The below reviews will look at three of Chase’s top credit cards; The Freedom, Slate, and Sapphire Cards. In addition, there will be links to the most recent promotions in the near future or when available.
(check out my 8 discover card reviews too, they offer a number of cards comparable and if not better than Chase)
Chase has just relaunched their brand portfolio of credit cards with eye-catching designs and three new lifestyle versions and names. They are the Sapphire, the Freedom and the Chase Slate Card. They are distinguishing themselves from their traditional Platinum Visa or MasterCard on their website. The Slate is their new basic standard credit card. Just because it is the vanilla flavor of the range though, does not mean it hasn’t got any attractive features.
The Chase Slate Card Review
The excellent differentiating factor with the Chase Slate credit card is the new built in program called ‘BluePrint’ aimed at helping cardholders to better manage their credit card balances thereby making life a little easier. Take a look at the BluePrint page on the Chase website and you will find a number of tools that help the account holder to see into the future. They can see at a glance how long it would take them to pay up the outstanding balance at their current repayment rate. It also allows them to see a number of ‘what if’ scenarios so they can tailor a repayment plan to their individual circumstances. It is a good way to answer the criticisms often level at credit companies that they give little support to customers beyond the application and introductory periods.
According to a Chase spokesperson the aim is to go way beyond the minimum standards demanded by the latest CARD Act. The most eye-catching tool in the Slate box is that anyone who carries a balance can elect to repay particular items in full at the head of the queue. Any item that the holder designates as “pay in full” is then free of finance charges. The card user still gets the standard grace period for all purchases and even these ‘pay in full’ ones. This is in spite of carrying a balance.
This is a big enhancement over traditional credit cards where the grace period is removed and where account holders get finance charges on all balances when they do not pay their balance in full. Chase is offering another tool to allow cardholders to pay down the balance faster. This is a great encouragement to the 50% or so of credit card users who fail to heed the advice of most experts and not pay their balance in full every month. The Chase Slate actively encourages repayment rather than just spend, spend spend.
Three other helpful features of the Slate card are the patented fraud protection, zero liability on unauthorized purchases and constant communication about your account with E-mail and text alerts. Many people accidentally incur extra costs and blemishes on their repayment records simply because of lax detail handling. So any card that keeps itself to the fore of the cardholder thinking has to be a great help. All in all this makes the Slate card an excellent choice for people who really need help to manage their credit balance.
The whole package makes the Chase Slate Card ideal for customers who carry the occasional balance on their credit cards too. By designating a pay in full timetable for regular items such as groceries, they account holders limit their finance charges on these items, although they may be carrying a balance because of other spending. This is definitely a reason to consider switching to Slate from the traditional credit cards where all spending costs and the grace period is gone as you carry a balance. Only this and the other Chase credit cards with the BluePrint feature have this designate to ‘pay in full’ tool.
This card also has appeal for customers looking for zero % APR introductory deals. This offer is for up to 12 months and there is no annual fee with this card.
SlateSM from Chase Highlights
- Now with BlueprintSM
- 0% intro APR
- Patented Fraud Protection
- Zero Liability on Unauthorized Purchases
- E-mail and text alerts
- No Annual Fee
The Chase Freedom Card Review
Despite its name the Chase Freedom rewards card is not free but it is very competitively priced and comes with over 15 bonus reward categories and the liberating facility to switch from cash back to reward points and back when you choose. Clearly, the Chase Freedom card is aptly named for its flexibility.
Here at a glance is a list of the all-important specifications and then a review of this card in comparison to the rest of the market. The freedom card comes in Visa Signature or regular Platinum for those fail to qualify for ‘Signature’. There are no annual fees for either version of the Freedom cards. Applicants will need a good to excellent FICO credit score from 680 to 720. Chase will refer to any of the three credit-reporting agencies to get this information. The annual percentage rate for credit is variable but currently at 14.99%. There is a premium here for the rewards facility but it compares well with other reward cards. The card offers 3% bonus cash back on such things as gas, home improvement and department stores with a full 1% cash back on every purchase. There are no spending limits or caps on how much you can earn. Finally there is an additional 20% cash back at select merchants when you buy online through Chase
With the Chase Freedom card the company is taking aim at those cardholders who use credit regularly and have an unblemished track record. If you already have a Chase credit card it can be converted to the Freedom card without problems. In this way you, can enjoy cash back with just one phone call to customer service.
It is with the cash back rewards that the Freedom card really lives up to its name. It is only with cash back that you can buy the things you really need rather than being restricted to the options in the Chase rewards catalog. Points for dollars are generally in the ratio of one to one but you can earn an 2 points on purchases made in the top three bonus categories where you spend the most.
Then there is an added bonus when you save $200 in cash back rewards as you can claim a $250 check. This actually makes the Freedom card into a 3.75% / 1.25% cash back reward card. The big bonus merchants are grocery stores (not warehouse clubs discount stores, or superstores etc.) Gas and convenience stores, fast food restaurants, telecommunications, cable and satellite service providers, video rentals, department stores, dry cleaners, drugstores, movie theaters, pet supply stores and vets, beauty salons, spars, or gym membership. Finally there are rewards for local and suburban transportation such as ferries, bridges, tolls and parking etc.
It is up to the cardholder to make the most of the Freedom card rewards. Remember that the cash backs and reward points on the Freedom card expire in 36 months or 60 months, respectively. Managing your Freedom card is made easy thanks to Chase’s new online account website. Here you can easily see your monthly cash back earnings once you’ve registered with this online account service. The service is very user-friendly as they say.
Cash backs can be had from your online account page whenever you accumulate $50 in cash back points. You can have a check at the $100 or $150 levels also but the best bargains are to be had at the $200 level when you get the big bonus cash back of $250.
There are two other great Freedom card benefits too: The ‘purchase security’ feature, within the first 90 days of date of purchase, can reimburse holders up to a maximum of $500 per claim when their cards are stolen or damaged by fire, vandalism, etc. Likewise the warranty manager service lets the cardholder register an item and extend a manufacturer’s warranty for an extra year, where the manufacturer’s warranty is less than three years.
Chase FreedomSM Credit Card Highlights
- 3% bonus cash back offers in categories like gas, home improvement and department stores
- Full 1% Cash Back on every purchase – no spending tiers or caps on how much you can earn
- Up to an additional 20% cash back at select merchants when you shop online through Chase
- 0% Intro APR and No Annual Fee*
The Chase Sapphire Card Review
The Chase Sapphire is one of the top rated credit cards around and it is easy to see why. This card is all about choice. With most credit cards the usual thing is to have one or two at most ways to redeem the rewards but with the Sapphire ultimate rewards program the cardholder can choose the option that best suits them at the time when they redeem their rewards against anything on offer. And they mean anything! From air travel, hotel reservations, groceries to straightforward cash back. Add to this the very competitive costs and terms along with the introductory promotions and Chase Sapphire is clearly one of the premier credit cards around.
Because the Chase Sapphire card ‘Ultimate rewards program’ gives the holder choice in how they redeem their rewards it cuts back all those complex limitations that are hidden in the fine print of other ordinary reward programs. What a relief not to have to fly with certain specified airlines on weekdays when there is an ‘r’ in the month.
An extra facet of reward point’s flexibility with Sapphire is the facility to redeem them for gift cards or for desirable goods online. The card works on the standard point system just like other rewards cards. For every dollar spent the cardholder gets one Ultimate Rewards point. Double points are earned when travel is booked through the Chase house travel booking system. While the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall online has promotional offers to get up to ten points on every card dollar spent at more than 300 partner retailers.
The choice is yours and when you use your Chase Sapphire card it can open up a whole world of bonus points. First time customers to the Sapphire card can get up to 10,000 bonus points for just signing up. Then it is up to them to make the most of the new horizons. With other reward cards a typical round trip flight could take about 25,000 points. That makes the Sapphire signup bonus a great deal. With the Chase Ultimate Rewards program users can redeem flights with a mixture of points and card payment. That’s just another way of saying discount flights.
Users also have the choice, when air travel or hotels are not on the agenda just now, to use the Ultimate Rewards points to get straight cash back. These points do not have a shelf life, nor is there a cap to the amount of points users can save. This give the choice to redeem rewards whenever you are ready rather than when it best suits your credit provider.
While the Ultimate reward program is the gem at center of the Sapphire card offering the interest charges, fees and card costs are also key the customer take-up decision. Chase Sapphire comes with very reasonable interest rates such as a low 10.24% standard APR. Normal credit cards without a rewards program charge very similarly while other reward cards can get as high as 14%. Given that competing rewards cards charge APRs as high as 14%. The APR on cash advances with Sapphire are at 19.24%. These costs exclude the fees for cash but even with them added in Chase’s fees for cash advances still compare very favorably with the competition.
Chase, like all creditors, punish late payers with an ‘over the top’ default APR of 29.99% APR if users allow their accounts to default. As with all credit cards it is important to manage them effectively and make sure you get your payments in on time. In the event of difficulties Chase provide a round the clock dedicated adviser just a phone call away so once again the choice is yours.
Chase SapphireSM Card Highlights
- 10,000 Bonus Points after first purchase
- 2X on all airfare booked through Ultimate Rewards
- No earning caps, point expiration, or blackout dates
- Earn 10x for every dollar when shopping at select merchants through Ultimate Rewards Mall
- 1 point for every dollar on all other purchases
- 24/7 Dedicated service advisor (No voice recording)
- Premier travel protection benefits
- No Annual Fee
(don’t forget to check out my 8 discover card reviews too, they offer a number of cards comparable and if not better than Chase)