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The Chase Slate family of credit cards are targeted toward those who may not qualify for some of the more premium Chase credit cards. Chase Slate cards like the Chase Slate EdgeSM typically offer benefits like automatic credit line increases, interest rate lowering and an introductory 0% APR period.
But as your credit profile improves, you may want to upgrade your Chase Slate card to a Chase Freedom® card. The Chase Freedom FlexSM and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards not only come with no annual fee, they also give you access to the valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards® program. Here's an in-depth look at when you should consider upgrading your Chase Slate credit card to a Chase Freedom card.
Should You Upgrade from the Chase Slate Edge to Chase Freedom?
If you’re just starting to build your credit history or have dings on your credit report, you may consider the Chase Slate Edge credit card or another card in the Chase Slate family. This is because the Chase Slate credit cards are targeted toward people whose credit health is not ideal. You don't earn rewards with Chase Slate credit cards, but there are several benefits that come with the Chase Slate Edge credit card:
- 0% intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers, afterwhich 20.49% - 29.24% (Variable) APR applies based on creditworthiness.
Be aware that an intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies in the first 60 days. After that, a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies.
- Automatic consideration for an APR reduction by 2% when you pay on time and spend at least $1,000 on your card by your next account anniversary
- Automatic review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time and spend $500 in your first six months
- No annual fee
As your credit score and financial situation improve, you may find you want a card with more benefits. When that happens, it may be time to upgrade your Chase Slate card to a Chase Freedom card. The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited allow you to earn Ultimate Rewards points on your combined purchases each month. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable credit card points out there, so being able to earn them with every purchase is a major reason to upgrade your Chase Slate card.
Before you upgrade your Chase Slate card, there are a few things to consider.
- Card benefits: You may no longer have access to any of the benefits that are specific to your Chase Slate card. Once the upgrade is complete, you'll lose access to the previous card's benefits, but on the upside, you may gain increased benefits from the new card.
- Sign-up bonus: Another thing to keep in mind is that the initial sign-up bonus for Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited is typically not available when you upgrade your card. You can find out more information about the current Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited offers in our Chase Bonus Roundup. If you're looking to switch to one of the Freedom cards, consider applying for a new Freedom card rather than upgrading directly. That will keep you eligible for the new welcome bonus.
- Downgrade might not be available after upgrade: Finally, if you currently have one of the Chase Slate credit cards, understand that the Chase Slate card is no longer open to new applicants. So if you upgrade your Chase Slate credit card and decide you want to go back to it, you won’t be able to. There is a Chase Slate Edge credit card that is currently accepting applicants, but it is different than the old Chase Slate credit card that you may have.
How to Upgrade Your Chase Card
If you decide to convert your Chase Slate card to a Chase Freedom card, the good news is that the upgrade process is fairly simple.
- First, check to see if there are any upgrade offers available on your account at Chase.com.
- Then, log in to your credit card account and check if you are able to upgrade your credit card account online. If not, you can always call the customer service number on the back of your credit card and ask the agent to upgrade your account.
How Does Chase Freedom Compare to Chase Slate Edge?
There are several benefits of upgrading from the Chase Slate credit cards. While the Chase Slate credit cards have some benefits, there are also some features that the Chase Freedom cards have that are missing from the Chase Slate card:
- Signup bonus: The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards both offer a signup bonus. If you want to take advantage of this signup bonus, you'll want to apply for a Chase Freedom card (typically upgrades or credit card product changes are not eligible for welcome bonuses).
- Rewards program: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable credit card points out there. With both the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited, you'll earn Ultimate Rewards points with every purchase.
- Bonus spending: The Chase Freedom Flex card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in every quarter's bonus categories, which include everything from gas stations to streaming services. The bonus categories change every quarter.
- Credit limit: Users of the Chase Slate cards have to wait for an automatic review every year in order to receive a higher credit limit, while users of the Chase Freedom cards typically find the cards already come with a higher credit limit.
No matter whether you have a Chase Slate credit card or one of the Chase Freedom credit cards, you'll still have the same customer service provided by Chase as well as no annual fee.
Here's a brief overview of the Chase Freedom family of credit cards for comparison:
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Secure application on issuer’s website
- Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
- APR20.49% - 29.24% (Variable)
- Annual Fee$0
Sign Up Bonus
Matched Cash BackExtra Cash Back
SPECIAL OFFER: Unlimited Matched Cash Back. Chase will automatically match all the cash back you earned at the end of your first year! There is no limit to how much cash back you can earn.
We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more. If you make this your primary card for most purchases you can quickly rack up a lot of rewards.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is unique for a couple of reasons. First, it comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection you don’t see with some other cash-back cards. Second, you earn cash back in the form of points (Chase Ultimate Rewards) and when paired with another annual-fee earning Chase product, you can get even more value if you love to travel by transferring to partners.
That’s because while the Freedom cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, they actually offer points. You can use those points to book travel through Chase at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get 25% and 50% more value on those travel redemptions, respectively. (Plus, the ability to transfer your points, too.)
- No category bonuses to remember; earn at least 1.5% back on everything
- No annual fee
- Generous travel and purchase protection benefits
- Can't transfer Chase points unless paired with another annual-fee Chase product
More Details: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a valuable all-around credit card with no annual fee. This cash-back card earns a rewards rate of 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back at drugstores, 3% back on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services and a flat-rate 1.5% back on other purchases. There are no rotating categories to track, caps on how much you can earn or excluded purchase categories.
As part of a special offer for new cardholders, Chase will automatically match all the cash back you earn on purchases at the end of your first year. This offer is rather unique, especially since there's no limit to how much cash back you can earn. If you plan to use this card a lot, you could easily earn enough cash back to be competitive with the best sign-up bonuses currently available. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
This product is currently not available via Slickdeals. All information about this product was collected by Slickdeals and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
- Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
- APR20.49%-29.24% (Variable)
- Annual Fee$0
Receive a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.
The Chase Freedom Flex card expands on the already lucrative Chase Freedom card. The Freedom Flex also gives cardholders access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is arguably the most versatile rewards platform, and you’ll get plenty of redemption options at good rates. Plus, if you have one of the program’s travel cards, you can transfer points from your Freedom Flex to your travel card account and get even more value and flexibility with how you redeem.
Getting more in cash back is a clear win for anyone who is considering the Freedom Flex card. This card is ideal for anyone who want to maximize cash-back rewards with the option to get more value with travel redemptions.
- Generous earnings on select rotating categories each quarter
- Cellphone and trip insurance coverage
- No annual fee
- Ability to convert rewards to transferable Ultimate Rewards points
- Can't transfer Chase points to travel partners unless paired with select products
The Chase Freedom FlexSM Card is an excellent cash-back credit card for people who are looking to maximize rewards. Cardholders can take advantage of its excellent rewards rate: 5% cash back on rotating categories when you activate (up to $1,500 each quarter), 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining, including takeout and delivery, 3% back at drugstores and 1% back on other purchases.
As a new Freedom Flex cardholder, you’ll also earn a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. Read our full Chase Freedom Flex Card review.
Who Is Eligible to Upgrade from the Chase Slate to Chase Freedom Card?
Being approved for the Chase Freedom card will depend on your overall credit and financial situation. While Chase does not publish the exact guidelines they use, typically it is more difficult to be approved for a Chase Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited card than it is for a Chase Slate Edge card.
To be approved for a Chase Freedom card, you'll want to have sufficient income as well as good to excellent credit scores. Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex card are also subject to Chase's 5/24 rule. The Chase 5/24 rule says that you are very unlikely to be approved if you have been approved for five or more credit cards within the past 24 months. So even if you have outstanding credit and tons of income, if you have opened five or more credit cards within the past two years, you will likely be denied for a Chase Freedom card.
The Bottom Line
While the Chase Slate and Chase Slate Edge credit cards have their niche among credit applicants, they are not great cards to keep for an extended period of time due to the lack of rewards. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable of all credit card rewards, and both Chase Freedom cards are a great way to score Ultimate Rewards points with no annual fee.
But do note that by upgrading, you may lose out on the sign-up bonuses, as these are typically reserved for new applicants who have not had a Chase Freedom card in the past 24 months. So if your financial situation allows it, you may want to consider applying for a Chase Freedom card as a new applicant. Then, if you're approved, you can cancel your Chase Slate or Chase Slate Edge card if you want.
Once your credit score and financial situation are on solid ground, you can also start looking at other credit cards that provide solid cash back and travel rewards to earn a little more money for that next vacation or simply to put it back into your bank account.