Chase Slate vs. Discover it

April 7, 2015, Written By Jason Steele

There are few things more difficult than paying off credit card debt. As unsecured debt, credit cards charge higher interest rates than home or car loans. And since the interest paid is never tax deductible, cardholders do not receive the tax savings that can apply to home mortgages and student loans.

One of the most powerful tools to help cardholders retire their debt are the interest free promotional financing offers featured by many credit cards. These offers allow cardholders to transfer their balance from their existing cards to their new account, and enjoy 0% APR financing for a limited amount of time. Nevertheless, nearly all 0% APR balance transfers require the payment of a 3% balance transfer fee, which is added to the new balance. In addition, many of these offers also include 0% APR financing on new purchases as well.

The Chase Slate and the Discover it are two of the most popular credit cards that offer promotional financing, yet they are very different products. Let’s take a look at them and see how they compare.

Chase Slate

With the Chase Slate card, new cardholders receive 15 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers. Furthermore, this is the only credit card with 0% APR financing on balance transfers that comes without the 3% balance transfer fee. To qualify for this fee waiver, balance transfers must be completed within 60 days of account opening.

Another benefit of the Slate card is complimentary access to Chase’s Blueprint program. Blueprint is a set of powerful tools that can help cardholders manage their debt and reduce interest charges. For example, you can set a target date for paying off your entire balance, and Blueprint will provide a monthly payment amount that will allow you to reach your goal. In addition, Blueprint also allows cardholders to reduce interest charges by paying some purchases in full while carrying a balance on others.

The Slate card also features a free monthly FICO score online, along with a summary of your credit report to help you keep track of your credit status. There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the United States.

Discover it

The standard Discover it card comes with your choice of two different offers. One offer features 14 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. The other offer includes six months of interest free financing on new purchases, and 18 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers, also with a 3% balance transfer fee.

Yet Discover it is also a rewards card. Cardholders receive 1% cash back on all purchases, plus an additional 4% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in select bonus categories. During the second quarter of 2015, the qualifying retailers include all restaurants and movie theaters. Rewards earned can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, or an electronic deposit in your bank account. There is no limit to the rewards you can earn, no minimum to redeem rewards, and the cash back that you earn never expires, even if you close your account.

With the Discover card, customers automatically receive a waiver of their first late fee, and there is never any penalty interest rate. Other features include a free FICO score each month online and on cardholder’s statements. Finally, the Discover card has an excellent reputation for customer service and all calls are answered by 100% US based representatives. There is no annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

How these cards compare

The Chase Slate card is a unique offer for those who really need to perform an interest free balance transfer. For example, cardholders who wish to complete a $5,000 balance transfer would incur $150 in balance transfer fees if they use any other major credit card beside the Slate, including the Discover it. With 15 months of interest free financing, it’s an extremely competitive offer, if not the longest one available. Chase’s Blueprint program is also a unique and innovative tool to help cardholders get out of debt. And while the Chase Slate has no rewards program, some would argue that cardholders who have debt should be focused on paying it off, not earning rewards.

While Chase Slate is a product that is highly focused on helping cardholders to get out of debt, the Discover it card is more of a hybrid. The two different promotional financing offers are strong, but not quite as favorable as Slate’s no-fee balance transfer offer. Nevertheless, its rewards program is very competitive, and there are many Discover cardholders who are passionate about the superior customer service they receive.

Final word

Applicants whose top priority is to eliminate debt should strongly consider the Slate card, while those who are looking for a rewards card that also features interest free financing might find themselves more interested in the Discover it. By examining your priorities for credit card use, the right choice will become clear.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 7, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.