While most people know that they should pay off their credit card debt at the end of every month (or not incur debt at all), according to a recent study by Oregon State University, the majority of Americans carry a balance on their cards.
If you’re one of them, the best way to get a handle on your debt is to avoid enticing reward credit cards and their higher interest rates, and focus on simple products with low-interest rates and fees. To that end, Chase offers the Slate card, which features an effective way to lower interest payments and manage your budget using the Blueprint system.
Let’s look at the key features of this card, and the advantages and disadvantages of being a Chase Slate credit card holder.
- Chase Blueprint. Blueprint is an innovative program featured on the Slate card and three other cards from Chase. It allows you to designate specific charges to pay in full during your grace period, while carrying a balance on other charges. It also features many useful budgeting tools.
- No Annual Fees. Reward cards typically come with annual fees of $50 or more (i.e. you pay for the privilege of having the card). The Slate card, however, has no such fees.
- Introductory Period. This card offers a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. There is no balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, it’s 3% of the transferred amount (or $5, whichever is greater).
- Integration with Your Chase Accounts. Chase is one of the largest retail banks in the United States, and cardholders can easily manage their accounts in one place (both online and at the bank).
- Save Money on Interest. All other credit cards require you to pay your entire balance in full in order to avoid interest. By letting you pay some items in full to avoid interest, your effective interest rate is lowered. You can fully pay off day-to-day purchases while paying off larger purchases over time.
- Planning Tools to Pay Off Your Balance. The other key feature of the Blueprint system is a tool to help you budget and pay off your balance. You can set goals and Chase will calculate every month the payments required to meet your goals. Each statement will show a balance, a Blueprint payment, and a minimum payment. It’s up to you which one you choose to pay.
- Long Introductory APR. Unless you’re unable to control your spending, you should be able to pay off your balance within the 15-month introductory period. During this time you will enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
- No Rewards. You shouldn’t even be looking for a rewards card if you’re carrying a balance. Slate cardholders go without rewards in order to have no annual fee, low interest rates, and access to the interest reducing effects of the Blueprint program.
- High Foreign Transaction Fees. Chase customers pay an additional 3% on all purchases processed outside of the United States. This is among the highest fees charged during a time when many banks are eliminating foreign transaction fees altogether. If you travel outside the country regularly, it would be best for you to utilize a card without this fee during those trips.
- Higher APR. While their lowest APR is competitive, many applicants will receive a higher APR. In order to make this a really good deal, you either have to pay off your balance during the introductory period, or pay off the balances of most of your purchases during the grace period as allowed by the Blueprint system.
When you are trying to get out of debt, the last thing you need is a card that offers attractive rewards coupled with high interest rates and fees. By allowing customers to avoid some interest by paying select purchases in full with the Blueprint system, the Chase Slate card can help smart cardholders drastically reduce their effective interest rates. This card delivers on the pressing need for simplicity and low fees while offering you the tools to manage and ultimately eliminate your debt.
Are you utilizing the Chase Slate credit card to get out of debt? What are your favorite features or biggest complaints?