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The Complete Guide To Card Brand Fees For Merchant Accounts

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Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
Hsin-Wei Luang

Hsin-Wei Luang

Hsin-Wei is a freelance writer focused on small business and technology writing. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a techie lawyer for many years until she came to her senses. Now, in her spare time, she plays frisbee with her Mini Australian Shepherd dog.

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9 Comments

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    Sumanta Coomar Das

    Hi Rose Holman,

    Thank you for this article. It has helped me a lot and getting a correct list of Card Brand Fees.

    Question: Have you found out yet about the Kilobyte Fee for MasterCard? I looked at several statements and did not find any mention of Visa-Kilobyte Fee nor MasterCard-Kilobyte Fee. So maybe both are obsolete now?

    Thanks,
    Sumanta

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Sumanta!
      Visa no longer charges a Kilobyte Fee. Instead, it’s lumped together with the System File Transmission Fee. If Mastercard charged a kilobyte fee in the past, they must have done so in another name because we do not see it on our list at all. So, it’s probably safe to assume they no longer charge/have never charged a kilobyte fee. Hope that helps!

        Heidi

        Can you comment on when and how a merchant would be charged BOTH a MC cross border fee (.60%) and MC acquirer program support fee (.85%)? Also, same with Visa International acquirer fee (.45%) along with International Service Assessment (1%). How and when can a merchant be charged both extra fees on one transaction?

        Thank you.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Heidi!

          The MC cross border fee (0.60%) and the Visa ISA (1.0%) are charged when someone uses a card issued outside the US to pay you (who are in the US) in US dollars. We went back to our sources and do not see a Visa International Acquirer Fee (0.45%) or an MC Acquirer Program Support Fee (0.85%). These might be fees our sources simply do not pass through to merchants, or they might be fees your processor renamed and lumped together with other fees.

          Yes, some fees are additive, so you can be charged for both, but, with the information we have at hand, it’s hard for us to tell. We recommend you call your processor and ask them about these fees. They’re the only ones who can give you a definitive answer.

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            sherly sadanandan

            I am looking to understand Interchange fee rates for airline & the other various Visa & MasterCard association fees for the middle east region.

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Jessica Dinsmore

              Hi Sherly,

              Honestly, that’s not something we’re familiar with yet. I’d suggest contacting a payment processor in your country and ask them where you can locate these rates online from Visa, MC, and other card associations. I hope that at least, helps point you in the right direction. Good luck!

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Tim Weiss

                Hello! I entered the world of processing about a year and a half ago. To say I was naive as to the trickery out there is an understatement. The biggest problem I’ve encountered is deciphering the brand names each processor lists on a statement to match it up to its actual rate. It seems they all give different names making it almost impossible to do a comparison statement. I charge ‘pass-through’ pricing, so it’s important to match up the names on my spreadsheet which can be a daunting task in itself. At least that’s what I’ve found here in Canada. Keep up the good work. I appreciate your honesty and your aim of improving integrity on this industry.

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Leigh

                  Hello,
                  Could you please share where you were able to find the Card Brand Fees and how often are they updated?
                  Thank you!

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Rose Holman

                    One of the reasons card brand fees are so tricky is that you can’t find them all published in one place by the card brands, like you can for interchange rates. This is why we felt it important to compile a list here. So, the answer to the question of where we found them is, unfortunately, not in all in one place! We read about some of the individual fees in separate articles and press releases, talked to several merchant account providers who offer pass-through pricing and who publish their own lists of wholesale costs, combed through lots of statements from major processors, and generally researched and compared all we uncovered until we were satisfied about the accuracy of each fee. Huge pain! As mentioned in the article, individual fees may be updated at any time, but April and October are common change points (similar to the schedule for interchange rate adjustments). Do let us know if you see something in our list that you think is inaccurate and we’ll research it. Good luck!

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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