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Credit Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex introduce balance transfer offers

Two Chase credit cards are giving cardholders 0% intro APR. Here's how to take advantage of it.

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In time for the holiday season, Chase added a 0% intro APR balance transfer offer to two of its cash-back credit cards: the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

With this offer, you'll have 15 months of interest-free financing on purchases, and any balances transferred over from other credit cards. This can be helpful for your holiday shopping, or any other large purchases you make on a credit card.

Here's what you need to know about the offer.

Chase Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex 0% intro APR on balance transfers offer

Each of the Chase credit cards listed below gives cardholders an opportunity to earn valuable cash back, but now can help you consolidate credit card debt accumulated on other cards — without accruing interest.

For example, let's say you have a $3,000 balance on another credit card. You can transfer that balance to one of the cards below, and you'll have 15 months to pay it off before interest starts accruing once more.

The intro balance transfer feature is in addition to already having a 0% intro APR offer on purchases made on the card.

However, once the 15 month period is over on either purchases or balance transfers, the interest rate will increase to a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74%. There's an intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that it's either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

It's never wise to carry a balance or spend more than you can afford on a credit card, but in this case, the 15-month-0%-intro APR period can come in handy for spending and purchasing flexibility.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back in select categories upon activation
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card

Cons

  • Bonus categories must be activated each quarter
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $852
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,844

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

Why to consider a balance transfer to a 0% APR card

Credit cards charge among the highest interest rates for lending products, making them a poor choice for someone who needs to carry a balance or borrow money. However, there are several reasons to consider a balance transfer credit card that offers an introductory 0% APR — the most attractive being that you avoid paying credit card interest. Americans carry a huge amount of credit card debt, and it's never a good idea to pay interest on top of your discretionary spending.

Other reasons to consider a new balance transfer credit card are:

  • Organization: If you have several credit cards with revolving balances, it can be a nightmare trying to stay organized. By consolidating your debt into one card, it's easier to manage paying down debt.
  • Earning more credit: By applying for a new credit card, you will earn more credit, which increases your overall credit line and decreases your overall credit utilization. Credit utilization, which is how much you owe compared to how much credit you have, makes up 30% of your credit score. By earning more credit from issuers, and managing it responsibly, you will improve your credit score over time. However, keep in mind that a large balance on your credit card can hurt your credit score also. So if your card has a $10,000 limit and you transfer $8,000 in debt over, that can be detrimental.

Fees to know about

A balance transfer can be worth it as you can save big on credit card interest charges. The process is also quite simple, and in some cases, done completely online. However, there are balance transfer fees to consider.

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you will need to pay either:

  • Within 60 days of account opening: $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Past 60 days from account opening: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Lets say your credit card balance that you need to transfer is $3,000, and you complete it within the 60 day mark. Once it processes, you will have a $90 balance transfer fee added to the new card. That sounds steep, but if you stretch that out over 15 months, it comes to an averaged $6 monthly fee, which is likely much, much less than you were paying in interest charges.

Bottom line

If you're paying exorbitant credit card interest fees, it's likely best to consolidate your debt using a balance transfer credit card. However, it shouldn't be use to spend outside your means or to finance purchases that aren't needed.

Before you use your credit card or debit card for your next purchase, it may be best to first create a budget to avoid overspending.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.