If you belong to an organization or a business with a good credit history, you could qualify for a great card that gives you many months of 0 percent interest
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Dear Your Business Credit,
I represent a nonprofit organization that has an excellent credit rating and needs a credit card that will allow large purchases with no interest and no annual fee. Is there such a thing? – Mort
Many cards come with no annual fee, but I am not aware of any that offer that benefit plus 0-percent interest on a permanent basis. That said, there are many limited-time 0-percent interest deals to encourage people to open new cards. You could easily take advantage of one of these deals and then, when the introductory period runs out, look for another similar card to which you can do a balance transfer at 0 percent interest (though you will pay a balance transfer fee, usually 3 to 5 percent of the balance transferred).
So which business cards are best for your nonprofit? You could either take out a small-business card or a personal card, depending on your needs.
Business card fine print
Small-business cards often have higher credit limits. They also frequently offer rewards tailored to organizational purchases, which will be relevant if you are making many large purchases.
That said, these cards typically require a personal guarantee, meaning that the cardholder will be on the hook for any debts on the card if the organization can’t pay. And business cards lack some of the protections consumers get for personal credit cards under the Credit Cards Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, commonly known as the CARD Act.
For instance, under the law, consumer cards’ interest rates can rise only in a set number of situations – if you’ve missed two consecutive payments, or the Federal Reserve raises its key lending rate. Business cards are allowed to increase rates more rapidly. You might want to choose a personal card if, for instance, there is a chance your nonprofit’s funding could slow at some point and lead to a late payment on the bill.
Best card for your business
Let’s say you’ve considered these factors and still want a business card. Here are some options with no annual fee.
- The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business offers 0-percent interest on new purchases for nine months and a variable interest rate of 15.24-23.24 percent after that. You can earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back and a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months from account opening.
- The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card from American Express will give you 0-percent interest on new purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, with a variable 11.99-19.99 percent interest rate after that. You earn double points on your first $50,000 in purchases per year, with one point per dollar on purchases thereafter.
- The Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card is another option. You can get 0-percent interest on new purchases for the first nine billing cycles. If you make $3,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening, you can get a $300 statement credit. You can also get 3 percent cash back on a category of your choice (gas, office supplies, travel, TV/telecom and wireless, computer service and business consulting services), 2 percent on purchases at restaurants and 1 percent on all other purchases ($50,000 annual purchase cap on combined 2 and 3 percent category purchases). There is an 14.49-24.49 variable APR on purchases and balance transfers after nine months.
See related: Best business credit cards
Personal cards for business
If you prefer to open a personal card, you’ll find that some of the introductory deals offer a longer period of 0-percent interest than the typical business card. Should you go this route, I’d recommend using the card only for purchases related to the nonprofit, to avoid confusion between personal and work expenses. None of the following cards has an annual fee.
- Consider the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard. It offers a 0 interest introductory APR for the first 15 months on new purchases and a 0 percent introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. The card charges no fee for balance transfers. After the introductory period, the variable APR is 14.24 percent.
- The BankAmericard credit card offers a 0 percent interest for the first 18 billing cycles on new purchases and for balance transfers made within the first 60 days. After the 18 months, the APR is 15.24-25.24 percent.
- Another option is the Discover it card, which offers 0 percent interest on new purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, then a standard 11.74-23.74 percent variable APR on purchases. You can earn 5 percent cash back in rotating categories each quarter for purchases such as gas stations, Amazon, restaurants and wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, as well as 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. There is also an automatic dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
- The Capital One® Venture One® Rewards Credit Card offers a low interest rate on purchases for 12 months with a variable APR of 14.24 percent to 24.24 percent thereafter. The card also offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months of opening the account.
- If you prefer an American Express card, you might consider the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. It offers 0 percent interest on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, then 13.74-24.74 percent variable APR. You can also get a $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months.
The good news is that thanks to your organization’s excellent credit profile, you have plenty of choices. That’s a good place to be.