Business credit cards can be a valuable tool, and that’s especially true for business owners who don’t plan to carry a balance. After all, credit cards tend to be a poor long-term borrowing option due to the high APRs they charge, yet business owners who don’t carry a balance get the chance to earn rewards and access cardholder benefits.
Still, some business credit cards can be good for debt consolidation, although only for a short period of time. To make the most of these business balance transfer offers, you should learn how they work and how you can set yourself up for success.
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, you’ll want to 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 cards that offer an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and rewards for each dollar you spend.
Best business balance transfer cards for 2021
Bankrate identified the top business balance transfer cards on the market based on factors like the quality of the balance transfer offer, rewards and applicable fees. The cards that made the cut are highlighted below:
U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®: Best for earning rewards
The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® gives new applicants an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent. If you transfer business debts for the purpose of consolidation, you should expect to pay a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5).
There’s no annual fee, yet you’ll also earn up to 3 percent cash back on eligible gas station, office supply store and cellphone provider purchases. You also earn a 25 percent annual bonus (based on the prior year’s cash rewards) on your cardmember anniversary, up to $250.
U.S. Bank Business Platinum: Best ongoing APR
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 an exceptionally long period of 15 billing cycles. You’ll pay the regular variable APR after that, which is currently set at 9.99 percent to 17.99 percent based on your creditworthiness. Also, be aware that a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5) applies to all balances you transfer to your card for debt consolidation. This card does not charge an annual fee.
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 don’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 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. The following questions and answers can shed more light on business balance transfer cards and how they work.
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 a business credit card may affect your business credit due to the factors that make it up. 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) 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 it 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 business balance transfer credit card for self-employed people depends on their goals. Some cards may work better for people who want to earn rewards, yet others offer 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 balance transfer credit card is worth considering. These cards 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.
Also, remember that balance transfer 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.