Chase Slate Edge vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Is a Chase balance transfer card or cash back card the better fit for you?

Summary

Here’s a closer look at how the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Slate Edge compare, including how to decide between the two if you’re torn.

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If you’re looking to compare the Chase Slate Edge℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®*, you’ll first notice that the two have a few things in common. Both cards are issued by Chase, have no annual fee and offer attractive introductory APRs on new purchases and balance transfers.

However, the Freedom Unlimited and Slate Edge cards are tailored toward different kinds of consumers: those with significant credit card debt and those who need a payoff window but would like to earn rewards.

Here’s a closer look at how the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Slate Edge compare, including commentary on how to decide between the two.

Card details

Card

Chase Slate Edge℠

Chase Slate Edge℠

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Rewards rateNo rewards
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5% back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% back on all other purchases
Sign-up bonusNo sign-up bonusEarn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)
Annual fee$0$0
Introductory APR (balance transfers and new purchases)0% intro APR for 18 months (19.49% to 28.24% variable APR after)0% intro APR for 15 months (19.49% to 28.24% variable APR after)

Chase Slate Edge vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Welcome offer

Chase Slate EdgeChase Freedom Unlimited
NoneEarn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)

 The winner: Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you want a credit card with an incentive for signing up, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the clear winner. As a new cardholder, you can essentially earn up to an additional $300 in cash back.

Meanwhile, the Chase Slate Edge doesn’t have a welcome offer.

Rewards rate

Chase Slate EdgeChase Freedom Unlimited
None
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5% back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% back on all other purchases

The winner: Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Slate Edge does not earn rewards on purchases. The Chase Freedom Unlimited, meanwhile, earns you at least 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.

While its rewards rate is marketed as cash back, you’ll actually earn Ultimate Rewards points for your purchases — redeemable for cash back with a value of 1 cent per point. For those looking to combine points earned with other Ultimate Rewards cards for a potentially higher redemption value, this can be an additional selling point.

Intro APR offer

Chase Slate EdgeChase Freedom Unlimited
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months (19.49% to 28.24% variable APR after)0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (19.49% to 28.24% variable APR after)

The winner: Chase Slate Edge

Both the Chase Slate Edge and Chase Freedom Unlimited offer 0 percent introductory APRs on purchases and balance transfers, but the Slate Edge pulls ahead with an additional three months, competing with other balance transfer cards with one of the longer intro periods on the market.

As for a balance transfer fee, both cards charge $5 or 3 percent of each transfer amount (whichever is greater) in the first 60 days. After that, the fee increases to $5 or 5 percent, whichever is greater.

Which card should you get?

If you’re carrying a balance and need a simple balance transfer card to pay it off (or are looking to fund a large purchase), the Chase Slate Edge would make a fine addition to your wallet. And if you’d prefer to earn rewards during either of those processes, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the clear winner.

  • If you need a longer intro APR period: Cardholders who have some credit card debt that they cannot pay off with a shorter intro period, of say 12 or 15 months, will make good use of the Chase Slate Edge. However, once the intro APR period ends, you may find the card’s long-term value lacking because it offers no rewards structure. Alternatively, you could check out other top balance transfer credit cards that offer up to 18 months at zero interest and ongoing rewards.
  • If you love earning rewards but have some card debt: The Chase Freedom Unlimited really gives you the best of both a 0 percent intro APR card and a cash back card thanks to its fairly generous rewards structure. It’s a great card for anyone with a little card debt they need to pay off but who still seeks rewards.
  • If you also have another Ultimate Rewards card: Those who also hold other Ultimate Rewards cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, should add the Freedom Unlimited to their wallet to maximize more of their purchases. Distinct from the Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom Unlimited earns 3 percent on drugstore purchases and 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases. If you rack up a decent pile of rewards through the Freedom Unlimited, you can transfer them to your Sapphire Preferred and redeem them for 25 percent more value, if you use them to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Bottom line

The best card for you will depend on your specific situation. If you have a large credit card balance you’d like to transfer, the Chase Slate Edge is the way to go. However, if your balance is small and you’d prefer to earn rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited takes the cake.

*All information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
18.76%
Student
19.53%
Airline
18.58%
Business
17.05%
Cash Back
18.68%

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