Best Merchant Accounts for Caterers

What to Know Before Getting Started

Let Customers Swipe to Pay for Their Big Day

Customers love to pay for catered events with credit cards. It not only gives them more financial flexibility to pay for a nicer event, but it also lets them accrue a large number of reward points with a single transaction. In order to capitalize on this preference among you clients, you will need to open a merchant account for your catering business. Merchant accounts are notorious for hidden fees, long-term contracts, and high termination penalties, but they can also help you improve your day-to-day operations through services like online billing, client management software integration, and mobile card swipers.

Best Catering Payment Processors

To help you avoid unsavory contract terms and find the right features for a low cost, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for caterers. The companies on this list offer invoicing tools, mobile payment apps, virtual terminals, and other features that can make it more convenient for your customers to pay you and for you to get paid. More importantly, these companies are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the best provider for your event planning business, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.

Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Why These Merchant Account Providers

Fattmerchant

Active since early 2014, Fattmerchant is a merchant account provider leading the industry’s move toward flat-rate, subscription-style pricing. The company’s products and services include EMV-compatible countertop terminals, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, an online shopping cart, mobile phone processing, QuickBooks integration, online invoicing, and recurring billing. Fattmerchant is capable of serving all standard-risk catering companies and offers a comprehensive dashboard for tracking all payments and customers.

Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates. Merchants can select either a plan that charges a flat fee on all transactions or a plan that charges a fixed monthly fee plus a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, merchants can choose whether or not they are charged a percentage markup on each transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

For more information, visit the Fattmerchant website, or call (866) 397-9826.

Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for individual caterers as well as larger catering businesses. Host’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, custom third-party software integrations, mobile credit card processing, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and business-class email address to interested new merchants. For this reason, Host is an especially good choice for event planners who would like to advertise and accept payments over the internet.

Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. Host offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to all of its merchants, meaning that users will enjoy the most transparent pricing model available and can cancel service without penalty. The Better Business Bureau gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”

For more information, visit the Host Merchant Services website or call (888) 727-4538.

Shopify

Shopify is primarily known as an e-commerce platform for online merchants, but the company recently launched a point-of-sale software solution for iPad and iPhone. The Shopify POS app can accept cards via a headphone jack card swiper or a $129 EMV reader and includes features like inventory syncing with a webstore, emailed receipts, automatic tax calculations, basic email marketing, and in-store refunds. The service can also be paired with a Shopify online store, which comes with numerous customization options. Shopify POS is a great fit for caterers who would like to accept payments on-site using their phones as well as through online billing.

Shopify offers month-to-month pricing plans with variable pricing and product tiers. The company is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, and has been in operation since 2005. The company provides phone, email, and live chat support to all of its merchant tiers and enjoys very few online complaints despite its massive user base. The BBB gives Shopify an “A+” rating at this time, while CardPaymentOptions.com awards the company an “A.”

For more information, see the Shopify website.

Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Why These Merchant Account Providers

Other Merchant Account Options

The providers below may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and want to be listed on this page? Tell us here.


Vantage Payments

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Vantage Payments is a merchant account provider that specializes in providing credit card processing for caterers. The company’s products and services include point of sale equipment, remote deposit capture, multi-currency support, web design, and SEO assistance. Vantage Payments is a good fit for most caterers regardless of their time in business or credit card processing history.

Vantage Payments currently has a clean complaint record across all review websites, which is an impressive feat for a company that serves some high risk and first-time businesses. Our review of Vantage gives the company an “A” rating at this time, while the BBB gives Vantage an “A+.”

For more information, see the Vantage Payments website or call (888) 582-4903

Spark Pay

Launched in April 2013, Spark Pay by Capital One is a mobile processing app offered as part of Capital One’s “Spark Business” suite of small business solutions. It can be acquired via a free download from the App Store or Google Play Store and comes with a free headphone jack card reader. Spark Pay is a relatively basic mobile processing app that enables caterers to conveniently swipe cards in-person using equipment they already own.

Spark Pay offers two pricing plans for merchants. The first, the Go Plan, is intended for low-volume merchants who simply wish to accept credit cards via their iPhones. It charges 2.7% per swiped transaction, 2.95% per swiped American Express transaction, and 3.7% per keyed-in transaction. There are no other monthly fees associated with this plan. The Pro Plan, which is intended for higher-volume merchants, charges 1.95% per swiped transaction, 2.95% per swiped American Express transaction, and 2.95% per keyed-in transaction. It includes a monthly fee of $9.95 and can be cancelled anytime without penalty. Spark Pay also allows users to send digital receipts. The service comes with live phone support and email support for all users.

You can learn more in our full Spark Pay review, or visit the Spark Pay website.

ProPay

Headquartered in Levi, Utah, ProPay is an e-commerce merchant account provider that provides simple billing and payment options for event caterers. ProPay users can utilize digital invoicing to collect payments from clients via email or purchase ProPay Jak, the company’s mobile phone processing solution, to take payments on-site. ProPay is also able to process ACH transactions through its virtual terminal and online payment gateway. ProPay is an ideal choice for caterers and catering businesses that require a fully-featured digital payments option with mobile and online payment acceptance.

ProPay’s pricing will vary depending on each merchant’s business type, size, time in business, and preferred method of payment acceptance. The company is a TSYS subsidiary and has a very low complaint total in the past three years for a provider of its size. Our review of ProPay currently gives the company an “A” rating, while the Better Business Bureau gives ProPay an “A+.”

For more information, see the ProPay website.

Payline Data

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data has consistently rated as one of the best merchant account providers on CPO since we first reviewed the company. Payline is capable of serving catering companies of all sizes. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, and API integration for websites. Payline Data is a great option for nearly any size of catering business.

In addition to its wide array of services, Payline Data offers interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month contracts and no early termination fees. As a result, the company enjoys a large number of positive testimonials from its clients on this website and in other consumer protection forums. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns Payline Data an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives Payline an “A+.”

For more information, see the Payline Data website or call (888) 506-7812.


If your business offers merchant services for caterers, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

My Qualifications

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so decided to build this website to help you research which providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. Simply scroll to the top of the page to find the search bar. You can also message me if you need any guidance.

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