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Owning a business means assuming a certain amount of risk, especially those of a financial nature. Despite your best intentions as a business owner, sometimes circumstances arise that result in your needing to carry some credit card debt. Even if you took on the debt for good reasons, the interest that accrues can eat into your bottom line.
Fortunately, financial tools like balance transfer credit cards can help you consolidate high-interest debt and work on paying it off over time at a lower or even 0 percent APR. Those cards sometimes also offer a 0 percent APR promotion for new purchases. Balance transfer offers among small business credit cards are admittedly rare, but smaller businesses or sole proprietors who need to transfer smaller balances may find that a personal credit card with a balance transfer offer meets their needs. The key is to reserve that card only for your business purchases so you keep your accounting clean.
A balance transfer card works like a regular credit card with a key feature being a limited-time, interest-free term for transferred balances and sometimes new purchases, too. After opening an account, you typically have a short window of time to transfer any balances, and you almost always pay a balance transfer fee on any transfers made. Even if your new card does offer rewards, be aware that balance transfers rarely, if ever, earn rewards — rather, your “net gain” is more along the lines of interest savings.
If you’re a business owner looking for a business credit card or even personal card that makes it easier to consolidate and pay off credit card debt, here are some of the best business balance transfer cards and how they compare to one another, as well as tips for choosing a business card.
U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card*: Best for cash back potential
- 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (transfers must be completed in the first 30 days) for 15 billing cycles, then a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 28.24 percent
- 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5)
The U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card is a solid business balance transfer option for those looking to also generate cash back rewards from their regular business spending. Not only does the card come with an intro zero-interest period for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 30 days as well as on purchases (then a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 28.24 percent), but you can also earn substantial cash back.
You’ll earn 5 percent cash back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the U.S. Bank Travel Rewards Center; 3 percent cash back on eligible purchases at gas and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers and restaurants; and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
As a first-year welcome bonus, you can earn $500 in cash back after spending $4,500 on the account owner’s card within the first 150 days of account opening. This card also comes with no annual fee and an annual $100 statement credit for recurring software subscription expenses, like QuickBooks.
U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card*: Best for a long 0% intro APR period
- 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (transfers must be completed in the first 30 days) for the first 18 billing cycles, then a variable APR of 17.24 percent to 26.24 percent
- 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5)
The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card doesn’t offer rewards, but it does have a notably lengthy promotional APR period for a business card. You have 18 billing cycles to pay off your transferred balance before the regular 17.24 percent to 26.24 percent variable APR kicks in.
There’s no ongoing rewards rate or welcome bonus, but if securing as much time as possible to pay off your debt is a top priority, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum is one of the best options currently available. Note that the 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5) is in line with fees charged by similar cards. This card also comes with no annual fee.
PNC Visa® Business Credit Card*: Best for just a balance transfer offer
- 0 percent intro APR for the first 13 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 90 days, then a variable APR of 15.24 percent to 25.24 percent
- 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5)
You can’t ignore the credit card agreement fine print when it comes to balance transfer offers. Look carefully, and you’ll see that most require you to make your transfer within the first 30 or 45 days of opening your account for them to qualify for the intro APR offer.
The PNC Visa® Business Credit Card bucks that trend by allowing you 90 days to make those transfers and take advantage of the lengthy balance transfer offer: 13 billing cycles to pay off debt interest-free, provided you transfer your balance within the first 90 days. After the introductory period, there’s a variable APR of 15.24 percent to 25.24 percent.
This card doesn’t offer a 0 percent intro period on purchases, so make sure you don’t use it on new spending while you’re paying down your transferred balance.
The PNC Visa Business card doesn’t charge an annual fee, but also doesn’t offer a welcome bonus or opportunity to earn rewards, which should further curtail the temptation to spend too much while paying down your transferred balance. PNC Bank does offer quite a few features that can help you track your business spending, including online account management with spending reports.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®*: Best for rewards flexibility
- 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable APR from 20.49 percent to 29.24 percent
- $5 or 3 percent of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, for the first 60 days
Chase Freedom Unlimited® isn’t a small business card. As such, it’s best suited for small business owners or sole proprietors with lower expenses and credit limit needs who don’t require employee cards on the account. As a consumer card, don’t expect the ability to transfer tens of thousands of debt here. But Freedom Unlimited could meet your needs if you have a few thousand dollars of business expenses to transfer.
All that said, the intro APR offer and ongoing rewards make Freedom Unlimited a popular no-annual-fee rewards card. Cardholders enjoy an intro 0 percent APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, followed by a variable APR of 20.49 percent to 29.24 percent.
Ongoing, you earn 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through the Ultimate Rewards portal, 5 percent back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025), 3 percent back at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5 percent back on your other purchases. All of those rewards accumulate as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which means you can combine them with Ultimate Rewards you earn through other credit cards.
Besides earning cash back on regular spending, new cardholders can also earn a $200 bonus — that’s 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points — after spending just $500 in the first three months.
What you don’t get with Freedom Unlimited is the small business specific tools and features you enjoy with cards designed for business owners.
How to choose a business balance transfer card
Ask yourself a few key questions before applying for a business or any balance transfer card.
The first thing to do is take stock of your financial needs. If you have a lot of high-interest debt — and credit card debt payoff is your top priority above all else — look for the longest 0 percent APR period available. You may not receive ongoing rewards or a welcome bonus on such cards, but the ability to knock out debt without additional interest should outweigh those drawbacks.
If you have large purchases on the horizon for your business, such as new machinery or bulk office supply purchases, look for a credit card that offers an intro APR on purchases in addition to a balance transfer offer. That way, you’re able to pay these purchases off over time without accruing interest charges. Of course, be careful not to overspend with your new balance transfer card while you’re in the debt-payoff process.
No matter how much debt you have to pay down, pay attention to the terms of the balance transfer — including balance transfer fees. If the balance transfer fee is too high, it might not justify the savings on interest or make sense to go this route. For example, if transferring a balance to a new card could help you save $300 in interest, but the new card’s balance transfer fee works out to $400, transferring your balance doesn’t make financial sense. For help in crunching the numbers, use Bankrate’s credit card balance transfer calculator when comparing options.
It’s also good to know how soon after opening your account you’d have to make your transfer to be eligible for the promotional offer, along with what happens to your promotional APR if you miss a payment during the introductory period. Many issuers will charge a penalty APR and end your introductory offer early if you miss even one payment.
The bottom line
If you’re hoping to consolidate debt and save money in the process, a business balance transfer credit card is worth considering. The best balance transfer options offer an introductory 0 percent APR for nine months or longer, although you’ll pay an upfront balance transfer fee to take advantage of the low-interest offer. If you can’t find a small business card that meets your needs, it’s OK to consider a consumer card that might work. Just remember to keep your business expenses separate from your personal charges.
As you compare your options, remember that even the best small-business credit cards won’t help you out of debt unless you’re dedicated to paying off as much as you can during your card’s introductory period. Have a plan in place to pay down debt before you transfer your balance to a new card.
*Information about the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card, U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card, PNC Visa® Business Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by Bankrate. Card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.