Credit card issuer Chase rolled out a new feature today—called Blueprint—that will allow consumers to divide credit card charges they want to pay in-full or over time. Blueprint will enable Chase cardholders to pay everyday charges in-full each month interest-free, even while paying other purchases off over time.
Blueprint is comprised of four new features: Full Pay, Split, Track It, and Finish It.
Blueprint’s Full Pay feature lets “customers select the types of purchases they want to pay in full each month, such as groceries, prescriptions and other everyday items. Chase separates out these charges on their statement, so customers know the payment they need to make to ensure that these purchases are not increasing their balance or accumulating interest. As long as customers make their Blueprint payment by their due date, they will not pay interest on those purchases.”
The Split feature allows customers to pay off larger purchases, like a computer or emergency auto repair, over time without falling into the credit card minimum payment trap. With Split, consumers decide how much they want to pay each month or how long they want to take to pay the purchase off. After the consumer chooses the repayment term, Chase sets up a plan and includes that payment amount with each statement. The consumer’s payment progress is displayed separately on each statement until the balance is paid-in-full.
For example, if a consumer charges an $800 computer at 12.9% interest, it would take 124 months of making $16 minimum payments to pay off—at an interest cost of $580.88. If, however, the consumer opts to pay $100 a month using Chase Blueprint’s Split feature, the consumer would pay off the computer in nine months and pay only $41.96 in interest.
Finish It applies to existing card balances and works similarly to Split: Consumers can choose a payment amount or repayment term and make regular monthly payments until the debt is paid off. A final feature, Track It, allows customers to set budgets on their card and track month-to-date and year-to-date spending in different categories in real time.
Chase Blueprint: My Take
With Blueprint, Chase brings some long-overdue transparency to its relationships with credit card customers. In an industry known for dubious practices that confuse credit card users and keep them in debt, Blueprint will educate card users about the realities of using credit (like how much it costs) and help users make more educated credit decisions. Does Blueprint make it “smart” or “okay” to borrow on a credit card? Hardly. The best policy is to pay your card in full every month. And for those determined to get into credit card debt, a Chase Blueprint card might be the credit equivalent of a “light” cigarette; they’ll both still kill you in the end.
But I believe Chase Blueprint will help consumers who choose to finance purchases with a credit card pay their balances off faster and save money in the process. I also like the sound of the Track It budgeting tool. For simplicity, I use one credit card for nearly all of my routine monthly expenses, and the ability to check my card balance and spending against my budget in one place would be great.
Want a card with Chase Blueprint? Apply for a Chase Freedom Card now.
What do you think? Is this a feature you would use? Will it make a difference in how consumers use their credit cards?