Host Merchant Services Reviews & Complaints

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Host Merchant Services provides credit card processing and merchant services for businesses. This article will review the company's service offerings, pricing structure, contract terms, and customer feedback. We will assess the transparency of their fees, the quality of their customer support, and the overall satisfaction levels reported by their clients. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of what Host Merchant Services offers and whether their services are suitable for your business's payment processing needs.

Host Merchant Services

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 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 Merchant Services Payment Processing

Host Merchant Services processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include EMV card readers and swipers, POS solutions (from Clover, Vital POS, and SwipeSimple), mobile solutions, access to payment gateways and virtual terminals, other e-commerce solutions, cash discounts, EBT processing, gift and loyalty programs, and cash advances.

Video Summary

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Host Merchant Services?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Host Merchant Services Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A
Recent Lawsuits No

Positive Customer Feedback

Our investigation has found no Host Merchant Services reviews alleging fraudulent activities, indicating the company’s effective in-house customer support. While a few complaints exist regarding issues like merchant account denials or hardware malfunctions, these are relatively minor compared to the overall positive feedback received. A recent comment cited misrepresentation of rates and unexpected equipment leases, but it stands as an isolated incident amidst predominantly positive testimonials.

Host Merchant Services Legal Standing

No class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints have been lodged against Host Merchant Services. Dissatisfied customers seeking recourse outside of litigation are encouraged to report their concerns to relevant supervisory organizations.

Host Merchant Services Customer Support Options

Host Merchant Services ensures round-the-clock customer support for all clients, emphasizing its commitment to addressing customer needs promptly.

Host Merchant Services Customer Service Number

  • (877) 517-4678 – Toll-Free General Customer Service

Other Support Options

Overall, Host Merchant Services appears to offer dependable customer support, earning it a commendable “A” rating in this category.

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Host Merchant Services?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Host Merchant Services Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Reports 3

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 shows 3 complaints in the past 36 months. 1 complaint was resolved to the satisfaction of the merchant. The other 2 complaints were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the client or received no final communication.

An “A” Performance Overall

Considering the low complaint total and resolution rate, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.

Host Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties No
Monthly & Annual Fees Yes
Processing Rates Interchange + (Variable)
Equipment Leasing Yes

Month-to-Month Contract, No Termination Fee

Host Merchant Services provides interchange-plus pricing without a specified contract length or early cancellation fee. Their contract includes a crossed-out section detailing an early termination fee between $250 and $500, which business owners should ensure is not part of any contract they enter into. There is one reported complaint regarding a termination fee linked to a long-term equipment lease. While Host does not promote equipment leases, it’s prudent for clients to verify that their contract does not implicitly include such terms.

Retail, Restaurant, and E-Commerce Pricing

Host Merchant Services tailors its transaction rates to different business types: retail at interchange plus 0.25% and $0.10, restaurants at interchange plus 0.20% and $0.09, and e-commerce at interchange plus 0.35% and $0.10. They also offer high-risk merchant accounts with pricing based on the specific business type and processing history. It’s beneficial for readers to compare these rates with other top merchant accounts.

Other Fees

Host Merchant Services openly discloses its additional fees, including a $0.20 batch fee, an optional $5.00 monthly gateway fee, a $14.99 monthly fee, and an annual $24.00 fee for 1099 reporting costs.

Few Contract Complaints

With only a single online complaint regarding contract terms, most clients seem content with Host Merchant Services’ agreements. The company’s transparent and competitive terms have earned them an “A” rating in this category.

Host Merchant Services e-commerce solutions
Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce solutions, providing services like shopping carts, payment gateways, and virtual terminals
Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Host Merchant Services?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Host Merchant Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Possible
Misleading Marketing 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 businesses up for services. This compares favorably to our list of the best credit card processors.

Transparent Pricing

Host Merchant Services actively promotes interchange-plus pricing on its website and includes a description of this pricing structure for businesses that 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.

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Host Merchant Services?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Our Host Merchant Services Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Host Merchant Services rates as an exemplary credit card processing provider based on our standards. The company consistently garners positive reviews across consumer protection platforms, reinforcing its reputation for customer satisfaction. Host Merchant Services also favors the interchange-plus pricing model, which enhances transparency and provides businesses with a clearer understanding of their transaction costs.

However, regardless of a company’s high rating, it’s essential for clients to carefully examine their contracts to avoid potential pitfalls or misunderstandings. By scrutinizing the terms and conditions and comparing them to other processors, businesses can ensure they’re receiving the best value while meeting their specific payment processing needs effectively and cost-efficiently.

Location & Ownership

Host Merchant Services is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. Host Merchant Services is headquartered at 250 Corporate Blvd., Suite L, Newark, Delaware 19702, and they list a second office at 10661 Airport-Pulling Road North, Suite 13, Naples, FL 34109. Lou Honick is the CEO and founder.

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Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Host Merchant Services?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did Host Merchant Services Treat You?

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Host Merchant Services?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

20 User Reviews


    We have been using SquareUp for several years, with no complaints. They recently increased their rates to be more competitive. We “shopped” around to ensure we would still be getting a great deal, and found this site very helpful to confirm that! Their site is easy to use, offers reports and easy to upload, etc. They’re changing rates to 2.65% swiped plus 10cents per trans.

  • Anne Hoang

    Stay away from this company! They tricked us into thinking they were cheaper than our previous company but ended up being the same or more expensive. And the representative told us that the equipment was given to us free for use as long as we used them. But could be returned in the future if we decided we no longer wanted to use them. Turns out that was a lie. Cancelling with them might be at no charge if they cant beat another competitor company’s fees, but you have to pay $3600 for equipment! Look over everything before signing! What they say to you does seem too good to be true, so don’t fall for it.

  • Mike S

    I have worked with HMS for a few years now and they have been not only responsive, but they connect with clients on a personal level. Rates are better than any other option we can offer our clients and the application process is painless and fast! Thanks HMS!

  • Allison Jones

    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.

  • michael

    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.

  • Carina Cooper

    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!

  • Terry Gruchacz

    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.

  • Joel Thomas

    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!

  • William Brown

    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.

  • Ryan German

    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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Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Host Merchant Services?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<