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Best Free Credit Card Processors

Charging customers extra to cover the cost of credit card processing is gaining steam. Find out if it's right for your business (and why customers don't like it).

    Frank Kehl
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Chris Motola

    Chris Motola

    Senior Staff Writer

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

In recent years, no-fee and zero-cost credit card processing has become popular in the payments industry due to steadily rising interchange fees and a relaxation of laws that formerly prohibited the practice. These services can be very tempting to a cash-strapped business that pays hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month to be able to accept credit cards from even the best credit card processing companies.

Unfortunately, these programs — as you might well suspect — aren’t really free.

Instead, they transfer some (usually not all) of the cost of accepting credit cards onto your credit card-using customers. This arrangement would work great if your customers gladly accepted having to pay an extra 3-4% on every credit card purchase to use their cards. That’s not going to be the case.

In this guide to “no-fee” credit card processing for small businesses, we’ll profile several of the top credit card processing companies that offer the best zero-cost (or nearly zero-cost) credit card processing programs for small businesses. We’ll also discuss the various programs that allow you to pass credit card processing costs to your customers.

Note: You’ll often hear the terms “surcharging” and “zero-fee processing” used to describe these programs. However, they’re not all the same thing. Knowing the subtle differences between one program and another is critically important, as not all programs are legal in all jurisdictions.

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  • Variable contract length
  • Variable monthly account fee
  • Variable monthly fee for surcharging program
  • Variable contract length
  • Variable monthly account fee
  • Variable monthly fee for surcharging program

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  • Month-to-month billing
  • $15 monthly account fee ($12 for nonprofits)
  • $25/month fee for surcharging program
  • Month-to-month billing
  • $15 monthly account fee ($12 for nonprofits)
  • $25/month fee for surcharging program

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  • Month-to-month billing
  • $14.99 monthly account fee
  • $19.99/month fee for surcharging program (under $5K/month processing volume only)
  • Month-to-month billing
  • $14.99 monthly account fee
  • $19.99/month fee for surcharging program (under $5K/month processing volume only)

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  • Month-to-month billing
  • $15/month for traditional pricing program
  • $25-$99/month for cash discounting program
  • Month-to-month billing
  • $15/month for traditional pricing program
  • $25-$99/month for cash discounting program

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  • Month-to-month billing
  • $0 monthly fee (zero-fee processing)
  • Undisclosed monthly fee for cash discounting
  • Month-to-month billing
  • $0 monthly fee (zero-fee processing)
  • Undisclosed monthly fee for cash discounting

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Table of Contents

How The Best No-Fee Credit Card Processors Compare

Monthly Surcharging Program Fee Processing Rate Plan(s) Hardware Type & Cost
PaymentCloud Varies Varies Models & pricing not disclosed (“free” terminal may be available)
Dharma Merchant Services $25.00 Interchange-Plus Dejavoo Z11 – $295
Host Merchant Services $0-$19.99 Interchange-Plus Multiple desktop terminals – pricing not disclosed
VizyPay $25-$99 Flat-Rate SwipeSimple B250 Card Reader – $135
Shift Processing $0.00 Varies Models & pricing not disclosed (“free” terminal may be available)

The Best Free Credit Card Processors For Small Businesses

Any merchant services provider can offer you a “free” credit card processing (or surcharging) program. Of course, merchant account providers vary greatly in the quality and cost of their services. Our preferred providers offer honest, transparent pricing and excellent customer service while not requiring you to sign a long-term contract.

Here are brief profiles of the best free credit card processors that offer surcharging programs:

PaymentCloud: Best For High-Risk Businesses

Total Rating 4.1
Fees & Rates4.3

Products & Services5.0


Sales & Advertising Transparency3.9

Customer Service4.2

User Reviews4.0

Exclusive Promo: PaymentCloud will give you $200 if they can't beat your current rate. Get Your Quote


  • High-risk specialist
  • Reasonable rates and fees
  • Free credit card terminal with each account


  • No publicly disclosed pricing
  • A long-term contract required for some high-risk industries

Why PaymentCloud Is The Best Zero-Cost Choice For High-Risk Businesses

One of the best high-risk merchant account providers that we’ve found is PaymentCloud. This provider offers its surcharging programs for merchants in all 48 states where the practice is currently allowed. PaymentCloud can help you with the necessary signage and reprogram your equipment to automatically apply the surcharge whenever a credit card gets used for payment.

Unlike many high-risk providers, PaymentCloud doesn’t charge an application fee when you first set up your account. Contract terms and processing rates are all highly variable. You’ll have to contact the company and obtain a quote for your business to see what kind of deal the company can offer you. PaymentCloud also has a great reputation among its merchants for top-notch customer service and technical support.

PaymentCloud Features

PaymentCloud serves both low-risk and high-risk businesses but specializes in getting merchant accounts approved for a wide variety of high-risk industries. The company offers the following primary features:

  • “Free” credit card terminal available with each account
  • Mobile processing solution available
  • Virtual terminal included
  • Authorize.Net or USAePay payment gateways are available
  • Offers surcharging or cash discounting programs
  • Paysley QR-code payment service available

PaymentCloud Pricing

  • No account setup fee
  • No monthly minimum (low-risk accounts)
  • Interchange + 0.05%-0.30% + $0.08-$0.10 per transaction (low-risk accounts)
  • Processing rates vary by the acquiring bank/back-end processor (high-risk accounts)
  • $15/month account fee (low-risk accounts)
  • Account fees vary by the acquiring bank/back-end processor (high-risk accounts)

What To Watch Out For

Because high-risk credit card processing is so much more expensive than it is for low-risk merchants, be aware that PaymentCloud’s surcharging program may only partially cover your transaction processing costs. Also, high-risk merchants are more likely to have to agree to a long-term contract, depending on the bank or backend processor that underwrites your account.

Choose PaymentCloud If...

  • You want to implement credit card surcharging (or offer a cash discount program), and you're in a high-risk industry that makes it difficult to get approved for a merchant account.

Get Started With PaymentCloud

Read our in-depth review

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Dharma Merchant Services: Best For Nonprofits

Dharma Merchant Services

Total Rating 5.0
Fees & Rates5.0

Products & Services5.0


Sales & Advertising Transparency5.0

Customer Service4.8

User Reviews4.5


  • Month-to-month billing with no early termination fees
  • Discounted pricing for qualified nonprofits
  • Outstanding sales transparency and highly ethical business practices


  • Not recommended for businesses processing less than $10,000 per month
  • No support for high-risk or international merchants

Why Dharma Merchant Services Is The Best Zero-Cost Choice For Nonprofits

Dharma Merchant Services has long been one of our favorite providers due to the company’s remarkable transparency and commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Dharma offers a surcharging program called MX Advantage for Surcharging, which comes included as an optional feature with its MX Merchant integrated payments platform.

Unlike other providers offering “free” credit card processing, Dharma doesn’t impose inflated processing rates for the service. Your customers will pay the same reasonable interchange-plus rates that you were previously paying for using their credit cards and nothing more. Nonprofits can particularly benefit from this program, as the company already offers discounted processing rates to qualifying organizations. Customers will be more understanding about paying a surcharge when they know that more of their donation will actually go to the cause they’re supporting rather than covering operating expenses.

Dharma Merchant Services Features

In addition to being one of the most ethical and transparent providers in the processing industry, Dharma Merchant Services offers a complete line of services for small and large businesses. Here are the highlights:

  • Full-service merchant accounts through TSYS
  • MX Advantage For Surcharging integrated payment platform
  • MX QuickPay virtual terminal
  • Dejavoo Z11 terminal for in-person transactions
  • Integration with MX Payment Links, MX Invoice, and MX Quickbooks Sync

Dharma Merchant Services Pricing

  • $15/month account fee ($12/month for nonprofits)
  • $25/month for surcharging program
  • Dejavoo Z11 credit card terminal – $295
  • Interchange + 0.15% + $0.08/card-present transaction (volume discounts available)
  • Interchange + 0.10% + $0.08/card-present transaction (qualified nonprofits)
  • Interchange + 0.20% + $0.11/card-not-present transaction (volume discounts available)
  • Interchange + 0.10% + $0.11/card-not-present transaction (qualified nonprofits)
  • No gateway fees with MX Merchant
  • No annual fee
  • No PCI compliance fees
  • No monthly minimum
  • $49 account closure fee

What To Watch Out For

Dharma is a great deal for high-volume businesses, but it does not accept any high-risk industries. If you’re turned down for an account with Dharma, the company will usually refer you to PaymentCloud. Also, Dharma only works with US-based merchants.

Choose Dharma Merchant Services If...

  • You run a nonprofit, and you want to lower the cost of accepting credit cards to ensure that more of your donations go to supporting your organization's mission.

Get Started With Dharma Merchant Services

Read our in-depth review

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Host Merchant Services: Best For Mid-Sized High & Low-Risk Businesses

Host Merchant Services

Total Rating 4.9
Fees & Rates5.0

Products & Services5.0


Sales & Advertising Transparency4.7

Customer Service4.6

User Reviews4.8


  • No setup or application fees
  • No monthly minimums
  • No early termination fee
  • No monthly fee for cash discounting (over $5K/month processing volume)


  • Can be expensive for low-volume merchants
  • US-based businesses only

Why Host Merchant Services Is The Best Zero-Cost Choice For Mid-Sized High & Low-Risk Businesses

Host Merchant Services (HMS) offers an optional cash discounting program in lieu of traditional interchange-plus pricing for merchants who want it. There is no fee for this program if your business processes over $5,000/month (it's just $19.99/month if your processing volume is below this limit). The company provides 24/7 customer service and has an excellent reputation in this area.

A former web hosting company, HMS is ideally suited for eCommerce merchants with its proprietary Transaction Express payment gateway and free web hosting with each account. Retail merchants can choose from various terminals for sale, as HMS does not lease equipment. Mobile processing is also supported through either Vital or SwipeSimple, which are third-party products. The company offers a variety of POS systems as well.

Host Merchant Services Features

Host Merchant Services specializes in serving eCommerce businesses but also provides full support to retail merchants. Available features include the following:

  • Full-service merchant accounts
  • Full line of countertop and mobile credit card terminals
  • Free terminal available to merchants processing over $20,000/month
  • Vital and SwipeSimple mobile processing solutions
  • Choice of Vital or Bonsai (proprietary) POS system
  • Choice of Authorize.Net or Transaction Express (proprietary) payment gateway
  • Virtual terminal included
  • Web hosting service included with each account
  • Cash discounting program available

Host Merchant Services Pricing

  • No application or setup fees
  • $19.99/month cash discounting program fee (under $5K/month processing volume)
  • $0.00/month cash discounting program fee (over $5K/month processing volume)
  • Variable processing rates for cash discounting program
  • $5-$10/month third-party gateway fee (optional)
  • No PCI compliance fee
  • $15/chargeback

What To Watch Out For

Host Merchant Services accepts both low-risk and high-risk merchants in a wide variety of industries. However, high-risk processing is provided through a different backend processor, and rates and fees will be different (i.e., much higher) than those listed here or on the HMS website.

Choose Host Merchant Services If...

  • You run a mid-sized omnichannel business that could benefit from free web hosting and a no-fee cash discounting program.

Get Started With Host Merchant Services

Read our in-depth review

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VizyPay: Best For Merchants Seeking Flexible Pricing Options

Total Rating 4.6
Fees & Rates4.7

Products & Services4.1


Sales & Advertising Transparency5.0

Customer Service4.5

User Reviews4.9


  • Month-to-month billing with no long-term contracts
  • Fully transparent pricing
  • Excellent customer support


  • Accepts US-based merchants only
  • Not available to high-risk merchants

Why VizyPay Is The Best Zero-Cost Choice For Merchants Seeking Flexible Pricing Options

VizyPay offers both traditional interchange-plus pricing and "free" programs that pass the cost of credit card processing onto your customers. The company mainly focuses on cash discounting to accomplish this task. VizyPay also offers a "hybrid" program that imposes a surcharge on credit card payments while leaving the merchant responsible for debit card processing charges.

VizyPay's hybrid program charges a flat 3.0% for credit card transactions, which the customer pays. Debit card processing is the merchant's responsibility, with rates starting at 1.5% + $0.25 per qualified transaction. It's important to note that mid-qualified and non-qualified debit transactions will cost you 2.50% and 3.50%, respectively. Refreshingly, VizyPay admits that its hybrid program will only save you 40-60% of your overall processing costs. That's still a significant amount, however, and with the company's choice of cash discounting and traditional merchant-funded processing programs, you'll have plenty of options if surcharging doesn't work well for your business.

VizyPay Features

  • Offers full-service merchant accounts
  • Month-to-month billing with no long-term contracts
  • Offers SwipeSimple mobile card processing app & card reader
  • Offers BLogic, and Clover POS systems
  • Virtual terminal included with each account
  • Offers choice of Traditional, Cash discounting, or Hybrid pricing plans

VizyPay Pricing

  • Cash Discounting monthly fees:
    • $25/month for merchants processing less than $5,000/month
    • $50/month for merchants processing $5,000 to $10,000/month
    • $99/month for merchants processing over $10,000/month
  • $25/chargeback or retrieval
  • $19.95/month PCI non-compliance fee
  • SwipeSimple B250 Card Reader – $135 (or $15/month with cash discounting)
  • $50 Account closure fee

What To Watch Out For

VizyPay’s hardware pricing is kind of on the high side, especially if you choose to pay monthly instead of purchasing the equipment outright. The monthly cash discounting fee can also cut into your savings from implementing cash discounting.

Choose VizyPay If...

  • You want to try cash discounting but would like to have the flexibility to revert to a traditional pricing plan if it's not beneficial to your business.

Get Started With VizyPay

Read our in-depth review

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Shift Processing: Best For CBD & Other High-Risk Merchants

Shift Processing

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  • Zero-fee processing specialist
  • Also specializes in high-risk processing
  • Month-to-month billing with no long-term contracts


  • Little publicly disclosed pricing information
  • Relatively few user reviews

Why Shift Processing Is The Best Zero-Cost Choice For CBD & Other High-Risk Merchants

The appropriately named Shift Processing is a zero-fee processing specialist, giving merchants an easy way to shift (get it?) the cost of payment processing onto their customers. Shift Processing is also a high-risk processor, offering customized packages to such businesses as CBD, adult entertainment, and other high-risk merchants.

Shift Processing offers month-to-month contracts with no batch fees, statement fees, or PCI fees. While a "free payment processor" is never truly free, Shift Processing won't nickel-and-dime you with extra fees. Low-risk businesses should be able to eliminate most — or even all — of their credit card processing costs with Shift Processing. However, the company is very upfront that high-risk businesses usually won’t be able to pass on 100% of their costs due to the high processing rates that the high-risk sector has to pay.

Shift Processing Features

  • Offers full-service merchant accounts
  • Accepts CBD and other high-risk industries
  • Month-to-month billing with no long-term contracts
  • Offers a variety of EMV-compliant countertop terminals
  • Offers iPad-based POS system

Shift Processing Pricing

  • No application or account setup fees
  • No batch fees
  • No statement fees
  • No PCI compliance fees
  • Variable processing rates
  • Variable account fees
  • “Free” EMV terminals and POS systems offered

What To Watch Out For

With very little publicly disclosed pricing information and limited feedback from merchants, we’d caution you to review your proposed contract with Shift very carefully before signing up. We’re also concerned that the company continues to advertise obsolete credit card terminals like the Verifone VX520 as part of its “free” terminal program.

Choose Shift Processing If...

  • You need a payment processor that will accept your CBD business, and you want to implement a cash discounting or surcharging program to save money on credit card processing.

Get Started With Shift Processing

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Payment Processing Rating Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching the payment processing industry since 2009. Our writers have reviewed hundreds of credit card processors, merchant account services, and mobile payment apps, evaluating each provider carefully on several different metrics.

When comparing different payment processing companies and applications to one another, we consider numerous data points. Our experts start by comparing credit card processing rates, the presence of additional fees, contract length, sales practices, and the presence or absence of additional features and services, like point of sale software. Each provider is judged on its own merits and how well it stacks up to industry standards; then it is weighed against the other providers on the list.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure every company or application included meets our internal standards for quality and reputation. Any list of recommended payment processors on our site might contain a mix of standard merchant accounts, third-party payment processors, mobile payment devices, and high-risk payment processors, depending on what our expert feels is the best fit for certain scenarios or business types.

For additional details about Merchant Maverick’s review and rating processes, please refer to any or all of the following methodology pages:


Years reviewing payment processors


Providers evaluated


Attributes and features assessed per vendor


Years combined experience

What Is Zero-Fee Credit Card Processing?

Zero-fee credit card processing is a pricing strategy that passes most (or all) of your credit card processing rates and fees onto your customers so that they pay the processing fees, not you. Zero-fee processing can involve either surcharging credit card payments or offering a discount for customers paying in cash. Note that credit card surcharges cannot exceed 4% of the purchase price (3% for Visa credit cards and just 2% in Colorado) or the actual processing cost, whichever is lower.

Why Consider A No-Cost Credit Card Processing Program?

Free credit card processing usually uses software add-ons to allow your payment gateway, virtual terminal, countertop terminal, or point of sale (POS) system to detect when a credit card is used and automatically apply the appropriate charge to the purchase price. If you’re using a cash discounting program, the same software can be used to apply the discount for customers using other payment methods.

Note that such programs usually only pass on processing fees for credit card transactions. All additional fees associated with maintaining a merchant account, such as account fees, PCI compliance fees, credit card refund fees, etc., are not covered. Additionally, there’s frequently a flat monthly fee that you’ll have to pay for the program itself. As usual, nothing in the credit card processing industry is truly free.

While the idea of saving money on your processing costs is certainly appealing, there are many potential downsides to consider. Credit card surcharging, in particular, is likely to depress sales as customers who don’t want to pay the surcharge will take their business elsewhere. Customers who are unhappy about paying extra and believe that you’ve implemented the surcharge incorrectly may even file a complaint with the office of their state’s Attorney General or report your business to their credit card association.

Here’s a summary of the benefits and risks of credit card surcharging:


  • Eliminates some or all processing costs
  • Improves predictability of cash flow forecasts


  • May require an additional monthly fee
  • Does not eliminate incidental fees (chargebacks, etc.)
  • Requires adequate signage and notice to customers
  • Likely to lower overall sales volume
  • May result in legal liability if not implemented properly
  • May result in account closure if not implemented correctly

Don’t Fall For “Free Credit Card Processing” Scams

As legal restrictions on surcharging have fallen, more companies are offering “free” credit card processing programs. In fact, any credit card processor can set you up with a surcharging or cash discounting program, even if it’s not advertised.

As with any product or service that sounds too good to be true, many of these programs tend to overpromise and underdeliver. Be on the lookout for the following warning signs of a potential scam:

  • Flat-rate pricing plans that charge the full 4% (3% for Visa) allowed for all transactions. Unless you’re in a high-risk industry, this is much higher than the industry average. Companies are betting that you won’t care about the high rates since they are passed on to your customers. Needless to say, your customers will care, and you’ll lose sales.
  • Promises to eliminate 100% of your processing costs. For most merchants, even a properly run surcharging program will only eliminate some of the cost of accepting credit cards, not all of it. Surcharging will not reduce the cost of processing equipment, processing fees for debit cards, or incidental fees, such as chargebacks, returns, etc. Also, high-risk merchants typically pay processing rates above 4%, so they’ll still have to pay the difference.
  • Improper surcharging program implementation. Surcharging programs typically rely on a modification to your payment gateway or the software load on your terminal/POS that automatically applies the surcharge and breaks it out as a separate line item on the customer’s receipt. Unfortunately, some companies are selling systems that apply a surcharge to every purchase where a card is used, including debit cards. Adding a surcharge to a debit card transaction violates your processing agreement with the credit card associations and federal law.

We highly recommend that you sign up with a reputable, established provider (maybe the one you’re already using) that will implement the program correctly and provide other benefits, such as excellent customer support. Avoid the temptation to switch to a new company you know nothing about, and be very suspicious of offers to eliminate your credit card processing costs.

Other Ways To Offset Credit Card Processing Costs

By now, you probably realize that credit card surcharging may not save you as much money as you had hoped. In fact, it could even cost you money in the long run if you lose enough sales and loyal customers. Offsetting or lowering credit card processing fees is not about implementing a “one size fits all” solution.

Here are some alternative methods to save money on your overall credit card processing costs:

Factor In Processing Costs When Setting Your Prices

For years, merchants have simply raised their prices over what they would otherwise charge to account for credit card processing costs. This is the easiest way to recoup processing costs without having to surcharge, but it doesn’t give a discount to customers using other payment methods.

Implement A Cash Discounting Program

With cash discounting, your advertised prices include a small extra amount to cover credit card processing costs. However, customers paying with a different form of payment, such as debit cards, cash, checks, or ACH transfers, will receive a “cash discount” or refund of this extra amount when they check out. Unlike surcharging, cash discounting is perfectly legal in all 50 states and very easy to implement with any provider. While it may not seem much different from surcharging, customers paying with something other than a credit card really like it when they get a small refund at checkout.

Add A Convenience Fee

A convenience fee is simply a small fee added to the customer’s bill to help defray the costs of credit card processing. Unlike surcharges, convenience fees are always a fixed amount, not a percentage of the sale. While convenience fees aren’t terribly popular with consumers, they’re legal in all jurisdictions and easily implemented. Be sure to check your processing agreements with the major credit card associations for other limitations that apply before you start charging convenience fees.

Switch To A Less Expensive Provider

The sad truth is that most small business owners in the US pay too much for credit card processing. They’re stuck in long-term contracts and pay inflated prices under tiered pricing plans, all while losing money every month through expensive equipment leases and “hidden” fees that they weren’t expecting. If you’re concerned that surcharging will hurt your business, you can still save a significant amount of money by switching to a better, more affordable provider. Our article on the cheapest credit card processing companies can help you find one.

3 Considerations For Implementing Zero-Fee Credit Card Processing

If you’ve come to the conclusion that implementing a surcharging program is the best choice for your business, there are several issues to consider before making the switch. Below are three of the main considerations that you’ll need to take into account before you start surcharging:

Notice Requirements & Signage

You can’t have a surcharging program without providing adequate notice to your customers that they’ll have to pay extra for using their credit cards. Meeting these requirements will entail some cost and effort on your part, although your merchant account provider can usually help you. For eCommerce merchants, “signage” will usually take the form of a banner or popup on your website that explains how the surcharge works.

Local (State-Level) Compliance Requirements

Because many states’ anti-surcharging laws have been overturned by judicial decisions but not formally repealed, figuring out the current state of the law in your jurisdiction can be difficult and confusing. Your processor — or an attorney specializing in small business law — can help.

Anticipated Customer Reception

The worst potential downside to surcharging is that some of your customers will walk out of your store or abandon your website upon realizing it will cost them extra to use their credit cards. Examine what your competitors are doing before implementing surcharging. If they aren’t surcharging, you’ll put yourself at a competitive disadvantage that can ultimately cost you more money in lost sales than what you save through surcharging. Surcharging is an accepted practice in some industries (taxi cabs, for example) but rare in others.

Which Zero-Cost Credit Card Processing Company Is Best For My Business?

If you’re tempted to implement a free credit card processing program for your small business, carefully consider whether such a program will have a net positive effect on your cash flow. You’ll want to balance the savings in credit card processing fees against the potential for lost sales and alienating your customers. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure whether a surcharging program will benefit you is to try it out and see what happens.

The effectiveness of surcharging will vary quite a bit from one industry to the next. Major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart don’t use surcharging at all, but if your business specializes in selling niche products unavailable in big-box stores, you might be able to benefit from surcharging with minimal lost sales. Watch your competitors’ behavior before you start charging your customers extra for using their credit cards.

If most of your direct competitors already use surcharging, you should be able to get away with it. But if none of your competitors use surcharging, you probably don’t want to be the first one to try it.

If you’ve decided to shift credit card processing costs to your customers, we recommend that you implement a cash discount program rather than charging credit card users extra. While the net effect of either program is identical, cash discounting programs don’t have the legal complications of surcharging, and they’re more palatable for your customers.

We also recommend that you approach your current merchant services provider for help if you want to start surcharging. You’ll want a program that automatically breaks out the surcharge and only applies it when permissible. Trying to add a manual surcharge to every transaction is a recipe for disaster.

Tired of credit card processing fees? Paymentcloud specializes in payment processing services where you pass the transaction fee on to the customer when they choose to pay with a credit card.


FAQs: Zero-Cost Credit Card Processing

What states do not allow credit card surcharging?

As of this writing, credit card surcharging is allowed in 48 states, although some states impose their own limits on the practice. Connecticut and Massachusetts are currently the only states that do not allow surcharging. Cash discounting, on the other hand, is legal in all 50 states.

Can I apply a surcharge to debit card payments?

No. The Durbin Amendment makes it illegal to add a surcharge to any debit card payment. This restriction applies whether the transaction is authenticated with the customer’s PIN or “run as a credit card” (i.e., without a PIN being entered).

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Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl

Senior Staff Writer at Merchant Maverick
Frank has been writing about payment processing and business services since 2015. He is a retired Air Force officer and a former practicing attorney. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Ventura College of Law, and currently resides in Paso Robles, California.
Frank Kehl
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