Compare business credit cards with balance transfer facilities
Switching to a new business credit card issuer could help your company take advantage of better features or more favourable terms. However, if you’re familiar with lengthy interest-free balance transfer offers for your personal cards, you might be disappointed to find that 0% balance transfer business credit card offers are few and far between.
The good news is that we have uncovered some business credit cards with balance transfer deals. You can compare some popular options in the table below.
Note that some card issuers, such as HSBC, simply state that the availability of balance transfer facilities is at their discretion.
How to compare balance transfer business credit cards
Here are some factors you should consider to help you find the best business credit cards with balance transfer offers.
- Balance transfer rate. What interest rate applies to balance transfers, and is it an ongoing rate or an introductory rate? If it’s an introductory rate, how long does it last, and what rate does it revert to?
- Balance transfer fee. Whether the card has a promotional introductory rate or not, there will likely be a balance transfer fee to consider. This is typically 2–4% of the amount that you wish to transfer. Take both the balance transfer fee and the rate into account to get a better idea of how much you’ll pay overall.
- Balance transfer limit. You’ll typically be able to transfer up to a maximum of 90% or 95% of your credit limit. This is known as the card’s balance transfer limit. The credit limit that you are offered will be tailored to your business, taking into account factors like turnover, credit rating and years trading.
- Fees and charges.Most business cards come with an annual or monthly fee, which can be higher the more cardholders you have or if the card is rewards heavy. In some cases this fee is waived in the first year.
- Features and benefits. What do you want from the card? Reward points, or just a 0% period to help you manage your cash flow? Think about your company spending habits, and how the card(s) you’re considering might help you. If your aim is to shift exisiting debt, a card that incentivises further spending might not be the right one for your business.
- Eligibility. Some cards are aimed at small businesses, for example, while some are only available to companies with a certain turnover. Check the card issuer’s eligibility criteria before you apply.
Pros and cons of business balance transfer credit cards
- Could save your business money. With a low rate, you’ll naturally stand to save on unnecessary interest.
- Can simplify finances. Transferring multiple credit card balances over to one balance transfer card can consolidate your monthly payments into just one bill.
- Additional features and benefits. You could enjoy travel perks, cashback rewards, analytics/reporting and more with your new business card.
- Your interest rate could be higher in the long run. Look out for cards with a low introductory rate followed by a punishingly high standard rate.
- Fees. Don’t forget to factor in annual/monthly fees, balance transfer fees etc.
- Your credit score could take a dip. Whenever you apply for a credit card (even a business credit card), the issuer does a hard pull on your credit report, which likely causes a slight (and usually short-lived) drop in your credit score.
How to choose between a personal and business balance transfer credit card
If you’re looking for a balance transfer card with a low or 0% introductory rate, then you might have noticed that there are a lot more personal cards than business credit cards matching that description. There are even some that don’t charge a balance transfer fee.
With that in mind, it might be tempting to take out a personal balance transfer card and stick your outstanding business card balance on that. Plenty of people do this, particularly sole traders and those who are self-employed. However, there are a few things you should bear in mind:
- Business credit cards tend to have higher credit limits.
- They may come with perks, extras and/or support for your business that personal credit cards don’t have.
- You’re unlikely to be able to add as many additional cardholders with a personal credit card as you would with a business credit card.
- The responsibility for all debt rests with the account holder, so if you use your personal card for business expenses you can end up personally liable for business debts.
- Mixing your personal and business spending on one card can make things tricky when it comes to bookkeeping.
Can I transfer debt from a personal credit card to a business balance transfer credit card?
Yes, if you’ve been using a personal credit card for your business and want to transfer the balance over to your new business credit card, you can. However, you generally can’t get promotional balance transfer deals when you transfer balances within the same banking group.
How to manage a business balance transfer credit card
You’ve got a business balance transfer credit card. What’s next? Here are a few things to keep in mind when managing your card:
- Confirm your balance transfer has been processed. Many business balance transfer credit cards take up to 14 days to process a balance transfer request. After 2 weeks, call your old credit card issuers to make sure they’ve been paid off by your new credit card provider.
- Make timely payments. A lot of credit card providers allow you to sign up for direct debits, which makes paying your credit card bill one less thing on your business’s monthly to-do list.
- If possible, avoid using your card to make new purchases. If you got the business balance transfer credit card to pay off your business’s debt faster and more cheaply, try to avoid using the card for new purchases until after you’ve paid down the balance.
- Avoid fees. Many credit card providers charge late and returned payment fees, as well as fees on cash advances, foreign transactions and balance transfers. Read the terms and conditions of the credit card to understand the costs you could incur.
- Contact customer service. Keep an eye on your bill, and reach out to your credit card provider if you notice any problems.
A business balance transfer credit card can be useful for managing your company’s finances, but there are some traps to watch out for. Be sure to compare all available options and make the necessary calculations before deciding which card is best suited to your business.
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