October 2018 Interchange Fee Increases & Decreases

Your Fees May Have Gone Up!

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© Depositphotos – Robyn Mackenzie
Every April and October, Visa and MasterCard adjust their interchange fees (the base fees for accepting all credit and debit cards). If you are currently on an interchange-plus pricing plan, this will impact the rates you pay on certain transactions. Some of your rates may have gone up, some may have gone down, and some new interchange classifications may have been added that may now apply to you.

Wells Fargo has prepared an incredibly useful matrix that outlines the new interchange rates and highlights which fees have been adjusted. These changes are active as of October 12, 2018, and they can be expected to last until mid-April 2018 barring a rare January update from one of the card networks. In an effort to spare you the effort of browsing through 95 pages of interchange fees, we’ve summarized the updated fees below. Note: if an interchange fee is not mentioned in this summary, it has not been changed since the April 2018 interchange update.

 

Visa Interchange Adjustments October 2018

Below are the updated interchange fees for Visa card types as of October 2018. See the bottom of this section for a general summary of these changes.

Visa Interchange Fee Increases

  • Visa has increased the Assessments fee that it charges on all credit card transactions. This increase will take effect on January 1, 2019. It will increase the fee from 0.13% plus $0.0195 per transaction to a fixed 0.14%.

Visa Interchange Fee Decreases

Visa did not lower any of its interchange rates during this update.

New Visa Interchange Fees

  • A Visa Partial Authorization Non-Participation Fee of $0.01 per transaction now applies to Visa and Interlink Automated Fuel Dispenser (MCC 5542) transactions where the Partial Authorization Indicator = 0 (partial authorization not supported) or is missing.

Visa Interchange Summary

After January 1, 2019, all businesses will pay a slight increase in the Assessments fee charged on every single credit card transaction. Fuel stations classified under Merchant Category Code (MCC) 5542 will now pay $0.01 per transaction on every transaction where the customer’s card does not clear the $1.00 partial authentication fee before pumping. There are no other fee increases or decreases.

Visa has also changed which interchange programs certain MCCs can qualify for as follows:

  • Religious Organizations (MCC 8861) may now qualify for the CPS/Retail 2 Debit/Prepaid rate of 0.65% plus $0.15 per transaction
  • Religious Organizations (MCC 8861) may now qualify for the CPS/Charity rate of 1.35% plus $0.05 per transaction

If you are contacted by a representative from “Visa,” “MasterCard,” “the card networks,” or “the acquiring bank” who claims that your rates have increased or decreased, this person is likely attempting to trap you in a “slamming” scam. Visa’s interchange rates can be seen here.
 

MasterCard Interchange Adjustments October 2018

Below are the updated interchange fees for MasterCard card types as of October 2018. See the bottom of this section for a general summary of these changes.

MasterCard Interchange Fee Increases

MasterCard did not raise any of its interchange rates during this update.

MasterCard Interchange Fee Decreases

MasterCard did not lower any of its interchange rates during this update.

New MasterCard Interchange Fees

MasterCard did not introduce any new interchange rates during this update.

MasterCard Interchange Summary

MasterCard has not changed the rates that apply to any specific interchange program. It also has not changed its MCC qualifications. Interchange fees on all MasterCard transactions can be seen here.

 

Discover Interchange Adjustments October 2018

Below are the updated interchange fees for Discover card types as of October 2018. See the bottom of this section for a general summary of these changes.

Discover Interchange Fee Increases

Discover did not raise any of its interchange rates during this update.

Discover Interchange Fee Decreases

Discover did not lower any of its interchange fees during this update.

New Discover Interchange Fees

Discover did not introduce any new interchange rates during this update.

Discover Interchange Summary

Discover has not changed the rates that apply to any specific interchange program. It also has not changed its MCC qualifications. Discover does not freely provide its interchange rates to the public.

 

American Express Interchange Adjustments October 2018

Below are the updated interchange fees for American Express card types as of October 2018. See the bottom of this section for a general summary of these changes.

American Express Interchange Fee Increases

American Express did not increase any of its interchange fees during this update.

American Express Interchange Fee Decreases

American Express did not lower any of its interchange fees during this update.

New American Express Interchange Fees

American Express has created an “Emerging Market” interchange program with the following rate tiers:

  • Credit Base Tier 1: 1.43% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Base Tier 2: 2.05% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Base Tier 3: 2.70% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Non-Swipe Tier 1: 1.43% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Non-Swipe Tier 2: 2.05% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Non-Swipe Tier 3: 2.70% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Tier 1 Non-US: 1.83% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Tier 2 Non-US: 2.45% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Tier 3 Non-US: 3.10% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Non-Swipe Tier 1 Non-US: 1.83% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Non-Swipe Tier 2 Non-US: 2.45% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Credit Non-Swipe Tier 3 Non-US: 3.10% + $0.10 per transaction

American Express Interchange Summary

American Express changed its existing interchange fees, but it has created an entirely new “Emerging Market” fee program. The business types that may qualify for this program include Direct Marketing – Insurance Services (MCC 5960); Direct Marketing – Continuity/Subscription Merchant (MCC 5968); Insurance Sales, Underwriting, and Premiums (MCC 6300); Elementary and Secondary Schools (MCC 8211); Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools, and Junior Colleges (MCC 8220); Child Care Services (MCC 8351); Court Costs, Including Alimony and Child Support (MCC 9211); Fines (MCC 9222), and Government Services (Not Elsewhere Classified) (MCC 9399). American Express does not freely provide its interchange rates to the public.


Are you paying different rates than the ones released by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express? Find and eliminate hidden fees without switching with our free independent statement audit.

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