Agree with our rating?
Tell us about your experience with Best Merchant Rates in the comment section below.
Note: As of 2022, the Best Merchant Rates website appears to be down. As the company has such a generic name, it is difficult to determine whether it is still in business or not. We currently believe the company to be out of business and thus this will be our last update of this profile. If you have any information one way or another, please let us know in the comments below.
Best Merchant Rates is a merchant account provider that has been in operation since 2005. The company is a First Data (now Fiserv) reseller that, according to Crunchbase and other sources, shares an owner (Danny Choi) and an address with Payment Depot, although it does not mention Payment Depot in its official materials. This may indicate that the 2 companies are partnered or possibly even the same entity, but we are unable to verify their exact relationship at this time.
Best Merchant Rates Payment Processing
BMR offers debit and credit card processing to, as it claims, over 10,000 businesses. It offers gateways and EMV terminals, and it also claims to be able to serve high-risk business types. Best Merchant Rates claims to be founded by a small business owner as a reaction to hidden fees in the credit card processing industry. As a result, the company presents itself as both an educational resource for businesses and a trustworthy alternative to other providers.
Location & Ownership
The company is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California, and is headquartered at 238 West Chapman Avenue, Suite #201, Orange, California 92866 with a second location listed at 1342 Bell Ave Ste 3C Tustin, CA 92780-6440. Danny Choi is listed as a founder of Best Merchant Rates.
Best Merchant Rates Pros and Cons
- Transparent pricing
- Few complaints
- Aggressive sales tactics
- Possibly associated with First Data Global Leasing, a poorly-rated equipment leasing company
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Advertises a month-to-month contract through First Data (Fiserv) with…
- Complaints & Service: Complaints number fewer than 10 on…
- BBB Rating: Has an “A+” rating and has received 0 complaints and 0 reviews in the past 3 years. The company was formerly…
- Sales & Marketing: Does not appear to hire independent sales representatives and has not…
Best Merchant Rates Customer Complaints & Reviews
Here's What Users Think
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Low Complaint Total
There are approximately 10 negative Best Merchant Rates reviews online, none of which outright accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Common Best Merchant Rates complaints include processing errors, unexpected PCI compliance fees, and undisclosed 48-month equipment leases. In two of the complaints, the company enforced the terms of the equipment leases even when clients alleged that they had not been properly informed of the lease terms at the point of signing. Although the company’s overall complaint rate is low for its size and time in business, its grade has been lowered due to the content rather than the number of complaints. These complaints of long-term equipment leases are especially troublesome in light of the company’s presentation of itself as a merchant advocacy group. If you have your own Best Merchant Rates review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Best Merchant Rates Lawsuits and Fines
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Best Merchant Rates. Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Best Merchant Rates Customer Support Options
The Best Merchant Rates website lists a support contact form and multiple dedicated support phone numbers, but these channels are not sufficient to qualify it as a top-rated payment processor for customer service at this time.
Best Merchant Rates Reviews Online
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
No BBB Complaints
Best Merchant Rates currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2008. The company’s profile has a total of 0 complaints in the past 36 months.
What Merchants Say
There have also been 0 reviews in the last 36 months, but there was 1 negative informal review from before that period. It should be noted that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB. The review was left by a merchant named Bill’s Area Rugs regarding an unexpected charge assessed after closing its account:
After more than 2 years using their service, they charged my account $300 right after I closed my account. I called them and they said ” your bank who did this charge..!! I went to the bank (wells fargo) and asked them, they said ” we never do this, BMR is the one who did it” I called BMR again, this time they blamed the VIZA company..!! LOL They never refund my money.
An “A” Performance Overall
Given the company’s clean complaint record, we agree with the BBB‘s rating at this time. Business owners should be aware, however, that there are reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s reviews.
Best Merchant Rates Fees and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
Monthly & Annual Fees
Interchange + 0.10% + $0.10
Best Merchant Rates Pricing
The Best Merchant Rates contract is advertised as having no early termination fees, a monthly fee of $10, and an Interchange-plus transaction fee of interchange plus 0.10% plus $0.10 per transaction. Client reviews of the company confirm that it does not charge early termination fees, although PCI compliance fees and other fees may be enforced. Given the fact that Best Merchant Rates advertises that it can provide high-risk merchant accounts, it is also likely that its markup over interchange will be much higher than 0.10% plus $0.10 for high-risk businesses. This is a common practice within the industry, but it isn’t addressed in the company’s sales copy.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Best Merchant Rates also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. The company advertises interchange-plus 0.10% plus $0.10 for pricing on all of its platforms as well as a $10 per month gateway fee. Additional fees including technical support fees and batch fees may apply to these e-commerce services.
Avoid Equipment Leases
One major red flag with the company is that a few client complaints claim that Best Merchant Rates offers equipment leases through First Data Global Leasing.
Although Best Merchant Rates provides the most transparent pricing structure available in interchange-plus, the company’s partnership with First Data Global Leasing appears to be responsible for several client complaints regarding 48-month, non-cancellable leases that are ultimately more expensive than the equipment itself.
The company’s response to at least two of these complaints was to enforce the terms of the lease and insist that the matter should be taken up with First Data Global Leasing rather than Best Merchant Rates. Given this potential long-term agreement, businesses are advised to inquire about all possible leases before signing up for service through Best Merchant Rates. Merchants are encouraged to purchase their equipment outright when possible, as it is almost always cheaper in the long run.
We also encourage business owners to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Best Merchant Rates Jobs and Employment
Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment
Uses Independent Resellers
Discloses All Important Terms
Unique Marketing Approach
Best Merchant Rates appears to function as both a merchant advocacy site and a credit card processor, and its marketing strategy is therefore unique for the industry. While the company does not appear to utilize independent sales agents or outside resellers, it does position itself as an authority on scams within the credit card industry. The company’s blog directly names multiple providers (Elavon, Bank of America, Intuit, Chase, Merchant One, Merchant Warehouse, BankCard USA, and Leaders) as deceptive marketers and poor service providers. This is an uncommonly aggressive sales tactic, and although many of the allegations made by Best Merchant Rates are completely valid, readers should certainly consider the source.
This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
A Convoluted Strategy
The obvious conflict of interest here is that Best Merchant Rates is itself a processor, and it may even maintain undisclosed ties to another processor (Payment Depot). The company’s ongoing quest to expose fraudulent practices in the industry is somewhat undercut by the fact that it is an interested party, and it does not appear to fully disclose its own affiliations. By openly critiquing its competitors, Best Merchant Rates may be trying to create the impression that it is an independent, unbiased third party that can provide businesses with low, honest rate quotes. Business owners should understand, though, that the company has a strong financial incentive to portray its competitors in a negative light.
No Sales Complaints
There are no Best Merchant RAtes complaints about the company’s sales tactics at this time, but there are some older complaints related to undisclosed equipment leases. As a counterpoint, the company’s website does not appear to list its rate quotes for standard-risk merchants in a deceptive fashion. Taking these factors into account, we will assign Best Merchant Rates a “B” in this category for now. If you suspect that Best Merchant Rates is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden charges.