Behind all the Chase Blueprint Buzz

Commercials on every network and ads on websites all over the Internet are offering the latest innovation in credit card technology from Chase. The Chase Blueprint program allows you to define purchase categories and pay them off on the schedule you prefer. If used properly, these tools should enable you to pay off debt more quickly and reduce unplanned debt accumulation. Marketed toward affluent customers comfortable with taking an active role in their own finances, the Chase Blueprint applications can be helpful for budgeting. Like other credit cards, smart use and planning are critical to make the most of this credit card.

Purchases are organized by category. Categories include health clubs, utilities, grocery stores, gas, entertainment, dining and others. You can opt to organize certain categories directly into the different payment plans on your Chase Blueprint. Individual purchases may also be directed into the various payment plans. There are four basic elements to the Chase Blueprint card, including full pay, split it, finish it, and track it.

The most useful feature on Chase Blueprint is full pay. Categories classed as full pay will have no interest charged in the first billing cycle, allowing you to pay them in full with no additional charges. If you do not pay these in full, interest will be charged. If you currently pay your credit card in full each month, this will offer no real advantage. If you would like to pay some charges in full while carrying others from month to month, this may help you keep a better eye on your spending and debt payments. Categories classed as full pay will also be interest free the first billing cycle, assuming you pay these in full and miss no more than 3 months of full pay payments in any six month period.

The split it option allows you to split a larger purchase into an installment payment. Calculators allow you to set monthly payments, determine how long it will take you to pay off your purchase and figure the total interest on the purchase. There are no additional interest benefits to this plan.

Finish it offers the option to create a plan to pay off debt quickly. This works much like the split it option; however, it manages the total debt rather than just one purchase. If you’re experienced with managing your debt, you will recognize this as a standard calculator available online at many debt management sites.

Finally, track it is a basic budgeting tool, akin to a watered down version of Quicken.

Should you take the leap and apply for a card with the Chase Blueprint features? Blueprint is available on the Chase Freedom® MasterCard, Slate® from Chase, Chase Platinum and Chase Sapphire(SM) cards. While these features can be handy, keep in mind that you should choose the credit card that best meets your needs. The features available with the Chase Blueprint program can be managed on your own with only minimal disadvantages.