If you've been taking advantage of Chase's Blueprint program to help you with your credit card payments, you'd better draw up another set of plans. In a statement to NerdWallet, a Chase spokesperson confirmed that it is ending the program Nov. 11, 2018, citing low consumer participation as a factor.
Blueprint has been available for several Chase cards, including all of its Sapphire and Ink cards.
Four parts to the plan
The Blueprint program featured four elements to help cardmembers manage their spending:
Full Pay. This option let users select the categories (gas, groceries, etc.) that they planned to pay in full every month on a qualified card. Blueprint separated out those charges so that the user was paying interest only on expenditures that fell outside those categories, as long as charges in those selected categories were paid off in full before the monthly due date.
Split. If you knew you had to make a large purchase and also how much you could afford each month toward paying it down, Split let you treat that charge like an installment loan. The feature could calculate how many months it would take to pay off that big buy based on a combination of what you wanted to pay and your card's APR.
Finish it. This tool enabled users to tackle their account balance by picking either a monthly payment amount or the amount of time desired to pay it off. Finish It calculated a corresponding monthly payment plan to help users finish paying off the balance.
Track It. A budgeting tool with a visual component, Track It let users set spending goals in various categories and created diagrams showing how far they'd come toward staying within budget.
What to do if you were using Blueprint
If you were using the Full Pay option, think of it as if an introductory 0% APR offer has expired. If you still have a balance on your credit card from other expenses, consider paying with cash whenever you shop at a category you had enrolled in Full Pay, and continue to pay down the rest of your balance.
Similarly, if you were using features such as the Split or Finish It options, your goal remains the same: Continue paying down your debt until it's gone. Set calendar reminders if you need them, so that you don't miss a due date.
For those who were still paying off a balance using the Split feature, know that according to Chase, this change won't affect the APR(s) currently applicable to the remaining plan balance(s).
And if you were using the Track It option and you still like the idea of having some help to keep your spending on track, several free budgeting apps and tools are available online. Pick the one that feels most intuitive and set reminders to check your progress regularly.
If, however, your balance is ballooning or unmanageable, consider a balance transfer credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer. These cards can offer an interest-free period, which gives you some breathing room as you attack your debt.