Host Merchant Services Overview
Payment Processing for a Wide Range of Business Types
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that serves a variety of business types. Company founder and CEO Lou Honick got his start in the web hosting industry by launching, owning, and operating HostMySite.com from 1997 until its acquisition by a private equity firm in 2008. One year later, he founded Host Merchant Services, which has become one of the top-rated merchant services providers on CPO. Host is headquartered at 250 Corporate Blvd., Suite L, Newark, Delaware 19702. Host Merchant Services is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California.
Host Merchant Services Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Host Merchant Services offers a month-to-month contract with no early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Host Merchant Services has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Host Merchant Services has an “A+” rating and has received 1 complaint and 2 reviews in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited by the BBB since 2011.
- Sales & Marketing: Host Merchant Services hires independent sales representatives and has received only one complaint about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Host Merchant Services
Types of Businesses Served
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Host Merchant Services Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Retail Rate||Interchange-Plus 0.25% + $0.10|
|Restaurant Rate||Interchange-Plus 0.20% + $0.09|
|E-commerce Rate||Interchange-Plus 0.35% + $0.10|
|Gateway Fee (Optional)||$5.00 Per Month|
|Annual Fee (1099 Reporting)||$24.00|
|Early Termination Fee||$0|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$0|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Month-to-Month Contract, No Termination Fee
Host Merchant Services offers interchange-plus pricing with no term length or early cancellation fee. The section of the company’s contract that describes the termination process includes a portion that has been struck through; this portion describes an early termination fee ranging from $250 to $500. Merchants are advised to ensure that this portion does not appear in any contract they sign. We also have seen one complaint that seems to describe a termination fee associated with a long-term equipment lease. Although Host does not advertise equipment leases on its website, merchants should ensure that such a deal is not embedded in or attached to their Host contract.
Retail, Restaurant, and E-Commerce Pricing
Host Merchant Services offers three per-transaction rates depending on the merchant’s business type. Retail businesses will receive a rate of interchange plus 0.25% plus $0.10, restaurants will receive a rate of interchange plus 0.20% plus $0.09, and e-commerce businesses will receive a rate of interchange plus 0.35% plus $0.10. Host also offers high risk merchant accounts that will feature variable pricing depending on each merchant’s business type and processing history.
Host Merchant Services offers transparent insight into its additional fees through its website. Among those fees are a batch fee of $0.20, an optional gateway fee of $5.00 per month, a monthly fee of $14.99, and an annual fee of $24.00 which covers the cost of 1099 reporting.
Few Contract Complaints
The company is showing only one online complaint about its contract terms, which indicates that most of its clients are satisfied with their agreements. Overall, Host’s terms appear to be exceptionally transparent and highly competitive, and we therefore award Host Merchant Services an “A” in this category.Are you happy with your Host Merchant Services fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Host Merchant Services Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
Low Complaint Total
We are currently unable to locate any Host Merchant Services complaints that accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff, which indicates that the company’s in-house customer support team does an excellent job of resolving issues before they are taken onto public forums. The company is showing only a handful of complaints on this and other websites, with most related to being denied a merchant account or malfunctioning hardware. A recent complaint in the comment section below this review cites misrepresentation of rates and an unexpected equipment lease, but it is the only complaint of its kind. All other reviews we have located have been positive testimonials.
Host Merchant Services Lawsuits
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Host Merchant Services. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Host Merchant Services Customer Support Options
Host offers 24/7/365 customer support to all merchants. In general, Host Merchant Services appears to offer reliable customer support to complement its competitive contract terms. We therefore assign it an “A” in this section.
Host Merchant Services BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||1|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||0|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Low Complaint Total
Host Merchant Services has been an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau since 2011 and currently holds an “A+” rating. The company’s BBB profile is showing 1 complaint in the past 36months. This complaint was filed in relation to a product or service issue, and, despite an extended effort by Host to fix the problem, did not receive a satisfactory resolution in the merchant’s view.
An “A” Performance Overall
Since it is our philosophy that “A+” ratings should be reserved for companies with zero complaints, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
No Sales Complaints
Host Merchant Services appears to employ both W2-employed sales agents and independently contracted outside salespeople. We have located only one negative Host Merchant Services review that mentions the company’s sales team. This complaint describes higher-than-expected fees and improper disclosure of the company’s termination policy. The absence of any other such complaints indicates that Host’s sales reps are generally forthright and helpful when signing merchants up for services.
Host Merchant Services actively promotes interchange-plus pricing on its website and includes a description of this pricing structure for merchants who may not be familiar with it. Host offers interchange-plus pricing with its mobile merchant accounts and e-commerce merchant accounts in addition to its conventional retail merchant accounts. The company also does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials.
Host Merchant Services Marketing Example
About Phillip Parker
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 and Merchant Account Services
I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.
From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, 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 on this website.