Credit cards have become the top source of financing for small business owners in the United States. In fact, the percentage of small businesses that now use credit cards has nearly tripled since 1993. At just 16 percent in 1993, the number has now risen to 44 percent. Thus, nearly half of America’s small business owners have turned to credit cards for their financing needs.
If you are one of the many small business owners who uses credit cards, you may have a pile of debt that you would like to shrink. Obviously, you’ll have to make payments to get that debt down. However, there is an easy way to make this process go a little smoother – sign up for a balance transfer card.
So, how could a balance transfer card help your business? What should you look for in a balance transfer card? Let’s take a look.
How a Balance Transfer Card Can Help
Lower Interest Rate
The primary goal of completing a balance transfer is to obtain a lower interest rate. You can transfer your existing balances to your chosen balance transfer card and pay little or no interest for months or years. Thus, you can pay down your debt faster and at a lower cost that your current situation permits, which will be good for your business’ credit and bottom line.
Obtain a Higher Credit Limit
By transferring your balances to one card, you can often obtain a higher credit limit. This could be handy if your business expands and your spending needs increase. Consider shopping around if your first choice doesn’t offer you a higher credit limit for your business.
What to Look For
Find a card that offers an introductory rate of 0%. There are quite a few such cards out there.
Also, find a card in which the introductory rate lasts long enough for you to pay down most or all of your credit card debt. There are currently cards on the market that offer a 0% APR on balance transfers for as long as 18 months, which should give you plenty of time to reduce or eliminate your credit card debt without incurring additional interest.
Balance Transfer Fee
Ideally, find a card that offers no balance transfer fee. However, I am not aware of any that do. A common fee is 3 percent of the transfer, so finding something in that range is a realistic goal.
A great introductory rate on balance transfers won’t do you much good if you have to pay a high annual fee. Look for a card that has a low or no annual fee. If you are just going to use this card for your balance transfer and to pay off your debt, a card with no annual fee should do the trick, assuming that it has a good balance transfer offer.
Be sure that your chosen balance transfer card offers enough time for you to complete the transfer. Some cards have a low introductory APR for, say, 15 months, but the transfer must be completed within 4 months to qualify for this rate. Sure, 4 months is still a long time, but be sure that you won’t forget about this for a while and lose your introductory rate.
Completing a balance transfer is an easy decision if you have a significant amount of credit card debt. This is especially true if you have a high-interest credit card. So, consider a balance transfer card for your small business to cut back on credit card expenses.