Best Seasonal Merchant Accounts (2023)

a photo depicting seasonal credit card processing

Seasonal Payment Processing When You Need It

Seasonal businesses are a unique case in the credit card processing industry. Most merchant account providers aren't able to turn their accounts on or off with the click of a button, and they tend to regard seasonal merchants as an unreliable source of revenue. As a result, your seasonal business may face hefty account maintenance fees during your off months, or worse, the need to close and reopen a new merchant account every year. This problem is complicated further when it comes to obtaining processing equipment for busy seasonal locations or yearly fundraising events. How can you find a merchant account provider that can get you the processing tools you need during your active months without charging an arm and a leg for the convenience?

To help you find the right fit for your business, we've put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for seasonal businesses. The providers on this list offer easy account setup and closure, credit card processing software, accounting software integration, and other useful services for growing and maintaining your seasonal business. They are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your seasonal business, be sure to research each processor's products and features and compare pricing and terms.

How to Select the Best Seasonal Credit Card Processor

As a seasonal business owner in the USA, there are several factors to consider when selecting the best credit card processor for your business. Below are some key considerations.

Minimal Service or Monthly Fees

Since seasonal businesses spend part of the year without earning revenue, it's important that their credit card processor charges little to no extra fees for simply having an an open merchant account. These extra fees can come in the form on monthly service fees, annual PCI Compliance fees, or numerous other junk fees. You should seek out a processor that either does not charge these fees, or offers the ability to pause your services and fees while you are not processing.

Low Credit Card Processing Fees

Seasonal businesses typically operate on tight margins, so it's important to find a credit card processor that offers low processing fees. Look for a processor that either offers “Interchange-plus” pricing or flat-rate pricing. Interchange-plus offers the most transparent and often the least expensive pricing, however, flat-rate pricing can offer more predictable processing costs. The higher your volume of sales, the more likely that Interchange-plus is the best option.

Fast Payment Processing

As a seasonal business, you need to be able to process payments quickly and efficiently during your peak season. Choose a processor that can provide fast payment processing times, ensuring that you receive your funds in a timely manner.

Top-Rated Customer Service

Customer service is critical for seasonal businesses, especially when issues arise during the busy season. Look for a processor that provides 24/7 support and has a strong reputation for excellent customer service. You can consider our review on this website, by simply searching for the processor in the search bar at the top of this page.

Security Features

Security is paramount when it comes to payment processing. Choose a processor that offers advanced security features such as tokenization, encryption, and fraud protection to keep your customers' payment data safe.

Integration with Your POS System

If you already have a point-of-sale (POS) system, it's important to select a credit card processor that integrates seamlessly with it. This will save you time and reduce errors during the payment process. If you don't have a POS system, we recommend working with a processor that offers an online-based system that can be used with your own computers or tablets. This will save you the expense of buying dedicated POS hardware that only serves one purpose and will likely need expensive upgrades by the time your next season comes around.

Merchant Account Contract Terms

Finally, read the contract terms carefully before signing up with a credit card processor. Look for a processor that doesn't require a long-term commitment, so you can easily switch to a different processor if your business needs change.

Top Picks for Seasonal Credit Card Processing

helcim logo

#1 Helcim

Top Pick for Seasonal Merchant Services

Helcim is a merchant account provider headquartered in Alberta, Canada, and Seattle, Washington. The company provides merchant services and credit card processing to both U.S. and Canadian businesses. Helcim offers traditional payment processing equipment as well as a feature suite called “Helcim Commerce,” which is intended to serve as an all-in-one business management solution for merchants across all of their sales channels.

Helcim is a payment processing company that is well-suited for seasonal businesses that need to accept credit card payments from customers who are buying seasonal products due to a host of affordable and easy to use features.

Ideal Fees and Processing Rates

Seasonal businesses often have fluctuating sales volumes. During peak seasons, sales may be high, while during off-seasons, sales may be low. Helcim offers credit card processing and all of it is services at no monthly cost and no annual fees. This means no junk fees at all! You only pay processing fees when you run sales, and Helcim has some of the most competitive pricing in the payment processing industry.

The company offers Interchange-plus processing starting at just 0.30% and $0.08 per transaction for card-present sales. This means that you only pay the true cost of accepting the card as set by Visa and MasterCard, plus a small markup of 0.30% and $0.08. When the season is over, there will be no fees to keep your account active.

Modern Equipment and Features

Helcim offers affordable card processing hardware that syncs with your own devices and mobile. Additionally, the company's cloud-based POS allows you use your own devices rather than buy expesive POS equipment that will eventually become outdated. Helcim's PPOS also has several useful features, such as inventory tracking and sales reporting.

Reliable Service

Seasonal businesses can't afford to have payment processing downtime during their peak sales seasons. Helcim offers a reliable payment processing service with 24/7 customer support. Business owners can rest easy knowing that their payment processing needs are in good hands with Helcim.

Helcim is an excellent payment processing solution for seasonal businesses that need to accept credit card payments from customers who are buying seasonal products. With flexible payment processing, affordable pricing, and reliable service, Helcim is a great choice for business owners who want to focus on their business, rather than worrying about payment processing.

Host Merchant Services logo

Host Merchant Services

Top Pick for Seasonal Credit Card Processing

Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for most seasonal businesses. The company's products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to interested merchants. Host is a good fit for seasonal companies that would like to affordably take credit cards in person and online.

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 and can cancel service without penalty. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”

Seasonal Payment Processing with Host Merchant Services: A Great Option for Small Business Owners

If you're a small business owner who sells seasonal products, then accepting credit card payments is essential. However, finding a reliable credit card processing service that can meet your seasonal needs can be challenging. This is where Host Merchant Services (HMS) comes in. With their expertise in seasonal payment processing, HMS can help your business thrive during peak seasons.

Flexible Payment Options

One of the reasons why HMS is an excellent choice for seasonal businesses is their flexibility in payment processing. HMS offers a wide range of payment options, including online payments, mobile payments, and traditional point-of-sale systems. This means that no matter how your customers prefer to pay, HMS has a solution that will work for them.

Seasonal Processing Features

HMS also offers several features that are specifically designed for seasonal businesses. For example, they offer customized reporting options that allow you to track your sales data during peak seasons. This can help you make more informed decisions about inventory management and staffing levels. In addition, HMS provides reliable customer support services to help you resolve any payment issues during your busiest times. Their support team is available 24/7, so you can get the help you need when you need it.

Host Merchant Services is a great option for small business owners who sell seasonal products and need reliable credit card processing services. With their flexible payment options and seasonal processing features, HMS can help your business thrive during peak seasons. So if you're looking for a reliable payment processing partner, consider giving Host Merchant Services a try.

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

cdg commerce logo

CDG Commerce

Top Pick for Seasonal Merchant Services

Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is another ideal option for seasonal businesses of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers a proprietary payment gateway (as well as a discount on Authorize.Net’s payment gateway), a virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, mobile phone processing, sales reporting, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is ideal for dentistry locations that require a simple, low-cost, integrated method for accepting online and in-person payments.

CDG Commerce only charges a low, fixed fee per transaction and offers competitive contractual terms, including no annual fees, monthly minimums, or termination fees. CDG also offers next-day funding to most business types. CDG has earned an “A+” rating in our review as well as an “A+” rating with the BBB.

CDG Commerce: The Best Choice for Seasonal Payment Processing for Small Businesses

If you're a small business owner selling seasonal products, accepting credit card payments can be a daunting task, especially when you're dealing with a large volume of transactions during peak seasons. This is where CDG Commerce comes in. They offer a comprehensive range of payment processing solutions that are specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses selling seasonal products.

Flexible Payment Processing Solutions

CDG Commerce offers flexible payment processing solutions that cater to the specific needs of seasonal businesses. They understand that during peak seasons, businesses need to process a large volume of transactions quickly and efficiently. CDG Commerce provides a variety of payment processing options that enable businesses to process payments in-store, online, or through mobile devices, giving customers the convenience of paying through their preferred method.

Fast and Secure Payment Processing

During the seasonal rush, time is of the essence, and businesses need to process payments quickly and securely to avoid any delays or disputes. CDG Commerce provides fast and secure payment processing services that are designed to streamline the payment process and minimize transaction times. They utilize the latest technology and adhere to the highest security standards to ensure that customer data is protected at all times.

Competitive Pricing

Seasonal businesses often face fluctuating revenue streams, and it's crucial to keep costs under control. CDG Commerce offers competitive pricing plans that are tailored to the needs of small businesses, ensuring that businesses can accept payments without breaking the bank. Their transparent pricing model means that businesses only pay for the services they need, without any hidden fees or charges.

CDG Commerce is a top-notch payment processing service that provides tailored solutions for seasonal businesses. With flexible payment processing solutions, fast and secure transactions, and competitive pricing, CDG Commerce is the best choice for businesses looking to accept credit card payments from customers who are buying seasonal products.

For more information, see the CDG Commerce website or call (888) 393-1079.

PaymentCloud Logo


Top Credit Card Processor for Seasonal Businesses

Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving standard to high-risk business types. The company's products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances. PaymentCloud is a good option for seasonal merchant accounts.

PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account. The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant's business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”

Seasonal Payment Processing: Why PaymentCloud is the Best Choice for Your Seasonal Business

As a small business owner who sells seasonal products, it can be challenging to find a credit card processing service that can accommodate your unique needs. PaymentCloud is an excellent option for businesses that sell seasonal products because they understand the importance of having a reliable and efficient payment processing system in place during peak seasons.

Flexible Payment Processing Options for Seasonal Businesses

PaymentCloud offers flexible payment processing options that can be tailored to your seasonal business needs. For example, they offer a mobile payment processing option that can be used at pop-up shops and seasonal markets, allowing you to accept credit card payments on the go. They also offer an online payment processing solution that enables your customers to make purchases from your website or social media platforms, making it easier for them to shop with you during the busy season.

Fast and Reliable Payment Processing During Peak Seasons

During peak seasons, it's essential to have a payment processing system that can handle the influx of customers and transactions without any issues. PaymentCloud offers a fast and reliable payment processing system that can keep up with the demands of your seasonal business. They also have a dedicated customer support team that can assist you with any issues or concerns you may have, ensuring that your business runs smoothly during the busy season.

Competitive Rates and Transparent Pricing

As a seasonal business, you need to keep your expenses low to maximize profits. PaymentCloud offers competitive rates and transparent pricing, ensuring that you only pay for the services you need. They also offer customized pricing packages that can be tailored to your seasonal business needs, so you're not paying for services you don't need.

PaymentCloud is an excellent choice for seasonal businesses that need a reliable and efficient payment processing system. With flexible payment processing options, fast and reliable service, competitive rates, and transparent pricing, PaymentCloud is the ideal partner to help your seasonal business succeed.

For more information, visit the PaymentCloud website or call (888) 506-7859.

Additional Options

Shopify Logo
Shopify Logo


Shopify is primarily known as an e-commerce platform for online merchants, but the company also offers 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 web store, emailed receipts, automatic tax calculations, basic email marketing, and in-store refunds. These online payment options and the familiarity of the Shopify brand are great for seasonal businesses, as is the flexibility of the company's terms.

The Shopify payment service can also be paired with a Shopify online store, which comes with numerous customization options. Shopify POS is a great fit for seasonal businesses who would like to accept payments on-site using their phones as well as through online billing. Shopify has an “A+” rating with the BBB, and we give it an “A+” rating as well.

Seasonal Payment Processing: Why Shopify is a Great Option for Small Businesses

As a small business owner who sells seasonal products, you understand the importance of having a reliable and secure payment processing system in place. Shopify is an excellent option for businesses like yours that need to accept credit card payments from customers who are buying seasonal products. Here's why:

Easy Payment Processing Setup

Shopify offers a simple and straightforward setup process for credit card processing. With just a few clicks, you can set up your account and start accepting payments from customers right away. This streamlined setup process means you can spend less time on administrative tasks and more time focusing on your business.

Flexible Payment Options

Shopify offers flexible payment options that allow you to accept credit card payments online, in-store, and on the go. This means you can process payments from customers no matter where they are or how they prefer to pay. Plus, Shopify supports multiple currencies, making it easy for international customers to make purchases from your store.

Seasonal Payment Features

Shopify offers seasonal payment features that can help you optimize your business during peak times. For example, you can create limited-time offers, promotions, and discounts for customers during peak seasons. You can also set up gift cards and loyalty programs to encourage repeat purchases from loyal customers. With these features, you can attract and retain more customers during seasonal periods.

Shopify is an excellent option for small businesses that sell seasonal products and need to accept credit card payments from customers. With easy setup, flexible payment options, and seasonal payment features, Shopify can help you optimize your business and increase sales during peak seasons.

For more information, visit the Shopify website or call (888) 746-7439.

Frequently Asked Questions: Seasonal Merchant Accounts Credit Card Processing

What is a seasonal merchant account?

A seasonal merchant account is a type of business account designed for companies that operate primarily during certain seasons. It allows businesses to process credit card transactions during their busy season and pause the account during their off-season without incurring standard monthly fees.

How do I find the best seasonal merchant account?

To find the best seasonal merchant account, consider factors like pricing, contract terms, customer support, security features, and the overall reputation of the provider. It's advisable to compare multiple providers to get the best deal for your unique business needs.

What should I consider when comparing seasonal merchant account providers?

When comparing providers, consider aspects like transaction fees, setup fees, monthly minimums, contract length, and cancellation fees. Also, consider the level of customer service, whether the provider is PCI-compliant, and whether they provide necessary equipment and software.

Are there specific providers known for offering seasonal merchant accounts?

Yes, there are providers that are known to cater specifically to seasonal businesses. These may include but are not limited to PayPal, Square, Stripe, and Payline Data. Do your due diligence to ensure any provider you're considering meets your business needs.

Can I use a regular merchant account for a seasonal business?

While you can use a regular merchant account for a seasonal business, it may not be cost-effective. Regular merchant accounts often come with monthly fees, which you would have to pay even during your off-season when you're not processing transactions.

Can a seasonal merchant account handle high-volume sales during peak season?

Absolutely, many seasonal merchant account providers are equipped to handle high-volume sales during peak seasons. However, ensure to verify this with your provider, as some might have limits on the volume of transactions you can process.

How secure are seasonal merchant accounts?

The level of security for seasonal merchant accounts should be equivalent to that of regular merchant accounts. Look for providers that are PCI-compliant and offer fraud prevention tools.

Are there any setup fees for seasonal merchant accounts?

This can vary by provider. Some merchant services charge a setup fee, while others do not. Always confirm these details in your contract before signing up.

Can I use a seasonal merchant account if my business operates online?

Yes, seasonal merchant accounts can cater to both brick-and-mortar and online businesses. Make sure the provider you choose offers online payment gateway compatibility if you run an ecommerce business.

How do I apply for a seasonal merchant account?

You can apply for a seasonal merchant account online through the provider's website. The application process typically involves providing some information about your business, such as its size, type, anticipated transaction volume, and season of operation.

Reader Comments

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2 User Reviews

  • Emma

    I wish to extend my deepest gratitude for your comprehensive and informative article on “Best Seasonal Merchant Accounts”. As an owner of a seasonal business, your guide has been an invaluable resource, helping me navigate the specifics of this unique market.

    Your detailed analysis of each merchant account, outlining their strengths, potential downsides, and special features, was excellently executed. Your ability to simplify and clarify complex topics has made this intricate subject accessible and understandable for readers like myself.

    I especially appreciated your focus on crucial factors like transaction fees, security measures, and customer support. Your insights into the specific needs of seasonal businesses, including flexibility in activation and deactivation of accounts, scaling transaction capabilities, and understanding seasonal fluctuations, were particularly beneficial.

    It’s evident that considerable research, time, and expertise went into crafting this guide. Your commitment to providing accurate, relevant, and practical information is commendable. You have simplified a typically challenging task of choosing a suitable merchant account, empowering business owners like myself to make informed decisions.

    Thank you again for your invaluable contribution to this field. Your hard work and dedication are deeply appreciated.

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