Best Merchant Rates Review

Best Merchant Rates Overview

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Shared Ownership with Payment Depot

Best Merchant Rates is a merchant account provider that has been in operation since 2005. The company is a First Data 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.

Both a Merchant Resource and Payment Processor

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 merchants and a trustworthy alternative to other providers. It also claims to be able to serve high risk business types.

Best Merchant Rates Location

The company is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California and is headquartered at 238 West Chapman Avenue, Suite #201, Orange, California 92866.

Best Merchant Rates Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Best Merchant Rates advertises a month-to-month contract through First Data with no early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Best Merchant Rates has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Best Merchant Rates has an “A+” rating and has received 0 complaints and 1 review in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2008.
  • Sales & Marketing: Best Merchant Rates does not appear to hire independent sales representatives and has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Best Merchant Rates

Best Merchant Rates Statement Analyzer

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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • E-commerce
  • High risk

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Best Merchant Rates Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate Interchange + 0.10% + $0.10
Keyed-in Rate Interchange + 0.10% + $0.10
Virtual Terminal Rate Interchange + 0.10% + $0.10
Payment Gateway Fee $10 Per Month
Early Termination Fee None
PCI Compliance Fee Undisclosed
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

Best Merchant Rates Pricing

Best Merchant Rates advertises a month-to-month contract with 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. Merchant 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 that advertises 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 merchant 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 merchant 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, merchants are advised to inquire about all possible leases before signing up for service through Best Merchant Rates.

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Response from Best Merchant Rates

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Best Merchant Rates Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Low Complaint Total

There are approximately nine Best Merchant Rates negative reviews online, none of which outright accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Common complaints include processing errors, unexpected PCI compliance fees, and undisclosed 48-month equipment leases. In two of the complaints (found here and here), the company enforced the terms of the equipment leases even when merchants 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 amount 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.

Best Merchant Rates Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Best Merchant Rates. Dissatisfied merchants 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.

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Response from Best Merchant Rates

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Best Merchant Rates BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 0
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

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

Though the company has received 0 complaints on its BBB profile, there is 1 negative informal review. 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.

Best Merchant Rates advertises that it doesn’t charge any early termination fees. Regardless, merchants should research and review how to avoid paying a fee whenever closing an account.

An “A” Performance Overall

Given the company’s clean complaint record, we agree with the BBB‘s rating at this time. Merchants should be aware, however, that there are reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s reviews.

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Response from Best Merchant Rates

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers No
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

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.

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 merchants with low, honest rate quotes. Merchants should understand, though, that the company has a strong fiscal incentive to portray its competitors in a negative light.

No Sales Complaints

There are no merchant complaints about Best Merchant Rates’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.

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Response from Best Merchant Rates

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Our Opinion of Best Merchant Rates

A Decent Credit Card Processor

Best Merchant Rates is an above-average merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. The company offers transparent pricing and maintains a low complaint volume, but its sales tactics and equipment lease policies have lowered its grade somewhat. The company’s score may change once more becomes known about its relationship to Payment Depot, or once the BBB updates its profile for the company. For now, merchants should compare Best Merchant Rates’s offerings to top-rated processors to obtain the best deal.

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

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

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 built this website to help small business owners research which service 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. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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1 Review Leave Your Review for Best Merchant Rates Below

  1. Ted says:

    Why does there home page try showing that it’s only 39$ Per month? Doesn’t sound very forthcoming

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