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Chase Slate vs. Citi Double Cash: Which Is Better for Balance Transfers?

Balance Transfer Credit Cards, Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards
Chase Slate vs. Citi Double Cash: Which Is Better for Balance Transfers?
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If you’re looking to transfer high-interest credit card debt to a new card to gain a little breathing room, the Chase Slate® and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer are solid options.

Both offer an introductory 0% APR period on transferred balances, but they sport distinctly different advantages beyond that. In short:

  • Choose the Chase Slate® to focus on getting out of debt without adding to it. It’s a clear winner for that single chore.
  • Choose the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer if you’re looking for a card that doubles as a top-notch rewards card to keep using long after you pay your revolving balance to zero.

Here’s how these cards stack up side by side:

 Chase Slate®Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Balance transfer fee$0 for the first 60 days; after that, 5% of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater 3% of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater
APR0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
RewardsNone1% cash back on purchases, another 1% back when you pay them off
Annual fee$0$0

Balance transfer comparison

The headline feature of the Chase Slate® is its $0 introductory balance transfer fee for the first 60 days. After that, balance transfers incur a fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater. The $0 intro fee could save you hundreds of dollars compared with other cards, which typically charge a fee or 3% to 5% of the transferred balance. That’s $300 to $500 on a balance of $10,000.

When you combine the $0 transfer fee, the 0% APR period and the $0 annual fee, the Chase Slate® lets you carry a balance for free while you work on getting out of debt.

By contrast, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer double-dips on the most basic financial advice on credit cards: If you carry a balance, focus on interest rate, but if you pay in full every month, focus on rewards. It offers something on both counts. The card charges 3% on transferred balances but offers an introductory APR of 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.

Rewards comparison

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer comes with substantial rewards that make it worth keeping in your wallet after you’ve paid off a transferred balance. It gives you 1% cash back on all of your purchases, then another 1% back when you pay them off. The combined rate makes it among the best flat-rate cash-back cards around.

By contrast, Chase Slate® has no rewards for spending, so its benefit is all about what you don’t pay, not what the card pays you.

How to choose

If your primary goal is to get out of credit card debt without adding to it in the form of a balance transfer fee, Chase Slate® is the better choice here. If you’re looking at a longer time horizon and want a card that will serve you well both now and after you’re debt-free, it’s hard to beat the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

Gregory Karp is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: gkarp@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @spendingsmart.