A lot of great business credit cards are out there with competitive cash back rewards and travel points. Many also offer 0% APR introductory rates on purchases only. Here are our picks for the best business balance transfer credit cards.
A business credit card with a low-interest introductory rate can be a lifeline for small companies operating on tight budgets, as well those in industries where slow payment times can create cash flow issues.
“Switching to zero APR offers, especially balance transfers, makes the most sense when you’re looking to fund a longer-term need,” said Jim Pendergast, senior vice president at altLine, a division of The Southern Bank Company. “Think new office equipment or business software that supports operations but won’t necessarily directly contribute income or lower your debts.”
But the key to using these cards effectively is to read the fine print and “understand how long to expect this introductory offer to last and what the APR is after the offer expires,” Pendergast said.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of great business credit cards out there with competitive cash back rewards and travel points. Many also offer 0% APR introductory rates on purchases only.
If you are specifically looking for a credit card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers for an introductory period, make sure you read the terms and conditions before you apply to ensure you’re getting the right card for your company’s needs.
Best balance transfer business credit cards for 2021
The following cards include introductory rates on both purchases and balance transfers as of this writing:
U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®: Best for bonus and cash back rewards
Pros: This U.S. Bank card gives accountholders a 12-billing-cycle 0% intro APR rate on purchases and balance transfers (then it’s 13.99% to 22.99% variable APR) plus the chance to earn a $500 bonus if you spend $3,000 within 90 days of opening the card. You’ll also earn 3% cash back for purchases at eligible gas stations and office supply stores, as well as expenses paid using the card at your cell phone provider. Additionally, you can earn 1% back on all other qualifying charges and an additional 25% of your prior year’s cash rewards (up to $250) back each year.
Cons: If an extended 0% intro interest period is your priority, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card provides more flexibility.
Why we like it:The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards card gives an outstanding welcome bonus and excellent bonus categories. With the 25% bonus on rewards each year, you’ll earn nearly 4% on cellphone expenses and at gas stations and office supply stores, which is an outstanding rate. With no annual fee, this card can be worth keeping for the long-term.
The bottom line: The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® affords both breathing room for paying off debt while earning cash back on commonplace business expenses.
U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card: Best for long introductory APR period
Pros: The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card comes with a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles when you open an account (then it’s 11.99% to 20.99% variable APR). That means you’ll have more than a year to pay down transferred debt interest-free, enabling your business to save money and manage debt over time. There’s no annual fee for the card.
Cons: Unlike other business cards, including other offers from U.S. Bank, the Business Platinum Card does not include cash back rewards or a sign-up bonus.
Why we like it:If you have significant debt that you’re looking to transfer, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card can be a great option. With 15 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, that gives you over a year before you have to pay any interest. If you have a large amount of debt, you may be interested in stretching the payback period as long as possible.
The bottom line: This card is a great option if you’re looking for a long 0% intro APR period to pay down current debts.
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card: Honorable mention for cash back rewards
Pros: The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card includes a nine-month 0% APR introductory rate for purchases and balance transfers (then it’s 11.24% to 21.24% variable APR), while also allowing you to earn 1.5% cash back for every dollar charged. You don’t have to worry about a hefty annual fee, either, as there is no fee for this card.
Cons: The 0% intro APR period is substantially less than that of the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card at nine months versus 12. This card’s cash back earnings are also much less competitive than you’ll find with some other companies.
For instance, Chase’s Ink Business Unlimited® and Ink Business Cash® credit card both have no annual fee, offer a $750 cash back bonus if you spend $7,500 in the first three months and have a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases (13.24% to 19.24% variable APR thereafter).
The Ink Business Unlimited card comes with an unlimited rewards perk of 1.5% on all purchases, while the Ink Business Cash Card allows you to accrue 5% cash back on the first $25,0000 spent on select business expenses each account anniversary year; 2% back on the first $25,000 spent on restaurants and gas per anniversary year; and 1% on all other purchases.
Why we like it:The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card has no annual fee and a solid 1.5% cash back return on all purchases. While it doesn’t have the higher category bonuses, people that prefer a simple earning structure may enjoy the Wells Fargo Business Platinum card. While it has a shorter introductory 0% APR period, nine months may be sufficient for many people.
The bottom line: The Wells Fargo option is solid if you need some time to pay down existing balances and want to earn cash back in the process.
See related: How to transfer a balance to a Wells Fargo card
How do business balance transfers work?
A business balance transfer functions the same as personal transfers. Once your new account is set up, you can initiate a transfer either online or by submitting a paper check. Make sure that the transfer amount does not exceed your new credit line.
After the transfer processes, the old account will be paid off if you had enough credit to cover the full balance. If there is still a remaining balance on the old account, pay it down as quickly as possible to minimize your interest costs.
The transfer amount will appear on your new account balance, and you can begin making payments toward that principal right away.
Business balance transfer FAQs
Does a balance transfer affect my company’s credit profile?
Although a balance transfer won’t lower your credit score directly, it can affect your credit profile. When you open a new account, the age of your credit (amount of time your accounts have been open), decreases. That can negatively affect your credit score, since a higher account age counts favorably on your report.
On the other hand, if a balance transfer enables you to pay down debt faster, your credit utilization ratio (how much credit you have access to versus how much you’re using) will improve.
“For business cards and some credit lines, it’s generally advised not to exceed 30-40% of your total credit limit each month,” Pendergast said. “Going overboard with credit reliance might signal to lenders you can’t manage stable cash flows, therefore upping your risk profile and making securing financing in the future that much harder.”
See related: How to build business credit
How do I qualify for a balance transfer credit card?
The criteria for qualifying for a business credit card include having good credit, on both business and personal levels.
“It’s important to know, though, that a business credit score is linked to a personal credit score,” said Paramita Pal, interim head of U.S. Bankcard at TD Bank. “If a small-business owner misses payments or stops paying personal loans, it will negatively affect their ability to secure business credit cards.”
In addition to maintaining your own credit, you may need to provide documents on your company’s finances.
“To evaluate a prospective borrower, banks will look at a variety of factors, including credit history,” Pal said. “Business owners may need to provide personal financial information, such as income and debt statements, as well as business information such as legal structure, annual revenue, number of employees, average expenses, etc.”
How do you choose the right business credit card?
Whatever your motivation for opening a new business card, Forte recommends selecting one based on how it addresses your company’s circumstances. If you have a longstanding relationship with a bank, you may be inclined to stick with its card offers. But by looking at a range of options, you can get the optimal value for where you are right now.
“Go with the one that is giving you the best offer and the one that suits your business needs as much as possible,” Forte said.
Be sure to compare factors such as the length of the introductory APR period, annual fee, cash back rewards and your APR after the initial rate ends.
See related: How do credit card APRs work?
The cards included in this article were evaluated by reviewing the terms on a number of business cards offered by prominent credit card brands and selecting those which offered terms favorable to business owners specifically seeking balance transfer benefits.
*All information about U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®, U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card and the Wells Fargo Business Platinum card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. These cards are no longer available through CreditCards.com.