TPG reader Orlando asks which card is best for balance transfers:
“Quick question, what is the best credit card for balance transfers? I’m trying to consolidate all of my credit card liability into one card, but can’t seem to find the right one.”
In my opinion the Slate Card from Chase is the best credit card to use for balance transfers. This card is unique in that there are no fee for balance transfer, 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles and no annual fee. While 0% APR is a common teaser for credit cards, no balance transfer fees is truly unique (just make sure you initiate them within 60 days of account opening). Note, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee, so Slate isn’t ideal for international travel and purchases (check out this post for the best cards with no foreign transaction fees).
While I prefer to earn points with new credit card bonuses, Slate may make a lot of sense for not only people who are currently carrying credit card debt, because the amount you save in interest can greatly outweigh the value of a sign-up bonus. For those with debt, it’s critical to pay it off to not only save money on interest fees, but to improve your credit score since credit utilization is the #1 factor of your FICO score. Chase also offers the Blueprint program which helps cardholders make a plan to save money and pay down balances. I’ve been in credit card debt in the past and know how difficult it can be to get ahead and pay down balances.
Even if you aren’t in debt, you can leverage the Slate card to “manufacture” credit card spend. For example, say you need to spend $10,000 within 3 months to get the 50,000 point sign-up on the Ink Bold or Ink Plus (which is conservatively worth $1,000 in my book). You can make $10,000 in purchases that you’d normally wait and then let it sit on the Slate card for 15 months for free. Over time you can pay it off as needed so you don’t ever incur any interest fees. Chase is very flexible with shifting credit lines, so say you have a big line of credit on your British Airways Visa that you no longer need- you can shift that to Slate so you have more “free” spend. Just call Chase at the number on the back of your card and ask them to shift the credit lines because you need to leverage the benefits of the card (it never hurts to mention that you will then be able to shift more of your spend away from a competitor).
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.