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Using credit cards to earn lots of miles and points is usually only worthwhile if you can pay off your balances in full every month. Carrying big balances on your cards is generally not a good idea because you’ll pay more in interest than the miles and points you earn are worth.
But sometimes unexpected expenses, job loss, or illness can cause financial strain, and folks have no choice but to carry a balance on their cards. So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?
There’s a great option for folks who have balances on their credit cards and want to save money on interest. The Chase Slate card lets you transfer balances from other credit cards, has a 0% APR (annual percentage rate) for the 1st 15 months, and does NOT charge a fee for balance transfers in the 1st 60 days of having the card!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Chase Slate
I haven’t written much about the Chase Slate card in the past, because it doesn’t have a sign-up bonus and does NOT earn miles, points, or cash back.
But if you’re carrying balances on other credit cards, it could be a good card to consider. Many cards offer balance transfers, and sometimes have 0% APR promotions, but usually they charge a fee of 3% to 5% of the balance. The Chase Slate is a great deal because there’s NO fee to transfer a balance in the 1st 60 days of having the card!
With this card, you get:
- No sign-up bonus or rewards for spending, but
- $0 annual fee
- 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases & balance transfers. (After the introductory period ends, currently a variable APR of 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99%)
- $0 introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the 1st 60 days. (After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.)
- Purchase protection, price protection, and extended warranty protection
There’s no annual fee, so this could be a good card to keep for a long time to help build your credit history.
And because Chase is a major issuer of miles and points earning credit cards, this could also be a good card for folks just starting out, because you’ll build a relationship with Chase and be more likely to get approved for cards in the future.
Are There Drawbacks?
If you pay your cards off in full every month, this probably isn’t a good card for you, because you won’t earn rewards for spending on the card.
And if you’re looking for cards to keep for a long time, there are lots of other no-annual-fee cards that DO have a sign-up bonus and earn miles and points, like the Chase Freedom, American Express EveryDay, or Citi ThankYou Preferred cards.
And both the Chase Freedom and Citi ThankYou Preferred cards have 0% APR promotions for the 1st 12 to 15 months.
But if you’re paying high interest rates on other credit card balances, the Chase Slate could save you a lot of money, as long as you can get your balances paid off in 15 months. After that, you’ll be charged regular interest rates, which vary depending on your credit score.
That said, if you already have a lot of Chase cards, or are thinking of applying for ones that do earn miles and points, there’s a limit to the total number of Chase cards you can have at 1 time. So don’t apply for this card unless you definitely intend to use the balance transfer option!
What About Other Balance Transfer Options?
Some folks have excellent credit scores and carry credit card debt, but are able to make at least the minimum payment each month.
It may be worth considering doing a balance transfer to other cards that have 0% interest rate promotions, even if they do charge a fee. But don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing!
For example, the Discover it card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus or earn points, but you can transfer a balance and pay 0% interest for 14 months. The fee for the balance transfer is 3%. So if you transferred $5,000, you’d pay $150 in fees (less than you would if you carried that balance on another card and paid regular interest rates). There’s no annual fee on the card.
After the 14 months is up, you could transfer the balance to another card with no annual fee and a 0% interest promotion, like the Citi ThankYou Preferred card (which does have a sign-up bonus an earn points). It also has a 3% balance transfer fee.
Because Chase has a limit on the number of credit cards and amount of credit they’ll extend to you, it might be better to pay a small fee and carry the balance with other banks at 0% interest. That way, you can apply for Chase cards that do have sign-up bonuses and earn miles and points for travel.
But do the math to see if the value of the miles and points from a different Chase card are more than the fees you’d pay to do a balance transfer with other banks!
In any case, the Chase Slate card is definitely the cheapest option for balance transfers!
The Chase Slate card lets you transfer balances from higher rate credit cards for NO fee in the 1st 60 days of having the card. And you’ll pay 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for the 1st 15 months. There’s no annual fee.
If you’re carrying balances on other credit cards, this card could be a very good deal, because you’ll save money on interest. But if you don’t need to transfer a balance, this is probably not a good card for you, because it doesn’t earn miles and points.
Do you use balance transfer deals to save money on interest? Let me know about your experiences in the comments!
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