Chase Slate Edge℠ Review
Chase Slate Edge℠
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Save money with an intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (then, 14.99 - 23.74% Variable).
- Earn a $100 statement credit when you spend $500 on the card in the first six months – an unusual opportunity for a non-rewards card.
- Chase will consider you for a 2% APR reduction when you pay on time and spend at least $1,000 on your card before your next account anniversary.
- Apart from the introductory statement credit opportunity, this isn't a rewards card. If your goal is a solid intro 0% offer and the opportunity to lower your ongoing APR, this shoe fits. If you're after rewards, look elsewhere.
Between the pandemic and the economic rollercoaster that resulted from COVID-19, you may understandably now be carrying a credit card balance that you'd like to get rid of. You also may be a little understandably squeamish that your growing credit card balance, one of these days, is going to hurt your credit score.
If that's you, you may want to check out the new Chase Slate Edge℠ credit card.
Why? Well, there are some compelling benefits for people looking to manage and whittle down their debt, including:
- 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening for purchases and balance transfers (balance transfer fee applies; after the intro period a 14.99 - 23.74% Variable APR applies)
- $100 bonus statement credit when you spend $500 in the first six months
- Automatic consideration for 2% APR reduction if you make timely payments and spend at least $1,000 on your card by your next account anniversary
- Automatic eligibility for a credit line increase if you make timely payments and spend $500 on your card in the first six months
- Access to Chase's digital credit tools like Credit Journey and My Chase Plan
- Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
- Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
If the card name sounds familiar, you're likely remembering the old Chase Slate card once upon a time known for a lengthy balance transfer period and a truly rare feature – no balance transfer fee. This new card is focused on a great balance transfer offer, but goes a step further in terms of helping you save money.
If you skimmed the benefits laid out above, you can see at a glance how this card will save you money, but for those who are detail-oriented, we'll drill down.
That 0% intro APR will help your bottom line. If you have anything you need to buy ‐ and pay off later – without worrying about interest, well, this would be a good credit card to consider. For 12 months, you can buy whatever you want – as big as a refrigerator or as small as a bag of jelly beans – and pay no interest. The catch is that if you don't pay it all off in 12 months, of course, you will owe interest on those purchases; remember, the rate jumps to 14.99 - 23.74% Variable after the intro period, so that could add up fast if you've spent 12 months accumulating a balance and not paying it off.
Additionally, if you already have credit card debt on a credit card with a high APR, transferring it to a Chase Slate EdgeSM could also save you money, and here's where this credit card really delivers.
If you transfer credit card debt to this card, you'll have 12 months during which that debt will just sit on the card without interest accruing from month to month. If you can pay off the debt in that time, you could potentially save, well, all of the interest you would have paid on another credit card.
Certainly, you want consider the balance transfer fee (intro fee of 3% of each transfer with a $5 minimum for the first 60 days). That doesn't sound like much, but if you transfer $1,000 in revolving debt to Chase Slate Edge℠, you'll be charged $30. If you're transferring $2,000, it'll be $60. It's just good to be thinking about these types of fees ahead of time so you aren't surprised later. In either case, that fee is likely much lower than the interest you'd pay on the debt by leaving it on a card without a 0% intro APR.
You can earn $100 statement credit. If you buy important or necessary things for $500, you're effectively going to pay $400 thanks to a $100 bonus statement credit when you spend $500 in the first six months.
You could save money in interest on an ongoing basis. This is a big, important reason to ponder getting this credit card if you are loaded down with revolving credit card debt. If you make timely payments (very important) and spend $1,000 on your card by your next account anniversary, you receive automatic consideration for a 2% APR reduction. Granted, that's not the same thing as an automatic guaranteed reduction, but, still, Chase Slate EdgeSM seems serious about helping cardholders reduce their debt.
You might get a credit line increase. Pay your bills on time and spend at least $500 on the card in the first six months to receive an automatic one-time review for a credit limit increase. Remember, a credit line increase can lead to a higher credit score since it improves your credit utilization ratio, sometimes called the credit utilization rate. Basically, that means the amount of debt you have compared to the amount of credit available to you. For example, if you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and you have a $2,000 balance, your credit utilization is 20%. Generally, lenders like to see cardholders borrowing no more than 30% of their available credit across all their cards. The lower you keep your utilization, the higher your credit score will climb. Higher credit scores can, in turn, bring about lower interest rates for credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and even insurance.
More help in managing your money. As noted earlier, if you have a Chase Slate EdgeSM credit card, you'll receive access to Chase's digital credit tools like Credit Journey and My Chase Plan. That may not sound like a really big deal, but the more digital financial tools you have, the more likely you can to track your finances and manage your money better. And managing your money better should definitely result in your saving more money.
Excellent question, and in some ways, almost a philosophical one. That's because debt can help your credit score or debt can kill and burn your credit score to the ground. It's all in how you manage that debt.
Lenders like to see people borrowing money, and they actually like to see them using credit cards – along with buying a house and a car and other things that often require loans. It sounds silly on the surface if you think, "Doesn't it make you financially attractive to a lender, for instance, if you never borrow money?"
Actually, no. If you never borrow money, the lender isn't really sure if you know how to handle a loan responsibly and that leads to a question of whether they can trust you to pay the loan back. If you truly have no history of ever borrowing money, you also have no history of paying money back. But with somebody else who does owe a mortgage company money and is paying off an auto loan or student loans or both – and has a few credit cards – lenders can see that rich history of paying lenders back and your credit score reflects that pattern of good behavior as well as experience managing debt. In this scenario, lenders know they'll likely get paid back, too, if they issue a credit card or some sort of loan to the borrower.
So, yes, some debt can help your credit score.
But there is more to consider. If you have a house and a car loan and a few credit cards, and you're constantly late in making your payments, or you've missed a few payments, then, naturally, lenders don't like that at all, and suddenly that debt can be very bad for your credit score and, in turn, makes you look very bad to lenders.
All of which means that debt can help or hurt your credit score.
The size of the debt also doesn't really matter. If you have a revolving balance of $5,000, but you've been late with payments a couple of times or skipped a payment altogether, lenders will notice that pattern of behavior and could be hesitant to lend you more money.
On the other hand, if you have a revolving balance of $10,000 on your credit cards and you always pay your bill on time, lenders will look at that favorably.
So if you have debt, and you want to get a credit card, like the Chase Slate Edge
- Are you making monthly payments? As in, you're not late? Good. Are you able to easily make those payments without having to pay your electric bill late? Or give up things like, well, eating food? Even better.
- Are you paying attention to the credit utilization ratio? As we mentioned earlier, lenders like to see that you're using no more than 30% of your available credit. So if you are carrying a balance on your credit cards, and it's under that 30%, you're probably going to be in good stead with lenders. If you have a revolving balance that is, say, 50% or more, you'd want to try to pay off enough debt to get it below 30%. Easier said than done, sometimes, but that's the goal.
- Are you paying attention to the interest you're paying on your debt. That interest can destroy your finances. If you're paying, 19.99% on revolving debt, your debt is growing, even as you're trying to shrink it. That's why minimum payments are often not enough to make much of a difference on your debt. It's also why the Chase Slate Edge℠ credit card could give you an edge on paying off debt – if you do a balance transfer to the card, that intro 0% APR interest rate for 12 months could give you the time you need to pay off your debt, without that debt growing via interest charges.
As with any credit card, they all have their ups and downs. There's really one key disadvantage to having a Chase Slate Edge℠:
It isn't a rewards card. You won't get cash back, points or miles. If you carry a revolving balance on any card, the interest you pay generally negates the value of that cash back, points or miles, and so it makes sense to not offer rewards. Still, if you're looking for a lot of rewards for your spending on an ongoing basis, you won't get much.
That said, you will get that $100 bonus statement if you spend $500 in the first six months, and if the card helps you reduce debt and save a ton of money in interest, that's a big reward in itself.
One other drawback to keep in mind, however, is that this card does charge foreign transaction fees, so leave it at home for your next trip abroad.
Both credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR period on purchases, but Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 15 months (then, 14.99% - 23.74% Variable) while Slate EdgeSM gives you 12 months (then, 14.99 - 23.74% Variable).
That said, Slate EdgeSM also has a 0% introductory APR period for balance transfers that Freedom Unlimited® doesn't have, so if you have an existing balance you want to deal with, Slate EdgeSM is a better option.
Both cards have welcome offers for cardholders – Slate EdgeSM offers cardholders a $100 statement credit when they spend $500 in the first six months and Freedom Unlimited® offers new cardholders $200 cash back (in the form of 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points) after spending $500 within those first three months. Still, only Freedom Unlimited® is a true rewards card.
Freedom Unlimited® cardholders earn:
- 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (excludes Target and Walmart) during their first year (up to $12,000 spent).
- 5% back on travel purchased through the Ultimate Rewards® portal
- 3% back on dining and at drugstores
- 1.5% back on all other eligible purchases
Neither card charges an annual fee and both charge foreign transaction fees, so the choice here will likely come down to whether the ongoing APR reduction opportunity and 0% intro period on balance transfers is important to you. If you don't need those things, than Freedom Unlimited® offers the opportunity for rewards with an even longer 0% intro period on purchases.
Slate EdgeSM vs. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Both credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers, but there's no doubt about it – Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has a longer period at 18 months for both purchases and balance transfers (then, 13.74% - 23.74% Variable). Citi is a CardRatings advertiser
In addition to offering a longer 0% period for purchases and balance transfers, on an ongoing basis the Citi card also charges a lower balance transfer fee of 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. The Chase card charges the same balance transfer fee during the introductory period but it goes up after the intro period: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater..
Neither card is a true rewards card, but it's worth noting that the Diamond Preferred® Card doesn't have a welcome offer, nor does it feature an automatic consideration for a credit line increase or APR decrease if certain criteria are met like Slate EdgeSM does.
Chase Slate EdgeSM vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
Both credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers, with the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card having a slightly longer period of 15 months (then, 14.99%-24.99% Variable APR) compared to Slate EdgeSM's 12 months.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card is also, as its name suggests, a cash rewards card. It offers an unlimited 2% cash bank on eligible purchases. There's also a welcome bonus opportunity with the Wells Fargo card of a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 on the card within the first three months. That sounds good, and it is, but that's effectively equal to what Chase Slate Edge offers – a $100 statement credit for those who spend $500 in the first six months.
Slate EdgeSM doesn't offer rewards, but it does try to help people bring down debt with its automatic consideration for a 2% APR reduction if you spend $1,000 by your next account anniversary (and make timely payments) and the automatic eligibility for a credit increase if you spend $500 in six months (and make timely payments). It's really designed for people looking to bring down their debt or who might need to carry a balance, while the Wells Fargo card is designed to be an everyday cash rewards credit card.
Slate EdgeSM puts lowering your debt and raising your credit score front and center. It's admittedly a bit odd for a card that wants to help you lower your debt to also offer an opportunity for a credit line increase, but considering that lower credit utilization can help your credit score, that credit line increase opportunity becomes more clearly aligned with the card's goals. In the end, this card is a unique opportunity for a cardholder looking for a solid intro 0% period and a chance to improve their credit score.