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When it comes down to it, the Chase Slate and Chase Freedom are two cards for two very different types of consumers. It’s up to you to determine which card best fits your lifestyle.
Chase Slate is a balance transfer credit card offering cardholders a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. There’s no annual fee and you won’t be charged a balance transfer fee for the first 60 days.
Chase Freedom is a cash-back rewards card offering quarterly, rotating bonus categories for things like restaurants and movie theaters. You’ll get 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate in rotating categories and, similar to the Chase Slate, there’s no annual fee.
Chase Slate vs. Chase Freedom
|Chase Slate||Chase Freedom|
|Sign-up bonus||None||$150 cash back|
|How to earn bonus||N/A||Spend $500 within the first three months|
|Rewards||None||5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on rotating quarterly categories; 1% cash back on all other purchases|
|Introductory offer||0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers||0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers|
|Balance transfer fee||No fee for transfers made within the first 60 days
After 60 days, you’re charged 5% of the amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater
|$5 or 3% of the transferred balance, whichever is greater|
|APR after intro period||17.24% to 25.99% variable||17.24% to 25.99% variable|
Here are the details:
If you have credit card debt you want to transfer and you’re looking to save money on interest charges, the Chase Slate is your match. It’s also imperative that you have a plan to pay off the balance within the 15-month introductory period. Otherwise, you might be better off with a low-interest card. Once your debt is paid off, this card has very few ongoing benefits.
This card stands out because it doesn’t charge a fee when you transfer a balance to it (within the first 60 days of opening the account). This could add up to considerable savings, but only if you plan on paying the balance off within the Chase Slate’s 15-month interest-free period — treat the money you’ll save on balance transfers within the first 60 days as a sign-up bonus.
If you’re looking for a no-fee rewards card and are organized enough with your spending to take advantage of the rotating cash back categories, the Chase Freedom is your fit. But if you typically carry a balance, the benefits of this card will be outweighed by what you’ll pay in finance charges. In this case, there are other rewards cards that offer a higher cash-back rate. Note: There’s a 3% fee for shifting debt from another card to this one.
Spend $500 within your first three months of card ownership and earn a $150 sign-up bonus. Plus, the Chase Freedom comes with a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable 17.24% to 25.99%.
Which card is right for you?
When choosing between the Chase Slate and Chase Freedom, it all depends on your lifestyle and reasons for getting a new card. If you have any debt and are looking to transfer it between cards to save money on interest, the Chase Slate is a solid choice. If you don’t normally carry a balance on your cards and are more interested in earning rewards, the Chase Freedom should be your pick.
Both cards offer an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. But the Chase Freedom charges a 3% fee to transfer a balance, which can easily eat away at the savings you intended to rake in by shifting debt to the card.
Use cases and balance transfer breakdown
With the Chase Freedom, the maximum amount of rewards you can earn each quarter equals $75 — that’s $300 per year. Considering the Chase Slate doesn’t have a rewards system, you won’t earn any rewards.
As for balance transfers, both cards offer an introductory 0% APR for 15 months, then a variable 17.24% to 25.99%. If you owe $2,000 in credit card debt, for example, and transfer the debt to your Chase Slate card within the first 60 days of card ownership, your minimum monthly payment would be $48.03 — but with 0% APR for 15 months, you’ll pay only $20 for those 15 months.
If you instead transfer your $2,000 debt to a Chase Freedom card, you’ll pay $5 or 3% of the transferred balance — in this case, $60. Your monthly payments would remain the same as if you owned the Chase Slate.
Keep in mind that the maximum transfer amount for the Chase Slate is $15,000. For Chase Freedom, you can expect a balance transfer limit of around $10,000.
Whether or not this card is for you depends on your personal finance goals for 2019. If you’re looking to dwindle your debt, go with the Chase Slate. If you’re looking to steadily earn rewards and like the idea of rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom is your match.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.