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How to Do a Balance Transfer With Chase

Chase can help you avoid interest charges with one of these balance transfer credit cards.

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Chase gets a lot of attention for its lineup of rewards credit cards, but it also offers a handful of worthwhile balance transfer credit cards. The average credit card balance is more than $5,589 -- and with APRs only increasing, paying down this debt just became more expensive. However, you can press pause on interest charges with a balance transfer. While most Chase cards facilitate balance transfers, there are three that offer an introductory APR to help avoid all interest charges.

What is a balance transfer?

A balance transfer involves moving the balance from one credit card to a new one with a balance transfer offer. This offer typically includes reduced or 0% APR for a period of time, to help you save on interest charges so you can repay your debt. 

For example, if you’re carrying $4,000 on a credit card you might move that debt to a new credit card with a 0% introductory balance transfer offer. Then, instead of letting that $4,000 balance continue to accumulate interest, you can work to pay it down without worrying about interest charges, for a time.

However, you usually need to pay for the privilege -- typically 3% to 5% of the amount transferred. In most cases it’s more affordable to pay this fee than to continue to accrue interest, though.

The best Chase balance transfer cards

Chase has three different introductory balance transfer APR offers, and all of them come with a 3% intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) for balance transferred within 60 days of account opening. 

With 15 to 18 months of 0% introductory APR, that fee can make sense for a lot of cardholders. Just be sure that you initiate the balance transfer as soon as you open the card, too: The fee jumps to 5% ($5 minimum) for balances transferred 60 days after account opening.

Chase Slate Edge℠

The Chase Slate Edge* is the best balance transfer card from Chase (and one of the best balance transfer cards available from any bank) due to an 18-month 0% introductory APR offer on balance transfers and purchases (then 20.49% to 29.24% variable) -- the longest time frame available from Chase.

If you’re carrying a balance of $10,000, you can make a payment of just over $555 each month for the next 18 months to get out of credit card debt. While the Slate Edge doesn’t offer any rewards or a welcome bonus, it does have a unique feature of lowering the card’s standard APR when you pay your bill on time. Once the APR offer ends, you can lower your APR by up to 2% annually by establishing an on-time payment history and spending at least $1,000 on your card by your next account anniversary. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with a slightly shorter 0% introductory APR period of 15 months for balance transfers and purchases (then 20.49% to 29.24% variable). However, the card does have additional value once you’re done paying down your debt. It earns 1.5% cash back on most purchases, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores and 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, be mindful of paying your card in full once you’re ready to spend again: 1.5% cash back can be quickly erased if you can’t pay your balance in full.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ 

The Chase Freedom Flex* mirrors the Freedom Unlimited’s introductory APR offer. You’ll have 15 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases (then 20.49% to 29.24% variable). In terms of its lasting value, its earning potential is hard to beat by most no-annual-fee credit cards. 

In addition to earning 3% cash back at dining and drug stores, it features even higher cash-back reward categories that rotate quarterly. Just be sure you’re only using it for new purchases once you’ve paid off any transferred balance.

How to transfer a balance with Chase

You can only transfer a balance from a non-Chase card to an eligible Chase card. So, if your existing debt is on a Chase card, consider another balance transfer option, like Wells Fargo. If you think a balance transfer offer from Chase will help you pay down existing credit card debt, follow these steps to get started:

  • Transfer your balance as soon as you’re approved for a new card: Chase’s 3% intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) only applies to the first 60 days after your account is open. After that, it increases to 5% ($5 minimum). The clock starts ticking on the Chase Slate Edge’s intro offer as soon as you’re approved, so the longer you wait, the less time you’ll have to pay down the debt.
  • Do it online: Transferring a balance is easiest online -- it’s as simple as providing your account details and hitting submit from your Chase account page. However, if you need additional assistance, call Chase’s card customer service line at 800-432-3117.
  • Tackle the most expensive debt first: The maximum amount you can transfer with Chase is $15,000. So, if you’re carrying more than that across all of your credit cards, transfer the balance from the card with the highest APR first. For example, if you have three cards with APRs of 25%, 22% and 19%, the two cards with the higher interest rates should be your priority.
  • Monitor your other accounts: A balance transfer with Chase can take up to 21 days to complete. It all depends on how quickly your other issuer processes the payment they receive from Chase. So, keep an eye on your other account(s) and keep up with any monthly payments.

Why would you use a balance transfer?

To avoid racking up interest charges. The big challenge of credit card debt is that it can be very challenging to climb out from underneath. 

The bigger your balance, the bigger your interest charges each month. Even if you’re working aggressively to pay your debt down, it can be frustrating and expensive. And sometimes you may find the interest charges exceed what you can afford to pay each month -- making it feel impossible to get ahead. A 0% intro APR balance transfer offer gives you more breathing room to pay off existing debt while avoiding costly interest charges for a set amount of time. 

Is it worth it to pay a balance transfer fee?

If you’re carrying a sizable amount of debt from month to month, a balance transfer fee can be one of the smartest investments you make. 

Consider how the math breaks down: If you’re carrying a balance of $10,000 on a credit card with a 20% interest rate, you’ll need to pay $926 each month to pay it off in a year. Over that 12 months, though, you’ll pay an additional $1,116 in interest.

If you opt for a balance transfer card that gives you 18 months of 0% APR with a 3% balance transfer fee, you’d pay $300 ($10,000 x .03) to transfer the balance. So, if you can get that balance to $0 over that time, you’ll essentially save $816.

Tips for paying off a transferred balance

Before you decide to apply for a balance transfer card, keep these four tips in mind to keep to get the most out of your introductory offer:

  • Know your payment: An effective balance transfer strategy relies on your budgeting skills. Divide your total outstanding balance by the number of months in your introductory offer so you have a firm idea of what you need to pay each month. 
  • Stay current on your other cards: Balance transfers aren’t immediate, so make sure that you’re monitoring your payment responsibilities on your other card (or cards). Don’t close cards after transferring your balance, either. By keeping them open, the age of your credit account will continue to grow, which can positively impact your credit utilization ratio and overall credit score.
  • Avoid additional spending: A credit line can be very tempting -- and if you’re taking advantage of a balance transfer offer, you may be familiar with the slippery slope of overspending. Don’t worry about welcome bonus offers or earning rewards until your debt has been wiped out.
  • Set a monthly reminder: Don’t ever miss a credit card payment. This rule applies to every card -- not just a balance transfer offer. If you’ve struggled to keep track of your due date in the past, set a monthly reminder on your phone. Most credit card issuers will even let you set up automatic payments.

The bottom line

Employing a balance transfer offer can have a meaningful impact on your finances. One of these three introductory balance transfer APR offers from Chase can give you between 15 and 18 months to help eliminate any existing credit card debt. Just make sure you have a plan in place to pay off the transferred balance within the specified time period, and avoid falling into more credit card debt afterward by paying your statement balance in full monthly.

*All information about the Chase Slate Edge and Chase Freedom Flex has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. Based in Chicago, he writes with one objective in mind: Help readers figure out how to save more and stress less. He is also a musician, which means he has spent a lot of time worrying about money. He applies the lessons he's learned from that financial balancing act to offer practical advice for personal spending decisions.
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