card that features low interest rates and no balance transfer fees in the first 60 days, making it a perfect card for big purchases or balances.
While the card offers no rewards, its interest rates and fees make it a great tool to learn how to use credit cards responsibly while avoiding interest for 15 months.
Exactly how you can use this card to your benefit is something that we’ll cover in this review. We will talk about how the card works, discuss its rates and fees and compare it to other low-interest credit cards.
We’ll finish up with a section featuring our thoughts about the card’s pros and cons, as well as who we think is a good fit for this card.
Pros: No transfer fees for 60 days, no penalty APR.
Cons: Average length of 0% intro APR offer, slightly high APR.
|Intro APR for balance transfers||Intro APR for purchases||Regular APR|
|0% for 15 months||0% for 15 months||16.99% to 25.74%|
Like any other credit card, you’ll apply for this one online at the Chase website. At some point in your application, Chase will ask you if you want to transfer a balance to your new card.
If you know you want to transfer a balance, then you’ll provide Chase with the account number and the balance amount you want to transfer.
Once you submit your application, Chase says they’ll examine your credit history to determine if you are eligible for this card. The interest rate and credit limit you get aren’t guaranteed. However, the fine print says that your credit limit will be at least $500.
This is an important point, as you may be approved for a credit limit that is less than the amount you wanted to transfer. If that’s the case, Chase may reject the balance-transfer request you made in your application and you’ll have to do another transfer request for a lesser amount.
If Chase accepts your balance transfer request, their fine print says they send a payment to the card with the balance equal to the amount you requested. This payment will take place 10 days after Chase sends you your card, the fine print says.
Once you have your card in hand, you can use it to make purchases. However, the card’s true value lies in the introductory interest rate offers it provides.
For 15 months you won’t pay any interest on purchases, nor will you pay interest on balance transfers. Also, you won’t pay a balance transfer fee on balances you transfer within the first 60 days your account is open.
This 15-month 0% APR period can save you hundreds of dollars you’d otherwise make in interest payments, which is something we’ll cover more intricately in the next section.
The following represents this credit card’s rates and fees at the time of publishing:
- Interest rate for purchases and balance transfers: 16.99% to 25.74%
- Interest rate for cash advances: 26.99%
- Penalty interest rate: None
- Balance transfer fee: None for first 60 days, $5 or 3% after
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $39
- Annual fee: $0
The first interest rate you see is the purchase and balance transfer “APR,” which stands for “annual percentage rate.” This is the interest rate that Chase will charge you if you have a balance left over after you pay your bill.
So, if you have a $3,000 balance and you pay $1,000, you’ll have a $2,000 leftover balance. At 17.99%, you’ll pay around $28 in a month or $335 in a year.
This is just one example of how much interest you’ll pay. The following chart shows you how much you could pay in one year based on three possible APR’s and five different average daily balances:
|16.99% APR for one year||20.99% APR for one year||25.74% APR for one|
|$1,000 daily balance||$169.90||$209.90||$257.40|
|$2,000 daily balance||$339.80||$419.80||$514.80|
|$3,000 daily balance||$509.70||$629.70||$772.20|
|$4,000 daily balance||$679.60||$839.60||$1,029.60|
|$5,000 daily balance||$849.50||$1,049.50||$1,287.00|
As you can see, carrying a balance on your card is a very expensive proposition once you get into the $2,000 range. The effects of these payments are more acute when you’ve got the card’s highest APR.
Based on these numbers, our advice is to pay off your balance every month. This does two things. First, it saves you the financial disadvantage of paying interest.
Second, paying off your balance every month means you’ll keep your balance low. When you do that, your credit scores benefit because low balances tell lenders you’re a responsible spender/borrower.
Now, if you have a high balance on another card, you can see how transferring that balance to the Chase Slate Credit Card could benefit you.
Let’s say you’ve had a $5,000 balance on another card with a 25.74% APR. In 15 months, you could pay around $1,600 in interest.
However, if you transfer that balance to your Chase Slate Credit Card within the first 60 days you have the card, you’ll pay $0 in interest for 15 months. In theory, you could take the $1,600 you save in interest and pay down your $5,000 balance to $3,400.
When your 15 months of 0% APR expires, Chase will apply your regular APR to the remaining balance.
These interest rates are the most important ones to understand, as they’re at the heart of how Chase has designed this card.
The other fees are, in our opinion, secondary. The cash advance APR and fees shouldn’t come into play because you should avoid cash advances at all costs. While appealing—you can withdraw cash from an ATM with your card—the rates and fees are too high.
The only other key fee we want to point out is the balance transfer fee. You won’t pay this fee if you transfer a balance in the first 60 days of your account. After that, you’ll pay a 3% fee for any balances higher than $166.
Understanding how a card works and what its rates and fees are the first step in knowing if the card is right for you. The next step is to put the Chase Slate Credit Card in the context of similar cards that may provide better features.
We created the following chart to help highlight the similarities and differences between the Chase Slate Credit Card and other low-interest cards:
|Chase Slate Credit Card||Citi Simplicity Card||Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card||BankAmericard Credit Card||U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card||Wells Fargo Platinum Card|
|Intro APR for balance transfers||0% for 15 months||0% for 21 months||0% for 18 months||0% for 15 months||0% for 18 months||0% for 18 months|
|Intro APR for purchases||0% for 15 months||0% for 12 months||0% for 18 months||0% for 15 months||0% for 18 months||0% for 18 months|
|Regular APR||16.99% to 25.74%||16.74% to 26.74%||15.74% to 25.74%||14.99% to 24.99%||14.49% to 25.49%||17.49% to 26.99%|
|Balance transfer fee||$0 for first 60 days, $5 or 5% after||$5 or 5%||$5 or 5%||$10 or 3%||$5 or 3%||$5 or 3% for first 120 days, then 5%|
|Late payment fee||Up to $39||None||Up to $39||Up to $39||Up to $39||Up to $37|
The best way to approach this chart is to examine each card’s balance transfer and purchase 0% APR offers.
The Chase Slate Credit Card’s 15 months of no interest for balance transfers is on the low end.
The Citi Simplicity Card is the best choice, as it offers 21 months of 0% interest on balance transfers. However, you’ll pay a 5% fee on your transfer. So, if you transfer $5,000, you’ll pay $250 to get that extra six months of 0% over the Chase Slate Credit Card.
The card performs better when it comes to purchase APR’s, as only the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card and the Wells Fargo Platinum Card have a longer 0% offer.
As for regular APR’s, the Chase Slate’s best APR of 16.99% is higher than all but one card in the chart, with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card and the BankAmericard leading the way.
When put in the context of these other low-interest credit cards, we think the Chase Slate is a slightly-better-than-average choice. Its 0% offers aren’t the worst and they aren’t the best. The same applies to the card’s regular interest rates.
We believe our research shows that this card’s main strength is that it combines 15 months of no interest and 60 days of no fees for balance transfers. These two benefits are the best fit for you if you have high-interest balances on other cards.
If that’s you, we suggest you use the strategy we talked about earlier. Let’s say you’re paying around $100 a month in interest for a balance on your other card. When you transfer that to your Chase Slate Credit Card, set aside $100 a month to pay down the transferred balance.
What’s good about this is you’re decreased your balance, which increases your credit score. Also, if you can’t pay off the balance before the 15-month 0% offer ends, you’ll have a smaller balance to pay down.
The downside to the card is that its 0% offers and interest rate aren’t quite as good as other cards. So, you have to be smart about how you use the card. Do you have a balance you think you can pay off in 20 months but not 15?
The Citi Simplicity Card could be the best choice because you’ll have 21 months of 0% APR. At the same time, the card has a penalty APR of 29.99% that activates if you make a single late payment.
So, as you decide if the Chase Slate Credit Card is right for you, be honest about your financial habits.
If you’re the kind of person who has enough extra money every month to pay off your balances in 15 months, you don’t pay late and you don’t anticipate adding to your balance through purchases, this card is a great option for you.