Chase Ending Its Blueprint Platform
If you currently carry one of any number of Chase credit cards – including the Ink and Sapphire lines – you are probably familiar with Blueprint. This free card program has made it easier to manage purchases on your Chase card, as well as plan your repayment on the balance.
Unfortunately, while Chase hasn’t made an official statement yet, Chase representatives have confirmed that Blueprint will be going away this fall. According to the card issuer, November 10, 2018 is the last day that you can use the Blueprint program.
So, what was the benefit of Blueprint, and what alternate options are available to those who have enjoyed the program thus far?
What Blueprint Offers
Currently (since it is technically still available for another month and a half), Blueprint offers Chase cardholders the ability to plan the repayment of their purchases in a customized way. There are a few different options within the program: Full Pay, Split, Finish It, and Track It.
With Full Pay, cardholders could select certain spending categories in which they wanted to pay off charges in full each month. Rather than a partial statement payment applying to a portion of all charges, you can choose the purchases that your payment gets applied to first. This effectively reduces the interest you owe for that billing period.
If you choose to pay off a larger purchase over a few months’ time, you can utilize the Split feature. This allows you to decide how quickly you want to pay down that balance, and Blueprint will calculate your payments for you. They will not only do the math, but they’ll set up the repayment plan for you.
The Finish It feature works similarly, except that your goal is to tackle the entire account balance. You set how quickly you want to pay it down or how much you can afford to pay, and Blueprint does the rest for you.
Lastly, Track It is a spending and budgeting feature. It allows you to see your purchase habits at a glance, as well as set budgets to manage your spending.
Blueprint has been available as a free feature to customers with cards from the Ink, Freedom, Slate, and Sapphire families. While Chase still hasn’t said precisely why they’re doing away with the program, many believe that it’s due to low customer utilization – maybe even because it’s somewhat confusing to keep track of all of the features.
Other Options If You’ve Been Using Blueprint
If you’re not a Blueprint user, this news probably doesn’t impact you very much. If you have relied on the program to help you plan card repayment, lower your interest charges, or keep track of your budget, though, you might be concerned about its elimination. Luckily, there are plenty of other options available to you.
If you’ve already using the Split It or Finish It features to pay off a charge (or full balance) in installments, don’t worry. Chase will continue to honor your existing interest rate until the planned repayment is complete. You can also do the math yourself to determine how much your monthly payments should be in order to meet your goal; then, set up an auto-pay for that amount to keep you on track.
If you’ve been using Full Pay, you will notice a jump in your monthly interest charges unless you make some spending changes. Instead, you could either lay off of the credit card use for a little while – until you get to a point where you can pay off the statement balance in full each month – or you can utilize a 0% introductory APR card offer.
These cards will allow you to make partial statement payments each month without incurring interest during the promotional period. Just be careful… you don’t want to get in the habit of not paying your statement in full, as it can easily land you in serious credit card debt.
If you’re using the Track It feature each month to monitor your spending and track your budget, have no fear. Not only can you still see a summary of your monthly charges by category on Chase’s online platform, but you can use a number of personal finance apps to do the same. Programs like Mint and Personal Capital can help you get a better view of where you spend and how your budget fares. Plus, they’re comprehensive enough to include ALL of your spending… not just that done on your Chase card.
Chase’s Blueprint program has provided a number of features to cardholders. Though it’s going away in November, there are still plenty of ways that you can do the same – or better – utilizing your own resources or signing up for more comprehensive apps. At the end of the day, staying on top of your spending and card repayment is key, no matter which resources you use to do so.