Chase Slate vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which is best for you?

Using credit cards can be a good financial move, so long as you’re armed with adequate information, exercise some care and know what you’re signing up for. The Chase Slate and Chase Freedom both offer cardholders an impressive array of features that can help them manage their debt while also reaping some rewards along the way.

However, having additional time to pay off debt and getting rewards aren’t the only features these two cards offer. It’s best to look into all the card details so you don’t miss out on things like security features, ways you can raise your credit score and extended protection on items you’ve purchased. With the right card, you’ll be eligible for perks you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

At a glance comparison

Let’s compare the basics of these two cards. One comes with cash back rewards and one doesn’t, but both could still be beneficial for you to own:

Chase SlateChase Freedom Unlimited
Annual Fee$0$0
Rewards RatesNone1.5% on all purchases
Sign Up BonusNone$200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months
Low Intro APRYes, 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfersYes, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
Lounge AccessNoneNone
Authorized User FeeNoneNone

Standout features

The Chase Slate card offers a number of unique benefits and advantages:

  • Purchases made on your card are covered for 120 days against damage or theft.
  • Simply tap to pay if there is a contactless symbol at the checkout terminal for fast, easy and secure payments.
  • You’re notified quickly if any unusual activity takes place on your account.
  • The zero liability protection ensures that you’re not accountable for unauthorized purchases on your account.
  • Vantage 3.0 credit score monitoring by TransUnion includes email alerts about changes to your credit report. Additionally, your credit score is refreshed weekly and information is provided about how your score may be affected when you open new accounts or pay off debt

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card also has its own perks:

  • An uncomplicated rewards program lets you earn 1.5% on every purchase without the hassle of keeping track of categories that change quarterly.
  • Some cash back cards require you to activate bonus categories for rewards each quarter, but not this card. 
  • The zero liability protection covers you if unauthorized purchases are made on your account.
  • Purchase protection plus extended warranty gives you added protection on specific purchases. 
  • The Credit Journey feature provides unlimited access to your credit score and more. Checking your score doesn’t affect your credit.

The case for the Chase Slate card

The Chase Slate Card is a no-frills, no expense way (for 15 months) to try out a good, solid credit card. Whether it’s needed for purchases or transferring a balance from a card with a higher APR, you can use it the first 15 months without worry and get a bit of breathing room in your finances. In case you weren’t aware, transferring a balance often carries a fee along with the interest, but the Slate card offers an introductory fee of $0 for balance transfers during the first 60 days your account is open. After 60 days, the balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5.

The additional standard perks that Chase offers on the Slate card are helpful for any card owner. You can rest easy knowing you’ll get alerts if anything suspicious takes place, and you won’t be liable for fraudulent activity on your account. Also, this card gives you a timesaving “tap and go” method of using your card at certain checkout terminals.

The case for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

Unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases without the bother of having to activate quarterly bonus categories is a great way to consistency add cash back into your budget. The additional $200 signup bonus for spending $500 or more within the first three months makes the rewards offer even more appealing.

Take advantage of the first 15 months, whether you’ve had your eye on something you want to purchase and pay off over a few months, or if you know you have a card or two that carry high APRs on a balance. It’s a great way to consolidate debt and get yourself on better financial footing.

Peace of mind is a valuable perk too, and this card is a tool that helps you to rest easy. You’re not liable for unauthorized purchases and can set up alerts to monitor for potentially fraudulent activity on your account. 

In a nutshell

The $0 APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers offered by both of these cards might be the perfect solution for your current needs. for example, if you would like to make a large purchase now but want plenty of time to pay it off before any interest kicks in.

Neither card has an annual fee, the introductory APRs are identical and the added perks for security and credit score monitoring are virtually the same too. So your final choice may come down to just how important those rewards points are to you. Incidentally, both of these cards charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you shouldn’t plan to take either one of them for international travel if you have any other option.

Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge is a business and marketing writer from Ashland, Ohio. His writing has been published in Fast Company, Zapier, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and a host of other publications. He has a degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before launching his own business, he worked as an auditor at a bank.