Like with other balance transfer cards, you shouldn’t expect glitzy perks since any additional features should take a backseat to paying off your balance. The Slate Edge’s credit line increase and yearly APR reduction benefits are part of the main appeal, but it doesn’t quite make up for its loss of a welcome bonus and lack of a rewards program. Plus, you could avoid a couple of its fees completely with other balance transfer cards.
Welcome offer: No longer carries a sign-up bonus
While the card improved its APR offer, it came at the cost of cutting its previous $100 cash welcome bonus. This update is unfortunate, as it may have covered 3 percent intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum; increases to 5 percent after 60 days) for some cardholders.
Chase currently promotes its welcome bonus as the following: if you spend $500 on your card in the first six months and continue to make on-time payments, your account will automatically be eligible for a credit line increase. This boost could be a big help if you need to take on a big, unexpected expense or build up your credit, but it doesn't have the same value as similar cards that provide a monetary reward. It's a letdown compared to its earlier offer, but there's still optimism that Chase will make another comparable offer in the future.
Rewards: No cash back, points or miles
Previously, the Slate Edge’s most striking disadvantage from other balance transfer cards was its much shorter intro APR length. Most cards designed for consolidating debt bestow 18-month zero-interest periods, but now that the Slate Edge has matched that intro APR length, its only distinguishing features are its higher credit limit account review and APR reduction perks. These give it slightly more staying power than many of its rivals, but these features don’t offer much of a leg up over other cards that deliver ongoing rewards and similar balance transfer periods.
The reality is that many no-annual-fee rewards cards offer around a 15-month intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers around the same ongoing interest rate as well, so you can not only earn rewards on new purchases while paying down your transferred balance, but the card will be more valuable for longer once you've paid off your debt. But if you need the Slate Edge card’s extra three months to pay off your balance, you may be more comfortable with having a balance transfer card with a longer intro APR rather than a rewards card with a shorter intro APR.
Fees: Charges a balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fee
As a balance transfer card, the intro APR periods and the ongoing APR are the most important rates and fees to pay attention to outside the annual fee (which the Slate Edge doesn’t charge). You can keep interest at bay for an entire year and a half with its intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers.
But you will have a 3 percent or $5, whichever is greater, intro balance transfer fee on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. Then, this balance transfer fee jumps to 5 percent after 60 days. Plus, it has a 3 percent foreign transaction fee if you use your card abroad. There are a few cards with no balance transfer fee similar to the original Chase Slate, but they’re usually only available through credit unions, so you’ll have to decide if you want to tackle that fee or choose a different card.