The Best 0% Intro Credit Card Offers for Small Businesses

Aug 30, 2018

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While the number one commandment for rewards credit cards is to pay your bill in full each month, sometimes that rule isn’t possible or practical for business owners, particularly new ones. You have start-up costs that aren’t going to be part of your monthly expenses in the future, but today they require capital that you don’t necessarily have. And, frankly, your revenue might not be where it needs to be yet, either. 

There’s no shame in grabbing cheap financing where you can get it. Fortunately, there’s a good crop of business credit cards that make that possible, with offers of free financing for nine months or longer. You won’t find extended 0% introductory offers of up to 21 months that at least one consumer card offers, but the best business card offers include no-interest financing on purchases and balance transfers for up to 15 months.

What’s more, these offers come from business credit cards that have some of the top rewards. That means you can carry a balance — for months — and not have to worry about the accrued interest dwarfing any rewards you receive. Just make sure to continue to pay your bills on time and erase that balance before the end of the introductory period.

Here’s a look at some of the best offers with no-interest periods of at least one year:

Length of 0% offer on purchases Length of 0% offer on balance transfers Cost to transfer Regular APR for purchases and balance transfers
The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express 12 months 12 months on balance transfers from account opening. Terms apply. $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater 14.74% to 20.74% variable (See Rates & Fees)
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express 15 months N/A N/A 14.49% to 21.49% variable (See Rates & Fees)

 

If you’re planning to transfer a balance from another credit card, you’ll need to pay attention to the terms of the offer. American Express, for instance, requires you to make the transfer within 60 days of account opening on the Blue Business Plus Credit Card to qualify for the 0% financing. The two Chase cards that offer interest-free balance transfers place no such restrictions in the fine print.

Most balance transfer offers include a fee that’s tacked on at the time of the transfer. That fee varies, so you’ll need to take that into consideration, as well. The fee is typically either 3% or 5% of the transferred balance (or some nominal minimum for extremely small transfers). Depending on the size of the balance, the fee could have a big impact on what you’ll ultimately pay.

There’s a $400 difference in what you’ll pay, for example, when you transfer $20,000 to a card that charges 5% ($1,000) versus one that charges 3% ($600). Either way, you’re probably making out — you’ll pay more than $1,000 in interest on a $20,000 balance within five months if you leave that balance on a card charging 13.99% and make just the minimum monthly payment — but you’ll make out less with the higher transfer fee.

The short-term costs of a balance transfer aren’t the only — or necessarily even the primary — factor you should consider in choosing a 0% card. The ongoing rewards and any welcome bonus may trump those early fees depending on your spending patterns. Here’s a look at what the top business 0% APR cards offer in terms of bonuses and rewards.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

Welcome bonus: None

Rewards: Earn 2 Membership Rewards points on all spending up to $50,000 annually, then 1x points thereafter.

Annual fee: None (See Rates & Fees)

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

Welcome bonus: None

Rewards: Earn 5% back on purchases from US office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers on up to $50,000 in spending per calendar year (then 1%). Earn 3% back on a category of your choice from a list of eight on up to $50,000 in spending per calendar year (then 1%):

  • airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
  • car rental purchased from select car rental companies
  • US gas stations
  • US restaurants
  • US purchases for shipping
  • computer hardware and software
  • advertising on select media

You’ll earn 1% on all other spending.

Annual fee: None (See Rates & Fees)

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Welcome bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back — or 50,000 bonus points worth up to $1,050 when you transfer the points to a “premium” card from Chase (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card) — after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at gas stations and at restaurants. Earn an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.

Annual fee: None

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Welcome bonus: You’ll receive the same $500 cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months that Chase offers on the Ink Business Cash Credit Card. Again, you can boost the value of that bonus by pairing this card with one that’s part of the Ultimate Rewards program and transferring the bonus to that account.

Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back per dollar spent on all purchases.

Annual fee: None

Bottom Line

Just as we noted above that balance transfers can save you interest, you can also save big on purchases when you don’t have to worry about interest.

Let’s say you have significant start-up costs (that you can put on a credit card) of $10,000 that you need to finance. Put that spending on a credit card that charges 14.99% APR and you’ll incur more than $400 in interest charges even if you pay that balance off within six months. You’ll pay nothing with a card that offers an introductory 0% APR. What’s more, you could be earning rewards with one of the cards above — $150 at a bare minimum. That’s some pretty easy math.

Featured image by PeopleImages / Getty Images.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Simply Cash Plus Business Card, please click here.

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