Equipped with the Chase Blueprint program, the Chase Slate claims to be one of the best in the low-interest arena. But is it really the top card to pay down your debts without being slammed with high interest? It’s a close call, because the Slate has a shorter 0% introductory period than some competing cards, but has no balance transfer fee.
|Annual Fee||Signup Bonus||APR , Variable*||APR Promotions|
|$0||$0 balance transfer fee - introductory offer.||12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% (V)||0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months|
Paying off debt with the Slate
The Slate is intended for people in a pickle. If you find yourself neck-deep in debt, the Slate is there to pull you out. Upon signing, you’ll experience an APR ceasefire to stymie the onslaught of interest. It offers two introductory APR promotions depending on your credit score. Folks with fairly good credit will be granted 15 months of 0% purchase and balance transfer APR. By freezing interest, you can dump your debts into Slate and have time to make payments without further descent. A variable APR of 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% kicks in after the introductory period ends.
You get a big advantage when you transfer debt over to the Chase Slate, relative to other balance transfer options with 0% introductory periods. You pay no balance transfer fee if you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the balance transfer fee for subsequent transactions is 3% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5. The 0% fee during the first 60 days is better than the 3-5% industry standard.
Blueprint: Slate’s little helper
With Slate comes Blueprint, a sort of debt-fighting sidekick and financial strategist. Blueprint is an online program that aids cardholders in paying down balances. Using an extremely user-friendly interface, you create dynamic payment plans to blaze through existing balances and minimize future debt. Entering a Blueprint payment plan doesn’t actually lock you into anything binding. There are no penalties for missing payments, and you can alter the trajectory of your plan at any time. Blueprint is a free tool for managing personal finances, not a contract.
Blueprint consists of 4 parts: Full Pay, Split, Finish It and Track It. Full Pay allows you to select categories you’d like to pay in full each month. These will likely be your basic day-to-day necessities—groceries, gas, dining, etc. This ensures you’ll never pay interest on everyday transactions. Split creates plans for paying off big purchases. You choose how much you’d like to pay each month or how quickly you’d like to pay off the total, and Split breaks down the details and maps your progress. Finish It creates plans for eliminating debt. Similar to Split, you decide how much time you’ll need to pay off your debt or how much you can afford each month. The end goal is to eradicate your total credit card debt. Track It is a feature that creates visual presentations of your spending habits. Your expenditures are sorted into categories to show you where your money is going. Track It also allows you to set budgets for each category and generates graphic displays of your adherence and divergences.
Alternatives to Slate
Though it does not come equipped with anything comparable to Blueprint, the Citi Diamond Preferred is almost as good as Slate as a balance transfer credit card. Neither card charges an annual fee, but you get a lower transfer fee with Slate. Diamond Preferred charges a 3% balance transfer fee, but offers a 0% purchase and transfer APR for a whopping 18 months.
The Citi Diamond preferred also offers a suite of perks you won’t find with Slate. Benefits include access to presale tickets, preferred seating, VIP packages and various live entertainment experiences. These are a little frivolous and not exactly vital to a low interest credit card, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little cachet. Simply enough, we slightly prefer the Diamond because it boasts the longest 0% intro APR on the market. Slate remains in the running because Blueprint is kind of neat and there is no balance transfer fee. But remember, aside from preventing debt on select purchases, Blueprint doesn’t do anything you can’t do for yourself. You don’t need Chase to create a budget and keep track of your spending. We’d only recommend Slate over the Diamond if you’re new to the finance game and need a little help staying on track.