Chase Freedom Vs. Chase Slate – Which Card Will Save You More Money

Chase Freedom Vs. Chase Slate - Which Card Will Save You More MoneyChase offers a wide array of credit cards with features aimed at very specific consumers needs. While the majority of these cards are designed to please high spending travelers, two of the best promotions Chase offers are aimed at consumers looking to save money with 0% interest rates.

These two cards are Chase Freedom and Chase Slate, both of which offer attractive 15 month 0% APR promotional financing offers that apply to purchases and balance transfers. However, choosing between these cards isn’t all that easy, as both products offer a unique benefit that can have a large impact on how much consumers save.

$100 Cash Back Vs. No Balance Transfer Fees

Chase Slate (review) is currently the only major credit card that charges no fees on 0% APR balance transfers. In contrast, the Freedom card carries a standard 3% balance transfer. However, the Freedom card (review) offers a $100 cash back sign up bonus that can be more valuable than the Slate card’s balance transfer fee waiver and lucrative cash back rewards program. This makes choosing between the two a little more complicated than it might appear on the surface.

Determining if Chase Slate or Chase Freedom is Your Best Choice

A consumer would have to transfer a balance of at least $3,333 to save $100 in fees and earn more than the Freedom card’s sign up bonus. Clearly then, most people who intend to transfer a balance above that amount should apply for the Slate card.

However, those who are near the $3,000 mark should weigh options carefully. In a previous article, our site demonstrates how Freedom cardholders can earn as much as $175 in cash back rewards this fall. The first $100 comes from the sign up bonus (earned as long as $500 in purchases are made in 3 months), while the remaining $75 is available to cardholders who maximize the 5% bonus reward spending categories between now and the end of December.

Earning this extra $75 shouldn’t be difficult for many consumers, as 5% cash back categories include travel purchases from hotels and airlines as well as shopping done at Best Buy and Kohl’s. Consequently, if a consumer earns the full seventy five dollars in cash back from spending, the point at which Slate offers more savings than Freedom jumps $5,832, as a 3% fee on this size transfer is $175 on the nose.

A final factor to consider is your long term credit card goals. If simply getting out of debt is the main priority, it may be best to avoid the temptation to spend and earn rewards and simply go with Slate. However, because Freedom offers 1% cash back on all purchases and the chance to earn up to $75 four times a year through 5% bonus cash back, Freedom does offer more value over the very long term.

You can learn more about each offer and, if interested, apply online below.

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About the author

Jeff Weber

Jeffrey Weber has been following and blogging about the credit card industry since 2004. He has also written for Forbes and been cited in a wide range of major media outlets including USA Today, Time, MSN Money, The Christian Science Monitor, The Detroit Free Press and numerous other prestigious online and print publications.

Jeffrey resides in Easton, Connecticut and enjoys spending his free time chasing after his two year old son, watching films with his wife and occasionally taking a holiday to go snorkeling.

– has written 338 posts.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

barbara October 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

Hi Jeffrey.
I was just approved for a Slate card (before I read your article). I wanted to write to thank you for making me feel confident that I did the right thing (I’m an artist…need more of a money-mind). I also have a question. I now have 6 credit cards (4 will have $0. as soon as I get the card and make the transfer). Will it mess up my credit if I close a couple of them?
Again, I really appreciate your generosity in sharing your expertise –
Barb

Reply

Jeff Weber Jeffrey Weber October 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Barbara,

I wouldn’t close all, as that reduces your available credit and increases your credit utilization ration (the percent of credit you’re using vs. the amount you have). This can hurt your score quite a bit, but you’re okay as long as you keep your credit utilization ratio as close to 30% as possible.

Also, definitely close any card with an annual fee that you won’g be using.

However, I wouldn’t close more than one now, then maybe another a few months down the road.

Lastly, unless one of your cards has an annual, close the newest accounts first and leave open your older accounts, as those play a big role in the length of your credit history.

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barbara October 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Thank you so much! Forgive one last question:
Just added up total credit and if I don’t count AMEX sign and travel (should i count that? I have a 35,000. credit limit just on that), my ratio is a little under 30%(with it, the ratio is @18%, if my cartoonist math is correct).
My oldest card, the AMEX gold card, is 14 years older than my next oldest card, so I should probably keep that one, right, even with the fee(ok, last 2 questions…)?
I can’t thank you enough. I just transferred money and consolidated cards, and I feel more in control of my financial/credit destiny than I have ever felt –
with gratitude,
barb

Reply

Jeff Weber Jeffrey Weber October 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for your kind words Barbara. If you’re Amex Gold card carries the $180 or so fee, I think that’s a hefty price to pay for a few extra credit score points. I would use up any reward points you have with them and cancel it. Also, because its a charge card, they don’t list your available credit typically, so assuming you have a good score now and aren’t delinquent in bills, then the only reason to keep that open would be if you absolutely 100% need a few extra credit score points because you are on the verge of applying for a home loan. Otherwise, pocket your $180 in fees (and request a refund of any prepaid annual fee) and shut that one down.

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