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Compare Credit Cards: Chase Slate vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Compare credit cards: Chase Slate vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Combing through credit card options is tough. But if you’re looking at both the Chase Slate® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ve landed on two great cards.

For a closer look at which one is right for you, be sure to read over the Nerds’ analysis below. We’ve done the homework and have all the details you need about both cards. Let’s get started.

At a glance
Chase Slate® Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual fees  $0  $0 for the first year, then $95
Foreign transaction fee  3%  None
Rewards program  None  Ultimate Rewards points
Signup bonus  None.  Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Verdict: If you’re in the market for a balance transfer card, opt for the  Chase Slate®. If you’re looking for travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is best.
Good for:
  • Someone who’s carrying high-interest credit card debt
  • Someone who needs to make a big purchases that they don’t have the cash to cover
  • Someone who isn’t concerned with earning traditional credit card rewards
  • Someone with very good credit
  • Someone who travels a lot, especially overseas
  • Someone who spends a lot on dining and travel purchases
  • Someone who knows how to hack frequent flyer award charts
  • Someone who is looking for a big signup bonus
Bad for:
  • Someone who doesn’t have credit card debt
  • Someone who is interested in earning rewards on their purchases
  • Someone who wants a big signup bonus
  • Someone who doesn’t spend much on dining and travel
  • Someone who isn’t interested in earning travel rewards
  • Someone who has high-interest debt

Chase Slate® vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Rewards

In terms of rewards, the Chase Slate® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card differ radically. Simply put, the Chase Slate® doesn’t offer a conventional rewards program; you can’t earn miles, points or cash back with this card. It also doesn’t carry a signup bonus.

Instead, the Chase Slate® offers an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 24.24% Variable APR. This long 0% period is a great “reward” if you’re carrying high-interest debt and need to do a balance transfer. Also, the long 0% period on purchases also makes it a good choice if you finance a big item that you don’t have the savings to pay for with cash.

On the other hand, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides robust rewards. With it, you’ll earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining out and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Usually, points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are worth $.01 apiece. But if you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll be able to squeeze 25% more value out of each.

And that’s not the only way to cash in on the rewards you’re earning with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – you also have the option to transfer your points to participating frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 ratio. This is a great feature for travel hackers who are skilled at finding sweet spots in frequent flyer award charts.

In addition, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a stellar signup bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That’s more than $500 if you cash in your points for a trip using Chase’s Ultimate Rewards platform.

Chase Slate® vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Fees

Getting slapped with a credit card fee is never fun, so making sure that your needs jibe with the features of Chase Slate® and/or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is key to conserving costs.

On a per-year basis, the Chase Slate® is the less costly option. Its annual fee is $0. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card carries an $0 for the first year, then $95.

Also, the Chase Slate® will help you avoid another fee that cuts into the savings of most balance transfer deals. If you move your debt onto the card within 60 days of opening your account, the balance transfer fee will be waived.

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does charge a balance transfer fee of 5%, it waives another fee that many overseas travelers are wont to shake a fist at: the foreign transaction fee. This means that if you travel abroad frequently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an economical choice, especially since the Chase Slate® charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

Other fees charged by the Chase Slate® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are pretty closely aligned. For example, the late fees on both cards range between $15 and $35, depending on size of the tardy payment.

Chase Slate® vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Special features

Although the Chase Slate® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are very different cards, they each have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them stand out in a crowded market.

In the case of the Chase Slate®, it’s the truly powerful combination of a long 0% period on balance transfers and the opportunity to avoid a balance transfer fee. This mix of perks makes the card somewhat of a unicorn and is the reason that it’s one of our top picks for folks who are trying to minimize costs as they pay off debt.

Nerd tip: If you decide to move forward with a balance transfer, make it priority No. 1 to pay on time every month. If you don’t, your 0% deal might be canceled. In this case, you’d have to start paying interest right away, and could wind up in a worse financial situation than the one you started in.

Alternatively, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a whopper of a catch among travel credit cards. It allows cardholders with a case of wanderlust to simultaneously earn and redeem big on their favorite pastime. Plus, customers will have the ability to use either frequent flyer programs or Chase’s Kayak-like tool to book a trip. This means that getting where you want to go when you want to go there has never been easier, and there are plenty of chances to find a great deal.

The bottom line: Should I get the Chase Slate® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

In sum, the Chase Slate® is an excellent choice if you’re dealing with credit card debt and want to do a balance transfer to save money on interest and balance transfer fees. It’s also a great pick if you need to buy a big item that you don’t have the cash on hand to cover, because it provides a long 0% on purchases, too.

But if you’re looking for a card that provides rewards – specifically, travel rewards – the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a better option. With it, you’ll be racking up Ultimate Rewards points on every dollar you spend, which you can use for a trip around the world if you’d like.

So take a look at your finances and lifestyle and figure out which of the descriptions above fits you better, then apply for the Chase Slate® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card today.

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