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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    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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