You’ll find plenty of compelling reasons to pursue a 0 percent APR credit card as a business owner. These products’ savings are particularly attractive because you can charge what you need, make at least the minimum payments and the issuer won’t add financing fees to the revolved balance. If you delete the debt before the regular interest rate begins, all the money you borrow with the card will be free of any financing fees. Depending on the amount you spend, that can translate into hundreds or even thousands of dollars in saved interest.
Additionally, many 0 percent APR business credit cards allow you to rack up valuable rewards as you charge, both during and after the introductory period. Some also offer a welcome bonus, with which you can earn plenty of rewards just by charging a certain amount within a specific period directly after opening an account. However, all 0 percent APR business credit cards provide at least some form of cardholder perks. Deciding on the proper one for you can be a challenge, so Bankrate compared the top zero-interest business credit cards on the market today and identified the best available options.
Here are Bankrate’s top picks for business credit cards with 0 percent intro APR in 2021:
American Express Blue Business Cash Card: Best for flat-rate cash back
The American Express Blue Business Cash Card offers an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent. There is no annual fee, and you’ll earn a flat 2 percent cash back on the first $50,000 you spend on eligible purchases with your card each year. After meeting that threshold, you will earn 1 percent back. Benefits include Amex’s Expanded Buying Power option, which lets cardholders exceed the credit limit without being charged an over-limit fee (subject to approval on a case-by-case basis), car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranties and purchase protection.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Best for cash back in business spending categories
The Ink Business Cash Credit Card gives cardholders an introductory 0 percent APR for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent. There is no annual fee. You will earn 5 percent cash back on up to $25,000 in combined spending at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services at each account anniversary year (then 1 percent back), 2 percent back on up to $25,000 in combined spending at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year (then 1 percent back). For all other purchases, you will earn 1 percent cash back. A welcome bonus of $750 is available if you spend $7,500 with your card within three months of account opening. Other benefits include free employee cards and travel and purchase insurance
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for travel rewards
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express offers an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 12 months, then a variable APR of between 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent afterward. You will earn 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 you spend with the card per year and 1X points thereafter. It also offers unlimited 2X points on prepaid rental cars that you book through AmexTravel.com. Cardholders can redeem points in several ways: for travel, merchandise, and gift cards via the Amex portal, transferred to over a dozen hotel and airline partners, to pay for online purchases at checkout with select merchants, and to cover charges as a statement credit. There is no annual fee, and you’ll get perks like secondary auto rental coverage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranties.
U.S. Bank Business Platinum Credit Card: Best for extra-long 0 percent APR
The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Credit Card has an exceptionally long 0 percent APR timeframe, offering the introductory rate for 15 billing cycles instead of the more common 12 months. Once the introductory period ends, the APR will rise to a variable rate of between 11.99 percent and 20.99 percent. There is no annual fee for this card. While it comes with basic benefits, such as controlling the charging activities of employees who are on the account, it does not offer a rewards program. Therefore the primary advantage of this card is the extra time to charge what you need without interest added to the balance.
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business: Best for good credit
The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business offers an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 15.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable. Although many 0 percent APR credit cards require very good to excellent credit scores, this is available to people with good credit. In this case, good credit is defined as not having declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan in the past five years and have not been more than 30 days late on any loan or credit card payment in the past year. For rewards, this card offers a flat, unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. It does not have an annual fee, and the perks include secondary auto rental insurance, lost luggage replacement, and travel and emergency assistance.
How to choose the best 0 percent intro APR business credit card
As you search for the right business credit card with a 0 percent introductory APR, consider the following factors:
- Introductory APR timeline. Decide in advance how long you want the 0 percent APR offer to last, then weigh that need against the other account benefits. A card with a shorter 0 percent APR deal may be preferable when the rewards and perks are better.
- Regular APR. After the introductory 0 percent APR period ends, the regular rate begins. If you plan to revolve balances in the future, look for a card with the lowest interest rates.
- Rewards and benefits. Do you want a cash back card or one that allows you to accumulate points or miles? Flat-rate rewards are simple, but you may earn more with one that gives a higher rate in categories. Read over the benefits associated with the card, too, as they should match your business needs and operations.
- Fees. Know the fixed and potential costs of the account. Some have annual fees, and those that do typically have more extensive rewards programs. Cards not developed for travel often have foreign transaction fees. There are usually fees for paying late and exceeding a limit, which are both avoidable with responsible use, but it’s important to know what they would be if problems arise.
0 percent intro APR business credit cards FAQ
Answers to these frequently asked questions about business credit cards can help you make the right decisions about these products.
What are the credit requirements for a business credit card?
You will usually need good to excellent credit to qualify for business credit cards. This typically means having a FICO score of 670 or higher, but you have the best chances at approval if your score is at least 740. You may be able to get a business credit card with poor credit, but your options will be limited.
Do I need to have an established business to apply?
You can apply for a business credit card even if your company is still in the idea stage. If you don’t have an Employer Identification Number, you can apply as a sole proprietor using your Social Security number. The IRS will evaluate your income and other financial details for approval.
How do I avoid interest on a 0 percent APR credit card?
With a 0 percent APR business card, issuers will add no financing fees to balances during the introductory period. To avoid any applied interest, pay off the entire balance before that period ends. When the regular rate starts, you can avoid any interest added to the bill by paying the balance in full by the due date every month.
Can the 0 percent APR be canceled early?
The card issuer may cancel the deal prematurely if you pay late or send less than the minimum requested payment. Consider enrolling in the card issuer’s automatic bill pay system to offset this possibility, so you know you will send at least the minimum on time.
The bottom line
Business credit cards that give new cardholders many months of interest-free financing are enticing. Not only can they save a lot of money and provide you with payment flexibility, they often come with other valuable features. By choosing the best card for you and using it wisely, you and your business will come out ahead.