Deal of the Month: Chase offers no-fee balance transfer
November 1, 2011
By: Joe Taylor Jr.
If you planned on making "get out of debt" one of your New Year's resolutions, Chase has an offer that could convince you to start your plan early.
Unlike most of this year's balance transfer offers, Slate from Chase has no balance transfer fee for the first 30 days on all new accounts opened under this special limited-time deal. In a year in which banks have scrambled to squeeze service charges from any possible source, a no-fee balance transfer offer eliminates one of the major hurdles for consumers who want to save money by paying down their credit card balances.
Understanding Chase's no-fee balance transfer offer
If you're looking for the "catch" in Chase's offer, review some of the notes from JPMorgan Chase's most recent earnings call. The bank has enjoyed one of the sharpest declines in credit card charge-offs, giving it some wiggle room to open up new Chase credit cards for even more customers. The lender is under pressure from the Federal Reserve to maintain access to short-term capital, but investors don't want to just stockpile cash. Floating extended balance transfer deals to customers who want to quickly pay down their debts makes everybody happy.
Paying down your balance transfer with Chase Blueprint
Slate from Chase comes with free access to the bank's Blueprint system, a sophisticated online credit card calculator that can help you learn how much you'll need to pay each month to clear your debt before finance charges kick in. Chase calls this the "Finish It" plan, designed to help you get aggressive about paying off your credit cards. If you decide to use your Slate from Chase card for everyday purchases, Blueprint also includes a "Track It" budgeting tool and a "Split It" calculator that breaks a major bill off from the rest of your balance.
Low go-to interest rate after the 0% APR teaser expires
Low introductory rate credit cards have made a big comeback this year, but they often carry "go-to" interest rates significantly higher than than the norm for basic credit cards. However, Slate from Chase offers a three-tier spread based on your credit score that maxes out at a variable 21.99 percent APR and could end up as low as 11.99 percent for so-called "Elite" customers.
"Premium" cardholders get a 16.99 percent interest rate after the teaser period, which ends after 15 months for both Premium and Elite cardholders. Even "Standard" cardholders with higher go-to rates will enjoy 15 months with the low intro APR, still plenty of time to make a big dent in a large balance.