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Chase Credit Cards and Blueprint Review

This article was written by in Credit, Reviews. 11 comments.


Chase is offering a number of popular credit cards, notably the Chase Freedom®, Chase Sapphire and Slate from Chase, which now include a set of features the company calls “Blueprint.” The Blueprint features give the credit cardholder some flexibility in organizing and paying off the various expenses he or she charges to the card. Customers can visit the website to customize their experience as they pay back what they have spent, and possibly avoid paying interest at the same time.

Here are some of the configurable options in the Blueprint program.

  • You can choose categories, like gasoline or groceries, and Chase will separate those items from the rest of the statement. The payment you send will go to these expenses first, so as long as you pay more than you spend each month, you will not pay any interest in the categories you choose.
  • For larger purchases, you can decide how may monthly payments you’d like to make. Chase will calculate the portion of the monthly payment.
  • If you want to pay your credit card off in full — and everyone should — you can set the target date and Chase’s statements will tell you how much you need to pay each month in order to make your goal.
  • Your expenses are categorized immediately, and you have access to view your data at any time. Many other cards, if they share your categorized data at all, send a summary only at the end of the year.

Chase Slate®

Chase has received plenty of attention for the balance transfer offer that comes with the Chase Slate®. Just make your balance transfer transaction within the first 60 days your account is open and Chase waives the fee traditionally associated with most balance transfers offers. That’s one of the best offers currently in the credit card industry. After the first 60 days the fee for future balance transfers will be 3 percent of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5. You’ll receive a 0 percent introductory APR for 15 months on purchases as well as on balance transfers. After your introductory APR expires, you’ll see a variable APR currently 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% based on your creditworthiness. This card has no annual fee. The Slate® from Chase offers the Blueprint service.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one step up from the Chase Sapphire Card you see above, the introductory offer is 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership. These points can be redeemed for travel worth up to $500 when booked through Ultimate Rewards. Each cardholder can get direct access to a dedicated phone number where live agents are available. There is an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year then the annual fee is $95.

Ink Cash® Business Card

The first of three business cards, the Ink Cash® Business Card for new cardholders has a limited time introductory bonus of $200 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in three months from account opening. This card offers all small business owners the opportunity to earn five percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year on office supply store purchases, cellular/landline phone service, internet and cable TV services. In addition two percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants, and earning one percent cash back on all other card purchases. The Ink Cash® Business Card comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for twelve months. And does not have an annual fee, so as a small business owner, there is no cost for making fast secure purchases using your credit card.

Ink Bold® Business Card

The Ink Bold® Business Card has the potential to earn you thousands of points every year on eligible business purchases. It’s important to recognize that the Ink Bold® Business Card is a charge card, not a credit card. The balance is due in full each and every month. For a limited time, with this card new cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Cardholders can earn up to 5X points per dollar in select business categories on combined purchases subject to maximum spend. In addition you can transfer points earned 1:1 to leading frequent travel programs. As a Cardmember you have access to a live service advisory at anytime. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 for the Ink Bold® Business Card.

With or without Blueprint, these Chase cards are among the best deals out there for those who use credit cards responsibly. Have you had any experiences with these credit cards from Chase? Whether good or bad, please share your thoughts.

Updated July 20, 2014 and originally published October 8, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar RainyDaySaver

I just got the Chase Sapphire card — the first card I’ve applied for in 6 years or so. The 10,000 bonus points made it stand out, although the 17.9% interest rate is far beyond the interest rates on my other cards — 6.49% and 10.9% — and by far the highest rate I’ve ever had.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,435 (Platinum)

I’m definitely not happy about the high interest rates that abound. The reasons for paying balances in full keep getting better.

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avatar Apex

1. You can choose categories, like gasoline or groceries, and Chase will separate those items from the rest of the statement. The payment you send will go to these expenses first, so as long as you pay more than you spend each month, you will not pay any interest in the categories you choose.

2. For larger purchases, you can decide how may monthly payments you’d like to make. Chase will calculate the portion of the monthly payment.

Am I missing something or are both of these meaningless psychological tricks? Please show me if I am wrong.

For #1. If I am going to pay 300 per month but my gas and groceries are 250 per month and I make sure those portions of the bill are always paid in full what difference does it make. My balance outstanding in total is still the same correct? My total interest paid is still the same correct? They just tell me that none of my balance is due to gas or groceries but that’s all just an accounting game right? Or am I missing something and they are doing something that actually makes you pay more? Unless that is true, it seems clear this is just a trick and it could actually make people feel like they are doing good by not accumulating debt in certain categories while they are just accumulating more debt in other categories and ending up no better off overall or if they feel like they are they could actually spend more and end up worse off. This does not seem to provide any benefit that I can think of at all. Am I missing something?

I am not even sure what #2 means but if it is anything like number 1 then it has the same problems. If it is a situation that makes me pay at least the minimum plus whatever amount they calculate to get me to pay off that item in the time I select then it could help me pay it off quicker. If instead it just tells me how much I have to pay to pay that off in x months and that is a subset of my total payment then that doesn’t change anything. I can feel good about having paid off that sofa but I just paid less on the fast food, utils, subscriptions, electronics, and tooth paste that is on my bill. In this case I again see zero benefit. Is it different than it seems?

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avatar Rassah

You’re right about #1. Categories are totally arbitrary, and it doesn’t matter which portion of your loan you apply your payment to. End result will be exactly the same.
For #2, yeah, sounds like just a calculator to me. I guess one benefit is that people will be able to figure out just how much that item they’re sticking on their credit card is going to cost them.

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avatar Freddie @ Real Estate Investing

I don’t have any experience with any of the Chase cards. Heck, I am a bit ashamed to admit this, but I have not been very responsible with my credit cards lately and need to get back on that. I hope that admitting this on your blog is a way to get me back on track. If not, maybe you will give me a quick kick in the but for not doing so. lol, but I will get it together.

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avatar Lisa Barnes

We have the Chase business Ink card. We don’t really care about the rate, since we never carry a balance, and the rewards program fits our business use. However… a $2000 credit limit for a business? Really? Seriously? Our small business is in home remodeling, so a purchase of, say, windows, can easily go over that. Which means that we have to use our old business card (the one without rewards).

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avatar Tristan

The only card I have from this list is the Slate… which I have had for long before it was “Slate.” It was just a regular old Chase Visa when I got it. I transferred a balance to it years ago (when rates were cheap, 3% for the life of the balance) and I do not use it for everyday purchases (still working on paying it down… but the low interest rate makes it a low priority against even my car loans).

It is certainly a no frills card. I also have another Chase Visa that used to be a WaMu card. Thought about getting that one turned into the Freedom Visa….

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avatar Paleo

Beware,due diligence if you are planning to sign up to use, or are using the Chase Mileage Plus Select Rewards Plan. Check the 2 for $1 earned points with the stores you shop at that should qualify as “home supply store, grocery store, gas station, or type of dining establishment”.
Chase does not recognize many stores, some of them national, for the 2 points for $1 purchased. Check your Chase online account activity, you may see (OTHER) next to the merchant. If so you may not be earning 2 for 1. A few examples are; WHOLEFDS ASI 10228(Other), MARKET OF CHOICE (Other), JERRYS HOME-SPRINGFIELD(Other), TRUE VALUE HARDWA(Other), WILCO (Other), ALBERTSONS (Other), HOME DEPOT (Other). We’re talking about hundreds and thousands of reward points lost for a card you pay a premium to have.

Here is part of the rewards fine print: “You will earn 3 miles for each $1 of net purchases made directly from United. You will earn 2 mile for each $1 of net purchases made directly at Star Alliance airlines (Star Alliance refers to airlines that are participating in an international travel network with additional information available at http://www.staralliance.com). You will earn 2 miles for each $1 of net purchases made at retail locations that classify their merchant locations for Visa as a home supply store, grocery store, gas station, or type of dining establishment. Purchases not eligible to receive the 2 miles include, but are limited to, purchases made at superstores, warehouse clubs, and discount stores. We do not determine whether merchants currently identify and bill transactions as being made at home supply store, grocery store, gas station, or type or dining establishments. However, we do reserve the right to determine which purchases qualify for the 2 miles. You will earn 1 miles for each $1 of all other net purchases. Each year you will receive 5,000 bonus miles on your enrollment date anniversary. There is no maximum number of miles that you can accumulate in the program. You do not earn miles on balance transfers, cash advances, cash-like charges such as travelers checks, foreign currency, and money orders, any checks that are used to access your account, overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including fees for products that protect or insure the balances of your account.”

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avatar Sue Grise

Chase paid off my low-interest promos with my Blueprint payments, leaving me with growing high-interest balances after I had just paid those off. In the 4 months Sep.-Dec. 2011, I paid MORE THAN MY MINIMUM PAYMENT PLUS EVERY PENNY I CHARGED, EVERY MONTH. In Sep. I owed 292.85 @ 23.24% interest and $1128.08 @ 5.99%. In Dec. I owed $179.01 @ 5.99% and $908.26 @23.24%!!! Blueprint is a financial scam to get around the recent consumer-protection legislation that says they have to pay off the high-interest portion with anything you pay over your minimum. Blueprint ups the “minimum” so they can use it to pay off low-interest balances instead of high-interest ones while you merrily run up a huge charge balance even though you’re paying as you go!

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avatar Donald Zuellig

One thing i do not like about Chase cards are they seem do not care about your everyday expenses. I mean they do not post your total current charges. Not unlike other cards, say American Express, they post your current charges so you can keep tract of your daily expenses. I hope you will notice this too.

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avatar Glenna R Merriott

I recently obtained this card for our business, and on our second statement I had over 550.00 worth of fraudulent charges from name brand retailers. I personally talked to both companies, Victoria’s Secret and Rue 21, and management said these were actual cards, not online sales, not phone orders, so these were cards presented to them that looked legitimate. This is the second time in 1 month I have had a Chase card( Hyatt) compromised, althought the this one was caught before the charges were approved.
They have one more chance, that is it. Business cards do not have enough security anymore, understandable since people travel with these cards. I do not want to have to police my cards every month, so…

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