Business credit cards come with plenty of valuable perks, from the rewards you can earn on business spending to consumer protections and travel benefits. Credit cards, in general, tend to be a poor long-term borrowing option due to the high APRs they charge. With that in mind, business owners would normally want to think twice before using a credit card as a short-term loan.
Fortunately, there are some business credit cards that work especially well for debt consolidation, as well as for saving money with 0 percent APR on purchases. However, card options and zero-interest offers vary widely, so it’s important to do your research.
If you’re a business owner in search of a business credit card that makes it easier to consolidate and pay down debt, here’s what you need to know about the best cards in this niche and how they compare.
What is a business balance transfer card?
Business credit cards for balance transfers give new cardholders the chance to consolidate debt at 0 percent APR for a limited time. Business owners are required to pay a balance transfer fee upfront in order to initiate the transfer, yet the savings accrued during the introductory period can make paying this fee an excellent investment.
If you’re considering a balance transfer credit card for business purposes, compare all the options in terms of the length of their introductory offers, the fees they charge and the cardholder benefits you get access to. If you plan to use your card for purchases, you should also look for 0 percent intro APR business credit cards that reward you for each dollar you spend and offer a low interest rate on purchases.
How do business balance transfers work?
Business balance transfers work similarly to balance transfers you make with a balance transfer credit card for consumers. A business balance transfer credit card will approve you for a specific limit, and you’ll get the option to use part or all of that limit for other debts you transfer to your new card.
We already mentioned how balance transfer fees will apply, but there are other pitfalls to be aware of. For example, you should know that your personal credit will be considered when you apply for a business credit card and that any business debt you carry can affect your personal credit, as well. Not only can high balances be reported to the credit bureaus—causing your overall credit utilization to surge—but any delinquencies or late payments on your business credit card can affect your personal credit.
With these details in mind, business balance transfers work best for people who are serious about paying off their bills. While transferring balances among cards can temporarily impact your credit due to changes in utilization and hard inquiries on your credit report, paying off debt should ultimately improve your credit score in the long run.
Best business balance transfer cards for 2021
Wells Fargo Business Platinum card: Best for earning rewards
The Wells Fargo Business Platinum card lets you enjoy an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 9 months, followed by a variable interest rate of 11.24 percent to 21.24 percent variable APR. There’s no annual fee and no additional card fee for up to 99 employees, either. The balance transfer fee varies, so speak to customer service before or during your application or check your customer agreement upon approval.
With the Cash Back option you can earn 1.5 percent cash back for each dollar you spend, or you can opt for the Rewards Points option to get 1 point for every $1 spent as well as a 1,000-point bonus (or $10 cash back) when your company spends $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.
In addition to earning cash back on regular spending, new cardholders can also qualify for a one-time cash bonus of $300 (cash back option) or 30,000 points (rewards option) after spending $3,000 within three months of account opening.
U.S. Bank Business Platinum: Longest 0 percent APR offer
The U.S. Bank Business Platinum doesn’t offer any rewards, yet you do get an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. You’ll pay the regular variable APR after that, which is currently set at 11.99 percent to 20.99 percent based on your creditworthiness. This card comes with a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5).
PNC Visa® Business Credit Card: Runner-up for balance transfer offer
The PNC Visa® Business Credit Card is another business balance transfer card that doesn’t offer rewards, yet cardholders don’t have to pay an annual fee, either. Consumers who choose this card get an introductory 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 13 billing cycles provided they transfer a balance within 90 days of account opening. After the introductory period, cardholders pay a variable APR of 9.99 percent to 19.99 percent. This card comes with a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5).
PNC Bank offers quite a few features that can help you track your business spending, including online account management with spending reports. Business owners can even download transactions into Excel, Quicken or QuickBooks for accounting and expense tracking.
When is transferring a balance a good idea?
Business balance transfer cards that offer an introductory 0 percent APR can help you save money when you consolidate debt, yet we all know these offers won’t last forever. To get ahead with a balance transfer credit card, you should have a plan to pay your debt off during the introductory period.
Also, keep in mind that debt consolidation and rewards shouldn’t necessarily mix, mostly because credit card rewards can incentivize you to spend more, thus derailing your debt repayment efforts. If you want to transfer a balance solely to pay off debt, you’re probably better off with a business credit card that doesn’t offer any rewards.
Business balance transfer credit cards FAQ
Balance transfer credit cards for businesses work similarly to personal balance transfer credit cards, yet there are plenty of additional details to keep in mind.
Are balance transfers with a business credit card any different from a standard transfer?
Balance transfer credit cards for business work similarly to personal credit cards that extend introductory 0 percent APRs for a limited time. The only difference is, you must be self-employed or a small-business owner to apply for a business credit card.
If you have a small side business and don’t have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), you can apply for a business card using your Social Security number.
Does a balance transfer on a business card affect your business credit score?
Transferring a balance to one of the best small business balance transfer credit cards may affect your business credit. Not only does your payment history influence your business credit score, but so does the age of your credit history and your debt usage.
Is it legal to transfer a balance from a personal card to a business card?
It’s possible to transfer personal debt to a business credit card (or vice versa) with a business credit card balance transfer if the card you’re considering has terms that allow it, but doing so is not a good idea. For the most part, mixing personal and business finances is risky and can make record-keeping for your business much more complicated.
What’s the best business balance transfer credit card for the self-employed?
The best 0 percent balance transfer business credit card for self-employed people depends on their goals. Some cards may work better for people who want to earn rewards, yet others boast longer introductory 0 percent APR offers instead.
The bottom line
If you’re hoping to consolidate debt and save money in the process, then a business credit card balance transfer is worth considering. The best business cards in this space offer an introductory 0 percent APR for 12 months or longer and other valuable perks, although you’ll pay an upfront balance transfer fee to take advantage of the low-interest period.
Also, remember that even the best small business balance transfer credit cards won’t help you out of debt unless you’re dedicated to paying as much as you can during your card’s introductory offer. Make sure you compare the options available right now and have a plan in place to pay down debt before you take the leap.