Host Merchant Services Review


Host Merchant Services ( is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that serves a variety of business types. Company founder Lou Honick got his start in the web hosting industry by launching, owning, and operating from 1997 until its acquisition by a private equity firm in 2008. One year later, he founded Host Merchant Services, which 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 Products and Services


  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • Restaurant
  • Non-profit
  • Fitness

Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

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

Host Merchant Services appears to employ both W2-employed sales agents and part-time, commission-based positions, and it is unclear at this time whether the latter group consists of independent contractors. We are currently unable to locate any negative reviews of Host Merchant Services that mention the company’s sales team, so it appears that the 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. The company also does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials.

Host Merchant Services Marketing Example


Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swipe Rate Variable
Keyed Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee None
PCI Compliance Fee Variable
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

Host Merchant Services appears to offer an Interchange-plus pricing structure with no term length or early cancellation fee. The section of the agreement 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. Host Merchant Services does not seem to disclose any specific figures for other fees or for its markup over interchange, but the company is showing zero complaints online about its contract terms, which indicates that most of its clients are satisfied with their agreements. Overall, these terms appear to be exceptionally transparent and highly competitive, and we therefore award Host Merchant Services an “A+” in this category.


Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

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

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 two complaints on this and other websites, with one related to an unnecessarily protracted signup experience and the other having to do with malfunctioning hardware. The only other reviews we have located have been positive testimonials. In general, Host Merchant Services appears to offer reliable customer support to complement its competitive contract terms.



Key Points - BBB

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

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 zero complaints in the past three years. Host Merchant Services is also not showing any informal reviews posted to its BBB profile, although it should be noted that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB. 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.

Host Merchant Services Logo

Host Merchant Services Bottom Line

Host Merchant Services rates as an exemplary merchant services provider according to our standards. The company is showing only positive reviews across all consumer protection websites and offers Interchange-plus as its preferred pricing model. Even when dealing with highly rated companies, merchants are encouraged to read their contracts carefully. For more information on the company, see the Host Merchant Services website or call (888) 727-4538.

Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.

Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

13 Reviews Leave Your Review Below

  1. I have used host for a few years now and I have to say it is far superior to my previous hosting company. Low rates on processing and the customer service has been outstanding.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  2. Host Merchant Services has handled my restaurant’s payment processing for a few years now. I switched over because they were able to lower the rates and fees I was paying to save me quite a bit each month. After processing with them, I realized that other company’s customer service and support cannot compare to theirs. When I need help with something, I give them a call and have a real person on the phone in about 10 seconds. They are a great company to work with, and I’d recommend them to any business owner.

    1. Hi Allison,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  3. I am trying to get in touch with them and no results . I sent an email and call leaving a message because i am interested to work with them but i do not have response.

  4. Waste of time. Their response to our application was, Unfortunately I could not get this pre approved. Your score does not qualify for further consideration”
    What is that based on? We are over a million dollar business and do not qualify. I question the ratings here.

  5. Hugo helped me over the phone today.I found him very personable,and professional.He took care of the professional request that I needed in a timely manor.It is refreshing to talk to a pleasant representative who seemed happy to help.Thank you Hugo!

    1. Hi Carina,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  6. I started applying for a merchant account with Host Merchant Services on July 30, 2015. After a reminder on August 11th that I was still interested, the account manager finally sent me an application. I completed it and e-mailed on August 14th. The account manager then asked for more info on the 14th. I collected it and e-mailed it on the 19th. Today, August 28th, I had to remind the account manager I was waiting for a reply or anything saying he had received my e-mail. He got back to me and wrote Host Merchant Services could not take my account because my credit card volume was too low.
    The reason I am putting in a complaint is they dragged out the whole procedure when they could have told me on the 14th, when I e-mailed the original application, my volume was too low.

  7. my credit card machine will not says ‘reversal not cleared’ I know there is a way to fix this but I can’t find it…please help me

  8. Great merchants account providers are hard to come by. Finding one that can not only suit your needs but also provide top class support is another.

    We’re proud to have partnered with Host Merchant Services. This is a company that places great emphasis on customer service and are always there to help. We recommend HMS to the people we care about the most because there’s no question they’ll deliver!

  9. Host Merchant Services are in my opinion the way to accept credit/debit cards if you want the “personal touch” Our business has been associated with many different credit card processors in our 20+ years in business, and HMS has been the only one with a local representative that is consistently available when you need her. They also provide quicker deposits of transactions with lower fees. We unequivocally recommend Host Merchant Services.

  10. Host Merchant Services has first rate unparalled customer service. Local office and direct cell phone numbers for tech support in addition to the standard 24-hr toll free. I especially like their web based processing solution to process cards not present for our phone orders and catering jobs. Rates are very competive (we have saved money processing with Host Merchant) and Host Merchant has also supplied us with wireless terninals we use to process cards at fairs, festivals, offsite and special events. Little extras (like free thermal paper) are a nice bonus.

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