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About Editor's Picks: Our editor selects credit cards based on the features the credit card offers consumers, including introductory rates, fees, long term interest rates, and its relative value compared to competing offers. While this site receives remuneration from credit card companies, our rankings strive to objectively provide consumers with relevant, unique options.

Why Chase Slate Is Better Than Longer Balance Transfer Offers

chase-slateFor some time now, the Slate® from Chase card has been offering 15 months of interest free financing on new purchases and balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. In fact, it continues to be the the only credit card with 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. All other 0% offers have a fee of 3% or more.

  • Best 0% Offer in 'Crowning 2013's Best Credit Card Offers' (January 14, 2013) -Forbes Online
  • Pay less interest. Save on balances and new purchases
  • $0 introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period ends, a variable APR of 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99%.
  • $0 Annual Fee
Purchases Intro
Balance Transfers Intro
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed

0% for 15 months*

0% for 15 months*

12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% (V)*

$0

Excellent/Good


At the same time, there are other cards, such as Citi’s Simplicity and Diamond Preferred, that feature 18 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee.

  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99% - 22.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees - Ever
  • No penalty rate - Ever
  • No annual fee - Ever
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.
Purchases Intro
Balance Transfers Intro
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed

0%* for 18 months*

0%* for 18 months*

12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)*

$0*

Excellent Credit


  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the APR will be 11.99%-21.99% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.
  • Citi® Easy DealsSM Get what you want for less. Earn Citi Easy Deals Points for the purchases you make with your card.
  • Redeem your points for great online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and even local deals.
  • Let our 24/7 concierge service help book your hotel rooms, flights and more.
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • No annual fee*
Purchases Intro
Balance Transfers Intro
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed

0%* for 18 months*

0%* for 18 months*

11.99%-21.99% (Variable)*

$0*

Excellent Credit


So which is better?

Having no balance transfer fee is better than having an additional three months of financing, and here is why: A 3% balance transfer fee is the same as three months of interest charges, given a rate of 12%.  If the interest rate is higher, that 3% fee is worth even less time.  It just so happens that the lowest rate offered by the Diamond Preferred is 12.99% APR, essentially the same. With the Simplicity, the lowest rate is 12.99%.

Further analysis shows that the no fee offer from Slate is even better. First, the rates offered by Simplicity and Diamond Preferred are the lowest rates given to the most highly qualified applicants. Others will receive rates as high as 21.99%. In addition, the 3% fee is added to cardholder’s balance at the time of the transfer, while the additional three months of interest free financing is only realized 15 months later. Therefore, the cardholder’s balance will be lower, and the last three months of interest charges will be on some fraction of the original balance.

Therefore, the only advantages that Citi’s Simplicity and Diamond Preferred have over Slate is the additional three months of interest free financing on new purchases. Those who are applying for a card in order to save money on their balance transfer should strongly consider Slate, while those who need longer financing on new purchases should think about the Citi cards.

When applicants understand that the cost of balance transfer fees outweigh three extra months of financing, then they can choose the ideal card for their needs.

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi or any of the other companies whose products are featured in this content.

About the author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a freelance journalist specializing in personal finance and travel and is recognized as an expert in credit cards. He is a regular contributor to many of the top personal finance sites such as Wise Bread and Money Talks News. His work has been frequently carried on mainstream news outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo, Finance, and Business insider.

Jason lives in Denver Colorado with his wife and two daughters.

– has written 324 posts.

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