Best business balance transfer cards for 2020

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Business owners with high interest debts have several options that can help accelerate debt payoff. They can pay off business debt using a tried-and-true method like the debt snowball or the debt avalanche, or they can consolidate business-related debt with a small business loan offering a lower APR.

Another option is one many business owners may not even know about — using a business credit card that allows balance transfers. While very few credit cards for business actually offer this option, the ones that do extend zero percent introductory APRs on transferred balances for a limited time. Some even offer rewards that may entice you to use your new business credit card for the long haul.

If you’re curious about business credit cards that offer this option, you have two major options to compare. Choose among Bankrate’s top business balance transfer credit cards of 2020:

  • Best for lengthy intro 0% APR offer: U.S. Bank Business Platinum
  • Best business balance transfer card for rewards: U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®

U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card

  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 9.99% to 17.99%
  • 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) applies
  • No annual fee

Why it’s the best if you want a lengthy intro 0% APR offer

If you’re not interested in earning rewards because your main goal is paying off high interest debt, then the U.S. Bank Business Platinum could be just what you need. Once you sign up for this card, you’ll qualify for 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for a full 20 billing cycles. This is the longest zero percent APR offer from a business credit card available on the market right now.

You will need to pay a 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) to transfer over your high interest debt, but the potential savings make that cost well worth it, since you’ll have more than a year and a half to pay down your balances without accruing interest payments. This card also comes with no annual fee, and even the regular variable APR is on the lower end compared to other business credit cards. You can even qualify for free employee cards for your employees if you choose this option.

U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 11.99% to 22.99%
  • 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) applies
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 3% back at gas stations, office supply stores and cell phone insurance provider services; also earn 1% back on other eligible purchases and a 25% bonus on your rewards earned the previous year (up to $250)
  • Earn $500 in cash back when you spend $4,500 on your card within 150 days of opening your account

Why it’s best for rewards

This card lets you secure 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and best of all, you’ll earn cash rewards on your spending. The initial $500 in bonus cash you can earn is very generous, and earning 3% back in popular categories like office supply stores, gas stations and cell phone providers can also help you rack up rewards fast. The 25% bonus you’ll get on your first year of rewards can also be substantial depending on how much you spend. There’s no expiration on the rewards you earn, and you can also get free employee cards if you choose this option.

The major downside of this card is the fact that you’ll only get 0% APR for 15 billing cycles (11.99% – 22.99% variable APR thereafter), and that earning rewards while you pay down debt can be dangerous. If you spend too much and focus on the rewards side of the equation instead of paying off debt, you could live to regret it once this card’s introductory APR offer expires.

The information about the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card and the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

When is transferring a balance a good idea?

Transferring a balance makes sense for business owners who have high interest debt they want to consolidate and pay down. Because some business credit cards offer a balance transfer option with zero percent APR for an introductory period, those who take steps to consolidate their debt in this way can save considerable sums of money on interest over time.

Consolidating debt with a business credit card can help you reduce the number of bills you pay each month. And for future business purchases, you’ll have secured a new business credit card that lets you earn rewards on your spending or access important consumer protections and cardholder perks.

Conducting a balance transfer to eliminate business debts can be a smart savings move and have the added benefit of earning rewards and valuable perks. Just remember that, for a balance transfer to be a major benefit, you need to get serious about paying down as much of your total balance as possible during the introductory period. It’s also important to refrain from racking up new balances that might make getting out of debt even harder over time.

Keep in mind that applying for a business credit card will result in a hard inquiry on your personal credit report, which can temporarily impact your credit score in a negative way.

Transferring balances between business credit cards may or may not affect your personal credit score, but any impact should not be long-lasting provided you pay your bills in full and on time, and never let your accounts fall into default.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) for business balance transfer credit cards

Before you transfer a balance among business credit cards, it can help to know more about how the process works. These frequently asked questions and answers can be used to help guide your decisions.

Are balance transfers with a business credit card any different to a standard transfer?

Balance transfers between business credit cards work the same as balance transfers between consumer credit cards. These transfers typically require an upfront balance transfer to be paid, and most business owners take advantage of these offers in order to secure 0% APR on their debts for a limited period of time.

Would a balance transfer on a business card affect your business credit score?

The main factors that influence your business credit score include the number of years your business has been in operation, how many credit inquiries you’ve had in the recent past, new lines of credit opened in the last six months, amounts you have in collections and your payment history. With that in mind, transferring a balance among business credit cards has the potential to impact your business credit score since you’ll be applying for a new line of credit.

However, the impact may not be long-lasting provided you pay your bills early or on time and handle your business credit responsibly.

Is it legal to balance transfer from a personal card to a business card?

Some business credit cards may let you transfer debt from a consumer credit card, but there are risks involved in doing so. For example, business credit cards don’t come with certain protections that consumer credit cards do. This includes receiving 45 days of notice in the instance of an interest rate increase and specific limits on fees that are laid out in the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act of 2009).

Also, be aware that transferring debts between personal and business accounts can be problematic when it comes to tax time and bookkeeping. With that in mind, you may want to consider keeping personal debt personal and business debt entirely separate.