Chase Balance Transfer Credit Cards: A Way to Reduce Your Debt?

Using a balance transfer credit card is one way to help reduce and manage your debt. How do Chase’s offerings compare to others?

If you've ever run up a large credit card debt you might know this feeling, the one you feel when you can't see that you will ever have your debt paid off. It's the way you feel when a lot of the money you pay back is just the interest. And you can only afford to keep up with the minimum payments.

But there are options. You could consolidate your debt with a loan, or with a line of credit. Another choice is to get a credit card with better terms. For example, get one with a lower APR. A low APR card allows you to transfer the balance of the first credit card debt onto the new card. Credit cards that are good for this are known as balance transfer credit cards. Besides lower interest, other terms can help when transferring a balance. These may include no transaction fees on balance transfers and an introductory period with low or no interest.

Chase Balance Transfer Cards are well designed for transferring credit card debt. The best are Chase Slate, Chase Freedom and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited. For business balance transfers the Chase Ink Business Cash card is a good pick. But for a personal credit card balance transfer, the go with the Chase Slate balance transfer credit card.

Comparing Chase Balance Transfer Cards

The Chase Slate credit card is the best option for balance transfers because it allows for flexibility with your balance transfer during the intro period without a lot of extra costs and fees. You also get your monthly FICO credit score for free as a signup bonus. The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is also good for balance transfers for the same reasons, but this card has more fees associated with transfer than its predecessor. The Chase Freedom credit card is very similar in terms to the Freedom Unlimited. With the Freedom cards you can also reap rewards like bonuses and cashback perks.

Net Income of JPMorgan Chase & Co. from 2004-2016

Compared to Other Chase Credit Cards

Other Chase credit cards are designed for collecting reward points. However, among them, the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn't tend to offer intro APR rates on balance transfers, making it a less valuable card for someone considering moving around debt. The Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card is great for points, in particular, for travelers looking to collect travel rewards. That said, it would not be considered a good option for balance transfers for the same reasons as the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.

Benefits of Chase Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The benefits of Chase Balance Transfer credit cards are they give you a better deal when it comes to paying off credit card debt. Bonuses and introductory incentives, which vary by credit card, are designed to help you pay down debt faster and more effectively than your current debt portfolio allows.

Compared to Other Balance Transfer Cards

The Chase Slate card is viewed as one of the best balance transfer cards out there. However, there are other good cards for balance transfers. For instance, the Discover it Card helps you pay down your balance and gives you the chance to earn cashback. This is not without fees though, so it's important to read the fine print. The BankAmericard gives similar introductory incentives to Slate, but in general it isn't as competitive and may include fees. All things considered, the Chase card a superior option for balance transfers.

Credit Score

An excellent FICO credit score is 750 points or above. The average FICO credit score for a Chase Slate balance transfer card is 685. But it is important to note that the amount of credit you are offered is also associated with your credit score. So if you have a FICO credit score of 650 you might barely get approved and your credit limit may be smaller and interest higher may apply after an intro period. For those who want the max credit limit to transfer a large balance or make a big purchase, your credit score better be excellent.

Our Recommendation

If you already have a great credit score, then the Chase Balance Transfer cards are a good option, but the reality is if you have a big unpaid credit card balance you probably don't have a great credit score. You may not get flat out denied for this card if you apply, but you also likely won't get a credit limit that will let you move a big chunk of debt to a Chase Balance Transfer credit card account. Especially during the lowest APR intro periods, if offered. However, you can move some of your debt over and your credit limit will eventually rise. At that point, you can move the rest, fees apply. Given what's available, the Chase Slate balance transfer card is one of the best. If your credit score is in good shape then the choice to move your debt to a credit card with better terms is a no brainer.

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