Which is Better: Blue Cash from Amex or Chase Slate?
We put Blue Cash Everyday up against Chase Slate to see which card came out on top. There was no question. Read this in-depth comparison review to see which card is worthy of your wallet.
Blue Cash Everyday by Amex is more appealing than Chase Slate because it offers rewards
Usually, when comparing similar credit cards, there's not much separation between the two, give or take a few dollars in fees.
That's not the case when looking at the Blue Cash Everyday by Amex and Chase Slate credit cards
When it comes down to it, there's one huge benefit that lifts the Blue Cash card well above the Chase Slate: its cash-back rewards systems.
While both look appealing at first due to their no annual fee and average APRs, the Blue Cash's rewards for grocery, gas, and shopping purchases make it a lot more appealing to anyone looking for a card with more purchasing power.
How Blue Cash Everyday by Amex compares to Chase Slate
|Blue Cash Everyday||Chase Slate|
|How high of credit score do you need?||>690||>640|
|Average APR?||13.99 - 24.99%||15.99 - 24.74%|
|Annual fee?||No annual fee||No annual fee|
|How big of sign-up bonus do you get?||$200 back in the form of a statement credit||None|
|How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?||$1,000 within 3 months||N/A|
|How many points do you get for every dollar?||3% cash back on grocery store items (up to $6,000; 1% thereafter); 2% cash back at gas stations; 1% cash back on all other purchases||No rewards system|
|If you spent $100 on the card, then how much would the points be worth in dollars?||3% cash back rewards for groceries; 2% for gas; 1% for other purchases||N/A|
Why One Is Stronger Than the Other
The Blue Cash Everyday by Amex is stronger than the Chase Slate because it offers cash back rewards
Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX makes pulling out the plastic for everyday purchases like groceries and gas the way to go, which can't be said for the Chase Slate and its lack of rewards system.
Earn cash back on purchases. The Blue Cash by AMEX could net you some serious cash back on a wide array of purchases:
- 3% on groceries
- 2% on gas
- 1% at certain department stores
Delving into those numbers makes this credit card even more appealing.
Consider that the average person spends about $4,000 on groceries per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That means the average person would yield about $120 in cash-back rewards on groceries alone.
Receive a sign-up bonus. AMEX makes the Blue Cash Everyday card even more desirable by offering a very reasonable sign-up bonus: $150 in statement credits after spending $1,000 in your first three months (which, doing the math, equates to a 15% cash-back rate).
That threshold is below most other rewards cards on the market, which often require you to spend $3,000 or more.
Again, the no-frills aspect of the Chase Slate means it offers no such sign-up bonus.
People love Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX because of its high-yield cash-back system and bonuses
Love getting cash back?
Expert reviewers and customers alike love the Blue Cash by AMEX's system for earning cash back.
"Many rewards cards on the market charge an annual fee, but we love that this version of the Blue Cash card doesn't," writes Curtis Arnold, editor of cardratings.com
"Paying no interest on purchases or balance transfers during the first 15 months is perhaps the most enticing perk of the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express.
"But after the first year, it's the generous cash back rewards you'll be glad you have...
"This is my favorite card. If I had to just pick one card, this would be it. I get to earn cash back and also more than 1% at gas stations, supermarkets and some department stores (great during the holiday season)," writes cardholder kimc at askmrcreditcard.com.
The biggest customer complaint about Blue Cash by AMEX is its high bar to approval
Need a high credit score. A host of customers complain about the card's high-bar to approval, which leaves even those in good credit standing with low lines of credit — often just $1,000.
"Great opening of 0% interest for 12 Months. I applied for this card for the use of debt consolidation. My credit score averages 723 with no late payments and I was only approved for $1K limit. "
"I applied for it and received a 1k limit. I cancelled it because it was nothing. My scores were very good averaging in 730s but still."
Amex not accepted everywhere. Customers also complained about the limited amount of places where the card is actually accepted.
American Express, in general, is not accepted as widely as its competitors like Visa and Mastercard because it charges merchants a higher interest rate on your transactions.
This pushes many merchants to simply opt out of accepting the card type altogether.
"Finding merchants that accept AMEX, even in Houston, is a struggle. Most mom and pop stores can't pay the exorbitant AMEX transaction fees. I get much better acceptance with Discover."
You're the ideal customer for Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX if you eat at home often
The Blue Cash by AMEX has a host of appealing features, but you're the ideal customer if you answer "yes" to most of the following questions:
- Do you have good credit, at least 690 or higher?
- Do you cook at home often?
- Do you own a car and drive to and from work?
- Are you comfortable using your card on an almost daily basis?
If you answered, "no" to two or more questions, you may want to reconsider the Blue Cash by AMEX and instead opt for a balance transfer card like the Chase Slate.
Then again, Chase Slate could be more appealing because it is a no-frills way to pay down debt
If you're looking for a simple card—one that doesn't introduce the added hassle of tracking and redeeming points and cash back —Chase Slate is the way to go.
And that's more important for those that have some credit debt to pay off, as Chase Slate also offers an incentive in the form of no transfer fees for the first 60 days.
Transfer balances without penalty. Chase Slate's introductory promotion of no-fee balance transfers for the first 60 days makes it a unicorn of sorts, as most cards charge anywhere from 3-5% fees.
A balance transfer means that you're simply moving any debt from one credit card company to another.
So to be able to do that without being charged (which almost all other cards do) is a huge positive of the Chase Slate card.
Pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. As if the no-transfer fee wasn't appealing enough for those looking to pay down debts, Chase Slate also comes with a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
That means that you get a grace period to pay down your debt, with no new interest added on.
This makes it easier to pay in full each month.
People love Chase Slate because of its no-fees balance transfers
When it comes to cards that make it easy and affordable to transfer balances and pay down debt, Chase Slate is a favorite among both consumers and experts.
"The Chase Slate credit card is a simple card made for one purpose: balance transfers," according to Brendan Harkness, an expert reviewer at creditcardinsider.com.
And Chase Slate cardholders echo this sentiment.
"Thank you to Slate for providing a free transfer/no interest for 15-month promotion. It has been very helpful in this stressful economic time," writes cardholder Trixie on chase.com.
The biggest customer complaint about the Chase Slate is its lack of credit line increase and rewards programs
A lot of customers complain about the fact that the Chase Slate comes with a low credit line, which rarely increases.
"I've had this card for years without ever missing a payment, and I've never seen it pay off.
"Six years later I'm making 4x the income I was during that time and my credit limit is the same, my interest rate hasn't reduced (it is the highest interest card I have) and the only thing resembling a perk was recently added - access to my FICO score, which is pretty easy to get anywhere else these days," writes Hesterical in a review on chase.com.
You're the ideal customer for Chase Slate if you're looking to pay off past credit debt
Chase Slate would be your ideal card if you answer "yes" to the following questions:
- Do you have debt from a credit card company other than Chase, amounting to less than $15,000?
- Could you pay off a large sum of that in 15 months?
- Could you avoid using the card for any purchases while paying down that debt?
If you answered, "no" to any of the questions, you may want to reconsider the Chase Slate and opt for a rewards or other type of credit card that fits your needs.
About the Companies
American Express and Chase are two of the largest credit card companies in the world
Chase and American Express are the third and fourth largest credit card companies in the world with 93 million and 58 million cardholders, respectively.
Active in more than 130 countries, American Express is the world's largest issuer of credit cards in terms of transactions, averaging 6 billion transactions per year.
Chase is the top issuer of general-purpose credit cards in the U.S.
Yeah, American Express may be synonymous with credit cards now, but the company wasn't always in the card business.
The company was formed in 1850 as an express mail business.
Over the years, it's dipped its toes into various other industries.
American Express launched its Traveler's Cheque in 1891, a product that was widely used until the 1990s; dabbled in investment banking business from 1981 through 1994.
It even developed some small-screen mainstays such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and The Movie Channel through a joint venture with Warner Communications (formed in 1979), assets that were eventually sold to Viacom.
JPMorgan Chase is a collection of several US banking companies, to name a few – Chase Manhattan Bank, Bank One, Washington Mutual, Bear Stearns, First Chicago Bank, and more.
One of the earliest predecessors of the company that would eventually become JPMorgan Chase was the Manhattan Company, founded by Aaron Burr in 1799 when he obtained a charter from the New York State Legislature for a company to supply "pure and wholesome" water to the residents of New York City, whose inferior water was thought to be the cause of frequent epidemics of yellow fever.
That company's charter, though, held a clause allowing it to employ its excess capital in any activity "not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States," which allowed it to move into the banking industry.
For a cost, American Express and Chase offer lines of credit along with a host of rewards, benefits, and fees
Credit card issuers like American Express and Chase provide their customers a line of credit accessible through a credit card.
Paid in full each month, a credit card is like a free cash loan.
It gives you cash in advance, so to speak (it's really credit that acts like cash, which most businesses accept), and you get to spend it on the things you want.
To sweeten the deal, along with the credit, the credit issuers also provide additional services, benefits, and rewards to customers, which we'll get into below.
Failure to pay off any balance results in both companies charging you interest and possibly other fees.
They count on you (many of us) to not pay off that balance, which is how most of the profit is made.
To get a better sense of issuer behind the card you'll be applying for, we'll explore the pros and cons of each company below:
The good and the bad about AMEX services
Looking at reviews, most customers receive a credit limit of around $1,000-$3,000 for the Blue Cash by AMEX, though a good chunk of customers have a limit ranging from $5,000-$10,000.
In addition to the lines of credit, American Express offers, the Blue Cash by AMEX comes with some helpful services, especially for travelers.
Roadside assistance. If you're a Blue Cash Everyday card holder, you can help when you need emergency car services.
Call the number on the back of your card for coordination and assistance with obtaining services like towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery, and use your card to pay to rack up rewards points as a silver-lining.
Travel concierge at your digital fingertips. Online, you can access destination guides to help you plan your trip if you have a Blue Cash by AMEX card.
Then, when you're more than 100 miles away from home, use Global Assist Hotline for assistance and coordination services when unexpected issues come up during your trip—things like lost passports and missing luggage.
But, since third-party costs are up to you to cover, there is some downside.
Pay what AMEX's network costs. While you can use these services for free as a cardholder, you're on your own when it comes to third-party charges.
That means you're somewhat at the mercy of the providers AMEX contacts.
The good and the bad about Chase's services
Most Chase Slate cardholders are extended a credit limit in the range of $1,000-$3,000, though a good amount receive limits up to $5,000.
Chase also provides a few other services to cardholders, such as:
Roadside dispatch. This is a roadside assistance program arranged by Visa that Chase Slate cardholders pay for only when they use it.
There is no membership required, no pre-enrollment is required, no annual dues, and no limit on usage.
The only thing you'll pay is $59.95 per service call.
The program provides towing, tire changing, jump-starting, lockout service, fuel delivery, and winching.
The takeaway: American Express offers more assistance to customers than Chase
While Chase's roadside dispatch is a helpful tool to have should you ever need it, the fact that AMEX offers much the same service in combination with travel assistance gives it an upper hand.
Rewards and Bonuses
Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX offers more rewards and bonuses than Chase Slate
When it comes to rewards and bonuses, the Blue Cash by AMEX stands head-and-shoulders above Chase Slate.
The good and the bad about the Blue Cash Everyday's rewards and bonuses
In terms of rewards, the Blue Cash by AMEX offers a lot of incentives to use it for everyday purposes, from groceries to department store goodies.
Strong cash-back program. The Blue Cash by AMEX could net you some serious cash back on a wide array of purchases: 3% on groceries, 2% on gas, and 1% at certain department stores.
This is better than most other cash-back cards on the market, which generally tops out at about 2%.
Enticing sign-up bonus. AMEX makes the Blue Cash Everyday card desirable by offering a very reasonable sign-up bonus: $150 in statement credits after spending $1,000 in your first three months.
That threshold is below most other rewards cards on the market, which often require you to spend $3,000 or more — though the cash-back bonus will also be more.
0% introductory APR. Pay nothing on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
But everything isn't so rosy when you dive into the fine print, with limitations including:
"Reward Dollars," not actual cash. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Rewards redeemable in increments. Cash-back credits can only be redeemed in $25 increments.
Restrictive definition of stores. While you can receive 3% cash back on groceries, this only applies to purchases made in stores that fall under AMEX's definition of a grocery store.
AMEX considers a supermarket as a store that offers a variety of food and household products (think produce, meat, and dairy as well as cleaners and pet food).
So that bodega on the corner?
Neither is that mom-and-pop bakery.
The good and the bad about Chase Slate's rewards and bonuses
Chase Slate has little to offer in terms of rewards and bonuses. But one highlight is its no transfer fees.
Transfer balances without penalty. Chase Slate's introductory promotion of no-fee balance transfers for the first 60 days makes it a unicorn of sorts, as most card charge anywhere from 3-5% fees.
A balance transfer means that you're simply moving any debt from one credit card company to another.
So to be able to do that without being charged (which almost all other cards do) is a huge positive of the Chase Slate card.
Pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. As if the no-transfer fee wasn't appealing enough for those looking to pay down debt, Chase Slate also comes with a 0% introductory offer on purchase and balance transfer APR for the first 15 months.
That means that you get a grace period to pay down your debt with no new interest added on.
This makes it easier to pay in full each month.
The negatives, at least when it comes to rewards, are obvious.
No rewards or cash-back program. If you're looking for a credit card that will amass rewards points or cash back, look elsewhere.
Lack of a cash sign-up bonus. Whereas the Blue Cash Everyday card could potentially earn you $150 dollars as a bonus, Chase Slate offers no such incentive.
The takeaway: The Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX trumps the Chase Slate in terms of rewards
The Blue Cash by AMEX offers a lot of incentives to use it every day, with many ways to earn more cash back.
Since the Chase Slate offers no type of rewards program, it falls well short.
Chase Slate and Blue Cash cardholders can reap benefits like purchase protection and car rental insurance
Whether you have the Chase Slate or Blue Cash by AMEX in your wallet, you'll reap extra benefits that include extra car rental protection and payment protections.
The good and the bad about Blue Cash by AMEX benefits
Using your Blue Cash by AMEX card adds a lot of benefits aside from cash-back, including presale tickets to events and purchase protection.
Membership experiences. Blue Cash by AMEX cardholders can access events in music, theater, sports, and more.
Members gain access to presale tickets and special events, experiences, and offers when they purchase tickets with their card through AMEX's Membership Experiences website.
Car rental protection. Blue Cash cardholders are covered if their eligible rental car is damaged or stolen when they use their card to reserve and pay for the vehicle rental.
This saves money on typically expensive rental insurance.
Purchase protection. If you use your Blue Cash by AMEX to buy items, that item is covered for up to 90 days from the date of purchase if it's stolen or accidentally damaged.
The coverage is limited up to $1,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year.
There are however downsides to these benefits:
Limited coverage on benefits. If you don't use your Blue Cash card for big-item purchases, like electronics or rental cars, you miss out on these types of protection benefits.
The good and the bad about Chase Slate benefits
There are a lot of added benefits that come with the Chase Slate card.
Free FICO scores. If you're using the Chase Slate card to pay off some past debts, you'll most likely be improving your credit score.
And Chase Slate makes that even easier with its free access to your FICO score.
Car rental damage waiver. This benefit provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles.
Purchase protection. This covers eligible items of personal property you purchase using your card in the event of theft, damage or involuntary and accidental parting with property for up to 120 days from the date of your purchase.
Purchase protection will replace, repair, or reimburse you up to a maximum of $500 for each claim and up to $50,000 for each account.
Extended warranty protection. This extends the time period of the original manufacturer's repair warranty by one additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less, so long as you charge a portion of the product with your Slate card.
There are, however, downsides to these benefits.
A lot of fine print. These benefits all come with a lot of fine print, limiting the available coverage in a host of different ways.
This means cardholders need to review all documents prior to attempting to cash in on these benefits.
The takeaway: Chase Slate's benefits to cardholders are better than Blue Cash's
While both extend many of the same benefits to their cardholders, Slate's outweighs Blue Cash's in that it offers a longer period of purchase protection.
At the same time, the Blue Cash by AMEX will cover items up to $1,000, while the Chase Slate only covers items up to $500.
Costs & Fees
Neither Blue Cash by AMEX nor Chase Slate comes with an annual fee
No annual fees make both the Blue Cash by AMEX and Chase Slate card extremely attractive options. The difference with costs and fees comes down to the transfer fee and APR.
The good and the bad about the Blue Cash by AMEX costs and fees
The introductory offerings and no annual fee are some of the upsides to the Blue Cash card by AMEX.
No annual fee. Cardholders need not worry about paying any additional money each year.
Low intro APR. AMEX offers 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
Introductory 0% APR on purchases. For the first 15 months, you won't be charged APR on purchases.
There are, however, some negatives you need to consider in terms of fees.
Higher-than-average APR. Depending on your creditworthiness, you can expect a 13.99-24.99% APR.
So, even if you have stellar credit and pay towards the lower end of that range, you'll still be paying a higher interest rate than the market average of 12.8%.
Foreign transaction fees. If you use your Blue Cash by AMEX card while outside of the U.S., expect to be hit with a 2.7% transaction fee.
Steep late fees. If you miss a payment, you'll be hit with a $26 late fee for your first offense. After that, you'll be charged $38, which is a bit more than the average of around $35.
The good and the bad about the Chase Slate's costs and fees
When looking at the fees and costs associated with the Chase Slate card, aspects like no annual fee and no transaction fees during the first 60 days jump out.
No annual fee. There is no fee that comes attached to the Chase Slate card.
No charge for 60 days on balance transfers. The Chase Slate card comes with a $0 introductory fee on transfers made within 60 days of the account opening.
After that, charges are either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Tiered late fees. Expect to pay up to $15 if the balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance is $100-$250; up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more.
Of course, these need to be weighed against some of the steeper fees, like the high APR and foreign transaction fees.
Balance transfer limitations. If you're using this card to pay down debts, note that balance transfers cannot exceed $15,000.
Steep APR. While there's a 0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles, after that, you'll be hit with a pretty hefty APR of 15.99-24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
Again, even the lower end of this is higher than the market average of 12.8%.
Hefty foreign transaction fees. Like the Blue Cash card, the Chase Slate card travels with a transaction fee, and this one is higher than most at 3%.
The takeaway: The heftier fees attached to the Chase Slate card make it less desirable than the Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX
Both cards come without an annual fee, which is great.
But when it comes to higher APRs and transaction fees, the Chase Slate card is weighed down a bit too much.
American Express and Chase both offer 24/7 assistance via phone for their cardholders
Both companies have customer service numbers that allow agents to be accessed 24/7.
The good and the bad about American Express's customer service
For Blue Cash Everyday cardholders, AMEX offers pretty standard customer service, including 24/7 assistance via phone.
24/7 assistance ready for you. Whether you need to dispute a charge or report a stolen card, you can call AMEX's 24/7 customer service line.
However, there have been some complaints about the customer service.
Overseas employees make service feel distant. "The card is an American icon however everytime I call the customer service number
"I'm directed to the Philippines where there are really no laws to protect you when it comes to identity theft, and they ask you for everything ss# to date of birth," writes one customer on creditkarma.com
The good and the bad about Chase's customer service
Like AMEX, Chase offers a great deal of customer service for its cardholders.
24/7 assistance always. You can call or send a secure email through your Chase online portal in order to receive assistance.
But, according to some customers, the customer service representatives can be disrespectful.
Rude staff to worry about. "The customer service representative showed no interest or concern whatsoever in my situation, which was very frustrating. Particularly since I have credit cards with other banks & companies & I received both better customer service & was given other options to help in my situation," writes navyangel via chase.com.
The takeaway: Neither Chase nor American Express particularly shines when it comes to customer service
Both American Express and Chase may offer 24/7 customer service, but neither is reviewed particularly highly by troubled customers.
Key Digital Services
Both Blue Cash Everyday and Chase Slate cardholders can benefit from digital tools
From tracking your account digitally to digital wallets, both American Express and Chase customers can use technology to their benefit.
Notable Blue Cash by AMEX digital features
Digital wallet. You can use your Blue Cash card through a digital wallet tool, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay.
This allows you to make payments even when you forget your card.
Important Chase Slate digital tools
Credit Dashboard. This digital platform allows you to monitor your FICO score online, updated monthly.
Moreover, it gives you the reasons behind your score, provides a summary of your credit report information, and offers information on ways to manage your credit health.
The takeaway: When it comes to digital tools, the Chase Slate has a slight edge
The Chase Slate's Credit Dashboard is a robust feature that empowers you to take more actions to nurse back your credit health, which outweighs the digital wallet tools offered for the Blue Cash by AMEX.
How to Start Using the Their Services
Go to the credit cards' respective websites to get started
The best way to get started using either the Blue Cash card or the Chase Slate card is to go to each company's respective website.
Best way to begin with Blue Cash by AMEX
Go to American Express's website and apply for the Blue Cash Everyday card.
How best to begin with Chase Slate
Go to Chase's website and apply for the Chase Slate card.
How to Close Your Account
The easiest way to cancel either card is to call customer service
If you're looking to cancel either your Blue Cash by AMEX card or Chase Slate card, you'll have to call customer service.
But also remember:
If you're a good customer (read: someone who has no outstanding balances and uses your card often), you want to talk through your options with the representative.
Letting them know your thoughts may prompt them to offer incentives for you to stay, such as credits to your account.
Stop using Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX by calling customer service
To cancel your Blue Cash by AMEX card, call up customer service at 1-800-528-4800.
Keep in mind that cash-back rewards can only be redeemed in $25 increments, so start redeeming strategically ahead of time if you plan to cancel.
Quit Chase Slate by calling customer service
To cancel your Chase Slate card, call customer service at 1-800-432-3117.
The most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX and Chase Slate
What is the difference between the Blue Cash Everyday by American Express and the Chase Slate?
In terms of usage, the Blue Cash by AMEX card lives up to its name as a card to use for everyday purchases like groceries and gas, which will help you rack up cash-back rewards.
On the other hand, Chase Slate is far from an everyday usage card as there are no incentives like cash back or rewards points to justify its daily use.
The Chase Slate card, instead, is best used to transfer balances and pay off debt thanks to its no transfer charges and introductory 0% APR offer.
Which has a higher APR: Chase Slate or Blue Cash Everyday?
For the Blue Cash by AMEX card, you can expect an APR somewhere between 13.99-24.99%.
On the other hand, the Chase Slate skews a bit higher— from 15.99-24.74%.
Both of these are higher than the average 12.8% APR on new cards.
Am I more likely to be approved for the Chase Slate or Blue Cash Everyday card?
This is hard to answer, as credit companies consider many different factors during the approval process.
And while some customers report approval for both cards with credit scores in the low 600s, both the Chase Slate and AMEX's Blue Cash Everyday have a seemingly high bar to approval.
Generally, you'll need a credit score of 640 or higher for the Chase Slate and a 690 or higher for the Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX.
The takeaways from our comparison review
In looking at the Blue Cash Everyday by American Express and Chase Slate cards, it becomes obvious that there's a lot differentiating the two.
- With a lower APR and cash-back rewards program on everyday purchases, the Blue Cash by AMEX is a much better option for continued use.
- Blue Cash Everyday by Amex is more appealing than Chase Slate because it offers rewards.
- American Express generally offers higher credit limits to customers than Chase.
- The Chase Slate's benefits to cardholders are better than the Blue Cash's.
- The heftier fees attached to the Chase Slate card make it less desirable than the Blue Cash Everyday card.
- Neither Chase nor American Express particularly shines on the customer service front.
- When it comes to digital tools, Chase Slate has a slight edge.
Do you use either the Blue Cash Everyday or the Chase Slate card?
How has it worked out for you?
Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?
Let us know in the comments below.