A Visual Guide to Credit Card Processing Fees and Rates [Infographic]

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Credit card processing fees are hard to understand, but we don’t think they should be, so we set out with the goal of creating the most easy to digest and visually appealing infographic on the subject. You be the judge. 😉

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Amad Ebrahimi
Amad has worked in the eCommerce and online marketing world since 2002. He started as an eBay seller, then slowly graduated to building & marketing his own websites and consulting others to do the same. He founded Merchant Maverick out of frustration with all the misinformation and shady tactics that he encountered when trying to find a merchant account for his and his client's businesses. He's the man behind most of the merchant account reviews, and articles posted on MerchantMaverick.com. Have any questions related to credit card processing? Talk to him.
Amad Ebrahimi
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    Hello Jim,

    what about the FX rate across the transaction flow ? Is it something the merchant can negotiate with the PSP vendor?

      Iris Rivera

      Thanks for all the information
      I will have to study word for word and #’s for #’s for I am new to this area. Will like to master it. Your opinion I will be running a Airbnb vacation for Tourist up to 20 checkin a month or less. What bracket should I be in and what device would you recommend, app on my iPhone or ??? Desperate need of information
      Thank you in advance

        Jessica Dinsmore

        Hi Iris,
        Congratulations on your exciting new business venture! We actually don’t know much about how airbnb works, but my understanding is that when you sign up with airbnb, the payments are integrated; you don’t select a processor. I think your best bet would be to log into your account and consult with airbnb directly and also be sure to check out the Q&A in their help forum. I hope that helps!


          Hi Amad! Great content. This site is the most informative I’ve seen online. Thank you!

          I’m developing a mobile payment app for restaurants. I’d like to know if the credit card fees will also apply to my app when the customer send the payment to the restaurant. Are you familiar with how some of the customer mobile payment apps for restaurant work?



            Jessica Dinsmore

            Hi Abner,
            Your fees will be entirely dependent on the gateway you connect to your app. If you aren’t sure how that works for apps, I’d suggest looking in Stripe’s developer documentation. Best of luck to you!


              Hi Jessica:

              We have a mobile app that is integrated into the restaurant POS system so customers can pay the check from their phones at the table. We will be sending the payment to the restaurant. The customer will also pay $0.35 every time she pays the restaurant. I’m looking for a payment processor for those $0.35 per transaction. All payment processing companies I’ve talked to charge a percentage + a flat fee (usually $0.25-$0.35). I’m looking for a processing company that only charges a percentage (not the flat fee). Also, I was considering being my own payment processing company but honestly I don’t know what it takes.

                Jessica Dinsmore

                Hi Abner,

                Thanks for writing! I’d suggest that the $0.35 is just added on to the original bill and processed as part of the main payment, as a surcharge. Finding an affordable processor for the $.35 charges would be quite a challenge, so I think doing as I suggested will be your best bet. I hope that helps!

                  Vicki Jayne

                  We currently are with Secure Merchants and looking to change as they are unable to help us with many of our challenging situations. Price isn’t always everything. Previously we were with Central Payment as our processor, and they have local agents who come out, at the time we went with them, we also purchased 2 HIOPOS machines not even 5 years ago, they no longer support the HIOPOS and we just paid them off!! over 10K after all said and done and now no longer supported. We are thinking of going to a tablet and card reader but don’t know if this is what we should do. Our HIOPOS machines are giving us trouble and no one seems able to help….CIG owns them and you have to book an appt which they charge $79-129/hr and have to wait a week for an appt!!! Great deal of good that is when your system goes down and a person is standing looking at you waiting to pay with a credit card! We are a winery/gift shop/cafe which does an average of 20K per month currently. Please let me know your suggestions asap as I am so frustrated and have stumbled across your sit in searching for a new cc company. Thanks SO much!!

                    Chloe Bahal

                    Hi Vicki,

                    Thank you for reaching out, it can definitely be frustrating! I am going to send you an email right now so please keep an eye out for it.


                      I live in Canada, Ny website is considered high risk. We do some tech support. Definitely having a difficult time finding a merchant account. Any info is much appreciated! Thanks!

                        Chloe Bahal

                        Hi A.C.,

                        I would try Durango Merchant Services, Payline Data, and Instabill. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

                          Steve Capt

                          Very helpful page and site, thank you. One fee I didn’t see mentioned is “Authorization Fee”. I currently get dinged a $.10 per authorization fee in addition to all the other fees listed above. This is from a pure merchant account, I have a separate gateway and shopping cart with their own fees as well.

                          Is a separate authorization fee “normal”? Thanks in advance.


                            Can you recommend the best deal for a small restaurant processing about $10,000-15,000 per month? We are getting the hard sell through Sekure Merchant Services to go with North American Bank and aren’t sure we are seeing all of the fine print.
                            We currently don’t have a contract and prefer to not sign any contracts if possible.

                              Chloe Bahal

                              Hi Ciera,

                              I would recommend taking a look at Dharma Merchant Services.

                                Albert Tavasci

                                Mr. Ebrahimi, I have reviewed just about all websites that review merchant services and your’s has been the most informative. The “Breakdown of Fees” inforgraphics enlightened me immensly on how the financial process works. Great job!

                                  Mike b

                                  I had a company tell me they were the host cell division First Data. They tell me that there is a wholesale platform for interchange rates and a retail platform 4 interchange rates. I thought all interchange rates were fixed directly from Visa Mastercard at 7. Can you tell me if there is truly a host cell interchange platform?

                                    Linda Tan

                                    How do I release myself from a three year lease of the terminal. I wasn’t reading the fine prints of the contract and now I’m trapped. Thanks

                                      Chloe Bahal

                                      Hi Linda,

                                      Unfortunately you will need to wait for the contract to run out or pay the early termination fee if your processor has one. If you decide to switch to another processor, they might cover the cost for breaking the contract with your existing processor, but that is something you will have to discuss with them.


                                        Wow. And thank you!


                                          How do I dispute billbacks when processor won’t/can’t provide information about the specific incidents? What I generally find on my statement are the codes called ” tran cleared as CPS retail key entry debit/PR” or “missing/invalid transaction date too old”, or “tran cleared at check card/debit/prepaid”.

                                            Jim Cassidy

                                            Great question Nance. Your current provider should be able to show you what those transactions are and the rate at which you are charged. That billback system is FDMS or First Data front end and generally they set merchants up with the billbacks so they can hide and pad fees. One way you can get a ballpark charge is to look on the first pages of your statement and find your average ticket for that card type ie: MasterCard, Visa and so on. Once you find your average ticket, take the avg ticket and times it by the number of transactions that category shows. Then divide the dollar amount of the fees that were charged by the avg ticket times the transactions.. But remember this is only a ball park.. Average ticket x transaction quantity(example, rewards 2) so ie: avg tik $240.00 x number of trans 5 = $1200.00. Then Fee of $ 30.00 (rewards 2 Visa) divided by $1200.00 then hit % key on calculator for 2.50% Bottom line is if your current provider can’t provide you some info about the rates you should get one that can. Hope this helps,

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