The 3 best business credit cards for balance transfers for 2021

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If you’re self-employed or a small-business owner and your company is carrying high-interest credit card debt, a business balance transfer credit card might help you lower your interest rate and pay down your high-interest credit card debt more quickly.

While many of the major issuers cut their business balance transfer credit card offers in 2020, there are still options out there. Here are our picks for the best balance transfer business credit cards for 2021.

Best for long introductory period: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card

Here’s why: The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card gives you more time to pay off your balance interest-free than any other balance transfer business credit card we found.

With the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card, you’ll get an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 30 days after opening your account. (There’s a 15-month 0% APR offer on purchases as well.) Though there’s a balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5) on each transfer.

After the intro APR offers expire, balance transfers and purchases will be charged variable APRs of somewhere in the range of 11.99% to 20.99%. But there’s no annual fee on this card.

Compare offers for business credit cards on Credit Karma to check out more options.

Best for ongoing expenses: U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®

Here’s why: The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® could be a great choice if you have ongoing expenses in some key bonus categories along with the debt you plan to pay down.

It has an introductory offer of 0% APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers, which means you’ll get a year to pay down any new purchases as well as credit card balances transferred within 30 days of account opening before you start getting charged interest. After that year, the regular variable APRs on balance transfers and purchases range from 13.99% to 22.99%.

There’s a balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5) on each transfer, but there’s no annual fee.

We recommend focusing on paying down your debt to take best advantage of a balance transfer offer, but that’s not always possible. This card’s intro 0% APR on purchases means you have time to catch up on any new expenses as well, and you can even earn rewards for them. The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® comes with 3% cash back on gas station, office supply store, and cellphone and service provider purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Best for established businesses: Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card

Here’s why: With up to 99 free employee cards, flat-rate rewards and a 0% intro APR offer for both purchases and balance transfers, the Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card offers established businesses the opportunity to save on interest.

The card has an introductory 0% APR for nine months from account opening on purchases and on balance transfers processed during the intro period. After the intro period is up, a variable rate of the Wells Fargo Prime Rate plus 7.99% to 17.99% will apply to new purchases and balance transfers (as well as any remaining balances).

There’s also an upfront cost to transfer a balance, with a fee of 4% (10% minimum) on each.

While this card’s intro offer is shorter than others, it could be a good option for dealing with debt in the short term. Plus, there’s no annual fee and purchases will earn either 1.5% cash back or one point for every $1 spent.

How do business balance transfers work?

Balance transfers can save business owners a lot of money in interest charges and help work down debt more quickly.

But you have to be careful — it’s easy to misunderstand the fine print and end up with even more debt that you started with.

Here’s how to make a business balance transfer work for you.

  1. Research business balance transfer credit cards. Try our balance transfer calculator to get an idea of how much a balance transfer could save you.
  2. Understand that a business balance transfer could affect your personal credit as well. There are several ways that a new business credit card could affect your personal credit.
  3. Apply for the business balance transfer credit card of your choice. Even if it’s rarer to find an introductory 0% APR balance transfer offer with business cards than with personal credit cards, there are still offers available. If you don’t get approved, you can try working on building your business credit before trying again.
  4. If you’re approved, initiate the transfer with your new credit card issuer. There may be a limited amount of time for you to initiate the transfer to qualify for an introductory 0% APR offer. Depending on the amount you want to transfer and the credit limit you’re approved for on the new card, you may only be able to transfer part of your debt. The issuer for your new card may mail you a balance transfer check that you can use to make the transfer (up to the new card’s limit).
  5. Follow up. Don’t stop paying your old card until you’ve confirmed that the balance transfer is complete. If you were only able to transfer part of your debt, you’ll have payments to make on multiple cards now.
  6. Pay down your debt. Paying off the transferred balance within the intro APR window means you could save on potentially high interest payments and pay down that debt more quickly. 

In order to effectively pay down your debt, it’s important to focus on your primary goal. We like rewards as much as the next person, but earning a sign-up bonus or collecting cash back should never get in the way of paying off your debt.

If you think rewards or a sign-up bonus will tempt you to spend more, consider looking for another balance transfer credit card that doesn’t offer rewards.

On the other hand, if you use your balance transfer credit card only to make purchases you were already planning on making, you might as well earn rewards for your spending while paying down your balance transfer.

If you think you’ll end up charging new purchases to your balance transfer card though, it’s a good idea to look for a card that offers an intro APR that’s the same length for purchases as it is for balance transfers. Why? If your purchase offer ends before your balance transfer offer ends, you could be charged interest on your new purchases right away, unless you pay off your entire balance (including your non-interest-accruing transfer balance). Keep reading to learn more balance transfer risks.

How we picked these cards

To find the best business balance transfer credit cards, we started by looking at our favorite business credit cards. Then, we checked each of our favorite business cards to see which ones offered balance transfers.

Once we had a list of business credit cards that offered balance transfers, we narrowed it down by searching for business credit cards that offered substantial intro balance transfer offers of 0% APR.

We also factored in the regular APR, balance transfer fees, annual fees and rewards programs for each card.

About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.